Thursday, April 20, 2006

New Website: The Mystery Bookshelf

A new website has been launched that provides a convenient list of recently published mass market mystery paperbacks.

The Mystery Bookshelf may be browsed by author, series character, or date of publication. A detailed description of each book including a depiction of the book cover and synopsis can be viewed by clicking on the mystery book title. Mystery titles on this website are updated frequently, and remain available for browsing for at least six months. (Older mysteries are moved to the archives.)

Notes are appended after the synopsis of the mystery book. These notes typically include what entry the book is in the mystery series, any awards the book may have won, if a hardcover edition is available, or interesting facts about the author.

Links are provided to purchase the books from Amazon.com.

The Mystery Bookshelf is commited to providing readers of popular mysteries with the best and most current information about their favorite mystery authors, books, and series. Please visit often!

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Profile: Down East Mystery Blends Home Repair, Homicide

Nancy Grape of Freeport (ME), freelance writer for Maine Today, recently wrote a profile of the author of the "Home Repair is Homicide" mystery series, Sarah Graves.

According to Grape, a mystery by Graves "... comes with an authentic Maine setting." The "Home Repair is Homicide"mysteries are typically set in Eastport, Maine.

"In 1823, Eastport's harbor was so busy, people said you could walk across the bay on the decks of ships waiting to come in," Graves writes. "Now a single scallop-dragger motored on it toward the Canadian shore."

In Graves' most recent mystery, Nail Biter, hyper-energetic Jake Tiptree and her best friend Ellie White have bought a run-down cottage in Quoddy Village that they plan to fix up and sell. Those plans give way, however, when requests to rent the cottage prove too enticing. And Jake and Ellie find themselves hosts to a group dallying with witchcraft.

Grape concludes her profile with, "Graves has crafted a mystery that blends home-based craftsmanship with the puzzle of a well-flavored mystery. She has also breathed life into characters who are Maine strong, not just in muscle but in integrity. Her heroine, a former money manager on Wall Street, is bright, perceptive and courageous. And she gets the job done, whether it means using her hands or her head."

Read the entire profile of Sarah Graves here.

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Monday, April 17, 2006

Weekly Mystery Godoku Puzzle for 04/17/2006

Mystery Godoku Puzzle for April 17, 2006A 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: This was the title of Darren Williams second mystery and winner of the Australian/Vogel Literary Award. 9 letters: A B C D E L N T U.

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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Friday, April 14, 2006

Mystery Hardcover Bestsellers (04/14/2006)

A list of the top ten mystery hardcover bestsellers for the week ending April 14, 2006 has been posted on the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books website.

Two "dark" mysteries make an appearance on the lists this week.

Dark Harbor by Stuart Woods, the 12th mystery to feature attorney Stuart Barrington. Stone enters the picturesque town Dark Harbor off the coast of Maine, where the shocking deaths of three people have cast a long shadow over this island haven-a locale as mysterious as it is exclusive.

Dark Tort by Diane Mott Davidson, the 11th culinary mystery featuring caterer Goldy Schulz. Kirkus Reviews states, "Goldy and her coterie always provide some enjoyable moments, although the mind-boggling denouement may send you to the kitchen to try the 11 appended recipes."

Visit the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books often where we provide readers and collectors of mysteries with the best and most current information about their favorite mystery authors, books, and series.

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Press Release: Chicago Area Author, Morgan Mandel, Shares Marshall Field's Memories In Two Wrongs, Her Debut Mystery


The Big Tree, the Walnut Room, Snowmen ice cream creations and Frango mints are some of the memories associated with Marshall Field's on State Street and shared by the author, Morgan Mandel, in her recently released mystery, Two Wrongs. Though fast paced, Two Wrongs slows down long enough for the reader to catch unique glimpses into Chicago lore and landmarks while relating its story of revenge and the healing power of love.

Chicago, IL (PRWEB) April 10, 2006 -- With Chicago as a backdrop, the recently released Two Wrongs by Morgan Mandel explores the effects of wrongful imprisonment from both sides of the spectrum.

A brother seeks to avenge his sister's death by mistakenly identifying the wrong killer. When the wrongfully accused's innocence is proven and he's released from prison, it's too late. He's already been corrupted. Revenge takes him and his accuser to the final showdown at Marshall Field's. The action begins at the Walnut Room continues on to the Frango mints department, escalates up and down the escalators and climaxes on the atrium balcony overlooking the Burnham Fountain.

DePaul University, Chase Park, Our Lady of Lourdes Church, and other familiar Chicago landmarks are also included in Two Wrongs to provide the reader with a taste of nostalgia along with a shiver of trepidation.

This book is available in electronic form or trade paperback from the publisher at http://www.hardshell.com/. Also in paperback from Amazon.com, Walmart.com, Target.com, Ingram's and your favorite bookstore by order.

Paperback ISBN#0-7599-4065-7
Electronic ISBN#0-7599-4062-2

For links to reviews and further information on Two Wrongs see http://www.morganmandel.com/

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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Profile: Sue Grafton Solves Her Literary Problem

Jennifer Hewlett, of the Lexington (KY) Herald-Leader, recently wrote a profile of Sue Grafton, author of the Kinsey Millhone mystery series, the most recent of which is "S" is for Silence.

Now the author, who figures it will take her 10 to 12 years to finish the alphabet, is on her seventh or so go at "T."

"I am struggling with 'T.' Why would I not?" she said.

With each book in the series, writing has become more difficult, she said.

The former hospital secretary holds a bachelor's degree in English with minors in fine arts and humanities from the University of Louisville. Her father, the late C. W. Grafton, a municipal bond attorney in Louisville, also wrote mystery fiction.

"I started my first novel when I was 22 years old. That one was never published," said Grafton, who turns 66 on April 24. She wrote two more books that went unpublished. Her fourth and fifth books were published when she was in her 20s. Her sixth and seventh books went unpublished. Grafton's eighth book was "A" Is for Alibi, the first in her highly successful Kinsey Millhone mystery series.

"I started writing in 1962 seriously and didn't publish 'A' until '82," she said. "You teach yourself to write by writing badly for a very long period of time."

Read Hewlett's entire profile of Sue Grafton here.

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Monday, April 10, 2006

Weekly Mystery Godoku Puzzle for 04/10/2006

Mystery Godoku Puzzle for April 10, 2006A 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: This was the title of John Sandford’s sixth mystery to feature Lucas Davenport. 9 letters: A B C D E L N T U.

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, April 09, 2006

Press Release: Best-Selling Author James Byron Huggins to Release New Book, Sorcerer

(OPENPRESS) April 6, 2006 -- This April, best-selling author James Byron Huggins will release his third Whitaker House title, Sorcerer.

Ex-detective Michael Thorn has retired from the police force, and is eager to lead a normal life for once. His days of fighting to protect the innocent are over. But his “retirement” isn’t going to be the long-deserved rest he expected. His new home in rural New England has many strange stories surrounding it. But those are all just rumors…right? Then he discovers the skeleton in the basement and realizes the rumors are true. When the skeleton mysteriously disappears, Thorn is faced with an ancient mystery—one that leads to an even more ancient foe: the same sorcerer who fought Moses! Now, to protect his family, Thorn must figure out how a sorcerer from ancient Egypt ended up in America and how to defeat him before he regains his full power and wreaks havoc on the world. Thorn has help from a wise professor, a devout priest, and a sect of warriors sworn to protect the church. But will they be enough?

In the end, Thorn will face even larger questions—of good and evil, of God and the devil.

Best-known by his good vs. evil plots of historical or political significance, Sorcerer is only the latest title to follow best-sellers Nightbringer, Rora, and Cain. Of his novels, Amazon.com says, “Huggins can make the most outlandish material instantly credible by creating scenes of great power and imagination.”

A veteran novelist, James Byron Huggins’ life story reads more like fiction than fact. After working as a newspaper reporter, Huggins left journalism to help persecuted Christians in eastern Europe. From Texas, he worked with the Christian underground in the Iron Curtain, spending his life savings and becoming homeless. Huggins left America to offer assistance to Romanian Christians. He often remained hidden for days at a time in order to survive. After returning home, Huggins again worked as a journalist before becoming a policeman. Huggins then left law enforcement to pursue full-time writing.

Sorcerer is Huggins second 2006 release. In January his conspiracy novel, The Scam, was introduced.

Joy Ike Publicist
Whitaker House
1030 Hunt Valley Circle
New Kensington, PA 15068
Ph: 800.444.4484
E-mail: [email protected]
http://www.whitakerhouse.com

###Professional Free Press Release News Wire

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Saturday, April 08, 2006

Online Mystery Book Reviews

A couple of reviews for recently published mystery books have appeared in the press online.

From the Monterrey Herald website, a review of Cherry Cheesecake Murder: A Hannah Swensen Mystery with Recipes by Joanne Fluke. "Along with this scrumptious and very satisfying mystery, the author includes 14 recipes for treats and desserts. Even if the story isn't something you devour with gusto, perhaps the peanut butter and jam cookies, the chocolate truffles, lemon crème torte or mini cherry cheesecakes will satisfy your sweet tooth."

From the Philadelphia Inquirer website, a review of Prior Bad Acts by Tami Hoag. "The gritty criminal element is made tangible without gratuitous gore, and the suspense will keep the most astute of mystery readers guessing until the gripping conclusion. Readers beware: Don't begin this novel unless you have plenty of time to finish it, because you likely won't be able to put it down."

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Friday, April 07, 2006

Mystery Hardcover Bestsellers (04/07/2006)

A list of the top ten mystery hardcover bestsellers for the week ending April 07, 2006 has been posted on the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books website. Not much has changed from last week.

Visit the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books often where we provide readers and collectors of mysteries with the best and most current information about their favorite mystery authors, books, and series.

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Thursday, April 06, 2006

Mystery Trivia for April 2006

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

Janet Evanovich, author of the Stephanie Plum mysteries, recently introduced a new series character in Metro Girl. What is her name?

Janet Evanovich broke into the world of fiction with a small category romance titled Hero at Large. Under what pen name did she write this book?

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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Profile: "The Cat Who..." Made Her Rich

Korky Vann, special to the Hartford (CT) Courant, recently wrote a profile of Lilian Jackson Braun, author of the bestselling "The Cat Who ... " mystery series.

The books, says Braun, were inspired by a heartbreaking incident. Her first cat died and she dealt with her sorrow by writing a mystery story featuring a cat, which was published in Ellery Queen magazine. She was later approached by a publisher who was interested in a book. The result was "The Cat Who Could Read Backwards," published in 1966 and featuring two crime-solving Siamese. Two more books quickly followed, then Braun disappeared from the publishing scene because "... publishers were looking for more hard-boiled sex and violence, and my books were too old-fashioned, so I was dropped."

Twenty years later Berkley approached Braun about reviving the series, and she got back to work. She hasn't stopped since.

Read the rest of Vann's profile of Lilian Jackson Braun here.

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Tuesday, April 04, 2006

News: Dick Francis to Publish New Mystery this Fall

The Associated Press is reporting that Dick Francis will publish his 39th mystery, Under Orders, this fall. Francis had retired from writing six years ago after the death of his wife and collaborator, Mary Francis, in 2000.

Under Orders will be published by Putnam. No ISBN or order information is yet available.

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Monday, April 03, 2006

Weekly Mystery Godoku Puzzle for 04/03/2006

Mystery Godoku Puzzle for April 03, 2006A 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: Matthew Pearl’s debut book was this literary mystery (with “The”). 9 letters: A B C D E L N T U.

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, April 02, 2006

Press Release: Death Row Defender, the Legal Thriller by Ray Dix, Wins Third Literary Award and is Named Best Mystery Published in 2005

St. Petersburg, FL (PRWEB) March 28, 2006 -- Ray Dix’s legal thriller/mystery, Death Row Defender, has won the EPPIE Award for best mystery of 2005 published as an e-book. The EPPIE awards, international in scope, are presented by EPIC, the Electronically Published Internet Connection, and honor the best books of the year which are published electronically as "e-books." Author Dix received the award Saturday, March 18, 2006 in San Antonio, TX, during EPICon 2006. For more on EPIC, EPPIEs, and EPICon, visit: http://www.epicauthors.org/index.html.

The paperback version of Death Row Defender was the second highest selling book for its publisher, Hard Shell Word Factory, for the year 2005. This was no small feat as the novel was not released until October 2005. The results and other best sellers may be found at: http://www.hardshell.com/bestseller.htm.

This is the third time Death Row Defender has been recognized with an award for literary excellence. Prior to publication, Attorney Dix’s novel received awards from the Maryland Writers Association as a 2003 Novel Contest award winner, and from Authorlink, as a New Author Contest award winner (in 2000 under the title Clearwater Run). www.raydixbooks.com.

Reviews for Death Row Defender have been very favorable:

" . . . the depth of Dix's treatment of the criminal appeals process makes this novel more than a murder mystery. Death Row Defender is clearly written by an author who has first-hand experience in defending capital cases, and it showcases Ray Dix's expertise as a writer." MyShelf.com.

"...an impressive legal thriller & a must-read for the student of criminal law. . . right up there with the best lawyer/author writers. . .” Narayan Radhakrishnan of RebeccasReads.com.

"... a terrific insight into the life, mindset, and complexity of a defense lawyer." "... a quick read... engrossing and hard to put down." PublicDefenderDude Blog.

As a capital crimes defense attorney for the State of Florida, author Ray Dix helped provide the last line of defense for men and women sentenced to die. As an Assistant Capital Collateral Representative in Tallahassee, he reinvestigated murder convictions and assisted in death row appeals. Mr. Dix also worked as a Florida Public Defender, where he tried juvenile, misdemeanor and felony cases, and wrote several hundred appeals.

Dix served in both the Army Security Agency (1966-1970) and the Coast Guard Reserves (1974-1976). He later designed and built boats on the Chesapeake Bay. Dix lives in Florida, where he enjoys beaches, sunsets and sailing. He is currently writing the next Woody Thomas Novel.

In addition to being a member of EPIC, Dix is a member of the Mystery Writers of America and is active in the organization’s Florida Chapter. He is also a member of the Florida Writer’s Association and the Maryland Writer’s Association, where he served as a contest judge in 2005.

The publisher of Death Row Defender, Hard Shell Word Factory, is a royalty paying publisher of works by established and new authors for sale in electronic and trade paperback format. Hard Shell Word Factory publishes book-length quality non-fiction and fiction--Romance (all categories), Mystery & Suspense, Action & Adventure, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, Western, Historical, Mainstream, Young Adult and Children's books. Death Row Defender is available directly through the publisher in both formats on line at: www.HardShell.com.

Death Row Defender, is distributed in print through Ingram. It is available in e-book and trade paperback through on-line booksellers such as Amazon.com, and through brick-and-mortar booksellers such as Barnes and Noble, Borders and independent booksellers everywhere. Booksellers may order it with the following information:

e-book ISBN 0-7599-4259-5
paperback ISBN 0-7599-4260-9

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