Wednesday, December 29, 2010

BFG's Customer Favorites Award Winners Now Only $4.99 (for a limited time)

Big Fish Games

Big Fish Games recently announced its Customer Favorites Awards for 2010, and now you can get any of these 27 winning games for only $4.99 for a limited time!

Just use the coupon code GAMEOFTHEYEAR during checkout for any standard version game. (Collector's Editions are excluded from this promotion, which ends Sunday, January 2nd, 2011.)

We're pleased to see that many mystery and suspense games are winners and runners-up, including Redemption Cemetery: Curse of the Raven (Best Hidden Object Game), Drawn: Dark Flight (Best Adventure Game), Sherlock Holmes and The Hound of the Baskervilles (Best Story), Dark Parables: Curse of Briar Rose (Best Artwork), and Dark Tales: Edgar Allan Poe's The Black Cat (Best Sequel, which we also reviewed).

Big Fish Games

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Vampire Slayer: Part One by Stefan Petrucha and Sarah Kinney (Book Review)

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

Vampire Slayer: Part One by Stefan Petrucha and Sarah Kinney. A Nancy Drew "The New Case Files" Mystery. Papercutz Hardcover, September 2010.

This short graphic novel for tweens, the first in a new series, does a fine job setting up a "Twilight"-inspired case for the amateur sleuth to solve, but its artwork is somewhat disappointing, lacking depth and interest.

Read the full text of our review at Mysterious Reviews: Vampire Slayer: Part One by Stefan Petrucha and Sarah Kinney.

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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.

An East End Murder by Charles Finch is Today's Featured Free Kindle Mystery

Kindle Mysteries: Mystery Books Available on the Amazon Kindle

Kindle Mysteries is pleased to feature a mystery title that is currently available in Kindle eBook format for free from Amazon.com. We don't know how long it will be offered at this special price (typically only until a certain number of downloads have been completed), so download it today!

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An East End Murder by Charles Finch
More Information About An East End Murder by Charles Finch

An East End Murder by Charles Finch
A Charles Lenox Short Story
Minotaur Books (Kindle eBook)
Download Link

About An East End Murder (from the publisher): It’s the end of winter 1865 when Lenox agrees to investigate the death of Phil Jigg, a beloved neighborhood regular, found strangled on Great St. Andrews Street. In a case that takes him through the noisy vendors and pickpockets, the rough-and-tumble back alleys and local pubs of the Seven Dials, Lenox looks for answers in a place that couldn’t feel more foreign from his West End home—and where his presence is anything but welcome. The answer comes in the person of someone so ruthless and brutal that those who could help Lenox are terrified into silence.

OMN Welcomes Mystery Author James LePore

Omnimystery News: Authors on Tour

Omnimystery News is delighted to welcome James LePore as our guest blogger. James's second novel, published today, is Blood of My Brother (The Story Plant, December 2010 Trade Paperback, 978-0-9819568-8-6).

Today, James writes about why he chose southern Mexico as the setting for his new book.

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James LePore
Photo provided courtesy of
James LePore

In 1997 I spent four weeks in southern Mexico, in the city of Oaxaca and on the Pacific Coast between Puerto Escondido and Puerto Angel. I had just read Under The Volcano by Malcolm Lowry, and wanted to see, and photograph, the country where Lowry (in real life) and the American Consul Firmin (in the novel) had tried so hard, but failed, to commit suicide by mezcal. The coast road from Puerto Escondido deteriorated with a jolting suddeness as I approached Zippolite. Earlier I had picked up a hitchkiker, a middle-aged Brit with bad teeth and a scruffy beard, wearing a bandana like a sixties hippie, who told me, as I was dropping him off at a godforsaken roadside cantina, that he had heard that a busload of American tourists had been hijacked earlier in the day north of Puerto Angel and all were killed. I immediately regretted leaving Puerto Escondido so late—night had fallen as suddenly as the road had turned to rutted hardpan—but pushed on. There were two or three large bonfires on Zippolite’s beach, their light reflecting wildly off of the huge waves crashing behind them, the waves that had for years, according to my guide book, attracted the world’s most insane surfers.

Ten minutes later, I was in Puerto Angel and twenty minutes after that ordering dinner on the veranda of a small but clean and not un-charming inn on a hillside overlooking Puerto Angel Bay, lit to perfection by the moon and stars shining down through a clear night sky. The inn’s owner, a graying ex-hippie herself from San Francisco, had heard nothing of any massacre of Americans. Rumors, she said, it’s what the ex-pats and the paranoid surf bums live on along this coast. The time to worry will be when the rumors stop. She had been running her inn for twenty years, so, relieved, I was happy to take her at her word. So happy that after dinner I had three or four shots of the local mezcal, strong and smoky.

There was a couple that I took to be American—in their late twenties, both blond, both good looking—at a table not too far away. The place was otherwise empty. I thought to ask them to join me but there was something about the way they were talking, looking at each other and then not looking at each other, that decided me against it.

I was asleep within seconds of getting into bed.

At three AM I was wide awake. My room was among a half dozen or so situated along a wide terrace facing the bay. I took my cigarettes out to this terrace, found a comfortable chair next to a thick potted palm tree of some kind, and sat, to smoke and look down at the bay and the dark Pacific beyond until I felt I could fall back to sleep. Before I could light up, however, I heard the crash of glass on tile floor quite nearby, followed immediately by the voices, at first constrained and then getting louder, of a man and a woman arguing. A moment later, the young blonde woman from the restaurant came out of the room two doors down, stepped quickly to the terrace’s sturdy wooden railing and began vomiting over it. Her husband, or boyfriend, or whatever he was, came out and put his hand on her shoulder, but she shook it off violently. She was wearing a thin cotton robe or wrap, knee length, which she had been holding closed while she retched. It came loose when she shook off the man’s hand, and I could see a breast exposed, and a portion of soft, beautifully rounded abdomen, before she pulled it tight again.

Leave me alone, she said. I’m leaving tomorrow.

What about your share? the man asked. He was wearing jeans and no shirt, his hairless, sculpted arms and chest bathed in moonlight.

The woman did not answer. She pulled her wrap even closer, then she turned and looked my way. I was in deep shadow and had not lit my cigarette, so I was pretty sure she couldn’t see me. I could see her face full on now. She was very beautiful. I stared at her. Your share of what, I said to myself?

Fuck you, she said, then turned and stepped past the man and into their room. He followed and pulled the door shut behind him.

Mexico, I thought, Mexico.

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James LePore practiced law for twenty-five years before retiring in 1999 to write and take pictures. He lives in South Salem, NY with his wife, Karen Chandler. Visit his website at JamesLePoreFiction.com.

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Blood of My Brother by James LePore
More information about the book

About Blood of My Brother: When Jay Cassio's best friend is murdered in a job clearly done by professionals, the walls that he has built to protect himself from the world of others begin to shatter.

Dan Del Colliano had been his confidante and protector since the men were children on the savage streets of Newark, New Jersey. When Dan supports and revives Jay after Jay's parents die in a plane crash, their bond deepens to something beyond brotherhood, beyond blood. Now Jay, a successful lawyer, must find out why Dan died and find a way to seek justice for his murder.

Isabel Perez has lived a life both tainted and charmed since she was a teenager in Mexico. She holds powerful sway over men and has even more powerful alliances with people no one should ever try to cross. She desperately wants her freedom from the chains these people have placed on her. When Jay catapults into her world, their connection is electric, their alliance is lethal, and their future is anything but certain.

Also available: Blood of My Brother (Kindle edition).

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Athena Project by Brad Thor (Book Review)

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

The Athena Project by Brad Thor. An Athena Project Thriller. Atria Hardcover, November 2010.

Replete with action sequences, close calls, and narrow escapes that are typical of a fast-paced international thriller, what will have readers returning for a sequel is the camaraderie exhibited by this group of talented and gifted women.

Read the full text of our review at Mysterious Reviews: The Athena Project by Brad Thor.

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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.

Mystery and Suspense Films, New This Week on DVD (101228)

Mystery, Suspense, and Thriller Films on DVD and/or Blu-ray Disc

Checking through our list of films currently scheduled for release this week on DVD and/or Blu-ray disc, shown below are those that fall into the mystery, suspense, and thriller categories.

Available on DVD Available on DVD
Available on Blu-ray Disc Available on Blu-ray Disc
Available on VOD Available on Video on Demand (via Amazon.com)

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The American

The American (2010) The American on DVDThe American on Blu-ray DiscThe American on Video on Demand

As an assassin, Jack (George Clooney) is constantly on the move and always alone. After a job in Sweden ends more harshly than expected for this American abroad, Jack retreats to the Italian countryside. He relishes being away from death for a spell as he holes up in a small medieval town. While there, Jack takes an assignment to construct a weapon for a mysterious contact, Mathilde (Thekla Reuten).

Savoring the peaceful quietude he finds in the mountains of Abruzzo, Jack accepts the friendship of local priest Father Benedetto (Paolo Bonacelli) and pursues a torrid liaison with a beautiful woman, Clara (Violante Placido). Jack and Clara’s time together evolves into a romance, one seemingly free of danger. But by stepping out of the shadows, Jack may be tempting fate. (1:46)

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Resident Evil

Resident Evil (2010) Resident Evil on DVDResident Evil on Blu-ray DiscResident Evil on Video on Demand

In a world ravaged by a virus infection, turning its victims into the Undead, Alice (Milla Jovovich) continues on her journey to find survivors and lead them to safety. Her deadly battle with the Umbrella Corporation reaches new heights, but Alice gets some unexpected help from an old friend: a new lead that promises a safe haven from the Undead. But when they arrive in Los Angeles, the city is overrun by thousands of Undead -- and Alice and her comrades are about to step into a deadly trap. (1:38)

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And Soon the Darkness

And Soon the Darkness (2010) And Soon the Darkness on DVDAnd Soon the Darkness on Blu-ray Disc

Stephanie (Amber Heard) and Ellie's (Odette Yustman) vacation to an exotic village in Argentina is a perfect "girl's getaway" to bask in the sun, shop and flirt with the handsome locals. After a long night of bar-hopping, the girls get into an argument, and Stephanie heads out alone in the morning to cool off. But when she returns, Ellie has disappeared. Finding signs of a struggle, Stephanie fears the worst, and turns to the police for help. But the local authorities have their hands full already -- with a string of unsolved kidnappings targeting young female tourists.

Skeptical of the sheriff’s competency, she enlists help from Michael (Karl Urban), an American ex-pat staying at their hotel. Together they go on a frantic search for Ellie, but Stephanie soon realizes that trusting his seemingly good intentions may drag her farther from the truth. With danger mounting, and time running out, Stephanie must find her friend before darkness falls. (0:91)

New Hardcover Mysteries for January 2011

New Hardcover Mysteries from the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books

The Hidden Staircase Mystery Books has updated its list of new hardcover mysteries with books scheduled for publication in January 2011. Please note that some titles may publish early (and may already be available) and some may be delayed, published at a later date.

Below we're listing those authors with returning series characters, new series characters, and non-series or stand-alone mysteries in separate sections. All titles are available on our January new mystery books page (which will become the default home page for the site on January 1st).

• Authors with mysteries featuring returning series characters (in italics) this month:

Madelyn Alt, Maggie O'Neill, Bewitching (7th); Blaize Clement, Dixie Hemingway (6th); Wendy Clinch, Stacey Curtis, Ski Diva (2nd); Susan Rogers Cooper, E. J. Pugh (9th); Robert Crais, Joe Pike (3rd); David Stuart Davies, Johnny Hawke (5th); Andy Diggle and Victor Ibanez, Graphic Non-series; Peggy Ehrhart, Maxx Maxwell (2nd); Diane Fanning, Lucinda Pierce (4th); Sharon Fiffer, Jane Wheel (7th); Lee Goldberg, Mr. Monk (11th); Barry Grant, Sherlock Holmes (2nd); J. M. Gregson, Inspector Peach (13th); Elly Griffiths, Ruth Galloway (2nd); Parnell Hall, Puzzle Lady (12th); Steven F Havill, Posadas County (17th); Jack Higgins, Sean Dillon (18th); Steve Hockensmith, Holmes on the Range (5th); John Lescroart, Abe Glitsky (4th); Fern Michaels, Sisterhood (20th); Helen Mulgray, D. J. Smith (3rd); Amy Myers, Peter and Georgia Marsh (7th); Joyce Carol Oates, Short Story Collection; T. Jefferson Parker, Charlie Hood (4th); James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge, Michael Bennett (4th); Robert J. Randisi, Rat Pack (5th); Anders Roslund and Borge Hellstrom, Sundkvist and Grens (5th); Jed Rubenfeld, Stratham Younger (2nd); C. J. Sansom, Matthew Shardlake (5th); Ferdinand von Schirach, Short Story Collection; Jeffrey Siger, Andreas Kaldis (3rd); Ronald Tierney, Deets Shanahan (10th); Charles Todd, Ian Rutledge (13th); Jill Paton Walsh, Lord Peter Wimsey (3rd).

• Authors with mysteries introducing characters (in italics) in a new series this month:

Quentin Bates, Gunnhildur Gisladottir; Mary Jane Clark, Piper Donovan; Wessel Ebersohn, Abigail Bukula; Susan Goldstein, Samantha Crowley; Peter Helton, Liam McLusky; Karen McCullough, Heather McNeil.

• Authors with non-series or stand-alone mysteries this month:

Herbert J. Cooke, Jr., Barbara D'Amato, Kim Edwards, Howard Gordon, Charlaine Harris, Joanna Higgins, Erin Kelly, Michael Koryta, F. J. Lennon, Jane McLoughlin, Brad Meltzer, Bradford Morrow, Jean Moynahan, J. A. O'Brien, Wallace Stroby, William G. Tapply, Andrew Taylor, Richard A. Thompson.

For more information on any of these titles, please visit the January new mysteries page on our website. If you're interested in new paperbacks, visit The Mystery Bookshelf where you can discover a library of new mysteries; due to the holidays, this page will be updated with new titles in early January.

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

Archer, 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 one series being released this week.

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Archer: Season One, a Mystery TV Series
Information on Archer: Season One

FX Networks premiered its often risque, always funny animated series Archer with a 10 episode first season run beginning in January 2010.

Suave secret agent Sterling Archer is the world’s most dangerous spy, but political intrigue and global crises are nothing compared to the sexual tension and human resources crises at the intelligence agency where he works. Archer (voice of H. Jon Benjamin) must deal with his over-bearing, over-sexed mother (Jessica Walter) -- who is also his boss -- and his femme fatale ex-girlfriend (Aisha Tyler) who seems to be sleeping with everyone except him. Embezzlement, mind control, hangovers, and demented double crossings -- they’re all in a day’s work for this spy!

The Archer: Season One DVD set of 2 discs include all 10 episodes plus the original unaired pilot for the series.

Archer has been renewed for a second season, which starts Thursday, January 27th, 2011, at 10 PM (ET/PT).

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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 December 27, 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!).

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Mystery Godoku Puzzle for December 27, 2010

This week's letters and mystery clue:

E G I N O R S T W

This Desmond Bagley thriller takes place in New Zealand after an avalanche (with “The”, 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!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Discover a Mysterious Secret in Victorian Mysteries: Woman in White, New from AVG

Games of Mystery

Games of Mystery is pleased to announce this week's new mystery and suspense casual and adventure games available for immediate download from Amazon Video Games.

A complete list of downloadable mystery games is available on our Games of Mystery: Amazon Video Games Download page.

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Information about Victorian Mysteries: Woman in White
Download and Buy Victorian Mysteries: Woman in White

Victorian Mysteries: Woman in White

Who is this woman in white and where did she come from? What is her secret? Walter Hartright, a poor drawing teacher, finds himself in the middle of an inexplicable mystery. Somehow his future is intertwined with an elusive woman in white who harbors a dreadful secret. A secret so damaging her life is in danger. Explore Victorian mansions, search for clues, uncover diabolical plots, root out the lies, and discover the truth!

Based on the classic suspense novel by Wilkie Collins.

ESRB Rating: Not Specified.

Windows Vista/XP (262 MB download).

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

Friday, December 24, 2010

New Clip from the Thriller The Mechanic

The Mechanic (2011)

CBS Films has released a short clip to its 2011 thriller, The Mechanic, a remake of the 1972 action thriller that stars Charles Bronson.

The Mechanic follows an elite assassin (Jason Statham) with a strict code and unique talen for cleanly eliminating targets. But when his mentor and close friend Harry (Donald Sutherland) is murdered, Bishop is anything but detached. His next assignment is self-imposed -- he wants those responsible dead.

His mission grows complicated when Harry's son Steve (Ben Foster) approaches him with the same vengeful goal and a determination to learn Bishop's trade. But while in pursuit of their ultimate mark, deceptions threaten to surface and those hired to fix problems become problems themselves.

The Mechanic opens in theaters January 28th, 2011. More information about the film can be found on at CBS Films; watch the trailer below (via Yahoo! Movies):

Fear for Sale: Mystery of McInroy Manor, a Dark and Mysterious Game, New 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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Fear for Sale: Mystery of McInroy Manor
Fear for Sale: Mystery of McInroy Manor

Emma Roberts has been assigned to write a story about an old haunted manor for Fear for Sale Magazine. The estate has been locked up for years, but a sizable donation from Emma’s editor has opened up the home for exploration. Unravel the tale of the demise of the McInroy family, and set their souls free in this dark and mysterious hidden object adventure game.

For a more in-depth gaming experience, check out the Fear for Sale: Mystery of McInroy Manor Collector's Edition, which features exclusive extras not available in the standard version including bonus gameplay, an in-game strategy guide, screensavers and wallpapers.

Fear for Sale: Mystery of McInroy Manor may be downloaded and purchased for $6.99 with a Big Fish Game Club membership. A demonstration version (143.34 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!

Mystery Bestsellers for December 24, 2010

Mystery Bestsellers

A list of the top 15 mystery hardcover bestsellers for the week ending December 24th, 2010 has been posted on the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books website.

Not unexpectedly, given that few new titles are released by publishers during late December, there few changes on the list this week compared to last week.

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson looks as strong as ever, and will likely end 2010 as the bestselling mystery of the year.

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The top four mystery bestsellers this week are shown below:

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg LarssonThe Confession by John GrishamPort Mortuary by Patricia CornwellCross Fire by James Patterson

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

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

New Trailer for The Lincoln Lawyer, Adapted from the Novel by Michael Connelly

The Lincoln Lawyer (2011)

About a month ago a teaser trailer was released for The Lincoln Lawyer, adapted from the bestselling novel by Michael Connelly.

The studio has now released a more complete trailer for the film, which you can watch below.

Matthew McConaughey stars as Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Mickey Haller, who has spent most of his career defending garden-variety criminals, operating from the back of his Lincoln Town Car. And then he lands the case of his career: defending Louis Roulet, a Beverly Hills playboy accused of rape and attempted murder. But the seemingly straightforward case suddenly develops into a deadly game of survival for Haller.

More information about the film can be found on the The Lincoln Lawyer website; watch the trailer below:

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

CBS Announces Its Mid-Season Schedule

Telemystery: Mystery and Suspense on Television

In a press release today, CBS announced some mid-season changes in its television schedule.

Beginning January 19th, 2011, Blue Bloods will move to Wednesdays at 10 PM (ET/PT) for four consecutive weeks, after which it will return to its current Friday 10 PM (ET/PT) timeslot on February 11th. (We're big fans of this series and the reasoning for this temporary move completely escapes us.)

On Wednesday, February 16th, the new crime drama Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior, a spin-off of the series Criminal Minds, premieres at 10 PM (ET/PT).

The Defenders moves to Fridays at 8 PM (ET/PT) starting February 4th. It will be succeeded on April 1st with CHAOS, a dramedy about a group of rogue CIA spies in the Clandestine Administration and Oversight Services. (Not sure where the "H" comes into play here.)

 

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Lance Wright owns and manages Omnimystery, a Family of Mystery Websites, which had its origin as Hidden Staircase Mystery Books in 1986. As the scope of the business expanded, first into book reviews — Mysterious Reviews — and later into information for and reviews of mystery and suspense television and film, all sites were consolidated under the Omnimystery brand in 2006.

Page/Post Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Omnimystery News

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