Mystery Scene Magazine

At the Scene, August 2010                 Solving the mystery of what to read next!
In this Issue
Greetings from Kate
August Wen Reviews
Frederick Forsyth on Reading
Win Tix to The 39 Steps!
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Intent to Sell
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Genre Novel

by Jeffrey Marks

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The Future of Mystery Scene
Looking forward to the Fall Issue - and beyond.
Emily Deschanel (left) plays Dr. Temperance Brennan, Kathy Reichs' forensic detective, in the hit TV show Bones. Reichs will be profiled in the Fall Issue.

BONES kathy reichs tv

Upcoming Issue

The upcoming Fall Issue will offer: interviews with Kathy Reichs (Bones) and Kent Krueger; a look at Nancy Springer's Enola Holmes mysteries for young adults; a profile of Lester Dent, creator of Doc Savage; Lawrence Block's memories of Charles Willeford (Miami Blues); Writers in Trouble: 5 Great Movies; and much more.

Thinking about the Future

A few months ago, we asked for your thoughts on e-readers and the future of books. Now we'd like to hear your opinion on our future.  

What do you want Mystery Scene to be? A guide to both new and old fiction? Or  only new? Do you like the mix of books, TV, film, theater, etc? Do you want more kids' books or graphic novels? How about articles on digital games? Do you want more information on collecting?

Do the 4-color pages add to your enjoyment of the magazine? Would you like more?

Would you consider a digital subscription via an iPad, website, PDF or some other platform? Or is paper the only way to go?

Knowing what our readers want is the first step. So please look at a couple of back issues, check out our website, read our blog, scan an e-newsletter or two, give it some thought and let us know.

Hope you're having a great summer!

Kate Stine

Read Anything Good Lately?
Email us your fave raves for the "Our Readers Recommend" feature and be entered to win a free book!
"Stolen" by Jordan Gray

Upcoming MS Web Exclusive Reviews
Get the latest on August releases at

Treachery in the Yard    "Blind Man's Alley" by Justin Peacock    "Burn" by Nevada Barr    "Murder in the Air" by Bill Crider

"On Location" by Elizabeth Sims    Jack Getze ad    "Tough Customer" by Sandra Brown    "A Bad Day's Work" by Nora McFarland

Deadlock by Sara Paretsky

"Never tell anybody anything unless you're going to get something better
in return."

V.I. Warshawski, Deadlock, 1984,
by Sara Paretsky

Pictured: First edition, Dial Press (1984)
Writers on Reading: Frederick Forsyth
The espionage novel that broke the mold-The Spy
Who Came in from the Cold by John Le Carré.

John le Carre'sA novel is likely to stick in the mind if it is, for you personally, innovative. Did it open a door to a whole new world of awareness? Did it break the mold of all previous works in that genre and set a new standard? Within the world of espionage--for a century a great American tradition--the novel that broke the mold was The Spy Who Came in From the Cold.

Personally I dislike multi-word titles, but never mind. Before that all purported novels about espionage fell into two categories. First off, they were all beautifully spoken and similarly mannered gentlemen. They were mainly amateurs like Buchan's Richard Hannay or drawling effetes like Maugham's Ashenden.

If not that, they were pure hokum like James Bond. "Good morning, Mr. Bond, we have been expecting you." So much for the secret agent. Secret? Bond might as well have had a brass band to announce his coming.

Richard Burton as Alec Leamas in
"The Spy Who Came in from the Cold" (1956).
Richard Burton in
Then in 1963 John le Carré blew all that away. With total authority (he had been one) he said, this is what it is like. It is devious and treacherous. It is about shadows, smoke and mirrors. It involves lying, dissimulation and betrayal. There will be traitors on your own side and cunning bastards facing you across the Iron Curtain. Nothing is likely to be what it seems. There will be mind-numbing fear, torture if you are caught, no public credit for those who win and oblivion for those who fail.

And he was right. Readers worldwide were convinced that was what espionage was really like. The subtle, devious, invisible George Smiley became the template for the spymaster and in the film Richard Burton the model of the used and abused loser. Spy novels have never dared to return to Boy Scout romps since then.

Frederick Forsyth'sFrederick Forsyth's latest thriller is The Cobra (Putnam Adult, August 2010).

"Writers on Reading" is a special ongoing Mystery Scene series available as a first look exclusive to our newsletter subscribers.
Win Tickets to Hitchcock's The 39 Steps on Broadway this Fall
MS readers receive a 20-50% special discount on tickets

Alfred Hitchcock's The 39 Steps
We're giving away another pair of tickets! Follow us on Twitter and automatically be entered to win a pair of tickets to the Broadway production of Alfred Hitchcock's The 39 Steps this fall.

Mystery Scene readers also receive a 20-50% discount on ticket purchases to the show. Just use promo code TNHHC210 when ordering online or via phone at (212) 947-8844.

DISCOUNT RESTRICTIONS: Offer valid through October, 2010. Limit 10 tickets per customer. All prices include $1.50 facility fee. Subject to availability. Additional Blackout dates may apply.
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