Friday, July 18, 2008

Mysteries on TV: Monk and Psych Season Premieres Tonight

Mysteries on TV

, your source for the most complete selection of detective, amateur sleuth, private investigator, and suspense television mystery series now available or coming soon to DVD, is reminding our readers that the season premieres of USA Network's original series  and air tonight.

 returns for a seventh season tonight in an episode titled Mr. Monk Buys a House. When his new neighbor plays his music too loud, Monk decides it's time to move. He takes a huge step and buys a house that turns into a money pit, particularly when he hires the handyman from hell who is determined to rip up the entire house.

The first six seasons of Monk are available on DVD by visiting . Individual episodes are also available for purchase via .

 returns for a third season tonight in an episode titled Ghosts. After Gus' boss demands he quit moonlighting at the Psych agency, Shawn must find a way to keep his partner while solving a haunting case and playing referee to Henry and his recently returned mother (guest star Cybill Shepherd).

The first two seasons of Psych are available on DVD by visiting . Individual episodes are also available for purchase via .

Visit the Mysteries on TV website to discover more currently available on DVD.

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Mystery Bestsellers for July 18, 2008

Mystery Bestsellers

A list of the top 15 for the week ending July 11, 2008 has been posted on the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books website.

The latest mystery by to feature Louisiana lawman Dave Robicheaux, Swan Peak, moves into the top rank of bestsellers this week, but 's 14th mystery featuring bounty hunter Stephanie Plum, Fearless Fourteen retains the number 1 spot.

Say Goodbye by Lisa Gardner

Two new titles enter the list this week. Debuting at number 13 is Say Goodbye, the 2nd mystery by featuring rookie FBI agent Kimberly Quincy whose latest case all starts with a pregnant hooker. The story Delilah Rose tells Kimberly about her johns is too horrifying to be true—but prostitutes are disappearing, one by one, with no explanation, and no one but Kimberly seems to care. As a member of the Evidence Response Team, dead hookers aren’t exactly Kimberly’s specialty. The young agent is five months pregnant—she has other things to worry about than an alleged lunatic who uses spiders to do his dirty work. But Kimberly’s own mother and sister were victims of a serial killer. And now, without any bodies and with precious few clues, it’s all too clear that a serial killer has found the key to the perfect murder . . . or Kimberly is chasing a crime that never happened. Kimberly’s caught in a web more lethal than any spider’s, and the more she fights for answers, the more tightly she’s trapped. What she doesn’t know is that she’s close—too close—to a psychopath who makes women’s nightmares come alive, and if he has his twisted way, it won’t be long before it’s time for Kimberly. Publishers Weekly calls Say Goodbye "engaging if highly disturbing" and adds, "Gardner delivers a satisfying resolution in line with what her fans have come to expect: a suspenseful freak show wrapped up with a neatly tied bow."

Killer View by Ridley Pearson

Just below at number 14 is Killer View, the second thriller by Ridley Pearson featuring Idaho lawman Walt Fleming. When a skier goes missing at Sun Valley's Galena Summit, Walt quickly assembles his crack search-and-rescue team and heads out into the snowy night. Despite the treacherous conditions, Walt and his group, including deputy Tommy Brandon and Walt's best friend, Mark Aker, set off on skis, accompanied by highly trained search dogs. Within minutes, something goes horribly wrong: a shot rings out, and one of their team is dead. By morning, Mark Aker has disappeared. Torn between professional responsibility and the desperate urge to find his friend, Walt is further challenged by an unexplained illness at a local water-bottling plant that sends workers to the hospital and sets off biohazard warnings. Following threads of questionable evidence through the glitter of Sun Valley leads Walt to an unlikely—and darker—source, and reveals a crime played out on a much larger scale than he originally envisioned. Waist-deep in snow and knee-deep in lies, the life of his friend in the balance, Walt begins to suspect that the whole operation is controlled by people of great wealth and power, which leaves him where he started: out in the cold. Publishers Weekly calls Killer View a "tension-filled sequel" and adds "Pearson's relentless sense of pacing and serpentine plot will have readers furiously turning pages until the end."

On our bestseller page, we've added an icon next to every title that is available for immediate download onto the Amazon Kindle. To learn about this wireless reading device, visit the Amazon Kindle page for more information. And don't forget to check our page where you can save an additional 5% when you purchase your mystery books prior to their publication date.

The top four mystery bestsellers this week are shown below:

Fearless Fourteen by Janet EvanovichSwan Peak by James Lee BurkeChasing Darkness by Robert CraisNothing to Lose by Lee Child

Please visit the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books where we are committed to providing readers and collectors of with the best and most current information about their favorite authors, titles, and series.

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Mystery Book Review: The Outlander by Gil Adamson

Mysterious Reviews, mysteries reviewed by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books, is publishing a new review of The Outlander by Gil Adamson. For our blog readers, we are printing it first here in advance of its publication on our website.

The Outlander by Gil AdamsonBuy from Amazon.com

The Outlander by
Non-series

Ecco Press (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 0-06-149125-X (006149125X)
ISBN-13: 978-0-06-149125-2 (006149125X)
Publication Date: April 2008
List Price: $25.95

Synopsis (from the publisher): In 1903, a mysterious young woman flees alone across the west, one heart-pounding step ahead of the law. At nineteen, Mary Boulton has just become a widow – and her husband’s killer. As bloodhounds track her frantic race toward the mountains, she is tormented by mad visions and by the knowledge that her two ruthless brothers-in-law are in pursuit, determined to avenge their younger brother’s death. Responding to little more than the primitive fight for life, the widow retreats ever deeper into the wilderness – and into the wilds of her own mind – encountering an unforgettable cast of eccentrics along the way.

With the stunning prose and captivating mood of great works like Charles Frazier’s Cold Mountain or early Cormac McCarthy, Gil Adamson’s intoxicating debut novel weds a brilliant literary style to the gripping tale of one woman’s desperate escape.

Review: The International Association of Crime-Writers 2008 winner of The for Crime-Writing by a U.S. or Canadian author, The Outlander is Toronto writer Gil Adamson’s powerful debut novel of a twenty-year old widow’s incredible struggle to survive against overwhelming odds - the pursuit of twin vengeance-mad redheaded brothers-in-law, the unforgiving wilderness of the 1900s northwest mountains and forests, and the all-consuming ravages of the Frank slide, one of North America’s worst ever natural disasters. From the opening line of, “It was night, and dogs came through the trees, unleashed and howling,” to the final words, “Find me,” on the last page of the story, and with all of the exactly right words in between, the novel grabs and holds from first to last.

Maddened from her 34-year-old husband’s neglect, the death of her infant son and the cabin fever of her homesteading existence, 20-year-old Mary Boulton kills her unfaithful spouse with a rifle shot to the leg, watching his blood and his life drain into the dirt floor of their single room cabin before taking off on a spectacular run for her life. Through her intuition and wits the young woman, “Widowed by her own hand,” manages to elude her pursuing brothers-in-law as determined to catch her as she is to escape, as Adamson shows in storyline cross cuts between the hunted and the hunters. After an interlude with an eccentric dowager and her retinue, Mary and the “dark shapes” of her memories and the sack of items she has stolen, press onward to anywhere away from the twins. For a while she finds solace and even the warmth of real love with a mountain man, William Moreland, known to the Forest Service Rangers as “the Ridgerunner” for his ability to raid their cabins and evade their capture. Regrettably for the lovers, Moreland’s own demons motivate him to desert the widow, leaving her once more desolate and destitute and with the twins and a tracker they’ve hired still in hot pursuit. With the help of a not-too-friendly Indian and his gracious white wife, Mary gets to the ramshackle tent and mining town of Frank. Here, a kindly Reverend Mr. Angus Lorne Bonnycastle - “Bonny” to his friends and his flock- becomes her guardian angel, and she encounters some of the Lord’s strangest castoffs – McEchern the dwarf, for one example, who runs the town’s trading post and, for another, Giovanni the Italian talking, “colossal, hump-shouldered creature with a heavy head” who supplies the town’s booze from his hidden still. Between building a ramshackle church and converting the miners to his faith with a baptism of fisticuffs, Bonny deals in stolen horses brought to town by the eight Cregan brothers, the black sheep of the 15-brother Cregan clan. And all the while Mary’s own dark avengers, the redheaded brothers are circling relentlessly closer. But before they can swoop, nature takes its own revenge for the underground gouges of the local mines and hurls down the top of the mountain to obliterate the town. While Mary escapes the devastation that Adamson describes in meticulous detail, the photograph of the widow that appears in newspapers nation-wide comes back to haunt her and leads to her eventual capture. But her intuition and ingenuity rise again, resulting in an incredible escape, a reunion with William Moreland and her final note, “Find me.”

For readers who want a cracking good story with unforgettable characters engaged in tension-filled activities, and told with a superlative richness of language and a lushness of imagery, Gil Adamson’s novel, The Outlander, is it. Her widow, Mary Boulton, and “Bonny”, her Reverend, are the ideal stuff and stuffings of legends.

Special thanks to M. Wayne Cunningham ([email protected]) for contributing his review of The Outlander.

Review Copyright © 2008 — M. Wayne Cunningham — All Rights Reserved — Reprinted with Permission

For more visit Mysterious Reviews, a partner with the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books which is committed to providing readers and collectors of with the best and most current information about their favorite authors, titles, and series.

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Mysteries on TV: Dirty Sexy Money, Honey West, Inspector Lewis, and Nash Bridges

Mysteries on TV

, your source for the most complete selection of detective, amateur sleuth, private investigator, and suspense television mystery series now available or coming soon to DVD, is taking advantage of a fairly quiet period by adding 4 new series that have season DVD releases later this year.

Clearly a guilty pleasure by almost any definition, combined the lives of the rich and famous with a mystery. To be sure, the mystery was more of a subplot than anything else, but still, it qualifies it for inclusion on this website. The series debuted on ABC in September of last year.

Peter Krause stars as Nick George, an attorney working for one of New York City's wealthiest families, who is determined to know the true reason behind the mysterious death of his father. The series also stars Donald Sutherland and Jill Clayburgh as Tripp and Lelitia Darling, the billionaires for whom Nick works. Many of the other subplots revolve around the Darling's adult children who find themselves in all sorts of interesting situations.

The Dirty Sexy Money Season One DVD set is scheduled to be released September 16th. It is an abbreviated season, shortened by the writer's strike. The series has been renewed by ABC for a second season.

Anne Francis starred as , the first female private investigator to be featured on a weekly television series. The series was based on the series of Honey West novels by G. G. Fickling (the husband and wife writing team of Forrest E. "Skip" and Gloria Fickling) who envisioned the character as a cross between Marilyn Monroe and Mike Hammer. Originally appearing on an episode of , executive producer Aaron Spelling spun off the character as a series that lasted but one season on ABC (from September 1965 to April 1966).

The Honey West DVD set comtaining all episodes from the series is scheduled to be released September 2nd.

Following the success of the long-running Inspector Morse series, it was probably considered something of a risk to create a series based on Morse's second-in-command. However, the made-for-television movie featuring Kevin Whately as in 2006 was so popular that an additional three episodes were filmed and broadcast a year later. DCI Robbie Lewis, also of the Thames Valley Police, is joined by Detective Sergeant James Hathaway (played by Laurence Fox) investigating crimes in and around Oxford.

The Inspector Lewis Set One DVD set comprising the pilot as well as the first three episodes that aired during 2007 is scheduled to be released on September 2nd. A second series of four episodes has already aired earlier this year and is expected to be available on DVD next year.

Don Johnson returned to network television following his phenomenal success in as investigator , a series he both created and produced. Nash Bridges was a member of the elite Special Investigations Unit who partnered with Joe Dominguez (played by Cheech Marin). Nash Bridges also had a complicated personal life having been divorced twice with a 16-year-old daughter and a father with Alzheimers' Disease. Originally a mid-season replacement, Nash Bridges aired for six seasons on CBS from 1996 through 2001.

The Nash Bridges Season One DVD set is scheduled for release on October 14th.

Visit the Mysteries on TV website to discover more currently available on DVD.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Press Release: Laura Lippman and Marcus Sakey win the Strand Magazine’s Critics Award

New York, NY, July 14, 2008 -- The winners of the 2007 Strand Magazine Critics Award are for best novel (What the Dead Know) and Marcus Sakey for best first mystery novel (The Blade Itself). The winners were announced at an invitation only cocktail party in Manhattan, by bestselling author .

Both of the winners and several of the nominees were in attendance at the Midtown Executive Club. Lippman and Sakey were gracious winners thanking the panel of book reviewers, congratulating their fellow nominees and acknowledging they were up against stiff competition.

Best Novel Nominees (winner in bold)
• Down River by John Hart (Thomas Dunne Books/Minotaur)
• The Shotgun Rule by Charlie Huston (Ballantine Books)
• The Strangler by William Landay (Delacorte Press)
• The Watchman by Robert Crais (Simon and Schuster)
What the Dead Know by Laura Lippman (William Morrow)

Best First Novel Nominees (winner in bold)
The Blade Itself by Marcus Sakey (St. Martin's Minotaur)
• In the Woods by Tana French (Viking)
• The Mark by Jason Pinter (Mira Books)
• Missing Witness by Gordon Campbell (William Morrow)
• When One Man Dies by Dave White (Crown Publishing)

Lippman, a former journalist for The Baltimore Sun, is no stranger to winning many of the top crime fiction prizes: she has won the Edgar, The Anthony, The Shamus, and The Barry Awards. Her latest novel Another Thing to Fall was released this March by William Morrow.

In just two years, Marcus Sakey has blazed a trail as a new and talented mystery author with his two well written crime novels The Blade Itself and At The City’s Edge. A former St. Martin’s author, he has recently signed a deal with Dutton who will publish his next book Good People in August.

"This was such a great group of nominees, it must have been difficult to choose the winner," said Frank Simon, Associate Publisher of The Strand. "Laura and Marcus were worthy winners, in the past few years Laura has produced a fantastic body of work and Marcus is a new talent who I have no doubt in the future will be nominated for the best mystery novel award."

Next year, the panel of judges will led by Otto Penzler and will feature critics from The Washington Post, the LA Times, the Associated Press, NPR, Time Magazine, Publishers Weekly and The New York Sun. For more information, please contact Christine Jones at (248) 569-3702 or [email protected].

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Monday, July 14, 2008

Mystery Godoku Puzzle for July 14, 2008

Mystery Godoku Puzzle for July 14, 2008A new has been created by the editors of the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books and is now 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 E F L M N O R W. This romantic suspense thriller by Donna Anders was published in 1995 (with “The”, 9 letters).

New! We now have our puzzles in PDF format for easier printing. Print this week's puzzle here.

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!

Video Game Rentals Delivered
GameFly delivers the best video games

AreYouGame games and puzzles
Games for Kids and Adults at AreYouGame.com


Computer and video games at Amazon.com

GameStop, Inc.
Mystery games for all platforms at GameStop

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Saturday, July 12, 2008

Mystery Book Review: Trumpets Sound No More by Jon Redfern

Mysterious Reviews, mysteries reviewed by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books, is publishing a new review of Trumpets Sound No More by Jon Redfern. For our blog readers, we are printing it first here in advance of its publication on our website.

Trumpets Sound No More by Jon RedfernBuy from Amazon.com

Trumpets Sound No More by
Non-series

Rendezvous Crime (Trade Paperback)
ISBN-10: 1-894917-40-5 (1894917405)
ISBN-13: 978-1-894917-40-7 (9781894917407)
Publication Date: October 2007
List Price: $19.95

Synopsis (from the publisher): In 1840, the theatre world in London is shocked by the brutal killing of one of its youngest and most successful entrepreneurs, Mr. Samuel Cake, found bludgeoned in his bachelor house with few leads. Inspector Owen Endersby is called upon to apprehend the culprit before Christmas Eve, just six days away. The case soon involves street vendors, downstairs servants, moneylenders and the greatest performers of the London stage. Without the help of fingerprinting, blood analysis, or any other technique of the modern-day detective, Inspector Endersby must root out the villain any way he can—by disguise, break-and-enter, bribery, mail tampering and physical force. London in 1840 is a brutal city. As the investigation moves into the darker realms of human behavior, Endersby faces instances of child abuse, child labor, madness and sexual deviancy.

Review: In 2002, Toronto author and college instructor, Jon Redfern, won the prestigious Crime Writer’s of Canada Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Novel for his debut effort, The Boy Must Die. As an encore he has won the CWC Arthur Ellis award for Best Novel for 2008 for his meticulously-researched Victorian age murder mystery, Trumpets Sound No More, starring Detective Inspector Owen Endersby, a member of the newly-formed London Metropolitan Detective Police Force. Endersby, as Redfern's readers will soon discover, has all of the charisma, skills and sleuthing smarts to become a long time center stage performer should Redfern decide to keep him around.

Besides his intuitions and intelligence, Endersby has other characteristics for a successful police force career. In the Victorian England of the shabby streets, dingy taverns and dark alleyways he frequents, he knows how to ferret out the characters most likely to have bashed theatre manager Samuel Cakes head to a pulp with his own cane. He knows how to find them by using guile and disguises, by tricking them into giving up information and, if necessary, to use an occasional cuff to the ear to jog a recalcitrant recollection. He knows his way around London too, including the theatre district and particularly backstage and downstairs at the Old Drury, the grande dame of London’s theatres in the 1840s. Despite being given a case of arson to resolve as well as a one week deadline, December 18 to 25, for solving Cake’s murder, and having to deal with his overbearing Superintendent, fifty-year-old Endersby knows how to get the job done without any of today’s forensic assists – just patience, critical analysis, a liking “to ponder the scene,” his “passions for truth and justice,” a willingness to walk miles to find a clue or harangue a suspect, and all the while suffering “the grime of his livelihood on his clothes.” And as he searches the theatre district and beyond for a murderer and an arsonist, he finds killers can travel in packs, lunatics can fan more than just fires, actors can play multiple parts, on and off stage, and with or without alcohol and drugs, theatre managers can be as motivated by power and sex as by money, and a stage-struck fourteen-year-old homeless waif and her dreams can both go up in flames while Queen Victoria and her Christmas pageant entourage watch in horror.

Tough on the crimes and criminals of his time and constantly tussling with his Superintendent, Endersby has a softer side too. He’s obviously devoted to his forty-year-old wife Harriet, fancies the candied chestnuts she prepares for him, pieces together elaborate wooden puzzles of French design, and he suffers from gout in his left foot, the intensity of which measures the success or failure of his fact-finding – all attributes for the memorable detective Redfern has created. The settings for the Old Drury and the contemporary theatre offerings are memorable too, and the dialogue and language of the compelling story are ideally suited to the age. And while the trumpets in this novel may sound no more, it would be a shame if they also signalled a swan song for Detective Inspector Owen Endersby.

Special thanks to M. Wayne Cunningham ([email protected]) for contributing his review of Trumpets Sound No More.

Review Copyright © 2008 — M. Wayne Cunningham — All Rights Reserved — Reprinted with Permission

For more visit Mysterious Reviews, a partner with the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books which is committed to providing readers and collectors of with the best and most current information about their favorite authors, titles, and series.

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Friday, July 11, 2008

Mystery Bestsellers for July 11, 2008

Mystery Bestsellers

A list of the top 15 for the week ending July 11, 2008 has been posted on the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books website.

For the second week in a row there is no change in the top 3 with 's 14th mystery featuring bounty hunter Stephanie Plum, Fearless Fourteen retaining the top spot on this week's mystery bestseller list.

Swan Peak by James Lee Burke

Debuting at number 10 this week is Swan Peak, the 17th mystery by featuring Louisiana lawman Dave Robicheaux who is far from his New Iberia roots, attempting to relax in the untouched wilderness of rural Montana. He, his wife, and his buddy Clete Purcell have retreated to stay at an old friend's ranch, hoping to spend their days fishing and enjoying their distance from the harsh, gritty landscape of Louisiana post-Katrina. But the serenity is soon shattered when two college students are found brutally murdered in the hills behind where the Robicheauxs and Purcell are staying. They quickly find themselves involved in a twisted and dangerous mystery involving a wealthy, vicious oil tycoon, his deformed brother and beautiful wife, a sexually deviant minister, an escaped con and former country music star, and a vigilante Texas gunbull out for blood. At the center of the storm is Clete, who cannot shake the feeling that he is being haunted by the ghosts from his past -- namely Sally Dio, the mob boss he'd sabotaged and killed years before. 

On our bestseller page, we've added an icon next to every title that is available for immediate download onto the Amazon Kindle. To learn about this wireless reading device, visit the Amazon Kindle page for more information. And don't forget to check our page where you can save an additional 5% when you purchase your mystery books prior to their publication date.

The top four mystery bestsellers this week are shown below:

Fearless Fourteen by Janet EvanovichNothing to Lose by Lee ChildThe Broken Window by Jeffery DeaverChasing Darkness by Robert Crais

Please visit the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books where we are committed to providing readers and collectors of with the best and most current information about their favorite authors, titles, and series.

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Wednesday, July 09, 2008

News: Mystery Author Janwillem van de Wetering Dies

Sarah Reidy, Director of Publicity for Soho Press, has informed us that Janwillem van de Wetering, one of Holland's most acclaimed crime writers and author of the Amsterdam Cops series, died on July 4, 2008, following a struggle with cancer. He was 77.

Van de Wetering was born in Rotterdam in 1931. After living in Amsterdam, Cornwall, Capetown, Bogota, Lima, and Brisbane, he finally settled on the coast of Maine with his wife in 1975. He is the author of numerous works in Dutch and English, including the Amsterdam Cops mystery series, a children series featuring the porcupine Hugh Pine, non-fiction books, and dozens of short stories. His work often incorporated his experiences as a one-time Zen Buddhist monk and the time he served with the Amsterdam Reserve Constabulary. van de Wetering was awarded the French Grand Prix de Littérature Policière in 1984.

Soho Press published fourteen books by van de Wetering, featuring adjutant Henrik Grijpstra and Sergeant Rinus de Gier. Critical acclaim was unanimously enthusiastic in publications such as the New York Times, Time, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, L.A. Times, Boston Globe, and the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Soho Press will be reissuing all of van de Wetering's Soho Crime novels in paperback, beginning in the fall of 2008.

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Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Mystery Book Review: Garcia's Heart by Liam Durcan

Mysterious Reviews, mysteries reviewed by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books, is publishing a new review of Garcia's Heart by Liam Durcan. For our blog readers, we are printing it first here in advance of its publication on our website.

Garcia's Heart by Liam DurcanBuy from Amazon.com

Garcia's Heart by
Non-series

St. Martin's Press (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 0-312-36708-2 (0312367082)
ISBN-13: 978-0-312-36708-4 (9780312367084)
Publication Date: November 2007
List Price: $23.95

Synopsis (from the publisher): Neurologist Patrick Lazerenko travels to The Hague to witness the war crimes trial of his beloved mentor, Hernan García, a Honduran doctor accused of involvement in torture. Driven by his own youthful memories of the man and his family, Lazerenko is determined to get to the truth behind the shocking accusations, even as the prosecution and a relentless journalist suspect Patrick of hiding information. The defense has its own ideas for Patrick, hoping to use his latest research to help vindicate García. As Patrick struggles with his conscience, and the pressures from the neuroeconomics company he abandoned in , he must also contend with seeing García’s daughter, his former lover, and the surprising influence a shady advocacy group seems to have over her, and with the fact García himself is refusing to speak, to anyone.

Review: In his day job Montreal resident Liam Durcan is an Assistant Professor at McGill University and a neurologist at the Montreal Neurological Hospital. In his debut novel Garcia’s Heart he has transformed his knowledge of his world of medicine and his observations of humanity at large into a compelling story that has won him the Arthur Ellis 2008 Best First Novel award.

Durcan’s novel is set against an extremely large canvas, a trial for crimes against humanity for the so-called Angel of Lepaterique at the War Crimes Tribunal building in Churchillplein in Den Haag, Netherlands. The Angel - a sobriquet from a book title about him - is a former Honduran cardiologist, Hernan Garcia de la Cruz, the mentor of Dr. Patrick Lazerenko, formerly of Montreal and now a Bostonian, and he stands accused of medical torture, murder and crimes against humanity. Doubly motivated by curiosity and loyalty to the Garcia family, the members of which he has not seen for several years, Lazerenko has come to the trial at the defence attorney’s request as a potential witness. Lazerenko could testify as the Garcia siblings Maria, his ex-lover, Nina, her younger sister, and Roberto, his continuing antagonist, hope, and the father’s lawyer cajoles, as an expert witness in the application of neuroscientific principles to explain the elder Garcia’s apparently out-of-character behaviour. It is a daunting task and one for which Lazerenko who has turned from medicine to marketing, has little stomach for, and even less assurance of success, especially since a suspiciously deteriorating Garcia has steadfastly refused to speak to anyone or to testify on his own behalf. And while the crimes against Garcia are unveiled in almost slow motion revelations through shocking eye-witness testimonies and detailed references to passages of a best-selling journalist’s book about the alleged perpetrator, Lazerenko must confront his own demons, real, imaginary, long forgotten or recently remembered.

Durcan’s book is saturated with the drizzle of the Den Haag November weather, the bleakness of the trial and its crush of evidence against the accused, and the futility of Lazerenko’s attempts to re-establish his recollected relationships between himself and the Garcias for “he did need the Garcias now, as much as he had needed them then.” Former lover Celia and he are “little more than strangers now,” and she has a two-year-old son in tow but no husband in sight. Nina the youngest of the three siblings now oversees the family’s expanded food store after the death of her mother, incarceration of her father, disinterest of her sister and ineptitude of her brother. And Roberto, ever the one to use his fists instead of his brain has sucker-punched Lazerenko, leaving him bruised, unconscious and briefly hospitalized in the infirmary of the Tribunal building where he is cared for by a doctor “under his white coat of industriousness.” Between healing and recalling the way they all once were when the licenceless Garcia clandestinely offered medical services in the rear of the Montreal corner grocery store, Le Depanneur Mondial, that he ran after fleeing the Honduras, Lazerenko weighs his emotional turmoil against his need to manage via increasingly annoying emails the problems of his Neuronaut biotech company with its “cognitive approach to marketing.” With surgical precision and intense psychological insight Durcan expertly probes and bares the hearts, minds and intents of his characters as Lazerenko tries to make sense of his life and Garcia struggles to deal with his. It is a fascinating operation with heart-rending conclusions for all concerned.

Special thanks to M. Wayne Cunningham ([email protected]) for contributing his review of Garcia's Heart.

Review Copyright © 2008 — M. Wayne Cunningham — All Rights Reserved — Reprinted with Permission

For more visit Mysterious Reviews, a partner with the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books which is committed to providing readers and collectors of with the best and most current information about their favorite authors, titles, and series.

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Monday, July 07, 2008

Mystery Godoku Puzzle for July 07, 2008

Mystery Godoku Puzzle for July 07, 2008A new has been created by the editors of the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books and is now 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: G H I K N O R T W. This was the title of Nelson George’s 2003 noir thriller of a male gigolo accused of murder (9 letters).

New! We now have our puzzles in PDF format for easier printing. Print this week's puzzle here.

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!

Video Game Rentals Delivered
GameFly delivers the best video games

AreYouGame games and puzzles
Games for Kids and Adults at AreYouGame.com


Computer and video games at Amazon.com

GameStop, Inc.
Mystery games for all platforms at GameStop

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Friday, July 04, 2008

Mystery Bestsellers for July 04, 2008

Mystery Bestsellers

A list of the top 15 for the week ending July 04, 2008 has been posted on the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books website.

No change in the top 3 with 's 14th mystery featuring bounty hunter Stephanie Plum, Fearless Fourteen retaining the top spot on this week's mystery bestseller list.

Chasing Darkness by Robert Crais

Three new titles enter the top 15. Debuting at number 10 this week is Chasing Darkness, the 12th mystery by featuring Los Angeles private investigator Elvis Cole. It's fire season, and the hills of Los Angeles are burning. When police and fire department personnel rush door to door in a frenzied evacuation effort, they discover the week-old corpse of an apparent suicide. But the gunshot victim is less gruesome than what they find in his lap: a photo album of seven brutally murdered young women -- one per year, for seven years. And when the suicide victim is identified as a former suspect in one of the murders, the news turns Elvis Cole's world upside down. Three years earlier Lionel Byrd was brought to trial for the murder of a female prostitute named Yvonne Bennett. A taped confession coerced by the police inspired a prominent defense attorney to take Byrd's case, and Elvis Cole was hired to investigate. It was Cole's eleventh-hour discovery of an exculpatory videotape that allowed Lionel Byrd to walk free. Elvis was hailed as a hero. But the discovery of the death album in Byrd's lap now brands Elvis as an unwitting accomplice to murder. Captured in photographs that could only have been taken by the murderer, Yvonne Bennett was the fifth of the seven victims -- two more young women were murdered after Lionel Byrd walked free. So Elvis can't help but wonder -- did he, Elvis Cole, cost two more young women their lives? Shut out of the investigation by a special LAPD task force determined to close the case, Elvis Cole and Joe Pike desperately fight to uncover the truth about Lionel Byrd and his nightmare album of death -- a truth hidden by lies, politics, and corruption in a world where nothing is what it seems to be. Publisher's Weekly says of Chasing Darkness, "This one is all about plot; the story opens with a bang and never slows."

Death Angel by Linda Howard

Linda Howard's latest romantic suspense thriller, Death Angel, enters the list at number 11. A striking beauty with a taste for diamonds and dangerous men, Drea Rousseau is more than content to be arm candy for Rafael Salinas, a notorious crime lord who deals with betrayal through quick and treacherous means: a bullet to the back of the head, a blade across the neck, an incendiary device beneath a car. Eager to break with Rafael, Drea makes a fateful decision and a desperate move, stealing a mountain of cash from the malicious killer. After all, an escape needs to be financed. Though Drea runs, Salinas knows she can’t hide–and he dispatches a cold-blooded assassin in hot pursuit, resulting in a tragic turn of events. Or does it? Left for dead, Drea miraculously returns to the realm of the living a changed woman. She’s no longer shallow and selfish, no longer steals or cheats or sells herself short. Both humbled and thrilled with this unexpected second chance, Drea embraces her new life. But in order to feel safe and sound–and stop nervously looking over her shoulder–she will need to take down those who marked her for death. Joining forces with the FBI, supplying vital inside information that only she can provide, Drea finds herself working with the most dangerous man she’s ever known. Yet the closer they get to danger, the more intense their feelings for each other become, and the more Drea realizes that the cost of her new life may be her life itself–as well as her heart.

Where Memories Lie by Deborah Crombie

Moving up the list to number 12 this week is Where Memories Lie, the mystery in the Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James series by .  Erika Rosenthal has always been secretive with her friend and neighbor, Detective Inspector Gemma James, about her past, except for one telling detail: She and her long-dead husband, David, came to London as refugees from Nazi Germany. But now the elderly woman needs Gemma's help. A unique piece of jewelry stolen from her years ago has mysteriously turned up at a prestigious London auction house. Erika believes the theft may be tied to her husband's death, which had always been assumed a suicide. Gemma has a tough challenge. She must navigate the shadowy and secretive world of London's monied society to discover the jewelry's connection to David's murderer. However, the cold case needs to be put back on the books and possibly into the hands of her partner, Duncan Kincaid. When a second, present-day murder kicks the investigation into high gear, Gemma becomes more determined to exact justice for Erika—in a case that will have lasting repercussions. 

On our bestseller page, we've added an icon next to every title that is available for immediate download onto the Amazon Kindle. To learn about this wireless reading device, visit the Amazon Kindle page for more information. And don't forget to check our page where you can save an additional 5% when you purchase your mystery books prior to their publication date.

The top four mystery bestsellers this week are shown below:

Fearless Fourteen by Janet EvanovichNothing to Lose by Lee ChildThe Broken Window by Jeffery DeaverTailSpin by Catherine Coulter

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