It's not uncommon for a writer to be asked to continue a popular series following the death of its original author. The continuation of Robert B. Parker's Spenser and Jesse Stone novels are good examples. Parker himself completed an unfinished manuscript of a popular series. Name the title of the book, the series protagonist, and the original author of the book.
Send your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org
(subject line: quiz). A prizewinner (a $25 gift card) will be randomly drawn from correct submissions.
Congratulations to Les Blatt
of Springfield, New Jersey, who identified Dr. Siri Paiboun as the Laotian doctor whose exploits during the 1970s are covered in Colin Cotterill's popular long-running series. Paiboun's debut was in The Coroner's Lunch (2004); his most recent appearance is in book #14, The Second Biggest Nothing.
Each month we note birthdays of some of the masters of the mystery genre, with hopes that readers might read (or re-read) one of their gems.
England's Peter Lovesey
born in Whitton, Middlesex, on September 10, 1936, is best known for his series featuring Richard Cribb and Edward Thackeray, policemen in Victorian London; Albert Edward (Bertie, Prince of Wales); Peter Diamond, a homicide detective in Bath; and Henrietta "Hen" Mallin, a police inspector in West Sussex.
, born September 15, 1890, in Devonshire, went on to define the British puzzle mysteries of the Golden Age, and created two of the most famous characters in detective fiction, Miss Jane Marple and Hercule Poirot. Designated a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America in 1955, she died in 1976.
Robert B. Parker
, best known
for his creation Spenser, was born September 17, 1932. His two other leading characters were Jesse Stone and Sunny Randall, both of whom appeared in long-running series. A 2002 Grand Master designee, he died in 2010, although some of his series have continued under the authorship of others.
, born September 29, 1927, in Canton, Illinois, was known to mystery readers by her two pseudonyms, Elizabeth Peters
and Barbara Michaels
. Another Grand Master designee (1998), she died in 2013.
(John Innes Mackintosh Stewart
) was born September 30, 1906, in Edinburgh. Best known for his Oxford-educated Scotland Yard detective John Appleby, he died in 1994.
What better way to carry your books (or anything else) and at the same time demonstrate your love of mysteries than with our signature black bag?
Made of durable fabric with reinforced 20-inch handles, the bag sports our recognizable logo. ($7)
Remember, if you've taken your Mainely Murders bag on a trip, let us know. Send your photo (jpg) and details to email@example.com.
Thank you for supporting
Mainely Murders 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.
Just because you can't be here today, tomorrow, or even next week doesn't mean you can't get your favorite books from us. We happily accept mail, phone, or e-mail orders. You can reach us at 207-985-8706 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The end of summer may be right around the
corner, but for many of us the best time of the year is also almost here: Fall in Maine. (FYI, it was the glorious autumn that originally drew us here, a decision we've never regretted.)
September is always a big month for new releases, and this year includes a number of firsts: new series by our last year's #1 bestseller, Ann Cleeves--and also by bestsellers Jeffrey Archer and Anne Perry.
Our calendar always lists the September 15 birthday of Agatha Christie. After all, rarely does a month go by that one of us doesn't revisit a Dame Agatha title. Last month Paula pulled out, and promptly re-read, Cards on the Table, when a customer asked for a mystery in which bridge plays a central role. Ann's current choice is 13 at Dinner, a lesser-known Poirot.
It's this time of the year that we start getting questions about our hours. Rest assured that our September schedule remains the same: Wednesday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
We hope to see you soon. In the meantime, Happy Reading.
|With much sadness we report the death of author
Lea Wait. She was more than a celebrated Maine author; she was a wonderful person and dear friend.
Lea died August 9 at her home overlooking the Sheepscot River in Edgecomb. She will be greatly missed.
Even after a diagnosis of stage-four pancreatic cancer a year ago, Lea continued to research, write, and publish. The ninth and final book in her Mainely Needlepoint Mysteries will be published in November.
Between 2002 and 2016, eight titles were published in her Maggie Summers Shadows series, about the antique print business.
Last year, Death and a Pot of Chowder, written under the pseudonym of Cordelia Kidd, Lea's grandmother's name, was published. It was to be the beginning of a new series--one that she knew shortly after its publication would not be continued.
In addition to two mysteries for young people and a standalone Civil War novel, she was known for her long list of historical novels for children.
Cozy Up in September
Ask fans of American cozies, and they'll tell you that the "lighter side of murder" is always in season: "I read them all." "I've got so many favorites."
So, we think September--that bridge month between summer and fall--is a great time to pull out our ever-changing inventory of cozies. Whether you're an optimist still looking for "beach reads" or preparing for cool evenings in front of the fire, you'll find plenty from which to choose--most of which are new to our stock.
Rain, rain, stay away . . . And, the cozies will be outside for easier browsing. Want to start a new series? We've got many "firsts." Or maybe you just need to fill in some missing titles? We've got hundreds.
Meeting the Authors
It was an evening of lively discussion August 19 at the Kennebunk Free Library when we hosted Maine mystery writers Gerry Boyle and Kate Flora.
The writers, longtime friends and mystery-writing colleagues, each debuted a new title in their popular Maine series.
Random Act is the 12th in Boyle's series featuring Jack McMorrow--ex-New York Times reporter-turned-small town Maine newspaper editor-turned freelance writer. A Child Shall Lead Them is the sixth in Flora's series featuring Portland Police Department detective-sergeant Joe Burgess.
The Corpse in the Compost
Mysteries set in the garden--it's a great place to hide the body!--have long been popular here at Mainely Murders.
The bestseller in our Garden Plot is always the long out-of-print The Maine Mulch Murder written by the late A. Carmen Clark. Now we're happy to announce a sequel, The Corpse in the Compost.
At the time of her death, Clark was working on the manuscript. Now after many years, her daughter, mystery-writer Kate Clark Flora, has completed the book, under her mother's name.
Mark Your Calendar
Good news for fans of Julia Spencer-Fleming's beloved Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne series.
After a seven-year absence, Clare and Russ return next spring (April 7, 2020) in Hidden From Our Eyes, the first new title since Through the Evil Days in 2013.
What We've Been Reading
Without a nudge from customers, there are some books I'd never pick up. Example: British writer Alex Marwood.
When reviewers use "disturbingly real," "terrifying and unsettling," and "shockingly dark" as praise, I'm pretty sure that book--or others by a writer described as the "Queen of Unease"--isn't for me.
But, after reading Marwood's The Wicked Girls, a 2014 Edgar winner--followed by binge reading her next two, The Killer Next Door and The Darkest Secret--I've come around to the conclusion that "uncomfortable" can be eye-opening.
The books were everything the reviewers said. No
less than Stephen King
has described The Wicked Girls
as "the palpable sense of onrushing doom" and The Killer Next Door
as "scary as hell." As for The Darkest Secret
, "If there has been a better mystery-suspense story written in this decade, I can't think of it ."
Wicked Girls opens with two 11-year-old girls who meet for the first time; they're soon charged with murder. Twenty-five years later, they see each other again, the first time since that dark day long ago.
The Killer Next Door focuses on six disparate people in London. They all have secrets--why else would they live in this sketchy, to say the least, South London building. They keep mostly to themselves until they're forced into an uneasy alliance. And, by the way, there's a deranged murderer in their midst.
The Darkest Secret adds proof to the adage that you never really know what happens behind closed doors--especially if they're the doors of the rich and influential.
Twelve years ago, Mila Jackson's three-year-old half-sister, Coco, disappeared during their father's 50th birthday celebration, leaving behind her identical twin Ruby as the only witness. The girls' father was wealthy and influential, as were the friends gathered at their seaside vacation home for the weekend's debauchery. Now, Sean Jackson is dead, to the dismay of practically no one, and his funeral brings together those in attendance that weekend a dozen years earlier.
Well-written, plot-twisting, and highly suspenseful, Marwood's psychological thrillers--and they are, indeed, thrillers--should be on the list for readers who seek out a wild ride. I'm glad I chose an uncomfortable (for me) read. I recommend that others purchase a ticket on the ride.
Jeffrey Archer, Nothing Ventured [William Warwick #1]
Linwood Barclay, Elevator Pitch [NS]
Nevada Barr, What Rose Forgot [NS]
James R. Benn, When Hell Struck Twelve [Billy Boyle #14]
Emily Brightwell, Mrs. Jeffries and the Alms of the Angel [Mrs. Jeffries #28]
Sandra Brown, Outfoxed [NS]
Andrea Camilleri, The Other End of the Line [Montalbano #24]
Reed Farrel Coleman, Robert B. Parker's The Bitterest Pill [Jesse Stone continuation]
Kathleen Ernst, Fiddling with Fate [Chloe Ellefson
Craig Johnson, Land of Wolves [Walt Longmire #15]
Steve Martini, The Secret Partner [Paul Madriani #15]
Archer Mayor, Bomber's Moon [Joe Gunther #30]
Amy Patricia Meade, The Garden Club Murder [Trish Tarragon #2]
James Patterson and Howard Roughan, Killer
P.J. Tracy, Ice Cold Hart [Monkeewrench #10]
Lisa Unger, The Stranger Inside [NS]
Bookstores, Bookstores (Paula)
I've never met a bookstore I didn't like. I don't think I'm alone. Over the last nine years, many of you have told us about your love affair with independent bookstores.
Some may be small specialty stores like Mainely Murders. Or they're large impressive emporiums of literature like Powell's in Portland, Oregon, or The Strand in New York City. But, just as often, they've been the dusty, often dark, crowded quarters where books are piled high on every surface from floor to
Hasn't every reader at one time or other dreamt of owning a bookstore? The two books pictured here--while not mysteries--might serve to remind you, or someone you know, of why bookshops are so very special. The Diary of a Bookseller, written by a bookseller in Wigtown, Scotland, is laugh-out-loud funny. Bookstore Cats is downright enchanting.
In the words of Helene Hanff, (84, Charing Cross Road): "Standing there, staring at the ... shelves crammed with books, I felt myself relax and was suddenly at peace."
When it comes to bookstore-themed mysteries, John Dunning's five books about a Denver cop-turned-bookshop owner (the last printed in 2006) and M.K. Wren's eight-book series about an Oregon-coast bookseller (ended in 1994) have enjoyed steady popularity since they were first published.
R.T. Campbell's recently re-issued Bodies in a Bookshop (not really the stock one is looking for) gives a great picture of London as World War II ended. Canadian Marianne MacDonald's Dido Hoare runs an antiquarian bookstore in London at the turn of this century, starting with Death's Autograph (1996).
The list goes on as this is an ever-popular topic for cozy mysteries, including Allison Kingsley, aka Kate Kingsbury, who wrote Raven's Nest Bookshop tales set in a mythical town on the coast of Maine, and Claire Donally, aka, Bill McCay, who set his more recent bookstore mysteries in Kittery Harbor, Maine. But if you live elsewhere, you can often find ones set in your state.