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Nancy Moskowitz's blog

New Mysteries April 2011

Mystery by Jonathan Kellerman
Alpine Vengeance by Mary Daheim
The Complaints by Ian Rankin
Bless the Bride by Rhys Bowen
Devil's Food Cake Murder by Joanne Fluke
Brothers of Baker Street by Michael Robertson
Deadly Cliche by Ellery Adams
Cold wind by C.J. Box
Death in a Scarlet Coat by David Dickinson
Lost Sister by Russel D. McLean
Scones and Bones by Laura Childs
Lethal Lineage by Charlotte Hinger
Live Wire by Harlan Coben
Touch of Gold by Joyce Lavene
Begging for Trouble by Judi McCoy
Empty Death by Laura Wilson
Dark and Stormy Night by Jeanne M. Dams
Echoes of the Dead by Sally Spencer
Off the Record by Dolores Gordon-Smith
Mimosas, Mischief, and Murder by Sara Rosett
Original Sins edited by Martin Edwards
An Evil Eye by Jason Goodwin
A Gentleman of Fortune by Anna Dean

Mystery Monday

The wallflowers of the libraries are those books that languish on the shelves unread and ignored.  Well-reviewed, (or they wouldn't be in the library), they are not sought out by readers, but may be stumbled upon by happenstance, a possible delightful discovery for someone.  What makes someone take a chance on an unknown mystery?  Is it an attractive cover, intriguing jacket copy, or a rave review from a favorite mystery author?  Do people stick to certain sub-genres, i.e. police procedurals, British cozies, dog mysteries?  Or, do they read omnivorously, picking anything that appeals at that moment?  What sort of reader are you?  Do you read strictly off the best seller list, reserving all your choices in advance? Do you depend on serendipity, enjoying the thrill of finding a really great book all by yourself? 
Below are some of these wallflower mystery authors, some suggested by members of the Investigating Mysteries book discussion group. Take one out and have yourself a good time.

New Mysteries March 2011

Fadeaway Girl by Martha Grimes
Treachery in Death by J.D. Robb
Though Not Dead by Dana Stabenow
Eyes of the Innocent by Brad Parks
Blotto, Twinks and the Ex-King's Daughter by Simon Brett
Aftermath by Peter Turnbull
Dangerous Edge of Things by Tina Whittle
Heaven is High by Kate Wilhelm
Red Herring Without Mustard by Alan Bradley
Redback by Kirk Russell
Crafty Killing by Lorraine Bartlett
Curiosity Thrilled the Cat by Sofie Kelly
Stitch Me Deadly by Amanda Lee
Force of Habit by Alice Loweecey
Janus Stone by Elly Griffiths
Aunt Dimity and the Family Tree by Nancy Atherton
Death of a Chimney Sweep by M.C. Beaton
Fruit of all Evil by Paige Shelton

New Mysteries March 2011

Fadeaway Girl by Martha Grimes
Treachery in Death by J.D. Robb
Though Not Dead by Dana Stabenow
Eyes of the Innocent by Brad Parks
Blotto, Twinks and the Ex-King's Daughter by Simon Brett
Aftermath by Peter Turnbull
Dangerous Edge of Things by Tina Whittle
Heaven is High by Kate Wilhelm
Red Herring Without Mustard by Alan Bradley
Redback by Kirk Russell
Crafty Killing by Lorraine Bartlett
Curiosity Thrilled the Cat by Sofie Kelly
Stitch Me Deadly by Amanda Lee
Force of Habit by Alice Loweecey
Janus Stone by Elly Griffiths
Aunt Dimity and the Family Tree by Nancy Atherton
Death of a Chimney Sweep by M.C. Beaton
Fruit of all Evil by Paige Shelton

Mystery Monday

Who wants to laugh?
Humor is a very subjective concept.  What is uproarious to one person may not even bring a smile to the lips of someone else.  Why the seemingly sophisticated French adore Jerry Lewis has been a real head scratcher to those who find his antics decidedly unfunny.  But what is a sense of humor and why does it vary so widely between individuals?  While everyone does possess a distinct sense of humor and may be amused by events that don't necessarily tickle another's funnybone, there are certain universal characteristics of humor that produce a humorous response. These are:
    Incongruity
    Absurdity, ludicrousness, or ridiculousness
    Unexpected future
    pleasant surprise
    Being startled
    "Getting it"
    Emotional chaos remembered in tranquility

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").

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