News from Mainely Murders Bookstore
From: Mainely Murders Bookstore <>
Subject: News from Mainely Murders Bookstore
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1 Bourne Street, Kennebunk, ME 04043
(207) 985-8706

Reopening in April 2014

Newsletter:  February 2014
In This Issue
Mystery Videos Take Over the Small Screen
Coming Soon



Newsletter Archives:
Previous issues can be
 viewed on our 



No quiz this issue. We've exhausted our supply of trivia--at least for another month. But, rest assured, more questions are on their way. 





Happy February Birthdays


British writer Colin Watson was born February 1, 1920, in Croydon, Surrey. He is best known for his novels set in the town of Flaxborough with Inspector Purbright and his assistant Sergeant Sidney Love. In 1971, his sociological history of British crime fiction, Snobbery with Violence, was published.


Janwillem van de Wetering, best known for his Amsterdam police procedurals, was born on February 12, 1931, in Rotterdam. Two of his books--The Maine Massacre and Just a Corpse at Twilight--were set in Maine, where he spent some years of his life. He died in 2008 in Blue Hill.


Georges Simenon, the creator of one of the all-time best fictional police detectives, Inspector Jules Maigret, was born February 13, 1903, in Liege, Belgium.


Ruth Rendell was born February 17, 1930, in London. Honored as a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America in 1997, her most enduring character is Reginald Wexford, a chief inspector in Sussex. She continues to write under her own name as well as that of Barbara Vine.




Thank you!


Thank you for supporting Mainely Murders Bookstore and other small independent booksellers. At a time of increased dominance by chains and online giants, 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.


 Buy Local



Did You Know?


For every $100 spent at a locally owned business, $45 stays in the local community. For every $100 spent at a national chain, franchise store, or online, only $14 remains in the community.



Show Your 

Mysterious Side


What better way to carry your books (or anything else) and the same time demonstrate your love of mysteries than with our Mainely Murders' black bag. 


Made of durable fabric with reinforced 20-inch handles, the bag sports our recognizable store logo. ($7)










The shop's been closed for a month now. When we haven't had to shovel snow, we've been busy inventorying stock, analyzing sales, and watching mystery films and TV series. The results of the latter, you'll find here this month.


Like many of our customers, we're big fans of British videos as well as books. So, with the shop doors closed, we decided, at the behest of many, to share some of our favorites and a few others new even to us. Most, for the sake of availability, are British. But, we've sprinkled in a few others as well.


Our own "mystery tour" has begun. We call it that because so much of our travel is inspired by the mysteries we read and our resolve to discover as many new writers as we can and add harder-to-find titles to our international shelves.


The bulk of the month will be spent in Paris, where Paula continues to believe that Cara Black's Aimee Leduc might need her help fighting Internet crime. (Yes, technophobe Paula!!) We plan a trip to Bruges, Belgium, a city we've never visited but have seen many times in Ann's favorite Colin Farrell film, In Bruges.


We'll spend some time in London on this trip. We're often asked the source of our international books. Many come directly from Great Britain. We're frequent customers of the Royal Mail. This time we'll use charity shops as our source and suitcases as our transport.


Next month, we'll write from Paris.


In the meantime, winter well.


Paula & Ann

Partners in Crime


P.S. We were surprised (though, pleasantly) how far our 2013 sales exceeded our expectations. A look at the top sellers in various categories helps tell the
story. We'll offer those findings next month.                    



Mystery Videos Take Over the

Small Screen


We're big fans of mystery series on the small (or, for many people, not-so-small) screen. And, what better time than winter to check out all that's available--many of which are adapted, sometimes very loosely, from novels.


While we prefer, when available, the convenience afforded by Netflix streaming, we also rely on DVDs, particularly for many of the classics.


In one of our early newsletters, we briefly discussed our favorite British videos. Many were classics. Just glance at the following list to see how many classics you remember seeing on TV, probably on Masterpiece Mystery.


Agatha Christie's Partners in Crime [Tommy and Tuppence, 1983-84]

Brother Cadfael [1994-1996]

Campion [1980s/90s]

Father Brown [1980s]

Inspector Alleyn Mysteries [1990s]

Lord Peter Wimsey [1970s/1987]

Mrs. Bradley Mysteries [1998-2000]

Murder Most English [1970s]

Pie in the Sky [1994-1997]

Prime Suspect [1991-2006]

Rumpole [1978-1992]

Ruth Rendell Mysteries [1987-2000]

A Touch of Frost [1992-2010]

Wycliffe [1994-1998]


Would you believe it's been more than 20 years since the first Prime Suspect (and Chief Inspector Jane Tennyson) first appeared? Or that Rumpole started in 1978?


Since then, our options and yours have expanded--both old and new. The British selections alone flourished, though there are a few well-regarded series that are not yet available in the U.S.--or Region 1 in DVD language. (Vs. Region 2 in Britain. Region 2 videos, sadly, do not play on most U.S. DVD players.)


Of our six favorite new-to-us shows this year, two are British: Vera and The Bletchley Circle (Ann's very favorite). But most of the shows listed here are not new, just worth listing, especially neglected series like Dr. Bell and Mr. Doyle or Murder in Suburbia (humorously mismatched female buddy series).


The Bletchley Circle

*Chandler & Co.


Dalziel and Pascoe

Death in Paradise

Dr. Bell and Mr. Doyle

Foyle's War

George Gently

Hamish Macbeth

Helen West [2002]

Hetty Wainthropp Investigates

Inspector Lewis [Morse follow-up]

Inspector Lynley

Inspector Morse

Jonathan Creek [magician detective]

Judge John Deed

The Last Detective

Luther [R]

*McCallum [R]

Midsomer Murders

Murder in Suburbia

New Tricks

The No. 1 Detective Agency

Rebus [Scotland]

Rosemary & Thyme [beautiful gardens]

*Scott and Bailey

Sherlock Holmes

*Silent Witness [1996-2013]

Taggert [Scotland]

Touching Evil




Waking the Dead



Wire in the Blood [R]


Four of our favorite series last year, however, were non-British and mostly dark. The supremely cynical Spiral (Engrenages in French) provides great insights into the French judicial system (for those used to a common-law legal system anyway) and perhaps into the French political system. Each of its seasons follows one major case and one or two minor ones. Annika Bengtzon shows Sweden is not always fuzzy and mothers not always what they might be. (The newspaper reporter title character has a tendency to forget her children when following a story.) Jack Taylor brings Ken Bruen's noir stories about an ex-Guarda private eye and some of the shames of modern Ireland to life. (We venture to guess, however, that the Irish Tourist Board will not be showing these anytime soon.)


Our 2013 favorite (Paula's #1, Ann's #2), however, is the least dark of our six--Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, set in 1920s Australia. Phryne Fisher came into money (plus a minor title) and returned to Australia to ensure her sister's murderer does not go free. Shortly thereafter she sets up as a private detective. The mysteries aren't great but Phryne and her friends are great good fun. The production values are high and the music very nice. Excellent escapism. (Gorgeous period costumes.) First class.


Fabio Montale [Marseilles Trilogy, French]

The Killing [Danish/Britain only]

Jack Taylor [R, Ireland]

Kurt Wallander [Swedish]

Lilyhammer [Norway setting]

The Maigret Collection (1991) (British)

Mesrine [French]

The Millennium Trilogy [Swedish]

Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries [Australian]

Murdock Mysteries [Canadian]

Single-Handed [Ireland]

Spiral [R, French]

Zen [Set in Italy]


Obviously this list is not complete. American series, including the classic Peter Gunn, Mike Hammer, and Ellery Queen versions, are not included. Perhaps another time? And the many foreign shows not available in Region 1 formats are omitted. Go to for a more complete list of series available in English. (The site includes many non-Italian series.)


Throughout this last year, we've had numerous delightful discussions with customers about some of these programs. (Ann even learned about Spiral while talking to a couple she met last winter at the Uffizi in Florence.) We're always eager to hear what you think of the mysteries you read OR watch.



* Means not on DVDs or streaming in U.S. currently.


R means not for the faint-hearted, really, really not for the faint-hearted. Think Dexter. Be warned.



Coming Soon


As mystery readers, we're always looking ahead to the latest books by our favorite authors. The following are upcoming releases by some Mainely Murders favorites. Find more at


February Releases


Death of a Policeman, M.C. Beaton (Hamish Macbeth #30)

The Drowning Spool, Monica Ferris (Needlecraft #17)

Blackberry Pie, Joanne Fluke (Hannah Swenson #18)

Killer, Jonathan Kellerman (Alex Diamond #29)

Concealed in Death, J.D. Robb (Eve Dallas #38)

The Resistance Man, Martin Walker (Bruno Courreges #6)


March Releases


Murder at Pigalle, Cara Black (Aimee Leduc #14)

Stone Cold, C.J. Box (Joe Pickett #24)

Steeped in Evil, Laura Childs (Tea Shop #15)

The Outcast Dead, Elly Griffiths (Ruth Galloway #6)

Death on Blackheath, Anne Perry (Thomas and Charlotte Pitt #29)

Children of the Revolution, Peter Robinson (Inspector Banks #21)

Bone Deep, Randy Wayne White (Doc Ford #21)





Mainely Murders is an independent specialty mystery bookstore devoted exclusively to suspense, crime, and detective fiction. Our stock of used recent and hard-to-find hardcover, trade paper, and mass market volumes ranges from classics and cozies to tough guys and thrillers.   


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Mainely Murders Bookstore | 1 Bourne Street | Kennebunk | ME | 04043