Sunday, June 25, 2006

News: Macavity Award Nominations for 2006

Mystery Readers International has announced its nominees for the 2006 Macavity Awards for mysteries published in 2005. Winners will be announced at Bouchercon during the opening ceremonies on September 28, 2006.

The nominees for Best Novel and Best First Novel are ...

Best Novel:

One Shot by Lee Child (Delacorte Press)
The James Deans by Reed Farrel Coleman (Plume)
The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly (Little, Brown)
Vanish by Tess Gerritsen (Ballantine Books)
Strange Affair by Peter Robinson (William Morrow)
The Power of the Dog by Don Winslow (Knopf)
Solomon vs. Lord by Paul Levine (Bantam)

Best First Novel:

Immoral by Brian Freeman (St. Martin's Press)
All Shook Up by Mike Harrison (ECW Press)
Baby Game by Randall Hicks (Wordslinger Press)
The Firemaker by Peter May (St. Martin's Press)

Previous winners of the Macavity Award are listed on the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books website.

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.

Technorati tags: mystery books blogs, , .

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Profile: Harlan Coben Sleeps Well by Keeping You Up Nights

While his readers stay up nights glued to the pages of his latest adrenalin-charged thriller, Promise Me, Harlan Coben sleeps like a baby knowing that his mastery of the hook-and-twist suspense tale provides financial security for his wife and four children, writes Jay MacDonald of Bankrate.com.

He continues that Promise Me by Harlan Cobenin 1995 Coben published Deal Breaker, the first in his mystery series featuring Myron Bolitar, Boston Celtics basketball-star-turned-sports-agent who solves crimes with the help of a blue-blooded sociopath sidekick, Win Lockwood III, and ex-female wrestler gals Friday Esperanza and Big Cindi. Critical praise and sales grew apace as Coben became the first author to win the trifecta of mystery accolades: the Anthony (for Deal Breaker), Edgar (Fade Away) and Shamus (Drop Shot) awards.

Coben's novels peel the veneer from northern New Jersey suburbia to reveal dark truths about the human condition in millennial America, adds MacDonald. But that's all fodder for his fiction. In reality, Coben and his pediatrician wife Dr. Anne Armstrong-Coben have been happily married for two decades, and their 140-year-old Ridgewood, N.J., Victorian is alive with the comings and goings of four young children (the oldest is 12) and two dogs.

Read the entire profile of, and MacDonald's interview with, Harlan Coben on BankRate.com here.

Technorati tags: mystery books blogs, , , , .

Friday, June 23, 2006

Mystery Hardcover Bestsellers (06/23/2006)

Mystery BestsellersA list of the top ten mystery hardcover bestsellers for the week ending June 23, 2006 has been posted on the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books website.

12 Sharp by Janet EvanovichNo surprise this week: with an initial printing of 1.25 million copies, the much anticipated 12th book in the Stephanie Plum mystery series, 12 Sharp by Janet Evanovich, debuts at the top of the lists at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com. America's favorite bounty hunter is once again struggling with her tangled love life, her chaotic family, and her gift for destroying every car she drives. Not to mention her attempts to bring in the sometimes scary bail jumpers of Trenton, and the sudden appearance of a female stalker—who turns out to have a close connection to the mysterious Ranger. Kirkus Reviews states, "Evanovich wisely soft-pedals the mystery, which has never been her strong suit, and finds exactly the right tone of danger-laden farce for Stephanie's duel with the false Ranger, spicing it with a million one-liners, aspiring bond enforcers and hapless criminals on the run."

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.

Technorati tags: mystery books blogs, , , .

Profile: An Interview with Laurell K. Hamilton

St. Louis Post-Dispatch book editor Jane Henderson recently interviewed bestselling writer Laurell K. Hamilton, author of the Anita Blake, Vampire Slayer mysteries. The latest in the series, Danse Macabre, is due out in bookstores later this month.

Danse Macabre by Laurell K. HamiltonHenderson writes that the work of Hamilton, one of the nation’s first ladies of horror, is so well-known that it lends itself to parody on the Internet and some criticism over how the series has changed. But Hamilton follows her instincts. And so far, so good: Hamilton has 10 new or reissued publications this year; Berkley Publishing alone is printing more than 1 million copies of her books.

In her interview, Henderson asked, "How do you characterize your Anita Blake books?" Hamilton: "It’s structured like a hard-boiled mystery series, but at this point it’s dark fantasy-horror-romance-mystery all in one. Some books are more one genre or the other. It’s a mixed genre, and it’s meant to be. I like reading mixed-genre, and I like writing mixed-genre."

Henderson: "Are you still compared with Anne Rice?" Hamilton: "I have been compared to her quite a lot. If you’re writing anything with vampires in it, it’s inevitable. My vampires and her vampires are very different. Everyone knows vampires exist in my world. That seems to be the contribution I made. In my books, if you call the police and say there is a vampire in your house, they believe you. Ms. Rice is more traditional: Nobody (in her world) knows they exist."

Read the rest of interview of Laurell K. Hamilton on STLToday.com here.

Technorati tags: mystery books blogs, , , , .

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Mystery Book Review: The Loch by Steve Alten

Mysterious ReviewsMysterious Reviews, mysteries reviewed by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books, has published its review of The Loch by Steve Alten on its website. For our blog readers, it is reprinted here in its entirety.

The Loch by Steve AltenSynopsis (from the publisher): Loch Ness holds secrets, ancient and deadly. Does a monster inhabit its depths, or is it just myth? Why, after thousands of reported sightings and dozens of expeditions, is there still no hard evidence? Marine biologist Zachary Wallace knows, but the shock of his near-drowning as a child on Loch Ness has buried all memories of the incident. Now, a near-death experience suffered while on expedition in the Sargasso Sea has caused these long-forgotten memories to re-surface. Haunted by vivid night terrors, stricken by a sudden fear of the water, Zach finds he can no longer function as a scientist. Unable to cope, his career all but over, he stumbles down a path of self-destruction...until he receives contact from his estranged father...a man he has not seen since his parents' divorced and he left Scotland as a boy.

Angus Wallace, a wily Highlander who never worked an honest day in his life, is on trial for murdering his business partner. Only Zachary can prove his innocence - if he is innocent, but to do so means confronting the nightmare that nearly killed him seventeen years earlier.

Review: One of the best aspects of Steve Alten's latest thriller, The Loch, is that he takes a rather preposterous premise and makes it believable.

The blending of factual and fictional material as crafted by Alten for the book is both fascinating and credible. That he is able to seamlessly incorporate all this into an admittedly convoluted plot is all the more astounding. There are several mysteries intertwined here: historical, psychological, physical, and personal. And they are all brought neatly together in a satisfying manner in the final chapters of the book.

Though it is highly unlikely that Alten is planning a series based on Zach Wallace, the central character of The Loch, he should consider it. Zach is an engaging character and there are no doubt many more mysteries of the sea on which he could use his sleuthing abilities.

Special thanks to Blanco & Peace for providing a copy of The Loch for this review.

Review Copyright © 2006 Hidden Staircase Mystery Books

Visit for other reviews of current and upcoming mystery books. The is commited to providing readers and collectors of with the best and most current information about their favorite authors, titles, and series.

Technorati tags: mystery books blogs, , , .

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

News: Time Magazine Names 5 Mystery Writers Worth Investigating

Time Magazine has named five mystery authors that you may have missed and that they believe are worth seeking out this summer.

Jess Walter, Citizen Vince (Vince Camden). "In his third novel, which won this year's Edgar Allan Poe prize for Best Mystery, Walter has created what may be the most charming small-time hood since Elmore Leonard's Stick."

Peter Blauner, Slipping into Darkness (Francis X. Loughlin). "Blauner, winner of the 1992 Edgar for Best First Novel, has written a taut psychological thriller with a pair of conflicted but compelling antagonists and a surprise ending you'll never see coming."

Peter Spiegelman, Death's Little Helpers (John March). "Spiegelman worked in financial services and software for more than 20 years before taking up fiction. He knows how thin the air is in New York City's office towers and what breathing too much of it does to your soul."

Jeffrey Ford, The Girl in the Glass (Non-series). "Ford, who teaches literature at a New Jersey community college, studied Mexican repatriation and the eugenics movement to research this Depression-era period piece."

Bill Fitzhugh, Highway 61 Resurfaced (Rick Shannon). "Fitzhugh's dialogue is as cool as a pitcher of iced tea, and his characters are just over the top, like a Carl Hiaasen cast plucked from the Everglades and planted, as Dylan would put it, out on Highway 61."

Read the entire story on Time.com here.

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.

Technorati tags: mystery books blogs, , .

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

News: Mystery "Lost" Author Uncovered

Daily Variety is reporting that the author ofLost by Gary Troup Bad Twin, the mystery penned by "Lost" Oceanic flight 815 passenger Gary Troup, was none other than Laurence Shames. Shames has written a number of comic thrillers set in the Florida Keys and was the ghostwriter behind the bestselling Mafia title "Boss of Bosses."

Bad Twin was published by a division of Disney, Hyperion Books, in a cross-promotional campaign meant to play off viewers interest in ABC series "Lost." ABC is also owned by Disney.

"Lost" screenwriters had written Gary Troup in as a character on the show, as a passenger presumed dead in the plane crash but who left a manuscript behind. Despite limited references to the book on the show, Bad Twin became a bestseller as fans purchased the book to search for clues to the show's mysteries.

Read the entire story by Daily Variety here.

Technorati tags: mystery books blogs, , .

Monday, June 19, 2006

Game Review: CSI: 3 Dimensions of Murder

Games of MysteryChristina Gmiterko of Adventure Gamers last week reviewed the most recent PC game in the CSI series, CSI: 3 Dimensions of Murder. The game was released in March of this year, and is available for Windows 98 and higher.

Pros: Longer and more interesting cases; improved graphics; good voice acting; customized difficulty settings.

Cons: Restricted movement; a few technical glitches; removal of unlockable extras limits replay value.

Bottom-line: This is a solid sequel in the franchise and while it doesn't really break any new ground, it does make some minor but important improvements that make it the best game in the series.

Read here entire review here.

Find information about CSI: 3 Dimensions of Murder and other mystery games (PC, board, card, online, and more!) at Games of Mystery.

Technorati tags: mystery books blogs, , , .

Weekly Mystery Godoku Puzzle for 06/19/2006

Mystery GodokuMystery Godoku Puzzle for June 19, 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 2004 bestseller from Russell Andrews features Long Island detective Justin Westwood (9 letters): A D E H I O P R 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!

Technorati tags: mystery books blogs, , , , , .

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Mystery on DVD: Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang

Mysteries on DVDNew on DVD this week isKiss Kiss, Bang Bang Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, a comedy-thriller based in part on Brett Halliday's Bodies are Where You Find Them, the fifth mystery in the Michael Shayne series published in the 40's and 50's.

In Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, a petty thief (Robert Downey Jr.) is brought to Los Angeles for an unlikely audition and finds himself in the middle of a murder investigation, along with his high school dream girl (Michelle Monaghan) and a detective (Val Kilmer) who has been training him for his upcoming role.

Reviews of this movie, which was virtually unseen when released last year, have been uniformly positive. FilmCritic.com probably sums it up best: "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang works as a buddy cop picture, a noir, and a straight-up comedy."

See more mystery books that have been adapted as screenplays at Mysteries on DVD.

Technorati tags: mystery books blogs, , , .

Friday, June 16, 2006

Mystery Hardcover Bestsellers (06/16/2006)

Mystery BestsellersA list of the top ten mystery hardcover bestsellers for the week ending June 16, 2006 has been posted on the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books website.

Though there are different books topping each of the lists (and their composition is strikingly dissimilar as well), there is only one significant new mystery that opens at the top spot at Barnes & Noble.com ...

Blue Screen by Robert B. ParkerRobert B. Parker's 5th Sunny Randall mystery, Blue Screen, teams Sunny with another Parker series character, Jesse Stone. In their review of the mystery, Publishers Weekly states, "While the mystery's resolution may be fairly predictable, the witty byplay between the principals and the convincing portrayal of their burgeoning relationship will leave Parker fans eager for the next book to feature Sunny and Jesse as sleuthing and romantic partners. "

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.

Technorati tags: mystery books blogs, , , .

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Mystery Book Review: The Tale of Cuckoo Brow Wood by Susan Wittig Albert

Mysterious ReviewsMysterious Reviews, mysteries reviewed by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books, has published its review of by on its website. For our blog readers, it is reprinted here in its entirety.

The Tale of Cuckoo Brow Wood by Susan Wittig AlbertSynopsis
(from the publisher): Perhaps it's the gentle breezes that waft into Sawrey off the lake. Or perhaps it's the town's distance from big-city life. Whatever the reason, Miss Beatrix Potter loves the genuine warmth of her new neighbors. But even the kindest of souls can turn snappish when houseguests overstay their welcome ...

When Beatrix returns to Hill Top Farm from her parents' home in London, she finds the attic overrun with rats. Rosabelle, resident rat and generous hostess, has offered her family a place to stay. But when word gets out, she soon has dozens of rat families on her tiny hands. To get rid of them Beatrix invites some cats over—deeply offending Felicia Frummety, resident cat.

The town vicar shares Beatrix's problem—some pesky visitors have all but refused to leave the vicarage. Even worse, a mysterious, moneyed outsider plans to ruin the pristine shoreline of Lake Windermere by building a sprawl of villas. And trouble has beset three village children, favorites of Beatrix, who are counting on the help of the fairies of Cuckoo Brow Wood. Now, with her signature tact, Beatrix must work with her friends—human and animal—to set
things right ...

Review: "The tale I am about to tell you begins on a bright, clear, April-sweet morning in the Lake District of Sawrey." So begins Susan Wittig Albert's utterly charming and beautifully written Beatrix Potter narrative mystery, The Tale of Cuckoo Brow Wood. This book is the third entry in the author's series, The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter.

Albert displays a wide range of writing talents in The Tale of Cuckoo Brow Wood. She portrays Beatrix's land between the lakes with amazing clarity using expressive descriptions and imaginative details. The story is an extension of the landscape and is an affable mystery with Beatrix Potter as the gentle sleuth. And there are elements of comedy as well: the scene in Dimity Woodcock's kitchen as she is serving "her" sticky buns is quite humorous.

There are several thoughtful additions to the book that make it even more enjoyable. A map and cast of characters act as an introduction to the tale. Historical notes and additional resources on Beatrix Potter serve as postscripts. Finally, a glossary of terms is both helpful and
informative.

The joy that Albert surely expresses in writing this series is abundantly evident in The Tale of Cuckoo Brow Wood. It is highly recommended.

Special thanks to Berkley Prime Crime for providing an ARC of The Tale of Cuckoo Brow Wood for this review.

Review Copyright © 2006 Hidden Staircase Mystery Books

Visit for other reviews of current and upcoming mystery books. The is commited to providing readers and collectors of with the best and most current information about their favorite authors, titles, and series.

Technorati tags: mystery books blogs, , , .

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

New Mystery Hardcover Titles for July 2006

New MysteriesA preview of new hardcover mysteries for July 2006 has been posted on the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books website. A few of the 24 new mystery titles listed in this first update ...

Dead Wrong by J. A. JanceJ. A. Jance continues the Joanna Brady series with the 12th mystery featuring the Arizona sheriff in Dead Wrong. The murder of an unidentified man found in the desert, all ten of his fingers savagely severed, haunts Joanna. Being a sheriff is no longer an empty title she wants to achieve -- somehow it has become what she is. Her job is to avenge man's inhumanity to man, and finding out who the victim was and why he is now dead is what she has been summoned to do with her life. Publishers Weekly states that "... Jance deftly brings the desert, people and towns of southeastern Arizona to life ..." in this solid entry to her crime series.

Pegasus Descending by James Lee BurkePegasus Descending, by James Lee Burke, is the 15th mystery to feature Louisiana detective Dave Robicheaux who is facing the most painful and dangerous case of his career. A troubled young woman breezes into his hometown of New Iberia, Louisiana. She happens to be the daughter of Robicheaux's onetime best friend -- a friend he witnessed gunned down in a bank robbery, a tragedy that forever changed Robicheaux's life. Can Robicheaux make his peace with the demons that have haunted him since his friend's murder so many years ago? Library Journal writes, "With his superbly written prose and intricate plotting, Burke's latest is sure to please his legion of fans. Highly recommended."

Vanishing Point by Marcia MullerNewly married Sharon McCone returned in Vanishing Point, the 23rd mystery in this series by Marcia Muller. The case of a woman who disappeared 22 years ago is cold, and the evidence McCone begins uncovering is chilling. Secrets kept for two decades now emerge to create a portrait of a woman who's perfect on the surface and anything but a paragon beneath it. And when someone takes potshots at McCone to scare her into dropping her inquiries, the detective's resolve hardens. Publishers Weekly states, "The story takes readers on a charming tour through the fishing villages of the California coast, while the tight, crisp plot surges relentlessly forward. The tension between light and dark, between surface happiness and hidden truths, raises this novel well above the common run of whodunits."

Kathy Reichs' 9th mystery featuring Temperance "Tempe" Brennan, Break No Bones by Kathy ReichsBreak No Bones, has the forensic anthropologist stumbling upon a fresh skeleton among the ancient bones in a Native American burial ground on the Charleston shore. Her old friend Emma Rousseau, the local coroner, persuades her to stay on and help with the investigation. When Emma reveals a disturbing secret, it becomes more important than ever for Tempe to help her friend close the case. The Fox TV show Bones is based on this mystery series.

Other new titles include the 22nd Bed-and-Breakfast mystery by Mary Daheim (Saks and Violins), the 2nd Alex Delillo thriller (Never Fear) by Scott Frost, the 3rd Frank Elder mystery (Darkness and Light) by John Harvey, and many others. And it wouldn't be summer without another blockbuster by James Patterson (Judge & Jury).

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.

Technorati tags: mystery books blogs, , , .

Monday, June 12, 2006

Weekly Mystery Godoku Puzzle for 06/12/2006

Mystery GodokuMystery Godoku Puzzle for June 12, 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: The third thriller by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child to feature FBI Agent Aloysius Pendergast had this title (9 letters): B E I M N O 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!

Technorati tags: mystery books blogs, , , , , .

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Profile: T. Jefferson Parker's San Diego

San Diego Union-Tribune writer John Wilkens recently ran a profile on author T. Jefferson Parker who sets his more recent mysteries in the San Diego area. Parker's latest mystery, The Fallen, is filled with enough local references to serve as a time capsule for modern-day San Diego.

The Fallen by T. Jefferson ParkerParker said it can be risky to write about a real place. “At times I guess you are asking people to love the city that you love and are writing about,” he said. “At other times, you're asking them to not like it because you are exposing things that are dark, even though they're fictional.”

Wilkens writes that some authors, such as Sue Grafton, use semi-factual places (her Santa Teresa is an approximation of Santa Barbara) and that gives them more leeway. But that approach doesn't work for Parker. “I like to be as specific and evocative as I can be,” he said. “I like it that way because it provides a verisimilitude for the reader than can be delightful.”

Parker, who makes his home in the north county city of Fallbrook, says his next book will hit even closer to home: It's set in Fallbrook. “It's about a private detective, a TV weather woman who can make rain, and a Mexican mafia kingpin,” he said. “All of them collide surprisingly and dramatically.”

Read the rest of the San Diego Union-Tribune profile of T. Jefferson Parker here.

Technorati tags: mystery books blogs, , , , .

 

Omnimystery Blog Archive

Total Pageviews (last 30 days)

Omnimystery News
Original Content Copyright © 2020 — Omnimystery, a Family of Mystery Websites — All Rights Reserved
Guest Post Content (if present) Copyright © 2020 — Contributing Author — All Rights Reserved