Monday, November 13, 2006

Mysteries on DVD: The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

Mysteries on DVDNew on DVD this week isThe Da Vinci Code The Da Vinci Code, the movie adapation for the book of the same name by Dan Brown. A murder inside the Louvre and clues in Da Vinci paintings lead to the discovery of a religious mystery protected by a secret society for two thousand years -- which could shake the foundations of Christianity.

Critics and controversy aside, The Da Vinci Code is a verifiable blockbuster. The film has taken in over $250 million to date while the book has sold over 100 million copies.

The Da Vinci Code DVD is available for pre-order now, and will be available for sale tomorrow. Click on the DVD cover to order from Amazon.com.

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

Technorati tags: mystery books blogs, , , .

Mystery Godoku: Weekly Puzzle for November 13, 2006

Mystery GodokuMystery Godoku Puzzle for November 13, 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 letters and mystery clue: E I M O P R S T W. This author’s latest supernatural spy thriller was titled Three Days to Never (9 letters).

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, , , , , .

News: Prime Suspect, The Final Act

The Prime Suspect miniseries is drawing to a close. This Sunday, November 12th, PBS will show the first two hours of Prime Suspect 7: The Final Act, with the conclusion to follow next Sunday, November 19th. (Check local listings; dates and times may vary.)

For nearly 15 years Helen Mirren has played the series character Jane Tennison, a brilliant detective but flawed human being who has dealt with all manner of personal problems and demons. The first episode originally aired in January, 1992. In The Final Act, she reprises her role for the last time.

The Prime Suspect series, and Helen Mirren individually, have deservedly been honored by the media over the years, winning awards from BAFTA for Mirren and the series, a Peabody for the series, Emmys for Mirren and the series, Edgars for the series, and many others.

Read an interview with Helen Mirren, on both the series and her final portrayal of Jane Tennison, on PBS.org 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, , .

Saturday, November 11, 2006

News: Legacy Awards Winners Announced

The Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Foundation announced last weekend the winners for its Legacy Awards program. Presented annually, this national awards program honors black writers in the categories of Fiction, Debut Fiction, Nonfiction, and Contemporary Fiction.

The winner in the Contemporary Fiction category was The Long Mile by Clyde W. FordThe Long Mile, a mystery by Clyde W. Ford. At the awards ceremony, held at the National Press Club, Ford said, "The first thing any writer is trying to do is tell a story. We are not trying to say something, but tell a story about hopes, aspirations and challenges. I see myself standing on the shoulders of great writers."

The Long Mile is a gritty detective thriller, set in New York City, that relates one African-American man's riveting quest for truth and redemption. Written in the tradition of Raymond Chandler and Walter Mosley, it is the first in a series of thrillers featuring the compelling character of former NYPD officer John Shannon.

The Long Mile was also the winner of the 2006 Independent Publisher Book Award (IPPY) for Best Mystery/Suspense/Thriller.

Read an article covering the Legacy Awards event on the Washington Post website 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, , .

Friday, November 10, 2006

Mystery Bestsellers for November 10, 2006

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

New this week, and debuting at the top of both the Amazon.com and Barnes&Noble.com mystery bestsellers lists, is J. D. Robb's 23rd "In Death" mystery, Born in Death by J. D. RobbBorn in Death, featuring New York City Lt. Eve Dallas. Eve has a grisly double homicide to solve when two young lovers - both employees of the same prestigious accounting firm - are brutally killed on the same night. She's also asked by a pregnant friend to take on the case of a missing neighbor, who's also expecting. She'll have to track her down while simultaneously unearthing the deals and double-crosses hidden in the files of some of the city's richest and most secretive citizens, in a race against this particularly vicious killer.

Also new this week is the third, and final, installment in the epic chronicle of the Corleone crime family, The Godfather's Revenge by Mark WinegardnerThe Godfather's Revenge, by Mark Winegardner, written with permission from the estate of the author of the original Godfather, Mario Puzo. A subordinate to Michael Corleone, New Orleans underboss Carlo Tramonti is publicly humiliated when the U.S. Attorney General—President Danny Shea's brother—has him arrested and deported to Colombia. Tramonti eventually returns, hell-bent on settling scores, and triggers a series of events destined to change the course of American history. Corleone, though haunted by the death of his brother Fredo, knows that this is no time for weakness-and so, with fearless consigliere Tom Hagen leading the way, a new path for the future is forged.

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, , , .

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Press Release: Court TV and Barnes & Noble to Market New Series “Murder by the Book”

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Court TV and Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS) have joined forces to promote the network’s upcoming series, Murder by the Book, featuring James Ellroy, Michael Connolly, Faye Kellerman, Jonathan Kellerman and Lisa Scottoline. The series will premiere on November 13th at 10pm, and takes viewers through the real-life cases that most captivated these best-selling mystery writers.

Court TV will implement a national TV, print, and online marketing campaign. The series will also be featured on Barnes & Noble.com (www.bn.com). Barnes & Noble.com commercials will appear on Court TV throughout the holiday season. In addition, there will be extensive placements throughout the Court TV Web site (www.courttv.com) with links to Barnes & Noble.com (www.bn.com/murderbythebook), so visitors can purchase books written by authors appearing on Murder by the Book.

Read the press release 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, , .

News: Evanovich Teams with Cannell on New Series

Authorlink is reporting that Warner Books has announced a collaboration between bestselling authors Janet Evanovich and Stephen J. Cannell to write a new adventure series set in Orange County. The first book in the series, No Chance, is scheduled for publication in late 2007.

Warner Books Senior Vice President and Publisher Jamie Raab said, "The combined talents, creativity and sales power of Janet Evanovich and Stephen J. Cannell is guaranteed to result in a marvelous, bestselling new franchise. Warner Books is thrilled to be working with this dynamic duo."

Read the article on Authorlink.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, , .

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Mystery Book Review: The Second Mouse by Archer Mayor

Mysterious ReviewsMysterious Reviews, mysteries reviewed by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books, has written our review of The Second Mouse by Archer Mayor. For our blog readers, we are printing it first here in advance of its publication on our website.The Second Mouse by Archer Mayor

The Second Mouse by Archer Mayor
A Joe Gunther Mystery

Mysterious Press (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 0-89296-072-8 (0892960728)
ISBN-13: 978-0-89296-072-9 (9780892960729)
Publication Date: October 2006
List Price: $24.99

Synopsis (from the publisher): A legend among Vermont cops, Joe Gunther has solved more local whodunits than a whole squad of detectives. But his latest case takes him and his team off their Brattleboro home turf, forty-two miles west, to chip-on-its-shoulder, blue-collar Bennington.

On the edge of town, Gunther encounters the lifeless body of Michelle Fisher. Her corpse, pale and seemingly at peace, offers him no clues about who she was or how she died. There are no signs of violence, no disorder. Snapshots and postcards show a woman who laughed hard and lived harder. Yet diaries reveal a rootless life marred by depression and drink. Suicide seems a reasonable conclusion, but Gunther suspects foul play. The house is for sale, after all, and Michelle was its only tenant-one who resisted all efforts to have her evicted. The unsavory landlord is a prime suspect, but is safely equipped with an impressively air-tight alibi.

Now to uncover the truth about the fate of this discarded, all but forgotten woman, Gunther must follow a confusing trail of half leads and mounting crimes. He draws near to a violent and careless trio of criminals, whose leader is hell-bent on making the career move of a lifetime-and willing to step on anyone who might get in his way.

Review: The Second Mouse is Archer Mayor's latest mystery featuring Vermont Bureau of Investigation (VBI) field commander Joe Gunther. Although not strictly his case, Gunther is intrigued by the death of Michelle Fisher whose apparent suicide doesn't quite agree with some inconsistencies found at the scene of her death.

The story alternates between two seemingly unrelated cases. Michelle, whose boyfriend had recently died, was living in the house that legally belonged to his father, a man that desperately wanted her out of his house. Was she so despondent that suicide seemed to be the only answer, or was her death the result of a more sinister act? The other case presents three fascinating, and completely different characters, together leading a life of crime that escalates from simple larceny to murder. Could one or more of them somehow have been involved in Michelle's life, and possibly be the cause of her death?

There is considerable appeal for the reader in trying to determine how these cases are related and will ultimately be resolved. The solution to the mystery surrounding Michelle's death is fairly evident early on, but this in no way lessens the satisfaction of seeing how Gunther connects the cases. "Things have a funny way of working out" he says at the end of the book. If not always according to plan.

Mayor has a spare, clean style of writing. Shortly after arriving at Michelle's house for the first time, Gunther mentally notes that dead bodies "... displayed all the variety that they had in life, but in none of the same ways." And that they were "... capable of a kind of frozen, extraordinarily subtle form of sign language." He then asks himself, "... how many of the dead might have struggled fruitlessly to be heard in life, only to be scrutinized too late by total strangers anxious to see or hear even the slightest twitch or murmur." This is wonderfully perceptive prose, and illustrative of how much of the book is written.

Though The Second Mouse is the 17th mystery for Gunther, Mayor manages to keep the series as fresh as new fallen Vermont snow. It is highly recommended.

Special thanks to Hachette Book Group for providing a copy of The Second Mouse for this review.

Review Copyright © 2006 Hidden Staircase Mystery Books

Visit for other reviews of current and upcoming mystery books. The is committed 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, , , , . Omnimystery keyword(s) referenced: vermont.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

News: Archer Mayor Kicks Off Authors' Series

Stephen Seitz of the Rutland (VT) Herald writes that Archer Mayor recently kicked off Misty Valley Books' annual "Vermont Voices" November series of author appearances. He also asks if Vermont's best-known fictional detective has finally found his way to the silver screen.

Director Jay Craven is "working on a screenplay right now," Mayor said. "But what we need are millionaires. It's a three- to six-year project unless we get funding."The Second Mouse by Archer Mayor Seitz adds that Hollywood has been dancing around a possible Gunther project for years, and Mayor said he got so tired of waiting for it to happen, he just told Craven to go ahead.

Joe Gunther's latest mystery The Second Mouse takes place in Bennington. "I set it in Bennington because I hadn't picked on it yet," he said. "It's a pretty interesting town. They see themselves as Vermont's forgotten and much-maligned corner, which too many people think should be relegated to New York or Massachusetts." Mysterious Reviews recently published a review of The Second Mouse on its website.

Seitz notes that while Archer Mayor is best known for his authentic and deeply researched mystery novels, he has plenty of experience in the field. Besides being a part-time police officer for Bellows Falls, he is an assistant medical examiner for the state and a volunteer firefighter and emergency medical technician for the NewBrook Fire Department in Newfane, where he lives.

Read the rest of the Archer Mayor profile on RutlandHerald.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, , . Omnimystery keyword(s): vermont.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Mystery Trivia for November 2006

Mystery BestsellersThe Hidden Staircase Mystery Books has posted new mystery trivia questions for November 2006.

The Phryne Fisher mysteries, by Kerry Greenwood, are set in which Australian city (also the author's home town)?

According to the author, she adds a little extra mystery to each chapter of a book. How does she do this?

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

The Hidden Staircase Mystery Books provides 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, , , .

Mystery Godoku: Weekly Puzzle for November 06, 2006

Mystery GodokuMystery Godoku Puzzle for November 06, 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 letters and mystery clue: A H I J M N O S T. The Berkeley Brigade was featured in Regency romantic mysteries written by this author (9 letters).

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, , , , , .

Friday, November 03, 2006

Mystery Bestsellers for November 03, 2006

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

Very few changes on the bestseller lists this week, though a debut mystery by Maggie Barbieri, Murder 101 by Maggie BarbieriMurder 101 introducing English professor Alison Bergeron, is new on the Barnes&Noble.com list. Recently divorced from a fellow professor and even more recently without a car--it was stolen--she has been hoofing it to her university campus on the banks of the Hudson River. One Friday evening, two NYPD homicide detectives drop by her office. The good news is that they found her beat-up Volvo; the bad news is that the body of one of the students in her Shakespeare seminar was in the trunk. Not only are Alison's chances of getting the car back bleak, but suddenly she's the primary suspect on a list that includes, among others, the murdered student's drug-dealing boyfriend, Vince, and the girl's father's business rivals. Publishers Weekly calls Murder 101 a "sparkling debut" and adds, "Romance, humor and suspense blend perfectly in this exceptional cozy, the first of what hopefully will be a long series."

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, , , .

News: Lost Kubrick Mystery Treatment to be Filmed

The New York Times is reporting that a long missing mystery movie treatment that Stanley Kubrick had commissioned in the late 1950s from noir pulp novelist Jim Thompson, discovered by the filmmaker's son-in-law in 1999, is now on track to be filmed. Titled Lunatic at Large, it is written as a puzzle in which the audience must determine which among the film's quirky characters is the actual escapee from a nearby mental hospital.

Set in New York in 1956, it is the story of Johnnie Sheppard, a former carnival worker and Joyce, a nervous, attractive barfly he picks up in a tavern. There's a newsboy who flashes a portentous headline, a car chase over a railroad crossing with a train bearing down, and a romantic interlude in a spooky, deserted mountain lodge. According to the New York Times, the great set piece is a nighttime carnival sequence in which Joyce, lost and afraid, wanders among the tents and encounters a sideshow's worth of familiar carnie types: the Alligator Man, the Mule-Faced Woman, the Midget Monkey Girl, and the Human Blockhead.

Signed to direct the film is Chris Palmer, a British television commercial director. This would be Palmer's first feature film.

Read the entire story, as published in the International Herald Tribune, 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, , .

News: L. A Confidential Sequel in the Works

A sequel to the film L. A. Confidential is reportedly once again in early development. Titled White Jazz, the fourth and final book in James Ellroy's L. A. Quartet series, the screen adaptation follows the misadventures of rogue cop Lt. Dave Klein as he becomes entwined in a violent and treacherous corruption scandal within the LAPD. Joe Carnahan has been signed to direct, and filming is expected to begin in November 2007.

Melbourne native Guy Pearce is in talks with Carnahan to play the role of Det. Lt. Edmund Jennings 'Ed' Exley in the movie, the character he protrayed in L. A. Confidential.

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, November 01, 2006

Mystery Book Review: The River Killings by Merry Jones

Mysterious ReviewsMysterious Reviews, mysteries reviewed by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books, has written our review of The River Killings by Merry Jones. For our blog readers, we are printing it first here in advance of its publication on our website.The River Killings by Merry Jones

The River Killings by Merry Jones
A Zoe Hayes Mystery

St. Martin's Minotaur (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 0-312-33041-3 (0312330413)
ISBN-13: 978-0-312-33041-5 (9780312330415
Publication Date: October 2006
List Price: $23.95

Synopsis (from the publisher): On summer vacation from her job as an art therapist, Zoe Hayes, a divorced art therapist with a six-year-old adopted daughter, takes a sculling class for fun with her best friend, Susan Cummings. One evening, while her daughter Molly waits with Susan's children at the boathouse on the banks of the Schuylkill River, Zoe rows off with Susan to practice for an upcoming regatta. When Susan's oar catches on some flotsam (which turns out to be a woman's dress), the boat flips, and the two find themselves in deep waters with not just one but an entire throng of floating bodies.

Someone along Philadelphia's Boathouse Row is a murderer, but who? After Zoe argues with Detective Nick Stiles, her boyfriend, she and Molly head out to the river at night. There, Zoe uncovers a sinister plot that she and Molly might not be able to escape.

Review: The River Killings is Merry Jones's 2nd mystery featuring art therapist Zoe Hayes who is caught in the middle of a syndicate of human trafficking along Philadelphia's riverfront when one night while she and her best friend Susan are rowing they accidentally stumble upon a number of dead bodies floating in the Schuylkill River.

It is an understatement to say that there is way too much going on in this book. The gripping opening chapter is followed by a long string of chapters that are so convoluted they hardly make any sense. Early on, Zoe states that she "... wandered from room to room, agitated, not able to focus on any one issue, mind bouncing from one jarring event to another. Agent Ellis had been killed. Nineteen women were dead. My house had been broken into, and Susan had been carjacked. Coach Everett and Tony were involved in something shady, and Molly had seen and heard too much. And then there was Nick. Nick knew more than he was telling me. Nick kept secrets." This passage is a clear indication that not only is Zoe confused, but so is the reader.

It never makes sense when an author inexplicably turns an otherwise law-abiding citizen into a criminal by having them break into a private residence under the guise of solving a crime. Is it not possible to have Zoe investigate criminal activity without become a criminal herself? And why is it necessary for Zoe to put her daughter in harm's way by leaving her alone, on more than one occasion, in a potentially dangerous environment? And what happened to Susan? One of the more interesting characters in the book, and one who plays a prominent role early on in the story, she virtually disappears about half-way through.

There are stylistic questions as well. Jones has included 98 chapters in this book of just over 300 pages. Chapters often indicate a change of scene or perspective, but in this case, there is no logic to their content or length. It is almost as if each chapter represents a day of writing by the author. Some are several pages long, some barely a page long. Some span an extended period of time, some scarcely finish a thought. It's incredibly disrupting to the flow of the plot and makes the book seem far longer than it really is.

Merry Jones writes in a very descriptive, illustrative manner, and this series definitely has potential. But she needs to work on her plotting which, in the case of The River Killings, is simultaneously far too complex and inferential.

Special thanks to St. Martin's Minotaur for providing a copy of The River Killings for this review.

Visit for other reviews of current and upcoming mystery books. The is committed 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, , , , . Omnimystery keyword(s) referenced: philadelphia, rowing, sculling.

 

Omnimystery Blog Archive

Total Pageviews (last 30 days)

Omnimystery News
Original Content Copyright © 2019 — Omnimystery, a Family of Mystery Websites — All Rights Reserved
Guest Post Content (if present) Copyright © 2016 — Contributing Author — All Rights Reserved