Saturday, July 03, 2010

Vault Cracker: The Last Safe, a New Mystery Game from BFG

Games of Mystery

Games of Mystery is pleased to announce the availability of a new mystery casual game from Big Fish Games released today and available to BFG Club members. You can find out more about these games by visiting our Mystery Games: Big Fish Download Games page or by clicking on the links provided below.

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Vault Cracker: The Last Safe
Vault Cracker: The Last Safe

Melissa lives an ideal life with her 8-year-old son Noah, but she's no ordinary mom. She was once one of the most sought-after cat burglars in the world. She's given up her life of crime and after living for years under a false identity, taking a trip to her hometown with her son. She thought it was safe.

Things go wrong when Noah goes missing at the airport; Melissa's only clue is a phone call with a demand. It's been a long time but now she has one last job. With the help of her old friend Mouse, Melissa must find her son, his kidnapper and avoid the police radar. And she's going to have to crack a few safes along the way.

Also available: Vault Cracker: The Last Safe Strategy Guide and Vault Cracker: The Last Safe Game Walkthrough.

Vault Cracker: The Last Safe may be downloaded and purchased for $6.99 with a Big Fish Game Club membership. A demonstration version (215.76 MB) may be downloaded and played for free for one hour.

Watch a preview video below:

Get any standard game for $6.99 with a Big Fish Game Club membership. Other benefits include the $2.99 Daily Deal, Tomorrow's Game Today, and special member rewards. And if you purchase any 6 games within a single month, you earn a free game with the Big Fish Game Club Monthly Punch Card! (Collector's Editions earn 3 punches each, half-way towards your free game!)

Read Ms. Terri's reviews of the adventure and casual mystery games featured on this site, including Midnight Mysteries: The Edgar Allan Poe Conspiracy, Nancy Drew Dossier: Lights, Camera, Curses!, Enlightenus, and many more!

Big Fish Games: Bestsellers

Big Fish Games: New releases

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Games of Mystery is your source for mystery-themed video, electronic, and board games, parties for kids and adults, and murder mystery weekends and mystery getaway vacations!

Friday, July 02, 2010

First Poster for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Last week Warner Bros. released the first, full-length trailer for its upcoming film, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Today, it has released the first official poster for the film. (Click on the poster to the right to see a larger image of Hogwarts aflame.)

Based on the seventh and final book in the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is being released in two parts: the first on November 19th, 2010 with the second on July 15th, 2011.

Voting Open for the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year

Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival

Later this month, the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival is being held in Harrogate. During the festival, the Crime Novel of the Year is awarded, chosen by readers.

The shortlist of 8 titles has been posted to the festival website, and you're invited to vote for your favorite! Voting is open through July 21st. The crime novels to choose from are:

In the Dark by Mark Billingham
The Surrogate by Tania Carver
A Simple Act of Violence by R. J. Ellory
The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths
Dead Tomorrow by Peter James
Gallows Lane by Brian McGilloway
Doors Open by Ian Rankin
Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith

Mr. E. Reviews: Van Der Valk Mysteries Set 2

Mr. E. reviews mystery, suspense, thriller, and crime drama television and film for Omnimystery

Review of Van Der Valk Mysteries Set 2.

This set of seven episodes from the second season was, like the first, filmed on location in Amsterdam, giving the series an international flair.

The plots, however, are fairly routine and with few exceptions are not unique to the setting, a bit of a disappointment. As such, they probably aren't strong enough to draw in many new fans, but it's impossible not to appreciate the energy Barry Foster puts into his performance; it is uniquely his.

Read the full text of our review at Mr. E. Reviews.

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Van Der Valk Mysteries Set 2 (DVD Cover)
More information about Van Der Valk Mysteries Set 2

Van Der Valk Mysteries Set 2
Director: Various

Original air date(s): 08/29/1973 to 10/10/1973.
DVD release: 06/29/2010.
Studio: Acorn Media.

Recurring character(s): Commisaris Simon "Piet" van der Valk (Barry Foster), Arlette van der Valk (Susan Travers), Inspector Johnny Kroon (Michael Latimer).

Rating: Not Rated.
Running time: 353 minutes.

Based on characters created by crime novelist Nicholas Freeling (though none of the episodes in the series were adapted from any of his novels).

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Mr. E. Reviews is your source for mystery, suspense, thriller, and crime drama reviews of television and film.

House Justice by Mike Lawson (Book Review)

Mysterious Reviews: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller and Crime Novel Reviews, edited by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books

Review of House Justice by Mike Lawson

Attorney Joe DeMarco, a self-described "fixer" for the Speaker of the House of Representatives, relegated to a windowless office in the sub-basement with no official connection to any Congressional department, is tasked with seeking out the person who leaked confidential information that led to the death of an undercover CIA agent in Iran in House Justice, the fifth political thriller in this series by Mike Lawson.

Read the full text of our review at Mysterious Reviews.

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House Justice by Mike Lawson
Buy House Justice by Mike Lawson

House Justice
Mike Lawson
A Joe DeMarco Thriller

Atlantic Monthly Press (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 0-8021-1937-9 (0802119379)
ISBN-13: 978-0-8021-1937-7 (9780802119377)
Publication Date: June 2010
List Price: $24.00

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Mysterious Reviews is your source for the latest mystery, suspense, thriller, and crime novel reviews, edited by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books.

Save 30% This Weekend on Games from BFG

Big Fish Games July 4th Sale

This weekend only, from today through July 5th, all regularly priced $6.99 games are 30% off at Big Fish Games.

Simply use coupon code JULY4THSALE at checkout to realize your savings!

If you're looking for a mystery-themed game to play, check out our lists of Hidden Object and Adventure games available to purchase and download from BFG. And don't forgot to use the coupon code this weekend to save 30%!

Mystery Bestsellers for July 02, 2010

Mystery Bestsellers

A list of the top 15 for the week ending July 2nd, 2010 has been posted on the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books website.

Well, we were wrong! We expected last week's featured title, Sizzling Sixteen by Janet Evanovich, to top the bestseller list this week, but The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson remains at number one, though by a small margin (score-wise). Two new titles debut this week, and two other books that debuted just off the list last month move into the top 15.

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Private by James Patterson
More information about the book

Debuting in 7th position is Private, the first in a new series by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro.

Former CIA agent Jack Morgan runs Private, a renowned investigation company with branches around the globe. It is where you go when you need maximum force and maximum discretion. The secrets of the most influential men and women on the planet come to Jack daily -- and his staff of investigators uses the world's most advanced forensic tools to make and break their cases.

Jack is already deep into the investigation of a multi-million dollar NFL gambling scandal and the unsolved slayings of 18 schoolgirls when he learns of a horrific murder close to home: his best friend's wife, Jack's former lover, has been killed. It nearly pushes him over the edge. Instead, Jack pushes back and devotes all of Private's resources to tracking down her killer.

But Jack doesn't have to play by the rules. As he closes in on the killer and chooses between revenge and justice, Morgan has to navigate a workplace love affair that threatens to blow the roof off his plans.

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Broken by Karin Slaughter
More information about the book

Moving from just off the list last week into 11th position this week is Broken, the 8th mystery in the Grant County series by Karin Slaughter.

When Special Agent Will Trent arrives in Grant County, he finds a police department determined to protect its own and far too many unanswered questions about a prisoner’s death. He doesn’t understand why Officer Lena Adams is hiding secrets from him. He doesn’t understand her role in the death of Grant County’s popular police chief. He doesn’t understand why that man’s widow, Dr. Sara Linton, needs him now more than ever to help her crack this case.

While the police force investigates the murder of a young woman pulled from a frigid lake, Trent investigates the police force, putting pressure on Adams just when she’s already about to crack. Caught between two complicated and determined women, trying to understand Linton’s passionate distrust of Adams, the facts surrounding Chief Tolliver’s death, and the complexities of this insular town, Trent will unleash a case filled with explosive secrets—and encounter a thin blue line that could be murderous if crossed.

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Ice Cold by Tess Gerritsen
More information about the book

New this week in 12th place is Ice Cold, the 8th mystery in the Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles series by Tess Gerritsen.

In Wyoming for a medical conference, Boston medical examiner Maura Isles joins a group of friends on a spur-of-the-moment ski trip. But when their SUV stalls on a snow-choked mountain road, they’re stranded with no help in sight.

As night falls, the group seeks refuge from the blizzard in the remote village of Kingdom Come, where twelve eerily identical houses stand dark and abandoned. Something terrible has happened in Kingdom Come: Meals sit untouched on tables, cars are still parked in garages. The town’s previous residents seem to have vanished into thin air, but footprints in the snow betray the presence of someone who still lurks in the cold darkness—someone who is watching Maura and her friends.

Days later, Boston homicide detective Jane Rizzoli receives the grim news that Maura’s charred body has been found in a mountain ravine. Shocked and grieving, Jane is determined to learn what happened to her friend. The investigation plunges Jane into the twisted history of Kingdom Come, where a gruesome discovery lies buried beneath the snow. As horrifying revelations come to light, Jane closes in on an enemy both powerful and merciless—and the chilling truth about Maura’s fate.

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So Cold the River by Michael Koryta
More information about the book

Finally, a newcomer on the list at number 15 is So Cold the River by Michael Koryta.

It started with a beautiful woman and a challenge. As a gift for her husband, Alyssa Bradford approaches Eric Shaw to make a documentary about her father-in-law, Campbell Bradford, a 95-year-old billionaire whose past is wrapped in mystery. Eric grabs the job even though there are few clues to the man's past -- just the name of his hometown and an antique water bottle he's kept his entire life.

In Bradford's hometown, Eric discovers an extraordinary history -- a glorious domed hotel where movie stars, presidents, athletes, and mobsters once mingled, and hot springs whose miraculous mineral water cured everything from insomnia to malaria. Neglected for years, the resort has been restored to its former grandeur just in time for Eric's stay.

Just hours after his arrival, Eric experiences a frighteningly vivid vision. As the days pass, the frequency and intensity of his hallucinations increase and draw Eric deeper into the town's dark history. He discovers that something besides the hotel has been restored -- a long-forgotten evil that will stop at nothing to regain its lost glory.

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The top four mystery bestsellers this week are shown below:

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg LarssonSizzling Sixteen by Janet Evanovich61 Hours by Lee ChildDead in the Family by Charlaine Harris

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.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

New International Model for James Patterson's Private Series

Private by James Patterson
More information about the book

We read in the Wall Street Journal tonight that bestselling author James Patterson is taking a new direction with his latest novel, Private, co-written by Maxine Paetro.

At first glance, Private may seem to be simply the first in a new series featuring private investigator Jack Morgan. But, as the WSJ reports, after the publication of each new book in the series Patterson intends for an international writer to co-author a companion novel from the perspective of a foreign character but featuring the same criminal investigation. The first such book will be Private London by Mark Pearson, which is due out next spring. Private Rome, Private Australia, and Private Amsterdam are also in the works. Some may be originally written in their native language before being translated into English.

This isn't Patterson's first transnational collaboration. Next month, Postcard Killers, co-written with Swedish crime novelist Liza Marklund, is released here in the US. (It's been available in Europe since January.)

About Private (from the publisher): Former CIA agent Jack Morgan runs Private, a renowned investigation company with branches around the globe. It is where you go when you need maximum force and maximum discretion. The secrets of the most influential men and women on the planet come to Jack daily--and his staff of investigators uses the world's most advanced forensic tools to make and break their cases.

Jack is already deep into the investigation of a multi-million dollar NFL gambling scandal and the unsolved slayings of 18 schoolgirls when he learns of a horrific murder close to home: his best friend's wife, Jack's former lover, has been killed. It nearly pushes him over the edge. Instead, Jack pushes back and devotes all of Private's resources to tracking down her killer.

But Jack doesn't have to play by the rules. As he closes in on the killer and chooses between revenge and justice, Morgan has to navigate a workplace love affair that threatens to blow the roof off his plans. With a plot that moves at death-defying speeds, Private is James Patterson sleekest, most exciting thriller ever.

Harlequin Worldwide Mystery Titles for July 2010

Harlequin Mysteries

eHarlequin.com has announced the July 2010 titles for their Worldwide imprint, your partner in crime. Amateur sleuths, traditional cozies, police procedurals and private-eye fiction, written by award-winning authors. For more information or to purchase any of the books below, click on the book title or book cover. (Previous months titles can be found on the backlist page.)

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Sirius About Murder by Sue Owens Wright
Buy the Book!

Sirius About Murder by Sue Owens Wright
A Beanie and Cruiser Mystery (2nd in series)

Animal lovers in Lake Tahoe are lobbying for a new shorefront dog park for their canine companions—a development hotly contested by those pushing for a lucrative luxury housing project instead. Elsie MacBean and her basset hound, Cruiser, are leading the charge for the park when a killer strikes. The first victim is the wealthy matriarch and dog lover who owns the land caught in the controversy. Suspicion points to a pet psychic, Madame Pawline, but Elsie has a few leads of her own …

Threatening e-mail from a cyberstalker is putting advocates of the dog park—and their beloved pooches—in the crosshairs. Tragically, Elsie's good friend Rose becomes the next victim in a near-fatal encounter. Hounding the killer herself, Elsie confronts a methodical murderer plotting to bury her bones so deep not even her beloved Cruiser will be able to dig up the truth.

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Callie & the Dealer & a Dog Named Jake by Wendy Howell Mills
Buy the Book!

Callie & the Dealer & a Dog Named Jake by Wendy Howell Mills
An Outer Banks Mystery (1st in series)

North Carolina's scenic Outer Banks is a beach haven for tourists and locals alike. There are some oddballs, too, like those running the kitchen at the Holiday House hotel, where restaurant manager Callie McKinley works. Toss in a raving, unpredictable chef and the discovery of a body in the walk-in freezer, and life suddenly gets as dangerous as it is crazy.

The dead man, an employee of the hotel's Seahorse Café, unwittingly let Callie in on a little secret before he died: somebody is cooking the restaurant's books. As Callie pieces together clues that link frozen seafood to smugglers, she knows she's stumbled into big trouble. Now somebody wants her dead. And Callie is about to discover that the frying pan is just as dangerous as the fire.

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Boca Moon by Frank Foster
Buy the Book!

Boca Moon by Frank Foster Mysterious Reviews
A Lynn Woo Mystery (1st in series)

Former naval intelligence officer Lynn Woo runs a nature-tours charter business on Florida's Boca Grande island. She's traded her uniform for island prints, but the tenacity and smarts that served her well in the service come in handy when she gets involved in solving a triple homicide.

The first victim, the son-in-law of her former commanding officer, retired admiral Whit Jenkins, is found strung up between two mangrove trees. The second and third victims are locals, and, sadder still, were Lynn's friends. The connection between the murders is murky until a lucky break enables Lynn to link the three crimes to a dangerous group of gun runners. Espionage and intrigue are Woo's game—one she's exceptional at playing. But now the rules have changed, because the killer knows the only way to win this one is to kill again.

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Sweet Dreams by Flo Fitzpatrick
Buy the Book!

Sweet Dreams by Flo Fitzpatrick
Non-series

Feisty Texas-born dancer Abby Fouchet has landed a gig in a Broadway revival, and life is looking up—especially when sparks fly with leading man Johnny Gerard, a daytime television heartthrob. But this charmer has a few secrets, including a dubiously politically connected father, a gorgeous mystery woman with a bodyguard, and a roommate involved in a hit-and-run accident.

Abby has a hidden talent, a gift of second sight that is wreaking havoc on her peace of mind. When Johnny is embroiled in scandal, Abby "sees" terrible visions that don't include her hunky sweet talker living long enough to say "I do." Of course, the show must go on. But surviving opening night and a killer's curtain call is going to require some fancy footwork—especially if Abby wants to survive an even bigger threat: the reviews.

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If you enjoy the books in this series, you can join Worldwide Mystery and get 2 free books plus 2 free gifts just for giving the automatic program a try. Accepting your two free Worldwide Mystery books and mystery gifts places you under no obligation to buy anything. You may keep the books and gifts and return the shipping statement marked cancel. If you do not cancel, about two months later, and then every other month, eHarlequin will send you three additional Worldwide Mystery books.

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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Dark Dreams by Michael Genelin, a Jana Matinova Investigation

The Mystery Bookshelf: Discover a Library of New Mysteries

The Mystery Bookshelf, where you can discover a library of new mysteries, is pleased to feature a new mystery series title we recently received from the publisher.

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Dark Dreams by Michael Genelin
A Jana Matinova Investigation
Soho Crime (Trade Paperback)
Publication Date: July 2010
ISBN-13: 978-1-56947-649-9

Dark Dreams by Michael Genelin
More Information About Dark Dreams by Michael Genelin

About Dark Dreams (from the publisher): Jana and Sofia were best friends as schoolmates in communist Czechoslovakia. Jana’s a judge’s daughter, was prudent; Sofia, impetuous. Now, Jana, who entered the Czechoslovakian police force, has risen to the rank of commander in the post-communist country of Slovakia, based in its capital, Bratislava, a crossroads of Central Europe.

Sofia, formerly a fiercely independent political reformer, is now a member of parliament and is having a scandalous affair. When she finds herself in a political predicament, she appeals to her old friend for help.

One night, Jana returns home to find an enormous diamond suspended from a string in her living room. A fabulous gift? Or, for a police officer, a trap? Can Sofia be implicated somehow?

The search for answers leads Jana across Europe to unravel am international criminal conspiracy that has perpetrated multiple murders in Nepal, India, Switzerland, Hungary, and Bratislava itself and threatens Jana’s career, family and life.

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About Michael Genelin: He is a graduate of UCLA and UCLA Law School, and has served as a consultant for the US State Department and USAID in Central Europe, Africa, Asia, and Haiti. He lives with his wife in Paris. Visit his website at MichaelGenelin.com.

Mysterious Reviews: Mysteries Reviewed by the Hidden Staircase Mystery BooksMysteries by Michael Genelin reviewed by Mysterious Reviews: Siren of the Waters (2008), and Dark Dreams (2009).

 

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