Wednesday, November 30, 2005

New Mystery Hardcovers for November 2005 (updated)

Seven additional mystery book titles have been added to the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books November 2005 New Hardcover list. These additions represent the last books to be added for November. The December 2005 list is expected to be updated next week.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Stanford University "Rediscovers" Sherlock Holmes

Stanford University is "rediscovering" Sherlock Holmes with a special reprint of some of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's tales just as they were originally printed and illustrated in The Strand Magazine. This project is a continuation of Stanford University's "rediscovery" of other important works, including those of Charles Dickens that were published over the past three years.

Over 12 weeks from January through April 2006, Stanford University will be republishing, free of charge, two early Holmes stories, “A Scandal in Bohemia” and “The Speckled Band”; the nine-part novel, The Hound of the Baskervilles; and the famous “last” encounter between Holmes and Moriarty, “The Final Problem.”

Read more of the details here and to subscribe to receive the reprints.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Recent Press Releases for Mystery Books

Below is a list recent press releases covering the subject of mystery books compiled by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books:

11/27/05: Marty Mitchell Aims to Satisfy Innovative Suspense Thriller Cravings with Print-on-Demand Availability of The Sensation Inside at

Marty Mitchell inspires and ignites the suspense thriller genre with the publication of The Sensation Inside in conjunction with Lulu (, the world’s fastest-growing provider of print-on-demand books. The Sensation Inside is a new type of suspense thriller that combines the mood of such modern television shows as The X Files and the intricate mysteries of writer Agatha Christie. (Read the rest of the press release here.)

11/23/05: America's Favorite Ice Skating Sleuth, Bex Levy Returns to Catch Cold-Blooded Murderer in Axel of Evil

"Murdered!" screamed the headlines. Igor Marchenko, a skating Champion and world-renowned coach who first made news twenty-five years earlier for his defection to America during the height of the US-USSR Cold War, lay dead in a Moscow skating rink. Now Bex Levy, researcher for the 24/7 sports network, has been ordered by her boss to help solve the crime on live television. She’s gotten lucky twice before…can she do it again in front of the entire world?” So begins Axel of Evil, the third novel in the Figure Skating Mystery series from writer Alina Adams, which is scheduled for a January 2006 release from Berkley. Adams has created the first and only mystery series of its kind, set in the world of competitive figure skating, and it holds particular appeal leading up to the Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy this February. (Read the rest of the press release here.)

11/18/05: Utah Author and LDS Publisher Announce Mystery Writing Contest

Jeffrey S. Savage, bestselling author of Cutting Edge, Into the Fire, and House of Secrets, joins Covenant Communications, the leader in LDS fiction, in announcing the Shandra Covington Mystery writing contest. (Read the rest of the press release here.)

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Interview with Rosemary Herbert, co-editor of A New Omnibus of Crime

This past September, A New Omnibus of Crime was published by Oxford University Press. Tony Hillerman, noted mystery author, and Rosemary Herbert, writer, editor, and critic, co-edited the book which was patterned after the original 1920 version edited by Dorothy L. Sayers.

This new collection picks up where the original left off bringing together monumental, important, and entertaining works of mystery short fiction from the inter-war years of the twentieth century to the first years of the twenty-first century. Rosemary Herbert and Tony Hillerman introduce each story and place each selection in the context of the author and the genre's literary history. A New Omnibus of Crime is full of a whole range of engaging, page-turning, and spine tingling selections from the past eight decades and brings together some of the greatest crime and mystery short fiction ever collected.

Rosemary Herbert was interviewed recently about the book in her home state of Maine. She said it took about 18 months to come up with the list of stories to include. When asked what makes a good mystery book or short story, she said: "Readers still turn to mystery writing for strong plot, and increasingly, for complex characterization." Read the interview in its entirety here.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Mystery Book Review: High Heels and Homicide by Kasey Michaels

Title: High Heels and Homicide
Author: Kasey Michaels
Publisher: Kensington Books (Paperback Original)
Publication Date: December 2005
ISBN: 0-7582-0880-4
Series Character(s): Maggie Kelly and Alexandre Blake, Viscount Saint Just
Entry in Series: Fourth

The latest book in the Maggie Kelly series, High Heels and Homicide, is a delightfully funny mystery set largely in an atmospheric 17th century English manor house during a dark and stormy night.

The unusual twist in this series is that mystery author Maggie Kelly has created a fictional Regency-era character for her books, the aristocrat-detective Alexandre Blake, Viscount Saint Just, who has mysteriously come to life with all the characteristics that Kelly imbued in him but without any knowledge or experience of modern life. This premise makes for many comical situations, and Michaels takes full advantage of them in her mysteries.

Maggie and Saint Just leave New York for England where a production of one of Maggie's mysteries is being filmed. The weather is miserable, and the constant rain has flooded the grounds around the manor house where the cast and crew are housed, cutting them off from the outside world. Not long after Maggie argues with the screenwriter who is adapting her book for the film, he's found hanging outside her bedroom window. Another body is soon found, and there are suspects aplenty. The secondary characters in this series play an important role in this book, and are every bit as interesting as Maggie and Saint Just.

Michaels captures the essence of the movie industry very well with all its personalities, egos, and insecurities. The action moves along at a brisk pace, and the dialog is frequently funny and entertaining. The fact that the author spends more time on “romance” than “mystery” in this romantic mystery is quibbling.

Don't judge this book by its cover … or its title for that matter. The original title for this mystery, Maggie Gets Some Direction, is not only more appropriate for the book and the series, but adds an ironic element to the storyline and the interplay of the principal characters.

Special thanks to Book Trends for providing the ARC of High Heels and Homicide for this review.

Read other recent mystery book reviews by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books.

Copyright © 2005 Hidden Staircase Mystery Books

Brendan DuBois Wins Al Blanchard Crime Fiction Award

Earlier this month, Brendan DuBois received the Al Blanchard Crime Fiction Award for Best Short Crime Fiction Story at the fourth annual New England Crime Bake, a mystery convention organized by the New England Chapter of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime. The winning short story, "The Road's End," originally appeared in the Windchill crime anthology, published by Level Best Books.

The award was created by the New England Chapter of the Mystery Writers of America to honor the late Al Blanchard, a mystery novelist and short-story author who was serving as president of the group's annual Crime Bake convention when he died suddenly last year. Blanchard’s widow, Enid Blanchard, was one of the judges of the short-story contest, and she presented the award to DuBois during this year’s convention.

Brendan DuBois is the author of the Lewis Cole mystery series (Dead Sand, Black Tide, Shattered Shell, Killer Waves, and Primary Storm). Lewis Cole, a magazine writer and former Department of Defense research analyst, investigates mysterious happenings in and around the New Hampshire seacoast.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Mystery Hardcover Bestsellers (11/25/2005)

A list of the top ten mystery hardcover bestsellers for the week ending November 25, 2005 has been posted on the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books website.

Mary, Mary by James Patterson continues to top all three lists. Look for S is for Silence by Sue Grafton to be a top seller when it is published the first week of December.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Mystery Survey: Favorite Culinary Series

The Hidden Staircase Mystery Books has been conducting a daily online survey contest, asking a variety of questions about mystery books. Each answer qualifies as an entry into a drawing with a monthly prize of a $25 gift card.

The results of the survey will be posted periodically in this blog. In honor of Thanksgiving, here are the survey results to date for favorite culinary mystery series:

17%: Goldy Bear (Diane Mott Davidson)
38%: Gourmet Detective (Peter King)
05%: Magdalena Yoder (Tamar Myers)
25%: Eugenia Potter (Virginia Rich / Nancy Pickard)
05%: Heaven Lee (Jane Lou Temple)
10%: Other

The mystery survey contest will run until the end of March 2006, so there's still plenty of time to enter. Visit the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books daily for your chance to win a $25 gift card!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Thanksgiving Mystery Books

Just in time for Thanksgiving, here is a list of mysteries that prominently feature Thanksgiving in their storylines:

Bordon, Kate: Death of a Turkey (A Cobb's Landing mystery)
Daheim, Mary: Fowl Prey (A Bed-and-Breakfast mystery)
Dams, Jeanne: Sins Out of School (A Dorothy Martin mystery)
Haddam, Jane: A Feast of Murder (A Gregor Demarkian mystery)
Harris, Lee: The Thanksgiving Day Murder (A Christine Bennett mystery)
Livingston, Georgette: The Telltale Turkey Caper (A Jennifer Gray veterinarian mystery)
Meier, Leslie: Turkey Day Murder (A Lucy Stone mystery)
Shaber, Sarah R.: Snipe Hunt (A Professor Simon Shaw mystery)

Have a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving Holiday weekend and remember to visit the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books for all your holiday mysteries.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Enter to Win an Original Painting by Author and Artist Jonathan Santlofer

History and fiction collide with deadly consequences in the third Kate McKinnon novel — a story of bitter revenge, where the past invades the present and a decades-old secret proves fatal.

The Killing Art (William Morrow and Co., ISBN: 0-060-54107-5) is Jonathan Santlofer's most gripping and chilling story yet. The author, who is also an acclaimed artist, has created works of art just for the book that tantalize and challenge readers by using well-known symbols in innovative ways, allowing them to decode the clues along with Kate.

A masterwork of both suspense fiction and art, The Killing Art will impress both thriller readers and art fans as the plot twists and turns toward a shocking climax.

Enter to win an original painting by author and artist Jonathan Santlofer!

Visit the HarperCollins website and take the quiz just for fun and continue to see how well you guessed. Complete the entry form for your chance to win. All answers can be found in The Killing Art by Jonathan Santlofer.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Archer Mayor Credits Mystery Fan with Story Idea

An article in the Rutland (VT) Herald reports that mystery author Archer Mayor credits a fan of his books with helping him fill in the details of the last half of his most recent mystery, St. Albans Fire.

Accord to Mayor, the latest Joe Gunther mystery may not have been completed if it wasn't for a big fan who stopped by the author's home looking to get a book signed. That big fan also happened to be the head of the Arson Task Force in Newark (NJ). And suddenly the theme, the crime and the second half of the latest tale about Vermont police officers slipped into place. "It was serendipity," Mayor said at his home in Newfane (VT) on Friday during a break in book signings. "The cloud was lifted and the book fell into place. It probably would have been a completely different story otherwise."

Read the rest of the article here.

The Hidden Staircase Mystery Books has several first edition Archer Mayor mysteries available, together with a link to to purchase his latest, St. Albans Fire.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Sara Rosett: New Mystery Author

It's always a treat to read of an author about to publish their first mystery book. Sara Rosett, of Macon GA, is the author of the upcoming Moving is Murder and writes in her blog about a recent visit to an elementary school to discuss writing; the visit was also reported in the local paper, the Macon Telegraph.

Rosett told the children it has taken six years to get her mystery book published: "... two years to write the book, two more years to find an agent, and two more years to find a publisher," she said. But she never gave up!

The Hidden Staircase Mystery Books will be looking for Rosett's mystery in the near future, and will be happy to feature it on our website.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Mystery Hardcover Bestsellers (11/18/2005)

A list of the top ten mystery hardcover bestsellers for the week ending November 18, 2005 has been posted on the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books website.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Mystery Book Survey Contest

The Hidden Staircase Mystery Books has started a mystery book survey contest. Each day, a random question about mystery books will be presented together with an entry form to the contest. Once a statistically sufficient number of responses has been received, results will be posted in this blog. As a Thank You! for completing the survey, the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books is sponsoring a contest; the prize is a $25 gift card awarded monthly to one winner among all eligible entries. (Complete rules are presented on the survey contest entry page.)

Visit the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books daily to answer the survey and be entered into the contest!

Monday, November 14, 2005

New Mystery Hardcovers for December 2005

A list of new mystery hardcover titles to be published in December 2005 has been created on the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books website. This list will be updated over the next few weeks as more mystery book titles are announced.

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