Friday, March 17, 2006

Mystery Hardcover Bestsellers (03/17/2006)

A list of the top ten mystery hardcover bestsellers for the week ending March 17, 2006 has been posted on the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books website.

New this week on the Amazon.com / Borders Group list:

Dark Light by Randy Wayne White, the 13th Doc Ford mystery; and

Dirty Blonde by Lisa Scottoline, a new legal thriller by the author of the Bennie Rosato mysteries.

New on the Barnes & Noble mystery bestseller list:

Cherry Cheesecake Murder by Joanne Fluke, 8th in the Hannah Swenson mystery with recipes series.

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Thursday, March 16, 2006

New Mystery Hardcover Titles for March 2006 (updated)

The Hidden Staircase Mystery Books has performed a mid-month update to the list of new hardcover mystery books for March 2006.

Three notable additions to the list:

Tomb of the Golden Bird is the 18th Amelia Peabody mystery. The incomparable Emerson clan is a hairbreadth away from unearthing the legendary site they've been searching for. But a sinister plot and a dark family secret stand in the way of their ultimate ambition -- and threaten to change things forever. Publishers Weekly states, "Once again Peters delivers an irresistible mix of archeology, action, humor and a mystery that only the redoubtable Amelia can solve."

The 13th Doc Ford mystery, Dark Light, by Randy Wayne White is out this week. From the publisher: "A Category Four hurricane has swept the west coast of Florida, creating havoc, changing lives, and reshaping the ocean bottom. The old woman who visits Doc Ford's lab late one night has a haunting story, of a loved one lost while rendezvousing with a German submarine off the coast of Florida sixty years earlier, of her belief that he was being blackmailed and that the storm has given her a second chance to prove his innocence by uncovering the wreck of his boat-and the truth-if only Ford would look for it."

And the 7th Benjamin Justice mystery, Rhapsody in Blood, by John Morgan Wilson moves Justice out of his usual milieu of West Hollywood to spend a weekend at the Haunted Springs Hotel, site of the rape and murder of a movie star 50 years before, the lynching (the last one ever in California) of the black handyman charged with the crime and the suicide of the movie star's daughter in the same hotel room 25 years later.

Visit the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books often to keep current on your favorite mystery authors and series.

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Jeffrey Deaver Attends Fake Launch Party for Real Book

Best-selling mystery author Jeffrey Deaver makes a cameo appearance on the April 11, 2006 episode of his favorite soap opera, “As The World Turns.” Part of the show’s 50th Anniversary celebration includes the on-air - and real-life - release of a mystery novel, Oakdale Confidential (Pocket Books), which Deaver called, “Fast, fun and filled with sizzling intrigue and gossip galore… Whether you're a fan of daytime drama, murder mysteries or just plain gold storytelling, this is the book for you. Come visit Oakdale...and hold on tight!"

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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Online Reviews for Speak of the Devil and Jar City

Oline H. Cogdill of the South Florida Sun-Sentinal recently reviewed two new mystery books: Speak of the Devil by Richard Hawke and Jar City by Arnaldur Indriddason.

Of Speak of the Devil, Cogdill writes, "Hawke doesn't reinvent the private eye novel, but he does imbue it with a new and likable hero, a solid story that is reminiscent of early Lawrence Block and nonstop action. Speak of the Devil's straightforward story -- and refreshing lack of gimmicks -- makes for an entertaining novel." She adds, "Hawke packs Speak of the Devil with a breathless pace and hairpin turns. Characters are well drawn and [P.I. Fritz Malone's] complicated history and his inherent sense of right and wrong are excitingly explored."

Cogdill also enjoyed Jar City, writing, "... Arnaldur Indriddason also weaves in a suspenseful plot and rich characters to make Jar City an exciting mystery. If the dialogue at times seems a little stilted, blame it on the translation from Icelandic."

Read her entire reviews here.

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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Nominees are Announced for LA Times Book Prizes

The nominees for the 26th annual Los Angeles Times Book Prizes were announced last Thursday in 9 categories.

For mystery, the nominees are:

The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly (Little, Brown);
The Right Madness by James Crumley (Viking);
Ash & Bone by John Harvey (Harcourt);
Legends: A Novel of Dissimulation by Robert Littell (Overlook Press); and
Strange Affair by Peter Robinson (William Morrow/HarperCollins).

Read the complete list of nominees in all categories here.

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Online Review for Face Down Beside St. Anne's Well

Judy Harrison of the Bangor (ME) Daily News recently reviewed the latest mystery by Kathy Lynn Emerson, Face Down Beside St. Anne's Well, the ninth novel in her Lady Appleton series.

Harrison writes, "In most of her books, who committed the crime is secondary to the interaction between the characters and to the everyday minutiae of Elizabethan England. In many of Emerson's stories, the personal intrigue is played out against the political backdrop that often threatened the Virgin Queen's reign. Her latest, thank goodness, is no exception."

She adds, "Emerson does her best work in this series when she remembers that Lady Appleton is the sun the other characters circle as they spin, sometimes out of control, in their own orbits. Face Down Beside St. Anne's Well is among Emerson's best because she puts the emphasis on her core characters who have aged, changed and grown since they first appeared in Face Down in the Marrow-Bone Pie, set in 1559."

Read her entire review here.

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Monday, March 13, 2006

Mystery Book Review: Deep Sea Dead by Lori Avocato

Mysterious Reviews, mysteries reviewed by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books, has posted a mystery book review for Deep Sea Dead, the fourth entry in the Pauline Sokol series by Lori Avocato. Published by HarperCollins, the mass market paperback has a scheduled publication date of April 25, 2006.

Synopsis: A confirmed landlubber, insurance fraud P.I. Pauline Sokol's never heard the call of the sea -- or if she has, she didn't pay attention. But now the former RN is donning her nurse's whites once more to go undercover as part of the medical team of the Golden Dolphin -- a lavish luxury liner that's setting sail for Bermuda. But when a dead body turns up -- in Pauline's cabin, no less! -- and another nurse goes missing, Pauline realizes she may be over her head in shark-infested waters. And getting safely onto dry land may be a long swim back!

Read our review of Deep Sea Dead.

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Weekly Mystery Godoku Puzzle for 03/13/2006

A new Mystery Godoku Puzzle has been created by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books and is available on our website.

Godoku is similar to Sudoku, but uses letters instead of numbers. To give you a headstart, we provide you a mystery clue to fill in a complete row or column (if you choose to use it!). This week's mystery clue: Jack M. Bickman’s mysteries feature this former tennis pro turned CIA operative. 9 letters: A B D H I M R S T.

Previous puzzles are stored in the Mystery Godoku Archives.

Enjoy the weekly Mystery Godoku Puzzle from the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books, and Thanks for visiting our website!

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Sunday, March 12, 2006

Mystery Hardcover Bestsellers (03/10/2006)

A list of the top ten mystery hardcover bestsellers for the week ending March 10, 2006 has been posted on the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books website.

A notable newcomer this week is Nightlife by Thomas Perry, a dangerous cat-and-mouse game that pits two women against each other: a beautiful serial killer and the detective who is determined to stop her. Publishers Weekly states, "Reinterpreting conventions and confounding readers' expectations with fascinating characters, this is Perry at his best." Kirkus Reviews adds, "... the agonizingly detailed pairing of two determined women, complicated by the intrusion of a freelance killer, is masterful."

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Friday, March 03, 2006

Weekly Mystery Godoku Puzzle for 03/06/2006

A new Mystery Godoku Puzzle has been created by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books and is available on our website. (Yes, it's up a bit early this week! The next puzzle will be posted on March 12th.)

Godoku is similar to Sudoku, but uses letters instead of numbers. To give you a headstart, we provide you a mystery clue to fill in a complete row or column (if you choose to use it!). This week's mystery clue: Matt Damon played this character in a movie made from the first Patricia Highsmith mystery of this series. 9 letters: E I L M O P R T Y.

Previous puzzles are stored in the Mystery Godoku Archives.

Enjoy the weekly Mystery Godoku Puzzle from the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books, and Thanks for visiting our website!

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Mysterious Winners of February Contests

The Hidden Staircase Mystery Books wants to congratulate the winners of our contests ending in February 2006.

SallyJane of Zanesville OH was selected as the winner of a signed hardcover copy of Endangered Species by Nevada Barr.

Teresa of Mitchell SD was selected as the monthly winner of a $25 gift card in our mystery survey contest. (Our current monthly survey contest is scheduled to end on March 15th, but we will be starting a new survey contest on the following day!)

Thank you for visiting the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books, and we hope you visit often to be current with the best and most current information about your favorite mystery authors, books, and series.

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Mystery Hardcover Bestsellers (03/03/2006)

A list of the top ten mystery hardcover bestsellers for the week ending March 03, 2006 has been posted on the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books website.

Sour Puss, the 13th Mrs. Murphy mystery by Rita Mae Brown, finds itself on both the Amazon.com and Barnes&Noble bestseller lists this week. Thirteen is certainly not an unlucky number for Brown! Reviews have been very positive.

From Booklist: "Brown does everything right here, from creating a suspenseful plot to introducing readers to Virginia vineyards and the art of winemaking. ... Wine fanciers or not, readers will happily toast the animal-loving author for creating this robust and flavorful tale."

Publishers Weekly adds: "The 13th Mrs. Murphy mystery from bestseller Brown and her feline collaborator ... provides a captivating look at grape growing and the passionate dedication it requires."

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Online Reviews: Sex, Drugs and Murder - Fine Fodder for Four New Mysteries

Carol Memmott of USA Today recently reviewed four new mysteries. Here is a brief overview of some of her comments.

Above Suspicion by Lynda La Plante. "La Plante provides gruesome crime scenes, a clever killer, determined investigators and a horrific look at the life of prostitutes, child predators and substance abusers." (Note: Lynda La Plante is the author of the terrific Jane Tennison mystery series which was made into the PBS series Prime Suspect starring Helen Mirren.)

Carved in Bone by Jefferson Bass. "Carved in Bone has a unique corpse, solid science, quirky humor and a lovable protagonist, Bill Brockton."

Slipping into Darkness by Peter Blauner. "Even the most seasoned mystery authors will be hard-pressed to write a better novel than Slipping into Darkness, Blauner's sixth. It may very well be the crime novel of the year."

The Finishing School by Michele Martinez. "Martinez's special spin is a Latina single mother as the heroine who takes way too many chances on and off the job. Vargas adds texture to a realistic, of-the-times story that involves mixed-up kids, greedy adults and amoral criminals."

Read her entire review of all four mystery books here.

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Thursday, March 02, 2006

Mystery Trivia for March 2006

The Hidden Staircase Mystery Books has posted new mystery trivia questions for March 2006.

Ross Macdonald introduced this Los Angeles private investigator in his 1949 mystery, The Moving Target. What was his name?

In 1966, Paul Newman played the title character in a film based on this book, but requested the name be changed. What was the name used in the movie?

Visit the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books to see the answers to these questions as well as previous mystery book trivia questions from prior months.

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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

To Kill a Rumor: Capote Letter Helps Solve "Mockingbird" Mystery

An article by Sue Scheible in the Patriot Ledger is not directly about a mystery book, but is about a literary mystery: Did Nelle Harper Lee really write her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, To Kill a Mockingbird?

A recently discovered letter from Truman Capote to a relative in Monroeville (AL) appears to debunk the myth that Capote contributed to the writing of Lee’s first and only work, the Huntsville Times in Monroeville reported.

‘‘Yes, it is true that Nelle Lee is publishing a book,’’ Capote wrote in the letter’s final paragraphs, according to the newspaper. ‘‘I did not see Nelle last winter, but the previous year, she showed me as much of the book as she’d written, and I liked it very much. She has real talent.’’

To Kill a Mockingbird is the only novel written by Lee. Despite all the acclaim, she never wrote anything else. Because of that, there has been speculation for years that someone else wrote it or helped her edit it.

Read the rest of this fascinating article here.

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