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  AT THE SCENE - Oct 2013    

We take a look at Margaret Maron's atmospheric North Carolina novels in the new Fall Issue #131. 


Mystery Scene's Fall Issue #131 is out now and it's a honey!

Mark Billingham is already one of the big guns of crime fiction in the UK, and his Tom Thorne novels are increasingly popular here. In this issue, Oline Cogdill has a revealing conversation with the former comedian and actor in which he describes his own terrifying experience as a crime victim.

Michael Mallory discusses French writers Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narcejac, or Boileau-Narcejac as they were known. Alfred Hitchcock was a big fan, and he based the classic film Vertigo on their novel D'entre les morts. There isn't much critical writing in English about this interesting duo; I learned something and so will you. 

Tom Nolan would like to bring to your attention "Hidden Gems: 5 Writers You Should Be Reading." The future of the private-eye novel is bright, according to Kevin Burton Smith. He offers three outstanding new writers - Sara Gran, Ingrid Thoft, and Laura Brackmann - as proof. Case made!

Whether or not you've read her marvelously evocative Judge Deborah Knott novels set in North Carolina - and, if not, by all means do - Margaret Maron has improved your reading life. She was one of the guiding forces behind Sisters in Crime, an organization that strives to, as she puts it, "make things better for our sister writers and strengthen the field for our sister readers." (And I can attest that SinC also helped make things better for sister editors in the publishing industry.) She's one of my personal heroes, and Art Taylor, a fellow North Carolinian, offers a tribute to her work in. 

Sadly, Barbara Mertz, another of my personal heroes, passed away on August 8. I started reading Barbara's books - under her Barbara Michaels and Elizabeth Peters pseudonyms - at the age of 13, and I can honestly say I wouldn't be here at Mystery Scene today without them.

Other sad losses in recent months include Leighton Gage, author of the excellent Chief Inspector Mario Silva novels, Vince Flynn, author of propulsive political thrillers, Tom Clancy, master of the techno-thriller, and "mystery of manners" great Robert Barnard. And, as has been widely reported, Elmore Leonard died on August 20. Laura Miller offers her assessment of Leonard's influence on the general culture at large in the fall issue. 

If you're not a subscriber to our print issue, several of these articles will be appearing at our website in the future. But why not treat yourself and subscribe? Back issues are also available. 

As always, this At the Scene E-News offers a number of online original articles. Check out our website for more!

Kate Stine
Editor in chief


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Scott Turow

Scott Turow on Reading: Catching the Book Bug
The pivotal reading experience of my life occurred when I was ten years old. I was in fifth grade, and a serious malingerer. I suffered from seriously inflamed tonsils and was frequently home sick, but during these absences, I'd discovered that not going to school was quite agreeable to me. It was better than school anyway, where I had to stay in my seat, refrain from talking to my classmates, and do assignments, rather than thinking my own thoughts.
IDENTICAL by Scott Turow
Scott Turow's latest is Identical 
(Grand Central Publishing, October 2013)
"Writers on Reading" is a special ongoing Mystery Scene series available as a first-look exclusive to our newsletter subscribers.


M.C. Beaton Something Borrowed, Someone Dead ad
A Chat With Jane Haddam

Mystery Scene was delighted to catch up with this interesting writer as her 28th Gregor Demarkian novel, Hearts of Sand, was published.
Haddam's latest is set in a small, monied Connecticut beach town.

Jane Haddam has been writing about Gregor Demarkian for a very long time - since 1990, when Not a Creature Was Stirring was a finalist for the Edgar Award for Best Paperback. There have been 28 books in the series featuring the former FBI agent, but the books are not so much about him and his friends in that small Philadelphia community as they are about the people who do horrible things to each other. Jane Haddam is intrigued by them and their stories.

 (Read the interview at 
Tasha Alexander audiobook sample
Tom Clancy
Tom Clancy in 2010.
Photo by David Burnett

Remembering Tom Clancy
(April 12, 1947 - October 1, 2013) 


Tom Clancy, the thriller writer known for his blockbuster books like The Hunt for Red October, Patriot Games, and Clear and Present Danger, passed away earlier this month at the age of 66.  


Clancy's publisher, Putnam/Penguin issued a statement saying, "He was a consummate author, creating the modern-day thriller, and was one of the most visionary storytellers of our time...he will be missed by tens of millions of readers worldwide."  


Indeed he will.

Read more at 
Overheard: Benedict Cumberbatch 
on his role in the new thriller The Fifth Estate
Benedict Cumberbatch as Julian Assange 
Benedict Cumberbatch as Julian Assange

"I was playing a man who didn't want me to do the film, who communicated that to me in no uncertain terms the day before we started shooting and a couple of days into the film as well. I was struggling with the moral responsibility of that at the same time as I was trying to bring our version of him to the screen."
- Benedict Cumberbatch speaking of Julian Assange and his dramatized portrayal of the WikiLeaks publisher for the thriller The Fifth Estate, directed by Bill Condon.

THE FIFTH ESTATE Official Trailer 
Poisoned Pen Press Advertisement
Article: Sean Doolittle: You may not know him - but you should.  
Article: Robert Barnard: A look at the celebrated author.
Blog: Homeland  
You've watched the show, now read the book.  

BlogThe End
Breaking Bad, Dexter, and Burn Notice wrap up.  
BlogMichael Connelly's Harry Bosch on Screen
Titus Welliver has been tapped to play the detective in Amazon's first drama pilot Bosch
Reviews: More Reviews
Did you know that MS features even more reviews online?  Look for the tag "Online Exclusive." 
Mystery Scene Mast
Established in 1985, Mystery Scene Magazine is the oldest, largest, and most authoritative guide to the crime fiction genre. 

#131, Fall 2013

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