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Newsletter May 2013

Murder by the Book's
 monthly newsletter 
May   2013
Although Murder by the Book, Portland Oregon’s mystery bookstore closed its doors in April 2013, there is a next chapter for MBTB. The website will continue under the guidance of former store manager Jean May. Both the monthly newsletter and the list of new titles published each month will still be available and soon the website will expand to offer more information and reviews. Although we will no longer be selling books, we will be providing the latest news from the world of mystery and crime fiction. And who knows? Maybe we’ll throw in a little advice from time to time.

And now, time for books!
Broken Harbor ($16.00) Tana French’s fourth book is out in paperback and we couldn’t be happier. We’ve been recommending her atmospheric Irish mysteries since 2007’s In the Woods. Although not a series in the traditional sense, her stories are connected by her use of a character who may have been on the sidelines in a previous book and now steps to the center of the action. Mick “Scorcher” Kennedy of the Dublin Murder Squad has been assigned a high profile triple homicide but he’s not worried, he’s got the highest solve rate on the squad. The case proves challenging for many reasons, especially because it centers on an area known to Mick from his troubled childhood.

Jane Casey’s The Reckoning ($14.99), marks the return of London’s DC Maeve Kerrigan. Last seen in The Burning, Maeve is now investigating the murders of suspected sex offenders. To the public the killer is a hero of sorts, taking care of a problem that society struggles to address. However Maeve is a police officer and her job is to catch the murderer.
 In The Last Girl ($24.99), Maeve is in charge of a case where members of a wealthy defense
attorney’s family are found murdered in their home. Maeve Kerrigan represents a new generation of “Yardbirds” (what Murder by the Book calls Scotland Yard detectives) she’s young, a little rough around the edges and decidedly modern in her approach to her career and her life.
  Let the stampede begin, Craig Johnson has a new book! Everyone’s favorite Wyoming sheriff Walt Longmire is back with his pal Henry Standing Bear and his Deputy “Vic” Morettii. In A Serpent’s Tooth ($26.95), Walt confronts an interstate polygamy group and seeks to reunite a young boy with his mother. In As The Crow Flies ($15.00), which came out in hardcover last year, Walt has his hands full helping to plan his daughter’s wedding while investigating a death on the Cheyenne Reservation. By the way, if you are in Buffalo Wyoming on August 3rd, be sure to check out Longmire Day, where “..everyone will be Cowboy'd up in their gear and having a rowdy good time! Author Craig Johnson will be in attendance. His books, and the show, feature the Busy Bee, a local café here in Buffalo!”
Spies and their secrets:
Charles Cumming has been called one of the best of a new generation of spy writers and A Foreign Country ($9.99) was praised by the New York Times as "Silkily written, and more cool than hot...might make le Carre proud." When Amelia Levene, who is to take over as the head of MI6, disappears while in the south of France her government is desperate to find her and to keep the press from discovering her absence. That explains why they call in Thomas Kell, a disgraced former agent with a reputation for getting the job done, by whatever means necessary.
 A Delicate Truth ($27.95) by John Le Carre is the latest in a long line of spy stories told by a
master. In 2008 a counter-terrorist operation, codenamed Wildlife, is being mounted on the British crown colony of Gibraltar. Its purpose: to capture and abduct a high-value jihadist arms-buyer. The operation is so hush hush that even the minister’s private secretary, Toby Bell, is not cleared for it. Three years later the success of the operation is brought into question and it is up to Toby to choose between his conscience and duty to his Service.
 First came Angels and Demons in 2000, then the runaway best seller The Da Vinci Code in 2003 and The Lost Symbol in 2009. Now Dan Brown’s The Inferno ($29.99) is shaping up to be the hot book (puns can be so easy to use sometimes) of the season. Once again symbology professor Robert Langdon is involved with the world of art history, secret codes and an endangered masterpiece, this time it’s Dante’s Inferno.
A trio of paperbacks when you want your mystery on the
 lighter side: 
As always, Victorian Inspector Witherspoon depends on his loyal (and clever) housekeeper Mrs. Jeffries to help him solve a perplexing case in Mrs. Jeffries Turns the Tide ($7.99) by Emily Brightwell. This cozy series has been delighting fans for ten years.
Death Comes Silently
($7.99) by Carolyn Hart is the latest in her long running Death on Demand series which features mystery bookstore owner and amateur sleuth Annie Darling. Things are slow at Annie’s bookstore Death on Demand which just gives her more opportunity to pursue her other passion, amateur sleuthing.
The Sleeping Salesman Enquiry ($7.99) by Ann Purser, is the fourth in an English series featuring Ivy Beasley, a cranky retiree who dabbles in detection with the help of the other residents of her assisted living home.
*Just out in paperback, these nominees for the Edgar Award for mystery writing: 
Nominated for Best Novel is Live by Night ($16.99) by Dennis Lehane,
which was called “ … Crime Noir 101, as taught by the best of its current practitioners.” by Janet Maslin, New York Times. Lehane has led readers down the streets of Boston, both in the present day and in the past, ventured into an asylum set on a mysterious island, and now takes us to the Gulf Coast during Prohibition. This is the tale of Joe Coughlin, a brash young man who sets out to make his mark in the criminal world first as a thief and eventually as a wildly successful rum runner. WINNER! (updated 5/2/13)
Don’t Ever Get Old
($14.99) by Daniel Friedman is nominated for Best First Novel. When Buck Schatz, a survivor
of the death camps and a retired Memphis cop, learns that an old enemy may have escaped Germany with a fortune in stolen gold, he decides to hunt down him down and claim the loot. But a lot of other people have the same idea and Buck’s investigation (aided by his grandson) quickly attracts some serious attention from some very unfriendly sorts.
Finally, Midnight in Peking ($16.00) by Paul French is nominated for Best Fact Crime. Based on
years of research this true crime based tale is set in 1937 China. As the Japanese prepare to invade Peking, a young Englishwoman’s woman’s body is
discovered at the base of a watchtower. The city is already panicked and the two detectives (one British and one Chinese) in charge of the investigation are under pressure to solve the case quickly.WINNER! (updated 5/2/13)
 *Edgar Award winners will be posted to the website
after May 2nd.
A special treat for fans of Hard boiled mysteries:
Dashiell Hammett: The Library of America Edition ($75.00): Born in 1894, Hammett is considered one of the finest writers of American hardboiled detective stories and customers at Murder by the Book were strongly encouraged to read Hammett as well as Raymond Chandler and Ross MacDonald if they wanted to get a real feel for the classic private eye. Sam Spade, Nick and Nora Charles and the Continental Op are among Hammett’s most well known characters. This boxed set contains two hardcover volumes; his five complete novels and his collected short stories and essays. The works appear as they did originally, without revisions that were made throughout the years following their publication.
Book group to continue!
Yippee! Our book group led by local author Lori L. Lake will continue to meet the fourth Tuesday of the month at 6:30 p.m. Barbara Tom, one of the former owners of Murder by the Book will choose the book to be discussed each month (yay!).
 However the location for our meeting has changed.
We will meet at the Belmont Branch Library (1038 SE Cesar Chavez Blvd.)
Tuesday, May 28th, 6:30 p.m.
May’s selection:
Peter Robinson’s
Before the Poison
After the death of his wife, Chris Lowndes decides to return to the Yorkshire Dales after twenty-five successful years spent in Hollywood composing film scores. He buys a quaint older home deep in the country and soon becomes obsessed with a crime that occurred there over fifty years ago. Robinson is best known for his series featuring Inspector Banks which recently aired on PBS.

Can’t make it to this month’s meeting? Check the website after May 28th to see what we’re reading next and to get the scoop on what folks thought of Before the Poison.
Thanks for reading, please stay in touch,
Email: books@mbtb.com
Website: www.mbtb.com
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