Autumn is officially here and so begins one of my favorite seasons for books and reading. If you are looking for some suggestions, a great place to start would be with the Anthony Award winners and nominees (congrats to all) who were honored earlier this month at Bouchercon 2022 in Minneapolis. Our very own Oline H. Cogdill (back left) was kind enough to share this pic snapped at the Bouchercon panel "Sleuths, Young and Old" with her fellow panelists (front L-R) Donna Andrews, Valerie (V. M.) Burns, Mia P.Manansala, (back row next to Oline L-R) Marcia Talley, and Barbara Barrett.

And if you are still looking for some great recommendations, you will be happy to know that the next issue of Mystery Scene out in mid-November is coming together quite nicely. In the words of Editor in Chief Kate Stine, "Should be a good one with Louise Penny, Lee and Andrew Child, the Mystery Lovers Gift Guide, a Cornell Woolrich interview, a roundtable on breakout debuts, a feature on bookish mysteries, and a couple of up-and-coming author interviews."

Until then,
Teri Duerr
Senior Editor, Mystery Scene  
Susan Elia MacNeal on Mother Daughter Traitor Spy
by Jean Gazis

New York Times bestselling author Susan Elia MacNeal is is best known for her series set during WWII featuring the remarkable female code-breaker/British operative Maggie Hope. (2021's The Hollywood Spy, is just out in paperback.)

With Mother Daughter Traitor Spy, MacNeal offers mystery readers her first standalone, a historical thriller based on real-life events involving a mother-daughter team of undercover spies who infiltrate the “California Reich,” a group of Nazis active in the United States in the early 1940s.

Mystery Scene reviewer Jean Gazis was captivated by the strong female characters, historical setting, and timely themes; so much so, she asked MacNeal to share more about her remarkable book.

Read Jean Gazis's Q&A with MacNeal on the Mystery Scene blog.

Susan Elia MacNeal's latest is Mother Daughter Traitor Spy (Bantam, September 2022).

by Bradeigh Godfrey
Blackstone, September 2022, $25.99

What do you do when your estranged sister reappears out of the blue with an urgent life and death message for you—but loses her memory in a car accident before she's able to meet?

Review by Hank Wagner
Vanessa Riley on Writing a Black Woman in Regency England

"There were 10,000 to 20,000 Blacks living in London during the time of Jane Austen. [A person] would have been more likely to see a person of color on the streets, serving in homes, or running businesses, than [they would be] to bump into one of the 28 dukes of the period," says Murder in Westminster author Vanessa Riley.

She adds, "Fiction loves for readers to believe there were 10,000 hot dukes running rampant in London. Alas, there were only 28, and just two were hot."

Mystery Scene's Robin Agnew taps Riley's wit and insight into her central character, Lady Abigail Worthing, a smart, headstrong, woman married to a high-level naval officer, who like many heroines of the genre before her, seems uninterested in following all of society's rules. Unlike many before her, though, she's also a mixed-race Black woman.
Favorite First Lines
Your attention-grabbing intro for the month

"My mother always says it's common as pig tracks to go around with a run in your stocking," Helen says, eyeing Billie's ripped hosiery critically.

Billie rolls her eyes. "Helen, it's murder, not cotillion."

"It's not murder," Helen corrects. "It's an assassination, and you can make an effort to look nice."

—Helen and Billie in Killers of a Certain Age, by Deanna Raybourn
(Berkley, September 2022)
by Mystery Scene
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