June 2023


1 Bourne Street, Kennebunk, ME 04043


[email protected]

Happy Birthdays

Each month we note birthdays of some of the masters of the mystery genre, with hopes that readers might read (or re-read) one of their gems.

Marion Chesney, whose greatest fame was achieved under the pseudonym M.C. Beaton, was born June 10, 1936, in Glasgow. Her books, featuring Agatha Raisin and Hamish Macbeth, her most notable creations, numbered 34 and 31 titles, respectively. She died in 2019.

Dorothy L. Sayers, born June 13, 1893, in Oxford, England, was the creator of Lord Peter Wimsey

and Harriet Vane. With Agatha Christie and Josephine Tey, she

is considered one of the founders of the classic English cozy. All her 15 mysteries were published between 1923 and 1939. Thereafter, she occupied herself with plays, nonficton, and translations. She died in 1957.

Dorothy Gilman, born June 25, 1923, in New Brunswick, New Jersey, was the creator of Emily Polifax, perhaps the only spy in history who was, simultaneously, a member of the CIA and the local garden club. Her Mrs. Polifax titles numbered 14. The Mystery Writers of America named her a Grand Master in 2010. She died in 2012.

Eric Ambler, screenwriter and master of the spy novel, was born June 28, 1909, in London. A Coffin for Dimitrios is often cited as one of the best all-time spy novels and features his typical amateur, inadvertent hero. A Mystery Writers of American Grand Master (1975), he died in 1998.


In the Beginning...

How often we've heard it: "I was totally hooked by the opening line." It's happened to all of us.


How important to you are those first few words? Do you have a memorable opening from mystery/detective fiction? Share it at [email protected] (subject line: opening lines).


Maine Has Bookstores for Everyone

Maine has something for everyone--including bookstores. You already know that our specialty is mysteries. And, we think we do that better than anyone.

But if mysteries aren’t your only interest, there are plenty of other wonderful used and antiquarian bookstores from which to choose.

Whether you’re vacationing from away or you’re out exploring your home state, we invite you to check out members of the Maine Antiquarian Booksellers Association. A free pamphlet--conveniently organized by location throughout the state--is available here.


Thank you!


Thank you for supporting

Mainely Murders and other small independent booksellers. At a time when you have other choices, you've shown a commitment to those of us who are part of the local community and who consider customers to be friends and neighbors.  



For Our 13th and Final Year


10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.


We’re back! In a matter of hours, we open our doors on our final season. 

It’s been 13 wonderful years, sharing our love of mysteries. Thirteen years and thousands of books later, we’re ready to resume our passion for reading mysteries rather than selling them. 

It will be bittersweet. We’ll definitely miss the many customers who have become friends, but we look forward to more travel, both in the U.S. and abroad, as well as spending more time with family and friends. 

We’ve been asked if we think someone else might follow in our footsteps. Considering the number of people who have told us over the years that we’re living their dream, we can only say that we’d be pleased to see that happen. 

For now, however, we’re focused on the next few months and continuing to share with you our love of mysteries.

In the meantime, happy reading.

Ann and Paula

Partners in Crime

P.S. Don't forget Father’s Day, Sunday, June 18. 


Our June Picks

June always has a myriad of new releases, from the cozies to the noir, and everything in between. Two of our favorite Maine writers--Paul Doiron and Barbara Ross--headline this month's must-read releases. 

Paul Doiron, Dead Man’s Wake

It doesn’t seem possible that Dead Man’s Wake is the 14th Mike Bowditch title. It wasn't long ago that he was just starting his career in the Maine Warden’s Service.

Since his debut in The Poacher’s Son, the game warden has become Maine’s (and Mainely Murders') favorite lawman.

On the evening of their engagement party, Maine Game Warden Investigator Mike Bowditch and Stacey Stevens witness what seems to be a hit-and-run speedboat crash on a darkened lake. 

When they arrive at the scene, their spotlight reveals a gruesome sight: a severed arm beneath the surface. As day breaks and divers recover not one but two bodies, it becomes apparent that this may not have been an accident, but a coldly calculated murder.


Barbara Ross, Hidden Beneath

Barbara Ross’ Maine Clambake mysteries, starting with Clammed Up (2013), have been our most popular Maine/New England cozies (the lighter side of murder) for years.

This month, Julia Snowden and her family and friends return in their 11th adventure, Hidden Beneath

Five years after the disappearance--and presumed death--of Julia’s mother’s good friend, a memorial service might bring closure to this mystery. But, for the Snowdens, it elicits more questions than answers. 

If you’re a fan of the series, now’s a great time to make sure you’re up to date. We have all titles in stock.

Barb has been a wonderful friend of Mainely Murders. Over the years, she along with husband and “food consultant” Bill Carito have created a most mouth-watering series, one we hope continues for a very long time.

Celebrate These Birthdays

And Save 50 Percent

We love birthdays; yes, even at our advanced years!

Throughout June, purchase in-stock titles by this month’s featured birthday authors--Marion Chesney (M.C. Beaton), Dorothy Sayers, Dorothy Gilman, and Eric Ambler--and receive 50 percent off.

Whether it’s a re-visit with an old favorite or an introduction to one of the classic writers of yesterday, there’s never been a better time to celebrate and save. 

Thanks, But No Thanks

We are no longer accepting books for cash, credit, or donation.

We urge you to donate your unwanted books to your local library or charity.

Books are meant to be shared. 

It’s No Mystery

. . . that we love Maine. It’s a love that we share with our fellow Mainers as well as those who visit here.

If, like us, you want to show off your passion for our beautiful state, check out what we’ve got for you.

Maine Towns playing cards include 52 unique cards each featuring one of Maine's beautiful towns. Every card includes key information about its town, including a picture, population, date of incorporation, location, and slogan.

Maine Lakes and Islands, the newest addition, features the state’s lakes and islands, with beautiful artwork and detailed information. The deck features 56 unique cards: 26 islands, 26 lakes, 2 jokers, and 2 key cards. Each card includes a topographic or bathymetric map, several facts about its lake or island, informative map symbols, as well as an inset map to show the site's location within Maine.

Buy for yourself or as a gift. Each deck is $10, while supplies last.

What Are Your Summer Reading Plans?

Our customers are voracious readers no matter the time of year. But with more sunshine and warmer temperatures on the way, some of our reading tastes may change.

Many summertime visitors like to immerse themselves in “something from Maine.” And, whether from Maine or elsewhere, many readers say they look for lighter fare--to be read at the beach or lake, alongside the swimming pool, or, Ann’s favorite, indoors near the AC.

We’d like to hear about your warm-weather plans. So tell us what you’ll be reading this summer. Write to us at [email protected] (subject line: summer reads.)

Coming in June

For our many customers who are also patrons of local libraries, please feel free to pass along this list, albeit an abbreviated one, to your librarians.

Lynn Cahoon, Songs of Wine and Murder [Tourist Trap #15]

Cassandra Clark, The Night of the Wolf [Brother Chandler #3]

Vivien Chien, Misfortune Cookie [Noodle Shop #9] 

S.A. Cosby, All the Sinners Bleed [NS]

Clive Cussler and Mike Maden, Fire Strike [Oregon File #17]

Mary Daheim, Lady MacDeath [Bed & Breakfast #32]

Paul Doiron, Dead Man’s Wake [Mike Bowditch #14]

Mary Ann Evans, The Traitor Beside Her [Justine Byrne #2]

Dianne Freeman, A Newlywed’s Guide to Fortune and Murder [Countess of Harleigh #6]

Eva Gates, Death Knells and Wedding Bells [Lighthouse Library #10]

Robert Goldsborough, The Missing Heiress [Nero Wolfe continuation #17]

Anna Lee Huber, A Fatal Illusion [Lady Darby #11]

Miranda James, Hiss Me Deadly [Cat in the Stacks #15]

Iris Johansen, The Survivor [Eve Duncan #30]

M.R.C Kasasian, The Horror of Haglin House [Violet Thorn #1]

Kate Khavari, A Botanist's Guide to Flowers and Fatality [Saffron Everleigh #2]

Alex Marwood, The Island of Lost Girls [NS]

James Patterson and Brendon DuBois, Cross Down [Alex Cross & John Sampson]

Mathew Quirk, Inside Threat [NS]

Deanna Raybourn, A Sinister Revenge [Veronica Speedwell #8]

Barbara Ross, Hidden Beneath [Maine Clambake #11]

Katherine Schellman, The Last Drop of Hemlock [Nightingale #2]

Sherry Thomas, A Tempest at Sea [Lady Sherlock #7]

Wendy Walker, What Remains [NS] 

James Wolff, Man in the Corduroy Suit [Discipline Files #3]

Stuart Woods and Brett Battle, Near Miss [Stone Barrington #64] 

Customers Recommend

Marilyn Brooks of Needham, Massachusetts, like many of customers, is a fan of historical mysteries.

This month, Marilyn shares her take on one of our favorite historical writers, Will Thomas, and his series featuring Cyrus Barker, a Scottish private enquiry agent, and his assistant, Welshman Thomas Llewelyn, in late 19th-century London.

Heart of the Nile, Will Thomas

The story of Cleopatra never grows stale. As Shakespeare put it, “Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety.” More than two millennia later, her lure is evident in Will Thomas’ latest mystery, Heart of the Nile.

Phillip Addison, a young schoolteacher working evenings at the British Museum in the hope of being offered a staff position, is cataloguing recent additions to the museum’s extensive mummy collection. One of the mummies seems unusually heavy, and he realizes there is something hidden in the skeleton.

After much effort Addison is able to dislodge the object, which is a glowing red stone in the shape of a human heart. Unsure of what to do with it and fearful of leaving it unguarded in the museum, he takes it with him and goes to the house of his supervisor, the head of the Egyptology Department, Dr. Hennings, to tell him of his discovery.

The following morning Elizabeth Addison, Phillip’s wife, comes to the office of Barker & Llewelyn, private enquiry agents in London. She tells Cyrus Barker and Thomas Llewelyn that her husband left for work the previous evening but never returned home. As the couple is virtually alone in the world, she is desperate to find him.

Barker and Llewelyn agree to look for Addison, and they begin their inquiries with Dr. Hennings. He tells them that Addison had arrived at his house at 1 a.m., saying “he’d made a great discovery… It concerned a mummy that had been in the collection for years.” Hennings said he’d investigate the discovery in the morning and sent Addison away and that was the last time he’d seen him.

Reluctantly, Hennings leads the two agents to the mummy in question, and upon close examination Llewelyn recognizes the cartouche, or pendant, as having the name Cleopatra written on it. The Egyptologist downplays the importance of the cartouche but admits that there is a possibility that the young schoolteacher had found the mummy of the great queen.

Barker and Llewelyn next visit Liam Grant, a friend of both Llewelyn’s and Addison’s. Grant tells them of the jewel that Addison had pressed upon him the previous night, shortly before Addison went to Hennings’ house, and Grant gladly gives it to Barker, delighted to be relieved of it.

Shortly after that Cyrus and Thomas receive a note that instructs them to go to the waterfront; there they see the body of Phillip Addison, but he was stabbed, not drowned. Sadly, Thomas informs Mrs. Addison of her husband’s death, and although they are no longer searching for Addison, they vow to continue investigating until they discover who murdered him.

Reading a novel by Will Thomas is stepping back into the 19th century. The brusque Cyrus Barker and the more sensitive Thomas Llewelyn make a formidable pair, determined to find the murderer and try to bring some comfort to Phillip’s widow. 

 As always, a Will Thomas mystery is a delight.

To learn what else Marilyn has been reading, visit her blog, www.marilynsmysteryreads.com. As always, we thank Marilyn for sharing her reviews with us.

Mainely Murders is an independent specialty mystery bookstore devoted exclusively to suspense, crime, and detective fiction. Our stock of used recent and hard-to-find hardcover, trade paper, and mass market volumes ranges from classics and cozies to tough guys and thrillers.