Friday, February 22, 2008

Mystery Bestsellers for February 22, 2008

Mystery Bestsellers

A list of the top 15 for the week ending February 22, 2008 has been posted on the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books website.

No change in the top 7 positions this week as 's 7th Heaven retains its place at the top of the list. However, there are 4 new titles that enter the top 15.

Strangers in Death by J. D. Robb

In the 8th spot is the 26th entry in the near-future "In Death" mystery series by J. D. Robb, Strangers in Death. Even in 2060 some murders receive more attention than others, especially those in which the victim is a prominent businessman found in his Park Avenue apartment tied to the bed and strangled with cords of black velvet. It doesn't surprise Lieutenant Eve Dallas that Thomas Anders's scandalous death is a source of titillation and speculation to the public and of humiliation to his family. But while people in the city are talking about it, those close to Anders aren't so anxious to do the same. With some help from her billionaire husband, Roarke, Eve's soon knocking on doors, or barging through them, to find answers. But the facts don't add up. Physical evidence suggests that the victim didn't struggle. The security breach in the apartment indicates that the killer was someone known to the family, but everyone's alibi checks out. Was this a crime of passion in a kinky game gone wrong or a meticulously planned execution? Publishers Weekly states, "Robb's strong, hard-nosed heroine once again generates the kind of heat that keeps fans turning the pages." Also available on MP3 CD from .

Lady Killer by Lisa Scottoline

Coming in at number 11 is the 10th case for Rosato and Associates, Lady Killer by . In recent years, Mary DiNunzio's become a big-time business-getter at Rosato and Associates, but the last person she expects to walk into her office one morning—in mile-high stilettos—is super sexy Trish Gambone, her high school rival. Back then, while Mary was becoming the straight-A president of the Latin Club and Most Likely to Achieve Sainthood, Trish was the head Mean Girl, who flunked religion and excelled at smoking in the bathroom. As it turns out, however, Trish's life has taken a horrifying turn. She's terrified of her live-in boyfriend, who's an abusive, gun-toting drug dealer for the South Philly mob. There's only one problem—Mary remembers the guy from high school too. Unbeknownst to Trish, Mary had a major crush on him. Then Trish vanishes, a dead body turns up in an alley, and Mary is plunged into a nightmare, one that threatens her job, her family, and even her life. She goes on a one-woman crusade to unmask the killer, and on the way, finds new love in a very unexpected place. Mary is forced to confront some very uncomfortable truths about her own past, and the profound effects of lifelong love—and hate.

An Incomplete Revenge by Jacqueline Winspear

Debuting in 13th position is the 5th mystery in the Maisie Dobbs series by , An Incomplete Revenge. With the country in the grip of economic malaise, and worried about her business, Maisie Dobbs is relieved to accept an apparently straightforward assignment from an old friend to investigate certain matters concerning a potential land purchase. Her inquiries take her to a picturesque village in Kent during the hop-picking season, but beneath its pastoral surface she finds evidence that something is amiss. Mysterious fires erupt in the village with alarming regularity, and a series of petty crimes suggests a darker criminal element at work. As Maisie discovers, the villagers are bitterly prejudiced against outsiders who flock to Kent at harvest time-even more troubling, they seem possessed by the legacy of a wartime Zeppelin raid. Maisie grows increasingly suspicious of a peculiar secrecy that shrouds the village, and ultimately she must draw on all her finely honed skills of detection to solve one of her most intriguing cases. will publish its review of this weekend.

The First Patient by Michael Palmer

Finally, at number 15 is the latest medical thriller by , The First Patient. Gabe Singleton and Andrew Stoddard were roommates at the Naval Academy in Annapolis years ago. Today, Gabe is a country doctor and his friend Andrew has gone from war hero to governor to President of the United States. One day, while the United States is embroiled in a bitter presidential election campaign, Marine One lands on Gabe's Wyoming ranch, and President Stoddard delivers a disturbing revelation and a startling request. His personal physician has suddenly and mysteriously disappeared, and he desperately needs Gabe to take the man's place. Despite serious misgivings, Gabe agrees to come to Washington. It is not until he is ensconced in the White House medical office that Gabe realizes there is strong evidence that the President is going insane. Facing a crisis of conscience-as President Stoddard's physician, he has the power to invoke the Twenty-fifth Amendment to transfer presidential power to the Vice President-Gabe uncovers increasing evidence that his friend's condition may not be due to natural causes. Who? Why? And how? The President's life is at stake. A small-town doctor suddenly finds himself in the most powerful position on earth, and the safety of the world is in jeopardy. Publishers Weekly calls The First Patient "endlessly entertaining" and adds, "The roller-coaster ride of a plot builds to an undeniably shocking conclusion." Also available on MP3 CD from .

On our bestseller page, we've added an icon next to every title that is available for immediate download onto the Amazon Kindle. To learn about this wireless reading device, visit the Amazon Kindle page for more information.

The top four mystery bestsellers this week are depicted below:

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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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Mystery Book Review: Moonlight Downs by Adrian Hyland

Mysterious Reviews, mysteries reviewed by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books, has written a review of Moonlight Downs by Adrian Hyland. For our blog readers, we are printing it first here in advance of its publication on our website.

Moonlight Downs by Adrian HylandBuy from

Moonlight Downs by
An Emily Tempest Mystery

Soho Crime (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 1-56947-483-4 (1569474834)
ISBN-13: 978-1-56947-483-9 (9781569474839)
Publication Date: February 2008
List Price: $24.00

Synopsis (from the publisher): Emily Tempest has been away from Australia for a long time—university, travel, dead-end jobs. Finding trouble all over the world. Now she is back at Moonlight Downs, the community where she grew up, half in the Aboriginal world, half in the white. And true to form, she soon finds trouble.

An old friend, the leader of the Moonlight Downs mob, has been brutally murdered and multilated. An old enemy, a renegade aboriginal sorceror, is the obvious suspect. Then Emily starts asking questions. He may be a loner who clings to traditional ways; he may have disagreed about assimilation; but in her opinion, that doesn't make Blakie Japanangka a murderer.

But if Blakie is not guilt of the crime, who is? And where does Emily belong? Can she stay on with the friends of her childhood? Or must she become part of the "whitefellers" world now?

Review: Adrian Hyland's debut mystery set in the Australian Outback, Moonlight Downs, introduces Emily Tempest, a most original and appealing amateur sleuth. Originally published in Australia under the title Diamond Dove, it was the winner of the 2007 for Best First Novel.

Emily Tempest left Moonlight Downs at a young age to see the world. Now, a bit older but not sure she is any wiser, she returns to the community where she grew up. Moonlight Downs is little more than a camp, a station in the wilderness, and when its leader, Lincoln Flinders, is murdered in what appears to be ritualistic killing, the residents quickly scatter leaving little behind. The obvious suspect is Blakie Japanangka, an outsider with a violent temper, who promptly disappears confirming his guilt in the eyes of the authorities. Emily moves to the nearest town, Bluebush, from which she begins to wonder what actually happened in Moonlight Downs. When Hazel, her best friend from childhood and Lincoln's daughter, goes missing, Emily thinks there may be a connection and uncovers a conspiracy that threatens the entire region she once again calls home.

Moonlight Downs is an intricately plotted, at times mesmerizing, almost mystical, novel that takes place in a part of the world few have visited, and even fewer know anything about. Hyland's detailed descriptions of the area's beauty and its vast expanse border on the surreal. But it is character of Emily that is most noteworthy. Wonderfully complex and fully developed, she initially pursues her investigation not out of any obligation to her community, and certainly not because she was being paid for her time and effort, but out of curiosity. Who could possibly have wanted to kill Lincoln and why? It isn't until it becomes personal that she's drawn much further into the case.

To be sure, this isn't the easiest book to read. The dialog and even much of the narrative (written in first person) are replete with Australian and Aboriginal words and slang. A glossary for both is provided at the beginning, but it takes more than a few chapters (which, incidentally, are oddly titled) before a rhythm can be developed. And, though it isn't much of a mystery in terms of whodunit or whydunit, readers will, like Emily, be drawn into searching for answers as to what really happened in Moonlight Downs.

Special thanks to Soho Press for providing a copy of Moonlight Downs for this review.

Review Copyright © 2008 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved.

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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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Compendium of Mystery News 080220

A compendium of recently published mystery news articles:

• File this under "Say It Isn't So": The Digital Spy is reporting that David Suchet is retiring from his iconic role as Hercule Poirot. He is quoted as saying: "After filming Appointment With Death [which is filming] in Jordan, I'm going to end it there." Suchet first played Poirot in The Adventure of the Clapham Cook which aired first aired in January 1989. (In completely unrelated news, Suchet says that the Belgians were keen to put him, as Poirot, on a coin. "Representatives of the Belgian mint got in touch with my agent," he said, "but then the currency switched to the euro. All my hopes were dashed.")

• In his column on, Otto Penzler profiles mystery author , who's latest Ana Grey mystery, Judas Horse, was published this month by Knopf.

• The BBC reports that a flagstone dedicated to crime writer Ian Rankin has been unveiled outside the City Chambers on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh after being given the writer's touch: his handprints. The stone slab was to commemorate Rankin's 2007 Edinburgh Award. Rankin quipped at the ceremony, "Having written for years about the travails of 'the cooncil', it is only proper and fitting that those same councillors now get to walk all over me for a change."

• It seems the aftermath of 's donation of $1 million to the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City is generating more news than the original act. Cornwell has since spent $250,000 to explain remarks she made in an interview with the Associated Press as to why she made the gift in the first place. Read more about the whole thing in The New York Times.

• In technology news, Toshiba announced this week that it has discontinued its HD DVD products. It intends to quickly move on, ceasing all business related to HD DVD by the end of March 2008. Sony's Blu-ray high definition format will now the the standard for the next generation of DVDs. Our partner website, , will continue to promote mysteries in both formats but intends to remove all HD DVD titles by the end of March to coincide with Toshiba's exit from the business.

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Mystery Book Review: Theft of the Master by Edwin Alexander

Mysterious Reviews, mysteries reviewed by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books, has written a review of Theft of the Master by Edwin Alexander. For our blog readers, we are printing it first here in advance of its publication on our website.

Theft of the Master by Edwin AlexanderBuy from

Theft of the Master by
An Al Hershey Mystery

Garev Publishing (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 0-9707558-5-6 (0970755856)
ISBN-13: 978-0-9707558-5-8 (9780970755858)
Publication Date: October 2007
List Price: $22.95

Synopsis (from the publisher): Private investigator Al Hershey travels across the globe in his search for a young woman's killer. Hired by the girl's parents to look into her "accidental" death Al finds he is in the middle of a more than a murder investigation.

Modern day Nazis and a stolen renaissance sculpture all play a part in this intricate character driven tale of promises and deceit.

Review: Edwin Alexander's debut novel, Theft of the Master, is an engrossing international thriller that effectively blends historical fact with a fictional story.

In 1493 the Church of the Holy Spirit in Tallinn, Estonia commissioned Veit Stoss, perhaps Germany’s greatest wood-carver, to create a sculpture. The Church wanted a wooden altarpiece of Christ teaching his followers, the gospels. Six months later, Stoss’ completed work was consecrated before a passionate, nationalistic congregation. Almost 500 years later, in 1992, a young woman, identified as Meg Gilchrist, has washed up on the shore of Half Moon Bay just south of . Her parents, distraught by the death of their daughter, hire private investigator Al Hershey to look into whether it was an accident or murder. And what, if anything, could Stoss’ masterpiece possibly have to do with this tragedy? Hershey has only the slimiest of leads that take him on a journey through three continents to solve the mystery of her death.

In a backstory to the main plot, the modern history of the sculpture reveals that the Nazi's stole it in 1941 and sent it to Paraguay. The general in charge of the transfer was ultimately captured and hanged; the sculpture was presumed lost. Alexander bases this part of the story on fact, as it is well documented that Hitler and his followers confiscated large quantities of artwork and had it moved for safekeeping; much of it even today remains undiscovered.

But the real thrill here is in following Hershey as he takes one step forward and two steps back in his investigation that has him traveling from Europe to South America and back to the United States. There are almost as many twists and turns in the plot as places in which Hershey finds himself searching for clues. The author provides vivid and detailed descriptions for the characters and locales in the book that add authenticity and depth to the story. And in between the international intrigue are glimpses of personal humor. It's all very well done.

From start to finish, Theft of the Master is a fast-paced and credible thriller that is not to be missed. It is highly recommended.

Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of for contributing her review of Theft of the Master and to Lisa Roe, Online Publicist for providing an a copy of the book for this review.

Review Copyright © 2008 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved.

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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Mystery Books News Welcomes Marilyn Meredith

in partnership with the is pleased to welcome Marilyn Meredith on her virtual tour to promote her latest book in the Rocky Bluff Police Department series, Smell of Death, which she writes under the name of F. M. Meredith. She is also the author of the award winning Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series.

Author Photo: Marilyn MeredithMarilyn is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, EPIC, and on the board of the Public Safety Writers of America. She was an instructor for Writer’s Digest School for ten years and served as an instructor at the Maui Writer’s Retreat and many other writer’s conferences. She makes her home in Springville, California, which is much like Bear Creek where Deputy Tempe Crabtree lives. For many years, she lived in a beach community similar to her fictional Rocky Bluff.

Today Marilyn is talking to us about writing a mystery.

So often I’m asked, “Where do you get your ideas?”

Sometimes an idea just pops into my head. More often, I’ve seen an article in a newspaper that’s stirred my imagination. Other times, the idea comes from things that have happened either to me or someone I’ve heard about.

Marilyn Meredith: Smell of DeathWith Smell of Death, the latest in my Rocky Bluff P.D. series, several elements contributed to this crime novel. The series itself is set in a fictional beach community along the coast of California, somewhere north of Ventura and south of Santa Barbara. For over twenty years I lived in a similar beach community and had several neighbors who were police officers. Because we were all friends, partying and playing together, I was able to observe how the job affected the family and the family affected the job. This is something I’ve attempted to show in all of the books in this series.

The title came from the fact that in movies and on TV, you can’t smell the horrific odors that accompany death.

My heroine is based on the female officers that I’ve done ride-alongs with, especially one who was raising her son alone. The hero is a composite of several officers I’ve known over the years. The one who contributed the most to the Rocky Bluff P.D. series is no longer with us, a 15- year-veteran of the Oxnard Police Department, who was also my son-in-law and loved to tell me about his adventures. He was a great resource.

One thing I’ve learned over the years is police officers love to tell stories. Once when I was going on a ride-along, I arrived right when they were changing shifts. Once the men learned I was an author, they began telling one story after another. Yes, some of the tales have turned up in my books.

To point out some differences between my Rocky Bluff P.D. crime novels and my Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series are with the Rocky Bluff P.D. series, the main characters change from book-to-book, and in the Crabtree series, Tempe is always the main character. Though the Rocky Bluff P.D. series is set back in time a bit, it is the darker of the two, while the Crabtree series is more current.

People will often ask, when will either one of the series come to an end. That’s a question I can’t really answer. When the time comes for that to happen, I’ll know. Until that time, the characters in both series are live and well inside my head.

Thanks, Marilyn, for such insightful information. We're delighted you took the time to visit with us today and look forward to having you return again soon.

For more information about Marilyn and her books, visit her website at You can read our review of at .

We'd also like to thank Pump Up Your Book Promotion for organizing Marilyn's virtual book tour and inviting us to participate.

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Mystery Book Review: Smell of Death by F. M. Meredith

Mysterious Reviews, mysteries reviewed by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books, has written a review of Smell of Death by F. M. Meredith. For our blog readers, we are printing it first here in advance of its publication on our website.

Smell of Death by F. M. MeredithBuy from

Smell of Death by
A Rocky Bluff Police Department Mystery

Tigress Press (Trade Paperback)
ISBN-10: 0-9793857-5-X (097938575X)
ISBN-13: 978-0-9793857-5-9 (9780979385759)
Publication Date: December 2007
List Price: $13.95

Synopsis (from the publisher): Rocky Bluff Police Officer Stacey Wilbur is called to the home of Darlene Brantley. Upon entering the home, Wilbur finds Brantley dead, and in a strange twist of events, Brantley's mother is also found murdered on the same night in her own home. While Wilbur assists Detective Doug Milligan in solving these crimes, other members of Rocky Bluff P.D. are on the lookout for the Barefoot Burglars and engage in a search for a missing toddler, hoping to catch the person responsible before another child disappears.

Review: Smell of Death is the fourth mystery in this series by F. M. Meredith featuring the investigative efforts of a police department in the (fictional) small coastal community of Rocky Bluff in southern California.

A veritable crime wave has struck Rocky Bluff. The brutal double murder of a mother and daughter, in separate locations and using different means, has the police department baffled. A series of daring home burglaries has taken place with two things in common: the thefts occur while the homeowners are present and the burglars leave behind bare footprints. A child has gone missing, presumably kidnapped, though no ransom demand is made. And then there are the assorted petty crimes that keep officers busy day and night.

Smell of Death is written largely in the style of a television crime drama. Reading the book is not unlike watching a show; both can be accomplished in one sitting and both typically have an intriguing start and a conclusion that wraps up all loose ends. In this regard, Smell of Death works as a pleasant way of spending a couple of hours.

As a police procedural, Smell of Death often gives up too much information to the reader, leaving very little in the way of suspense. The culprits are known to the reader well before the officers investigating the crime are aware of them. This approach can be quite successful (such as in the Columbo series of television mysteries) but here it's a bit flat possibly because there are too many officers investigating too many cases. To her credit, the author cleverly links everything together in the end, but it seems almost contrived by this point.

The personal lives of these officers are also explored. In contrast to the professional aspects of the story which seem genuine and real, these personal stories don't ring true at all. Fortunately, they don't take up all that much of the narrative but are somewhat distracting nonetheless.

Special thanks to Marilyn Meredith for providing a copy of Smell of Death for this review.

Review Copyright © 2008 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved.

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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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Mysteriosi: Digital Audio Mysteries February 2008 Update

Mysteriosi: Digital Audio Mysteries

, your online source for digital audio mysteries, has updated its website with dozens of additional titles bringing the total number of MP3 mystery audiobooks available to purchase to over 500.

New audiobooks for February include some new titles as well as some old favorites.

The Monkey's Raincoat by Robert CraisLine of Vision by David EllisBetrayal by John LescroartBoth Ends of the Night by Marcia Muller

The Monkey's Raincoat by . This was the very first Elvis Cole mystery, originally published in paperback in 1987 and reissued in hardcover in 1993. It won the 1988 for Best Paperback and the 1988 for Best First Novel. If you haven't yet read (or heard) an Elvis Cole mystery, this is a great place to start.

Line of Vision by . This debut mystery was also an award winner, winning the 2002 for Best First Novel. Publishers Weekly called this book "a wicked courtroom thriller" and added, "[Ellis has written] a twisty, spellbinding story with a subtext: that our legal system is vulnerable to producing results that defy both logic and the facts."

Betrayal by . In this 12th and most recent addition to the Dismas Hardy series of legal thrillers, the District Attorney is drawn into a case that had its origins in Iraq and involve a conspiracy that may have roots in the US government. Publishers Weekly said that this is "a first-rate addition to the author's ongoing series."

Both Ends of the Night by . The 18th mystery in the Sharon McCone series (25 have been published to date) has the private investigator tracking a man whose actions have already caused the deaths of two women who loved and trusted him.

Please visit the and search our list of hundreds of digital audiomysteries in MP3 format. If you're interested in trying an audiobook rental service, please consider On the Go Books where new members get a free trial. You may also give the gift of mystery and suspense on their website.

On the Go Books. Two Week Free Trial for New Members

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Monday, February 18, 2008

Mysteries on TV: Walker, Texas Ranger

Mysteries on TV

, your source for the most complete selection of detective, amateur sleuth, private investigator, and suspense television mystery series now available or coming soon to DVD, has only one new series being released this week.

For 8 seasons on CBS, Chuck Norris starred as . Cordell Walker was a contemporary Texas Ranger based in who used "old-fashioned" methods (read "force", more specifically marshal arts) when dealing with criminals. Clarence Gilyard played his partner, Jimmy Trivette, a former Dallas Cowboy who didn't always agree with his methods, but was glad Walker was on his side. Sheree J. Wilson played Assistant District Attorney Alex Cahill.

The Walker, Texas Ranger Season 4 DVD set is comprised of 7 discs that contain all 24 episodes (including 2 2-part episodes) from the fourth season that aired during the 1995-1996 television season. It should be noted that the DVD sets for this series are being released out of order, with the first 4 seasons and the last season available currently available.

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

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Mystery Godoku Puzzle for February 18, 2008

Mystery Godoku Puzzle for February 18, 2008A 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!).

This week's letters and mystery clue: A C F H I L N P U. This author’s novel, Cape Wrath, was a story of mystery on an English island (9 letters).

New! We now have our puzzles 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!

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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Mystery Book Review: Locked In by Mike Esposito

Mysterious Reviews, mysteries reviewed by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books, has written a review of Locked In by Mike Esposito. For our blog readers, we are printing it first here in advance of its publication on our website.

Locked In by Mike EspositoBuy from

Locked In by

Durban House (Trade Paperback)
ISBN-10: 1-930754-98-1 (1930754981)
ISBN-13: 978-1-930754-98-0 (9781930754980)
Publication Date: July 2007
List Price: $15.95

Synopsis (from the publisher): Dr. John Armstrong, a respected radiologist, lives a privileged life built on a crumbling foundation. Cal Burton, his college roommate, is Tampa's premier malpractice attorney. The two men form a group to defraud insurance companies in medical malpractice cases. Initially their scheme is successful but greed pushed them too far.

Unbeknownst to Armstrong, the group begins to use their patients as pawns in their malpractice game. Armstrong discovers the plot and attempts to break free. Before he can, the group sets him up for one final case. His battle to free himself without losing it all lead to thrilling climax.

Review: Tampa radiologist Mike Esposito's first novel, Locked In, is a medical thriller that tells the story of the dedication of a large number of physicians, the greed of a very few, and the consequences their actions have on everyone.

After years of education, undergraduate college followed by medical school, honest men and women who have dedicated themselves to their chosen specialization decide to devote their lives to their patients and their families. Then something goes wrong. The physician becomes vulnerable because of an unexpected debt or other personal circumstance. But someone comes along with a solution: a simple referral. If that doctor will refer to a lawyer a situation where they are aware of a mistake made in the care of a patient, they will be paid an hourly rate plus a percentage of the settlement from the resulting malpractice lawsuit. No one need know who made the referral, and everyone benefits: the wronged family gets most of the settlement payment, the referring physician gets a nice infusion of cash, and the negligent doctor is hit with higher insurance premiums, a minor price to pay for causing so much suffering. When one such physician succumbs to the temptation of easy cash and then changes his mind, will those who are involved in the scheme trust him to walk away? Or will they try to stop him, and how?

Locked In is an effective thriller in that it provides a reasonable backstory as to how and why an otherwise honest physician finds himself in a situation whereby he feels the need to cross the line in his profession, to compromise his morals and integrity. A lucrative practice leads to an ever more luxurious lifestyle with large homes, expensive cars, vacation retreats, and high-spending spouses. A house of cards that can easily come crashing down. And it does.

There is an astonishing amount of detail here, about the medical profession, malpractice laws, and the diagnosis and treatment of patients, yet it is all seamlessly integrated into the fast-moving plot. This is one book that's hard to put down once started and the conclusion is completely unexpected. Lock In is highly recommended.

Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of for contributing her review of Locked In and to Durban House for providing an a copy of the book for this review.

Review Copyright © 2008 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved.

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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First Clues: The Gates Family Mysteries

First Clues: Mysteries for Kids
We've updated our website by adding a new mystery series based on the National Treasure movies.

Written by Catherine Hapka and collectively called the Gates Family Mysteries, these paperback books feature Benjamin Franklin Gates as he tries to unlock the secrets and mysteries hidden deep within the icons of American history. The books are recommended for readers aged 9 to 12.

The first title in the series, Changing Tides, was published last fall. The second, Midnight Ride, will be published in late March but is available for pre-order now. A third book, Uncharted, is scheduled for publication this summer. All books are published by Disney Press.

is pleased to provide information on over 80 mystery series for children and young adults. Each series is conveniently listed under three different age categories (New Sleuth, ages 4 to 7; Future Sleuth, aged 7 to 10; and Sleuth in Training, ages 10 and older). If you have a favorite mystery series you'd like to see added to our site, please contact us.

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Compendium of Mystery News 080217

A compendium of recently published mystery news articles:

• Nancy Drew is back on the case in a new mystery for the Nintendo DS. Nancy Drew: The Mystery of the Clue Bender Society was announced this week by Majesco Entertainment, the developer of the first Nancy Drew game released on the Nintendo DS, Nancy Drew: The Deadly Secret of Olde World Park. The new game is expected to be released this summer. (Press release)

• In related news, the fourth game in the Ace Attorney series for the Nintendo DS, Apollo Justice, Ace Attorney, is being released tomorrow. This is the first appearance for the rookie defense attorney; the previous three games in the series featured Phoenix Wright. [MBN note: Find all the games in this series as well as many more mysteries for the Nintendo DS at .]

• Pat Donnelly of The Gazette (Montreal) spoke to , author of the award-winning series of mysteries featuring Armand Gamache, Chief Inspector with the Sûreté du Quebec. Penny notes that it took several years for her to complete the first book in the series, Still Life. Then she couldn't sell it. "Mostly [my query letters] came back with resounding silence," she recalled. "Once I got my own letter back with a NO scrawled across it." She ultimately entered her novel in a contest sponsored by the British Crime Writers' Association, was chosen a runner up, and won the attention of an agent. Still Life went on to win several prestigious awards, including the 2006 for Best First Novel, the 2006 , and the 2007 for Best First Novel.

Dexter comes to network television. The 12 episodes of the first season of the series, which originally aired on Showtime, are being edited (for obvious reasons) and will be broadcast on 12 consecutive Sundays on CBS, starting tonight. Based on the novel Darkly Dreaming Dexter by , Dexter stars Michael C. Hall as Dexter Morgan, an incredibly likeable forensics expert for the Metro Police Department who also happens to be a serial killer. [MBN note: the Showtime version of Dexter: Season 1 is available on DVD from the website.] & sell books music movies games
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