Friday, June 26, 2009

Mystery Bestsellers for June 26, 2009

Mystery Bestsellers

A list of the top 15 for the week ending June 26, 2009 has been posted on the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books website.

Some minor shuffling among the top four bestselling mystery this week, but a new title destined for the top spot entered the list this week.

Finger Lickin' Fifteen by Janet Evanovich

It's the 15th outing (if you don't count the between-the-number entries) for New Jersey bounty hunter Stephanie Plum in Finger Lickin' Fifteen by . Unbuckle your belt and pull up a chair. It's the spiciest, sauciest, most rib-sticking Plum yet. Here's the recipe: Celebrity chef Stanley Chipotle comes to Trenton to participate in a barbecue cook-off and loses his head --literally. Throw in some spice: Bail bonds office worker Lula is witness to the crime, and the only one she’ll talk to is Trenton cop, Joe Morelli. Pump up the heat: Chipotle’s sponsor is offering a million dollar reward to anyone who can provide information leading to the capture of the killers. Stir the pot: Lula recruits bounty hunter Stephanie Plum to help her find the killers and collect the moolah. Add a secret ingredient: Stephanie Plum’s Grandma Mazur. Enough said. Bring to a boil: Stephanie Plum is working overtime tracking felons for the bonds office at night and snooping for security expert Carlos Manoso, A.K.A. Ranger, during the day. Can Stephanie hunt down two killers, a traitor, five skips, keep her grandmother out of the sauce, solve Ranger’s problems and not jump his bones? Warning: Habanero hot. So good you’ll want seconds.

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.

The top four mystery bestsellers this week are shown below:

The Scarecrow by Michael ConnellyGone Tomorrow by Lee ChildDead and Gone by Charlaine HarrisFirst Family by David Baldacci

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, June 25, 2009

NBC Announces Its Fall 2009 Prime Time Schedule

NBC Fall 2009 Prime Time Schedule

NBC announced its Fall 2009 prime time schedule today. There are only three crime dramas airing on the network this season, all returning series.

On Wednesday, September 23rd, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit returns for its 11th season at 9 PM (ET/PT). An encore broadcast of the episode airs on Saturdays at 10 PM (ET/PT).

On Friday, September 25th, the original Law & Order enters its 20th season with its premiere episode airing at 8 PM (ET/PT). It will be followed by the 2nd season premiere of Southland at 9 PM (ET/PT).

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eHarlequin's Free Book Friday: The Texan's Tennessee Romance by Gina Wilkins

eHarlequin.com gives you another reason to love Fridays! Buy two or more books this Friday and they'll give you their weekly featured book absolutely free! That's right, every Friday, enjoy a featured free book with the purchase of two or more other titles! Your free book will automatically be added to your cart. Sometimes it's a mystery or suspense title, sometimes (alas) not, but it's always a great way to start your weekend!

This Friday's free book (06/26/2009) is a Harlequin Silhouette Special Edition.

The Texan's Tennessee Romance by Gina Wilkins

The Texan's Tennessee Romance by Gina Wilkins
Non-series

After being falsely accused of breaking her sacred lawyer-client vow, Natalie Lofton's main priority was clearing her name and getting her life back. That didn't include taking in an irresistible mutt. Or falling for the sexy handyman who'd come to fix a leaky pipe in her secluded Tennessee cabin.

But Casey Walker wasn't your ordinary fixer-upper. The native Texan had his own reasons for retreating to the remote Smoky Mountain resort. There he found a fellow attorney with a soft spot for strays. But what about the tender feelings Natalie was awakening in him?

Keep up to date by subscribing to eHarlequin.com's free newsletter that contains the latest information about their series of books as well as informing you about subscriber-only special offers and new products. Click on the banner below to subscribe for free:

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ITV Orders Second Series of Law & Order UK

Law & Order UK

The Guardian is reporting that ITV has ordered a second series of 13 episodes of Law & Order UK. Based on the US series Law & Order, which was recently renewed for a 20th season by NBC, the UK version follows a similar format with Bradley Walsh, Jamie Bamber, and Harriet Walter representing the "law" and Bill Paterson, Ben Daniels, and Freema Agyeman the "order".

"Audiences clearly loved the first series which featured the cream of British acting talent with gripping 'torn from the headlines' storylines and this will again be at the heart of the new series," said Laura Mackie, ITV Director of Drama. ITV is currently airing the 13 episodes that comprise the first series of the crime drama.

Despite cutbacks in its programming, ITV also recently ordered 4 additional episodes of Inspector Lewis.

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The Murdoch Mysteries to Air on US Public Television

The Murdoch Mysteries (A Mystery on TV Series)

A few weeks ago, a press release announced that 6 episodes of the Canadian series The Murdoch Mysteries have been sold to US public television stations, with episodes to begin airing June 30, 2009 (though we haven't seen anything in our local listings yet).

The Murdoch Mysteries are based on characters created by Maureen Jennings, whose novels are set in the mid- to late-1890s and feature young Toronto detective William Murdoch who investigates crimes using "radical" forensic techniques such as fingerprinting and trace evidence.

Three made-for-television movies, adapted from the first three books of the series, aired on Canadian television in 2004 and 2005 and are now available on DVD as The Murdoch Mysteries: The Movie Collection. The first season of the television series, The Murdoch Mysteries: Season 1, was recently released on DVD. The series has been renewed for a third season in Canada.

Beginning June 30th, check your local public television station listings for airings in your area of episodes in The Murdoch Mysteries.

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Games of Mystery: DinerTown Detective Agency, New at PlayFirst Games

Games of Mystery

, your source for mystery-themed electronic and board games, parties for kids and adults, and mystery getaway vacations, is pleased to announce a new mystery game available from PlayFirst Games. You can find out more about these games from our page or by clicking on the links provided below.

DinerTown Detective Agency

Something's not right in DinerTown! Help Bernie the Bookworm become a "real detective" in DinerTown Detective Agency. Hunt for vital clues in major mysteries like "who stuck their finger in all the jelly donuts?" and "who’s been partying like a rock star with the zoo animals?" Use the items you find in the crime scenes to narrow your list of suspects and ID the culprits as you search out the fun in this lighthearted spoof on traditional hidden object games.

DinerTown Detective Agency is available to purchase for $9.95 with the PlayPass program. A trial version is available to download for 60 minutes of play (Windows PC, 49.1 MB; Mac 57.6 MB).

Watch the DinerTown Detective Agency teaser trailer below:

Other popular games on our page include the Mystery PI series of casual games, Mystery P.I.: The Vegas Heist and Mystery P.I.: The Lottery Ticket, James Patterson's Women's Murder Club: Death in Scarlet, and Private Eye.

And don't forget to visit for all kinds of mysterious fun!

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New Mystery Prize Package Giveaway! Blood Lines by Kathryn Casey

Mystery Book Contests

is thrilled to announce a new mystery book prize package giveaway! To celebrate Kathryn Casey's second Sarah Armstrong mystery, Blood Lines, the author is giving away a signed ARC (Advanced Readers Copy) of the book plus the first book in the series, Singularity.

Blood Lines by Kathryn Casey

Texas Ranger Sarah Armstrong has her hands full with two cases at once: a persistent and potentially lethal stalker pursues pop mega-star Cassidy Collins, and a high-energy Houston businesswoman is found dead in her house. Though the businesswoman’s death is being called a suicide, when Sarah is shown photographs of the scene, something seems off. It looks too perfect, almost staged, and Billie Cox apparently had every reason to live. Meanwhile, teenage idol Cassidy receives threatening e-mails and text messages and hears creepy whispers over her headset at performances. Sarah once again teams up with FBI agent David Garrity, and together they plot to outwit and capture the stalker, but at the concert the unthinkable happens.

Enter daily! Provide your name and e-mail address on the Blood Lines giveaway entry form and correctly answer the contest question for a chance to win a prize package courtesy of Kathryn Casey.

The prize package consists of a signed ARC of Blood Lines plus a copy of the first Sarah Armstrong mystery, Singularity. Estimated prize package value: $50.

Remember to visit regularly to check for new mystery book prize package giveaways.

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Duchess of Death: The Unauthorized Biography of Agatha Christie by Richard Hack, Available July 1st

Duchess of Death: The Unauthorized Biography of Agatha Christie by Richard Hack

Although she is the most popular novelist in history, with over two billion books sold worldwide, Agatha Christie lived a life shrouded in secrecy and fueled by curiosity. Nearly as notorious for her aversion to the press as she was for her 80 books and collections of short stories, Christie made no secret of her need for privacy. Utilizing over 5,000 previously unpublished letters, notes, and documents, award-winning biographer Richard Hack allows Christie to write again, 33 years after her death. Duchess of Death is her story, as full of romance, travel, wealth, and scandal as any mystery Christie ever crafted.

There have been numerous biographies of the Queen of Crime, all of which claim to be definitive. According to the publisher, Duchess of Death is the first to draw from such an enormous number of previously unpublished correspondence and notes, effectively establishing it as the most authoritative, penetrating look at the personal and literary life of Christie.

Duchess of Death is scheduled for publication by Phoenix Books on July 1st. It is available for pre-order.

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Games of Mystery: Enlightenus, New at Big Fish Games

Games of Mystery

, your source for mystery-themed electronic and board games, parties for kids and adults, and mystery getaway vacations, is pleased to announce the availability of a new mystery game from Big Fish Games released today. You can find out more about these games by visiting our page or by clicking on the links provided below.

Enlightenus

A reclusive author has asked for your help! Travel to the mysterious world of Enlightenus and use your detective skills to track down Edgar Lee's missing novels! Explore an entirely different maze full of perplexing puzzles and intricate locks, as you collect each chapter of the missing books. This unique hidden object adventure game challenges you to solve each riddle in order to escape the land of Enlightenus!

Also available: Enlightenus Strategy Guide and an Enlightenus Game Walkthrough.

Enlightenus, a Big Fish Game Club World Premiere Exclusive, may be downloaded and purchased for $6.99 with a Big Fish Game Club membership. A demonstration version (152.56 MB) may be downloaded and played for free for one hour.

Watch a preview video below:

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Other popular games on our page include several and games, games in the series and in particular the latest, Mystery Case Files: Return to Ravenhearst, Adventure Chronicles: The Search for Lost Treasure, Syberia and Syberia II, The Serpent of Isis, James Patterson's Women's Murder Club: A Darker Shade of Grey, and Nick Chase: A Detective Story.

Read our new game reviews by Ms. Terri: , , and .

Big Fish Games: Bestsellers

Big Fish Games: New releases

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And don't forget to visit for all kinds of mysterious fun!

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

CBS Announces Its Fall 2009 Prime Time Schedule

CBS Crime Drama Prime Time Schedule 2009 / 2010

CBS, the network with the most crime dramas on television, announced its fall prime time schedule today.

On Monday, September 21st, CSI: Miami returns for its 8th season at 10 PM (ET/PT).

On Tuesday, September 22nd, NCIS returns for its 7th season premiere at 8 PM (ET/PT), followed by its spin-off series NCIS: Los Angeles at 9 PM (ET/PT).

On Wednesday, September 23rd, Criminal Minds airs its 5th season premiere at 9 PM (ET/PT). CSI: NY follows at 10 PM (ET/PT) with its 6th season premiere.

On Thursday, September 24th, the 10th season premiere of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation airs at 9 PM (ET/PT) followed by the 2nd season premiere of The Mentalist at 10 PM (ET/PT).

On Friday, September 25th, Numb3rs returns with its 6th season premiere at 10 PM (ET/PT).

On Sunday, September 27th, the 7th season premiere of Cold Case airs at 10 PM (ET/PT).

Finally, a 2 hour block on Saturdays from 8 PM to 10 PM (ET/PT) is designated as Crimetime Saturday during which selected CBS crime dramas will re-air.

The Canadian series The Bridge, which CBS acquired the rights to, will air as a mid-season replacement.

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New Trailer for The Box, Based on the Short Story Button, Button by Richard Matheson

Button, Button by Richard Matheson

AOL Video has the first trailer for The Box, a thriller based on the short story Button, Button by Richard Matheson.

In The Box, a mysterious man (played by Frank Langella) presents a wooden box with a button to a couple (Cameron Diaz, James Marsden) which, when pressed, does two things: the couple will receive $1 million and someone, somewhere in the world will be killed. The couple has 24 hours to decide whether or not to push the button.

Button, Button was first published in Playboy in 1970 and adapted as an episode for the television series The Twilight Zone in 1986.

Watch the trailer for The Box below; the movie is scheduled for release October 30th, 2009.

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John Grisham's The Testament to be Filmed

The Testament by John Grisham

Variety is reporting that John Grisham has made a movie deal for his 1999 novel The Testament, in which a billionaire defies his greedy relatives and leaves his $11 billion fortune to a mysterious illegitimate daughter doing charity work in the Brazilian wetlands. A down-and-out lawyer helps her battle her relatives over the fortune.

During the 1990s, a string of Grisham bestsellers were filmed: (1996), (1993), (1993), (1994), (1996), and (1997). With The Testament, Grisham adds another title to those already in various stages of development. The Innocent Man, based on Grisham's nonfiction book, is scheduled for a 2011 release; an adaptation of his non-thriller Playing for Pizza is moving forward; and Grisham's most recent thriller, The Associate, has been optioned by Paramount.

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Mystery Book Review: Sacrifice by S. J. Bolton

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

Sacrifice by S. J. Bolton

by
Non-series

St. Martin's Minotaur (Trade Paperback)
ISBN-10: 0-312-38186-7 (0312381867)
ISBN-13: 978-0-312-38186-8 (9780312381868)
Publication Date: June 2009
List Price: $14.95

Review: Sacrifice by S. J. Bolton is her debut medical mystery thriller filled with more twists and turns than Lombard Street in San Francisco. It keeps you guessing and leaves you astounded with its final pages. Tess Gerritsen, Michael Palmer, and Robin Cook move over, you have some serious competition in the medical mystery field.

Set in the rocky hills of the Shetland Islands off the northern coast of Scotland, Tora Hamilton discovers a secret. In her attempt to bury her beloved horse, she uncovers the body of a young woman. But is this woman centuries old or recently buried? Tora, an obstetrician, discovers that the young woman was killed recently, just after having given birth. In addition, her heart has been cut out. What bizarre ritual has she stumbled upon? Who would do such a thing? Tora sets out to find the answers and puts her own life in jeopardy in the process. Her husband, the police, and her coworkers all urge her to let “sleeping dogs lie” but Tora gives them no heed. Who can she turn to, who can she trust?

For a debut novel, Bolton has done an outstanding job. Every time I thought I had the mystery figured out, I was wrong. In fact, I was unable to solve the mystery ahead of time, something that is usually not a problem for me. In addition, the unique setting, combined with the ancient folklore, all add up to a “can’t put down” book. Her female characters are believable and demonstrate courage beyond your typical female sleuth. Tora’s audacity and tenaciousness in the solving the mystery kept me hooked until the very end. I would rate this novel a five out of five stars. It was the best medical mystery novel that I have read in the past year, and I look forward to reading her next novel Awakening.

Sacrifice was nominated for several awards: The Mary Higgins Clark Award, and 2009 International Thriller Writers "Best First Novel" Award. Unfortunately, Sacrifice did not win. I consider this a great miscarriage of justice. If you are looking for a stimulating mystery, one that will keep you surprised until the very end, then pick up a copy of Sacrifice. The sacrifice your wallet feels will definitely be worth it!

Special thanks to Ruth Miller for contributing her review of Sacrifice and to St. Martin's Minotaur for providing a trade paperback edition of the book for this review.

Review Copyright © 2009 — Ruth Miller — All Rights Reserved — Reprinted with Permission

Buy from Amazon.com

If you are interested in purchasing Sacrifice from Amazon.com, please click the button to the right.

Synopsis (from the publisher): Tora Hamilton is an outsider at her new home on the rocky, windswept Shetland Islands, a hundred miles from the northeastern tip of Scotland. Though her husband grew up here, it’s the first time he’s been back in twenty years. Digging in the peat on their new property, Tora unearths a human body, at first glance a centuries-old bog body, interesting but not uncommon. But realizing that the body is in fact much newer, that the woman’s heart has been cut out, and that she was killed within a few days of bearing a child, Tora, herself an obstetrician, becomes obsessed with finding out what happened to her—even when the police, her colleagues, and eventually her husband warn her against getting involved.

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Games of Mystery: Dream Sleuth, New at Big Fish Games

Games of Mystery

, your source for mystery-themed electronic and board games, parties for kids and adults, and mystery getaway vacations, is pleased to announce the availability of a new mystery game from Big Fish Games released today. You can find out more about these games by visiting our page or by clicking on the links provided below.

Dream Sleuth

Follow the crystal clear dreams you've been having about a missing little girl in Dream Sleuth! Help our hero, Catherine, take matters into her own hands and become a one-of-a-kind Dream Sleuth. Investigate the little girl's disappearance, using your dreams as a guide, to help find and save her in this mystical hidden pbject game. Can you sift through the facts and rumors and interpret all the clues in your dreams?

Also available: Dream Sleuth Game Walkthrough.

Dream Sleuth may be downloaded and purchased for $6.99 with a Big Fish Game Club membership. A demonstration version (86.10 MB) may be downloaded and played for free for one hour.

Watch a preview video below:

gcads_80x80

Other popular games on our page include several and games, games in the series and in particular the latest, Mystery Case Files: Return to Ravenhearst, Adventure Chronicles: The Search for Lost Treasure, Syberia and Syberia II, The Serpent of Isis, James Patterson's Women's Murder Club: A Darker Shade of Grey, and Nick Chase: A Detective Story.

Read our new game reviews by Ms. Terri: , , and .

Big Fish Games: Bestsellers

Big Fish Games: New releases

mbfgads_468x60

And don't forget to visit for all kinds of mysterious fun!

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

ITV Orders 4 More Episodes of Inspector Lewis

Inspector Lewis (A Mystery on TV Series)

Several news organizations are reporting that the television series Inspector Lewis has been renewed for a 4th series of four episodes by ITV. A spin-off from the long-running Inspector Morse series, Inspector Lewis (titled simply Lewis in the UK) stars Kevin Whately as Detective Inspector Robert "Robbie" Lewis and Laurence Fox as Detective Sergeant James Hathaway of the Thames Valley Police based in Oxford. The series is set chronologically five years after the death of Inspector Morse.

ITV's Sally Haynes said, "Lewis is always one of the highlights of the year on ITV1 and features not only a great partnership between Lewis and Hathaway but some great plot lines and twists that keep the audience gripped."

Inspector Morse creator Colin Dexter will again work as a consultant on the series.

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