Friday, February 10, 2006

Mystery Book Review: Blondes Have More Felons by Alesia Holliday

Mysterious Reviews, mysteries reviewed by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books, has posted a mystery book review for Blondes Have More Felons, a new series introducing December Vaughn, by Alesia Holliday. Published by Berkley Prime Crime, the book has a scheduled publication date of March 07, 2006.

December Vaughn is a corporate attorney who has relocated to Florida to set up her own private practice. Her first client: a man whose wife died because of defective insulin. The consequence of taking the case: a drug company and its ruthless lawyers doing anything in their power to derail the case.

Read our review of Blondes Have More Felons here.

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Mystery Hardcover Bestsellers (02/10/2006)

A list of the top ten mystery hardcover bestsellers for the week ending February 10, 2006 has been posted on the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books website.

New this week: Sea Change, the fifth Jesse Stone mystery by Robert B. Parker. Reviews have been generally mixed. Publisher's Weekly concludes their review with, "Stone is a work in progress whose following is likely to increase as he continues to grow." While Booklist states, "Shortcomings aside, though, Parker's setting and plotting are enough to make most readers forgive the unrelenting Guy Noir style."

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Thursday, February 09, 2006

More Literary Clues Soon to Be Discovered on 'Lost'

The Book Standard is reporting that more literary clues will soon be discovered on ABC's hit series Lost. Gary Troup’s manuscript for Bad Twin made its debut last night as the reading material of character Hugo “Hurley” Reyes.

Disney’s Hyperion Books, a sister company of ABC, hired a well-known mystery author to pen Bad Twin, about a wealthy heir who searches for a long-lost evil sibling. Hyperion will release the book on May 2, 2006.

Read the entire article here.

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Edgar Award Nominees for 2006

The Mystery Writers of America has announced its nominees for the 2006 Edgar Allan Poe Awards, honoring the best in mystery fiction, non-fiction, television and film published or produced in 2005. The Edgar Awards will be presented to the winners at the 60th Gala Banquet, April 27, 2006 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, New York City.

Best Novel Nominees

The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly (Little, Brown)
Red Leaves by Thomas H. Cook (Harcourt)
Vanish by Tess Gerritsen (Ballantine Books)
Drama City by George Pelecanos (Little, Brown)
Citizen Vince by Jess Walter (Regan Books)

Best First Novel By An American Author

Die A Little by Megan Abbott (Simon & Schuster)
Immoral by Brian Freeman (St. Martin's Minotaur)
Run the Risk by Scott Frost (G.P. Putnam's Sons)
Hide Your Eyes by Alison Gaylin (Signet)
Officer Down by Theresa Schwegel (St. Martin's Minotaur)

Best Paperback Original

Homicide My Own by Anne Argula (Pleasure Boat Studio)
The James Deans by Reed Farrel Coleman (Penguin - Plume)
Girl in the Glass by Jeffrey Ford (Dark Alley)
Kiss Her Goodbye by Allan Guthrie (Hard Case Crime)
Six Bad Things by Charlie Huston (Ballantine Books)

For a complete list of nominees in all categories, visit the MWA website.

Visit the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books to see a list of previous Edgar Award winners as well as winners of many other mystery awards.

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Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Online Review for Memory in Death

Marcia Anderson, writing for ThisWeek Newspapers (Columbus OH), recently reviewed the latest futuristic mystery from J. D. Robb (Nora Roberts), Memory in Death. Following in the footsteps of witty crime-fighting couples like The Thin Man's Nick and Nora Charles, police detective Eve Dallas and her techno-savvy billionaire husband Roarke use their complementary talents to solve murders in mid-21st century New York City.

Anderson writes, "The In Death novels offer something for every fan of genre fiction. Mystery aficionados get their whodunit fix while science fiction buffs appreciate Robb's futuristic vision. And Eve and Roarke's sexy love life appeals to Nora Roberts' romance readers." She adds, "Fans aren't worried about the series 'jumping the shark' -- to borrow a TV term -- anytime soon, since the author has no plans to wrap up her In Death mysteries. Haunted in Death, a novella in the Bump in the Night anthology, will be on the shelves this April, and Born in Death hits bookstores in July."

Anderson concludes, "Memory in Death is a welcome addition to the ongoing saga of Eve and Roarke."

Her review in its entirety can be read here.

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Mysteries with a Hook: An NPR Interview with Victoria Houston

On February 02, 2006, NPR featured an interview with mystery author Victoria Houston. Houston writes murder mysteries set in the fictional Wisconsin town of Loon Lake. One way or another, her characters solve the mystery through clues that center around the sport of fly fishing, a sport the author also enjoys.

You can listen to the interview here as well as read the first chapter of her book Dead Creek (Penguin 2000).

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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Mystery Trivia for February 2006

The Hidden Staircase Mystery Books has posted new trivia questions for February 2006.

Susan Wittig Albert writes a series of herbal mysteries featuring China Bayles. What was China's profession prior to opening an herbal shop in Pecan Springs TX?

What is the title herb in the first book of this series?

Visit the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books to see the answers to these questions as well as previous mystery book trivia questions from prior months.

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New Mystery Hardcovers for January 2006 (updated)

The Hidden Staircase Mystery Books has updated (a bit late!) the list of new hardcover mystery books for January 2006. This is the final update for this list.

Among the newcomers are:

Laura Van Wormer's Mr. Murder, the sixth Sally Harrington mystery, which Publisher's Weekly states is "... plotted with Van Wormer's customary self-deprecating humor, eye for glamour and attention to convincing detail."

All Night Long by Jayne Ann Krentz, which quickly hit the bestseller lists.

The debut mystery from Joseph R. Gannascoli, best known for his role as the hit man Vito Spatafore on HBO's The Sopranos, A Meal to Die For, a culinary novel of crime about good food, good times, and goodfellas.

Visit the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books often to keep current on your favorite mystery authors and series.

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Weekly Mystery Godoku Puzzle for 02/06/2006

A new Mystery Godoku Puzzle has been created by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books and is 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!). This week's mystery clue: This was the title of Steve Martini's eighth legal thriller featuring Paul Madriani: (9 letters: A B D E L O P T U).

Previous puzzles are stored in the Mystery Godoku Archives.

Enjoy this new feature from the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books, and Thanks for visiting our website!

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Sunday, February 05, 2006

New Website for the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books

The Hidden Staircase Mystery Books has a new website. Rather, a new design for its website!

As we've grown, it became clear that the previous website was insufficient to meet our priorities of providing readers and collectors with the best, most current information on mysteries and detective fiction on the internet. As a result, two major changes were made.

First, the sale of high quality and collectible mystery books was moved to First Edition Mysteries, a new division of the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books. This change was initiated in late 2005 and the conversion is more than 50% complete.

Second, reviews of mysteries were moved to Mysterious Reviews, another new division of the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books. This transition is nearly done and should be completed within the next few days.

The remaining features (new titles, weekly updates to the bestseller list, information about mystery authors and publishers, a weekly godoku puzzle, the mystery survey and signed book contests, and more) continue to be featured on the new site.

Please take the opportunity to visit our new site, and let us know what you think!

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Saturday, February 04, 2006

Duluth-Based Mystery Novel Enjoys Success

The Duluth (MN) NewsTribune recently ran a profile of Brian Freeman, author of the Jonathan Stride mystery Immoral, who was in Duluth researching his third book of the series. Immoral is nominated for an Edgar by Mystery Writers of America as best first novel by an American author. Other nominees in that category are Megan Abbott (Die a Little), Scott Frost (Run the Risk), Alison Gaylin (Hide Your Eyes) and Theresa Schwegel (Officer Down).

Immoral is set in Duluth and Las Vegas and centers on Detective Jonathan Stride who investigates the disappearance of a not-so-nice teenage girl. In a Pioneer Press interview last fall, Freeman summed up his writing philosophy: "I hope I write thrillers that are emotionally grounded, reaching a denouement with no artificial solution, a strong sense of place and characters readers genuinely like." Freeman's second mystery, Stripped, which continues Detective Stride's adventures, will be out this fall.

The entire article can be read here.

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Friday, February 03, 2006

Mystery Hardcover Bestsellers (02/03/2006)

A list of the top ten mystery hardcover bestsellers for the week ending February 03, 2006 has been posted on the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books website.

Two new mysteries appear on the Barnes&Noble list (but are oddly absent from the mystery bestseller list for Gone by Lisa Gardner (published in late January) and A Necessary Evil by Alex Kava (published this week).

Of Gone, Publisher's Weekly states: "A terrifying woman-in-jeopardy plot propels Gardner's latest thriller, in which child advocate and PI Lorraine 'Rainie' Conner's fate hangs in the balance. ... Sympathetic characters, a strong sense of place and terrific plotting distinguish Gardner's new thriller."

No early reviews of A Necessary Evil, but from the publisher: "Someone is killing Catholic priests across America and it quickly becomes very clear to Maggie O'Dell -- the FBI profiler assigned to the case -- that more than one perpetrator is responsible. As she begins to drill down into the facts, Maggie discovers a disturbing Internet role-playing game for youths who have been victims of male authority figures -- including Catholic priests."

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Thursday, February 02, 2006

Kellerman Son Joins Family Business with Novel

Being the son of best-selling mystery authors means never being too far from the headlines ... especially if you've written a mystery novel yourself!

Jesse Kellerman, the oldest son of bestselling mystery authors Jonathan Kellerman and Faye Kellerman, has published his first mystery book, Sunstroke, to generally positive reviews. He knows what everyone’s thinking: His name got him published. But in interviews he points out that his parents’ publisher passed on Sunstroke and his parents' agent did the same regarding him. And, he adds, if his lineage is so powerful, why was one of his earlier, unpublished novels rejected by 21 editors?

Read more about Jesse Kellerman, his family and his writing, in this MSNBC news article.

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Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Online Reviews for Already Dead and Sunstroke

Leslie McGill, writing for the Kansas City Star (and published in, recently reviewed two mystery books: Already Dead by Charlie Huston and Sunstroke by Jesse Kellerman.

Of Already Dead, she writes "It would be hard to find a hipper, edgier New York vampire mystery ... Or, actually, a hipper, edgier New York mystery of any kind."

Of Sunstroke, she writes "I was all set to hate Jesse Kellerman’s Sunstroke ... when you’re the offspring of best-selling authors Faye and Jonathan Kellerman, how hard can it be to get published?" But she adds "I am very happy to report that Jonathan and Faye’s kid can actually write."

Leslie McGill's reviews are always fun to read and right on the mark. Read these two reviews here.

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Mystery Book Contest for February 2006

The Hidden Staircase Mystery Books has posted the February Mystery Book Contest on its website. Enter daily for your chance to win a signed copy of Endangered Species by Nevada Barr. Entries will be accepted through the end of February.

The winner of the January contest (a signed copy of Partner in Crime by J. A. Jance) will be announced on this blog soon. Thanks to all for participating!

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