September 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.

Agatha Christie, born September 15, 1890, in Devonshire, went on to define the British puzzle mysteries of the Golden Age, and created two of the most famous characters in detective fiction, Miss Jane Marple and Hercule Poirot. Designated a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America in 1955, she died in 1976.

John Creasey was born September 17, 1908, in London. Among the most prolific of authors, he penned more than 600 novels using 28 different pseudonyms. In 1962, he won the Edgar for Best Novel for Gideon's Fire, written under the pen name J.J. Marric. In 1969 the Mystery Writers of America honored him as a Grand Master. He died in 1973.

Robert B. Parker, best known for his creation Spenser, was born September 17, 1932. His two other leading characters were Jesse Stone and Sunny Randall, both of whom appeared in long-running series. A 2002 Grand Master designee, he died in 2010, although his series have continued under the authorship of others. 


Barbara Mertz, born September 29, 1927, in Canton, Illinois, was known to mystery readers by her two pseudonyms, Elizabeth Peters and Barbara Michaels. Another Grand Master designee (1998), she died in 2013. 

Michael Innes (John Innes Mackintosh Stewart) was born September 30, 1906, in Edinburgh. Best known for his Oxford-educated Scotland Yard detective John Appleby, he died in 1994.


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.  



10 a.m. –3:30 p.m.


October 5-November 12

 RE-OPENING on Wednesday, November 16



The waning days of summer are approaching. But, as Mainers--and those who visit here--know, there’s plenty to love about September. (And, New England’s most beautiful season is right around the corner.)

Here at Mainely Murders, despite what the calendar says, we’ll wrap up the summer on October 1.

Everyone knows our passion for books. It’s eclipsed by only one thing: travel. And, now, after two and a half years, travel beckons. 

The next time you hear from us, we’ll be packing our bags, readying for some much-delayed traveling. Scotland, here we come. (And, with luck, come January, we’ll be headed back to Paris.)

In the meantime, we’ll be here--with some much-anticipated new releases (see below), as well as your favorites from yesterday and today.

As always, we look forward to seeing you soon--whether this month or when we re-open in November.

Paula & Ann

Partners in Crime


Our September Picks

Ann Cleeves, The Rising Tide 

DCI Vera Stanhope is back in this tale about guilt, betrayal, and long-held secrets. 

From the very beginning (The Crow Trap), Vera has been a favorite. There’s good reason this series is a bestseller. (And, not to mention a popular television series, too.)

Says the New York Times, “Who doesn’t love ‘large and shabby’ Vera Stanhope, the blunt detective in Ann Cleeves’s Northumberland police procedurals? She is already one of the genre immortals."

This will be on the top of our “to-be-read” pile this month. Indeed, The Rising Tide, the 10th in the series, may be a book we fight over who gets to read it first.


Richard Osman, The Bullet That Missed

Following in the footsteps of the hugely bestselling The Thursday Murder Club and its successor, The Man Who Died Twice, The Bullet That Missed is likely to be one of the biggest releases of the year.

It’s an ordinary Thursday as the tale begins. Except trouble is never far away where the Thursday Murder Club is concerned. A decade-old cold case--their favorite kind--leads them to a local news legend and a murder with no body and no answers.

For the fan of British crime--and humor--this is a book not to be missed. We can count on this third adventure of the Thursday Murder Club to be filled with the cleverness, intrigue, and charm readers have come to expect from Richard Osman’s bestselling series.

As one of our very favorite British writers, Val McDermid says, “A warm, wise, and witty warning never to underestimate the elderly.” (A comforting thought for many of us.)

Cozy Up to This Great Deal

Our Cozy Corner--that’s what we call our outside collection of “murders on the light side”--is overflowing. So, throughout September, we’ve got a deal for you.

Buy three books and receive a fourth (of equal or lesser value) free. No limit. (For every three books you purchase from the Cozy Corner, you’ll receive the fourth free.)

Books, Books, Books

Over the years, customers have brought us books--by the handful, in bags, and in boxes--to sell, trade, or donate. Some have made it to our shelves, while others we’ve donated to libraries and other non-profits.

They’ve been much appreciated, wherever they landed.

That said, we are no longer accepting books. We urge you to donate unwanted books to your local libraries, non-profit thrift stores, and others. Books are meant to be read and shared. 

Traveling Book Bag

We’ve sure missed the adventures of our traveling book bag. But, travel--be it international or domestic--has taken a backseat to everything else in the last two and a half years.

Our Mainely Murders bag loves to travel. But, it doesn’t have to be to far-distant locales. Anne Sabach of Tully, New York, recently wrote, “I met a friend for coffee at the Bloomin’ Cup here in Tully. She had some books for me in your bag … mysteries of course!”

We’re always pleased to see where our trademark bag has been. Send your photo and details (subject line: traveling book bag) to .

Christmas in September

In another of our “life is uncertain, eat dessert first” revelations, Christmas is coming early here. Think Ho-Ho Homicide.

Check out our “Christmas in September” display—from classic British tales to contemporary American holiday cozy crimes. 


It’s wonderful to witness the many new Black voices--strong, distinct ones--we’re now seeing. We hope it’s just the beginning.

Gary Phillips, editor, South Central Noir

South Central Los Angeles is one of the most highly recognizable areas in the City of Angels. 

Author Gary Phillips, among the most highly recognizable names among today’s cadre of Black authors, is the editor--as well as a contributor--to this collection.

In addition to Phillips, writers include Steph Cha, Gar Anthony Haywood, Naomi Hirahara, Penny Mickelbury, Eric Stone, and Jeri Westerson.

Publishers Weekly says “The 14 tales in this strong entry in Akashic’s Noir series focus on the robust past and present of one of the most notorious areas not just in Southern California but the country . . . Phillips and his contributors dig deep, presenting a rich tapestry of stories varied in tone and perspective."

Remembering Stuart Woods

Stuart Woods, author of more than 90 novels, many featuring lawyer-investigator Stone Barrington, died in late July at his home in Connecticut. He was 84.

His 1981 fiction debut, Chiefs, established Woods as a novelist. Black Dog, the 62nd book in the Barrington series, was published last month. Distant Thunder, the 63rd book in the series, will be published in October.

In addition to Connecticut, Woods divided time between his homes in Florida and Maine. 

Coming in September

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 and

Ellery Adams, Murder on the Poet’s Walk [Retreat #8]

Donna Andrews, Round Up the Usual Peacocks [Meg Langslow #31]

Jeffrey Archer, Next in Line [William Warwick #5] 

James Benn, From the Shadows [Billy Boyle #17]

C.J. Box, Treasure State [Cody Hoyt / Cassie Dewell #6]

Ann Cleeves, The Rising Tide [Vera Stanhope #10]

John Connolly, The Furies [Charlie Parker #20]

Clive Cussler and Mike Maden, Hellburner [Oregon Files #16] 

Mary Daheim, Lady MacDeath [Bed-and-Breakfast #32]

Maddie Day, Murder in a Cape Cottage [Cozy Capers #4] 

Jessica Fellowes, The Best Friend [NS]

Amanda Flower, Because I Could Not Stop for Death [Emily Dickinson #1]

Sally Goldenbaum, A Dark and Snowy Night [Seaside Knitters #5]

Cora Harrison, Murder in the Cathedral [Reverend Mother Aquinas #9]

Craig Johnson, Hell and Back [Walt Longmire #18]

Sofie Kelly, Whiskers and Lies [Magical Cats #14]

Laurie R. King, Back to the Garden [NS]

Susan Elia MacNeal, Mother Daughter Traitor Spy [NS]

Kyle Mills, Oath of Loyalty [Mitch Rapp #21] 

Richard Osman, The Bullet That Missed [Thursday Murder Club #3]

Kate Parker, Deadly Rescue [Deadly #9]

Anne Perry, A Truth to Lie For [Elena Standish #4]

Gary Phillips, South Central Noir [SS]

Deanna Raybourn, Killers of a Certain Age [NS]

J.D. Robb, Desperation in Death [Eve Dallas #55]

Alexander McCall Smith, A Song of Comfortable Chairs [No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency #23]

Melvin Starr, Suppression and Suspicion [Hugh de Singleton #15]

Camilla Trinchieri, Murder on the Vine [Tuscan Mystery #3]

Scott Turow, Suspect [Kindle County #12]

Our Customers Recommend 

As many of you know, classic mysteries, both American and British, are a favorite of ours.

So we were pleased to hear from David Wright: “After much research, my website is finished about Golden Age author J.S. Fletcher.”

J.S. Fletcher (Joseph Smith Fletcher, 1863-1935) wrote more than 100 mysteries, mostly from the early 20th century until his death. While he appeared to be a Golden Age mystery writer, his books hark back to an earlier age, i.e., when not all clues were known to the reader. 

Mostly neglected since his death, he has recently enjoyed a resurgence. And now he has his own website:


Linda Baker of Lawrenceville, New Jersey, says historical mysteries are at the top of her list of reading favorites. That includes writer Deanna Raybourn. But in her newest release, Raybourn turns to the present day.

Deanna Raybourn, Killers of a Certain Age

Deanna Raybourn takes a leap into the present day with this intelligent and action-packed new book, and may I say, she hits it out of the park. 

Anyone who has read her successful Lady Julia and Veronica Speedwell series knows that her heroines are sophisticated and competent yet rooted in the Victorian Era. The ladies are anything but shrinking violets. But they would have never imagined a foursome like this!

Billie, Mary Alice, Helen, and Natalie first met when recruited by a shadowy, non-governmental agency called The Museum. The Museum was started by U.S. and British former agents, disgruntled by the many Nazis who were allowed to escape justice after World War II. 

They had managed to clean up many of them before the ‘70s when they moved their efforts to more familiar, garden-variety tinpot dictators, drug dealers, murderers, and the like. The women became assassins, often working as a team, the first female team in Museum history. 

They each had their own specialty; Billie, for instance, is accomplished in hand-to-hand combat. Billie also tells the story in Killers of a Certain Age. The women came from widely divergent backgrounds but naturally developed a close relationship, having kept themselves alive in dangerous circumstances.

Now, they have all entered their 60s and retirement beckons. The Museum wants to send them on a luxury cruise together as a thank-you with a retirement package meant to keep them in comfort for the rest of their lives. 

However, much to their surprise, they are the targets of a young assassin, one from their own former employer. The chase to find out why they have been targeted and how to get the mark removed makes up the rest of this bang-up thriller. It's not easy, but none of these women have lost their skills. Or their desire to settle some old scores.

Killers of a Certain Age jumps back and forth in time, revisiting their early training days and various missions they have done together and separately. I especially enjoyed their defeats of younger agents, often dependent on technology, using more "old-fashioned" methods.

It's tremendous fun, and I couldn't put it down. The Museum should have known better.

Discover what else Linda is reading at


Marilyn Brooks of Needham, Massachusetts, is a fan of Mark Pryor’s series featuring Hugo Marston, the head of security at the American Embassy in Paris.

But, with his latest release, it’s obvious that Pryor has other stories to tell, too.

Mark Pryor, Die Around Sundown

Paris in 1940 is on edge. German troops have moved into the city, and Nazi soldiers and Nazi banners are everywhere. Henri Lefort, a police detective, is sent to the home of Princess Marie Bonaparte to investigate a robbery; when he arrives he’s told it’s a triple murder, that in the course of the robbery three Bonaparte servants were killed.

Henri impresses the Princess, she insists that he investigate the murders, and through her influence he is transferred to the murder squad from the robbery division. 

However, the next day Henri is given a different assignment. The case that he’s assigned to is not investigating the murders in the Bonaparte mansion but rather the murder of a German officer in the Louvre. And, because Hitler will be visiting Paris in a week, the German army officers who give him the assignment insist that Henri find the murderer before then, or else.

In addition to the quick solution to the crime that the Nazis insist on, there are other strange happenings. Although the killing took place in the Louvre, Henri is not allowed into the museum to look at the scene of the crime. Also, the victim’s body has been moved to a jail cell in police headquarters rather than left where he died. Henri has his suspicions about the entire investigation, but he has no power to proceed the way he’d like. And the clock is ticking.

When Henri returns home to the apartment that he and Nicola, a secretary at the police station, share, he finds her deep in conversation with the Princess. Marie Bonaparte’s home is about to be requisitioned by the invaders, and Nicola impulsively tells her about a vacant apartment in their building. The Princess, who asks to be called Mimi, proposes a trade.

She will take the apartment and bring wine and food to Henri and Nicola if Henri will agree to talk with her for an hour every evening. During their brief interview at her home, she realized that he suffers from misophonia, or extreme sensitivity to pattern-based sounds, such as someone chewing gum, repeatedly tapping a pencil, snapping their fingers, etc. Mimi was a patient and then a colleague of Sigmund Freud, and she believes there’s a deeper issue than simple sensitivity to these noises. Henri reluctantly agrees, partly because of curiosity and partly at Nicola’s urging.

Much of the novel deals with Henri’s service during the first world war and the issues that followed from that. In addition to dealing with the murder inquiry and Mimi’s probing questions, Henri is being followed by a persistent reporter who knows some disturbing facts about his life, facts that Henri is determined to keep secret.

Die Around Sundown is an outstanding debut from the author of the Hugo Marston series. The beauty of the Parisian setting and the fear of its citizens of the Nazis are in stark contrast to each other and make the novel taut and suspenseful. And Henri Lefort is a fascinating protagonist, a man with a history he’s determined to keep private.

To learn what else Marilyn has been reading, visit her blog at

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.