AT THE SCENE - January 2015


mug with book in front of fire
Dear Friend,
The weather outside may be frightful, but -- for dedicated readers like us -- winter can be delightful. With the holidays over and cold weather settling in, it's time get a soothing mug of something warm, find a comfy chair, and reach for that stack of mysteries you've been saving.

Should you need some inspiration, remember that all the reviews from our print issues are available at our website, as well as selected articles and original online content.

Happy 2015 to you all. Stay warm and stay entertained!



Kate Stine


article1WEB Griffin on War and Writing

WEB Griffin

I went to Korea as a 22-year-old regular Army sergeant and became the "Go-For" of Lieutenant General ID White, who had been sent there to straighten-out the X United States Army Corps Group.

WEB Griffin's latest novel is The Assassination Option (Putnam, December 2014).

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


article2State by State Authors: A Blogger's Travels by Book

map with pushpins Oline Cogdill visits four states she's never traveled to through some of her favorite mystery novels...

Read of Cogdill's literary travels to Utah, Wyoming, Montana, and more at

Which US states have you only "visited" through your reads? We'd love to hear your recommendations for great mysteries with a strong sense of state pride.  


(Let us know about your Reader Recommends at our Facebook page - and you might even win a free book!)

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

articlecLawrence Block on Scott Meredith
The first of a "Murders on Memory Lane" 3-Part Series

Block's early fiction appeared in the 1956 February and June issues of Manhunt. Unknown to him, there was a Scott Meredith connection.

In the summer of 1956, after my first year at Antioch College, I went to work in the mail room at Pines Publications. One of Antioch's chief attractions was its co-op job program, designed to furnish students with real-world experience in their careers of choice; I wanted to be a writer, so I picked a job at a publishing house...

article4Overheard: Dorothy Sayers on Ringing in the New Year

Illustration of Fenchurch from the title page of The Nine Tailors

"Out over the flat, white wastes of fen, over the spear-straight, steel-dark dykes and the wind-bent, groaning poplar trees, bursting from the snow-choked louvres of the belfry, whirled away southward and westward in gusty blasts of clamour to the sleeping counties went the music of the bells - little Gaude, silver Sabaoth, strong John and Jericho, glad Jubilee, sweet Dimity and old Batty Thomas, with great Tailor Paul bawling and striding like a giant in the midst of them. Up and down went the shadows of the ringers upon the walls, up and down went the scarlet sallies flickering roofwards and floorwards, and up and down, hunting in their courses, went the bells of Fenchurch St. Paul."  

- Dorothy L. Sayers in The Nine Tailors, a New Year's mystery featuring Lord Peter Wimsey and his "man" Bunter investigating a murder and an old jewel theft centered around the local church in the English village of Fenchurch St. Paul. The English tradition of change-ringing, an art in which a set of tuned bells are played in a series of mathematical patterns, plays an integral part of the mystery.
by Oline H. Cogdill
Eighty-one independent bookstores with dedicated children's sections received a lovely holiday present from author James Patterson.

by Oline Cogdill
Mystery Writers of America announces its Raven and Ellery Queen Award winners for 2014.

by Dennis Palumbo

Afghan War vet Daniel Rinaldi's phantom limb serves as a metaphor for the sense of absence we feel when a part of us is wrenched away.

by Kevin Burton Smith
In crime pulps of the '30s and '40s there were also plenty of dicks who were actually janes, defiantly holding their own.

Reviews: More Reviews
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#137, Holiday 2014

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