November 2022

MAINELY MURDERS NEWSLETTER

1 Bourne Street, Kennebunk, ME 04043

207-985-8706

info@mainelymurders.com



Mystery Quiz


Over the past 12 years, we’ve been trying to stump you with our monthly quiz.

Rarely have we succeeded. Mystery readers are “wicked smart.” We’ve given up. 


But, as a pre-holiday treat, we’ve got a new question for you. Many television mysteries and their detectives, both in the U.S. and abroad, make their way to the small screen directly from the books from which they were gleaned. It’s nothing new. Think back to Nero Wolfe (Rex Stout), Spenser (Robert B. Parker), and the forever- popular Hercules Poirot (Agatha Christie).


Name your favorite contemporary tv detective, adapted from a series of novels, and why? You tell us and, next month, we’ll tell you ours. Send your answer to info@mainelymurders.com [subject line: favorite tv detective]. 


_____________


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

.

Émile Gaboriau, born November 9, 1832, in Saujon, France, was a writer, novelist, journalist, and pioneer of detective fiction. His best-known creation was Monsieur Lecoq, one of the earliest detectives in literature, who was said to have been a major influence on Sherlock Holmes, Arsene Lupin, and other fictional characters. He died in 1873 in Paris.


William Edward Butterworth III, better known by his pen name W.E.B. Griffin, was born November 10, 1929, in Newark, New Jersey. A writer of military and detective fiction with 59 novels in seven series published under that name, he co-wrote 21 of those books with his son, William E. Butterworth IV. He died in 2019.


Anna Katharine Green, author of The Leavenworth Case 

(1878), was born November 11, 1845. This classic novel, among the very first mysteries written by a woman, featured Ebenezer Gryce, a New York City police detective. She died in 1935.


Harry Kemelman, born

November 24, 1900, in Boston, created one of the most famous clerical detectives, Rabbi David Small. His first book in the series, Friday The Rabbi Slept Late (1964), won the Edgar for Best First Novel. He died in 1996.


John Dickson Carr,

who also wrote under the pseudonym Carter Dickson, was born November 30, 1906, in Pennsylvania. Best known for his locked-room mysteries, he was honored as a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America in 1963. He died in 1977.


_______________


Signed Firsts


Signed first editions have long been held in high esteem by book lovers. Many of us have our own, if limited, collections.

 

While from the beginning our inventory has been focused on readers, not collectors, we do have some special finds. Signed, mylar-covered first editions of authors Louise Penny

Paul DoironTess Gerritsen, Lee Child,

David BaldacciMichael ConnellyRobert Crais, and others.


Own a signed copy of a favorite title. How about signed copies from each of your favorite authors? Purchase for yourself or as a gift. Prices vary and supply limited. Let us know the author and we'll reply with a list of available signed books.

________________

Maine Has Bookstores For Everyone


Maine has something for everyoneincluding 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 pamphletconveniently organized by location throughout the stateis 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.  

_________________


CURRENTLY CLOSED

 

RE-OPENING

November 16-December 31

Wednesday-Saturday 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

                


Friends


A month-long break, most of it in Scotland, has us looking forward to being back in the shop, as we prepare to re-open on November 16. The holidays are nearly here—something that just might give us the impetus to carry on a little longer. No promises, but it’s amazing what a highly successful Christmas season might do.


Although not our original intent, we returned home with lots of books—so many, in fact, that we had to ship them back as we could not stuff them into our suitcases. (That might have posed a risk to our lives—or at least backs.)


As you’ve probably concluded, one of our deciding factors about closing the bookstore or greatly limiting its hours is the physical toll of bookselling (think heavy lifting!!) If you haven’t noticed, we’re old women.

In the meantime, we’ll look ahead to our holiday plans and fill you in on what’s happening in November in the mystery world. And, for those of you who tell us how much you enjoy hearing of our travels—not to mention what we’ve been reading and eagerly anticipating—we offer up some tidbits from the last month and our recent journey to Scotland.


We look forward to seeing you soon.


Paula & Ann

Partners in Crime


P.S. Many of you are eagerly awaiting the release of the latest from Louise Penny, our all-time bestseller. A World of Curiosities, the 18th in her always-anticipated Armand Gamache series, is set for release on November 29. If you’d like a copy held at the shop or mailed directly to you, e-mail us at info@mainelymurders.com [subject line: Louise Penny].

NEW THIS MONTH 

Our November Picks 


A World of Curiosities, Louise Penny


Spring is emerging in Three Pines, after a particularly harsh winter. But, not everything buried should come alive again. Not everything lying dormant should reemerge. But, something has.


As villagers prepare for a celebration, Armand Gamache and Jean-Guy Beauvoir find themselves troubled. After many years, two young people have reappeared in the lives of the Quebec investigators. The two were just children when their deeply troubled mother was murdered, leaving them damaged and shattered. Now, they’ve arrived in Three Pines.


Gamache and Beauvoir’s memories of the tragic case, the one that first brought them together, come rushing back. Did the murder of the young people’s mother’s hurt them beyond repair? Have those terrible wounds festered and are now about to erupt?


And that’s just the beginning.

____________________

Standing By the Wall: The Collected Slough House Novellas, Mick Herron


A collection of novellas—something, along with short stories, many readers don’t particularly like—Standing By the Wall is one that Mick Herron fans won’t want to miss. 


Confusingly, one of the five novellas included here is Standing By the Wall, a Christmas story, not something easily associated with Jackson Lamb and the other inhabitants of Slough House. (And to add further confusion, it is possible to buy only the Standing By the Wall novella in Britain.)

Shop For Holidays NOW 


It’s early November, but be warned: the pandemic is still very much in evidence—putting a halt to some people’s favorite tradition: last-minute Christmas shopping.


In our small, specialty shop, we have only limited control over inventory—even less so during the holiday season. And, of course, no control at all over delivery issues.


If books are on your shopping list this year—and we trust they will be—we advise you to start shopping now. If you see a book on our shelves, buy it. In all likelihood, most books sold from our current inventory will not be replaced. If you’re a mail-order customer, send us that wish list now.

Our Scottish Travelogue


Three weeks wasn’t much time in one of our favorite places. Indeed, it only just whet our appetite for a much longer stay this coming winter. Stay tuned for more about that.


While we spent several days in Edinburgh, the capital and the favorite city of many tourists, it’s Glasgow that always draws us back.


For those who don’t know, Ann, a Scottish historian, lived there during her post-doc years and attended the University of Strathclyde, later returning for months at a time while teaching. To borrow an age-old expression, you could take Ann out of Glasgow, but you could never take Glasgow out of Ann. Just ask our many customers who rely on her regular recommendations of all mysteries Scottish.


Glasgow is above all a Victorian city that was once the second wealthiest city in Britain after London. Shipbuilding, heavy industry, and overseas trade to the Empire and Americas made the Clyde a major port city in the world. Magnificent buildings still abound.


There was so much for us to pack in during our brief time there.


• Museums. From the most famous, the breathtakingly beautiful Kelvingrove, to the somewhat obscure Museum of Piping—yes, bagpipes. 

• Restaurants. No trip to Scotland is complete without the eateries that serve traditional favorites—smoked salmon, scones, and world-famous Aberdeen Angus steaks. Yes, even haggis, which Ann loves and Paula avoids! And, if a beautiful full Tea (yes, capital “T”) is a favorite, you can never pass up the famous Charles Rennie Macintosh-inspired Willow Tea Room.


• Pubs. We tend to combine our drinks—Ann enjoys Scotland’s most-revered single malt whiskeys and locally-brewed beers, while Paula sticks to the national soft drink, Irn-Bru (think Moxie on steroids)—with fish and chips, hamburgers (that famous Scottish food), and sausage buns. Mix liberally with a televised football (soccer) match or some local music. Can’t go wrong.


• Day trips. We failed to sight the famous “Nessie,” but we did visit Loch Ness, along with Loch Lomond, the Wallace Monument in Stirling, and Pitlochry. 


If you’re interested, stop by and see us and we’ll fill you in on more. But don’t expect to see lots of pictures; we’re terrible picture-takers!

Meeting Ian Rankin


Our British shelves contain most of the books by the best-selling Scottish author Ian Rankin, but we happily traveled more than 3,000 miles (3,054 miles) to meet the man himself.


John Rebus—Rankin’s protagonist in 24 titles—is Edinburgh’s most celebrated detective, although we caught up with him in Glasgow.


At a signing for the release of his newest title, A Heart Full of Headstones. Rankin graciously posed with us for pictures—definitely one of the high points of our adventures in Scotland.

Remembering Peter Robinson


Peter Robinson, known for his best-selling series featuring Yorkshire Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks, the first of which was published 35 years ago, died October 4. He was 72.


His debut, Gallows View, was published in 1987, and was immediately met with critical acclaim, and later adapted by ITV for a series, DCI Banks, that aired from 2011 to 2017.


In all, the series numbered 27 books, the most recent, Not Dark Yet, in 2021.

A total of 8.75 million copies of his books have been sold by his U.K. publishers Hodder & Stoughton and Pan Macmillan, and the series translated into 19 languages. 


His final Inspector Banks book, Standing in the Shadows, is scheduled for publication in March.


Born in Leeds, England, where much of his writing was set, Robinson lived in Canada for most of his life.

Ho-Ho Homicide

Nothing says the holiday season like Ho-Ho Homicide*. So check out our Christmas-theme titles while they last—from the classics of the authors of the Golden Age to the increasingly popular contemporary American cozies.  


Our personal favorites are British classics, now available in reprint editions or in collections—some of which we acquired on our recent trip.


Great gifts for those who like to mix their holiday spirit with a little mystery. Plus, we’ve found these to be a hit even among those not as enamored with mystery and mayhem as some of us.


At Mainely Murders, we have a theory: the contents of every Christmas stocking should include at least one mystery. At our house, it’s not just the stockings, but many of the gifts under the tree.


*It’s not just booksellers with a wry (some might say twisted) sense of humor. An attorney friend likes to preface the season with his own take: “Nothing says Happy Holidays like a greeting at the door: ‘You’ve Been Served’.” 

Coming in November


Two and a half years into the pandemic, new releases are still being impacted. Publication schedules have been alteredfrom dates being pushed back to outright cancellations. Find more at www.stopyourekillingme.com and https://www.cozy-mystery.com/blog/soon-to-be-released-mysteries.


Rhys BowenPeril in Paris [Royal Spyness #16]

Laurie CassThe Crime That Binds [Bookmobile Cat #10]

Michael ConnellyDesert Star [Renee Ballard #5] 

Matt CoyleDoomed Legacy [Rick Cahill #9]

Jeanne M. DamsA Deadly Web [Dorothy Martin #25]

Janet EvanovichGoing Rogue [Stephanie Plum #29]

Jessica FellowesThe Mitford Secret [Mitford Murders #6]

Victoria HamiltonSome Touch of Madness [Gentlewoman’s Guide to Murder #2]

Mick HerronStanding By the Wall [SS]

Lee HollisMurder on the Class Trip [Maya & Sandra #3]

Ausma Zehanat KhanBlackwater Falls [Inaya Rahman #1]

T.E. KinseyAn Act of Foul Play [Lady Hardcastle #9]

Laura LevineDeath by Smoothie [Jaine Austen #19]

Phillip MargolinMurder at Black Oaks [Robin Lockwood #6]

Francine Mathews, Death on a Winter Stroll [Nantucket #8]

Louise PennyA World of Curiosities [Inspector Gamache #18]

Dana Stabenow, Theft of an Idol [Eye of Isis #3]

Our Customers Recommend


While we took time off to return to traveling, it’s nice to know that some of our customers were home sharing their own passion for mysteries—among them our favorite mystery blogger and friend Marilyn Brooks of Needham, Massachusetts (www.marilynsmysteryreads.com).


The It Girl, Ruth Ware


In any setting, there’s always one person who stands out, a person who has star qualities. At Pelham College, Oxford University, it’s April Clarke-Cliveden.


April and Hannah Jones are suite mates, assigned a two-bedroom unit with a sitting room in between. A welcoming gift is from April’s fathera bottle of Dom Pérignon. They hold their glasses high and toast. “To Oxford…to Pelham…and to us.”


A group quickly forms with April as its leader. There’s Will de Chastaigne, Hugh Bland, Ryan Coates, and Emily Lippman, and April and Hannah’s suite becomes the de facto gathering space for the six freshers, as first-year university students are called.


The It Girl is told in Before and After chapters, the former taking place before April’s murder and the latter taking place 10 years later. Hannah is the novel’s narrator, but she’s no longer Hannah Jones; she’s now Hannah de Chastaigne, wife of Will, pregnant with their first child.


Hannah is working at Tall Tales Bookstore when she receives a call from her mother. John Neville, a porter at Pelham and the man convicted of April’s murder, has died in prison from a heart attack. Neville always declared his innocence, but the evidence against him was so overwhelming that there was little doubt that his sentence was just. After all, Hannah and Hugh had caught him practically red-handed.


Even though Hannah testified at the trial to what she witnessed, she’s always had a nagging doubt about Neville’s guilt, possibly because he so strongly protested his innocence. Now, when she should be able to put that behind her at last, the doubt has come back stronger than ever, partly due to a phone call from Emily.


Since April’s death, Hannah has been hounded by print, radio, television, and internet media, desperate for her thoughts about the murder. She has ignored them all, but now comes another one. Emily tells her that a journalist friend of Ryan, Geraint Williams, has been in touch with her. It’s not the usual questions, she says, but “He thinks Neville was innocent. He thinks…he thinks they made a mistake.”


When Hannah tells Will about the reporter and his desire for an interview with her, he is upset. “Don’t start second-guessing yourself,” he tells his wife. “It doesn’t change the evidenceit doesn’t change what you saw. This is not your fault.” Hannah knows what she and Hugh saw, but yet, but yet.


Hannah is a wonderful character, and her continuing fears about Neville’s guilt have dominated her life ever since April’s death. Now, despite her husband’s pleas, she’s determined to find the truth once and for all.

Treasure State, C.J. Box


Cassie Dewell is accustomed to doing a variety of searches in her job as a private investigator. Insurance fraud, verifying people’s backgrounds, domestic abuse, and computer crimes are her bread and butter. Then two unusual cases arrive at once.


The first is definitely one-of-a-kind. Cassie receives a phone call from a man who refuses to give his name. He says “I’d like to hire you in the hope that you don’t solve the case. In fact, I want you to fail.” He asks if she’s heard of Sir Scott’s Treasure, and of course she has.


Someone, presumably the man who called, had written a poem with clues pointing to a hidden treasure, a chest filled with gold coins. Hundreds, or perhaps thousands, of people had actually quit their jobs and gone in search of the site “where the rivers marry,” which treasure seekers presumed would be in the western part of the United States.


The unknown caller sends Cassie $2,000 in hundred-dollar bills when she agrees to try to find him. Also in the envelope are instructions on how to contact the mystery client using an e-mail name he gives her and a website. She’s definitely intrigued.


The second case also comes via phone. A woman identifies herself as Candyce Fly and then sends Cassie a link so they can see each other via Zoom. The case involves a two-pronged inquiry concerning a con artist and a missing private eye.


Candyce tells Cassie that several months earlier she met a man who called himself Marc Daly, how they began a relationship, and how she gave him, actually pushed upon him, $7 million to invest in a product, an electric battery for cars. He had identified himself as a hedge fund director, but after she wired the money to the Cayman Islands account he gave her he disappeared, and further investigation on her part couldn’t find any mention on the internet of either Marc Daly or his Empire Capitol fund.


Candyce had hired an investigator, J. D. Spengler, to find Daly. Spengler crisscrossed the country, from Florida, Boston, and New York City among other places, and ended up in Anaconda, Montana. He sent her a text saying “I’m closing in. I think I’ll locate him tomorrow,” and that was the last she heard from him. She’s not too interested in finding the investigator, but she wants revenge against Daly.


Cassie is the single mother of a teenage boy, the daughter of a difficult mother, and a female private investigator in a male-dominated field. Nothing daunts her, however, and she perseveres in every aspect of her life, both personal and professional.


C.J. Box has created a fascinating character in Cassie, a woman who left her job as a sheriff’s investigator to be her own boss and answer to no one.  

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.