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Nancy Moskowitz's blog

New Mysteries February 2011

Heartstone by C.J. Sansom
Buttercream Bump Off by Jenn McKinlay
India Black by Carol K. Carr
Frozen Assets by Quentin Bates
Kenken Killings by Parnell Hall
Twisted Reason by Diane Fanning
October Killings by Wessel Ebersohn
Backstage Stuff by Sharon Fiffer
Buffalo West Wing by Julie Hyzy
Play of Piety by Margaret Frazer
Falling More Slowly by Peter Helton
Shot Through Velvet by Ellen Byerrum
Attenbury Emeralds by Jill Paton Walsh
Lonely Death by Charles Todd
Big Wheat by Richard Thompson
Cat Sitter Among the Pigeons by Blaize Clement
Decadent Way to Die by G.A. McKevett
Girl in the Green Raincoat by Laura Lippman
Open Season by Maryann Miller
Headhunter's Daughterby Tamar Myers

New Mysteries January 2011

Sinister Sprinkles by Jessica Beck
Mirror Image by Dennis Palumbo
To Have and to Kill by Mary Jane Clark
Sherlock Holmes and the Shakespearean Letter by Barry Grant
Valley of Dry Bones by Priscilla Royal
Pumpkin Muffin Murder by Livia J. Washburn
Third Degree by Maggie Barbieri
Miss Dimple Disappears by Mignon F. Ballard
Cruel Ever After by Ellen Hart
Bedeviled Eggs by Laura Childs
Big Wheel by Richard A. Thompson
One Grave Less by Beverly Connor
Killer Crop by Sheila Connolly
Stitch Before Dying by Anne Canadeo
Left-Handed Dollar by Loren D. Estleman
Ghouls, Ghouls, Ghouls by Victoria Laurie
Assault with a Deadly Glue Gun by Lois Winston
Threats at Three by Ann Purser
Buttons and Bones by Monica Ferris
Mr. Monk is Cleaned Out by Lee Goldberg

Mystery Monday

Everyone knows about  and maybe occasionally overindulges on "comfort food", but what about "comfort books"?  You know, the literary equivalent of macaroni and cheese.  Comfort books, like comfort food, soothe us with their familiarity, distracting us from our troubles with a happy visit to old friends.  People can find escape from their cares by drinking, drug taking,or over-eating, but a much more benign way is to pick up a proven favorite book and get lost in the pages.  Mystery Scene's Holiday 2010 issue asked mystery writers for their own comfort reads and traditional mysteries seem to be the overwhelming choice.  Who wouldn't find solace in a well-loved mystery with a favorite sleuth?  And who ever remembers whodunnit it anyway?  So, in these hectic December days, in between shopping, cookie baking, present wrapping and bill paying, take a brief respite with a book.  Curl up with an old favorite or choose one of the other suggested authors from below. Happy holidays to you all!

New Mysteries December 2010

Port Mortuary by Patricia Cornwell
Dead Like You by Peter James
City of Dreadful Night by Peter Guttridge
Double Knit Murders by Maggie Sefton
Dead Man's Chest by Kerry Greenwood
Midnight Show Murders by Al Roker
Blood and Fire by Nick Brownlee
Berried to the Hilt by Karen Macinerney
Uplifting Murder by Elaine Viets
Peril at Somner House by Joanna Challis
Dove of Death by Peter Tremayne
Roman Games by Bruce Macbain
Butterfly in Flame by Nicholas Kilmer
Negative Image by Vicki Delany
Murder at the PTA by Laura Alden
A Brisket, a Casket by Delia Rosen
Chocolate Pirate Plot by Joanna Carl

Mystery Monday

In 1936, S.S. Van Dine (author of the Philo Vance mysteries) published an article titled "Twenty Rules for Writing Detective Stories." Some of these rules, for example, 3 and 9 seem rather curious today.  Fans of police procedurals know it takes teamwork to find the guilty party.  Jack Reacher fans know he is too often irresistible to women who are not looking for a long-term commitment. As for some of the other rules, have they stood the test of time?  You be the judge.

1) The reader should have the same opportunity as the detective to solve the crime.

2) No tricks can be played to mislead the reader unless it is also done to the detective by the criminal.

3) The detective should not have a love interest.

4) Neither the detective nor one of the official investigators can turn out to be the criminal.

5) The villain must be found by logical deduction, not luck, accident, or un-motivated confessions.

6) The story must have a detective who also solves the crime (by detection).

7) It must be a murder mystery ("the deader the corpse the better").

New Mysteries November 2010

You'd Better Knot Die by Betty Hechtman
Christmas Mourning by Margaret Maron
Killing Storm by Kathryn Casey
Holiday Yarn by Sallt Goldenbaum
Killer of Pilgrims by Susanna Gregory
Christmas Odyssey by Anne Perry
Jane and the Madness of Lord Byron by Stephanie Barron
Reversal by Michael Connelly
Demon's Parchment by Jeri Westerson
Death Notice by Todd Ritter
Coming Back by Marcia Muller
In Search of Mercy by Michael Ayoob
Blue Lightning by Ann Cleeves
Blood Count by Reggie Nadelson
On the Line by S.J. Rozan
Christmas at the Mysterious Bookshop edited by Otto Penzler
Dark Road to Darjeeling by Deanna Raybourn
Catered Thanksgiving by Isis Crawford
Track of Sand by Andrea Camilleri
Siren by Alison Bruce
To the Manor Dead by Sebastian Stuart
Rhetoric of Death by Judith Rock
Swift Justice by Laura DiSilverio
Damage Done by Hilary Davidson
Front Page Teaser by Rosemary Herbert
Skating Around the Law by Joelle Charbonneau
Best American Noir of the Twentieth Century edited by James Ellroy

New Mysteries October 2010

Impartial Witness by Charles Todd
Back Spin by Harlan Coben
Shooting in the Shop by Simon Brett
Shadows in the Street by Susan Hill
Wicked Witch Murder by Leslie Meier
Fever of the Bone by Val McDermid
For Richer For Danger by Lisa Bork
Devil by Ken Bruen
Vermilion Drift by William Kent Krueger
Danse Macabre by Gerald Elias
Loco Motive by Mary Daheim
Deadly Daggers by Joyce Lavene
Deadly Row by Casey Mayes
Black Lizard Big Book of Black Mask Stories edited by Otto Penzler
Buzz Off by Hannah Reed
Bryant and May Off the Rails by Christopher Fowler
To Fetch a Thief by Spencer Quinn
Shadow Woman by Ake Edwardson
Hypothermia by Arnaldur Indridason
Liar, Liar by K.J. Larsen
Bleed a River Deep by Brian McGilloway

Mystery Monday

from the Agatha Christie plaque at Torre Abbey, TorquayAgatha Christie would have turned 120 years old last week.  Born September 15, 1890,the daughter of an American father and a British mother, Agatha  Christie is the best known mystery writer of all time.  Few would argue that the books were  literary masterpieces with their pedestrian writing and stock characters, yet people continue to read and enjoy them. Only Shakespeare and the Bible have bested her more than 2 billion copies sold.  But what explains the popularity of Christie's work and the diversity of her readers? Why do her books still sell about 25 million copies a year?

New Mysteries September 2010

Murder by Mistake by Veronica Heley
Bad Boy by Peter Robinson
Body Blows by Marc Strange
Chapter and Hearse by Lorna Barrett
Murder in the Abstract by Susan C. Shea
Murder in the Air by Bill Crider
Hanging Tree by Bryan Gruley
Fatally Frosted by Jessica Beck
Murder Past Due by Miranda James
Forbidden Fruit by Kerry Greenwood
Crossfire by Dick Francis
Queen of Patpong by Timothy Hallinan
Touch-me-not by Cynthia Riggs
I'd Know You Anywhere by Laura Lippman
Messenger of Athens by Anne Zouroudis
Spider Bones by Kathy Reichs
Deb on Arrival by Laurie Moore
Body Work by Sara Paretsky

New Mysteries August 2010

The Taken by Inger Ash Wolfe
Mills of God by Deryn Lake
Caper by Parnell Hall
Long Quiche Goodbye by Avery Aames
Resolutions by Jane Adams
Glass Rainbow by James Lee Burke
Wanting Sheila Dead by Jane Haddam
Love Songs from a Shallow Grave by Colin Cotterill
Brush with Death by Elizabeth J. Duncan
Pepperoni Pizza can be Murder by Chris Cavender
Spider on the Stairs by Cassandra Chan
Maid of Murder by Amanda Flower
Glimpse of Evil by Victoria Laurie
Tutankhamun by Nick Drake
Burn by Nevada Barr
Roast Mortem by Cleo Coyle
Small Death in the Great Glen by A.D. Scott
Dark Vineyard by Martin Walker
Hangman by Faye Kellerman

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