We can't resist a good academic mystery. Name the writer and principal protagonist of a humorous series about mysterious antics at a New England agricultural college.
Send your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org (subject line: quiz). Winner will be randomly drawn from correct entries.
Congratulations to Cynthia Kahn of Watertown, Massachusetts, and Kennebunk, who identified author Mark Pryor, British by birth and upbringing, who's now prosecuting "bad guys"--his words--as an assistant district attorney in Texas, while writing two mystery series. The first features the head of security at the American Embassy in Paris; the second, a British ex-pat and psychopath working at a (surprise!) DA's office in Texas.
was born April 3, 1936, in County Durham,
England. His best-known books featured Superintendent Andrew Dalziel and Sergeant Peter Pascoe. He also wrote under the name Patrick Ruell
. He died in 2012.
Tom Clancy was born on April 12, 1947, in Baltimore and died there, a loyal son of the city, in 2013. At age 37, after a number of years in the insurance business, his book The Hunt for Red October was published and transformed military thrillers with its detailed and accurate technical descriptions. It also led Clancy to write 18 books that sold 100 million-plus copies and helped him become part owner of the Baltimore Orioles, among other achievements.
Ngaio Marsh was born April 23, 1899, in Christchurch, New Zealand. Her popular series featuring Roderick Alleyn, second son of a baronet and a police inspector in London, numbered 32 books, written between 1934 and 1982. The Mystery Writers of America presented her with its Grand Master Award in 1978, four years before her death.
Along with Agatha Christie, Margery
Allingham, and Dorothy Sayers, Marsh is credited
with creating the ever-popular "traditional" English detective story.
Sue Grafton, born April 24, 1940, in Louisville, Kentucky, was best known for her Kinsey Milhone "alphabet mysteries" (1982-2017). Writing TV screenplays honed her plotting and characterization skills and led to the almost instant success of the Kinsey series. She received the Grand Master Award from the Mystery Writers of America in 2009. Her death last year forever ended the alphabet with the letter "Y."
, aka, Jack Harvey
, perhaps the most popular of the Scottish noir writers, was born in the Kingdom of Fife on April 28, 1960, but now lives in Edinburgh. After a number of jobs and many years writing, he found success with Knots and Crosses
, the first novel about the world-weary Edinburgh detective John Rebus. (They now number 22.) He has won both a Silver Dagger and an Edgar.
Some of you already do this, but just a reminder that there's something that you can do for other mystery readers--and it's absolutely free.
Forward them our newsletter. And, if they enjoy it and would like their very own free subscription, tell them to sign up. We're pleased to have subscribers throughout the United States as well as many internationally.
Thank you for supporting
Mainely Murders Bookstore and other small independent booksellers. At a time when you have other choices, you've shown a commitment to those of us who are part of the local community and who consider customers to be friends and neighbors.
We take great pride in talking with our clientele, whether it's trading viewpoints on favorites or recommending new titles and authors.
To Shop Local
* Spend $100 locally and $68 of that stays in your community. Spend the same $100 at a national chain; only $43 stays in your community.
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* Buying local means less packaging, less transportation, and a smaller carbon footprint.
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* Local retailers are your friends and neighbors--support them and they'll support you.
* Local businesses donate to charities at more than twice the rate of national chains.
* More independents means more choice, more diversity, and a more unique community.
We're back! We discovered a few years ago that it's time for the vacation to end when we begin to get excited about the coming bookstore season.
It's another month until we officially re-open, but it feels like it's right around the corner. So much to do before May 2. We'll be on the road, buying books. (You might run into us in Massachusetts, Vermont, New York, Connecticut, and elsewhere.) We've already unpacked the boxes of books that arrived while we were away.
There's also, of course, the more mundane tasks ahead. Did you know that before we open each spring we handle every single book in the shop, dusting both books and shelves, before deciding if a book merits a place?
For the first time, we're getting a head start on the season. Our doors may not be open for a while, but we're offering mail order service beginning today. Can't wait for Donna Leon's latest Brunetti title? Come across a new-to-you author and wonder if we have any more of the 15-book series? Think you just have to have a few books to tide you over until your Maine trip? See details below.
So while we happily report another enjoyable winter in Paris, we're equally thrilled to be getting ready for our 8th season. Some of you have been with us from the very beginning. Others tell us you're still eagerly awaiting your first visit. To all, we hope to see you soon.
Paula and Ann
Partners in Crime.
Open for Business
We're so eager to start our 8th season (can it really be eight?) that we're starting even before we open our doors.
Between now and our May 2 Re-opening Day, we're pleased to ship mail orders. Whether a new release you can't wait to read, a book you've just discovered you're missing from your favorite series, or a "must- read" classic.
If you or someone you know is planning to visit us later this year, plan ahead. Gift cards, both plastic and our new e-mail version, are available in any amount.
To place orders, e-mail us at email@example.com
. We'll contact you to confirm order, availability of titles, and method of payment. Unless otherwise requested, we ship all books USPS media mail. As always, we insure larger orders at our own expense.
It's a Small World
That's what we thought when we ran into two
customers while at the American Library in Paris: Aurelie Hagstrom
(left), associate professor of theology at Providence College, and Austa Juraite
, of Lithuanian National Radio and Television (LRT).
The women were visiting a friend in Paris when they read about the library in our March newsletter and stopped by to check it out. Guess who was there?
Two years ago, while in Italy, we met up with Aurelie, then director of the Providence College Center for Theology and Religious Studies in Rome, for a personalized tour around the city.
Lucky us. We never know where we will come upon our customers
We're Eagerly Awaiting . . . .
From the beginning Mainely Murders has emphasized quality used books at affordable prices.*
But long before we were mystery booksellers, we were mystery lovers, eagerly awaiting the release of new titles by our favorite authors.
Indeed, we were recently surveyed about our "most anticipated" new releases set for the next few months. As customers have come to expect, our lists are quite different.
Elly Griffiths, The Dark Angel (May)
Martin Walker, A Taste of Vengeance (June)
Laurie R. King, Island of the Mad (June)
Paul Doiron, Stay Hidden (July)
Daniel Silva, The Other Woman (July)
Jussi Adler-Olsen, The Washington Decree (August)
David Baldacci, The Fallen (April)
Alex Gray, Silent Games (May)
Stuart MacBride, The Blood Road (June)
Christine Trent, No Cure for the Dead (May)
* In the interest of full disclosure, we should point out that for many readers discovery comes via a writer's latest title. For instance, a new reader introduced to Donna Leon's Venice series by her most recent, The Temptation of Forgiveness, will surely be interested to know that there are 26 previous ones. And we have them all.
The Nominees Are . . . .
For mystery writers and readers, the Edgars are much like the Oscars of motion pictures. It doesn't get any better. Awarded by the Mystery Writers of America, the Edgars honor the previous year's "best." This year, the 209th anniversary of the birth of Edgar Allan Poe, the award's namesake, the Edgars will be awarded April 26.
How many of this year's nominees have you read? Check out the following list of those books up for the top fiction categories. Find a complete list at www.theedgars.com
Kathleen Kent, The Dime
Philip Kerr, Prussian Blue
Attica Locke, Bluebird, Bluebird
Abir Mukherjee, The Rising Man
Hannah Tintti, The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley
Best First Novel By an American Author
Jordan Harper, She Rides Shotgun
Winnie M. Li, Dark Chapter
Melissa Scrivner Love, Lola
Deborah E. Kennedy, Tornado Weather
Emily Ruskovich, Idaho
Best Paperback Original
Rhys Bowen, In Farleigh Field
Ron Corbett, Ragged Lake
Andrew Mayne, Black Fall
Anna Mazzola, The Unseeing
Kanae Minato, Penance
Traveling Book Bag
We weren't the only winter travelers. Gail Moyer* of Mt. Laurel, New Jersey, visited the ancient fortress of Masada, perched atop an isolated rock plateau on the eastern edge of the Judean Desert, overlooking the Dead Sea.
Considered one of the world's most beautiful ruins, Masada is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Yes, we're jealous and can't wait to see more pictures.
*Disclosure: Gail is Ann's cousin.
Susan Wittig Albert, Queen Anne's Lace [China Bayles #26]
David Baldacci, The Fallen [Amos Decker #4]
*John Connelly, Woman in the Woods [Charlie Parker #16]
*Kaitlyn Dunnett, Crime & Punctuation [Deadly Edits #1]
Kate Ellis, The Mechanical Devil [Wesley Peterson #22]
Catriona McPherson, Scot Free [Last Ditch #1]
James Patterson and Maxine Paetro, The 17th Suspect [Women's Murder Club #17]
John Sanford, Twisted Prey [Lucas Davenport #28]
*Authors with Maine connections.
Dave DeInnocentis of North Andover, Massachusetts, sent us a "strong recommendation."
In the text of Tim Hallinan's last book a character is reading Zoo Station by David Downing and another character remarks that it's a terrific book, too good a tip for me to ignore.
Within pages I was hooked, not only on this first in the series but the whole six-book series. The protagonist is an English journalist in Berlin, his son is a patriotic German boy of 12 in 1938, and his girlfriend is a noted German film actor. Our correspondent is soon acting as a triple, even quadruple, agent, spying for the Nazis, Russians, British, and Americans, as the book settings move to 1939. Then November of 1941, April of 1945, December of 1945, and finally 1948 and the partition.
The dates are significant in that they govern the motif. History is center stage but does not overwhelm the individual and very thrilling struggles of the journalist, John Russell, as he attempts to juggle and survive and save his extended family in an increasingly perilous world. Reading this series brought me many times to tears of sadness, and tears of elation.
Mystery blogger Marilyn Brooks
of Needham, Massachusetts www.marilynsmysteryreads.com
, is teaching another class at the Brandeis Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (BOLLI) at Brandeis University in Waltham.
Following up the popularity ("discussions were always vibrant and interesting") of last fall's class, Whodunit? Murder in New England, Marilyn has come up with a new take on mysteries. It's Whodunit? Murder in Ethnic Communities.
While not easily accessible to all of us, the class sounds like a sure-winner, taking mystery readers to communities throughout the country. Ever gracious about sharing her love of mysteries, Marilyn writes:
If you'd like to be an armchair traveler and join the members of the class as we discuss these novels, here they are:
The Ritual Bath (Orthodox Judaism), Faye Kellerman (California)
Invisible City (Orthodox Judaism), Julia Dahl (New York City)
The Bishop's Wife (Mormon), Mette Ivie Harrison (Utah)
No Witness but the Moon (Hispanic), Susan Chazin (Upstate New York)
A Killing Gift (Chinese-American), Leslie Glass (New York City)
Among the Wicked (Amish), Linda Castillo (Ohio)
Blanche Among the Talented Tenth
(African-American), Barbara Neely (Maine)
Dance Hall of the Dead (Native American), Tony Hillerman (New Mexico)
You're welcome to read along with us as we tour the United States in search of murder, mystery, and mayhem!