October 2022


1 Bourne Street, Kennebunk, ME 04043



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. 


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.

Helen MacInnes, the Scottish writer of numerous romantic espionage novels, was born October 7, 1907, in Glasgow. Her books were written after moving to the U.S. in 1947. She died in New York City in 1985. 

Elmore Leonard, born in New Orleans on October 11, 1925, spent most of his life in Detroit, where he died in 2013. First known for westerns, he wrote 17 mystery and suspense novels and stories noted for their realism and dialogue. Many were made into movies. In 1993 he was designated a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America (MWA).

Evan Hunter was born October 15, 1926. If the name isn't familiar, you might think of one of his several pseudonyms, Ed McBain (87th Precinct books), the name under which he achieved his greatest fame. Given the Grand Master award by the MWA in 1987, he died in 2005.

John Le Carré (David John Moore Cornwell), born October 19, 1931, was a British intelligence officer before he became a premier spy novelist. His most famous protagonist was George Smiley, who appeared in nine books. He received both the Crime Writers Association Diamond Dagger (1988) and the MWA Grand Master award (1984). He died in 2020.


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 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.  

 CLOSED (after October 1)

 For Fall Break



November 16-December 31

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



Twelve years. Tens of thousands of books sold. And, did we mention COVID? It all adds up to Mainely Murders heading to an end.

All businesses reach the end of the line. Yes, even your favorite bookstore. Twelve years is a long time in bookstore years. (Think “dog years.”) 

After today, October 1--yes, our last day for a while--we’re moving toward the end. Everyone knows our passion for mysteries. It’s eclipsed by only one thing: travel. And, now, after two and a half years, travel beckons. 

In a few days, we’ll be in Scotland.

The next time you hear from us, we’ll be planning our final November/December holiday preparation. [November 16-December 31.] Thanks to vigorous end-of-summer shopping, our shelves are looking a little sparse. But, wonderful reads--from upcoming new releases to all your old favorites--still await you here. 

Come spring, we may move to “mail order only”--or possibly even an occasional “pop-up shop”--for existing stock. But, that’s a long way off. And, as we’ve learned, life is uncertain. 

In the meantime, Happy Reading! 

Paula & Ann

Partners in Crime


Our October Picks

Val McDermid, 1989 

1989--as well as its predecessor, 1979--is one only Val McDermid, the most celebrated of mystery novelists and former journalist, could have written.

Hailed as Scotland’s Queen of Crime, McDermid’s award-winning, internationally bestselling novels have captivated readers for more than 30 years. In 1989, the second in her Allie Burns series, the author returns to the past--both ours and in some ways her own--with the story of a female journalist whose stories lead her into world of corruption, terror, and murder.


M.L. Longworth, Disaster at the Vendome Theater 

Favorite partners in crime--solving them!--Antoine Verlaque and Marine Bonnet are back in the newest title in the author’s wonderful series set in Provence. 

The Vendome Theater may be only a small summer playhouse, but there’s big trouble ahead in this 10th title.

For fans of the series who haven’t already discovered it, Antoine and Marine are just as engaging on the small screen in Murders in Provence, a stunningly beautifully Brit Box original drama.

Scotland Here We Come

Scotland is one of the most fascinating places on earth. If you’ve been there, you know that. If you haven’t, you don’t know what you’re missing.

There’s the historic cities, the quaint villages, the beautiful countryside, the remote islands. And, the mystery writers. We’re huge fans of them all.

Scottish writers are not only among our personal favorites, but also our biggest sellers here at Mainely Murders. 

It’s been almost three years since we were last there, so needless to say we plan to immerse ourselves over the weeks ahead not only in our favorite writers, but also in their favorite characters and locales--Val McDermid’s and Denise Mina’s Glasgow. Ian Rankin’s Edinburgh. Stuart McBride’s Aberdeen. That’s just to name a few. 

Indeed, we’ve got a lot of Scottish writers to follow. Thanks to Linda Healey of Yarmouth, also a fan of all things Scottish, who provided us with this signpost of some favorites.

When a Book Is More Than a Book

Our customers are exceedingly generous. They shower us with fresh-baked goodies, home-canned goods, flowers, and more--including their handiwork.

Helen Whitney of Hyde Park, Vermont, is an avid reader of all genres, and she loves mysteries--as evidenced by this this craft project made by her sister Nancy. 

Helen, we couldn't have said it better ourselves!

What We're Reading

Mark Pryor, Die Around Sundown (Ann)

Pryor’s new series set immediately after the Nazi conquest of France follows a French policeman who, under threat of death, is given five days to find out who killed a German officer in the Louvre--without access to the scene of the crime but with a predetermined list of suspects.

As is usual in Pryor books, numerous sympathetic characters populate the book: a Black American who stayed on in Paris; Picasso, who sees art as a way of fighting oppressors; Jews who are starting to be under pressure as their businesses and apartments are being confiscated; a psychotherapist; and average people who try to fight the Germans.

Quite good on the dilemmas that faced Parisians as the Germans take control because, of course, at this point no one quite knew the depth of the threats facing those under Nazi control. Still, many of the French tried to get the remaining good wine before the Germans did.

Coming in October

Two and a half years into the pandemic, new releases are still being impacted. Publication schedules have been altered--from 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.

Tasha Alexander, Secrets of the Nile [Lady Emily #16]

Donna Andrews, Dashing Through the Snowbirds [Meg Langslow #32]

David Baldacci, Long Shadow [Amos Decker #7]

M.C. Beaton and R. W. Green, Devil’s Delight [Agatha Raisin #33]

Rhys Bowen, Peril in Paris [Royal Spyness #16]

Laurie Cass, The Crime that Binds [Bookmobile Cat #10] 

Lee Child and Andrew Child, No Plan B [Jack Reacher #27]

John Connolly, The Furies [Charlie Parker #20]

Patricia Cornwell, Livid [Kay Scarpetta #26]

Nelson DeMille, The Maze [John Corey #8]

Nikki French, The Favor [NS]

John Grisham, The Boys From Biloxi [NS]

David Hewson, The Medici Murders [Venetian #1]

Lee Hollis, Murder on the Class Trip [Maya & Sandra #3]

Michael Jecks, The Merchant Murderers [Bloody Mary #7]

Ausma Zehanat Khan, Blackwater Falls [Inaya Rahman #1] 

T.E. Kinsey, An Act of Foul Play [Lady Hardcastle #9] 

Laura Levine, Death Smoothie [Jaine Austin #19]

M.L. Longworth, Disaster at the Vendome Theater [Verlaque & Bonnet #10]

Val McDermid, 1989 [Allie Burns #2]

Jenn McKinlay, The Plot and the Pendulum [Library Lover's #13] 

Phillip Margolin, Murder at Black Oaks [Robin Lockwood #6] 

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

Edward Marston, Railway Detectives Christmas Case [Railway Detective #20]

James Patterson, Triple Cross [Alex Cross #30]

Ian Rankin, A Heart Full of Headstones [John Rebus #24]

Mike Ripley, Mr. Campion's Mosaic [Albert Campion #10]

Candace Robb, A Fox in the Fold [Owen Archer #14] 

David Rosenfelt, Santa’s Little Yelpers [Andy Carpenter #26]

John Sanford, Righteous Prey [Lucas Davenport #32]

Stuart Woods, Distant Thunder [Stone Barrington #63]

Our Customers Recommend 

British writer Ann Cleeves is a favorite among Mainely Murders customers. Once they begin one of her titles, they’re almost guaranteed to read through the entire series.

Vera Stanhope, the detective-inspector “star” of her, to date, 10-book series, is our favorite.

Marilyn Brooks, our Needham, Massachusetts, friend/customer/mystery blogger, reported in on Cleeves’ most recent title.

Ann Cleeves, The Rising Tide

Holy Island. With a name like that, you wouldn’t think anything evil could happen there, would you? But you’d be wrong, very wrong.

It’s been 50 years since a group of teenagers were taken to the Island’s Pilgrims’ House as part of a school project called Only Connect. The small group, led by their teacher Judith Marshall, consisted of Philip, Annie, Charlotte, Dan, Ken, Rick, and Isobel. Isobel was the glamorous one who never made it off the island alive.

The remaining group is back on Holy Island; they have held their reunions there every five years since that first gathering. A lot has happened since then, including two marriages and one divorce.

Lou joined the group later when she and Ken married; Lou is not only his wife but now his caretaker, as Ken is suffering from dementia. Annie and Dan were married but have been divorced for many years. Rick was a successful television personality until a number of women made his inappropriate sexual behavior public and he lost his program. Philip is a priest in the Church of England, never married and lonely. Charlotte, formerly a model and divorced from Rick, now runs a yoga and lifestyle center on the Island but never attends the reunions.

There is a ritual to the stay on the Island. As always, the first night the six gather on Holy Island’s Pilgrims’ House chapel for 20 minutes of silent meditation, then have their meal, which was always brought by Annie, the co-owner of the well-regarded local deli Bread and Olives. They reminisce, dance, and drink, and the next morning Annie finds Rick hanging from a beam in his room.

The call goes out to Detective Inspector Vera Stanhope. Although it’s first thought by the other group members and the pathologist who arrives to pronounce Rick officially dead that he committed suicide, Vera has a different opinion. From what she knows about the deceased, she tells Dr. Keating that “I can buy him killing himself. But not like this. Not in a shabby dressing gown, showing an ageing body to the world.” And, of course, the autopsy proves Vera right.

Now, five decades after the first death, the murders continue. As Vera confronts the killer and listens to the justification of the murders, she gets a glimpse into the murderer’s soul and the ruthlessness behind the deaths. And then she almost becomes the next victim.

Reading Vera Stanhope novels always takes readers to varied locations, this time to a piece of land that becomes an island twice a day due to the rising tide. It’s the perfect setting for the sinister murders that take place, all in the name of self-protection.

Ann Cleeves is the author of more than 30 novels, including the Jimmy Perez, Vera Stanhope, and Matthew Venn series, as well as more than 30 short stories. All three series have been adapted for television by the BBC. 

It’s always good to hear what Marilyn’s been reading. And, we thank her for sharing her views with us here at Mainely Murders. Find out what else she’s been reading at her blog, www.marilynsmysteryreaders.com



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.