Mystery Scene Magazine

At the Scene, July 2012                  Solving the mystery of what to read next!
 Summer Issue 125


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In This "At the Scene"

July Greetings
 St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, New Orleans
   St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, New Orleans

"The past is never dead. It's not even past." 

Requiem for a Nun, William Faulkner, 1951  

No place in the world better illustrates this sentiment than New Orleans. And no writer better captures the complexities of this singular city than Barbara Hambly. In our Summer Issue #125, on its way to you now, Jon L. Breen offers an overview of Hambly's meticulously researched, marvelously alive Benjamin January mysteries. Although these novels are set in the 1830s, they cast a revelatory light on the New Orleans of today.

Lisa Unger
Lisa Unger
When Lisa Unger was 15 years old and living in semi-rural New Jersey, a local teenage girl was abducted and murdered. As she reveals in Oline Cogdill's profile, that long-ago tragedy is still playing out in her work today.

Ace Atkins picks up a strand of literary history with Lullaby, his continuation of Robert B. Parker's Spenser mysteries. Kevin Burton Smith profiles Atkins in this issue-and gives the revived Spenser a big thumbs up.

In another article, Kevin surveys the many wonderful, long out-of-print crime novels that are suddenly available again in ebook editions. Now that's progress!

Hank Wagner profiles Tom Piccirilli whose new novel, The Last Kind Words, has at its center the twisted history of a family of criminals. (Book review also available at

Michael Mallory discusses how stars from Hollywood's 1940s heyday still shine brightly in Stuart Kaminsky's delightful Toby Peters mysteries.

Sherlock Holmes, of course, transcends time as Bill Hirschman notes in his article about the BBC's fun new TV series.

No matter where you fall on the time continuum, we think you'll find something to enjoy in this issue. Happy reading!

Best wishes,
Kate Stine


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CRIMINAL by Karin Slaughter

Writers on Reading  

Linda Fairstein on Rebecca

REBECCA by Daphne du Maurier  

















I was 13 when I read Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca for the first time, crossing the line from childhood mysteries to what my favorite librarian told me was a perfect Gothic thriller. The opening drew me in immediately - "Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again" - with the intimacy of the first-person narrative setting up a dark psychological drama of fear and suspicion...


(Read Linda Fairstein's essay at



NIGHT WATCH by Linda Fairstein


Linda Fairstein's latest book is Night Watch (Dutton Adult, July 2012). 

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


Poisoned Pen Press Advertisement
article2PBS Mystery! Inspector Lewis Series 5
Beginning Sunday, July 8

Inspector Lewis
Inspector Lewis (Kevin Whatley) and his skinny-tied, cerebral partner, Detective Sergeant Hathaway (Laurence Fox), are back on PBS Mystery! this July for an all new season battling crime in the cesspool of depravity that is Oxford, England.

There are four new cases for your viewing pleasure, beginning with "The Soul of Genius" (July 8), followed by the "Generation of Vipers" (July 15), "Fearful Symmetry" (July 22), and "The Indelible Stain" (July 29). Guest stars include Toby Stephens (Jane Eyre), James Fleet (Little Dorrit) and Celia Imrie (Cranford). Sundays, July 8, 15, 22 & 29, 2012 at 9pm on PBS. Check local listings.
Lewis - Series 5 trailer
Inspector Lewis - Series 5 Trailer





Ace Atkins
Author Ace Atkins. Photo: Joe Worthem, Carrefour, Ltd. 2012.
Donnie's white T-shirt was already soaked through from his ride up from Jericho with no air conditioner in a busted-up Dodge van he'd borrowed from his church.

How the hell else could he have brought a sampling of the fifteen AK-47s, two Mossberg 12-gauge shotguns, three MAK-90 assault rifles, a Ruger Mini-14, and a .223 caliber AR variant rifle? There was a mixed bag of ammunition, scopes, magazines, and gun cases to show that he meant business and could deliver more.



- From The Lost Ones, by Ace Atkins (Putnam, 2012)  



Read the online exclusive review of The Lost Ones at




BLESSED ARE THE DEAD by Malla Nunn Win a signed copy of Blessed Are the Dead by Malla Nunn!  
A stellar mystery set in apartheid South Africa  

Mystery Scene and Emily Bestler Books are giving away two signed copies of Blessed Are the Dead, by Australia-based, South African-born author Malla Nunn.
Malla Nunn
Malla Nunn

Detective Sergeant Emmanuel Cooper returns in this powerful, atmospheric novel about two communities forced to confront each other after a murder that exposes their secret ties and forbidden desires in apartheid South Africa.

To enter to win, just post your "Readers Recommend" to our Facebook page OR email us with your reading suggestions.

ORGANIZING CRIME CLASSICSOrganizing Crime Classics  
Subscribe for 3 years at full price and receive a free gift!

Mystery Scene is pleased to offer its subscribers Organizing Crime Classics: The Mystery Company's Guide to Timeless Series, edited by Austin Lugar and Nikki Phipps, as a free gift with any $90 three-year subscription to Mystery Scene.

This compact guide provides full book lists for readers of over 3,900 titles in over 200 classic mystery series, complete with checklists to help readers manage their collection and plan their reading.

Subscribe for 3 years and get your free gift today.

Already up-to-date on your subscription, but still want Organizing Crime Classics? This indispensable guide to timeless mystery series is available online for $16.00 at  Crum Creek Press.  
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