Mystery Scene Magazine

At the Scene, February 2012               Solving the mystery of what to read next!
In This Issue
Leslie Meier on Reading
Lisbeth Salander Overheard
Edgar, Dilys, LCC
Strawberry Jam Cake Recipe
New Renewal Policy
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February Greetings

Leslie Meier on Reading, Edgar, Dilys & Left Coast Crime Nominees, Amy Alessio's Strawberry Jam Cake to die for, Lisbeth Salander Overheard

Christie first editions
Hi everyone!

We've got lots of fun articles coming up in 

the Winter Issue #123. You can look forward to chats with writers Lisa Gardner and 

Nicola Upson, an overview of Simon Brett's whodunit world, a thoughtful essay on The Closer (for my money, one of the best shows on TV), and Nate Pedersen's tips on collecting "association copies."


We'll also take a look at "The Celebrated Hercule Poirot," Agatha Christie's inimitable sleuth. As Poirot announced in Murder on the Orient Express

"I am an international detective. I belong to the world." How true!


Best wishes,

Kate Stine


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Carola Dunn  
Leslie Meier: Confessions of a Lifelong Compulsive Reader  

Kathryn Jackson's

The term compulsive reader doesn't come close to describing me - reading is like breathing and I am never without a book. Not an ebook reader - a real book. The best books come from used book shops and have pages that lie flat, and the paper is worn and soft and dog-eared here and there, and the whole thing smells a bit musty and perhaps a dried leaf or a forgotten shopping list or note is tucked among the pages.


I taught myself to read from my Nurse Nancy book, the Little Golden Book that came with Band-Aids inside the cover. I made my mother read it to me so many times that I knew it by heart and then I was able to make the connection between the letters and the words. When I got to school I found the reading lessons in first grade terribly boring, but fortunately there was a public library located adjacent to my school. One day at recess - this would never be allowed now - I went in and got myself a library card.


My first real book was a biography of Squanto, given to me one Christmas by my grandfather. Other books followed, I got Little Women when I was eight, and I desperately wanted to be a March girl, but my most favorite book was a biography of Annie Oakley. My grandfather had seen her perform at Madison Square Garden when he was a little boy and I loved hearing him tell how she accidentally shot out the arc lights that illuminated the performance.


Annie Oakley posterOf course I read the Nancy Drew mysteries when I was a girl; they were a special treat and highly prized as a birthday present. I didn't really get into mysteries, however, until I was in college and had a summer job keeping house for an elderly woman on Cape Cod. Her library was full of mysteries and I happily discovered Agatha Christie and Charlotte MacLeod.


I wish I could say I keep up with serious modern fiction, but I don't. I'd rather reread At Bertram's Hotel than some critically acclaimed prize-winning novel. I've been on panels with writers who are quite full of themselves and apparently write "literature" but I'm happy turning out a funny, entertaining story that will keep the reader turning the pages - exactly the sort of book I like to read.



Leslie Meier's latest book is
Chocolate Covered Murder (Kensington, December 2011).

"Writers on Reading" is a special ongoing Mystery Scene series available as a first look exclusive to our newsletter subscribers. 
Poisoned Pen Press Advertisement



Mara Rooney in


                 "She's one of the best investigators I had."


                 "She's different." 

                 "How, in what way?"

                 "In every way." 



Lisbeth Salander's employers discussing the tech investigator  

played by Best Actress Oscar nominee Mara Rooney  

in the US remake of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

The 84th Academy Awards air on Sunday, February 26, 2012.




This locked-room mystery from bestselling Norwegian crime writer Anne Holt is nominated for a 2012 Best Novel Edgar.
Edgars, Dilys, & Left Coast Crime Awards
Congratulations to all the nominees

2012 Edgar Allan Poe Awards 

Awards honor the best in mystery fiction, nonfiction, and television published or produced in 2011. The Edgar's Awards will be presented to the winners April 26, 2012 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, New York City.



  • The Ranger by Ace Atkins (G.P. Putnam's & Sons)
  • Gone by Mo Hayder (Atlantic)
  • The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino (Minotaur)
  • 1222 by Anne Holt (Scribner)
  • Field Gray by Philip Kerr (Marion Wood) 



Martha Grimes 


Full nominations at 



2012 Dilys Award

Given annually since 1992 by Independent Mystery Booksellers Association to the mystery titles of the year which the member booksellers have most enjoyed selling. The Dilys Award is named in honor of Dilys Winn, the founder of the first specialty bookseller of mystery books in the United States. The winner will be announced March 31 at Mining for Murder, the 2012 Left Coast Crime Convention in Sacramento, California.


2012 Left Coast Crime Awards

The Lefty (best humorous), The Bruce Alexander Memorial Historical Mystery Award, The Golden Nugget (best mystery set in California), and Eureka! (best first novel) will be awarded at the Mining for Murder banquet at the Sheraton Grand Hotel, Sacramento, California, on Saturday, March 31, 2012. Full Left Coast Crime nominations at


The Lefty (Best Humorous Novel)

  • The Real Macaw by Donna Andrews (Minotaur)
  • Getting Old Can Kill You by Rita Lakin (Dell)
  • October Fest by Jess Lourey (Midnight Ink)
  • Magical Alienation by Kris Neri (Red Coyote Press)
  • Dying for a Dance by Cindy Sample (L & L Dreamspell)
  • The Albuquerque Turkey by John Vorhaus (Crown) 


Valentine's Strawberry Jam Cake
A vintage recipe from Antiques Mall series author Amy Alessio

Strawberry Jame Cake recipe

This delectable jam cake, baked not bought, makes a wonderful homemade Valentine for that special someone. The vintage recipe is one of thousands from a collection of 1930s-1980s recipes of Amy Alessio, vintage recipe connoisseur, nationally recognized young adult librarian, and author of the Alana O'Neill Antiques Mall mysteries.

"I have over 450 vintage cookbooks," said Alessio, "I also collect boxes or binders of vintage handwritten recipes because I can't stand to see someone's treasured food secrets up for sale on eBay or an antiques mall (when it could come to my home and be among friends)." 

This sweet and easy jam cake is one of over 20 vintage recipes in Alessio's new novella "Blast from the Past," one of three mystery, suspense, and romance stories featured along with "Framed" by Mary Welk, and "The Fire Within" from Margo Justes, in the Valentine's Day ebook Hearts and Daggers.

"Many [handwritten recipes], like this one, give no oven temperatures and little direction other than 'square pan,'" said Alessio, who recommends using a 9"x9" pan and baking it a 350 degrees for 35 minutes. "I thought the strawberry jam would make this a nice Valentine's Day dessert. I don't think even distracted baker Alana (or I) could mess this one up!"

Strawberry Jam Cake from Hearts and Daggers 

1 cup sugar
cup butter
3 eggs, beaten separately
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup strawberry jam
1/3 cup sour milk*
1 teaspoon soda

Cream butter and sugar. Add the beaten yolks, then the jam. Add a little flour to bind the mixture, then the sour milk, then the flour, then the spices, then the whites of the eggs. Bake in square pan about 35 minutes. (9"x9" pan at 350 degrees recommended.)

*Sour milk can be made with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or distilled vinegar to 1 cup whole milk. (You'd use 1/3 tablespoon here for the 1/3 milk.)

Recipe courtesy of Amy Alessio,  
Important Notice to Print Subscribers
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due to late renewal
Mystery Scene Holiday Issue #122
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