Mystery Scene Magazine

At the Scene, January 2013            Solving the mystery of what to read next!
  Mystery Scene Issue #127


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Hello everyone,

Happy new year! I hope your 2013 is off to a great start. We've been busily gathering fun books, TV shows, and films, that will entertain you in the year to come. 

The 2013 Winter Issue #128, coming at the end of February, will feature a chat with Sue Grafton as she celebrates 30 years of writing her beloved Kinsey Millhone "Alphabet" Mysteries ("A" is for Alibi, etc.). We'll also have an appreciation of John D. MacDonald by Ed Gorman, and Daniel Stashower's research for The Hour of Peril: The Secret Plot to Murder Lincoln Before the Civil War.

In the meantime, here are some interesting new Crime Time TV premieres, a selection of mysteries for Downton Abbey fans who can't enough of the roaring '20s, Elizabeth George's thoughts on reading, and Crime Beat, a radio program devoted to tales of true crime. Enjoy!

Best wishes,
Kate Stine
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Writers on Reading  

Elizabeth George on Reading

Elizabeth George

It seems to me that I have always been in the midst of reading a book. I can't remember a time when it was otherwise, although there is a distinct possibility that I wasn't doing any reading in the crib. From my earliest memories of being a child, I was surrounded by books, and books and libraries loom large in my personal legend.   


I became a writer largely because I loved reading. Reading, I found myself swept up in other worlds and in the lives of people whose largeness of experience lived within me long after the covers of the book were closed. Reading, I developed a desire to do the same thing that was going on on the page. But by this I mean that what I wanted to do was write. For what was on the page constituted words, and it was the words themselves that created in my mind the images of Anne Shirley, of Laura Ingalls, of Nancy Drew, of the Boxcar Children, and on and on...


(Read Elizabeth George's full essay at


BELIEVING THE LIE by Elizabeth George


Elizabeth George's latest book is Believing the Lie (NAL, December 2012).

Author website

"Writers on Reading" is a special ongoing Mystery Scene series available as a first-look exclusive to our newsletter subscribers.
Article2Crime Time TV
Mid-season premieres kick off the new year

Deception NBC
Monday, January 7, NBC

No one is surprised when bad-girl socialite Vivian Bowers dies of a drug overdose alone in a hotel room, but her childhood best friend, Detective Joanna Locasto (Meagan Good), isn't so sure it was an accident. Locasto goes undercover in the secretive and high-powered world of the wealthy Bowers family in search of the truth in this crime/soap opera created by Liz Heldens (Friday Night Lights).

Banshee Banshee
Friday, January 11, Cinemax

A master thief just out of prison, played by Antony Starr, finds that the simple life isn't so simple when he poses as Lucas Hood, the new sheriff of Banshee, Pennsylvania, the same Amish town where his former criminal partner and lover (Ivana Milicevic) relocated and started over years ago as Carrie. Hood has his hands full between keeping his identity secret, attempting to win back Carrie, managing his deputies, and dealing with Amish gangsters lead by Kai Proctor (Ben Cross).

Monday, January 21, FOX

Kevin Bacon leads an ensemble cast as former FBI agent Ryan Harding, a profiler leading a manhunt for a notorious serial killer in the latest show from creator Kevin Williamson (The Vampire Diaries, Dawson's Creek). The twist? The charismatic escaped killer, Joe Carroll (James Purefoy) has built a psychopath social network of fellow murderers working together with Carroll as their leader.

The Americans

Wednesday, January 30, FX Network

The Cold War espionage drama The Americans follows two married KGB spies living as Philip and Elizabeth Jennings (Matthew Rhys and Kerri Russell), heads of a seemingly picture-perfect all-American family in the suburbs of Washington DC. Things get interesting when their new next-door neighbor turns out to be FBI agent Stan Beeman (Noah Emmerich). Creator and executive producer Joe Weisberg says he was inspired by the 2010 FBI arrests of ten real-life KGB sleeper agents who had been living in the US since the end of the Cold War.
Poisoned Pen Press Advertisement



Argo still (2012)

"This is the best bad plan we have, sir."


- CIA Agent Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck), pictured right, in Argo (2012), a film based on the top-secret joint CIA-Canadian secret operation to extract six American diplomatic personnel out of revolutionary Iran in 1980 by posing as a Hollywood film crew. Argo, directed and produced by Affleck, was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. For a full list of nominees, visit 


Reads of the Roaring 1920s

PBS Masterpiece fans will be glued to their Chesterfields this winter with the third season of Downton Abbey. It seems Americans can't get enough good period drama. Here are four epic mystery series, sure to keep readers immersed in a 1920s world gone by.
Laurie R. King GARMENT OF SHADOWS Mary Russell Series

Laurie R. King's award-winning series features Mary Russell, "apprenticed" to Sherlock Holmes in 1915 as a teenage sleuth. Through 13 books to date, their relationship has ripened into both a romantic and professional partnership.

Barbara Cleverly NOT MY BLOOD Joe Sandilands Series

The most recent of Barbara Cleverly's novels about Scotland Yard detective and war hero Joe Sandilands is set in the 1930s, but the ten-book series takes readers through the first decade following WWI and finds Sandilands tackling many issues of the time.

Kerry Greenwood UNNATURAL HABITS Phryne Fisher Series

With her bob, her designer clothes, and socialite ways, the unflappable flapper sleuth Phryne Fisher stars in 19 deadly and diverting books by Kerry Greenwood.

Read about three more historical series of the 1920s for Downton Abbey lovers in our blog archive at 
Crime Beat Radio
Guests include Noam Chomsky, Robert Lombardo in January

Crime Beat 

Fans interested in the world of organized crime may want to check out
Crime Beat Radio, a weekly hour-long radio program hosted by Ron Chepesiuk and Will Hrybthat. Crime Beat's second year begins this January and airs every Thursday at 8 pm (Eastern) on ArtistFirst World Radio Network. 

Upcoming guests include Phil Leonetti and Scott Burnstein, authors of Mafia Prince: Inside America's Most Violent Crime Family and the Bloody Fall of La Cosa Nostra; Robert Lombardo, author of Organized Crime in Chicago: Beyond the Mafia: Gill Revill, author of Mafia Summit: J. Edgar Hoover, the Kennedy Brothers and the Meeting that Unmasked the Mob; and Noam Chomsky and Lois Banner, the author of Marilyn: The Passion and the Paradox.
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