MAGPIE ARCHIVES

Without Mercy (Dr. Bill Brockton)

Written by Jefferson Bass FORENSIC MYSTERIES. Dr. Bill Brockton is called to consult on a strange death in the woods of Cooke County Tennessee, a place he describes as “notorious for its frontier mentality and outlaw entrepreneurs.” Bill and his feisty doctoral student and assistant Miranda, drive up twisty roads into the Great Smokey Mountains, […]

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Jefferson Bass

(co writers Dr. Bill Bass and Jon Jefferson) FORENSIC MYSTERIES, DR. BILL BROCKTON. Full disclosure, I am content to watch reruns of CSI Las Vegas and Bones for mindless hours at a time, so not surprisingly I find the gruff slightly awkward central character of these books, Dr. Bill Brockton to be very winning for […]

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Night School

Written by Lee Child THRILLER. It’s 1996. Major Jack Reacher, still in the army, has been awarded his second Legion of Merit in a private ceremony “It was a transaction. A contractual token. Take the bauble and keep your mouth shut about what we asked you to do for it.” As Reacher leaves the ceremony […]

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Bouchercon 47: The Anthony Awards

The Anthony is an award named for the critic and writer Anthony Boucher (August 21, 1911 to April 29, 1968). It is one of the most prestigious awards in the mysery field and is voted on by the attendees at the convention, this year including me, Nancy Gallt, and you, if you were there. (If […]

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Notes from Bouchercon 47, continued

New Orleans 2016 – Blood on the Bayou Nancy Gallt and I got up early on Friday to be at the 7:30 New Author Breakfast at Bouchercon. Twenty-four first-time authors got three minutes each to stand up and talk about themselves and their books while their semi-hungover audience eats very good eggs, sausage, and biscuits. […]

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Harlan Coben: the Myron Bolitar series

Written by Harlan Coben AMATEUR DETECTIVE. Myron Bolitar, Coben’s hero, is a former basketball star derailed from a big career by a crippling knee injury. Now he’s a sports agent, with a sideline in solving mysteries – mysteries often associated with one of his athletes. If you haven’t read them it’s hard to explain the […]

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Notes from Bouchercon 47

New Orleans 2016 — Blood on the Bayou Nancy Gallt and I attended Bouchercon in New Orleans, to see some friends and do a little business. Also, we’re always on the lookout for a new writer who needs representation. I love hanging out with book people. The Opening Ceremonies featured the guests of honor in […]

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Magpie Going to New Orleans

We’re excited to be heading to Bouchercon in New Orleans. If you don’t know about this mystery conference, their website will give you a glimpse: bouchercon.com . I hope to be too busy to have time to post anything from the meeting, but I’ll take lots of notes. Probably. You can’t visit New Orleans without […]

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Quiet Neighbors: A Novel

Written by Catriona McPherson Half way through Catriona McPherson’s Quiet Neighbors I felt compelled to go to Goodgle and find out if Wigtown is a real place. I’m happy to report that the small Scottish village full of second hand bookstores does exist. We could all go there though I doubt the experience will be […]

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Little Pretty Things

Written by Lori Rader-Day AMATEUR SLEUTH. What happens to the girl who always comes in second? Juliet “Jules” Townsend was a brilliant high school track star who broke state records. Unfortunately that was not good enough to win. Her best friend Madeleine “Maddy” Bell beat her in every race. The silver cups in the lobby […]

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Seeds of Deception

A Kate Burkholder Short Story | Written by Linda Castillo This short tale of 14-year-old Kate Burkholder offers an interesting glimpse of the heroine of Linda Castillo’s mystery series. Kate is now Chief of Police in Painter’s Mills, Ohio, but she grew up Amish. Here we meet the young teenage Kate before she has made […]

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Blood Orange

Written by Susan Wittig Albert AMATEUR SLEUTH. China Bayles doesn’t like her best friend Ruby’s sister Ramona—she privately refers to her as Ruby’s evil twin. But China’s herb shop Thyme and Seasons is right next door to Ruby’s new age store The Crystal Cave, and the two women share a tea room and a catering […]

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Susan Wittig Albert: The China Bayles Series

Written by Susan Wittig Albert AMATEUR SLEUTH. Albert writes a traditional/cozy-ish series set in Pecan Springs, a fictional small town in the Texas hill country. China Bayles, her heroine, is a former criminal attorney who decided she’d had enough of the justice system. She now owns a store, Thyme and Seasons, that sells herbs. In […]

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The Woman in Blue

Ruth Galloway, 8th book in series | Written by Elly Griffiths AMATEUR SLEUTH. Anthropologist Ruth Galloway shares the spotlight with the other recurring characters in the eighth book in the series, most particularly D. I. (Detective Inspector) Nelson her sometime lover and her good friend Cathbad the Druid. Cathbad is cat sitting in the village […]

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The Nadia Stafford series

Written by Kelley Armstrong HIT WOMAN. As Nadia Stafford, the heroine of this three book series (with an additional novella published in e-book this spring), is an ex-Canadian cop who owns and operates a wilderness lodge. As Dee she is a contract killer for the Thomasetti’s, a small traditional Mafia family from Boston. Dee’s mentor […]

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Extreme Prey (A Lucas Davenport mystery)

A Lucas Davenport mystery | Written by John Sandford CONTEMPORARY SEMI-POLICE PROCEDURAL. Lucas Davenport is funny, smart, irreverent, tough and the man you want on your side when trouble comes calling. For the time being he is a civilian, having acrimoniously parted ways with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. He is at his cabin […]

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Murder in Morningside Heights

A Gaslight mystery | Written by Victoria Thompson HISORICAL PI’S. Sarah and Frank’s life dramatically changed in the last two books, but some things stay the same—murder. Abigail Northup, a talented and beautiful girl who aspires to be a ‘new woman’ is killed for no apparent reason. Her grieving parents want justice for their daughter. […]

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Magpie at the KGB Bar

Upstairs at 85 East 4th Street | NYC Saturday night a friend and I went to the KGB Bar on 4th Street in the East Village, a great little literary hang out, up several flights of steps (front, inside and then another set, straight up) It’s worth the climb. Our occasion was a reading of […]

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Murder on Astor Place

Gaslight Mystery Series | Written by Victoria Thompson HISTORICAL. We first meet Sarah Brandt (nee Decker), in Murder on Astor Place. It’s 1895 and the young widow is estranged from her socially prominent Knickerbocker family. She lives in Greenwich Village where she works as a midwife. While delivering the sixth child of a woman who […]

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Journey to Munich

Written by Jacqueline Winspear | HISTORICAL SPY THRILLER. Maisie Dobbs is back in London but not for long. Brian Huntley and Robert MacFarlane of the British Secret Service seek her out for a dangerous mission. Leon Donat, a valuable British boffin (that’s scientist and inventor to you) is imprisoned in Dachau. The British government has […]

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Mr. and Mrs. North Series

Written by Frances and Richard Lockridge | In March, Mysterious Books (with Open Road) announced they are publishing the Mr. and Mrs. North series written by Frances and Richard Lockridge. The books began as short stories about a young couple, Pam and Jerry North, living in Manhattan in the late 1930’s, and evolved into mystery […]

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The Sniper and the Wolf: A Sniper Elite Novel

Written by Scott McEwen with Thomas Kolonear If books came with sound tracks this one would have the rapid gunfire and explosions of a Hollywood summer movie. The action never stops. That’s all right with the hero Master chief Gil Shannon who doesn’t like it when life gets too quiet. When we first encounter him […]

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The Waters of Eternal Youth (Commissario Guido Brunetti)

Written by Donna Leon | POLICE PROCEDURAL, set in Venice. Commissario Brunetti doesn’t like fancy dinner parties, even when they’re given by his wife Paola’s mother theContessa Falier. His in-laws own one of Venice’s most resplendent palazzos but Guido, Paola, and their two children prefer their own cozy, unglamorous life in a comfortable apartment. Brunetti […]

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Saving Jason

Written by Michael Sears | FINANCIAL THRILLER | Former Wall Street high roller now paroled ex-con Jason Stafford is now a freelance fraud investigator working for a mid-sized investment bank that survived a Bernie Madoff-like scandal. His boss, Virgil, hired Jason to operate independently, report directly to him, and keep an eye out for things […]

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Review: Michael Connelly mystery The Crossing (Harry Bosch)

Written by Michael Connelly For a guy who bends the rules from time to time, Detective Harry Bosch can be fairly judgmental about other people’s transgressions. In his defense he doesn’t do it for money or personal advancement or the love of beautiful women—Harry craves justice. He’s a good man in a very naughty world. […]

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When Falcons Fall (A Sebastian St. Cyr Mystery)

Written by C. S. Harris Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin and his wife are visiting the Shropshire village of Alewick to bring an unknown woman the gift of a mechanical nightingale purchased by a man who may have been Sebastian’s half brother. A melancholy mission with the goal of finding some clue to the name […]

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Long Upon the Land (A Deborah Knott Mystery)

Written by Margaret Maron There is a dead man in this book, a body found on Knott land who might have some contentious connection to Judge Deborah Knott’s father Kezzie Knott or one of her twelve brothers and half brothers. Of course sometimes it seems as if everything that happens in Colleton County North Carolina […]

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Career of Evil

Written by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling) (A Cormoran Strike novel)  |  Mullholland Books  |  Published October 2015  |  512 pages His face resembles Beethoven – if that composer had been a boxer with a broken nose, hair like a Brillopad, a monkey-like thatch of chest hair, a missing lower leg, and a belly that hangs […]

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