Thursday, May 29, 2014

What's New for June?

Lazy afternoons in the shady garden or sitting under an umbrella at the beach... summertime is here and what better time to catch up on your mystery reading! There are mysteries to suit every whim or interest, so give these a try:

Murder at Mullings by Dorothy Cannell
Downton Abbey meets Rebecca in this Agatha Christie-like whodunnit. The housekeeper of the
revered Mullings, ancestral home to the Stodmarsh family, suspects foul play in the deaths of Lord
and Lady Stodmarsh.

The Book Stops Here by Kate Carlisle
You never know what treasures can be found in attics or at garage sales. Unfortunately for bookbinder Brooklyn Wainwright, some are worth killing for. Brooklyn’s appearance in the San Francisco edition of the hit TV show This Old Attic turns out to be fraught with danger!

Terminal City (an Alex Cooper novel) by Linda Fairstein  
Assistant D.A. Alex Cooper and Detectives Mike Chapman and Mercer Wallace hunt for an elusive killer who carves a symbol resembling train tracks on the victims’ bodies. Their search takes them to Grand Central Terminal with its labyrinth of underground tunnels and centuries-old secrets.

Midnight in Europe by Alan Furst
Paris 1938: the shadow of war deepens over Europe, but the war has already begun in Spain. Furst, who is the most stylish espionage writer of our time, delivers another taut, romantic spy thriller. As secret operatives descend on Paris and New York, in Warsaw and Odessa, ordinary men and women answer the call to fight the darkness of fascism.

The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith (AKA JK Rowlings)
This compulsively readable crime novel is the second in the acclaimed series featuring London PI Cormoran Strike and his determined assistant Robin Ellacott. Strike investigates a missing novelist whose poison-pen manuscript could ruin a good many lives and careers. It’s no surprise when he turns up dead!

Any Other Name: a Longmire Mystery by Craig Johnson
Walt’s former boss, Lucian Connally, asks him to look into the apparent suicide of his old friend, Detective Gerald Holman, in the next county.


  • The Fever by Megan Abbott
  • Gregory’s Game [Naomi Blake] by Jane Adams
  • The Last Taxi Ride [Ranjit Singh] by A.X. Ahmad
  • Dead Heading [C.D. Sloan] by Catherine Aird
  • Strange Gods by Annamaria Alfieri
  • The Art of the Devil: A Plot To Assassinate President Eisenhower by John Altman
  • Lights Out! by Donald Bain
  • Bliss House by Laura Benedict
  • Murder in Pigalle [Aimée Leduc] by Cara Black
  • Chimes at Midnight by Michael A. Black
  • A Dark and Twisted Tide [Lacey Flint] by Sharon Bolton
  • Coldsleep Lullaby [Eberard Februarie] by Andrew Brown 
  • Nine Lives To Die [Mrs. Murphy] by Rita Mae Brown
  • All Day and a Night [Ellie Hatcher] by Alafair Burke
  • Murder on the Mediterranean [Capucine Culinary] by Alexander Campion
  • Hell with the Lid Blown Off [Alafair Tucker] by Donis Casey
  • Graduation Day [Testing] [YA] by Joelle Charbonneau
  • Independence Day [Dewey Andreas] by Ben Coe
  • Razing the Dead [Museum series] by Sheila Connolly
  • Mr. Monk Is Open for Business [Monk] by Hy Conrad
  • Tempest in a Teapot [Teapot Collector] by Amanda Cooper
  • Enemies at Home [Flavia Albia] by Lindsey Davis
  • Hell To Pay by Garry Disher
  • Saints of New York by R.J. Ellory
  • Top Secret Twenty-One [Stephanie Plum] by Janet Evanovich
  • The Quiet Woman by Terence Faherty
  • Phantom Instinct by Meg Gardiner
  • The Baklava Club [Investigator Yashim] by Jason Goodwin
  • The Last Heir [Jack MacTaggart] by Chuck Greaves
  • Vertigo 42 [Richard Jury] by Martha Grimes
  • Red Man Down [Sarah Burke] by Elizabeth Gunn
  • Blood Brothers [Kate O’Donnell] by Patricia Hall
  • Land of Shadows [Lou Norton] by Rachel Howzell Hall
  • Shadow Maker [Nick Baron] by James R. Hannibal
  • The Good Suicides [Héctor Salgado] by Antonio Hill 
  • The Abduction [Kat Tapo] by Jonathan Holt
  • The Devil May Care [Rushmore “Mac” McKenzie] by David Housewright
  • Death in an Ivory Tower [Dotsy Lamb] by Maria Hudgins
  • All the Things You Are by Declan Hughes
  • Final Curtain [Edna Ferber] by Ed Ifkovic
  • The Director by David Ignatius
  • Face Value [Rachel Gold] by Michael A. Kahn
  • Black Current [Jaymie Zarlin] by Karen Keskinen
  • Mr. Mercedes  by Stephen King
  • Those Who Wish Me Dead  by Michael Koryta
  • Cradle to Grave [Will Rees] by Eleanor Kuhns
  • The Big Hello [Jimmy Riley] by Michael Lister
  • Robert Ludlum’s The Bourne Ascendancy by Eric Van Lustbader
  • A Song for the Dying [Ash Henderson] by Stuart MacBride
  • No Job for a Lady [Nellie Bly] by Carol McCleary
  • The Prime Minister’s Secret Agent [Maggie Hope] by Susan Elia MacNeal
  • Circles in the Snow [Bo Tully] by Patrick F. McManus
  • Parker Field [Willie Black] by Howard Owen
  • Invisible by James Patterson & David Ellis
  • Marbeck and the Privateers [Marbeck] by John Pilkington
  • The Red Room [Risk Agent] by Ridley Pearson
  • Two Soldiers [Ewert Grens] by Roslund and Hellström 
  • Beneath the Soil [Suzie Fewings] by Fay Sampson
  • Yarn Over Murder [Knitting] by Maggie Sefton
  • Cop Town by Karin Slaughter
  • The Farm by Tom Rob Smith
  • That Night by Chevy Stevens
  • Identity [Fina Ludlow] by Ingrid Thoft
  • The Splintered Paddle [Ave Rome] by Mark Troy
  • Denial of Murder [Harry Vicary] by Peter Turnbull
  • Shockwave [Aftershock] by Andrew Vachss
  • The Late Scholar [Peter Wimsey & Harriet Vane] by Jill Paton Walsh
  • A Deadly Business [Mia Quinn] by Lis Wiehl & April Henry
  • Eyes on You  by Kate White
  • FaceOff [SS] edited by David Baldacci

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Anthony Nominees Announced

The Anthony Awards are given each year at the Bouchercon World Mystery Convention with the winners selected by attendees. The award is named for the late Anthony Boucher (William Anthony Parker White), well-known writer and critic from the New York Times, who helped found the Mystery Writers of America. The 2014 Bouchercon will be held in Long Beach, California.

Best Mystery Novel
  • Suspect by Robert Crais
  • A Cold and Lonely Place by Sara J. Henry
  • Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger 
  • The Wrong Girl by Hank Phillippi Ryan 
  • Through the Evil Days by Julia Spencer-Fleming
Best First Mystery
  • Yesterday’s Echo by Matt Coyle 
  • Ghostman by Roger Hobbs 
  • Rage Against the Dying by Becky Masterman
  • Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight 
  • The Hard Bounce by Todd Robinson
Best Paperback Original
  • The Big Reap by Chris F. Holm
  • Purgatory Key by Darrell James
  • Joyland by Stephen King
  •  The Wicked Girls by Alex Marwood 
  • As She Left It by Catriona McPherson
Best Short Story
  •  “Dead Ends” by Craig Faustus Buck, Untreed Reads
  • “The Caxton Private Lending Library & Book Depository” by John Connolly, Bibliomysteries, The Mysterious Bookshop
  • “Annie and the Grateful Dead” by Denise Dietz, The Sound and the Furry
  • “Incident on the 405” by Travis Richardson, Malfeasance Occasional: Girl Trouble
  •  “The Care and Feeding of Houseplants” by Art Taylor, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, March-April 2013
Best Critical or Non-Fiction Work
  • Mastermind: How To Think Like Sherlock Holmes by Maria Konnikova
  • The Secret Rescue: An Untold Story of American Nurses and Medics Behind Nazi Lines by Cate Lineberry
  • All the Wild Children by Josh Stallings
  • The Hour of Peril: The Secret Plot To Murder Lincoln Before the Civil War by Daniel Stashower
  •  Troubled Daughters, Twisted Wives edited by Sarah Weinman
Best Children’s or Young Adult Novel
  • The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau 
  • Escape Theory by Margaux Froley 
  • Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein
  • Dancer, Daughter, Traitor, Spy by Elizabeth Kiem
  • The Code Busters Club: The Mystery of the Pirate’s Treasure by Penny Warner
Best Television Episode Teleplay First Aired in 2013
  • The Blacklist, Pilot, by Jon Bokenkamp
  • Breaking Bad, “Felina,” by Vince Gilligan
  • The Fall, “Dark Descent,” by Allan Cubitt
  • The Following, Pilot, by Kevin Williamson
  • Justified, “Hole in the Wall,” by Graham Yost
Best Audio Book
  • Crescendo by Deborah J Ledford, read by Christina Cox
  • The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith, read by Robert Glenister
  • Death and the Lit Chick by G.M. Malliet, read by Davina Porte
  • Hour of the Rat by Lisa Brackmann, read by Tracy Sallows
  • Man in the Empty Suit by Sean Ferrell, read by Mauro Hantman 

Friday, May 16, 2014

R.I.P. Mary Stewart

I loved Mary Stewart's novels. Having graduated from the Nancy Drew mysteries, I read and re-read Stewart's wonderful stories as I traveled through my teen years. All the exotic settings in her books encouraged my love of travel, as well as fueled my appetite for mysteries. So it was with sadness that I learned Mary Stewart passed away on May 9, 2014 at the age of 97.

Mary Stewart launched the romantic suspense genre with her stylish and intelligent novels. Her stories were "narrated by poised, smart, highly educated young women who drove fast cars and knew how to fight their corner." 

Madam, Will You Talk (1954) was Stewart's first book and it was an instant success. What followed was more than twenty novels over her 40 year writing career. Some of my favorites include My Brother Michael (1959), The Moonspinners (1962), and This Rough Magic (1964), all set in sunny Greece; Nine Coaches Waiting (1958); The Ivy Tree (1961); Wildfire at Midnight (1956); and Thunder on the Right (1957).

Then in 1970, Stewart published The Crystal Cave, the first of a trilogy about Merlin, that grew out of her fascination for Roman-British history. The book has become an enduring classic, putting Mary Stewart right up there with premiere Arthurian T.H. White. Her publishers feared that this new direction would hurt her sales, but the book was a bestseller.

Mary Stewart was an amazing storyteller and if you've never read one of her novels, get yourself to the local library and pick one up. I re-read Madam, Will You Talk not long ago and felt that the story was as fresh now as it was over fifty years ago.

Check out The Guardian for more about Mary Stewart.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Who is Harry Quebert?

Publishers are always looking for the next big thing -- the next Da Vinci Code or The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Well, I think the next big bestseller will be The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair by Swiss author Joel Dicker. I just finished the Advance Reader Copy of this amazing literary thriller and I must say I haven't raced through a 600+ page book so quickly in a long time!

Not that it would take a crystal ball to predict such an outcome. The book has been an international smash since it debuted at the 2012 Frankfurt Book Fair. It sold over a million copies in France, essentially knocking Fifty Shades of Grey off the number one spot on the bestseller list. Then it replaced Dan Brown's Inferno on both Spain and Italy's bestseller's lists.

The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair is a tightly plotted thriller that moves between 1975 when a 15-year-old New Hampshire girl disappears from her small town and thirty years later after the girl's remains are discovered on the property of  respected American novelist, Harry Quebert. When Harry is arrested for the murder, Marcus Goldman, the publishing world's most recent golden boy, rushes to Somerset, New Hampshire, determined to clear the name of his friend and mentor.

As the book opens, we meet the narrator, Marcus Goldman, whose first novel became a huge bestseller. Frankly, I almost closed the book after the first few pages because I didn't care for this shallow young protagonist. But something drew me in until I couldn't stop reading. I had to find out what happens.

 A victim of too much too soon, Marcus was enjoying the high life as a wealthy young author in New York until the reality of a looming deadline for his second novel came crashing down on him -- a novel he had yet to begin. When his college writing professor, the illustrious novelist Harry Quebert, is imprisoned for a thirty-year-old murder, Marcus is convinced of his innocence and travels to New Hampshire to dig into the case. And perhaps find the inspiration for his own next book.

The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair is an ingenious book within a book, with an insider's look at the publishing industry thrown in for good measure. Like peeling away the thorny leaves of an artichoke to get to the heart, the job is well worth the effort. Nothing and no one is what they seem and the twists and turns of the plot will keep you guessing until the final pages.

Penguin is releasing The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair on May 27. You will be hearing much more about this novel in the days ahead. reports that Warner Bros. has acquired the Dicker novel for Ron Howard to direct and Imagine Entertainment partner Brian Grazer to produce with him. I smell blockbuster.

Read a Winning Mystery!

This is a busy time of year for Aunt Agatha - lots going on around the library stacks! But it's also award season for the mystery trade. Here are some winning authors, and if you haven't read their books yet, now is the perfect time to catch up.


Congratulations to the winners of the 2014 Edgar Allan Poe Awards, honoring the best in mystery fiction, non-fiction and television, published or produced in 2013. The announcement was made at the  May 1st banquet hosted by Mystery Writers of America.

Best Novel -- Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger

Best First Novel -- Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews

Best Paperback Original -- The Wicked Girls by Alex Marwood

Best Fact Crime -- The Hour of Peril: The Secret Plot to Murder Lincoln Before the Civil War by Daniel Stashower

Best Critical/Biographical -- America is Elsewhere: The Noir Tradition in the Age of Consumer Culture by Erik Dussere

Best Short Story -- "The Caxton Private Lending Library and Book Depository" – Bibliomysteries by John Connolly

Best Juvenile -- One Came Home by Amy Timberlake

Young Adult -- Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher

TV Episode Teleplay "Episode 1" – The Fall, Teleplay by Allan Cubitt

Robert L. Fish Memorial -- "The Wentworth Letter" – Criminal Element's Malfeasance Occasional
by Jeff Soloway

Mary Higgins Clark Award -- Cover of Snow by Jenny Milchman

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Ah, the Mysterious Month of May!

Happy May Day! Here's a bit of murder and mayhem to keep you reading long into the night. Dorothy Cannell is releasing a new series that will appeal to Agatha Christie fans. Murder at Mullings is a 1930s country house murder  mystery -- don't you just love those!  

If you're in a Downton Abbey frame of mind, you might enjoy Hannah Dennison's latest, Murder at Honeychurch Hall. Hannah has visited the Burbank Public Library a number of times with the LA chapter of Sisters in Crime, so I can't wait to read her newest book.

I'm also looking forward to The Devil's Workshop, another Murder Squad historical thriller by Alex Grecian (The Yard). Read on!
  • Robert B. Parker’s Cheap Shot [Spenser ] by Ace Atkins
  • This Private Plot [Oliver Swithin] by Alan Beechey
  • Nursing Homes Are Murder [Geezer-Lit] by Mike Befeler
  • The Lincoln Myth [Cotton Malone] by Steve Berry
  • Bred in the Bone [Jasmine Sharp & Catherine McLeod] by Christopher Brookmyre
  • Starfire by Dale Brown
  • Murder at Mullings [Florence Norris] by Dorothy Cannell
  • The Stranger You Know [Maeve Kerrigan] by Jane Casey 
  • The Hollow Girl [Moe Prager] by Reed Farrel Coleman
  • Ghost Ship [NUMA Files] by Clive Cussler & Graham Brown
  • The Skin Collector [Lincoln Rhyme] by Jeffery Deaver
  • Murder at Honeychurch Hall [Kat Stanford] by Hannah Dennison
  • Hell To Pay by Garry Disher
  • Jack of Spies [Jack McColl] by David Downing
  • Fatal Harbor [Lewis Cole] by Brendan DuBois
  • The Shroud Maker [Wesley Peterson] by Kate Ellis
  • Ragtime Cowboys by Loren D. Estleman
  • Suspicion  by Joseph Finder
  • The Devil’s Workshop [Murder Squad] by Alex Grecian
  • Murder in Merino [Seaside Knitters] by Sally Goldenbaum
  • Murder and Mendelssohn [Phryne Fisher] by Kerry Greenwood 
  • Booty Bones [Sarah Booth Delaney] by Carolyn Haines
  • Death at the Door [Death on Demand] by Carolyn Hart
  • Wolf [Jack Caffery] by Mo Hayder
  • The Buddy System  by Brandon Hebert
  • Sniper’s Honor [Bob Lee Swagger] by Stephen Hunter
  • The Director by David Ignatius
  • Reckless Endangerment [Brock & Poole] by Graham Ison
  • Sixth Grave on the Edge [Grim Reaper] by Darynda Jones
  • The Web [graphic novel of Alex Delaware] by Jonathan Kellerman with Ande Parks & Michael Gaydos 
  • Prayer by Philip Kerr
  • The Hidden Child [Hedström & Falck] by Camilla Läckberg 
  • The Keeper [Dismas Hardy & Abe Glitsky] by John Lescroart
  • The Watchman [Marc Portman] by Adrian Magson
  • The Corsican Caper [Sam Levitt] by Peter Mayle
  • The River of Souls [Matthew Corbett] by Robert McCammon
  • The Dark Palace [Silas Quinn] by R.N. Morris
  • The Son by Jo Nesbø
  • For the Love of Parvati [Anita Ray] by Susan Oleksiw
  • Murder on the Hoof [Colleen McCabe] by Kathryn O’Sullivan
  • Unlucky 13 [Women’s Murder Club] by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro
  • Small Plates [Short Stories] by Katherine Hall Page
  • Resistant by Michael Palmer
  • Hop Alley [Bill Ogden] by Scott Phillips
  • The Kraken Project by Douglas Preston
  • The Directive [Mike Ford] by Matthew Quirk
  • Every Hidden Fear [Skeet Bannion] by Linda Rodriguez
  • The Kill Switch [Tucker Wayne] by James Rollins & Grant Blackwood
  • Field of Prey [Lucas Davenport] by John Sandford
  • The Advocate by Randy Singer
  • Hangman [Abbie Kearney] by Stephan Talty
  • Fatal Enquiry [Cyrus Barker & Thomas Llewelyn] by Will Thomas
  • Murder in Murray Hill [Gaslight] by Victoria Thompson
  • Trouble in the Cotswolds [Thea Osborne] by Rebecca Tope
  • Wolverine Bros. Freight and Storage [Conway Sax] by Steve Ulfelder
  • Catnapped! [Dead End Job] by Elaine Viets