Mystery Scene Magazine

At the Scene, July 2010                       Solving the mystery of what to read next!
In This Issue
Greetings from Kate
July Web Reviews
Susan Wittig Albert on Reading
Thrillerfest 2010
MS Winners
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Summer Fun
Exclusive online summer reviews, Susan Wittig Albert on Reading, Orient Express Twitter event, and more.

The Swedish film based on Stieg Larsson's worldwide bestseller opens in the US on July 9th.
Girl who Played with Fire

Hope you are all enjoying the summer issue of Mystery Scene featuring Michael Koryta and his latest book, So Cold the River; historical mystery novelist  Stefanie Pintoff; cozy queen Carolyn Hart; Scott Turow and his sequel to Presumed Innocent; and Clifford B. Hicks, creator of kid detective Alvin Fernald and his Magnificent Brain.

And there's a lot more going on this summer. Look for web exclusive original articles and reviews of July and August books at
the MS Website.  The MS Blog will will be updated several times a week, including a film review of The Girl Who Played with Fire. In the meantime, we hope you enjoy this month's "Writers on Reading" essay from author Susan Wittig Albert, who reflects on how Eudora Welty inspired her.

Kate Stine

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Upcoming MS Web Exclusive Reviews
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The Grave Gourmet    Damaged    Hot Shot    Live to Tell
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Hercule Poirot: Murder on the Orient Express
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Writers on Reading: Susan Wittig Albert
Pondering the wit and insight of Eudora Welty

Eudora Welty's The Ponder HeartWhen I'm writing a period book, I tend to read books that were written in the period. Currently, I'm writing the second book in a new series set in the South during the Depression: The Darling Dahlias. So I'm rereading the stories and novels of Eudora Welty, whose work I first encountered when I was a young girl, dreaming the impossible dream of becoming a writer. I've read all of Welty's work, but my favorite has to be The Ponder Heart.

The story is a monologue, the long-winded complaint of Edna Earle Ponder, who owns a hotel in a small Mississippi town and tells her story to a traveling salesman. The tale is about Edna Earle's dotty Uncle Dan, a rich man who gives his stuff away with the joyful impetuosity of a child giving away his toys--and ends up being charged with murder. We piece together a crazy-quilt plot, with its multiple layers of irony and foolishness, as the bossy and self-important Edna Earle tells her tale, rambling on and on in a wildly funny scramble of subtle hints, sly innuendo, opinion, digressions, and details that have nothing to do with the story and everything to do with the world of people, place, and meaning that Welty is creating for us. Edna Earle's voice is pitch-perfect and her language is ordinary Southern talk, tuned to a fine edge and jam-crammed with Southern details. Rings in my ear, holds me to the page. What a gift!

Susan Wittig Albert's
latest Susan Wittig Albert The Darling Dahlias and the Cucumber TreeThe Darling Dahlias and the Cucumber Tree (Berkley Hardcover, July 2010).

"Writers on Reading" is a special ongoing Mystery Scene series available as a first look exclusive to our newsletter subscribers.
The Big Thrill
Thrillerfest hits NYC (July 7-10, 2010)

Thrillerfest 2010International Thrillerfest is a meeting place for authors, readers, budding writers, and publishing industry professionals. This year ITW takes place at the Grand Hyatt in New York City and honors 2010 Thrillermaster Ken Follett, 2010 Silver Bullet Award recipient Linda Fairstein, and 2010 True Thriller Award winner Mark Bowden.

Jack Getze adFor those who can't attend, why not check out  The Big Thrill's June reading list of recommended summer thrillers? You can also get more great reading recommendations from Mystery Scene contributor and reviewer Hank Wagner and his co-author David Morrell when they present "What are the 100 Must-read Thrillers?" at Thrillerfest on Saturday, July 10. For more info visit

scales of justice

A good lawyer knows the law.
But a great lawyer knows the judge."

- Attorney Paul Riley in Eye of the Beholder,
by David Ellis, 2007
Congrats to our winners!
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Grand prize winner Phyllis S. (Joliet, Ill.) won a signed copy of Lis Wiehl's Hand of Fate and Face of Betrayal from her Triple Threat series.

The "Our Readers Recommend" winner J. Michael Daniel (Fairfax, Va.) won a free book for his Issue #115 recommendation of Malla Nunn's Let the Dead Lie.

The 39 Steps winner Holly Atkinson (New York) won two tickets to Alfred Hitchock's The 39 Steps on Broadway.
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2010 Mystery Scene Magazine