Wednesday, February 29, 2012

New Game of Thrones Fan Poster for House Stark

Game of Thrones, Season Two: The House of Stark (2012)

Earlier today we wrote about the new official poster for the second season of HBO's Game of Thrones.

What we didn't know at the time was that HBO has also started issuing fan posters for the various houses. The first of these, depicting an image of a direwolf in blood on what appears to be the white fur of the animal, the sigil for House Stark, is shown right (click for larger version). The poster's tagline: "The north remembers." Which, probably not coincidentally, is the title of the second season premiere episode.

Game of Thrones, adapted from the series of "A Song of Ice and Fire" epic fantasy novels by George R. R. Martin, returns on April 1st, 2012.

New Poster for Buddy Cop Comedy Bending the Rules

Bending the Rules (2012)

What with all the promotion going on for the film remake of 21 Jump Street, we nearly missed another action buddy crime comedy coming out this spring: Bending the Rules (new poster right; click for larger version). The poster's tagline: "Justice has one small problem. Them."

Maybe we should have kept on walking without stopping for a visit.

Anyway … Jamie Kennedy stars as Theo Gold, the New Orleans Assistant District Attorney, who is about to have the worst day of his life. Not only does his wife decide to leave him on the eve of his birthday, but he manages to lose a high profile case against detective Nick Blades (Edge). Now, the only thing Theo has left is the car his father, Herb (Phillip Baker Hall), entrusted to him — a 1956 Studebaker Goldenhawk. But when he discovers that his father's pride and joy has been stolen, Theo is determined to do whatever it takes to get that car back. The same person he just tried to put away, Nick Blades, becomes his only ally in the police department. As the two set off to find the car, action and comedy quickly develop, because the stolen car is merely a small piece of a much larger puzzle. It's time to start — wait for it — bending the rules.

Bending the Rules opens in limited release on March 9th, 2012. It will likely be direct to DVD soon thereafter. We couldn't find a trailer to easily embed here, but you can see one at the film's website, BendingTheRulesMovie.com.

New Poster for Game of Thrones, Season Two

Game of Thrones (Season Two, HBO)

Let's see … HBO has released two trailers for the second season of Game of Thrones and one teaser poster … and now we have the official poster (right; click for larger version).

Game of Thrones is adapted from the series of "A Song of Ice and Fire" epic fantasy novels by George R. R. Martin. This second season is expected to generally follow the storyline of A Clash of Kings, the second book in the series.

For a refresher on the series houses and character relationships from the first season, don't miss Haute Slides excellent illustrated guide (a small version of which is shown below).

Game of Thrones returns on April 1st, 2012.

Game of Thrones Houses and Character Relationships

Acorn Media Acquires Majority Ownership of Agatha Christie Ltd.

Acorn Media

Acorn Media announced today that it has acquired a 64% stake in Agatha Christie Limited. (The Christie family holds the remaining 36%.)

This milestone acquisition gives Acorn Media majority ownership of Christie's extensive works including more than 80 novels and short story collections, 19 plays, a film library of nearly 40 TV films, and iconic characters Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, among many others.

Acorn Media Group Chairman Peter Edwards said, "This is a momentous occasion for Acorn Media and a gratifying one for me personally. While we are keenly aware of the financial and strategic worth of this transaction for Acorn Media, we are also grateful to partner with the Agatha Christie family in the promoting and protecting of their family legacy."

(Source: Press release.)

Review: Night Rounds by Helene Tursten

Night Rounds by Helene Tursten

Read our … Review of Night Rounds by Helene Tursten. An Inspector Irene Huss Mystery. Soho Crime Hardcover, February 2012.

Available to purchase from …

Amazon.com Print and/or Kindle Edition

The Mystery Bookshelf: The School of Night by Louis Bayard

The Mystery Bookshelf: New Mystery,  Suspense and Thriller Books

The Mystery Bookshelf, where you can discover a world of mystery and suspense, is pleased to feature a new crime novel we recently received from the publisher.

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The School of Night by Louis Bayard
Non-series
St. Martin's Griffin (Trade Paperback)
Publication Date: February 2012
ISBN-13: 978-1-250-00230-3

The School of Night by Louis Bayard

About The School of Night (from the publisher): In the late sixteenth century, five brilliant scholars gather under the cloak of darkness to discuss God, politics, astronomy, and the black arts. Known as the School of Night, they meet in secret to avoid the wrath of Queen Elizabeth. But one of the men, Thomas Harriot, has secrets of his own, secrets he shares with one person only: the servant woman he loves.

In modern-day Washington, D.C., disgraced Elizabethan scholar Henry Cavendish has been hired by the ruthless antiquities collector Bernard Styles to find a missing letter. The letter dates from the 1600s and was stolen by Henry's close friend, Alonzo Wax. Now Wax is dead and Styles wants the letter back.

But the letter is an object of interest to others, too. It may be the clue to a hidden treasure; it may contain the long-sought formula for alchemy; it most certainly will prove the existence of the group of men whom Shakespeare dubbed the School of Night but about whom little is known. Joining Henry in his search for the letter is Clarissa Dale, a mysterious woman who suffers from visions that only Henry can understand. In short order, Henry finds himself stumbling through a secretive world of ancient perils, caught up in a deadly plot, and ensnared in the tragic legacy of a forgotten genius.

— ◊ —

About the author: Louis Bayard is a nationally recognized essayist and critic whose articles have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times. He teaches creative writing at George Washington University in Washington D.C., where he lives. For more information about the author and his books, visit his website at LouisBayard.com.

Mysterious Reviews: Mysteries Reviewed by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books Crime novels by Louis Bayard reviewed by Mysterious Reviews: The School of Night (2011).

Purchase Options for The School of Night:

Amazon.com Print and/or Kindle EditionBarnes&Noble Print and/or Nook Book editioniBookstore (iTunes)

Top Suspense: 13 Classic Stories by 12 Masters of the Genre is Today's Featured Free MystereBook

MystereBooks: Mystery, Suspense, and Thriller eBooks

MystereBooks is pleased to feature Top Suspense: 13 Classic Stories by 12 Masters of the Genre as today's free mystery ebook.

This title was listed as free as of the date and time of this post. Prices are subject to change without notice. The price displayed on the vendor website at the time of purchase will be the price paid for the book. Please confirm the price of the book before completing your transaction.

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Top Suspense: 13 Classic Stories by 12 Masters of the Genre

Top Suspense: 13 Classic Stories by 12 Masters of the Genre
A Short Story Collection
Publisher: CreateSpace

About Top Suspense: 13 Classic Stories by 12 Masters of the Genre (from the publisher): Hold on tight for a literary thrill-ride into the wickedly clever, frightening, and exhilarating world of Top Suspense, a sizzling collaboration of twelve master storytellers at the peak of their powers in thirteen unforgettable tales. This pulse-pounding anthology — packed full of cold-blooded killers, erotic tension, shady private eyes, craven drug dealers, vicious betrayals, crafty thieves, and shocking twists — is only a taste of the thrills you will find in the breathtakingly original ebooks by the Top Suspense authors. So sit back, bite down on a piece of strong leather, and prepare to get hit by some gale-force suspense and writing so sharp it will draw blood.

Important Note: This book was listed for free on the date and time of this post. Prices can and do change without prior notice. Please confirm the price of the book before completing your purchase.

Download Link(s):

Amazon Free Kindle Book Amazon Free Kindle Edition Download Link.

For more free mystery ebooks, visit our Free MystereBooks page.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

New Trailer for Jason Statham Thriller Safe

Safe (2012)

A little over a month ago we featured a poster for Jason Statham's next film, Safe. And now we have a new 60-second trailer (via Machinima) for the action thriller … with an emphasis on the word "action".

Statham stars as Luke Wright, a second-rate cage fighter on the mixed martial arts circuit, who lives a numbing life of routine beatings and chump change … until the day he blows a rigged fight. Wanting to make an example of him, the Russian Mafia murders his family and banishes him from his life forever, leaving Luke to wander the streets of New York destitute, haunted by guilt, and tormented by the knowledge that he will always be watched, and anyone he develops a relationship with will also be killed.

But when he witnesses a frightened twelve-year-old Chinese girl, Mei (Catherine Chan), being pursued by the same gangsters who killed his wife, Luke impulsively jumps to action … and straight into the heart of a deadly high-stakes war. Mei, he discovers, is no ordinary girl, but an orphaned math prodigy forced to work for the Triads as a "counter." He discovers she holds in her memory a priceless numerical code that the Triads, the Russian mob and a corrupt faction of the NYPD will kill for.

Realizing he's the only person Mei can trust, Luke tears a swath through the city's brutal underworld to save an innocent girl's life … and perhaps even redeem his own.

Written and directed by Boaz Yaking, Safe is scheduled to be in theaters April 27th, 2012.

Columbia to Remake Dutch Thriller Taped

Taped (2012)

The Dutch thriller Taped opened in theaters (in The Netherlands) this past weekend, but today we're learning that Columbia Pictures has acquired the rights to develop an English-language version of the film.

Written and directed by Diederik Van Rooijen, the storyline follows a young couple, Johan (Barry Atsma) and Saar (Susan Visser), who, while on vacation in Buenos Aires, inadvertently videotape the murder of a young man by a corrupt cop.

We've embedded a trailer for the film below, but it's the original Dutch version; we couldn't find one with English subtitles.

SleuthFest 2012 Starts Thursday, March 1st

SleuthFest 2012

This Thursday, March 1st, marks the opening day to SleuthFest 2012. Sponsored by the Florida Chapter of the Mystery Writers of America, the conference will be held at the Royal Plaza located in the Walt Disney World Resort.

This year's guests of honor are crime novelists Charlaine Harris, Jeffery Deaver, and Chris Grabenstein.

The conference opens on "Third Degree Thursday" with a large number of panel discussions. Chris Grabenstein closes the day's sessions with "Yes, and …", techniques of improvisation to keep your story rolling.

Friday continues the panel discussions, with Jeffery Deaver being the luncheon keynote speaker. The evening's entertainment is a mystery dinner theater.

Saturday's keynote speaker is Charlaine Harris. Later that night, romantic suspense novelist Heather Graham invites participants to party at The House of Blues in Downtown Disney.

The conference wraps up Sunday with a continental breakfast and a conversation with the three guests of honor.

See the conference website for registration information and all the program details.

BBC America Developing Original Crime Drama, The Dead Beat

BBC America

BBC America announced today that it is developing two new original series, one a paranormal crime drama.

According to the press release, "In The Dead Beat, two cops, one dead and one alive, become a reluctant team, working from leads in the world of the dead to track down killers in the world of the living. Subverting the crime genre, The Dead Beat brings a whole new meaning to cold cases, underworld informants, dead leads and buried evidence."

The other series is Wired, set in a world of "syns", synthetic organisms that are exact replicas of human beings.

"Supernatural Saturday has become a popular fixture on BBC America's schedule," said Perry Simon, General Manager, BBC America. "[B]oth these highly creative ideas add a new dimension to our programming."

Review: The Last Justice by Anthony J. Franze

The Last Justice by Anthony J. Franze

Read our … Review of The Last Justice by Anthony J. Franze. Sterling & Ross Hardcover, February 2012.

Available to purchase from …

Amazon.com Print and/or Kindle Edition

The Mystery Bookshelf: Secret of the White Rose by Stefanie Pintoff, a Simon Ziele Mystery

The Mystery Bookshelf: New Mystery,  Suspense and Thriller Books

The Mystery Bookshelf, where you can discover a world of mystery and suspense, is pleased to feature a new crime novel we recently received from the publisher.

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Secret of the White Rose by Stefanie Pintoff
A Simon Ziele Mystery (3rd in series)
Minotaur Books (Trade Paperback)
Publication Date: February 2012
ISBN-13: 978-1-250-00166-5

Secret of the White Rose by Stefanie Pintoff

About Secret of the White Rose (from the publisher): The murder of Judge Hugo Jackson is out of Detective Simon Ziele’s jurisdiction in more ways than one. For one, it’s high-profile enough to command the attention of the notorious new police commissioner, since Judge Jackson was presiding over the sensational trial of Al Drayson. Drayson, an anarchist, set off a bomb at a Carnegie family wedding, but instead of killing millionaires, it killed passersby, including a child. The dramatic trial has captured the full attention of 1906 New York City.

Furthermore, Simon’s assigned precinct on Manhattan’s West Side includes the gritty Tenderloin but not the tonier Gramercy Park, which is where the judge is found in his locked town house with his throat slashed on the night before the jury is set to deliberate. But his widow insists on calling her husband’s old classmate criminologist, Alistair Sinclair, who in turn enlists Ziele’s help. Together they must steer Sinclair’s unorthodox methods past a police force that is so focused on rounding up Drayson’s supporters that they’ve all but rejected any other possibilities.

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About the author: Stefanie Pintoff's debut mystery, In the Shadow of Gotham, was the winner of the 2010 Edgar Award for Best First Novel. A graduate of Columbia University Law School, she also has a Ph.D. in literature from New York University. Now a full-time writer, she lives on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. For more information about the author and her books, visit her website at StefaniePintoff.com.

Mysterious Reviews: Mysteries Reviewed by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books Crime novels by Stefanie Pintoff reviewed by Mysterious Reviews: In the Shadow of Gotham (2009).

Purchase Options for Secret of the White Rose:

Amazon.com Print and/or Kindle EditionBarnes&Noble Print and/or Nook Book editioniBookstore (iTunes)

Dead Times Four by Joel Goldman is Today's Third Featured Free MystereBook

MystereBooks: Mystery, Suspense, and Thriller eBooks

MystereBooks is pleased to feature Dead Times Four by Joel Goldman as today's third free mystery ebook.

This title was listed as free as of the date and time of this post. Prices are subject to change without notice. The price displayed on the vendor website at the time of purchase will be the price paid for the book. Please confirm the price of the book before completing your transaction.

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Dead Times Four by Joel Goldman

Dead Times Four by Joel Goldman
A Lou Mason Omnibus
Publisher: Pinnacle/Joel Goldman

About Dead Times Four (from the publisher): The first four Lou Mason thrillers are included in this omnibus: Motion To Kill, The Last Witness, Cold Truth, and Deadlocked.

A new Lou Mason mystery, Final Judgment, was published this month.

Important Note: This book was listed for free on the date and time of this post. Prices can and do change without prior notice. Please confirm the price of the book before completing your purchase.

Download Link(s):

Amazon Free Kindle Book Amazon Free Kindle Edition Download Link.

For more free mystery ebooks, visit our Free MystereBooks page.

Three Ways to Die by Lee Goldberg is Today's Second Featured Free MystereBook

MystereBooks: Mystery, Suspense, and Thriller eBooks

MystereBooks is pleased to feature Three Ways to Die by Lee Goldberg as today's second free mystery ebook.

This title was listed as free as of the date and time of this post. Prices are subject to change without notice. The price displayed on the vendor website at the time of purchase will be the price paid for the book. Please confirm the price of the book before completing your transaction.

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Three Ways to Die by Lee Goldberg

Three Ways to Die by Lee Goldberg
A Short Story Collection
Publisher: CreateSpace

About Three Ways to Die (from the publisher): This collection gathers together three short stories by the author of the "Mr. Monk" novels. "Jack Webb's Star" originally appeared in the anthology Hollywood and Crime; "Bumsickle" originally appeared in the anthology Fedora III; and "Remaindered" originally appeared in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine.

Important Note: This book was listed for free on the date and time of this post. Prices can and do change without prior notice. Please confirm the price of the book before completing your purchase.

Download Link(s):

Amazon Free Kindle Book Amazon Free Kindle Edition Download Link.

For more free mystery ebooks, visit our Free MystereBooks page.

The Blue Fence by Jonathan Hales is Today's Featured Free MystereBook

MystereBooks: Mystery, Suspense, and Thriller eBooks

MystereBooks is pleased to feature The Blue Fence by Jonathan Hales as today's free mystery ebook.

This title was listed as free as of the date and time of this post. Prices are subject to change without notice. The price displayed on the vendor website at the time of purchase will be the price paid for the book. Please confirm the price of the book before completing your transaction.

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The Blue Fence by Jonathan Hales

The Blue Fence by Jonathan Hales
Publisher: Westcom Press

About The Blue Fence (from the publisher): Danny Ballard was a child music prodigy. Her father was London's most notorious gangster. Now she plays cocktail piano in a West End nightclub, where a chance encounter entangles her in a criminal conspiracy linked to the Olympic Park for the 2012 Games. Murder, corruption, and the International drugs trade … Danny is forced to confront her half-buried past as well as the lethal dangers of the present.

Important Note: This book was listed for free on the date and time of this post. Prices can and do change without prior notice. Please confirm the price of the book before completing your purchase.

Download Link(s):

Amazon Free Kindle Book Amazon Free Kindle Edition Download Link.

For more free mystery ebooks, visit our Free MystereBooks page.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Moscow Sting by Alex Dryden is Today's Second Featured Free MystereBook

MystereBooks: Mystery, Suspense, and Thriller eBooks

MystereBooks is pleased to feature Moscow Sting by Alex Dryden as today's second free mystery ebook.

This title was listed as free as of the date and time of this post. Prices are subject to change without notice. The price displayed on the vendor website at the time of purchase will be the price paid for the book. Please confirm the price of the book before completing your transaction.

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Moscow Sting by Alex Dryden

Moscow Sting by Alex Dryden
The Moscow Spy Thrillers
Publisher: HarperCollins

This is the second entry in this series; the third, The Blind Spy, publishes in hardcover next month. It's relatively rare for free books to be announced in the middle of the day — which is why we typically post about them in the morning — but we're guessing this is part of a program to promote the author's new book … especially since this ebook edition includes "bonus material" from the new book.

About Moscow Sting (from the publisher): When Finn, a former British spy, is poisoned by a Russian assassin, his ex-boss Adrian, the chief of MI6, wants vengeance. He also wants answers—information that only Finn's widow knows. But Anna, a former KGB colonel who betrayed her country for love, vanished with her child shortly after Finn's death.

Adrian isn't the only one eager to find Anna. Finn accessed intelligence so sensitive that the KGB killed to protect it—and now Anna is in the KGB's crosshairs, as the only person who knows the true identity of the Kremlin insider, superspy, and double agent called Mikhail. The CIA and Cougar, a giant American private intelligence company, are also hunting her. With the Kremlin still in the grasp of all-powerful Vladimir Putin, Mikhail is the West's best hope for revealing Russia's obscure intentions for its new-found oil wealth.

Anna holds the key to the secrets of her motherland, and now the former Russian agent faces her greatest test. To secure her freedom and protect her child, she must uncover the full truth before anyone else does—even as friend and foe set her in their sights.

Important Note: This book was listed for free on the date and time of this post. Prices can and do change without prior notice. Please confirm the price of the book before completing your purchase.

Download Link(s):

Amazon Free Kindle Book Amazon Free Kindle Edition Download Link.

Barnes&Noble Free Nook Book B&N Free Nook Book Download Link.

Apple Free iBook Apple Free iBook Download Link (via iTunes).

For more free mystery ebooks, visit our Free MystereBooks page.

Telemystery: CBS Casts Lucy Liu as Watson in Elementary

Sherlock Holmes

A couple of weeks ago we learned that CBS had cast Jonny Lee Miller as Sherlock Holmes in the pilot of Elementary, its contemporary adaptation of the stories by Arthur Conan Doyle set in New York City.

Now we're learning that the Watson character will be played by Lucy Liu … though presumably under a different name! (Dr. Joan Watson … or so we believe.)

CBS is clearly going out of its way to differentiate this potential series from Sherlock, the BBC version, which recently completed its second season in the UK — we'll see it here in the US this May — and has been renewed for a third season.

(Related article: TV|Line.com.)

Second Trailer for Season Two of Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones (HBO, 2012)

HBO has released a second trailer for the second season of Game of Thrones; we've embedded it below. The trailer's tagline: "Power and grace."

Adapted from the series of "A Song of Ice and Fire" epic fantasy novels by George R. R. Martin — we believe this second season will generally follow the storyline of A Clash of Kings, the second book in the series — Game of Thrones returns on April 1st, 2012.

Telemystery: Law & Order, Midsomer Murders, and Mission: Impossible, New This Week on DVD

Telemystery, the most complete selection of detective, amateur sleuth, private investigator, and suspense television mystery series now available or coming soon to DVD

Telemystery, your source for one of the most comprehensive listings of crime drama, amateur sleuth, private investigator, mystery and suspense television series, mini-series and made-for-television movies, now available on or coming soon to DVD or Blu-ray disc, is profiling three series being released this week.

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Law & Order: Season Ten, a Telemystery Crime Series

The long-running original Law & Order reaches the half-way point in its series run with this season.

Steven Hill stars as District Attorney Adam Schiff in his final season with the series. Joining him are series regulars Jerry Orbach, Jesse L. Martin, S. Epatha Merkerson, Sam Waterston and Angie Harmon as the men and women striving to bring justice to the streets of New York. This season's roster of cases include a murderous rampage in Central Park, a sinister insurance scam involving Holocaust victims and an academically successful college student who is leading a double life.

Law & Order: Season Ten is available on DVD and consists of episodes that originally aired on NBC during the 1999/2000 television season.

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Midsomer Murders: Set Nineteen, a Telemystery Crime Series

The cozy villages of Midsomer County reveal their most sinister secrets in Midsomer Murders, a drama based on characters created by crime novelist Caroline Graham.

The series stars John Nettles as the unflappable Detective Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby, with Jason Hughes as his earnest, efficient protégé, Detective Sergeant Ben Jones.

Midsomer Murders: Set Nineteen is available on DVD and Blu-ray disc and consists of four episodes that originally aired on ITV as part of its 13th season during 2010. "The Sword of Guillaume", included on this set, introduces Barnaby's cousin, DCI John Barnaby (played by Neil Dudgeon), who takes over as the series lead at the beginning of the 14th season.

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Mission: Impossible ('89): Season Two, a Telemystery Crime Series

Peter Graves reprised his role as Jim Phelps, the brilliant and charismatic leader of the covert Impossible Missions Force, inMission: Impossible ('89), a high-tech update of the original CBS series.

The IMF regulars include Thaao Penghlis Nicholas Black, Phil Morris as Grant Collier, Tony Hamilton as Max Harte, and Jane Badler as Shannon Reed. Notable this season is guest star Greg Morris, who returns as Barney Collier. (In an interesting casting twist, Morris's son Phil plays Collier's son Grant in the series.)

Mission: Impossible ('89): Season Two — its final season — is available on DVD and consists of episodes that originally aired on ABC from September 1989 through February 1990.

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Visit the Telemystery website to discover more television mystery series currently available on and coming soon to DVD, Blu-ray disc, or video on demand.

OMN Welcomes Suspense Novelist Mary Burton

Omnimystery News: Authors on Tour

Omnimystery News is pleased to welcome suspense novelist Mary Burton, whose latest thriller is Before She Dies (Zebra Books, February 2012 Mass Market Paperback and ebook editions).

Today Mary tells us about one of her favorite characters: setting.

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Way back in the day before I'd sold my first book, I didn't put much thought into setting. A book could be anywhere, by my way of thinking. Then I got a nibble on my third unpublished manuscript. The agent said she liked everything but the setting. Thrilled for any kind of feedback, I decided I had nothing to loose by changing the setting. I mean, how hard could it be?

Mary Burton
Photo provided courtesy of
Mary Burton

Turns out the setting changed the entire book. Not only did moving the book's setting from the eastern U.S. to the west change the character back stories, but it changed weather conditions, travel times and housing. In a word it changed everything.

That valuable rewrite taught me a powerful lesson about Setting.

With that old but never forgotten lesson in mind, I sat down to write Before She Dies, Senseless and Merciless. I put a great deal of thought into where I staged the books. Did I want my next romantic suspense to be set in a big city? What about the country? A coastal town? The mountains? I considered all these questions. I ended up choosing Alexandria, Virginia.

I had lived in Alexandria for several years. I knew the streets, the general layout and the overall energy of the place. Alexandria has a great and rich history. Modern buildings sit side by side with structures built in the eighteenth century. It is close to Washington, D.C. Though urban, it is less than an hour from the country. By my way of thinking it had all the best elements for my books.

And it did not disappoint.

On an historic tour of the city last year, our guide took us down cobblestone streets and along the shores of the Potomac. She explained the history behind the colonial style buildings, many of which are now home to trendy shops and restaurants. We visited the Torpedo Factory Art Center, which at one time had been a munitions factory. Even showed us an abandoned building set for demolition. It was that abandoned building that really caught my attention. It became the first crime scene detailed in Before She Dies.

As you read Before She Dies, know that I've walked the streets that the characters walked. I hope you enjoy reading about Alexandria as much as I enjoyed visiting and reading about it.

Thanks for letting me visit!

— ◊ —

A Virginia native whose family's Richmond roots run as deep as the nation's, Mary was born, raised in, and raised her own family there. She graduated from Hollins University and began a career in marketing before writing her first novel, a historical romance, published in 2000. Eleven more novels and three novellas for Harlequin followed. In total, she has written nineteen novels and four novellas.

When not killing people — the total is upwards of a dozen now — or researching, Mary can be found pursuing her second love, baking, practicing Astanga yoga, enjoying her family, playing with her miniature dachshunds Buddy and Bella, or pursuing her Baking & Pastry Arts Certificate at the University of Richmond.

For more information about Mary and her books, visit her website at MaryBurton.com.

— ◊ —

Before She Dies by Mary Burton

Amazon.com Print and/or Kindle Edition

Barnes&Noble Print Edition and/or Nook Book

Indie Bound: Independent Bookstores

About Before She Dies:

In death, they are purified. Holding his victims under water, he washes away their sins as they struggle for their last breath. Then he stakes their bodies to the ground, exposing them for what they really are. Witches, sent to tempt and to corrupt …

No one knows about defense attorney Charlotte Wellington's murdered sister, or about her childhood spent with the carnival that's just arrived in town. For Charlotte, what's past is past. But others don't agree. And as a madman's body count rises, she and Detective Daniel Rokov are drawn into a mission that's become terrifyingly personal …

At last, she is within his reach. All his victims deserve their fate, but her guilt is greatest. And with every scream, he will make her see what it means to suffer and repent–before she dies …

— ◊ —

Read an excerpt from Before She Dies below, an example of Mary's detailed attention to setting, in this case the crime scene:

 "Identification?" Sinclair knelt by the body and stared into the woman's face half cloaked by her hair.

 "No ID. No jewelry. And there are red marks on the side of her neck. Looks like he got her with a stun gun several times." Paulie knelt down and examined the hair draping her forehead. He snapped more pictures and then gently moved the hair back. "Have a look at this."

 Sinclair squatted and glanced down. "She's been tattooed with the word Witch." The bold letters covered most of the delicate forehead skin, still puckered red and raw from the tattoo needle. "Shit."

 Rokov's half-baked theory had been correct, but it gave him no pleasure. "She have any other tats or markings?"

 "Not on the exposed areas. But there could be other body art under the clothes."

 "I can't imagine anyone willingly doing this to themselves," Sinclair said. "But we've seen all kinds of oddities."

 Rokov glanced around the room. The flowered wallpaper was peeling off in frayed strips, and the ceiling was soiled with a dozen watermarks. All the furniture had been stripped out, and a shadow imprint on the back wall suggested there'd been a bar at one point. A thick coating of dust covered the room. "Footprints?"

 "Two distinct sets," Paulie said. "The first I identified as Barrows. He was kind enough not to trample all over the floor, which left me with clear impressions of the second set." Paulie pointed to the window. "The best impression is over by the window, and I've marked it with a cone. I've got an electrostatic dust print collector. It will pull an impression."

 "Rokov moved toward the footprints carefully to mirror Barrow's path. "It looks like a size eleven or twelve." He studied the grooved pattern. "Sneakers?"

 "That's my guess, but it will take time to narrow the brand."

 "The impressions are clear and defined. He walked carefully and with precision."

 Paulie shrugged. "You know I don't make impulsive calls."

 "I'm not holding you to it," Rokov said.

 "That's what they all say. I'll have a report by tomorrow."

 Rokov studied the impression. "Inside back right heel looks worn. He's favoring the foot."

 Paulie snapped more pictures. "Could be an injury or he could have had a wart at one time, and it changed the way he walks. Doesn't mean he noticeably favors the foot now."

 "So he moved her here," Rokov says. "Positions her, stakes her, and then moves to the window to stare at what?"

 "The river. The full moon. It was a clear night last night. He stops to enjoy the full moon. Maybe he heard a sound."

 "If he's got a thing about witches, the moon makes sense," Rokov said. "The full moon has a lot of power in some circles. Stands to reason he'd be drawn to the moon."

 Sinclair rose. "We need to figure out who she is. I'll head downstairs and put a call into Missing Persons and see what they have."

 "Good." Rokov turned to Paulie. "Does she have defensive wounds? Did she fight for her life?"

 "I'm going to bag her hands. Hopefully, the medical examiner will find something under her nails."

 Rokov knelt by the victim's right hand and studied the crude stake that had pierced the flesh of her palm. It would have taken tremendous force to drive the wood through the flesh. He wondered if she'd known her attacker. Most murdered women knew their killers. Lovers. Husbands. Boyfriends. Love could turn vicious instantly.

 "I wanted you to see her before I pulled the stakes. If I can pull them out now, I can roll her over."

 "Need a hand?" Rokov said.

 "I got it." Paulie slid on workman's gloves over his surgical gloves and grabbed a hold of the stake. "The floor boards are rotted." He pulled hard, and the stake wriggled free of the floor and the victim's palm. Carefully, he moved to the other side and repeated. Then it was on to the feet. The last stake proved stubborn and it took assistance from Rokov to free it.

 Paulie laid the stakes out and photographed them. Then very carefully, he turned the body on its side. The victim's jacket was embossed with the word Magic.

(Excerpt © Mary Burton.)

 

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Lance Wright owns and manages Omnimystery, a Family of Mystery Websites, which had its origin as Hidden Staircase Mystery Books in 1986. As the scope of the business expanded, first into book reviews — Mysterious Reviews — and later into information for and reviews of mystery and suspense television and film, all sites were consolidated under the Omnimystery brand in 2006.

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