AT THE SCENE - December 2014


Oliver, our newest staff member, would like to draw your attention to the Mystery Scene Tote Bag. This sturdy, canvas tote is made in the USA and comes free with a full price 3-year subscription to Mystery Scene.


Holiday orders must be placed no later than Saturday, Dec. 20, for Christmas delivery. 

Dear Friend,
The appeal of crime fiction knows no borders, as Fuminori Nakamura ably demonstrates. He's a growing force, both in his native Japan and in the West, and he recently received the David L. Goodis Award for Noir Fiction at the NoirCon convention in Philadelphia.

Ed Gorman makes an equally interesting connection by proposing we look at Charlotte Armstrong as a purveyor of suburban noir. While most readers will remember her for classic thrillers like The Gift Shop or A Dram of Poison, Gorman points us to Armstrong's grittier side.  


Few children would ever suspect their mother of having been a masked crimefighter back in the day. Raymond Benson took this unlikely premise and turned it into rousing good fun in the Black Stiletto series. The final book, Black Stiletto: Endings & Beginnings, is out now. Every one of my four sisters highly recommends this series!  


Joseph Goodrich
relates the delightful tale of how one brief telephone conversation with Dilys Winn, founder of the world's first mystery bookshop, set his 13-year-old self on the path to a literary career.  


 Jeff Cohen and E.J. Copperman are collaborating on a new series about a detective with Asperger's syndrome. The two writers have a lot in common-which makes sense since they're one and the same person. Cheryl Solimini explains.  



Roy Huggins named names of possible communists in the McCarthy era. Should that influence our opinion of his work as a mystery writer and one of the most successful television producers of all time? Read Jake Hinkson's profile and decide.   


Our annual gift guide is back and this year I received my present early: an introduction to Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, the TV show based on Kerry Greenwood's delightful novels about a flapper detective in 1920s Australia. I also have my eye on the Nancy Drew book safe and the Vive Gamache! Café au lait mugs, and the Mockingbird Necklace... You'll find lots of good ideas, too!  



Wishing all of you a wonderful holiday season and a happy and healthy 2015!   



Kate Stine


article1Harry Hunsicker on His First Literary Loves

Harry Hunsicker
The spine of each serves as a tiny reminder, a nebulous mnemonic aid of the book's story and the pleasure it brought. A scene half-remembered, the dangerous feeling at the climax of a plot, a character who stuck around long after the book was finished. The moments of a reader's life, some more poignant and memorable than others. Fiction, the printed kind, has been my refuge since almost before I can remember, a warm, inviting place where I could lose myself for hours. The world of make-believe was more real to me in many ways than what lay on the other side of the book's jacket.

Harry Hunsicker's latest novel is Shadow Boys, a Jon Cantrell thriller. (Thomas & Mercer, December 2014)

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


article2Merry Mysteries: Two MS Online Exclusive Reviews

Jane and the Twelve Days of Christmas
by Stephanie Barron
Soho Crime, October 2014, $25

Ever wished you could experience a Georgian Christmas at an English country estate? In this 12th installment of Stephanie Barron's Jane Austen Mystery series, Jane and the Twelve Days of Christmas, your wishes will come true...

Read the full review at  



by Kaitlyn Dunnett
Kensington, October 2014, $24

Christmas tree farms aren't usually thought of as murder scenes. In the capable hands of Kaitlyn Dunnett, however, the incongruity is rendered perfectly plausible. In Ho-Ho-Homicide, successful shop owner Liss MacCrimmon Ruskin agrees to inspect the Christmas tree farm recently inherited by her best friend from high school Gina Snowe.


Read the full review at 



Please write "TOTE" in the comments field of your order.

articlecMS Gift Guide: TV Tech for Your 'Tec Lover

The Roku 3 (Roku, $99.99) is Roku's fastest and most powerful model yet, able to handle up to 1080p HD video.
Mystery Scene
's Gift Guide guru Kevin Burton Smith recommends two fun gadget for your TV & film loving mystery fan: the Phillips DVP2880 multi-region DVD player and "the king" of streaming TV, the Roku.

article4Overheard: P.D. James (1920 - 2014)

P.D. James

"Open your mind to new experiences, particularly to the study of other ­people. Nothing that happens to a writer - however happy, however tragic - is ever wasted." 
- Phyllis Dorothy James (1920 - 2014), known to mystery readers as P. D. James, passed away November 27, at the age of 94 at her home is Oxford, England. The British author has 19 novels to her name, but is best-known for her series starring police commander and poet Adam Dalgliesh.
by Oline H. Cogdill
Heroes or heroines elevate mystery plots, and, in the case of series, are one of the reasons readers look forward to the next novel.

by Oline Cogdill
Finally, movie makers are understanding the power of the book. Book writers like Gillian Flynn and Dennis Lehane are becoming a bit more powerful in Hollywood. Here's the top 25.

by D.E. Ireland

Take one witty play by George Bernard Shaw, two longtime friends and Anglophiles, and a passion for the Edwardian era. The end result? A new mystery series from Meg Mims and Sharon Pisacreta (aka D.E. Ireland).

by James W. Hall
A troubled protagonist, gritty language, and a pair of bare buns changed the way America viewed TV cop shows forever.

Reviews: More Reviews
Did you know that MS features even more reviews online?  Look for the tag "Online Exclusive." 
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Established in 1985, Mystery Scene Magazine is the oldest, largest, and most authoritative guide to the crime fiction genre. 

#137, Holiday 2014

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