Monday, August 01, 2011

Firsts on the 1st: New Series Characters Being Introduced in August 2011 Mysteries

New Hardcover Mysteries from the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books

The Hidden Staircase Mystery Books recently updated its list of August 2011 hardcover mysteries as well as shelved new August paperbacks on The Mystery Bookshelf.

In this series of monthly posts, which we call Firsts on the 1st, we're introducing readers to new series characters who will make their mysterious American debut during August. (Purchase options include, Barnes&Noble, and the iTunes iBookstore, which are indicated by icons under the cover image.)

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The Keeper of Lost Causes by Jussi Adler-Olsen
Print and/or Kindle EditionPrint and/or NookBook EditionApple iBook

Title: The Keeper of Lost Causes
Author: Jussi Adler-Olsen
Series Character: Carl Mørck, Department Q
Format: Hardcover

What we know about the character: Carl Mørck is a former homicide detective in Copenhagen, now assigned to investigate cold cases in Department Q.

His first case: Carl used to be a good homicide detective — one of Copenhagen's best. Then a bullet almost took his life. Two of his colleagues weren't so lucky, and Carl, who didn't draw his weapon, blames himself.

So a promotion is the last thing Carl expects.

But it all becomes clear when he sees his new office in the basement. Carl's been selected to run Department Q, a new special investigations division that turns out to be a department of one. With a stack of Copenhagen's coldest cases to keep him company, Carl's been put out to pasture. So he's as surprised as anyone when a case actually captures his interest. A missing politician vanished without a trace five years earlier. The world assumes she's dead. His colleagues snicker about the time he's wasting. But Carl may have the last laugh, and redeem himself in the process.

Because she isn't dead ... yet.

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Call Me Princess by Sara Blædel
Print and/or Kindle EditionPrint and/or NookBook Edition

Title: Call Me Princess
Author: Sara Blædel
Series Character: Louise Rick
Format: Hardcover

What we know about the character: Louise Rick is a homicide detective with the Copenhagen Police Department.

Her first case: A young woman in Copenhagen, Susanne Hansson, becomes the victim of an unusually brutal rape attack in her own home. Louise is summoned to talk to the victim, where she quickly determines that Susanne met the rapist via a dating website, a fact that Susanne shamefully tries to hide, especially from her domineering mother.

The police suspect that the rapist may have been caught on video in the subway, so Louise and a colleague go through the tapes. They’re lucky enough to find him, but unfortunately the image is blurry and shows him only in profile. While the police investigation is making progress, things take a negative turn for Susanne, who tries to commit suicide. The rape is not the only reason.

In the meantime Louise becomes more and more immersed in the online dating world. In her search she comes across the web site "", which allows her to upload images that show people out in the night-time scene and who they’re with. She finds a picture of the man, who is now calling himself “Prinzz.” She contacts him using the name "Prinsesse" ...

Note: Strictly speaking, this is not the first book in this series, which was published in Denmark in 2005 as Kald Mig Prinsesse, the second Louise Rick mystery. However, it is the first to be published in the US.

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Pleating for Mercy by Melissa Bourbon
Print and/or Kindle EditionPrint and/or NookBook EditionApple iBook

Title: Pleating for Mercy
Author: Melissa Bourbon
Series Character: Harlow Jane Cassidy, Magical Dressmaking
Format: Mass Market Paperback

What we know about the character: Harlow Jane Cassidy owns a custom dressmaking boutique in Bliss, Texas.

Her first case: When her great-grandmother passes away, Harlow leaves her job as a Manhattan fashion designer and moves back to Bliss. But soon after she opens Buttons & Bows, a custom dressmaking boutique in the old farmhouse she inherited, Harlow begins to feel an inexplicable presence ...

One of her first clients is her old friend Josie, who needs a gown for her upcoming wedding. But when Josie's boss turns up dead, it starts to look as if the bride-to-be may be wearing handcuffs instead of a veil. Suddenly, Josie needs a lot more from Harlow than the perfect dress. Can Harlow find the real killer — with a little help from beyond?

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A Sheetcake Named Desire by Jacklyn Brady
Print and/or Kindle EditionPrint and/or NookBook EditionApple iBook

Title: A Sheetcake Named Desire
Author: Jacklyn Brady
Series Character: Rita Lucero
Format: Mass Market Paperback

What we know about the character: Rita Lucero is a pastry chef in New Orleans (Louisiana.

Her first case: There aren't many things pastry chef Rita hates more than losing. But two years after her marriage to fellow baker Philippe Renier fell apart, she's still trying to get him to sign the divorce papers. Exasperated, Rita visits Philippe's high-end New Orleans shop, Zydeco Cakes, to get his signature — and discovers that her marriage is already over when she finds Philippe dead with a chef's knife in his chest.

Rita is shocked to discover the body, and overwhelmed to learn that since the divorce wasn't final, she now inherits part ownership in Zydeco Cakes. But it's a mixed blessing: the gorgeous shop is actually in financial trouble, and Rita's windfall sets her up as a prime suspect in Philippe's murder. Her former mother-in-law demands that Rita find out who killed her son, and his former employees don't know whether to trust her. The feeling is mutual — especially since the real culprit is still out there, and Rita may be the next victim served.

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Suckerpunch by Jeremy Brown
Print and/or Kindle EditionPrint and/or NookBook Edition

Title: Suckerpunch
Author: Jeremy Brown
Series Character: Woodshed Wallace
Format: Trade Paperback

What we know about the character: Woodshed Wallace is a mixed martial arts heavyweight fighter.

His first case: No head butts, groin strikes, eye gouges, or fishhooks. He'd go along with it, but Woody thinks they're taking all the fun out of fighting. Stuck on no-name cards for tiny organizations, he is trying to put his shady past behind him with help from his trainer and mentor, Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt Gil Hobbes.

When Banzai Eddie Takanori — president of MMA's largest organization, Warrior Inc. — offers Woody a short-notice fight against a highly favored poster boy, Woody sees his shot at salvation. By the time he realizes he's just a pawn in a high-stakes game between psychopaths, he's in way too deep.

Good thing he knows how to take a punch.

And give a few back ...

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A Good Day to Pie by Carol Culver
Print and/or Kindle EditionPrint and/or NookBook Edition

Title: A Good Day to Pie
Author: Carol Culver
Series Character: Hanna Denton
Format: Trade Paperback

What we know about the character: Hanna Denton owns a pie shop in Crystal Cove, California.

Her first case: Hanna has returned home to take over the pie shop her Grannie Louise owned for thirty years. Grannie has now moved to the ritzy retirement community on the hill and Hanna is working her hardest to live up to Grannie’s reputation for baking the best pies in the state. However, between rolling dough, slicing rhubarb, and trying to find the magic ingredients that made Grannie’s pies so popular, Hanna is suddenly faced with an even bigger challenge: convincing the handsome new police chief (her ex-high school crush Sam Genovese) that Grannie couldn’t possibly have committed murder.

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Die Buying by Laura DiSilverio
Print and/or Kindle EditionPrint and/or NookBook EditionApple iBook

Title: Die Buying
Author: Laura DiSilverio
Series Character: Emma-Joy Ferris
Format: Mass Market Paperback

What we know about the character: Emma-Joy Ferris is former military policeman, now a mall cop.

Her first case: Emma-Joy ("EJ") likes mall cop work, although it’s usually more humdrum than the military policing she did until an IED left her with a bum knee and a medical retirement at 31. Relocated to Vernonville, Virginia, 50 miles from Washington D.C., EJ deals with shoplifting teens, vandals spray-painting Christian graffiti on cars, and a boss who acts like the halls of Fernglen are the mean streets of Newark. She also copes with her 83-year-old Grandpa Atherton, a long-retired CIA operative who likes to "keep his hand in" by purchasing all the latest techno-gadgets and spying on mall customers and shopkeepers. EJ’s boredom vanishes the week someone "liberates" all the reptiles, including a 15-ft python, from The Herpetology Hut (known to mall denizens as Herpes Hut) and a body turns up, posed as a mannequin, in the window of Diamanté, an upscale boutique. With the help of her mall "family" — her friend Kyra who runs the magic store; Joel, her fellow mall cop who hero worships her; and the attractive and mysterious Jay Callahan who recently bought the cookie franchise — and her Grandpa Atherton, EJ must quickly catch the killer since fear of another murder is emptying the mall faster than you can say, "All sales final."

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Spycatcher by Matthew Dunn
Print and/or Kindle EditionPrint and/or NookBook EditionApple iBook

Title: Spycatcher
Author: Matthew Dunn
Series Character: Will Cochrane
Format: Hardcover

What we know about the character: Super-spy Will Cochrane is the CIA's and MI-6's most prized asset and deadliest weapon.

His first case: Will is little known to the outside world. And he's never been outplayed. So far ...

Will’s controllers task him with finding and neutralizing one of today’s most wanted terrorist masterminds, a man believed to be an Iranian Revolutionary Guard general. Will believes he has the perfect plan, but soon discovers, in a frantic chase from Europe to New York, that his adversary is much more treacherous than anyone he has ever faced — and survived — up to now.

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Act of Deceit by Steven Gore
Print and/or Kindle EditionPrint and/or NookBook Edition

Title: Act of Deceit
Author: Steven Gore
Series Character: Harlan Donnally
Format: Mass Market Paperback

What we know about the character: Harlan Donnally is a former San Francisco homicide detective.

His first case: Donnally swore he'd never play anyone's postman. But a dying friend's plea takes him bearing a letter alive with tragedy toward a sister long dead — the victim of the bizarre criminality of a counter culture that had lost its way.

Stunned to learn that her killer was never prosecuted, Donnally soon finds himself in battle against a broken justice system and on a trail of evil into a dangerous borderland in which the falsely pious and the wealthy abuse the young and the poor. And though each step takes him farther down a perilous path that wrenches him between his inner demons and his mission to redeem a brother's love, he won't stop until he knows the truth.

For Donnally made a promise to a dead man, and he'll keep it — or die trying.

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Summer Session by Merry Jones
Print and/or Kindle EditionPrint and/or NookBook Edition

Title: Summer Session
Author: Merry Jones
Series Character: Harper Jennings
Format: Hardcover

What we know about the character: Harper Jennings is an ex-Iraqi war veteran, now a teaching assistant at Cornell University.

Her first case: Harper's life is rosy until, carrying out repairs on their home, her husband Hank falls off the roof. The accident damages his brain and brings back terrible war memories for Harper. As Hank is treated at the prestigious Cayuga Neurological Center, Harper’s flashbacks subside — until, during class, her student jumps out of the window. Suddenly, Harper is swept up in suicide, theft, betrayal and murder — and all the victims connect to her ...

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Dead Man's Switch by Tammy Kaehler
Print and/or Kindle EditionPrint and/or NookBook Edition

Title: Dead Man's Switch
Author: Tammy Kaehler
Series Character: Kate Reilly, Racing
Format: Hardcover

What we know about the character: Kate Reilly is a racecar driver. Mysteries in this series are set at different racetracks around the world.

Her first case: When Kate goes looking for a full-time ride in the American Le Mans Series, she stumbles over a dead driver. And when she takes that driver’s job just hours later, she also takes pole position on the list of suspects in his murder. Suddenly she’s in the hot seat with little time to clear her name and get ready to race a Corvette at Lime Rock Park.

Amidst suspicion, Kate buckles down, quickly getting to know the racecar and team, bumping into plenty of suspects who might have committed murder. Clues fly at her as fast as the turns on the track, including a cryptic list of blackmail victims, unexplainable car performance at racing speed, a jealous husband with an adulterous wife, and drivers and crew who are openly happy her predecessor is dead. Kate finds exhilaration and hazards exist on- and off-track as she throttles up both the Corvette’s V8 and a murder investigation.

The green-flag countdown ticks away, and Kate must decide who she can trust to help probe alibis, untangle rumors of team breakups and personal betrayals, and determine whose drive to win also constitutes a willingness to kill. Because what’s at stake in Kate’s race to the truth is her career … only by uncovering a murderer can Kate restore her reputation and prove she belongs in the racing world.

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Forget-Me-Not by Eileen Key
Print and/or Kindle EditionPrint and/or NookBook Edition

Title: Forget-Me-Not
Author: Eileen Key
Series Character: Maggie Price, Plants Alive!
Format: Hardcover

What we know about the character: Maggie Price is an interior plant decorator and owner of Plants Alive! Interior Design in Tennessee.

Her first case: After Maggie discovers the body of her Aunt Della sprawled out on the front lawn of her rural Tennessee home, the ensuing murder investigation implicates her son, Brian. Convinced of his innocence and determined to find the real killer, Maggie and her brother Joshua Clark race to solve the case themselves. Joshua tells Maggie their aunt had alluded to the possibility of an oil and gas lease on her property, but how could that figure into a murder?

Clues point the finger at an unsavory vagrant, Carl Owens, who had once worked for Della; however, Maggie's relief is short-lived when they realize he has an alibi. Maggie's search soon has her researching the town's criminal past, where stories of unsolved bank robberies and corporate corruption reveal that murder and secrets go hand in hand.

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White Heat by M. J. McGrath
Print and/or Kindle EditionPrint and/or NookBook EditionApple iBook

Title: White Heat
Author: M. J. McGrath
Series Character: Edie Kiglatuk
Format: Hardcover

What we know about the character: Half Inuit and half outsider, Edie Kiglatuk is the best guide in her corner of the Arctic.

Her first case: Though she's the best at what she does, Edie gets only grudging respect from the elders who rule her isolated community on Ellesmere Island. When a man is shot and killed while out on an "authentic" Arctic adventure under her watch, the murder attracts the attention of police sergeant Derek Palliser. As Edie sets out to discover what those tourists were really after, she is shocked by the suicide of someone very close to her. Though these events are seemingly unrelated, Edie's Inuit hunter sensibility tells her otherwise. With or without Derek's help, she is determined to find the key to this connection — a search that takes her beyond her small village, and into the far reaches of the tundra.

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The Cut by George P. Pelecanos
Print and/or Kindle EditionPrint and/or NookBook Edition

Title: The Cut
Author: George P. Pelecanos
Series Character: Spero Lucas
Format: Hardcover

What we know about the character: Spero Lucas recovers stolen property, no questions asked, for 40% of its value.

His first case: A high-profile crime boss who has heard of Lucas's specialty hires him to find out who has been stealing from his operation. It's the biggest job Lucas has ever been offered, and he quickly gets a sense of what's going on. But before he can close in on what's been taken, he tangles with a world of men whose amorality and violence leave him reeling. Is any cut worth your family, your lover, your life?

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Where the Shadows Lie by Michael Ridpath
Print and/or Kindle EditionPrint and/or NookBook EditionApple iBook

Title: Where the Shadows Lie
Author: Michael Ridpath
Series Character: Magnus Jonson
Format: Hardcover

What we know about the character: Magnus Jonson is a former Boston homicide detective, now a member of the Icelandic Police Force.

His first case: Amid Iceland’s wild, volcanic landscape, rumors swirl of an ancient manuscript inscribed with a long-lost saga about a ring of terrible power. A rediscovered saga alone would be worth a fortune, but, if the rumors can be believed, there is something much more valuable about this one. Something worth killing for. Something that will cost Professor Agnar Haraldsson his life.

Magnus must untangle murder from myth. On loan to the Icelandic Police Force for his own protection after a Massachusetts drug cartel puts a bounty on his head, Magnus is eager work the Haraldsson case, a rare lethal crime for the island nation. But his unorthodox investigative technique soon gets him into trouble with his more traditional superiors, intensifying his mixed feelings about returning to his native country — a place of tangled family loyalties haunted by his father’s unsolved murder — after nearly two decades. And as Magnus is about to discover, the past casts a long shadow in Iceland.

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Tempest in the Tea Leaves by Kari Lee Townsend
Print and/or Kindle EditionPrint and/or NookBook EditionApple iBook

Title: Tempest in the Tea Leaves
Author: Kari Lee Townsend
Series Character: Sunny Meadows, Fortune Teller
Format: Mass Market Paperback

What we know about the character: Sunshine "Sunny" Meadows is a big city psychic in the quaint town of Divinity, New York.

Her first case: Sunny has opened her fortune telling business in an ancient victorian house, inheriting the strange cat residing within. Sunny gives her first reading to the frazzled town librarian and discovers the woman is going to die. When the woman flees in terror, Sunny calls the police, only she's too late. The ruggedly handsome, hard-nosed detective is a "non-believer." He finds the librarian dead, and Sunny becomes his number one suspect, forcing her to prove her innocence before the real killer can put an end to the psychic's future.

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The Stranger You Seek by Amanda Kyle Williams
Print and/or Kindle EditionPrint and/or NookBook EditionApple iBook

Title: The Stranger You Seek
Author: Amanda Kyle Williams
Series Character: Keye Street
Format: Hardcover

What we know about the character: Ex-FBI profiler Keye Street is a private investigator in Atlanta, Georgia.

Her first case: In the sweltering heat of an Atlanta summer, a killer is pushing the city to its breaking point, preying on the unsuspecting, writing taunting letters to the media, promising more death. Desperate to stop the Wishbone Killer before another victim meets a shattering end, A.P.D. lieutenant Aaron Rauser turns to the one person he knows can penetrate a deranged mind: Keye Street.

Keye was a rising young star at the Bureau until addiction derailed her career and her life. Now sober and fighting to stay so, Keye picks up jobs where she can get them: catching adulterers, serving subpoenas, chasing down bailjumpers, and dodging the occasional bullet. With multiple victims, little to go on, and an entire police force looking for direction, the last thing Keye wants is to be pulled into the firestorm of Atlanta’s worst nightmare.

And then it suddenly becomes clear that the hunter has become the hunted — and the stranger she seeks is far closer than she ever dared imagine.

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For a list of more hardcover mysteries scheduled for publication during August, please visit our New Mysteries home page. If you're interested in new paperbacks, visit The Mystery Bookshelf, where you can discover a library of new mysteries, also updated with August 2011 releases. See also our regularly updated eBook site for new mysteries, suspense novels and thrillers,

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

Telemystery: Jesse Stone, Pie in the Sky, and Zen, New This Week on DVD

Telemystery, the most complete selection of detective, amateur sleuth, private investigator, and suspense television mystery series now available or coming soon to DVD

Telemystery, your source for one of the most comprehensive listings of crime drama, amateur sleuth, private investigator, mystery and suspense television series, mini-series and made-for-television movies, now available on or coming soon to DVD or Blu-ray disc, is profiling two series and one made-for-television movie being released this week.

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Jesse Stone: Innocents Lost, a Mystery TV Series
Jesse Stone: Innocents Lost on DVD

Tom Selleck stars as (now former) Paradise (MA) police chief Jesse Stone in the seventh made-for-television movie based on this character created by crime novelist Robert B. Parker.

Though earlier movies in this series were adapted from novels by Parker, this one is an original screenplay. It finds Jesse once again on overload, looking into the death of a teenaged girl and unofficially involved in the case of a convicted murderer, who he thinks may be innocent.

Jesse Stone: Innocents Lost is available on DVD (click on the icon above for more details), and consists of the movie that originally aired on CBS on May 22nd, 2011.

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Pie in the Sky: Series Five, a Mystery TV Series
Pie in the Sky: Series Five on DVD

Richard Griffiths stars as Detective Inspector Henry Crabbe, who is also the head chef at Pie in the Sky, a restaurant that he co-owns with his wife (Maggie Steed), which is also the name of the light-hearted crime drama that aired on BBC for five seasons.

Henry is semi-retired from the police force, and while he'd rather be cooking gourmet meals than catching criminals, he's always willing to step in when asked by Assistant Chief Constable Freddy Fisher (Malcolm Smith).

Pie in the Sky: Series Five is available on DVD (click on the icon above for more details), and consists of the 8 episodes that concluded this entertaining series, which originally aired during the summer of 1997.

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Zen: Series One, a Mystery TV Series
Zen: Series One on DVD Zen: Series One on Blu-ray Disc

Rufus Sewel stars as Roman police detective Aurelio Zen in Zen, based on a character created by crime novelist Michael Dibdin.

What does an honest cop do when his bosses are on the side of the lawbreakers? Outwitting prosecutors, politicians, mobsters, kidnappers and killers, Zen brings justice to modern-day Italy ... whether the authorities want it or not.

Zen: Series One is available on DVD and Blu-ray (click on the icons above for more details), and consists of 3 episodes adapted from books in the series Vendetta, Cabal, and Ratkingthat originally aired on BBC in January of this year, and more recently, during July 2011 on PBS's Masterpiece Mystery! here in the US.

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Visit the Telemystery website to discover more television mystery series currently available on and coming soon to DVD, Blu-ray disc, or video on demand.

Death of a Trophy Wife by Laura Levine is Today's Featured Free MystereBook

MystereBooks: Mystery, Suspense, and Thriller eBooks

MystereBooks is pleased to feature Death of a Trophy Wife by Laura Levine as today's free mystery ebook. We don't know how long it will be offered at this special price (typically only until a certain number of downloads have been completed), so we urge you to download it while it is still available for free.

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Death of a Trophy Wife by Laura Levine

Death of a Trophy Wife by Laura Levine
A Jaine Austen Mystery (9th in series)

There are two Kindle editions available (not sure why): one from May 2010 (which is currently the free one, and the one to which we've linked) and one from July 2011 (which is not free).

About Death of a Trophy Wife (from the publisher): Without a job or a date in sight, freelance writer Jaine Austen is equally out of luck in finance and romance. So when her friend Lance offers to treat her to brunch at the Four Seasons, Jaine leaps at the invite. They’ve barely made it through the menu when Lance spots his friend Bunny, who is the new trophy wife of mattress maven Marvin Cooper.

When Bunny generously offers Jaine a gig writing Marv’s new advertising campaign, Jaine accepts the job, and an invitation to her upcoming soirée. But at the party Bunny cruelly rules the Cooper mansion and before the evening is over, someone poisons Bunny.

The police arrest Lance, but Jaine knows his murderous urges end at her closet door. Setting out to clear his name, she soon discovers a list of suspects longer than Bunny’s credit card bill …

Important Note: Prices can and do change without prior notice, so please confirm the price of the book before completing your purchase.

Download Link(s):

Amazon Free Kindle Book Amazon Free Kindle Edition Download Link.

Barnes&Noble Free Nook Book B&N Free Nook Book Download Link.

Mystery Godoku Puzzle for August 01, 2011

A new has been created by the editors of the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books and is now available on our website.

Godoku is similar to Sudoku, but uses letters instead of numbers. To give you a headstart, we provide you a mystery clue to fill in a complete row or column (if you choose to use it!).

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Mystery Godoku Puzzle for August 01, 2011

This week's letters and mystery clue:


Stephanie Kane’s debut legal thriller featuring attorney Jackie Flowers has this title (9 letters).

We now have two weeks of our puzzles on one page in PDF format for easier printing. Print this week's puzzle here.

Previous puzzles are stored in the Mystery Godoku Archives.

Enjoy the weekly Mystery Godoku Puzzle from the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books, and Thanks for visiting our website!

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