Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Mysteries...Mysteries...Mysteries: Can we say Binge-watching?

I posted this list last year, but it bears repeating, especially if you've overdosed on news and politics, as I have. So instead of watching more of the same, I revisited the first seven seasons of Inspector Lewis in preparation for the upcoming final season. Throw in a little Inspector Morse for good measure and I'm all set for more Oxford crime.

Here's a list of some of my favorites. Check with your local library to see if they carry these titles on DVD.
  • Bletchley Circle (four former Bletchley code breakers put their wartime experience to work in solving a series of postwar murders)
  • The Brokenwood Mysteries (filmed on New Zealand's beautiful North Island)
  • Cadfael – adapted from Ellis Peters’ Brother Cadfael mysteries
  • Case Histories – based on Kate Atkinson’s Scottish PI series
  • Christie’s Marple
  • Christie’s Poirot
  • DCI Banks – adapted from Peter Robinson’s crime novels
  • Death Comes to Pemberley--adapted from P.D. James' novel with Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy solving a murder
  • Death in Paradise (British cop Richard Poole is a fish out of water when he’s sent to the tiny Caribbean island of Sainte Marie to solve a mysterious murder)
  • Dexter – adapted from Jeffry Lindsay’s novels
  • Dick Francis Mysteries – based on the novels of Dick Francis
  • Endeavour – based on Colin Dexter’s Inspector Morse characters
  • Father Brown – adapted from G.K. Chesterton mysteries
  • Foyle’s War (Christopher Foyle solves murders during World War II (created by Anthony Horowitz)
  • Grantchester -- (a young clergymand and down-to-earth cop fight crime in 1953 England) adapted from James Runcie's Sidney Chambers books
  • Hamish MacBeth – based on M.C. Beaton’s Scottish policeman novels
  • Inspector Lewis – based on Colin Dexter’s Inspector Morse characters
  • The Inspector Lynley Mysteries – based on Elizabeth George’s crime novels
  • Inspector Morse – adapted from Colin Dexter’s mysteries
  • Jack Irish – adapted from Australian author Peter Temple’s books
  • Jack Taylor – adapted from Ken Bruen’s books (set in Galway, Ireland)
  • The Last Detective (underdog London police detective)
  • Longmire – adapted from Craig Johnson’s novels
  • Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries -- adapted from the Dorothy L. Sayers’ novels
  • Lovejoy – adapted from Jonathan Gash’s novels
  • Maigret Collection – adapted from Georges Simenon ‘s novels
  • Midsomer Murders – adapted from Caroline Graham’s Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby novels
  • Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries – adapted from Kerry Greenwood’s 1920s Australia novels
  • Murdoch Mysteries ( brilliant detective in 1890s Toronto solves crimes)
  • New Tricks
  • The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency – adapted from Alexander McCall Smith’sdetective series set in Botswana, Africa  
  • Partners in Crime – adapted from Agatha Christie’s Tommy and Tuppence novels
  • Prime Suspect – adapted from Lydia La Plante’s  crime novels
  • Rebus – adapted from Ian Rankin’s Edinburgh detective novels
  • Rizzolli and Isles – based on Tess Gerritsen’s novels
  • Rosemary and Thyme (glorious gardens and classic whodunnits)
  • Ruth Rendell's Mysteries
  • Scott and Bailey
  • Sergeant Cribb – based on Peter Lovesey’s Victorian London police novels
  • Seven Dials Mystery – adapted from Agatha Christies’ novel
  • Single-handed (a lone cop fights crime in rural Ireland
  • Still Life – adapted from Louise Penny’s Chief Inspector Armand Gamache novels
  • Thorne - gritty crime drama based on the bestselling series by Mark Billingham
  • Vera – adapted from Ann Cleeves’ Vera Stanhope series
  • Wallender – based on Henning Mankell’s crime novels
  • Sherlock – BBC's 21st century take on the Great Detective
  • Zen – based on the Michael Dibdin novels

Monday, July 25, 2016

New Cozies for August

What's new on the cozy shelf? Check these out! Wherever your interests lie, there is bound to be a cozy series to reflect it. So cool off this summer with a refreshing mystery!

Ellery Adams -- Murder in the Secret Garden [Book Retreat Mystery #3]
Donna Andrews -- Die Like an Eagle [Meg Lanslow Mystery #20]
Carol E. Ayer -- The Princess and the Poison [Storybook Park Mystery #1]
Mignon F. Ballard -- Miss Dimple and the Slightly Bewildered Angel [A Miss Dimple Mystery]
Rhys Bowen -- Crowned and Dangerous [Royal Spyness Mystery #10]
Laurie Cass -- Cat with a Clue [Bookmobile Cat Mystery #5]
Margaret Coel -- The Man Who Fell From the Sky [Wind River Mystery #19]
Bill Crider -- Survivors Will Be Shot Again [Sheriff Dan Rhodes Mystery #23]
 Laura DiSilverio -- The Readaholics and the Gothic Gala [Book Club Mystery #3]
Monica Ferris -- Knit Your Own Murder [Needlecraft Mystery #19]
Daryl Wood Gerber -- Grilling the Subject [Cookbook Nook Mystery #5]
Victoria Hamilton -- Much Ado About Muffin [Merry Muffin Mystery #4]
Nancy Herriman -- No Pity for the Dead [A Mystery of Old San Francisco]
Julianne Holmes -- Clock and Dagger [Clock Shop Mystery #2]
Jane Jensen -- In the Land of Milk and Honey [Elizabeth Harris Novel #2]
Gin Jones & Elizabeth Ashby -- Robbing Peter to Kill Paul: a Danger Cove Quilting Mystery  [Danger Cove Mystery #11]
 Diane Kelly -- Death, Taxes, and a Satin Garter [Tara Holloway Novel #10]
Ruth Moose -- Wedding Bell Blues [Beth McKenzie Mystery #2]
 Sally J. Smith & Jean Steffens -- Murder on the Aloha Express [Aloha Lagoon Mystery #2]
 Leann Sweeney -- The Cat, the Collector, and the Killer [Cats in Trouble Mystery #8]
Diane Vallere -- Silk Stalkings [Material Witness Mystery #3]

Auralee Wallace -- Pumpkin Picking Murder [Otter Lake Mystery #2]

Thursday, July 7, 2016

And Now for a Witty Caper

Now I know your first thought when you see that celebrity David McCallum just released a mystery novel. Who was the ghostwriter? Well, surprise! The 82-year-old  NCIS actor wrote every word of Once a Crooked Man -- and it's a delightful caper of mobsters, mistaken identity, and a pile of ill-gotten cash.

The Bruschetti brothers have been running profitable criminal activities for years, completely under the radar of law enforcement. But Max Bruschetti has decided it's time for the family to retire from the business. For his health's sake, he needs to reduce stress. The only obstacles are some loose ends that need to be eliminated.

Enter Harry Murphy, a 30-something actor who has enjoyed moderate success as a working actor, Harry makes a living doing commercials, voice-overs, and small roles on stage, screen, and television. Taking an inconspicuous bathroom break in the alley behind a Chinese restaurant, Through an open window, Harry overhears the Bruchettis planning an execution.

Since Harry was between jobs and had a couple of residual checks in the bank, he decides to take the next plane to London to warn the unfortunate loose end. After saving the man's life, Harry planned to enjoy himself in the City, then head over to Denmark for a good time before returning to NYC. What's it they say about the best-laid plans?

From the time Harry lands in London, he's embroiled in one mishap after another. By turns funny and riveting with taut action, Once a Crooked Man is a really enjoyable read. Yes, I've been a fan of David McCallum since The Man From Uncle back in the 1960s.  But I surely didn't expect to enjoy the book as much as I did.

This breezy, light comic caper gets Aunt Agatha's two thumbs up.


Sunday, July 3, 2016

Masterpiece Mystery

Alas, all good things must come to an end. We are just in the midst of Endeavour with next Sunday's series conclusion. Will the young Morse be back for a series 4? We can only hope! Meanwhile, the eighth and final season  of Inspector Lewis premieres August 7th.  

Kevin Whately and Laurence Fox return as Inspector Lewis and Inspector Hathaway, investigating new cases of murder and other crimes in the seemingly perfect academic haven of Oxford. In three new films, the detectives must contend with complex cases, new faces on the force, and old wounds from family ties. With a new boss piling on pressure, will Inspector Lewis finally decide to end his policing career?


Friday, July 1, 2016

Hot Summer Reads

What's new for July? Check out these new titles.

You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott

Cold Silence [Joe Rush] by James Abel

The Innocents [Quinn Colson] by Ace Atkins

Murder on Brittany Shores [Commissaire Dupin] by Jean-Luc Bannalec

Court Trouble [Platform Tennis] by Mike Befeler

Live and Let Growl [Melanie Travis] by Laurien Berenson

Go-Between [Michelle Mason] by Lisa Brackmann

A Most Curious Murder [Little Library] by Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli

Among the Wicked [Kate Burkholder] by Linda Castillo

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

The Graveyard of the Hesperides [Flavia Albia] by Lindsey Davis

The Great Revolt [Brother Athelstan] by Paul Doherty

Vita Brevis [Gaius Petreius Ruso] by Ruth Downie

Kilt at the Highland Games [Liss MacCrimmon] by Kaitlyn Dunnett

Killer Look [Alexandra Cooper] by Linda Fairstein

Midnight Crossing
[Josie Gray] by Tricia Fields

Wired [Buchanans] by Julie Garwood

Think Wolf [Sebastiano Cangio] by Michael Gregorio

Deep Waters [Kate O’Donnell] by Patricia Hall

Drinking Gourd [Benjamin January] by Barbara Hambly

Once Upon a Time in Camelot by James Patrick Hunt

Night and Day [Eve Duncan] by Iris Johansen

Reckless Creed [Ryder Creed] by Alex Kava

The Asset by Shane Kuhn

Tag, You’re Dead by J.C. Lane

No Good to Cry [Rick Van Lam] by Andrew Lanh

House Revenge [Joe Demarco] by Mike Lawson

Let the Devil Out [Maureen Coughlin] by Bill Loehfelm

Another One Goes Tonight [Peter Diamond] by Peter Lovesey

The Secret of Spandau [reissue of 1986 book written as Peter Lear] by Peter Lovesey

Deep Six [Jake Longly] by D.P. Lyle

Hard Cover [Marc Portman] by Adrian Magson

Someone Always Knows
[Sharon McCone] by Marcia Muller

Classic at Bay [Car Detective] by Amy Myers

The Kingdom [Kizaki] by Fuminori Nakamura

White Bone [Risk Agent] by Ridley Pearson

The Castle of Kings
 by Oliver Pötzsch

Breaking Cover [Liz Carlyle] by Stella Rimington

The Baker Street Jurors [Baker Street Letters] by Michael Robertson

The Secret Language of Stones [Daughters of La Lune] by M.J. Rose

Outfoxed [Andy Carpenter] by David Rosenfelt

The Accidental Agent
[Jimmy Nessheim] by Andrew Rosenheim

Little Girl Gone [Afton Tangler] by Gerry Schmitt

The Black Widow [Gabriel Allon] by Daniel Silva

Dr. Knox by Peter Spiegelman

No Second Chances
[Daniel Whelan] by Lyndon Stacey

Revolver by Duane Swierczynski

The Second Death
[Sister Fidelma] by Peter Tremayne

Wolf Lake
[Dave Gurney] by John Verdon

The Woman in Cabin 10 
by Ruth Ware

Fall from Grace
[David Raker] by Tim Weaver

Underground Airlines 
by Ben H. Winters



Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Summer Cozies


Whether you're looking for light reading to take on vacation or something to while away a hot summer afternoon, you can't go wrong with one of these cozies:


Allyson K. Abbott -- Shots in the Dark [Mack's Bar Mysteries #4]

Isabella Alan -- Murder, Handcrafted [Amish Quilt Shop #5]

Ellie Ashe -- A Novel Death [A Danger Cove Bookshop Mystery #10]

Juliet Blackwell -- A Toxic Trousseau [A Witchcraft Mystery #8]

Susan M. Boyer -- Lowcountry Book Club [Liz Talbot Mystery #5]

Laura Bradford -- Éclair and Present Danger [Emergency Dessert Squad #1]

Julia Buckley -- A Dark and Stormy Murder [A Writer's Apprentice Mystery #1]

Bailey Cates -- Spells and Scones [A Magical Bakery Mystery #6]

Maya Corrigan -- Final Fondue [Five-Ingredient #3]

Krista Davis -- The Diva Serves High Tea [Domestic Diva #10]

Kaitlyn Dunnett -- Kilt at the Highland Games [A Liss MacCrimmon Mystery #9]

Wendy Sand Eckel -- Death at the Day Lily Café [A Rosalie Hart Mystery #2] 

Kay Finch -- The Black Cat Knocks on Wood [Bad Luck Cat #2] 

A. Gardner -- Strawberry Tartlets & a Deadly Starlet [Poppy Peters Mysteries #4]

Betty Hechtman -- Gone with the Wool [A Yarn Retreat Mystery #4]

Anna Lee Huber-- As Death Draws Near [A Lady Darby Mystery #5]

Julie Hyzy -- Grace Sees Red [Manor House #7]

Katherine Bolger Hyde -- Arsenic with Austen [Crime with the Classics #1]

Mary Kennedy -- A Premonition of Murder [Dream Club #3]

Leslie Langtry -- Ukulele Murder [Aloha Lagoon Mysteries #1]

Victoria Laurie -- A Grave Prediction [A Psychic Eye Mystery #14]

Alice Loweecey -- Nun But the Brave [Giulia Driscoll Mystery #3]

Terrie Farley Moran -- Read to Death [Read 'Em and Eat Mystery #3]

Laura Morrigan -- Take the Monkey and Run [A Call of the Wilde Mystery #4]

Hannah Reed -- Dressed to Kilt [A Scottish Highlands Mystery #3]

Linda Wiken -- Toasting Up Trouble [A Dinner Club Mystery]

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Nominees for the 2016 Macavity Award

Looking for some great reads? These are works nominated by Mystery Readers International for the Macavity Award. Winners will be announced at Bouchercon in  New Orleans this September. Congratulations to all.

Best Mystery
Little Black Lies by Sharon Bolton (Minotaur)
The Long and Faraway Gone by Lou Berney (Morrow)
The Hot Countries by Tim Hallinan (Soho)
The Child Garden by Catriona McPherson (Midnight Ink)
Life or Death by Michael Robotham (Mulholland)
The Cartel by Don Winslow (Knopf)

Best First Mystery
Concrete Angel by Patricia Abbott (Polis)
Past Crimes by Glen Erik Hamilton (Morrow)
The Killing Kind by Chris Holm (Mulholland)
Where All Light Tends to Go by David Joy (Putnam)
The Unquiet Dead by Ausma Zehanat Khan (Minotaur)
On the Road with Del and Louise by Art Taylor (Henery)

Best Critical/Biographical
The Golden Age of Murder: The Mystery of the Writers Who Invented the Modern Detective Story by Martin Edwards (HarperCollins)
A Is for Arsenic: The Poisons of Agatha Christie by Kathryn Harkup (Bloomsbury Sigma)
Meanwhile There Are Letters: The Correspondence of Eudora Welty and Ross Macdonald, edited by Suzanne Marrs & Tom Nolan (Arcade)
Forensics: What Bugs, Burns, Prints, DNA, and More Tell Us About Crime by Val McDermid (Grove)
The Lost Detective: Becoming Dashiell Hammett by Nathan Ward (Bloomsbury)

Best Short Story
"The Little Men" by Megan Abbott (MysteriousPress.com/Open Road)
"On Borrowed Time" by Mat Coward (Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, June 2015)
"Sob Sister" by Loren D. Estleman (Detroit Is Our Beat: Tales of the Four Horsemen, Tyrus)
"A Year Without Santa Claus" by Barb Goffman (Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, January/February 2015)
"Quack and Dwight" by Travis Richardson (Jewish Noir, ed. Kenneth Wishnia, PM Press)
"A Joy Forever" by B.K. Stevens (Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, March 2015)

Sue Feder Historical Mystery Award
The Masque of a Murderer by Susanna Calkins (Minotaur)
A Gilded Grave by Shelley Freydont (Berkley Prime Crime)
Tom & Lucky (and George & Cokey Flo) by C. Joseph Greaves (Bloomsbury)
The Lady from Zagreb by Philip Kerr (Putnam)
Secret Life of Anna Blanc by Jennifer Kincheloe (Seventh Street)
Dreaming Spies by Laurie R. King (Bantam)