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Nancy Moskowitz's blog

Mystery Monday

Have yourself a merry little...murder?

No matter what holiday we celebrate we all have our special traditions.  Decorating the tree, frying latkes, wearing gaudy holiday sweaters, baking Christmas cookies, lighting a unity candle, endless shopping and family get togethers all help to make this time of year meaningful.   Ideally, the holidays are a time to reflect on the year gone by and a time to cherish friends and relatives. But even if your family reunions are strained, no one really wants a grisly murder to occur right before the turkey is served.  However, you may want to read about one and if you don’t mind a little blood with your egg nog, here are just a few mystery holiday favorites:

December Mysteries

Stuff to Die for by Don Bruns

Mirror and the Mask by Ellen Hart

Winter of Secrets by Vicki Delany

Rumpole Christmas by John Mortimer

Dial H for Hitchcock by Susan Kandel

Red. Green or Murder by Steven Havill

Village of the Ghost Bears by Stan Jones

Council of the Cursed by Peter Tremayne

Holiday Grind by Cleo Coyle

What Remains of Heaven by C.S. Harris

Dead Hand of History by Sally Spencer

Morning Show Murders by Al Roker

Bryant and Mays on the Loose by Christopher Fowler

Mrs. Jeffries and the Yuletide Weddings by Emily Brightwell

Mystery Monday

Why do we read mysteries?  If you are reading this blog, it can be assumed that you like mysteries.  An interesting thread on Librarything discussed why people read mysteries, and there were some interesting theories.

1. We love to see people being punished for their evil deeds, and generally, mysteries accomplish this with the guilty being punished, or at least, arrested.

2. We love puzzles, figuring thngs out, and mysteries certainly contain puzzles.

3. Many mystery writers are superb at characterization, as well as plotting, and are just some of the best writers around.

4. In a long running series we become invested in our favorite characters like Stephanie Plum, Peter Decker and Alan Banks.

5. Mysteries explore the mind and actions of people who do terrible things and it satisfies our need to understand the human condition.

Do any of these reasons resonate with you?  Maybe you just like to settle in with any engrossing book and here are a few you mignt want to check out.

Monster in the Box by Ruth Rendell.  Inspector Wexford returns and we get some intriguing looks into his past.

New Mysteries for November

Loot the Moon by Mark Arsenault

Jigsaw Guilt by Jeffrey Ashford

Death Message by Mark Billingham

Where's Billie? by Judith Yates Borger

For Better, For Murder by Lisa Bork

Tower by Ken Bruen

Tragic Magic by Laura Childs

Rude Awakening by Susan Cooper Rogers

Sink Trap by Christy Evans

All the Lonely People by Geraldine Evans

Murder She Wrote: A Fatal Feast by Jessica Fletcher

Trick or Treat by Kerry Greenwood

Ninth Daughter by Barbara Hamilton

Fingers of One Foot by Gerald Hammond

Stuff to Spy For by Don Bruns

Wyatt's Revenge by H. Terrell Griffin

Dead Reckoning by Claire Lorrimer

Cadger's Curse by Diane Gilbert Madsen

Monster in the Box by Ruth Rendell

Fool There Was by Betty Rowlands

Killer Crab Cakes by Livia J. Washburn

Shades of Grey by Clea Simon

In the Blood by Fay Sampson

Criminal Tendencies edited by Lynne Patrick

Drunkard's Path by Claire O'Donohue

Price of Malice by Archer Mayor

Chinese Whispers by Peter May

Huckleberry Finished by Livia J. Washburn

Darkest Room by Johan Theorin

Mystery Monday

Prolific mystery author Stuart Kaminsky died last week at the age of 75.  While not a superstar of the publishing world, Mr. Kaminsky  (or rather Dr. Kaminsky, as he earned a Ph.D and was a film studies scholar) had a long and distinguished career.  Starting in 1977 and including this year, he wrote over 60 books.  The more astonishing fact is that he wrote not one, not two, but four different mystery series!  Some of you may have read his Chicago cop series featuring Abe Lieberman,  or his Russian Police Inspector Porfiry Rostnikov series.  Others may remember his Lew Foneseca, the depressive process server, or Toby Peters, the slightly seedy Hollywood P.I.  In 2006, Stuart Kaminsky was named a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America, the organization's highest honor. Mystery fans everywhere mourn the passing of this very talented writer.

October Mystery Books

Lost Art of Gratitude by Alexander McCall-Smith

Sheer Folly by Carola Dunn

Disappearance at Pere-Lachaise by Claude Izner

Yard Dog by Sheldon Russell

Deadly Descent by Charlotte Hinger

Inspector Ghote's First Case by H.R.F. Keating

Hardball by Sara Paretsky

Duty to the Dead by Charles Todd

Skull Duggery by Aaron Elkins

Arctic Chill by Arnaldur Indridason

Brutal Telling by Louise Penny

All My Enemies by Barry Maitland

Murder in House by Veronica Heley

Mystery Monday

Mystery Fans Rejoice!  We have moved our collection upstairs out of our beloved but cramped Mystery Room to more spacious quarters.  We have taken over the space formerly occupied by Large Print and what a great space it is!  Luxuriate in our comfortable wingback chairs--Spread out your books and papers on the table.  Because we didn't have to use the top and bottom shelves, no more stretching or bending to reach the books.  We have more shelf space for mysteries, so our collection can continue to grow.

New Mysteries for September 2009

Whack 'n' Roll by Gail Oust

Spackled and Spooked by Jennie Bentley

Sew Deadly by Elizabeth Lynn Casey

Stop This Man by Peter Rabe

Inked Up by Terri Thayer

Dead Man's Wharf by Pauline Rowson

Deadly Habit by Andrea Sisco

New Mystery Books for August 2009

Dead of Winter by Rennie Airth

DeKok and the Mask of Death by A.C. Baantjer

6 Killer Bodies by Stephanie Bond

Blood Lines by Kathryn Casey

Slice of Murder by Chris Cavender

Rotten to the Core by Sheila Connolly

Riesling Retribution by Ellen Crosby

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