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At the Scene, June 2011                        Solving the mystery of what to read next!
In this Issue
Greetings from Kate
Charlaine Harris on Reading
Overheard
Arthur Ellis & CrimeFest
Our Reviewers Recommend
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June Greetings

Charlaine Harris on Three Treasured Reads, Our Summer Book Picks, Arthur Ellis Awards & CrimeFest Winners, Twitter Mania!

Hi everyone,

Looking for some rousing summer reads? Charlaine Harris has got you covered! Readers familiar with Harris' Sookie Stackhouse vampire mysteries (the basis for the hit HBO series True Blood) will definitely see the connections from her childhood reading to her own work. (By the way, I'm recommending Harris' latest, Dead Reckoning.)

Our critics got into the act, too. Check out their eclectic recommendations below. That's just a small sample of what's coming in our Jumbo Summer Issue on its way to you in a couple of weeks. Read on!

Sincerely,
Kate Stine
Editor-in-Chief

P.S. Congratulations to the 10 winners of our MS Twitter Contest. Be sure to follow us @MysteryScene for more contests and ways to win over the summer.

Read Anything Good Lately?
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David Rosenfelt "One Dog Night" Click to Read Excerpt 
Charlaine Harris on Reading
Edgar Allan Poe, Jane Eyre, and The Three Musketeers  
The Three Musketeers by Maurice Leloir, 1894
The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas, 1844. Illustration by Maurice Leloir, 1894

 

It's hard to pick and choose among the many books I read as a child. I've searched through my memory to identify three works I'm sure were main influences on my style and aesthetic. 

 

The first would have to be the works of Edgar Allan Poe, particularly "The Cask of Amontillado" and "The Telltale Heart." The darkness of the plotting, the mystery, Poe's rich vocabulary, the disturbing effect of his macabre imagination...all of these seeped down into my heart. Gruesome AND literate. 


Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte is the template for the entire field of romance, as far as I'm concerned. The plain heroine, brought up by people who wish her ill, sent to a brutal school where she experiences her first friendship, and finally hired by the mysterious Mr. Rochester to teach his ward, Jane is the prototype of a romantic protagonist without being at all "romantic" in character. Instead, she is full of common sense. She knows her place in the world, but she dares to step outside it for love: and she falls in love with the most unlikely and unsuitable man she's ever met, while she turns down the obvious and suitable offer from St. John Rivers. Then there's whole mad-wife-in-the-attic as a classic obstacle to Jane's happiness, and the wedding that gets called off at the altar...how many books have followed that were variations on these themes?


Finally, I loved The Three Musketeers. If you've read the unexpurgated version, you'll know Alexandre Dumas' great adventure novel contains a lot of relationships that puzzled this innocent child of the fifties. But the deep friendship and camaraderie of the musketeers, their courage and élan, combined with their determined battle against their adversary (the malevolent and powerful Cardinal Richelieu) continue to be the epitome of adventure, in my mind.      

 

  

Charlaine HarrisCharlaine Harris' latest book is Dead Reckoning  (Ace, May 2011).  www.charlaineharris.com

"Writers on Reading" is a special ongoing Mystery Scene series available as a first look exclusive to our newsletter subscribers. 
Mystery Rails: Travels with Bestselling Mystery Authors  
Overheard    
       
"Live Wire" by Harlan Coben, 2011
Read the Mystery Scene review!

"We have a tendency to believe good things will last forever. It is in our nature. The Beatles, for example. Oh, they'll be around forever. The Sopranos - that show will always be on the air. Philip Roth's Zuckerman series, Springsteen concerts. Good things are rare. They are to be cherished because they always leave us too soon."

 
- Myron Bolitar in Live Wire by Harlan Coben (2011)
Arthur Ellis & UK CrimeFest Awards 
Congratulations to all of this year's award winners and nominees
 
"Bury Your Dead" by Louise Penny
Read MS Review

 

2011 ARTHUR ELLIS AWARDS, CANADA

The prestigious Arthur Ellis Awards from the Crime Writers of Canada (CWC) are presented in six categories for excellence in works in the crime/mystery/thriller genre published for the first time in the previous year by permanent residents of Canada, or by Canadian citizens living abroad. The Arthur Ellis Awards were announced June 2, 2011.

 

BEST NOVEL
Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny (Little, Brown UK)

 

Louise Penny
Louise Penny's "Writers on Reading" Essay

BEST SHORT STORY
"So Much in Common" by Mary Jane Maffini (Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, Sept./Oct. 2010) 

 

BEST NONFICTION
On the Farm by Steve Cameron (Knopf Canada)

 

BEST JUVENILE/ YA
The Worst Thing She Ever Did by Alice Kuipers (HarperCollins)

 

BEST FIRST NOVEL
The Debba by Avner Mandleman (Other Press)

 

BEST CRIME WRITING IN FRENCH 

Dans le quartier des agités by Jacques Côté (Alire)

Mary Jane Maffini
Mary Jane Maffini, Read Article

 

UNHANGED AUTHOR (Best Unpublished First Novel)
Better Off Dead by John Jeneroux

 

 

The full list of 2011 Arthur Ellis Award nominees is available online at the Mystery Scene blog.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2011 CRIMEFEST AWARDS, UK

The CrimeFest Awards were handed out at the CrimeFest Gala Dinner May 21, 2011 in Bristol, UK, and honor the best in UK crime publishing.

 

LAST LAUGH AWARD (Best Humorous Crime Fiction)

The Herring in the Library by L.C. Tyler (Macmillan)

L.C. Tyler

 

E-DUNNIT AWARD (Best Crime Fiction Ebook)
Field Grey by Phillip Kerr (Quercus)

 

SOUNDS OF CRIME (Best Audiobooks)
abridged - Our Kind of Traitor by John le Carré, read by John le Carré (AudioGO)

 

unabridged - Dead Like You by Peter James, read by David Bauckham (Whole Story Audiobooks)


For a complete list of nominees, visit CrimeFest.com.

Our Reviewers Recommend
The hottest, leanest, meanest, laugh-out-loudest books of the summer from our reviewers
 

"Our Readers Recommend" feature is one of our favorite ways to hear what you've been reading and what you love. To start off summer, we thought we'd return the favor by asking the Mystery Scene reviewers (by extension some of the most voracious and informed readers out there) to share their top reading recommendations.

 

Justin Cronin 

A CHILLING SUMMER

"For me, the perfect summer read is Justin Cronin's The Passage, a looooong literary novel about the years after zombie-type vampires have sucked the blood out of America, and the few survivors are hanging on in stockades. Never has being so scared felt so classy." 

 

- Betty Webb, Small Press Reviews 

 

 

Amnon Kabatchnik 

HIGH BROW BEACH READING 

"Amnon Kabatchnik's Blood on the Stage, 1950-1975: Milestone Plays of Crime, Mystery, and Detection: An Annotated Repertoire (Scarecrow) is the third volume of a landmark scholarly endeavor. Not traditional beach reading I grant you, but as entertaining as a reference book can be."  

                                  - Jon L. Breen, Nonfiction  

                                    & Reference Reviews  

 

 

Jo NesboTHE HARD STUFF

"I'm torn between two books. If you limit me to one, then it has to be Jo Nesbo's Snowman. [Nesbo's] Harry Hole police procedurals are like manna from heaven. They just keep getting better and better, and this latest one, fourth in the series, is the best yet. And if I'm allowed two, then Lawrence Block's A Drop of the Hard Stuff." 

 

- Bob Smith, MS Reviews

 

 

Chris KnopfODDBALLS & WISECRACKS 

"The Last Refuge by Chris Knopf, begins a series with wisecracking former boxer and former engineer Sam Acquillo. The dialogue snaps, there are plenty of oddball characters, and the setting reflects the beauty of the Hamptons. But Knopf's Hamptons is not only of the rich and famous who crowd it during the summer; it also reflects the blue-collar workers who live there year-round." 

                       

 - Lourdes Fernandez Venard, MS Reviews

 

 

Pete Hamill 

NEW YORK NOIR

"Tabloid City by Pete Hamill. Grabs you on first page and makes you weep for the decline of newspapers and their colorful array of never-to-be-duplicated characters. Add on a terrific murder plot; toss in a terrorist. Pure joy!"

 

- Sue Emmons, MS Reviews

 

 

 

Megan Abbott, "The End of Everything" 

MISSING IN THE MIDWEST

"Edgar Award winner Megan Abbott makes a couple of big shifts with her upcoming novel, The End of Everything (July). After her series of noir-tinged books set mostly in L.A. between the early 1930s and mid-1960s, the new book takes place in a Midwestern suburb in the 1980s. The focus on young teens - one of whom disappears - also marks some new territory for the author. But book after book, Abbott's talent has only continued to grow stronger and more confident, and this book promises yet another bold and ambitious leap."

                                       - Art Taylor, MS Contributor

 

 

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