Monday, August 30, 2010

How to Crash a Killer Bash by Penny Warner (Book Review)

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

How to Crash a Killer Bash by Penny Warner. A Party Planning Mystery with Presley Parker. Obsidian Mass Market Paperback, August 2010.

Alliterative party planner Presley Parker has organized a murder mystery party at a gala fund raiser for the de Young Museum in San Francisco when the murder victim actually becomes a murder victim in How to Host a Killer Bash, the second mystery in this series by Penny Warner.

Read the full text of our review at Mysterious Reviews: How to Crash a Killer Bash by Penny Warner.

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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.

Dutch Crime Novelist A. C. Baantjer Dies

A. C. Baantjer

Several news organizations (see, for example, this one here) are reporting that bestselling Dutch crime writer A. C. Baantjer has died. He was 86.

Baantjer, an ex-police officer, is probably best known for his series of mysteries featuring Amsterdam Inspector Jurriaan De Cock (which was Anglicized to be DeKok in the English translations of his novels). In the 1990s a television series based on the books was produced, and titled not for the series character but for the author himself. Baantjer ran for 12 years on Dutch TV.

Speck Press has recently been publishing new editions of the DeKok mysteries, two of which we had the pleasure of reviewing: DeKok and the Dead Harlequin and DeKok and the Mask of Death.

Silent Scream by Lynda La Plante (Book Review)

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

Silent Scream by Lynda La Plante. An Anna Travis Mystery. Touchstone Hardcover, July 2010.

Amanda Delany was a 24-year-old British actress who was finally hitting A-list status ... only to be found murdered in her bed the day after returning from an evening shoot on her latest film in Silent Scream, the fifth mystery in this series by Lynda La Plante.

Read the full text of our review at Mysterious Reviews: Silent Scream by Lynda La Plante.

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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.

Disney Guilty Party: Mystery Fun for Everyone, Exclusively for Nintendo Wii

Mystery Tales: Time Travel
Disney Guilty Party (Nintendo Wii)

Disney Guilty Party is a fun and hilarious mystery party game, exclusively for Wii.

Friends and family play as the savvy sleuths of the world-famous Dickens Detective Agency to investigate a series of crimes and identify the guilty party. Explore a variety of mysterious locations -- each with a unique twist.

The Wii Remote is used to collect clues and interrogate suspects via fun pick-up-and-play minigames. With enough evidence gathered, players can identify the guilty party and solve the case -- but the Dickens Detective Agency has many enemies, and there's always another suspect lurking in the shadows ...

Meet the detectives:

Disney Guilty Party: Dorian Dickens

Dorian Dickens, AKA "The Commodore"

Through hard work and an impressive knack for mystery-solving, Dorian "The Commodore" Dickens built his family into the finest detective agency in the world. He loves his job, but finds himself increasingly tempted to stay home -- perhaps with a nice bowl of pudding -- and let his family do the sleuthing.

Disney Guilty Party: Olivia Dickens

Olivia Dickens

Back when the Dickens Detective Agency was still a one-man operation, Olivia applied for a job as a typist and ended up marrying the CEO. Although not technically a detective, her motherly advice and affection make her a critical part of the agency.

Disney Guilty Party: Max Dickens

Max Dickens

The Commodore's son didn't want to be a detective; his true calling was the theatrical stage. However, after working in the family business for several years, a hardboiled gumshoe is still the only role he knows how to play.

Disney Guilty Party: Ling-Ling Johnson

Ling-Ling Johnson

Growing up around the most respected detectives in the world, Ling-Ling has become a top-notch sleuth in her own right. When she's not on a case she loves to invent quite a few bits of technology to assist the Dickens family -- such as their handheld lie detectors.

Disney Guilty Party: Charlotte Dickens-Johnson

Charlotte Dickens-Johnson

Charlotte loves cracking cases with logic - but she also knows Kung Fu, and she's not afraid to use it. On her own she is a fearsome crime-fighter –- but with the rest of the Dickens Detective Agency behind her, she is unstoppable.

Disney Guilty Party: Butch Johnson

Butch Johnson

Butch's background as a policeman taught him how to handle tough suspects. Now, as part of the Dickens Detective Agency, he prefers to use his brains instead of his brawn. With his wife Charlotte and daughter Ling-Ling at his side, he's a part of a well-rounded detective unit.

Disney Guilty Party: Rudyard Dickens as "Kid Riddle"

Rudyard Dickens as "Kid Riddle"

The youngest member of the family is fully immersed in his alternate persona of Kid Riddle: masked mastermind, boy brainiac, and juvenile genius! His enthusiasm sometimes gets the better of him, but he usually makes up for it with energetic crime scene investigation.

Disney Guilty Party: Phoebe Dickens

Phoebe Dickens

Unlike her big brother Max, Phoebe enjoys detective work so much that she's training with the FBI in her spare time. As a result of her FBI fieldwork -- or perhaps her arduous experience as the mother of Kid Riddle -- she will get tough when necessary. Not a mom you want to mess with.

Disney Guilty Party is scheduled to be released tomorrow, August 31st, and is available to pre-order. Watch an overview of the game below:

FlashForward, Miss Marple, NCIS LA, and Thriller, New This Week on DVD

Telemystery, the most complete selection of detective, amateur sleuth, private investigator, and suspense television mystery series now available or coming soon to DVD

Telemystery, your source for one of the most comprehensive selections of detective, amateur sleuth, private investigator, and suspense television mystery series, mini-series and made-for-television movies, now available or coming soon to DVD or Blu-ray disc, is profiling four series being released this week.

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FlashForward: The Complete Series, a Mystery TV Series
Information on FlashForward: The Complete Series

Out of nowhere, a mysterious flash causes nearly everyone in the world to lose consciousness and gain a glimpse of his or her life six months into the future in FlashForward, an action thriller based on the novel of the same title by Robert J. Sawyer.

As one elite FBI unit attempts to solve the mystery, the rest of the world’s population soon discovers that, when it comes to destiny, nothing is set in stone.

The FlashForward: The Complete Series DVD set of 5 discs contain the 21 episodes (including one 2-part episode) that aired on ABC from September through November 2009 and continuing from March through May 2010. Bonus features include a behind-the-scenes look at the phenomenal freeway disaster scene and inside stories about the series from the cast and crew.

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Miss Marple: Series Five, a Mystery TV Series
Information on Miss Marple: Series Five

Three new mysteries featuring amateur sleuth Miss Marple are included in this set: "The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side"; "The Secret of Chimneys"; and "The Blue Geranium". All are adapted from novels or short stories written by Agatha Christie, though "The Secret of Chimneys" does not feature Miss Marple in the novel, rather Christie's infrequent series character Inspector Battle.

Mr. E. Review Available Read our review of Miss Marple Series 5 on Mr. E. Reviews.

The Miss Marple: Series Five DVD set of 4 discs contain the three episodes reference above plus a bonus disc titled "Agatha Christie's Garden: Murder and Mystery in Devon", an intimate tour of the writer's most private retreat.

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NCIS: Los Angeles: Season One, a Mystery TV Series
Information on NCIS: Los Angeles: Season One

NCIS: Los Angeles is a spin-off from the popular NCIS crime drama series.

The Office of Special Projects (OSP) is a clandestine division of NCIS located in Los Angeles, California. They go deep undercover to capture criminals that are threatening national security. They have access to the latest technological developments. The team includes "G" Callen, the chameleon (Chris O'Donnell); Sam Hanna, Callen's partner and a surveillance expert (LL Cool J); Kensi Blye, the adrenalin junkie (Daniela Ruah); and Nate "Doc" Getz, the psychologist (Peter Cambor) to help the team with the mission and their own mental health. Together with the woman who manages their special technical equipment, this team will do whatever is necessary to get the job done.

The NCIS: Los Angeles: Season One DVD set of 6 discs contain the 24 episodes that aired on CBS from September 2009 through May 2010.

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Thriller: The Complete Series, a Mystery TV Series
Information on Thriller: The Complete Series

Boris Karloff hosted Thriller, an hour-long anthology series that aired for two seasons on NBC from 1960 through 1962.

Karloff introduced every episode, which included two or three stories of mystery and suspense each hour. These tales from the minds of such masterful writers as Edgar Allan Poe, Robert Bloch (Psycho), and Cornell Woolrich (Rear Window) include a murderous cursed painting, a supernatural mirror, a demonic tailor's suit, and much more.

The Thriller: The Complete Series DVD set of 14 discs contain all 67 episodes from the series, each remastered and uncut for the first time since their original broadcast.

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Visit the Telemystery website to discover more television mystery series currently available on DVD and Blu-ray disc.

Mystery Godoku Puzzle for August 30, 2010

A 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!).

Mystery Godoku Puzzle for August 30, 2010

This week's letters and mystery clue:

A E K L M O R S T

This is the title of Alan Loots’ debut thriller with Professor Michael Lund (9 letters).

We now have two weeks of our puzzles on one page 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!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Koala of Death by Betty Webb (Book Review)

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

The Koala of Death by Betty Webb. A Theodora "Teddy" Bentley Zoo Mystery. Poisoned Pen Press Hardcover, August 2010.

Zookeeper Theodora ("Teddy") Bentley wakes up to the sound of something -- the body of her colleague Kate Nido, better known as "Koala Kate" -- bumping against the Merilee, the houseboat on which she lives at Gunn Landing harbor in Betty Webb’s second zoo mystery, The Koala of Death.

Read the full text of our review at Mysterious Reviews: The Koala of Death by Betty Webb.

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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.

ITV Announces Fall Schedule Featuring Several Crime Dramas

ITV

We probably should have combined this information with our previous post, but in a separate press release, ITV announced its upcoming fall slate of programming that includes the two-part drama DCI Banks: Aftermath, adapted from the novel of the same name by crime novelist Peter Robinson and starring Stephen Tompkinson as Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks. As we reported earlier this year, Aftermath is expected to serve as a pilot for a potential series featuring the character.

Returning series include Whitechapel, Law & Order: UK, Midsomer Murders, and Agatha Christie's Poirot.

ITV Commissions Three New Crime Dramas for 2011

ITV

ITV announced in a press release this weekend three new series for 2011, all of which are crime dramas.

Injustice is from writer Anthony Horowitz and involves a criminal barrister who is recovering from a traumatic series of events that have shaken his belief in the legal system. This isn't the Horowitz project we were hoping to see here ... ahem ... Foyle's War ... but pretty much anything he does is definitely worth keeping an eye out for.

Scott and Bailey are two Manchester homicide detectives in the Major Incident Team and is written by Sally Wainwright (Unforgiven).

The Jury, written by Peter Morgan, is a series which features everyday people who find themselves at the center of one of the most controversial criminal re-trials in their time.

Laura Mackie, ITV Director of Drama Commissioning, said, “Peter, Sally and Anthony are three of the finest British screenwriters and the quality of their scripts are attracting top flight acting talent. We’re totally committed to original, authored drama and these commissions are brilliant additions to our slate for 2011.”

Mystery Books News to become Omnimystery News

Omnimystery News

Mystery Books News was begun in October 2005 as a blog with information about -- no surprise here -- mystery books. And although our focus remains primarily on mystery books, authors and series characters, over the years we've expanded our coverage to include other forms of mystery entertainment, including games, television and film.

With this in mind, we've decided to rebrand our blog to be more reflective of this expanded coverage. A week from today, Mystery Books News will become Omnimystery News. We'll be using a new template for our posts and there will be a new domain: OmnimysteryNews.com.

We've chosen the Labor Day weekend to make the changeover because it is typically a slow couple of days and we want to minimize any disruption to our service. However, we fully expect some down time starting Saturday, September 4th, and possibly continuing on into the following day. Still, if everything goes as planned, the transition from Mystery Books News to Omnimystery News, when complete, should be transparent to you. We'll point all posts from the old domain to the new one, and we'll be using the same feed address, so subscribers won't have to resubscribe.

We thank you for being a visitor to the Omnimystery Family of Mystery Websites and look forward to continuing to provide you with the most comprehensive information for and reviews of mystery books, games, television and film.

Winners of the 2010 Davitt Awards Announced

Mystery Book Awards: The Edgars, The Agathas, The Anthonys, and many more.

The winners of the 2010 Davitt Awards have been announced by Sisters of Crime Australia, recognizing the best in Australian crime writing by women. The winners are:

◊ Best Adult Novel: Sharp Shooter by Marianne Delacourt
◊ Best Young Adult Novel: Liar by Justine Larbalestier
◊ Readers Choice Award: Forbidden Fruit by Kerry Greenwood
◊ Best True Crime: Lady Killer by Candace Sutton and Ellen Connolly

Mr. E. Reviews Agatha Christie Marple Series 5

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

Review of Agatha Christie: Marple Series 5.

Three episodes comprise Series 5 of Agatha Christie's Marple, which are included on this DVD set that also features a bonus disc titled "Agatha Christie's Garden: Murder and Mystery in Devon", an intimate tour of the writer's most private retreat.

The "three new thrilling mysteries" (as proclaimed on the box art) are "The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side", "The Secret of Chimneys", and "The Blue Geranium", which aired on PBS's Masterpiece Mystery! earlier this year. All were adapted from novels or short stories by Agatha Christie, though not necessarily originally featuring Miss Marple.

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

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

Saturday, August 28, 2010

BBC Officially Renews Sherlock and Luther

BBC

Earlier this month we reported that the original BBC series Sherlock was going to be renewed for a second series.

Today, the BBC confirmed this, stating in a press release that the series will return in Fall 2011 with three new 90-minute episodes. The network also confirmed that the crime drama Luther will also return, with two new 2-hour specials.

Sherlock stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman as his loyal friend, Doctor John Watson, in a comtemporary take on the classic characters created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Luther stars Idris Elba as DCI John Luther, who works as an officer in London's Serious Crime Unit.

BBC One Controller Jay Hunt says: "Sherlock was the hit of the summer. Luther the most memorable new detective on the block. I am delighted they will both be returning to BBC One."

Sherlock will air on PBS's Masterpiece Mystery! later this fall, and be released on DVD and Blu-ray disc on November 9th.

Running Dark by Jamie Freveletti (Book Review)

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

Running Dark by Jamie Freveletti. An Emma Caldridge Mystery. William Morrow Hardcover, July 2010.

Chemist Emma Caldridge is drawn into an international struggle for control of what may be a cache of chemical or biological weapons about to be sold to terrorists on the high seas in Running Dark, the second mystery in this series by Jamie Freveletti.

Read the full text of our review at Mysterious Reviews: Running Dark by Jamie Freveletti.

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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.

Inspector Lewis Series III Begins Sunday, August 29th on PBS

Masterpiece Mystery! Inspector Lewis

Tomorrow, Sunday August 29th, Series III of Inspector Lewis begins on PBS (check your local listings for air times). Five new episodes will be presented this season.

In the first of these episodes, titled "Counter Culture Blues", loud gunshots on a local estate interrupt an Oxford church service, and Detective Inspector Lewis (Kevin Whately) and Detective Sergeant Hathaway (Laurence Fox) are stirred from their quiet Sunday plans to investigate. The estate owner is an aging rock star, Richie Maguire, part of an iconic band from Lewis's youth. The offending gunfire is the least of the chaos on the estate. Esme Ford (Joanna Lumley), the band's singer long presumed dead, has just resurfaced. And, Lewis suspects that an orphan boy has recently died just outside the estate gates. As Lewis remembers his rock-and-roll youth, the violence escalates. Yet, these fading rockers don't seem capable of much of anything, much less murder. It will take the inspiration of Inspector Morse to sort out the true suspects from the rock stars.

Inspector Lewis is a spin-off of the long-running Inspector Morse mysteries, based on characters created by crime novelist Colin Dexter.

The first two series of Inspector Lewis are available on DVD from Telemystery: Inspector Lewis.

 

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