Mystery Scene Magazine

At the Scene, September 2011                        Solving the mystery of what to read next!
In this Issue
Greetings from Kate
Denise Hamilton on Nancy Drew
St. Louis Bouchercon
Sara Paretsky Overheard
Brighton Rock Review
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September News

Denise Hamilton, St. Louis Bouchercon, Brighton Rock Remade, Sara Paretsky Overheard, and Mystery Scene's Weekly Summer Book Giveaway.  

Scottish crime writer Val McDermid in Northumberland.
Val McDermid


Hi everyone,


We're working away on the Fall Issue #121 which will be arriving in a few weeks.


You can look forward to a fascinating conversation with Scottish crimewriting powerhouse Val McDermid, whose Trick of the Dark is getting some of the best reviews of her career - which is saying a lot!  


McDermid's novels are famously gritty but as she notes: "I try to write from a sense of of compassion and I would like that to be one of the aspects of the books that people remember."


We'll also talk with James Sallis (DriveThe Killer is Dying), examine the uncanny appeal of paranormal mysteries, look at the 20th century through the eyes of Max Allan Collin's iconic PI Nate Heller, and review the fall's best new books, films, and TV shows. 



Kate Stine



P.S. If you're coming to Bouchercon 2011 in St. Louis, we hope you'll come to the Mystery Scene panel. More details below!


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Wicked Autumn by G.M. Malliet  
Denise Hamilton on Nancy Drew
"I fell in love with the plucky girl sleuth."  

Secret of the Old Clock

When I was 11, I discovered Nancy Drew and fell in love with the plucky girl sleuth. I'd ride my bike to the library and bring home batches of books each week in my plastic woven bike basket. Sometimes if I emerged with a really big haul, I'd cram them into the basket and put the overflow in a brown grocery bag, that I carried with one hand while steering with the other. 


One afternoon I rode home with nine books. I read all evening (I was a flashlight-under-the-covers girl) and in the morning I feigned illness because I just had to finish the book. That day, I read three books, lounging in bed most of the day and eating hot buttered toast when I got hungry. For three days I faked it. My mom, who must have had her suspicions, caught on by the third day when I was still too sick for school but had to visit the library to replenish my book stash. 


Nancy was SuperGirl to me. She was smart, pretty, independent, loyal, fearless, but most of all, she was so clever at finding the clues and sussing out the mystery. Her DNA is embedded in everything that I write. 


As an adult, I read "Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her" by Melanie Rehak and was struck by how Nancy's fictional escapades had helped save a girl's life. I forget the details in Melanie's wonderful book but I think the girl had been kidnapped and stuck in the trunk of a car. This resourceful girl managed to jimmy the lock and escape. When the media asked how she'd come up with such a clever idea, she replied, and I paraphrase: I asked myself, what would Nancy Drew have done? 


I don't consciously ask myself that question as I write my own strong female characters, but I know that Nancy's adventures are firmly wedged in my subconscious, and that her cool, calm, dependable style has influenced my characters in ways both great and small, across a divide of more than 60 years. Nancy Drew rocks.




Damage Control by Denise Hamilton

Denise Hamilton's latest
book is Damage Control (Scribner, September 2011).

"Writers on Reading" is a special ongoing Mystery Scene series available as a first look exclusive to our newsletter subscribers. 
M is for Mystery 
Double Death Advertisement
Bouchercon: Meet us in St. Louis
Brian Skupin & Kate Stine 2011 Fan Guests of Honor


Kate Stine
Mystery Scene publishers Brian Skupin and Kate Stine are Fan Guests of Honor at the 2011 Bouchercon.

Next week Mystery Scene will be off to Bouchercon 2011 in St. Louis September 15-18. We hope you'll join publishers Brian Skupin and Kate Stine who will be attending. They are also thrilled to be this year's Fan Guests of Honor.

As part of the fun, Mystery Scene will be hosting a panel Friday, Sept. 16 at 2:30 pm with our contributors Oline Cogdill, Bill Crider, Dick Lochte, and Art Taylor where we'll discuss reviewing, trends in publishing, and great books, films, and TV shows. 


We hope you'll join us. Please stop by and say hello.



Sara Paretsky
2011 Bouchercon Lifetime Achievement Honoree


"The only way I know how to pick a book is to hold it. It's like shopping for clothes. People do it online, but you never know if it's going to look good on you. The same thing with books. Until you have actually tried it on in the bookstore, you don't know if it's the right fit for you.



- Sara Paretsky on ebooks, 2011 Bouchercon Lifetime Achievement Honoree, from "Playing Hardball" MS Issue #112.



Brighton Rock Film Review
A new take on an old Graham Greene classic

Brighton Rock

In the new film Brighton Rock, directed by Rowan Joffe and starring Sam Riley, Andrea Riseborough, and Helen Mirren, a disaffected teen thug named Pinkie Brown violently grips a young girl named Rose on a dark street and spits, "I'm bad. You're good.... We're made for each other."


And so goes the calamitous love-hate, dark-light, good-bad romance at the center of this latest reimagining of Graham Greene's 1938 classic noir novel by the same name... 





Read our review of Rowan Joffe's new film adaptation of Brighton Rock at


Post a Readers Recommend to the MS Facebook Wall and Win a Free Book
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"Just received my spoils from your magazine in the mail today! Thank you so much. What a wonderful surprise to get a brand new HBK and a new to me author all in the same book :) Keep up the good work in getting people to read mysteries!" - Kelley Creasey Dworaczyk

Mystery Scene has already given away 8 free books and are looking to share even more. We'll give away a free book to one Facebook follower a week for the rest of the summer, now through September 22, 2011!

To be entered just post on your own favorite read to the MS Wall and you'll be entered to win a free book. We'll choose one recommendation each week and send the winner a return recommendation based on what they've written.

So tell us what you're reading!

To enter, simply  Post a Readers Recommend on the MS Facebook Wall. We'll choose one winning recommendation each week now through September 22, 2011.

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