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Nancy Moskowitz's blog

New Mysteries July 2011

Breaking Silence by Linda Castillo
Bones of a Feather by Carolyn Haines
Tigerlily's Orchids by Ruth Rendell
Stagestruck by Peter Lovesey
Now You See Me by S.J. Bolton
Unraveled by Maggie Sefton
Inspector and Silence by Hakkan Nesser
Wined and Dined by Cricket McRae
Last King of Brighton by Peter Guttridge
Camouflage by Bill Pronzini
Misery Bay by Steve Hamilton
Claire Dewitt and the City of the Dead by Sara Gran
Death Toll by Jim Kelly
Shirt on his Back by Barbara Hambly
Murder on Sisters' Row by Victoria Thompson
Disturbance by Jan Burke
Midsummer Crown by Kate Sedley
Kissing the Demons by Kate Ellis
Return of Captain John Emmett by Elizabeth Speller
Footsteps on the Shore by Pauline Rowson
Frozen Charlotte by Priscilla Masters
Counterfeit Madam by Pat McIntosh
English Tea Murder by Leslie Meier
Sentenced for Death by Lorna Barrett
Flowerbed of State by Dorothy St. James

New Mysteries June 2011

Mind Your Own Beeswax by Hannah Reed
Kiss Her Goodbye by Mickey Spillane
Evil Eclairs by Jessica Beck
Mrs. Jeffries Forges Ahead by Emily Brightwell
Felicity's Gate by Julian Cole
Lost and Fondue by Avery Aames
Redeemed by M.R. Hall
Classified as Murder by Miranda James
Pumped for Murder by Elaine Viets
These Dark Things by Jan Merete Weiss
Losing Nicola by Susan Moody
Merely Players by J.M. Gregson
Oscar Wilde and the Vampyre Murders by Gyles Daubney Brandreth
Claire Dewitt and the City of the Dead by Sara Gran
Last King of Brighton by Peter Guttridge
Mountains Bow Down by Sibella Giorello
Spider Web by Earlene Fowler
Wedding Shawl by Sally Goldenbaum
Bee Balm Murders by Cynthia Riggs
Secret of the White Rose by Stefanie Pintoff
Death on Tour by Janice Hamrick
Night on Fire by Douglas Corleone
Missing Persons by Clare O'Donohue
Darkside by Belinda Bauer

Mystery Monday

Award season is here for mystery lovers.  The Agatha awards for best traditional mysteries were announced late last month and the winners in each category are (followed by the runners-up)
Best Novel
Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny
Stork Raving Mad by Donna Andrews
The Scent of Rain and Lightning by Nancy Pickard
Drive Time by Hank  by Phillippi Ryan
Truly, Madly by Heather Webber

Best First Novel

The Long Quiche Goodbye by Avery Aames
Murder at the PTA by Laura Alden
Maid of Murder by Amanda Flower
Full Mortality by Sasscer Hill
Diamonds for the Dead by Alan Orloff

Edgar Awards honoring the best in mystery fiction were also announced in late April.  Here are the winners in each category, followed by the runners-up.
Best Novel
The Lock Artist by Steve Hamilton
Caught by Harlan Coben
Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin
Faithful Place by Tana French
The Queen of Patpong by Timothy Hallinan
I'd Know  You Anywhere by Laura Lippman

New Mysteries May 2011

Sixkill by Robert Parker
Hanging Wood by Martin Edwards
Slugfest by Rosemary Harris
False Money by Veronica Heley
According to the Evidence by Bernard Knight
Mourning Gloria by Susan Wittig Albert
Fall From Grace by Wayne Arthurson
Hard Day's Fright by Casey Daniels
Cookie Dough or Die by Virginia Lowell
Vienna Waltz by Teresa Grant
Body in the Gazebo by Katherine Hall Page
Dead by Midnight by Carolyn G. Hart
Vienna Twilight by Frank Tallis
Hiss of Death by Rita Mae Brown
Among the Departed by Vicki Delany
Knockdown by Sarah Graves
Shadows of a Down East Summer
Magic Bullet by Larry Millett
One was a Soldier by Julia Spencer-Fleming

Mystery Monday

The death of an author does not necessarily mean the end of a beloved series.  If the series has been successful, publishers will not let a little thing like the author's demise be a hindrance. A new writer is chosen, his or her name with be relegated to a tiny font while the title reads something like Robert Ludlum's Jason Bourne in the Bourne Legacy by ... Saddled with a clunky title, the book will nevertheless sell briskly to those who are eager for more time with these cherished characters. My favorite example of a writer who appears to trump death by writing from the grave is the trademarked V.C. Andrews.  After her death in 1986, her family "wanted the torch to continue" and chose a writer to carry that torch.  The writer, Andrew Neiderman, has been unbelievably prolific and has kept her  many fans happy over the years.

New Mysteries April 2011

Mystery by Jonathan Kellerman
Alpine Vengeance by Mary Daheim
The Complaints by Ian Rankin
Bless the Bride by Rhys Bowen
Devil's Food Cake Murder by Joanne Fluke
Brothers of Baker Street by Michael Robertson
Deadly Cliche by Ellery Adams
Cold wind by C.J. Box
Death in a Scarlet Coat by David Dickinson
Lost Sister by Russel D. McLean
Scones and Bones by Laura Childs
Lethal Lineage by Charlotte Hinger
Live Wire by Harlan Coben
Touch of Gold by Joyce Lavene
Begging for Trouble by Judi McCoy
Empty Death by Laura Wilson
Dark and Stormy Night by Jeanne M. Dams
Echoes of the Dead by Sally Spencer
Off the Record by Dolores Gordon-Smith
Mimosas, Mischief, and Murder by Sara Rosett
Original Sins edited by Martin Edwards
An Evil Eye by Jason Goodwin
A Gentleman of Fortune by Anna Dean

Mystery Monday

The wallflowers of the libraries are those books that languish on the shelves unread and ignored.  Well-reviewed, (or they wouldn't be in the library), they are not sought out by readers, but may be stumbled upon by happenstance, a possible delightful discovery for someone.  What makes someone take a chance on an unknown mystery?  Is it an attractive cover, intriguing jacket copy, or a rave review from a favorite mystery author?  Do people stick to certain sub-genres, i.e. police procedurals, British cozies, dog mysteries?  Or, do they read omnivorously, picking anything that appeals at that moment?  What sort of reader are you?  Do you read strictly off the best seller list, reserving all your choices in advance? Do you depend on serendipity, enjoying the thrill of finding a really great book all by yourself? 
Below are some of these wallflower mystery authors, some suggested by members of the Investigating Mysteries book discussion group. Take one out and have yourself a good time.

New Mysteries March 2011

Fadeaway Girl by Martha Grimes
Treachery in Death by J.D. Robb
Though Not Dead by Dana Stabenow
Eyes of the Innocent by Brad Parks
Blotto, Twinks and the Ex-King's Daughter by Simon Brett
Aftermath by Peter Turnbull
Dangerous Edge of Things by Tina Whittle
Heaven is High by Kate Wilhelm
Red Herring Without Mustard by Alan Bradley
Redback by Kirk Russell
Crafty Killing by Lorraine Bartlett
Curiosity Thrilled the Cat by Sofie Kelly
Stitch Me Deadly by Amanda Lee
Force of Habit by Alice Loweecey
Janus Stone by Elly Griffiths
Aunt Dimity and the Family Tree by Nancy Atherton
Death of a Chimney Sweep by M.C. Beaton
Fruit of all Evil by Paige Shelton

New Mysteries March 2011

Fadeaway Girl by Martha Grimes
Treachery in Death by J.D. Robb
Though Not Dead by Dana Stabenow
Eyes of the Innocent by Brad Parks
Blotto, Twinks and the Ex-King's Daughter by Simon Brett
Aftermath by Peter Turnbull
Dangerous Edge of Things by Tina Whittle
Heaven is High by Kate Wilhelm
Red Herring Without Mustard by Alan Bradley
Redback by Kirk Russell
Crafty Killing by Lorraine Bartlett
Curiosity Thrilled the Cat by Sofie Kelly
Stitch Me Deadly by Amanda Lee
Force of Habit by Alice Loweecey
Janus Stone by Elly Griffiths
Aunt Dimity and the Family Tree by Nancy Atherton
Death of a Chimney Sweep by M.C. Beaton
Fruit of all Evil by Paige Shelton

Mystery Monday

Who wants to laugh?
Humor is a very subjective concept.  What is uproarious to one person may not even bring a smile to the lips of someone else.  Why the seemingly sophisticated French adore Jerry Lewis has been a real head scratcher to those who find his antics decidedly unfunny.  But what is a sense of humor and why does it vary so widely between individuals?  While everyone does possess a distinct sense of humor and may be amused by events that don't necessarily tickle another's funnybone, there are certain universal characteristics of humor that produce a humorous response. These are:
    Incongruity
    Absurdity, ludicrousness, or ridiculousness
    Unexpected future
    pleasant surprise
    Being startled
    "Getting it"
    Emotional chaos remembered in tranquility

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