Friday, March 30, 2007

Mystery Bestsellers for March 30, 2007

Mystery BestsellersA list of the top ten for the week ending March 30, 2007 has been posted on the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books website.

Obsession by Jonathan KellermanNew this week: Obsession, the 21st Alex Delaware mystery by Jonathan Kellerman, debuts at the top of both the Amazon.com and Barnes&Noble.com mystery hardcover bestseller lists.

Tanya Bigelow was a solemn little girl when Dr. Alex Delaware successfully treated her obsessive-compulsive symptoms. Now, at nineteen, she still seems older than her years -- but her problems go beyond hyper-maturity. Patty Bigelow, Tanya's aunt and adoptive mother, has made a deathbed confession of murder and urged the young woman to seek Delaware's help. Armed with only the vaguest details, the psychologist and LAPD detective Milo Sturgis follow a trail twisting from L.A.'s sleaziest low-rent districts to its overblown mansions, retracing Patty and Tanya's nomadic and increasingly puzzling life to the doorsteps of a sullen heroin addict; a randy real-estate broker; and a brilliant, enigmatic physics student. Suddenly a very real murder tears open a terrifying tunnel into the past, where secrets -- and bodies -- are buried.

The Alibi Man by Tami HoagAlso new on the lists this week: The Alibi Man by Tami Hoag. Elena Estes, a former undercover cop turned private investigator, exists on the fringes of her old life of wealth and privilege, training horses for a living. But a shocking event is about to draw her back into the painful vortex she's fought so hard to leave behind. First she finds the body-a young woman used, murdered, and dumped in a canal. Not just a victim, but a friend. As Elena delves into her dead friend's secret life, she discovers ties not only to the Russian mob but also to a group of powerful and wealthy Palm Beach bad boys known for giving each other alibis to cover a multitude of sins. A group that includes a man Elena once knew very well-her former fiancé, Bennett Walker, a man she knows has already escaped justice at least once in his life.

A couple of other newcomers: Hunter's Moon by Randy Wayne White, the 14th mystery in the Doc Ford series, and The Alpine Scandal by Mary Daheim, the 19th mystery in the Mary Daheim series.

Be sure to check out our new, updated Mystery Bestsellers aStore to purchase any of the bestselling mysteries featured on our website!

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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Mystery Bookshelf: New Paperback Titles for April 2007

The Mystery Bookshelf: New Paperback Mysteries to Read and Enjoy
The Mystery Bookshelf has updated its list of paperback mysteries available for purchase to include 32 new books for April 2007.

New titles include Bleeding Hearts, the 14th mystery in the China Bayles series by Susan Wittig Albert, Pretty Girl Gone, the 3rd mystery featuring former St. Paul policeman Rushmore "Mac" McKenzie by David Housewright, A Mold for Murder, the 3rd mystery in this series with soapmaker Benjamin Perkins by Tim Myers, and The Lost Van Gogh by A. J. Zerries, a new series introducing Clay Ryder of the NYPD Major Case Squad.

Paperback mysteries on The Mystery Bookshelf published within the past 6 months can be conveniently be browsed by author, series character, or date of publication.

Browse by AuthorBrowse by Series CharacterBrowse by Publication Date


Browse by AuthorBrowse by Series CharacterBrowse by Publication Date



Older mysteries are stored in the archives, which may be searched using The Mystery Bookshelf Search function.

Thanks for visiting The Mystery Bookshelf, your source for to read and enjoy!

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Mystery Book Review: The Dollmaker by Amanda Stevens

Mysterious ReviewsMysterious Reviews, mysteries reviewed by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books, has written our review of The Dollmaker by Amanda Stevens. For our blog readers, we are printing it first here in advance of its publication on our website.The Dollmaker by Amanda Stevens

The Dollmaker by Amanda Stevens
Non-Series

MIRA Books (Mass Market Paperback)
ISBN-10: 0-7783-2428-1 (0778324281)
ISBN-13: 978-0-7783-2428-7 (9780778324287)
Publication Date: March 2007
List Price: $6.99

Synopsis (from the publisher): In Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana, a terrible secret is about to be uncovered by a woman whose daughter vanished seven years ago without a trace ...

And now a new clue has surfaced ... a doll that is the spitting image of Claire Doucett's missing child, right down to the tiny birthmark on the girl's left arm. A chance sighting of the eerily lifelike doll in a French Quarter collectibles shop leaves Claire shaken to her core ... and more determined than ever to find out what happened to her beloved Ruby.

When the doll is snatched and the store's owner turns up dead, Claire knows the only person she can turn to is ex-husband Dave Creasy, a former cop who has spent the past seven years imprisoned by his own guilt and despair. He let Claire down once when she needed him the most. Can she make him believe the doll really exists? She'll have to if they're to survive an encounter with a brutal psychopath—the dollmaker—who stole their future to feed an obsession that will never die.

Review: From the genteel shops lining the French Quarter of New Orleans to the forbidden bayous in the surrounding parishes, The Dollmaker by Amanda Stevens is a terrifying thriller that works equally well as an investigative detective story.

A parents' worst nightmare: their child disappears, apparently the result of a kidnapping. The first 48 hours are critical: if the child isn't located within that time frame, the chances of their returning safely are remote. For Claire Doucett, it's been 7 years since her daughter Ruby was taken from her, yet she still believes she may be alive. Then, suddenly, Claire spies a most life-like doll in a store window, a doll that eerily resembles her daughter. Even the doll's dress matches what Ruby was wearing when she disappeared. In her haste to visit the store, Claire is involved in an accident that puts her in the hospital. But then the doll vanishes, the store owner found murdered. Convinced the doll is related in some way to Ruby's kidnapping, Claire turns to her ex-husband, a disgraced NOPD cop who was involved in the destruction of evidence in the case of a murdered stripper about the same time their daughter was taken.

The first half of The Dollmaker is absolutely electrifying, drawing the reader into Claire's torment as a mother who's lost her daughter but holds out hope that she may be recovered. The idea that someone has taken a little girl for the purposes of making a doll is unthinkable, yet Stevens' crisp writing makes it all too believable.

Then the plot shifts its focus to Claire's ex-husband, Dave. It's here that the detective story begins, and though the transition is rather abrupt, there is no loss of continuity. Dave is equally anguished by events surrounding his daughter's kidnapping and is unexpectedly presented with an opportunity to redeem himself for past indiscretions.

While the kidnapper's identity is not a surprise (his character's background is chronicled every few chapters), and the ending is a bit too theatrical, Stevens cleverly brings everything together in a satisfying conclusion to this riveting mystery.

Special thanks to Amanda Stevens for providing a copy of The Dollmaker for this review.

Review Copyright © 2007 Hidden Staircase Mystery Books

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Press Release: Writing Contest Makes Every Entrant a Winner

The Writing Show First-Chapter-of-a-Novel Contest offers all entrants a professional 750-word critique.

Thousand Oaks, CA (PRWeb) March 26, 2007 -- Want to get published but don't know how your novel measures up? Enter The Writing Show First Chapter Contest and get 750 words of feedback from publishing industry pros. Each critique will detail the chapter's positive attributes and suggest how the work can be improved. All contestants will also receive a week's free access to Literary Market Place Online, a searchable database of the North American book publishing industry.

First prize for this best first chapter of an unpublished novel competition is $500, the two-volume print version of Literary Market Place, and an interview on the popular podcast The Writing Show. Two second prizes comprise $100 each.

The early deadline is May 15, 2007 with a $35 entry fee; the late deadline is June 15, 2007 with a $45 entry fee. Winners will be announced on November 15, 2007.

Judges, who will provide the critiques, include publishers, editors, reviewers, authors, and other industry professionals. The winning entries will be selected by a celebrity panel that includes best-selling crime fiction author , who writes the Joe Pickett novels set in the U.S. mountain west.

Entries will be judged on the following criteria:

1. Story. Is it a compelling read with a great hook? Are we engaged?
2. Style. Is the writing smooth and tight, without awkward constructions, extraneous verbiage, and redundancies?
3. Dialog. Is the dialog natural and does it move the story along?
4. Character. Are the characters interesting? Do we care about them?
5. Mechanics. Are grammar, spelling, and punctuation correct?

Rules, instructions for entering, and more detail can be found on The Writing Show Web site at http://writingshow.com/?p=239. Writers can listen to a special podcast about the contest at http://www.writingshow.com/podcasts/Contest_2007.mp3.

The contest is sponsored by The Writing Show and Literary Market Place.

Read the entire press release here.

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Monday, March 26, 2007

Mystery Godoku: Weekly Puzzle for March 26, 2007

Mystery GodokuMystery Godoku Puzzle for March 26, 2007A new 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 letters and mystery clue: A B E I L N R T U. Bound for the Riviera, Hercule Poirot finds mystery aboard this elegant transport (with “The”, 9 letters).

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, March 25, 2007

Profile: Lisa Scottoline, Framed by Experience

Victor Greto, writing for The News Journal (Wilmington DE), recently profiled native , whose latest book, Daddy's Girl, hit the bestseller lists earlier this month. She has written 14 suspense novels in as many years beginning in 1993, with each of her page-turning works averaging 100,000 words.

Daddy's Girl by Lisa ScottolineGreto writes that on Scottoline's 43 acre farm outside Malvern (PA), it's business as usual. "I finished the next book two days ago," Scottoline says during an early March afternoon. That book, which may be called Old Flame, will come out next year. She also has begun writing a weekly column called "Chick Wit" for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Although she never seriously considered writing for a living, after devouring the works of John Grisham and Scott Turow, Scottoline thought, "These men were doing it, and I'm an actual lawyer. We're more than Della Street. I can do this, too."

It took her five years of rejection and five maxed-out credit cards. Her first book, Everywhere that Mary Went, was published in paperback by HarperCollins in 1993. She says of the characters in her books, "My women are women first, then lawyers. They're fun and sexy, fully-realized women." She smiles, almost shyly. "Men love it."

Read the entire profile on DelawareOnline.com here.

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Friday, March 23, 2007

Mystery Book Review: Final Paradox by Mary E. Martin

Mysterious ReviewsMysterious Reviews, mysteries reviewed by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books, has written our review of Final Paradox by Mary E. Martin. For our blog readers, we are printing it first here in advance of its publication on our website.Final Paradox by Mary E. Martin

Final Paradox by Mary E. Martin
An Osgoode Trilogy Mystery

iUniverse (Trade Paperback)
ISBN-10: 0-595-40760-9 (0595407609)
ISBN-13: 978-0-595-40760-6 (9780595407606)
Publication Date: November 2006
List Price: $17.95

Synopsis (from the publisher): Harry Jenkins, an honest lawyer, seeks truth and love in a world darkened by fraud and deceit. Years back, Elixicorp, a company developing a drug to forestall memory loss, defrauded millions from Toronto’s elite. But since then, no one has been able to find the money. This long buried treasure has poisoned the lives of all who seek it.

His elderly client, Norma Dinnick, teeters between lucidity and madness in her dark world of paradoxical claims. When she instructs Harry to sue the other claimants for the Elixicorp shares, one of the litigants is fatally shot in open court at Osgoode Hall. The murder weapon is an ornate, silver pistol, which is both a means of betrayal and a gift of love. Peter Saunderson, an old acquaintance of Harry’s from law school, surfaces to frame his own wife and lover with the courtroom murder and to implicate Harry in the scheme.

Harry and his father have been estranged for years. Stanley is found unconscious at the foot of his cellar steps, a gun in his hand. Waking from his coma, he asks Harry’s forgiveness for a long-buried wrong. This ugly .38 calibre gun becomes the means whereby love and forgiveness is found.

Beset with questions, Harry turns to the beautiful Natasha who guides him to the answers and an understanding of the final paradox.

Review: Mary E. Martin weaves an intricate tale of intrigue and betrayal in Final Paradox, the second entry of the Osgoode Trilogy.

One doesn't so much read Final Paradox as be drawn into it. There are only six or so principal characters, the central, but in many ways least interesting, being Toronto attorney Harry Jenkins. The interlocking relationships between them are only revealed as necessary to further the plot. Martin is effective in keeping extraneous information to a minimum, focusing instead on how a missing stock certificate has influenced and continues to affect the lives of these people.

The certificate, and its whereabouts, is central to the story. At some point in the past, a group of con men made off with millions of dollars of money intended to fund a new drug company, Elixicorp. And then the money, and the shares in the company, disappeared. The man entrusted with both, Arthur Dinnick, died soon after the swindle and his widow, Norma, now elderly and in both poor physical and mental health, seems unable or unwilling to help locate the missing fortune.

The story moves along briskly, with Norma filling in historical details while reminiscing about, or probably more accuractely, retreating to, the past. The most serious plot hole is the "why now?" question. Why, after all these years, is retrieving the shares so important? Why didn't Dinnick's associates take action soon after his death, when presumably they would have been easier to locate? A credible answer can be inferred by the reader, but is never actually presented as fact by the author. And that the book ends without resolving some other plot points doesn't come as a disappointment, for the enjoyment here is in the journey.

Special thanks to Author Marketing Experts for providing a copy of Final Paradox for this review.

Review Copyright © 2007 Hidden Staircase Mystery Books

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News: Nancy Drew Movie Sequel Planned

Nancy Drew: Get a ClueVariety is reporting that even before the new Nancy Drew movie hits the screens this summer, producer Jerry Weintraub and director Andrew Fleming have already decided there will be a sequel with Emma Roberts again set to star as the famous teenage sleuth.

Nancy Drew, scheduled to be released on June 15, 2007, has the teen detective accompanying her father on a business trip to Los Angeles, where she happens upon clues to a murder mystery involving a movie star. Nancy's resourcefulness are put to the test when she finds herself in the middle of the fast-living, self-indulgent world of Hollywood.

According to Variety, Weintraub said he set Nancy Drew 2 (for lack of a better title) into motion after studying the release schedule. "There's nothing for girls to go to. I wanted to make something that families go to, or mothers and their daughters," Weintraub said. Nancy Drew 2 is likely to be released in Summer 2008.

To view the trailer for Nancy Drew, see our previous post .

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Press Release: Evil Under the Sun to be Released as PC Game

Games of MysteryToronto, Canada. March 22, 2007. The Adventure Company, the leading publisher of adventure games worldwide, is pleased to announce that it will be releasing Agatha Christie: Evil Under the Sun for Windows® in October 2007. Based on the novel Evil Under the Sun by the world’s best-known mystery author, this is the third installment in The Adventure Company’s successful Agatha Christie video game series.

Famous detective Hercule Poirot is back in typical style, turning up at just the right time to begin an investigation into the murder of a famous actress during what should have been the start of a relaxing holiday.

Taking on the role of Hercule Poirot, players can scour a stunning tropical island for clues and delve deeper into the mysterious relationships between over 20 unique characters to search out the killer.

There are a number of added features and improvements that have been made to Evil Under the Sun based on player feedback, including a more streamlined inventory system, character dialogue choices that will impact events as the player progresses in the game, less repetitive detective footwork, and more diverse environments and locales to explore.

“Agatha Christie fans will finally get the chance to step into the shoes of famous detective Hercule Poirot,” said Richard Wah Kan, President and CEO of The Adventure Company. “We are thrilled to continue the series based on another world renowned classic by the Queen of Crime.”

AWE Games and Lee Sheldon are teaming up once again. Their goal is to create even more stunning and varied environments for players to explore and enhance their experience by adding a host of new puzzles. Intriguing plot twists will be introduced based on how the player chooses to interact with the cast of colorful characters.

The anticipated ESRB rating is ‘T’ for Teen and the anticipated PEGI rating is 12+. Agatha Christie: Evil Under the Sun will be Windows® Vista™ compatible.

Please visit the Games of Mystery website which provides information on more of all kinds as well as , , and more!

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Mystery Bestsellers for March 23, 2007

Mystery BestsellersA list of the top ten for the week ending March 23, 2007 has been posted on the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books website.

Christine Falls by Benjamin BlackNew this week: Christine Falls by Benjamin Black which enters the Barnes & Noble.com bestseller list in 5th place and just misses the top 10 at Amazon.com.

Black, the pen name for Booker-winning author John Banville, introduces Dublin pathologist Quirke who follows the corpse of a mysterious woman into the heart of a conspiracy among the city's high Catholic society. It turns out the body belonged to a young woman named Christine Falls. And as Quirke reluctantly presses on toward the true facts behind her death, he comes up against some insidious--and very well-guarded--secrets of Dublin's high Catholic society, among them members of his own family. Publishers Weekly calls Christine Falls "[an] expertly paced debut thriller". Kirkus Reviews adds it is a "good story, and gorgeous writing". (Mystery Books News Editor's note: Mysterious Reviews will publish its review of Christine Falls this weekend.)

The Spellman Files by Lisa LutzAlso new on the lists this week: The Spellman Files by . Meet Isabel "Izzy" Spellman, private investigator. Part Nancy Drew, part Dirty Harry, Izzy walks an indistinguishable line between Spellman family member and Spellman employee. Duties include: completing assignments from the bosses, aka Mom and Dad (preferably without scrutiny); appeasing her chronically perfect lawyer brother (often under duress); setting an example for her fourteen-year-old sister, Rae (who's become addicted to "recreational surveillance"); and tracking down her uncle (who randomly disappears on benders dubbed "Lost Weekends"). Her latest assignment: a fifteen-year-old, ice-cold missing person case. She accepts, only to experience a disappearance far closer to home, which becomes the most important case of her life. Publishers Weekly calls The Spellman Files a "delicious debut"; Kirkus Reviews agrees, saying it is "a spirited, funny debut ".

Be sure to check out our new, updated Mystery Bestsellers aStore to purchase any of the bestselling mysteries featured on our website!

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

News: Agatha Award Nominees for 2006

We were reminded by a colleague that we neglected to post the nominees for the Agatha Awards for books published in 2006. The Agatha Awards honor the traditional mystery—books best typified by the works of Agatha Christie—and are awarded annually by Malice Domestic, Ltd. Malice Domestic XIX is scheduled for May 04-06, 2007, at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel in Arlington (VA). (For more information, visit the Malice Domestic website.)

Here are the nominees:

Best First Novel:

Consigned to Death by Jane Cleland, St. Martin’s Minotaur
The Chef Who Died Sauteing by Honora Finkelstein and Susan Smily, Hilliard & Harris
Feint of Art by Hailey Lind, Signet
Murder on the Rocks by Karen MacInerney, Midnight Ink
The Heat of the Moon by Sandra Parshall, Poisoned Pen Press

Best Novel

The Saddlemaker's Wife by Earlene Fowler, Penguin
Why Casey Had to Die by L. C. Hayden, Five Star
The Virgin of Small Plains by Nancy Pickard, Random House
All Mortal Flesh by Julia Spencer-Fleming, St. Martin’s Minotaur
Messenger of Truth by Jacqueline Winspear, Henry Holt

Reviews of three of these books (Consigned to Death, Feint of Art, and Messenger of Truth) are available on the Mysterious Reviews website.

Click here for a complete list of all nominees in all categories.

Congratulations to all authors, and we'll report on the winners in early May.

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.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

News: Mystery TV Series New on DVD This Week

Mysteries on TVNew television mystery series to be released this week on DVD:

The Wild Wild West, the complete second season, starring Robert Conrad and Ross Martin as Secret Service Agents working for President Ulysses S. Grant.The Wild Wild West Season 2 The series ran for 4 seasons.

Admittedly more action adventure than mystery, the series had many suspenseful episodes, especially in the first two seasons.

Conrad played the dashing "James Bond of the West" James T. West while Martin played former con man and master of disguise Artemus Gordon. Together they travelled on their private train to fight various menaces facing the western territories.

The 2nd season, and the first to be broadcast in color, ran for 28 episodes during the 1966/1967 television season on CBS. 7 discs containing the digitally remastered episodes are included with the DVD set.

Visit the Mysteries on TV website to discover more currently available on DVD.

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Profile: Former Reporter Begins a Round of Fiction

Mary Ann Grossmann, book critic for the St. Paul Pioneer Press, recently profiled , author of a new series of mysteries featuring Minneapolis policeman Sam Skarda. The first in the series, Amen Corner, set at the Masters golf tournament, was recently published by Poisoned Pen Press. [Mystery Books News Editor's note: Read a book review of Amen Corner at Mysterious Reviews.]

Amen Corner by Rick Shefchik"I've been a golfer since I was a kid, had my first lesson when I was 9, and I've played the sport with more or less intensity and accomplishment ever since," says Shefchik, 54, who grew up in Duluth. A 4-handicap player, he adds with a laugh, "Anything in the single digits indicates you've probably spent more time playing golf than you should."

Shefchik, who began his career as a copy editor for the Duluth News-Tribune and was most recently with the St. Paul Pioneer Press, left the newspaper last year to concentrate on writing mysteries. He's working on the second Sam Skarda mystery, this one involving the Red Sox baseball team. Shefchik knows he's got some tough competition in the field of sports mysteries. "Sam's a bit of a tough guy who can keep his mouth shut," he says. "I think I can keep him going."

Read the entire profile on TwinCities.com here.

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Mystery Book Review: Amen Corner by Rick Shefchik

Mysterious ReviewsMysterious Reviews, mysteries reviewed by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books, has written our review of Amen Corner by Rick Shefchik. For our blog readers, we are printing it first here in advance of its publication on our website.Amen Corner by Rick Shefchik

Amen Corner by
A Sam Skarda Mystery

Poisoned Pen Press (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 1-59058-411-2 (1590584112)
ISBN-13: 978-1-59058-411-8 (9781590584118)
Publication Date: March 2007
List Price: $24.95

Synopsis (from the publisher): The body of the Masters rules committee chairman is found in the middle of the 10th fairway on the morning that Sam Skarda arrives at Augusta National Golf Club in to play in his first Masters. Skarda, a 33-year-old police detective on medical leave from the Minneapolis police department, is an accomplished amateur golfer who won the U.S. Publinx and an invitation to play in the Masters while rehabbing a shooting injury suffered on the job.

Evidence left at the crime scene suggests the murder might have been tied to the ongoing protest by a women's group that has been demanding that the club admit women members. Then a crusading New York Times columnist is murdered on the grounds of the club two days later. Local police suspect the murders might have been committed by a member and begin pressuring the new Augusta National president for access to the club's membership information.

The club chairman asks Skarda for help finding the killer before the police thoroughly invade Augusta National's legendary privacy. Skarda looks for answers from members, veteran journalists, longtime caddies and ex-employees who may know why someone is determined to bring this year's Masters to a halt.

He also falls for Caroline Rockingham, the soon-to-be ex-wife of one of the pre-tournament favorites, a former college golf teammate of Skarda's. Sam and Caroline themselves become targets as the murders continue and pressure to cancel the tournament builds. Meanwhile, the killer methodically prepares for a spectacular and deadly Sunday climax.

Review: Sportswriter Rick Shefchik introduces policeman and amateur golfer Sam Skarda in his first published mystery, Amen Corner. Sam, on leave from the Minneapolis police force after being shot in the knee, has been advised by his doctors that walking will help the rehabilitation process. Working up from 3 holes a day to two rounds every other day, Sam discovers he's a good golfer in the process, winning a local competition and receiving an invitation to play in one of golf's most prestigious events, the Masters.

This year's Masters tournament, however, gets off to an inauspicious start when, prior to opening day, one of the board of governors is found murdered on the course, accompanied by a message etched into an adjacent green: "This is the last Masters". Less than 48 hours later, a prominent reporter is also murdered, with a similar message appearing near her body. The police think the murders are related to the golf clubs exclusionary policies, but the chairman of Augusta National, where the Masters is held, believes otherwise and hires Sam to investigate the murders from an insider perspective.

Shefchik takes a Columbo-like approach to his story, introducing the killer, Lee Doggett, in the prologue. Yet this in no way lessens the appeal of the mystery as the author is able, for the most part, to successfully maintain a high level of suspense throughout. The contrast between Doggett and Sam is striking and they provide a formidable adversarial relationship that works well in the context of the book.

Shefchik manages to deftly sidestep the controversy surrounding the Masters in general and the Augusta National Golf Club in particular with respect to the organization's policy of excluding women from its membership. He fairly portrays both sides of the argument without taking sides himself. At one point Sam says, "I believe in the right of private clubs to make their own rules, whether the rest of us like it or not." But he goes on to say, that, all things considered, he'd "... rather belong to a club that had women members."

If there's a weakness to the story, it's the unnecessary inclusion of a love interest for Sam. He's at Augusta to play golf and solve a series of murders. Why the author felt the need to include a romantic interlude that detracts from these objectives is unclear.

Special thanks to Poisoned Pen Press for providing an ARC of Amen Corner for this review.

Review Copyright © 2007 Hidden Staircase Mystery Books

For more visit Mysterious Reviews, a partner with the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books which is committed to providing readers and collectors of with the best and most current information about their favorite authors, titles, and series.

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Monday, March 19, 2007

Mystery Godoku: Weekly Puzzle for March 19, 2007

Mystery GodokuMystery Godoku Puzzle for March 19, 2007A new 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 letters and mystery clue: A D E G I N R V W. This wisecracking sportswriter is featured in mysteries by Steve Brewer (9 letters).

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!

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