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Newsletter- July 2014

Murder by the Bye:

  Murder by the Book's
    monthly newsletter
 July 2014 


If you ever visited Murder By The Book, you noticed the unique way in which we organized the store. Books were grouped first by type into a section and then alphabetically by author. This month’s newsletter will briefly highlight titles from several of the store’s sections, and hopefully you will discover something wonderful to read.
From the Cherchez la Femme section (by and about modern women)

Stay With Me ($5.99) by Alison Gaylin: This page- turner features Brenna Spector, a PI dealing with a Hyperthymestic Syndrome, an extremely rare condition which gives her the ability to remember everything that ever happened to her. Start with And She Was, the first in the series.

The Night Searchers
($26.00) by Marcia Muller: This is the 32nd in the long running Sharon McCone series. First introduced in Edwin of the Iron Shoes (1977), Sharon McCone is a strong, resourceful detective who continues to come across complex cases to solve.


A Dangerous Fiction ($15.00) by Barbara Rogan: Set in the world of NYC publishing, this debut introduces literary agent Jo Donovan. Filled with tid-bits about the cut-throat world of publishing, I’m hoping that this is the first in a series.


From the Enemies of the State section (political and international thrillers)

House Odds
($14.00) by Mike Lawson: The 2014 winner of Portland’s Friends of Mystery Spotted Owl Award is the 8th in the Joe De Marco series. DeMarco is a Washington DC insider used to protecting his powerful employer and handling sensitive political situations. Look for House Reckoning ($24.00) also due out this month.

Close Call ($27.00) by Stella Rimington: Written by the former head of MI5, this 7th book in the series involves terrorist activity in the Middle East. Agent Liz Carlyle, a resourceful counter- terrorist specialist, must put her skills and years of experience to work as she and her team track down an arms dealer.


From the Fair Cop section (American police procedurals)

Shots Fired ($26.95) by C.J. Box: Joe Pickett, everyone’s favorite game warden, returns in this collection of short stories set in Wyoming. If you haven’t met Joe Pickett, be sure to start with Open Season, the first in the series.


The Famous and The Dead ($16.00) by T. Jefferson Parker: This is the 6th in Parker’s Charlie Hood series set along the US-Mexico border. Hood is a LA County sheriff’s deputy working undercover for the ATF and this promises to be the final book in the series. T. Jefferson Parker has been one of MBTB’s favorite authors since Laguna Heat came out in 1985.


From the Hard Boiled Heroes section (from Spade to Spenser)

A Tap on the Window ($9.99) by Linwood Barclay: Grieving father Cal Weaver is struggling to come to terms with his son’s death when he is presented with information that may lead to those involved in the boy’s drug overdose.“Fast-paced” doesn’t begin to describe Barclay’s style, don’t pick up one of his books if you want to read “just a quick chapter before bed."

Refusal ($9.99) by Felix Francis: Written by the son of the late Dick Francis, this tale is set in the world of English horseracing and features former jockey turned PI Sid Halley (first seen in 1965’s Odds Against.)

Tamarack County ($16.00) by William Kent Krueger: Cork O’Connor returns in this 13th book in the series. Set at Christmastime when the temperatures drop well below freezing, Cork investigates the disappearance of the wife of a local judge, whose car was found abandoned in a snowdrift. At MBTB, we loved to get people started on Iron Lake (1998), the first book in the series. 


Strangers ($24.99) By Bill Pronzini: The 43rd (!) book in the series featuring a PI known as “The Nameless Detective.” First seen in 1971’s The Snatch, “Nameless” takes his job seriously, and his latest case is no exception. When the son of an old flame is accused of rape, Nameless must work to prove the boy’s innocence before the locals take justice into their own hands.


From the Off the Wall section (offbeat humor)

The Sound and the Furry
($16.00) by Spencer Quinn: What’s not to like in the 6th book in the Chet and Bernie series? Chet (the dog) and Bernie (the PI) head to Louisiana to locate a missing person. Working together the duo manages to keep ahead of a gang of criminals who like to keep their business dealings private. If you are a dog lover, Chet’s observations on crime- solving and life in general are sure to delight. Start with Dog Gone It, the first in the series.

The Hot Rock ($14.95) by Donald Westlake: First published in 1970, The Hot Rock is a classic crime caper. It introduces John Dortmunder, a “criminal mastermind” (and I use that term loosely) whose schemes never quite come off as planned. This time out, Dortmunder is fresh out of prison and thinking that a jewel robbery is just the thing to get his life back on track. Did I mention that his plans never quite work out? Known for his clever characters and plotting, Donald Westlake was a three time Edgar Award winner.

 From the Once Upon a Crime section (historical mysteries) 

From the From the Once Upon a Crime section (historical mysteries)

Behind the Shattered Glass
($14.99) by Tasha Alexander: Fans of Victorian mysteries have been following the exploits of Lady Emily since she was first introduced in 2005’s And Only to Deceive. In her latest adventure, Emily and her husband are enjoying time spent with their young sons at the family estate but their peaceful life is disrupted when a neighbor’s death leads to a murder investigation. 

The Moonstone ($12.99) by Wilkie Collins: Called “the first and  greatest of English detective novels” by T.S. Eliot, The Moonstone was first published in 1868. This highly recommended classic has it all: a mysterious stolen gem, a dash of romance, international intrigue and even a band of jugglers! 

Enemies at Home ($25.99) by Lindsey Davis: Best known for her mysteries featuring Marcus Didius Falco, an “informer” in 1st century Rome, Davis recently branched out with a series starring Falco’s adopted daughter Flavia Albia. In her second outing (following The Ides of April) Flavia investigates the death of a couple found murdered in their home. The only suspects are the household slaves, known as “the enemies at home” and it is up to Flavia to discover the truth before the slaves are executed.



Atonement of Death ($25.99) by Peter Tremayne: the 24th Sister Fidelma mystery finds the 7th century Irish detective involved in discovering who almost succeeded in murdering King Colgu during a feast. Readers appreciate the attention that the author (a Celtic scholar) pays to historical detail. You may want to start with the first book in the series, Absolution by Murder.


From the Shot on Location section (featuring other countries and cultures)

The Good Thief’s Guide to Berlin ($15.99) by Chris Ewan: The 5th in the series with mystery author/thief Charlie Howard, finds the extremely likeable Charlie living in Berlin. He is supposed to be working on his novel but Berlin isn’t a cheap place to live and so Charlie must make ends meet by committing the occasional bit of larceny. When called in by his government to recover some sensitive items stolen by embassy employees, Charlie stumbles across a murder and finds it increasingly difficult to obey his first rule “Don’t Get Caught!” Start with The Good Thief’s Guide to Amsterdam and join Charlie on his string of international adventures.

Spider Woman’s Daughter ($9.99) by Anne Hillerman: Tony Hillerman introduced readers to the Navajo Tribal Police in 1970’s The Blessing Way.  Now Hillerman’s daughter Anne brings back two of the series main characters, Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn (now retired) and Sergeant Jim Chee. When a shooting occurs on the reservation, Police Officer Bernadette Manuelito assists her husband, Sergeant Chee, in tracking down the gunman. It seems that the shooting has ties to an old case that had been investigated by Chee’s old boss, Joe Leaphorn. Author Craig Johnson offered the following praise: “Spider Woman’s Daughter is a proud addition to the legacy, capturing the beauty and breath of the Southwest as only a Hillerman can.”


Ghost Month ($26.95) by Ed Lin: Set in Taipei during Ghost Month, a time to honor the dead. Tradition dictates that you burn incense, visit shrines, don’t make any large purchases, stay away from bodies of water and avoid unlucky situations. All this is easier said than done for Jing-nan, who runs a small food stand in Taipei’s night market. His life is turned upside down when a former girlfriend, last seen heading for NYU, is found murdered on the side of a nearby highway. The woman’s parents beg Jing- nan for help and he reluctantly agrees to ask around. According to Kirkus Reviews "The teeming Taipei setting and the tormented hero combine to create a furious energy that transcends a whodunit plot."

From the Yardbirds (British police procedurals) section:

The Tooth Tattoo ($15.95) by Peter Lovesey: The 13th in Lovesey’s Peter Diamond series finds the head of the Criminal Investigation Division in Bath, England investigating the case of a woman found dead in a canal. The only clue to her identity is her unusual tattoo, a musical note on one of her teeth. Do start reading this delightful series in order, beginning with The Last Detective.



Murder by the Book’s

 Book Group



Our group, led by local author Lori L. Lake, meets the fourth Tuesday of the month at 6:30 p.m. Barbara Tom, one of the former owners of MBTB, chooses the book to be discussed each month.

We meet at the Belmont Branch Library

1038 SE Cesar Chavez Blvd.


May’s meeting will be held on Tuesday July 22 and we will discuss

 An Unsuitable Job for a Woman

by P.D. James.




 The Friends of Mystery

 Book Group


meets at the Belmont Library on the third Wednesday of the month at 5:00 p.m.

 On Wednesday July 16 , they will be discussing

The Spider’s Web by Margaret Coel.



Happy reading,