Our Contributors
LAWRENCE BLOCK is a critically acclaimed, bestselling American crime writer best known for two long-running New York-set series, about the recovering alcoholic PI Matthew Scudder and gentleman burglar Bernie Rhodenbarr, respectively. Block has won the Edgar and Shamus awards four times, as well as the Nero Wolfe award. He was named a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America in 1993. He is a past president of the Private Eye Writers of America and the Mystery Writers of America. Larry contributes a regular column, "The Murders in Memory Lane," in which he recalls interesting writers that he has met over his long and varied career. Writers that he has profiled include: Donald Westlake, Charles Willeford, Ed McBain, Stanley Ellin, with lots more to come.
 boulden ben BEN BOULDEN lives in a suburb of Salt Lake City, in the shadows of the Wasatch Mountains. He is married with a daughter, a dog, a one-eyed cat, and a fish named Drink-Drink. He is the author of Blaze! Red Rock Rampage and the forthcoming Blaze! Spanish Gold. He writes the column “Short & Sweet: Short Stories Considered” for Mystery Scene Magazine and has written more than 300 reviews, articles, and essays. He blogs haphazardly at Gravetapping.
JON L. BREEN reviews nonfiction and reference works in his regular  Mystery Scene  column "What About Murder?" Jon is a two-time Edgar Award winner for  What About Murder?: A Guide to Books About Mystery and Detective Fiction  (1981) and the first edition of Novel Verdicts: A Guide to Courtroom Fiction. His first novel,  Listen for the Click  (1983) was short-listed for the UK's John Creasey Award for best first novel under its British title, Vicar's Roses, and his fourth novel, Touch of the Past  (1988) was short-listed for CWA's Dagger Awards. His short stories have been collected in three volumes: Hair of the Sleuthhound (1982), The Drowning Icecube (1999), and  Kill the Umpire  (2003). Breen is a frequent non-political contributor to The Weekly Standard. His latest novel, Eye of God, was published in 2006. In 2000 Breen retired after 25 years, first as a librarian and later as a professor of English at Rio Hondo College in Whittier, California. He lives in Fountain Valley, California, with his wife and first reader Rita, with whom he collaborated in editing the 1986 anthology American Murders.
OLINE COGDILL, journalist for more than 30 years, she is the mystery fiction columnist for the  South Florida Sun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale and a frequent contributor to  Mystery Scene. Her reviews regularly appear in up to 250 newspapers around the world via the McClatchy Tribune Feature Wires for which she also writes mystery fiction reviews. Oline was awarded the 1999 Ellen Nehr Award for Excellence in Mystery Reviewing by the American Crime Writers League. She also received the 1998 Pettyjohn, the highest award the Sun-Sentinel gives annually.
TERI DUERR has been with  Mystery Scene  since 2005 and currently serves as a senior editor and subscriptions manager. She lives in Brooklyn, New York where she co-runs Horse+Dragon NYC, a boutique agency that puts creative talents to work on publicity, editing, design (such as the  Mystery Scene website and newsletter), and events for artists, non-profits, and small businesses. She is currently a contributing editor for CODE Magazine and Tom Tom Magazineand the founding editor and former editor-in-chief of New York Art Beat. From 2000-2002 she was the editor-in-chief of Tokyo Scene and Kansai Scene in Japan. Her editorial and photo production work has appeared in places like  Best LifeThe SourceMen's HealthVogue KoreaVogue China, and Chief Magazine among others. 
ELIZABETH FOXWELL is a New Jersey native and  Mystery Scene  consulting editor, and also a cofounder of the Malice Domestic Convention. She has edited nine anthologies, including the Anthony Award-nominated Malice Domestic 9 (2000). Her short story "No Man's Land" was nominated for the Macavity and won the Agatha Award for Best Short Story in 2004. She received first prize in the 2003 Cape Fear Crime Festival Short Story Contest and is the coauthor (with Dean James) of  The Robert B. Parker Companion  (2005) and the editor of the Malice serial novel The Sunken Sailor  (2004). Foxwell serves as managing editor of CLUES: A Journal of Detection , and received the George N. Dove Award from the Popular Culture Association for contributions to the serious study of mystery and crime fiction.
ANNIKA LARSSON is the art director of Mystery Scene. Previously she has worked on The Armchair Detective, Mystery Writers of America's national newsletter, and The Agatha Christie Society's newsletter. She is the art director for promotion and marketing at Esquire Magazine, a position she previously held at Wenner Media (Rolling StoneMen's Journal, and US ), and at FHM Magazine.   
DICK LOCHTE reviews audiobooks in his column "Sounds of Suspense" and also is a frequent contributor to Mystery Scene. He's the author of popular crime novels including  Sleeping Dog (1985) which won the Nero Wolfe Award, was nominated for the Edgar, the Shamus and the Anthony Awards, and was named one of the 100 Favorite Mysteries of the 20th Century by the Independent Booksellers Association. Lochte's latest novel is Croaked! (2007). His crime fiction column that ran for nearly a decade in the  Los Angeles Times  earned him the 2003 Ellen Nehr Award for Excellence in Mystery Reviewing. Dick, who lives in Southern California with his wife and son, is also an award-winning drama critic and has written screenplays for such actors as Jodie Foster, Martin Sheen and Roger Moore.
  MICHAEL MALLORY is a frequent contributor to Mystery Scene. He's a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee and the Derringer-winning author of some 100 short stories. He is the creator of Amelia Watson, whose adventures are chronicled in  The Exploits of the Second Mrs. Watson (2008) and  Murder in the Bath  (2004), among other volumes, and co-editor of the Sisters in Crime/Los Angeles anthologies Landmarked for Murder (2006) and  Murder on Sunset Boulevard (2002). By day, Mike works as an entertainment journalist with over 400 articles to his credit. His most recent non-fiction book is X-Men: The Characters and Their Universe (2006).
  JEFFREY A. MARKS  is Mystery Scene 's contributing editor and an Edgar, Agatha, Anthony, Macavity, and Maxwell-nominated writer, anthologist, and biographer. He writes an Ulysses S. Grant historical mystery series as well as a series set in current day Cincinnati. He has edited four anthologies of mystery short stories. His nonfiction includes the biography of Craig Rice, Who Was That Lady? (2001), and Atomic Renaissance: Women Mystery Writers of the 1940s and 1950s (2003). He is currently working on a biography of Anthony Boucher. Jeff's how-to book for marketing genre fiction, Intent to Sell (2005), is in its second edition. He is the moderator for MurderMustAdvertise , a 1,000 member discussion group. Jeff lives in Cincinnati where he teaches middle school.
LYNNE MAXWELL reviews paperback originals for Mystey Scene 's regular "Very Original" column. A former Pittsburgher and current honorary member of the staff at Mystery Lovers Bookshop, Lynne Maxwell resides and writes in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. When she isn't reading and reviewing mysteries, Lynne is a law library administrator, choral singer, and dragon boater. 
LOUIS PHILLIPS In addition to contributing the humor column "Mystery Miscellany," Louis Phillips is a widely published poet, playwright, and short story writer. He has four short story collections, Fireworks in Some Particulars (Fort Schuyler Press), A Dream of Countries Where No One Dare Live (SMU PRESS), The Bus to the Moon (Fort Schuyler Press), and The Woman Who Wrote King Lear & Other Stories (Pleasure Boat Studio). His humor pieces have appeared in Family CircleLadies Home JournalSmithsonianNew York Times (op ed), and in many other publications. His most recent book is The Domain of Silence / The Domain of Absence: New and Selected Poems 1963-2015. He teaches creative writing at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. He lives in Manhattan with his wife Pat and their two sons, Ian and Matthew.
KEVIN BURTON SMITH is the man behind Mystery Scene 's "Eyewitness" column and the founder and editor of The Thrilling Detective Web Site. His writings on hardboiled detective stories and other crime fiction, as well as music, film, bicycling and sundry other topics have appeared in numerous magazines and internet sites around the world. He is also an ongoing contributor to CrimeSpree and January Magazine. A homesick Montrealer, he now lives with mystery writer D.L. Browne in the Los Angeles area, where he is still working on the Great North American Private Eye Novel. He has a blog and a Crimespace page.
CHERYL SOLIMINI is a former features editor of Mary Higgins Clark Mystery Magazine and a writer for other national publications. She is a consulting editor for Mystery Scene as well as a frequent contributor. She has profiled Michael Connelly, Linda Fairstein, Jonathan and Faye Kellerman, Cornelia Read, Kate White, and Jacqueline Winspear, among others. She also kicked off the ongoing Mysterious Places series with her article, "Nefarious New Jersey: Crime Writers of the Garden State." Solimini's debut mystery novel, Across the River, won Deadly Ink's first Best Unpublished Mystery Award in 2007, and was published by Deadly Ink Press in June 2008.
ART TAYLOR has contributed a variety of articles to Mystery Scene, including a feature on To Kill a Mockingbird, a survey of Civil Rights Era mysteries, occasional round-ups of classic and contemporary films, and interviews with Nevada Barr, Janet Evanovich, and Dennis Lehane, among others. He regularly reviews mysteries and thrillers for the Washington Post, and his own short fiction has appeared in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine in addition to other magazines and journals. Visit his personal website at www.arttaylorwriter.com.
HANK WAGNER's frequent contributions to Mystery Scene include profiles of Peter Abrahams, David Morrell, and Dana Stabenow, and regular book reviews. Hank lives in northwestern New Jersey with his wife and four daughters. His work has appeared in Cemetery Dance, Crime Spree, Hellnotes, and Jazz Improv, and he is a co-author of The Complete Stephen King Universe (2006) and Prince of Stories: A Guide to the Many Worlds of Neil Gaiman (2008). His latest effort, co-edited with David Morrell is Thrillers: 100 Must Reads (2010), an Edgar, Anthony, and Macavity award finalist.
BETTY WEBB writes the "Independent Press" review column for Mystery Scene. Betty is a longtime journalist and book reviewer for various newspapers. Her prize-winning Lena Jones series-beginning with Desert Noir (2001)-has garnered rave reviews from the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and other national publications. Desert Noir was a Booksense pick, and Desert Wives won a Silver Medal in the Willa Cather awards. She was a contributor to the Anthony-winning anthology, Mystery Muses. Her new series, set in a California zoo, debuts December 2008 with The Anteater of Death . Betty teaches accredited writing courses at Phoenix College. Her popular writing workshops include: The Deadly Writing Sins; and Get Five Novel Ideas Per Day for the Rest of Your Life, Guaranteed!
BRIAN SKUPIN is the webmaster and co-publisher of Mystery Scene . Brian, originally from Toronto, is also the chief detective behind the popular "What's Happening With..." author interview feature. He also reviews books, composes the Mystery Scene crossword, and runs the magazine's website. In 2004, Mystery Scene was awarded an Anthony Award for Best Mystery Magazine by the Bouchercon World Mystery Convention. In 2006, he and co-publisher Kate Stine were awarded the Ellery Queen Award by the Mystery Writers of America for contributions to mystery publishing.
KATE STINE is the editor-in-chief and co-publisher of Mystery Scene . After years as a book editor, Kate consulted for clients such as The Mary Higgins Clark Mystery Magazine , The Mystery Writers of America , MysteryNet, and Agatha Christie, Ltd. Kate was also editor-in-chief of The Armchair Detective Magazine from 1992-1997. Stine and Brian Skupin acquired Mystery Scene in 2002. Mystery Scene was awarded an Anthony Award for Best Mystery Magazine by the Bouchercon World Mystery Convention in 2004. In 2006, Kate and Brian Skupin were awarded the Ellery Queen Award by the Mystery Writers of America for contributions to mystery publishing.
Admin
Monday, 09 August 2004 04:08

block_larry120_croppedLAWRENCE BLOCK is a critically acclaimed, bestselling American crime writer best known for two long-running New York-set series, about the recovering alcoholic PI Matthew Scudder and gentleman burglar Bernie Rhodenbarr, respectively. Block has won the Edgar and Shamus awards four times, as well as the Nero Wolfe award. He was named a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America in 1993. He is a past president of the Private Eye Writers of America and the Mystery Writers of America. Larry contributes a regular column, "The Murders in Memory Lane," in which he recalls interesting writers that he has met over his long and varied career. Writers that he has profiled include: Donald Westlake, Charles Willeford, Ed McBain, Stanley Ellin, with lots more to come.

 

breen_jonl120JON L. BREEN reviews nonfiction and reference works in his regular Mystery Scene column "What About Murder?" Jon is a two-time Edgar Award winner for What About Murder?: A Guide to Books About Mystery and Detective Fiction (1981) and the first edition of Novel Verdicts: A Guide to Courtroom Fiction. His first novel, Listen for the Click (1983) was short-listed for the UK's John Creasey Award for best first novel under its British title, Vicar's Roses, and his fourth novel, Touch of the Past (1988) was short-listed for CWA's Dagger Awards. His short stories have been collected in three volumes: Hair of the Sleuthhound (1982), The Drowning Icecube (1999), and Kill the Umpire (2003). Breen is a frequent non-political contributor to The Weekly Standard. His latest novel, Eye of God, was published in 2006. In 2000 Breen retired after 25 years, first as a librarian and later as a professor of English at Rio Hondo College in Whittier, California. He lives in Fountain Valley, California, with his wife and first reader Rita, with whom he collaborated in editing the 1986 anthology American Murders.

 

cogdill_oline120OLINE COGDILL, journalist for more than 30 years, she is the mystery fiction columnist for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale and a frequent contributor to Mystery Scene. Her reviews regularly appear in up to 250 newspapers around the world via the McClatchy Tribune Feature Wires for which she also writes mystery fiction reviews. Oline was awarded the 1999 Ellen Nehr Award for Excellence in Mystery Reviewing by the American Crime Writers League. She also received the 1998 Pettyjohn, the highest award the Sun-Sentinel gives annually.

 

crider_bill120BILL CRIDER is the author of the Sheriff Dan Rhodes series, the latest of which is Murder in Four Parts. His peculiar blog can be found at billcrider.blogspot.com.

 

 

 

duerr_teri2_120TERI DUERR has been with Mystery Scene since 2005 and currently serves as a senior editor and subscriptions manager. She lives in Brooklyn, New York where she co-runs Horse+Dragon NYC, a boutique agency that puts creative talents to work on publicity, editing, design (such as the Mystery Scene website and newsletter), and events for artists, non-profits, and small businesses. She is currently a contributing editor for CODE Magazine and Tom Tom Magazineand the founding editor and former editor-in-chief of New York Art Beat. From 2000-2002 she was the editor-in-chief of Tokyo Scene andKansai Scene in Japan. Her editorial and photo production work has appeared in places like Best Life, The Source, Men’s HealthVogue KoreaVogue China, and Chief Magazine among others. 

 

foxwell_elizabeth120ELIZABETH FOXWELL is a New Jersey native and Mystery Scene consulting editor, and also a cofounder of the Malice Domestic Convention. She has edited nine anthologies, including the Anthony Award-nominated Malice Domestic 9 (2000). Her short story "No Man's Land" was nominated for the Macavity and won the Agatha Award for Best Short Story in 2004. She received first prize in the 2003 Cape Fear Crime Festival Short Story Contest and is the coauthor (with Dean James) of The Robert B. Parker Companion (2005) and the editor of the Malice serial novel The Sunken Sailor (2004). Foxwell serves as managing editor of CLUES: A Journal of Detection, and received the George N. Dove Award from the Popular Culture Association for contributions to the serious study of mystery and crime fiction.

 

gorman_ed120ED GORMAN co-founded Mystery Scene in 1986 and edited the magazine for many years. He is currently a contributing editor. The prolific and critically lauded Gorman - he has been called "The Poet of Dark Suspense" - has published more than two dozen mystery novels and hundred of short stories since turning to writing full-time in 1984. He's the editor of numerous anthologies and the beloved mentor of many writers and quite a few industry professionals. For an an idea of his influence in the field see the "Tribute to Ed Gorman" in Mystery Scene #76. Ed lives in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, with his wife Carol.

 

kaczmarek_lynn120_croppedLYNN KACZMAREK was the editor and co-owner of Mystery News for 12 years until it ceased publication in 2009. She frequently contributes author profiles and articles to Mystery Scene. Now retired from the corporate world, Lynn shares her knowledge of all things mysterious by teaching classes with Learning in Retirement and a local folk school, The Clearing. She lives with her husband Mack, and three cats in Door County, Wisconsin.

 

larsson_annika120 ANNIKA LARSSON is the art director of Mystery Scene. Previously she has worked on The Armchair Detective, Mystery Writers of America's national newsletter, and The Agatha Christie Society's newsletter. She is the art director for promotion and marketing at Esquire Magazine, a position she previously held at Wenner Media (Rolling Stone, Men's Journal, and US), and at FHM Magazine. She lives in New Jersey with her two children, Tess and Erik.

 

lochte_dick120 DICK LOCHTE reviews audiobooks in his column "Sounds of Suspense" and also is a frequent contributor to Mystery Scene. He's the author of popular crime novels including Sleeping Dog (1985) which won the Nero Wolfe Award, was nominated for the Edgar, the Shamus and the Anthony Awards, and was named one of the 100 Favorite Mysteries of the 20th Century by the Independent Booksellers Association. Lochte's latest novel is Croaked! (2007). His crime fiction column that ran for nearly a decade in the Los Angeles Times earned him the 2003 Ellen Nehr Award for Excellence in Mystery Reviewing. Dick, who lives in Southern California with his wife and son, is also an award-winning drama critic and has written screenplays for such actors as Jodie Foster, Martin Sheen and Roger Moore.

 

sharonmageeSHARON MAGEE, a Phoenix-based writer and award-winning author, specializes in history with a heavy emphasis on the American Indian. She is also a generalist with extensive publishing credits in such magazines as Arizona Highways, Phoenix Magazine, The Valley Guide Quarterly, Priorities, and Phoenix Downtown. Currently, she is a columnist and reviewer for Mystery Scene Magazine.

 

 

mallory_michael120MICHAEL MALLORY is a frequent contributor to Mystery Scene. He's a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee and the Derringer-winning author of some 100 short stories. He is the creator of Amelia Watson, whose adventures are chronicled in The Exploits of the Second Mrs. Watson (2008) and Murder in the Bath (2004), among other volumes, and co-editor of the Sisters in Crime/Los Angeles anthologies LAndmarked for Murder (2006) and Murder on Sunset Boulevard (2002). By day, Mike works as an entertainment journalist with over 400 articles to his credit. His most recent non-fiction book is X-Men: The Characters and Their Universe (2006).

 

marks_jeff120JEFFREY A. MARKS is Mystery Scene's contributing editor and an Edgar, Agatha, Anthony, Macavity, and Maxwell-nominated writer, anthologist, and biographer. He writes an Ulysses S. Grant historical mystery series as well as a series set in current day Cincinnati. He has edited four anthologies of mystery short stories. His nonfiction includes the biography of Craig Rice, Who Was That Lady? (2001), and Atomic Renaissance: Women Mystery Writers of the 1940s and 1950s (2003). He is currently working on a biography of Anthony Boucher. Jeff's how-to book for marketing genre fiction, Intent to Sell (2005), is in its second edition. He is the moderator for MurderMustAdvertise, a 1,000 member discussion group. Jeff lives in Cincinnati where he teaches middle school.

 

maxwell_lynne120 LYNNE MAXWELL reviews paperback originals for Mystey Scene's regular "Very Original" column. A former Pittsburgher and current honorary member of the staff at Mystery Lovers Bookshop, Lynne Maxwell resides and writes in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. When she isn't reading and reviewing mysteries, Lynne is a law library administrator, choral singer, and dragon boater. 

 

 

phillips_louis120 LOUIS PHILLIPS In addition to contributing the humor column "Mystery Miscellany," Louis Phillips is a widely published poet, playwright, and short story writer. He has three short story collections, A Dream of Countries Where No One Dare Live (SMU PRESS), The Bus to the Moon (Fort Schuyler Press), and The Woman Who Wrote King Lear & Other Stories  (Pleasure Boat Studio). His humor pieces have appeared in Family Circle, Ladies Home Journal, Smithsonian, New York Times (op ed) and in many other publications. His most recent book is Fireworks in Some Particulars (Fort Schuyler Press), a collection of stories, poems, humor pieces, and a full-length play).He teaches creative writing at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. He lives in Manhattan with his wife Pat and their two sons, Ian and Matthew.

 

smith_kevinburton120KEVIN BURTON SMITHis the man behind Mystery Scene's "Eyewitness" column and the founder and editor of The Thrilling Detective Web Site. His writings on hardboiled detective stories and other crime fiction, as well as music, film, bicycling and sundry other topics have appeared in numerous magazines and internet sites around the world. He is also an ongoing contributor to CrimeSpree and January Magazine. A homesick Montrealer, he now lives with mystery writer D.L. Browne in the Los Angeles area , where he is still working on the Great North American Private Eye Novel. He has a blog and a Crimespace page.

 

solimini_cheryl120CHERYL SOLIMINI  is a former features editor of Mary Higgins Clark Mystery Magazine and a writer for other national publications. She is a consulting editor for Mystery Scene as well as a frequent contributor. She has profiled Michael Connelly, Linda Fairstein, Jonathan and Faye Kellerman, Cornelia Read, Kate White, and Jacqueline Winspear, among others. She also kicked off the ongoing Mysterious Places series with her article, "Nefarious New Jersey: Crime Writers of the Garden State." Solimini’s debut mystery novel, Across the River, won Deadly Ink’s first Best Unpublished Mystery Award in 2007, and was published by Deadly Ink Press in June 2008.

 

taylor_art120ART TAYLOR  Art Taylor has contributed a variety of articles to Mystery Scene, including a feature on To Kill a Mockingbird, a survey of Civil Rights Era mysteries, occasional round-ups of classic and contemporary films, and interviews with Nevada Barr, Janet Evanovich, and Dennis Lehane, among others. He regularly reviews mysteries and thrillers for the Washington Post, and his own short fiction has appeared in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine in addition to other magazines and journals. Visit his personal website at www.arttaylorwriter.com.

 

hankwagner HANK WAGNER's frequent contributions to Mystery Scene include profiles of Peter Abrahams, David Morrell, and Dana Stabenow, and regular book reviews. Hank lives in northwestern New Jersey with his wife and four daughters. His work has appeared in Cemetery Dance, Crime Spree, Hellnotes, and Jazz Improv, and he is a co-author of The Complete Stephen King Universe (2006) and Prince of Stories: A Guide to the Many Worlds of Neil Gaiman (2008). His latest effort, co-edited with David Morrell is Thrillers: 100 Must Reads (2010), an Edgar, Anthony, and Macavity award finalist.

 

webb_betty120BETTY WEBB writes the "Independent Press" review column for Mystery Scene. Betty is a longtime journalist and book reviewer for various newspapers. Her prize-winning Lena Jones series—beginning with Desert Noir (2001)—has garnered rave reviews from the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and other national publications. Desert Noir was a Booksense pick, and Desert Wives won a Silver Medal in the Willa Cather awards. She was a contributor to the Anthony-winning anthology, Mystery Muses. Her new series, set in a California zoo, debuts December 2008 with The Anteater of Death. Betty teaches accredited writing courses at Phoenix College. Her popular writing workshops include: The Deadly Writing Sins; and Get Five Novel Ideas Per Day for the Rest of Your Life, Guaranteed!

 

skupin_brian120 BRIAN SKUPIN is the webmaster and co-publisher of Mystery Scene. Brian, originally from Toronto, is also the chief detective behind the popular "What's Happening With..." author interview feature. He also reviews books, composes the Mystery Scene crossword, and runs the magazine's website. In 2004, Mystery Scene was awarded an Anthony Award for Best Mystery Magazine by the Bouchercon World Mystery Convention. In 2006, he and co-publisher Kate Stine were awarded the Ellery Queen Award by the Mystery Writers of America for contributions to mystery publishing.

 

 

stine_kate120 KATE STINE is the editor-in-chief and co-publisher of Mystery Scene. After years as a book editor, Kate consulted for clients such as The Mary Higgins Clark Mystery Magazine, The Mystery Writers of America, MysteryNet, and Agatha Christie, Ltd. Kate was also editor-in-chief of The Armchair Detective Magazine from 1992-1997. Stine and Brian Skupin acquired Mystery Scene in 2002. Mystery Scene was awarded an Anthony Award for Best Mystery Magazine by the Bouchercon World Mystery Convention in 2004. In 2006, Kate and Brian Skupin were awarded the Ellery Queen Award by the Mystery Writers of America for contributions to mystery publishing.

Mystery Scene News
April 2010

Mystery Scene launches a new website, showcasing reviews, articles, columns, and other content from the print edition as well as website-specific content.

April 2010

Once again this year Mystery Scene will be sponsoring the Malice Domestic New Authors Breakfast on Saturday, May 1st. See details at www.malicedomestic.org

November 2009

Mystery Scene is proud to announce that Lawrence Block will begin a new column, The Murders in Memory Lane, to appear in each issue of Mystery Scene, beginning with the Holiday 2009 issue. Mr. Block will relay anecdotes and reminiscences from his long and prestigious career as a mystery writer

September 2009

Mystery Scene starts a monthly newsletter to keep subscribers and advertisers in touch with goings-on between issues.

May 4,2009

poirotaward2009mdmcaptionMystery Scene Magazine Publishers Kate Stine & Brian Skupin received the Poirot Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Mystery at Malice Domestic XX1 in Arlington, VA on May 2, 2009.

April 25, 2006

Kate Stine and Brian Skupin, Mystery Scene publishers, were awarded the Ellery Queen award for contributions to Mystery publishing by the Mystery Writers of America at the 60th annual Edgar Awards banquet in New York City on April 27th, 2006

October 13, 2004

Mystery Scene wins the 2004 Anthony Award awarded by the World Mystery Convention held in Toronto, Canada
Admin
Wednesday, 07 July 2004 07:07
April 2010

Mystery Scene launches a new website, showcasing reviews, articles, columns, and other content from the print edition as well as website-specific content.

April 2010

Once again this year Mystery Scene will be sponsoring the Malice Domestic New Authors Breakfast on Saturday, May 1st. See details at www.malicedomestic.org

November 2009

Mystery Scene is proud to announce that Lawrence Block will begin a new column, The Murders in Memory Lane, to appear in each issue of Mystery Scene, beginning with the Holiday 2009 issue. Mr. Block will relay anecdotes and reminiscences from his long and prestigious career as a mystery writer

September 2009

Mystery Scene starts a monthly newsletter to keep subscribers and advertisers in touch with goings-on between issues.

May 4,2009

poirotaward2009mdmcaptionMystery Scene Magazine Publishers Kate Stine & Brian Skupin received the Poirot Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Mystery at Malice Domestic XX1 in Arlington, VA on May 2, 2009.

April 25, 2006

Kate Stine and Brian Skupin, Mystery Scene publishers, were awarded the Ellery Queen award for contributions to Mystery publishing by the Mystery Writers of America at the 60th annual Edgar Awards banquet in New York City on April 27th, 2006

October 13, 2004

Mystery Scene wins the 2004 Anthony Award awarded by the World Mystery Convention held in Toronto, Canada
About Mystery Scene

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Established in 1985, Mystery Scene Magazine is the oldest, largest, and most authoritative guide to the crime fiction genre. Our lively, expert coverage ranges from past mystery masters to today's top talents and tomorrow's bright new stars. We report on novels, of course, but also films, TV shows, audio-books, kid's mysteries, short stories, reference works, and much more.

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Friday, 25 July 2008 06:07
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Retailers may order Mystery Scene through these fine distributors or set up a standing order directly with Mystery Scene.

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Admin
Friday, 25 July 2008 07:07
Contact Us

To send a letter to the editor, click here: Letters You must include your full name and the city and state (or province or territory or county) you live in. Please note that not all letters can be printed in the magazine, and they may be edited for length and grammar.

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For information about the magazine, please contact:

Mystery Scene Magazine
P.O. Box 2200
Radio City Station
New York, NY 10101-2200
info@mysteryscenemag.com

Subscription questions, please contact: subscribe@mysteryscenemag.com



Admin
Friday, 25 July 2008 07:07

To send a letter to the editor, click here: Letters You must include your full name and the city and state (or province or territory or county) you live in. Please note that not all letters can be printed in the magazine, and they may be edited for length and grammar.

sds

For information about the magazine, please contact:

Mystery Scene Magazine
P.O. Box 2200
Radio City Station
New York, NY 10101-2200
info@mysteryscenemag.com

Subscription questions, please contact: subscribe@mysteryscenemag.com



Where to Buy Mystery Scene

Mystery Scene Magazine is distributed nationally by Ingram Periodicals to Barnes & Noble, Hastings, and Books-A-Million, as well as independent bookstores and newsstands. The fine mystery bookstores below also carry Mystery Scene.

Mystery Scene is available in over 275 public libraries.

Print subscriptions may be purchased here or at Amazon.com.

In addition, these fine mystery bookstores carry Mystery Scene.

 

The Cloak & Dagger
349 Nassau St
Princeton, NJ 08540
Tel: (609) 688-9840
info@thecloakanddagger.com
www.thecloakanddagger.com

Moonstone Mystery Book Store
12 Bloomfield Ave.
Flemington, NJ 08822
(908) 788-9094
twicetoldtales@earthlink.com

Mystery Loves Company
202 S. Morris Street 
Oxford, MD 21654
Tel: 410-226-0010
info@mysterylovescompany.com
www.mysterylovescompany.com

 

Aunt Agatha's Mystery Bookstore
213 S. Fourth Ave
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-2134
Tel: 734.769.1114
auntagathas@mailexcite.com
www.auntagathas.com

Mystery Bookstore
1422 South 13th Street
Omaha, NE 68108-3504
Tel: 402-342-7343
hudunit@radiks.net
www.mysterybookstore.biz

Once Upon A Crime Bookstore
604 W 26th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55405
Tel: 612-870-3785
www.onceuponacrimebooks.com

The Sly Fox Bookstore
123 N. Springfield St.
Virden, IL 62690
Tel: 217-965-3641
bit.ly/1hEQcoD

Uncle Edgar's Mystery Bookstore
2864 Chicago Ave South
Minneapolis, MN 55407-1320
Tel: 612-824-9984
unclehugo@aol.com
www.unclehugo.com
www.unclehugo.com

Book Carnival
348 S. Tustin Ave.
Orange, CA  92866
Tel: 800-963-9266
annesbookends@gmail.com
www.annesbookcarnival.com

Murder By The Book
2342 Bissonnet St
Houston, TX 77005-1512
Tel: 713-524-8597
murderbk@swbell.net
www.murderbooks.com

Murder One [Online Store only]
Mailing Address:
Office 004, Kings Cross Business Centre
180-186 Kings Cross Road
London WC1X 9DE
Tel: +44 020 7520 2642
www.murderone.co.uk

Admin
Friday, 25 July 2008 07:07
Terms of Service

TERMS OF SERVICE
The following terms and conditions (the "Terms and Conditions") govern your use of this website, and any content made available from or through this website, including any subdomains thereof (the "Website"). The Site is made available by Mystery Scene Magazine. BY USING THE WEBSITE, YOU ACCEPT AND AGREE TO THESE TERMS AND CONDITIONS AS APPLIED TO YOUR USE OF THE WEBSITE. If you do not agree to these Terms and Conditions, you may not access or otherwise use the Website.

1.    GENERAL RULES AND DEFINITIONS

1.1    If you choose to use the MysterySceneMag.com site, or any of the features of this site, including but not limited to RSS, API, widget downloads (the "Service"), you will be agreeing to abide by all of the terms and conditions of these Terms of Service between you and MysterySceneMag.com, an Internet service of Mystery Scene Magazine published by KBS Communications, LLC.

1.2    MysterySceneMag.com may change, add or remove portions of these Terms of Service at any time, which shall become effective immediately upon posting. It is your responsibility to review these Terms of Service prior to each use of the Site and by continuing to use this Site, you agree to any changes.


2.    PROPRIETARY RIGHTS

2.1    Mystery Scene Magazine owns, solely and exclusively, all rights, title and interest in and to the Site, all the content (including, for example, audio, photographs, illustrations, graphics, other visuals, video, copy, text, software, titles, Shockwave files, etc.), code, data and materials thereon, the look and feel, design and organization of the Site, and the compilation of the content, code, data and materials on the Site, including but not limited to any copyrights, trademark rights, patent rights, database rights, moral rights, sui generis rights and other intellectual property and proprietary rights therein. Your use of the Site does not grant to you ownership of any content, code, data or materials you may access on or through the Site.

2.2    You may download or copy the Content and other downloadable items displayed on the Site for personal use only, provided that you maintain all copyright and other notices contained therein. Copying or storing of any Content for other than personal use is expressly prohibited without prior written permission from Mystery Scene Magazine, or the copyright holder identified in the copyright notice contained in the Content.

2.3    The trademarks, logos, service marks and trade names (collectively the "Trademarks") displayed on the Site or on content available through the Site are registered and unregistered Trademarks of Mystery Scene Magazine and others and may not be used in connection with products and/or services that are not related to, associated with, or sponsored by their rights holders that are likely to cause customer confusion, or in any manner that disparages or discredits their rights holders. All Trademarks not owned by Mystery Scene Magazine that appear on the Site or on or through the Site's services, if any, are the property of their respective owners. Nothing contained on the Site should be construed as granting, by implication, estoppel, or otherwise, any license or right to use any Trademark displayed on the Site without the written permission of Mystery Scene Magazine or the third party that may own the applicable Trademark. Your misuse of the Trademarks displayed on the Site or on or through any of the Site's services is strictly prohibited.

3.    USER GENERATED CONTENT & SUBMISSIONS: INCLUDING COMMENTS, READER REVIEWS, FORUMS AND MORE

3.1    Unless specifically requested, we do not solicit nor do we wish to receive any confidential, secret or proprietary information or other material from you through the Site, by e-mail or in any other way. Any information, creative works, demos, ideas, suggestions, concepts, methods, systems, designs, plans, techniques or other materials submitted or sent to us (including, for example and without limitation, that which you submit or post to our chat rooms, message boards, and/or our blogs, or send to us via e-mail) ("Submitted Materials") will be deemed not to be confidential or secret, and may be used by us in any manner consistent with the Site's Privacy Policy.

3.2    You agree that you shall not upload, post, transmit, distribute or otherwise publish through the Site or any service or feature made available on or through the Site, any materials which (i) restrict or inhibit any other user from using and enjoying the Site or the Site's services, (ii) are fraudulent, unlawful, threatening, abusive, harassing, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, offensive, pornographic, profane, sexually explicit or indecent, (iii) constitute or encourage conduct that would constitute a criminal offense, give rise to civil liability or otherwise violate any local, state, national or international law, (iv) violate, plagiarize or infringe the rights of third parties including, without limitation, copyright, trademark, trade secret, confidentiality, contract, patent, rights of privacy or publicity or any other proprietary right, (v) contain a virus, spyware, or other harmful component, (vi) contain embedded links, advertising, chain letters or pyramid schemes of any kind, or (vii) constitute or contain false or misleading indications of origin, endorsement or statements of fact. You further agree not to impersonate any other person or entity, whether actual or fictitious, including anyone from Mystery Scene Magazine.

3.3    The Service shall be used only in a noncommercial manner. You shall not, without the express approval of Mystery Scene Magazine, distribute or otherwise publish any material containing any solicitation of funds, advertising or solicitation for goods or services.

3.4    You grant Mystery Scene Magazine a perpetual, nonexclusive, world-wide, royalty free, sub-licensable license to the Submissions, which includes without limitation the right for MysterySceneMag.com or any third party Mystery Scene Magazine designates, to use, copy, transmit, excerpt, publish, distribute, publicly display, publicly perform, create derivative works of, host, index, cache, tag, encode, modify and adapt (including without limitation the right to adapt to streaming, downloading, broadcast, mobile, digital, thumbnail, scanning or other technologies) in any form or media now known or hereinafter developed, any Submission posted by you on or to MysterySceneMag.com or any other Site owned by Mystery Scene Magazine, including any Submission posted on MysterySceneMag.com through a third party.

3.5    You are solely responsible for the content of your Submissions. However, while MysterySceneMag.com does not and cannot review every Submission and is not responsible for the content of these messages, MysterySceneMag.com reserves the right to delete, move, or edit Submissions that it, in its sole discretion, deems abusive, defamatory, obscene, in violation of copyright or trademark laws, or otherwise unacceptable.

3.6    Any person involved in or affiliated with the production of a work reviewed on MysterySceneMag.com may not submit a Readers' Review for that work or competing works.

4.    PROHIBITED USER CONDUCT

4.1    You warrant and agree that, while using the Site and the various services and features offered on or through the Site, you shall not: (a) impersonate any person or entity or misrepresent your affiliation with any other person or entity; (b) insert your own or a third party's advertising, branding or other promotional content into any of the Site's content, materials or services (for example, without limitation, in an RSS feed or a podcast received from Mystery Scene Magazine. or otherwise through the Site), or use, redistribute, republish or exploit such content or service for any further commercial or promotional purposes; or (c) attempt to gain unauthorized access to other computer systems through the Site. 

4.2    You shall not: (i) engage in spidering, "screen scraping," "database scraping," harvesting of e-mail addresses, wireless addresses or other contact or personal information, or any other automatic means of obtaining lists of users or other information from or through the Site or the services offered on or through the Site, including without limitation any information residing on any server or database connected to the Site or the services offered on or through the Site; (ii) obtain or attempt to obtain unauthorized access to computer systems, materials or information through any means; (iii) use the Site or the services made available on or through the Site in any manner with the intent to interrupt, damage, disable, overburden, or impair the Site or such services, including, without limitation, sending mass unsolicited messages or "flooding" servers with requests; (iv) use the Site or the Site's services or features in violation of Mystery Scene Magazine's or any third party's intellectual property or other proprietary or legal rights; or (v) use the Site or the Site's services in violation of any applicable law. 

4.3    You further agree that you shall not attempt (or encourage or support anyone else's attempt) to circumvent, reverse engineer, decrypt, or otherwise alter or interfere with the Site or the Site's services, or any content thereof, or make any unauthorized use thereof. You agree that you shall not use the Site in any manner that could damage, disable, overburden, or impair the Site or interfere with any other party's use and enjoyment of the Site or any of its services. You shall not obtain or attempt to obtain any materials or information through any means not intentionally made publicly available or provided for through the Site.

5.    THIRD PARTY WEBSITES

5.1    You may be able to link from the Site to third party websites and third party websites may link to the Website ("Linked Sites"). You acknowledge and agree that we have no responsibility for the information, content, products, services, advertising, code or other materials which may or may not be provided by or through Linked Sites, even if they are owned or run by affiliates of ours. Links to Linked Sites do not constitute an endorsement or sponsorship by us of such websites or the information, content, products, services, advertising, code or other materials presented on or through such websites. The inclusion of any link to such sites on our Site does not imply Mystery Scene Magazine’s endorsement, sponsorship, or recommendation of that site. Mystery Scene Magazine disclaims any liability for links (1) from another website to this Site and (2) to another website from this Site. Also, Mystery Scene is not responsible for or any form of transmission received from any linked website. Any reliance on the contents of a third party website is done at your own risk and you assume all responsibilities and consequences resulting from such reliance.    

5.2    You agree that if you include a link from any other website to the Site, such link shall open in a new browser window and shall link to the full version of an HTML formatted page of this Site. You are not permitted to link directly to any image hosted on the Site or our services, such as using an "in-line" linking method to cause the image hosted by us to be displayed on another website. You agree not to download or use images hosted on this Site on another website, for any purpose, including, without limitation, posting such images on another site. You agree not to link from any other website to this Site in any manner such that the Site, or any page of the Site, is "framed," surrounded or obfuscated by any third party content, materials or branding. We reserve all of our rights under the law to insist that any link to the Site be discontinued, and to revoke your right to link to the Site from any other website at any time upon written notice to you.

6.    REPRESENTATION & WARRANTIES

6.1    You represent, warrant and covenant (a) that no materials of any kind submitted through your account will (i) violate, plagiarize, or infringe upon the rights of any third party, including copyright, trademark, privacy or other personal or proprietary rights; or (ii) contain libelous or otherwise unlawful material; and (b) that you are at least thirteen years old. You hereby indemnify, defend and hold harmless Mystery Scene Magazine and MysterySceneMag.com, and all officers, directors, owners, agents, information providers, affiliates, licensors and licensees (collectively, the "Indemnified Parties") from and against any and all liability and costs, including, without limitation, reasonable attorneys' fees, incurred by the Indemnified Parties in connection with any claim arising out of any breach by you or any user of your account of these Terms of Service or the foregoing representations, warranties and covenants. You shall cooperate as fully as reasonably required in the defense of any such claim. Mystery Scene Magazine reserves the right, at its own expense, to assume the exclusive defense and control of any matter subject to indemnification by you.

6.2    Neither Mystery Scene Magazine nor MysterySceneMag.com represent or endorse the accuracy or reliability of any advice, opinion, statement, or other information displayed, uploaded, or distributed through the Service by any user, information provider or any other person or entity. You acknowledge that any reliance upon any such opinion, advice, statement, memorandum, or information shall be at your sole risk.    THE SERVICE AND ALL DOWNLOADABLE SOFTWARE ARE DISTRIBUTED ON AN "AS IS" BASIS WITHOUT WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, WARRANTIES OF TITLE OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. YOU HEREBY ACKNOWLEDGE THAT USE OF THE SERVICE IS AT YOUR SOLE RISK.

7.    MISCELLANEOUS

7.1    These Terms of Service have been made in and shall be construed and enforced in accordance with New York law. Any action to enforce these Terms of Service shall be brought in the federal or state courts located in New York City.

7.2    Notwithstanding any of the foregoing, nothing in these Terms of Service will serve to preempt the promises made in Mystery Scene Magazine Privacy Policy.

7.3    Correspondence should be sent to info@MysterySceneMag.com.

7.4    You agree to report any copyright violations of the Terms of Service to Mystery Scene Magazine as soon as you become aware of them. In the event you have a claim of copyright infringement with respect to material that is contained in the MysterySceneMag.com service, please notify info@MysterySceneMag.com.

Admin
Monday, 28 July 2008 06:07
Permissions

PERMISSIONS

All materials contained on this Site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Mystery Scene Magazine or in the case of third party materials, the owner of that content. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.

However, you may download material from Mystery Scene Magazine on the Web (MysterySceneMag.com) for your personal, noncommercial use only.

Links to websites other than those owned by Mystery Scene Magazine are offered as a service to readers. The editorial staff of Mystery Scene Magazine was not involved in their production and is not responsible for their content.

For further information, see Section Two of the Terms of Service.

Admin
Monday, 28 July 2008 06:07
Privacy Policy

PRIVACY POLICY
Last revised March 30, 2010

The following Privacy Policy summarizes the various ways that Mystery Scene Magazine ("Service Provider," "we" or "our") treats the information you provide while using MysterySceneMag.com ("Website," or “Site”). It is our goal to bring you information that is tailored to your individual needs and, at the same time, protect your privacy.

Please read this Privacy Policy carefully. Your use of and/or registration on any aspect of the Site will constitute your agreement to this Privacy Policy. If you cannot agree with the terms and conditions of this Privacy Policy, please do not use the Site. This Privacy Policy does not cover information collected elsewhere, including without limitation offline and on sites linked to from the Site.

In addition to reviewing this Privacy Policy, please read our Terms of Service. Your use of the Site constitutes agreement to its terms and conditions as well.

This Privacy Policy may be modified from time to time; the date of the most recent revisions will appear on this page, so check back often. Continued access of the Site by you will constitute your acceptance of any changes or revisions to the Privacy Policy.

1.    THE TYPE OF INFORMATION WE COLLECT

The Website generally collects personally identifying information with your specific knowledge and consent. For instance, when you enter a sweepstakes or contest, complete a survey, make a purchase, subscribe to our publication(s), or register for any portion of our services, you are asked to provide information such as your e-mail address, name or phone number. Optional information such as your age or gender may also be requested.
Our servers may also automatically collect information about your computer when you visit the Site, including without limitation the type of browser software you use, the operating system you are running, the website that referred you, and your Internet Protocol ("IP") address. Your IP address is usually associated with the place from which you enter the Internet, like your Internet Service Provider, your company or your university.

2.    HOW WE USE INFORMATION PROVIDED BY YOU

We may use the information you provide about yourself to fulfill your requests for our products, programs, and services, to respond to your inquiries about offerings, and to offer you other products, programs or services that we believe may be of interest to you.
We sometimes use this information to communicate with you, such as to notify you when you have won one of our contests or when we make changes to subscriber agreements, to fulfill a request by you for an online newsletter, or to contact you about your account with us.

We use the information that you provide about others to enable us to send them your gifts or cards. From time to time, we also may use this information to offer our products, programs, or services to them.

If you choose to submit content for publication (e.g., a "Letter to Our Editors"), we may publish your name, screen name, and other information you have provided to us.

The information we collect in connection with our online forums and communities is used to provide an interactive experience. We use this information to facilitate participation in these online forums and communities and, from time to time, to offer you products, programs, or services.

We sometimes use the non-personally identifiable information that we collect to improve the design and content of our publications and websites and to enable us to personalize your Internet experience. We also may use this information in the aggregate to analyze site usage, as well as to offer you products, programs, or services.

We will disclose information we maintain when required to do so by law, for example, in response to a court order or a subpoena. We also may disclose such information in response to a law enforcement agency's request.

Agents and contractors of Mystery Scene Magazine who have access to personally identifiable information are required to protect this information in a manner that is consistent with this Privacy Notice by, for example, not using the information for any purpose other than to carry out the services they are performing for Mystery Scene Magazine.

Although we take appropriate measures to safeguard against unauthorized disclosures of information, we cannot assure you that personally identifiable information that we collect will never be disclosed in a manner that is inconsistent with this Privacy Notice. Inadvertent disclosures may result, for example, when third parties misrepresent their identities in asking the site for access to personally identifiable information about themselves for purposes of correcting possible factual errors in the data.

3.    COLLECTION OF INFORMATION BY THIRD-PARTY SITES AND SPONSORS

Some of our sites contain links to other sites whose information practices may be different than ours. You should consult the other sites' privacy notices, as we have no control over information that is submitted to, or collected by, these third parties.
Mystery Scene Magazine sometimes may offer contests, sweepstakes, promotions, editorial features, or other activities or offerings that are sponsored or co-sponsored by or presented with identified third parties. By virtue of your participation in such activities or offerings, the personally identifiable information that you voluntarily submit may be provided to both the Mystery Scene Magazine site and the third parties. Mystery Scene Magazine has no control over the third parties' use of this information.

Mystery Scene Magazine and MysterySceneMag.com may use reputable third parties to present or serve the advertisements that you may see at its web pages and to conduct research about the advertisements. This privacy notice does not cover any use of information that such third parties may have collected from you or the methods used by the third-parties to collect that information (e.g., cookies, web beacons and clear gifs). 

4.    YOUR PRIVACY CHOICES

We will not share, sell, rent, swap or authorize any third party to use your e-mail address without your permission. If you feel you have received an e-mail from us in error, please contact info@MysterySceneMag.com.

Mystery Scene Magazine reserves the right to send you e-mail relating to your account status. This includes order confirmations, renewal/expiration notices, notices of credit-card problems, other transactional e-mails and notifications about major changes to our Web sites and/or to our Privacy Policy. If you have registered for online discussions or other services, you may receive e-mail specific to your participation in those activities.

If, at any time, you prefer not to receive e-mail marketing information from us, simply follow the unsubscribe options at the bottom of each e-mail. For more information on how to unsubscribe from e-mail marketing, click here.

If, at any time, you prefer not to receive traditional mail solicitations originated by Mystery Scene Magazine, you may choose to opt-out by emailing us at info@MysterySceneMag.com with your request in writing.

5.    IMPORTANT INFORMATION

This Notice may be changed by Mystery Scene Magazine. The revised Notice will be posted to this page so that you are aware of the information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances we may disclose it.

We may disclose personal information if we are required to do so by law or we in good faith believe that such action is necessary to (1) comply with the law or with legal process; (2) protect and defend our rights and property; (3) protect against misuse or unauthorized use of our Site; or (4) protect the personal safety or property of our users or the public (among other things, this means that if you provide false information or attempt to pose as someone else, information about you may be disclosed as part of any investigation into your actions).

Admin
Monday, 28 July 2008 06:07
Advertise

Mystery Scene Advertisers

Publishers

Alibi
Arcadia Publishing
Arte Publico Press Avon Books
 
AuthorBuzz
Bantam Dell
BBC Audiobooks
Bold Strokes Books
BookBuzz
Brilliance Audio
Calliope Press
Cozy Cat Press
Dutton
Forge/Tor
Grand Central Publishing
Hachette Book Group
Harlequin
HarperCollins Christian
Henery Press
Henry Holt & Co.
HighBridge Audio
Hyperion
Intrigue Press
Ivan R. Dee, Publisher
Kearney Street Books
Kensington Press
Kent State University Press
Kodansha America
Llewellyn
Little, Brown & Company 
Macadam/Cage Publishing
McFarland Publishing
McRoy & Blackburn
M is for Mystery
Medallion Press
Melville House
MHZ Networks
Midnight Ink
Minotaur Books
MLR Press
Mugshot Press
Mulholland Books
Mira Books
Oceanview Publishing
Open Road Media
Pemberley Press
Penguin Books
Poisoned Pen Press
Quercus
RJR Press
Rue Morgue Press
Schaffner Press
Scholastic
Shanahan Books
Simon & Schuster
Small Beer Press
Soho Press
Speck Press/Fulcrum
St. Martin's Press
Stark House Press
Thomas Nelson
Tidewater Press
Trafalgar Square Publishing
Vanguard Press
Viking Press
Vince Emery Productions
William Morrow
Writers Digest Book Club
Writers Digest Books

 
Conventions

Bouchercon
Great Manhattan
Killer Nashville
Mystery Conference
Love is Murder
Left Coast Crime
Malice Domestic
Murder in the Grove
Thrillerfest
Tony Hillerman Writers Conference

2017 Print & Online Advertising Information

Click here for the ENTIRE 2017 MEDIA KIT which includes distribution and demographic information as well as specs, due dates, prices, and insertion order forms. Design services are available starting from $100.

An ad in Mystery Scene is a targeted, cost-effective way to reach to reach our killer audience. These are engaged, loyal, and affluent folks who are actively searching for great mystery entertainment - and they trust Mystery Scene to steer them in the right direction. 

Print Magazine

Mystery Scene Magazine publishes 5 times yearly. 
- Circulation of 23,000+ as of December 2016.
- Distributed by Ingram Periodicals to Barnes & Noble, Hastings, Books-A-Million, and hundreds of independent bookstores.
- Carried in over 350 public libraries.
- Bonus distribution to major fan conventions: Bouchercon, Left Coast Crime, Malice Domestic, Sleuthfest, Magna  cum Murder, and others.

2017 Publication Schedule
- Winter #148, February 15
- Spring #149, April 15
- Summer #150, June 15
- Fall #151, September 15
- Holiday #152, November 15

Back Cover (7-1/4" x 6-1/2")
• 4-color $1500

Full Page (No bleed: 7.25" x 9.5"; With bleed: 8.5" x 10.75")
• Black & White Inside Page $995
• 4-color Inside Page $1190
• 4-color Inside Cover $1500

Two-Thirds Page (4.75" x 9.5")
• $750 (bw)
• $995 (4-color)

Half Page (7.25" x 4.625")
• $625 (bw)
• $750 (4-color)

One-Third Page (4.75" x 4.625") OR (2.25" x 9.5")
• $525 (bw)
• $590 (four-color)

One-Sixth Page (2.25" x 4.625")
• $350 (bw)
• $470 (four-color)

Design services available starting at $100/ad.

Print Ad Contact: Kate Stine

Tel: (212) 765-7124 / Fax: (212) 202-3540
Email: Kate Stine (at) MysterySceneMag (dot) com

 

NEW Digital Magazine Edition

Mystery Scene is now available on iPad, Kindle, Android devices, and on Web.
- Same publishing schedule and contents as the print edition.
- Print advertisers may guarantee digital edition ads for a minimal additional fee.
- Digital edition-only ad space is also available. 

 

E-Newsletter Ads

• 7,000+ e-newsletter subscribers and growing, with an average open rate over 40%
• Published monthly, archived indefinitely at the MS Newsletter Archive
• Ads link to a URL of advertisers choice travel
• Any contest or giveaway will also be shared through MS' social networks (12,000+Twitter followers & 7,600+ on Facebook)

Ad Sizes & Prices
• Main Column Ad 560x120 px Price: $225 


Design services available starting at $100/ad.

 

MS Website Ads 

• Key Sections: MS Home | Articles | Reviews | Blog 
• Premium above-the-fold. Placement available on Home page and other key section pages.
• Linkable (to another site, a video, the audio file, etc.)
• Contests or giveaways (starting at $980) receive entry pages on our site and are shared through MS social networks (12,000+Twitter followers, 7,600+ on Facebook)

Ad Sizes & Prices
• Med Ad Block 300x250 px 
     Price: $495/$595 month ($225/$325 wk) Premium Placement
     Price: $455/$555 month ($195/$295 wk)
• Large Ad Block 300x500 px 
     Price: $855/$1055 month ($420/$520 wk)
• Leaderboard 728x90 px (Articles, Reviews, Commentary & News pages) 
     Price: $725/$925 month ($315/$415 wk)

Design services available starting at $100/ad.

Digital Ad Contact: Teri Duerr
Email: teri (at) MysterySceneMag (dot) com

 

Direct Mail Ride-Along

Our simple, old-fashioned, and inexpensive direct-mail program that mails via first class to identified mystery fans over the course of the year.

- $0.20 per piece (minimum. quantity of 500 pieces/$100)
- Bookmarks or any flat piece less than 4-1/8" x 9-1/2"
- Payment due in full upfront. Check made out to Mystery Scene. 

Contact: Teri Duerr
Email: teri (at) MysterySceneMag (dot) com

Admin
Wednesday, 30 July 2008 08:07
List of Products

Weekly Web Review

Death of a Cozy Writer

by G.M. Malliet, Midnight Ink June 2008

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Vestibulum quis eros. Morbi . Ut purus. Suspendisse vehicula semper nisi. Vestibulum augue arcu, placerat quis, dictum ac, suscipit in, leo. Pellentesque

read an excerpt | buy now | recommend | tag to read



Summer 2008 Review, Issue #105

Spook Country

by William Gibson, Midnight Ink June 2008

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Vestibulum quis eros. Morbi adipiscing. Ut purus. Suspendisse vehicula semper nisi. Vestibulum augue arcu, placerat quis, dictum ac, suscipit in, leo. Pellentesque

read an excerpt | buy now | recommend | tag to read

Admin
Wednesday, 30 July 2008 11:07

Weekly Web Review

Death of a Cozy Writer

by G.M. Malliet, Midnight Ink June 2008

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Vestibulum quis eros. Morbi . Ut purus. Suspendisse vehicula semper nisi. Vestibulum augue arcu, placerat quis, dictum ac, suscipit in, leo. Pellentesque

read an excerpt | buy now | recommend | tag to read



Summer 2008 Review, Issue #105

Spook Country

by William Gibson, Midnight Ink June 2008

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Vestibulum quis eros. Morbi adipiscing. Ut purus. Suspendisse vehicula semper nisi. Vestibulum augue arcu, placerat quis, dictum ac, suscipit in, leo. Pellentesque

read an excerpt | buy now | recommend | tag to read

All Content Copyright 2008 Mystery Scene
Admin
Tuesday, 14 October 2008 06:10
Editorial Guidelines for Writers
Mystery Scene

HatLogo2

 

In addition to a sophisticated appreciation of the crime and mystery genre, Mystery Scene has a particular interest in the literary life and the media industry. Writers have always had a strong presence in Mystery Scene, but fans love our "insider" information and, in fact, make up the majority of our devoted readership.

We publish a broad range of experienced writers—many of them mystery authors. We also receive contributions from editors, publishers, agents, TV & film folks, and booksellers. We are, however, very open to and appreciative of new writers and new viewpoints. Please be familiar with Mystery Scene before you contact us—we do not publish fiction, for example.

 

Types of Material

Please click here to read about the type of material we accept and how to write it.

How to Query and Submit Material

First, read this page in detail. Then, read a copy of Mystery Scene. Then contact the appropriate editor with your article ideas. Please be patient, this is a very busy office and a response may take a while.

Once an article is commissioned, email submissions are preferred. Include a one-sentence bio of yourself at the end of the article along with a postal mailing address and contact details. Artwork and photographs are very much welcome, please let us know if these are available.

When to Submit

Mystery Scene Magazine is published five times a year and is approximately 70-80 pages long. We like to work ahead, so please contact us as far in advance as feasible for time-sensitive articles. These dates are subject to the editor's discretion:

Winter         Deadline December 15,  Publication February 15
Spring         Deadline March 1,  Publication April 15
Summer      Deadline May 1,  Publication June 15
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Friday, 30 January 2009 01:01
No Escape: Jacques Futrelle and the Titanic
Jeffrey A. Marks

On the written page, Jacques Futrelle could devise the most ingenious of “impossible escapes.” On the tragic night of April 14, 1912, however, the celebrated author of “The Problem of Cell 13,” refused his only chance to escape the sinking Titanic.


Titanic Sinking

“There was not the slightest thought of danger in the minds of those who sat around the tables in the luxurious dining saloon of the Titanic. It was a brilliant crowd. Jewels flashed from the gowns of the women, how fondly they wore their latest Parisian gowns! It was the first time many of them had an opportunity to display their newly acquired finery.”

—Mrs. Jacques [May] Futrelle, all quotes are from The Boston Post, April 21/22, 1912

The sinking of the HMS Titanic during its maiden voyage on the night of April 14, 1912 seemed to usher in the end of an age of unprecedented peace, prosperity and progress. When the “unsinkable” ship was lost so were more than 1,500 lives, including some of the richest and most powerful figures in America.

By now, everyone in the country has heard of James Cameron’s 1997 movie of the same name. Yet despite the overall historical accuracy of the movie, one of the ill-fated ship’s notable passengers wasn’t mentioned: the mystery writer and journalist Jacques Futrelle.

“The last I saw of my husband,” his wife, May, wrote, “he was standing beside [the American financier and multimillionaire] Colonel [John Jacob] Astor. He had a cigarette in his mouth. As I watched, he lit a match and held it in his cupped hands before his face. By its light I could see his eyes roam anxiously over the water. Then he dropped his head toward his hands and lighted his cigarette… I know those hands never trembled.”

Jacques Futrelle

Jacques Futrelle (1875-1912) was an admirer of Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes and accordingly created his own intellectual detective, Dr. F. S. X. Van Dusen. Better known as “The Thinking Machine,” Futrelle’s sleuth appeared in over forty short stories from 1905 to 1912.

Jacques Futrelle was born in 1875 in Pike County, Georgia. He started writing early, taking a job at the Atlanta Journal by the age of 18. Within a year, he had moved to Boston to take a new position although he grew homesick and returned quickly to Atlanta and the Journal. Shortly after his return in 1895, he married Lily May Peel, who went by the name May. The couple then moved to New York so that Jacques could take a job as the telegraph editor at the Hearst paper, The New York Herald. The Futrelles lived at 71 Irving Place in the lovely Gramercy Park area of the city; his neighbors included Edith Wharton and O. Henry. In 1897, their first child Virginia was born, followed in 1899 by John.
In addition to penning feature stories and articles at the Herald, Futrelle started writing detective short stories. This fiction writing appealed to his creativity as well as his love of the mystery genre, particulary the Sherlock Holmes stories.

During the next year, the long hours and stress of covering the Spanish American war took a physical and mental toll on young Jacques, and eventually left him exhausted and too ill to work. His sister loaned him a home in Scituate, Massachusetts, where he and May lived until he recuperated.



After this fallow period, Futrelle didn’t return to journalism instead taking a two-year contract as a theatrical manager. He and May moved to Richmond, Virginia where Jacques traveled for the small repertory company and tried his hand at dramatic writing.

At the end of his stint with the theater, Jacques took a job at the Boston American where he continued to write short stories. Soon Futrelle introduced an unusual new detective who was an immediate success with the American public.

Taking the intellectual Sherlock Holmes one step further, Futrelle imagined a character who was the ultimate cerebral detective. Professor Augustus S.F.X. Van Dusen, better known as “The Thinking Machine,” appeared in over forty short stories from 1905 to 1912. The Thinking Machine was a small, nearsighted man with a huge head and an even larger ego. Unlike Holmes with his cocaine habit, Van Dusen appeared to have no human frailties. His deductive power was unhindered by emotion and human connections. A journalist by the name of Hutchinson Hatch brought suitable crimes to Van Dusen’s attention and served as his assistant and foil.

The Problem of Cell 13 illustration In the most celebrated case of the Thinking Machine, “The Problem of Cell 13,” Van Dusen makes a seemingly miraculous escape from a maximum security prison. In Van Dusen’s world, the mind is the master of all things. Cement is no match for cerebrum.

The stories were published in the Boston American to much popular success. In 1906, Jacques left the newspaper business for good, this time turning his attention to novels. The next few years were busy and successful ones for the young family. They spent much time in Scituate, where Jacques and May built a house known as “Stepping Stones” that overlooked the harbor.

In 1912 the couple traveled in Europe for several weeks while Jacques wrote magazine articles, visited a number of publishers and promoted his work amongst European readers. In pursuit of more technical information about criminal investigating, he also made a research visit to Scotland Yard.

The couple had left their children with Jacques’ parents, and decided to come home early to see them. On the night before sailing, friends had gathered in London to celebrate Jacques’ 37th birthday. The party did not end until 3:00 a.m. and the Futrelles never went to bed.

Instead, they packed and headed for Southampton. Mrs. Futrelle was later to lament that “if my husband had got drunk that night, he might not have sailed, and he might be alive today. But he never did drink much.”

On the fateful night of April 14, she and Jacques were in their first class stateroom when they felt a “slight concussion.” Jacques reassured his wife that it was nothing. “We have simply bumped into a baby iceberg. If that’s what it is, it won’t bother the Titanic any more than if it had struck a match.” May wanted more assurance, and insisted that her husband investigate further. “In a moment, we...understood that the situation was desperate.”

Soon both had donned life jackets, but discovered only women and children were allowed to board the lifeboats. May threw her arms around her husband, refusing to leave him. Jacques insisted that she board. In an incident which was fictionalized in the 1997 film, May leapt from the lifeboat just as it started its descent to the water and frantically fought her way back to her husband. Jacques assured her repeatedly that he would survive the disaster by holding on to the side of one of the lifeboats, neglecting to mention the frigid waters of the North Atlantic would surely kill him.

“For God’s sake, go! It’s your last chance, go!” May later remembered him pleading. He reminded her of her duty to their young children, finally convincing her. Lifeboat No. 9 was launched only half full, as so many of the lifeboats were that chaotic night. As the boat descended, May “gave up hope that my husband could be saved.”

Jacques Futrelle’s body was never recovered.

May FutrelleTwo weeks after the Titanic sank, May Futrelle wrote a vivid account of the tragedy which was published in The Boston Post. She was one of the eyewitnesses who reported that the band continued to play as the doomed ship sank.

Ironically enough for a writer best remembered for a tale of brilliant escape, Futrelle heroically chose to stay aboard the Titantic in the hope that others might be saved. All of the stories that Jacques Futrelle wrote during his stay in Europe were lost as well that terrible night, leaving his canon far short of what it might have been.

May would live until 1967. She kept her husband’s memory alive by finishing his last uncompleted novel and promoting his works. As a final tribute to Jacques she added the dedication below to the posthumously published My Lady’s Garter (1912). And every year, on the anniversary of Jacques’ death, she cast a bouquet of flowers off the cliffs at Scituate into the chilly North Atlantic.

Dedication of My Lady's Garter

Jeffrey A. Marks is the Agatha and Anthony nominated author of The Ambush of My Name, a General Grant mystery published by Silver Dagger Press.

Admin
Saturday, 27 March 2010 08:03

The night the author of “The Problem of Cell 13” refused his only chance to escape the sinking ship.


Titanic Sinking

Evermore: the Enduring Influence of Edgar Allan Poe
Steve Hockensmith

To most people these days, he’s that creepy guy. That horror guy. That Gomez Addams-looking guy who wrote about premature burials and black cats and a talking raven. And, yes—Edgar Allan Poe was that guy. But he was much, much more.

poebypoltgrayFor which we can all be thankful. Because if you’re reading this magazine, odds are you’re a mystery fan and/or writer. And if you’re a mystery fan and/or writer, you owe Poe...whether you know it or not.

“Poe is so ingrained in us—so deeply encoded into our cultural DNA—that we no longer recognize him,” says Louis Bayard, whose novel The Pale Blue Eye puts Poe at the center of a mystery during his days as a West Point cadet. “And yet whenever we write a mystery, whenever we write horror, whenever we write science fiction—whenever we write about obsession—we’re following in his tracks.”

“He wasn’t just a mystery/suspense writer,” adds the author many fans would describe as the modern Poe, Stephen King. “He was the first.”

So as the Mystery Writers of America prepares to hand out the annual Edgar Allan Poe Awards in April (including a Grand Master honor to King and poss- a Best Novel Award to Bayard), we thought the time was right to remind crime fiction fans why the honor’s named
after Poe in the first place.

After all, it’s not “the Arthur” or “the Dashiell.” It’s the Edgar.

Here’s why.


The Innovation
Edgar Poe was born on January 19, 1809. The middle name Allan didn’t come until later, after Poe’s father (an alcoholic actor) disappeared and his mother (an actress) died of tuberculosis. Only two years old when he was orphaned, young Edgar was taken in by John Allan, a wealthy Virginia merchant. But the lad’s luck never improved much after that tragic start to life.

It was Allan’s wife, Frances, who bonded with the child. Allan himself never did—in fact, Allan never even formally adopted him. As Poe matured into manhood, the two quarreled constantly. Poe saw Allan as cold and stingy. Allan considered Poe self-indulgent and irresponsible. Not long after Frances died, Poe found himself penniless and adrift.

ravenHe tried to keep himself afloat the only way he knew how: writing. After self-publishing his first books (poetry collections that barely made a ripple before sinking into obscurity), he began selling stories to newspapers and magazines. That eventually led to positions as an editor/staff writer/critic at a string of publications—as well as the appearance of many of the short stories (or “tales” as they were known at the time) for which he would one day be famous.
Although today Poe’s often associated with the horror genre, his tales didn’t dwell on the supernatural. Instead, they often took a psychological approach to stories of crime and tragedy. As Bayard notes, Poe seemed obsessed with obsession. “The Black Cat” and “The Tell-Tale Heart” are both narrated by psychotic killers driven to destroy themselves by guilt-fueled hallucinations. In “The Oval Portrait,” an artist becomes so fixated on finishing a painting, he doesn’t even notice that his beautiful model—his wife—is dead. And even “The Fall of the House of Usher” isn’t a ghost story, as so many readers seem to remember it. It’s about a twisted, quasi-incestuous relationship between a young woman and the brother who tries to have her interred alive.

Of course, Poe wasn’t the only writer cranking out dark tales about dirty deeds. The day of the “penny dreadful” was dawning, and there were outlets aplenty for blood-drenched shockers. Yet Poe stood apart from the hack pack, partially thanks to his emphasis on aberrant psychology, and partially because Poe’s imagination so far out-stripped his rivals.

“Poe was an innovator,” says Dawn B. Sova, author of Edgar Allan Poe A to Z and Critical Companion to Edgar Allan Poe. “He was not the first to tackle morbid subjects. He just pushed the envelope.”

Eventually, Poe wasn’t just pushing the envelope anymore. With his story “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” he created one all his own: the tale of ratiocination. Or, as it later came to be called, the mystery.

Always fascinated with puzzles and cryptograms, Poe frequently wrote columns challenging readers to send him a code he couldn’t break. In “Rue Morgue,” he did what no other writer had yet thought to do—took that kind of intellectual challenge and used it as the hook for a work of fiction.

A mother and daughter are found horribly mutilated in a locked room. The police are baffled. Only a brilliant amateur, C. Auguste Dupin, can provide an explanation, which he arrives at purely through the application of cold, precise logic. The tale is told by the dilettante detective’s unnamed roommate, who later returned to relate two more of Dupin’s cases: “The Mystery of Marie Roget” (1842) and “The Purloined Letter” (1844), both of which also hinge on detection and deduction rather than blood and thunder.

“Poe almost single-handedly invented the puzzle element of detective fiction that later came to dominate the genres of mystery and crime,” says Boston University English professor Charles Rzepka.

“There were other writers dealing in mystery and suspense, but not this kind of detective work or ratiocination,” adds Scott Peeples, associate professor of English at the College of Charleston in South Carolina and the current president of the Poe Studies Association. “I don’t think someone else would have come up with it, really. Not one of Poe’s contemporaries, anyway. The character of Dupin, the structure of the stories and the idea of proving oneself to be the intellectual champ—that stuff is intrinsic to Poe. Even when Poe’s not writing detective fiction, there’s often a similar element of gamesmanship.”

Rzepka (whose book Detective Fiction tracks the development of the genre) calls Dupin “the grandaddy of all modern literary detectives.” But it was one literary detective in particular who would pick up where grandpa left off, creating a sensation that helped cement the popularity of the mystery before the genre even had a name.

doyle_studyinscarletThat detective, of course, was Sherlock Holmes. Holmes and his sidekick, Dr. Watson, even acknowledged their literary heritage in “A Study in Scarlet.”
“You remind me of Edgar Allan Poe’s Dupin,” Watson tells his friend. “I had no idea that such individuals did exist outside of stories.”

“No doubt you think that you are complimenting me in comparing me to Dupin,” Holmes replies. “Now, in my opinion, Dupin was a very inferior fellow....”
Despite the haughtiness of Holmes’ dismissal, the character’s creator, Arthur Conan Doyle, was offering a sincere (if cheeky) tip of the deerstalker to a writer who’d paved the way for him.

“Conan Doyle never failed to acknowledge his debt to Poe,” says Daniel Stashower, who’s written about both the English author (in the Edgar-winning Conan Doyle biography The Teller of Tales) and his American predecessor (in the Edgar-nominated 2006 book The Beautiful Cigar Girl, which explores how “The Mystery of Marie Roget” grew out of a real-life murder case).

“‘To [Poe] must be ascribed the monstrous progeny of writers on the detection of crime,’ Conan Doyle once wrote. ‘Each may find some little development of his own, but his main art must trace back to those admirable stories of Monsieur Dupin....’ Elsewhere, he was more succinct: ‘Poe is the master of all.’”
Such high praise would have come as a surprise to the writers and critics of the previous generation, since to them it appeared that Poe was the master of nothing, except perhaps living shamefully and dying young.

The Betrayal
While he had the occasional brush with fame and fortune (most notably after the publication of the poem “The Raven” in 1845), Poe squandered whatever opportunities came within reach. Erratic behavior (exacerbated by alcohol and the long decline and death of his wife) and a string of literary feuds (fueled by his insightful but often vicious reviews) had all but wrecked his career. The sordid, murky details of his death were, appropriately enough, the last nail in the coffin for his literary reputation.

Poe died in 1849 shortly after being found roaming the streets of Baltimore in another man’s clothes. Some accounts say he was drunk, others say he was delirious. Either way, no one knows what exactly killed him. Had he been beaten? Drugged? Bitten by a rabid cat? Infected with cholera? A new theory seems to emerge every year.

Even dead, however, Poe had to withstand one final stab in the back. An editor with whom Poe had often clashed, Rufus Griswold, wrote an anonymous obituary that began, “Edgar Allan Poe is dead. He died in Baltimore the day before yesterday. This announcement will startle many, but few will be grieved by it.” It got worse from there, painting Poe as a debauched lunatic.

Later Griswold went even further, penning a Poe “memoir” that was filled with slanders: Poe had been expelled from the University of Virginia for debauchery, Poe was an army deserter, Poe seduced and blackmailed respectable women, Poe was addicted to opium, Poe was insane. And this from the man who (for murky reasons scholars still debate) Poe had named as his literary executor—which gave Griswold the chance to work even more mischief, altering Poe’s letters to make them more scandalous and cheating Poe’s family (in particular, his beloved aunt Maria “Muddy” Clemm) out of profits from posthumous sales of his work.

Sadly, Griswold’s crusade against Poe wasn’t just tireless: For decades, it was effective.

“In large part because of [Griswold], Poe was considered morally reprehensible,” Sova says. “His work was not thought of as a suitable model [for literature]. It was largely pushed aside in the United States and England for 50 years.”

In France, however, the perception of Poe as an opium-addled madman might have actually helped. The French poet Charles Baudelaire came to worship Poe, seeing in him not only a kindred spirit but a victim of parochialism and hypocrisy. Poe was, to him, the classic Misunderstood Genius. Baudelaire set out to right that wrong by praising Poe to anyone who’d listen and translating the writer’s tales into French.

“Baudelaire was a great press agent,” says Peeples, who devoted an entire book (The Afterlife of Edgar Allan Poe) to the writer’s image and how it’s evolved over time. “He really played up the idea that Poe was rebellious and decadent.”

As a result, Poe was regarded as a master in France long before his reputation was salvaged in his homeland.

When Poe was remembered in the US (which wasn’t by many) it was as a wild-eyed reprobate tortured by demons of his own creation. Which, if you think about it, is exactly the sort of image some PR-savvy horror or crime writers would kill to have today. This gothic, larger-than-life persona meshed perfectly with Poe’s dark tales, and it eventually gave him a sort of romantic glamour he couldn’t quite pull off when he was alive.

“On the one hand, the treatment of him after death created a lag in American appreciation of him,” says mystery/thriller author Matthew Pearl, a Poe enthusiast who edited and wrote the introduction for a recent Modern Library collection called The Murders in the Rue Morgue: The Dupin Tales. “On the other hand, it built up a mystique that has helped his writing survive in posterity.”

That mystique didn’t just allow Poe’s works to live on: In a way, it’s kept Poe himself alive. He’s such a fascinating character that he’s been reincarnated time after time in other writers’ works.

Harold Schechter has penned a series of historical mysteries starring Poe (beginning with Nevermore in 2000), while English writer Andrew Taylor put a young Poe in peril in London in his 2003 novel The American Boy (released in the US as An Unpardonable Crime). More recently, Pearl and Louis Bayard both released Poe-focused books last year—on the same day, in fact. (Pearl’s The Poe Shadow imagines efforts to recruit the real C. Auguste Dupin to solve the mystery of Poe’s death). And this year, Joel Rose’s The Blackest Bird made Poe a suspect in the sensational murder that inspired “The Mystery of Marie Roget.”

Bayard says he’s not surprised in the slightest that so many other authors have wanted to use Poe as a character.

“It’s an act of humility,” Bayard explains. “You read Poe, you read Doyle, even Agatha Christie, and you realize they’re still the masters. And since every writer begins as a reader, it’s entirely fitting to pay homage to these masters in some way—in my case, by placing one at the center of a detective story, the genre he himself created.”

The Legacy
poe_edgarallanBy the end of the 19th century, Poe was finally getting his due. Not only were his contributions being acknowledged by Conan Doyle, the man who’d picked up the detective fiction torch he’d lit, Poe also had a host of other high-profile champions, including W.H. Auden, H.G. Wells, Fyodor Dostoevsky and George Bernard Shaw.

By the time the 20th century reached its mid-point, Poe wasn’t just famous again. He was respectable enough to pop up on high school reading lists alongside Twain, Melville, Hawthorne, Hemingway and other authors who’ve shaped American literature.

Which is no guarantee of immortality given the (complete lack of) enthusiasm the typical teenager brings to reading assignments. Fond of long, clause-choked sentences and untranslated quotes in Latin and French, Poe certainly doesn’t make it easy on young readers.

Could Poe have been rescued from obscurity only to be forgotten all over again by the next generation? Stephen King would like to think not.

“Poe’s stories are wonderful, and they still stand up,” the bestselling author says. “They’re as readable now as they were when I first encountered them in my teens.”

Of course, when King was a teen, he didn’t have MTV and PlayStation competing for his time (and shortening his attention span).

“Most kids today need some help to get hooked on Poe,” says suspense novelist Karen Harper, who has taught English at both the high school and collegiate levels (and wrote about her debt to Poe in the book Mystery Muses: 100 Classics That Inspire Today’s Mystery Writers). “As with someone like Dickens, today’s students don’t get why he doesn’t just ‘cut to the chase,’ as they are used to with horror flicks, TV or short stories today. The idea of setting the mood is something they need to understand.”

Take, for instance, the following sentence from “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” (which opens with several pages of philosophizing about logic and “the analytical power” before even introducing C. Auguste Dupin).

“The faculty of re-solution is possibly much invigorated by mathematical study, and especially by that highest branch of it which, unjustly, and merely on account of its retrograde operations, has been called, as if par excellence, analysis."

To which your average high school freshman eloquently replies: “Huh?”

“The style’s certainly not what we think of as ‘modern,’” admits Bill Crider, another former college English teacher (and an Edgar nominee for a story in the 2006 anthology Damn Near Dead). “The opening paragraph of ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’ has more adjectives in it than most novels now. [And in] his detective stories, like ‘The Purloined Letter,’ the solution can take up two-thirds of the story.”

Yet as dated as Poe’s work can sometimes seem, Crider insists that the author’s best tales are just as relevant as ever—particularly to anyone interested in the craft of writing.

“Poe’s always in the back of my mind,” says Crider (who contributed Poe pastiches to the anthologies Dark Destiny and Cat Crimes II). “‘The Cask of Amontillado’ is still a great revenge story, maybe the best ever.”

Rob Kantner agrees. The Shamus-winning author of the Ben Perkins PI series, Kantner also eulogized Poe in Mystery Muses, picking (like Crider) “The Cask of Amontillado” as an example of the author’s most powerful, enduring work.

“Compared with Poe, most of today’s authors, even the very respected ones, seem to me flabby, self-conscious and pretentious,” says Kantner. “I think studying him can still be good for writers, both new and experienced; for spareness, economy of prose, ability to build suspense.”

So even if the public-at-large remembers Poe as, alas, the creepy, Gomez Addams-looking author of quaint and curious volumes of forgotten lore, mystery writers will always remember him differently.

“We are entwined with Poe,” says MWA historian and archivist Barry T. Zeman. “Without him, we would not have had this genre. He is our father and our symbol.”

MWA’s newest Grand Master puts it another way.

“Poe’s The Man,” King says. “What more can I say?”

Admin
Sunday, 14 June 2009 06:06

To most people these days, he’s that creepy guy. That horror guy. That Gomez Addams-looking guy who wrote about premature burials and black cats and a talking raven. And, yes—Edgar Allan Poe was that guy. But he was much, much more.

poebypoltgrayFor which we can all be thankful. Because if you’re reading this magazine, odds are you’re a mystery fan and/or writer. And if you’re a mystery fan and/or writer, you owe Poe...whether you know it or not.

“Poe is so ingrained in us—so deeply encoded into our cultural DNA—that we no longer recognize him,” says Louis Bayard, whose novel The Pale Blue Eye puts Poe at the center of a mystery during his days as a West Point cadet. “And yet whenever we write a mystery, whenever we write horror, whenever we write science fiction—whenever we write about obsession—we’re following in his tracks.”

“He wasn’t just a mystery/suspense writer,” adds the author many fans would describe as the modern Poe, Stephen King. “He was the first.”

So as the Mystery Writers of America prepares to hand out the annual Edgar Allan Poe Awards in April (including a Grand Master honor to King and poss- a Best Novel Award to Bayard), we thought the time was right to remind crime fiction fans why the honor’s named
after Poe in the first place.

After all, it’s not “the Arthur” or “the Dashiell.” It’s the Edgar.

Here’s why.


The Innovation
Edgar Poe was born on January 19, 1809. The middle name Allan didn’t come until later, after Poe’s father (an alcoholic actor) disappeared and his mother (an actress) died of tuberculosis. Only two years old when he was orphaned, young Edgar was taken in by John Allan, a wealthy Virginia merchant. But the lad’s luck never improved much after that tragic start to life.

It was Allan’s wife, Frances, who bonded with the child. Allan himself never did—in fact, Allan never even formally adopted him. As Poe matured into manhood, the two quarreled constantly. Poe saw Allan as cold and stingy. Allan considered Poe self-indulgent and irresponsible. Not long after Frances died, Poe found himself penniless and adrift.

ravenHe tried to keep himself afloat the only way he knew how: writing. After self-publishing his first books (poetry collections that barely made a ripple before sinking into obscurity), he began selling stories to newspapers and magazines. That eventually led to positions as an editor/staff writer/critic at a string of publications—as well as the appearance of many of the short stories (or “tales” as they were known at the time) for which he would one day be famous.
Although today Poe’s often associated with the horror genre, his tales didn’t dwell on the supernatural. Instead, they often took a psychological approach to stories of crime and tragedy. As Bayard notes, Poe seemed obsessed with obsession. “The Black Cat” and “The Tell-Tale Heart” are both narrated by psychotic killers driven to destroy themselves by guilt-fueled hallucinations. In “The Oval Portrait,” an artist becomes so fixated on finishing a painting, he doesn’t even notice that his beautiful model—his wife—is dead. And even “The Fall of the House of Usher” isn’t a ghost story, as so many readers seem to remember it. It’s about a twisted, quasi-incestuous relationship between a young woman and the brother who tries to have her interred alive.

Of course, Poe wasn’t the only writer cranking out dark tales about dirty deeds. The day of the “penny dreadful” was dawning, and there were outlets aplenty for blood-drenched shockers. Yet Poe stood apart from the hack pack, partially thanks to his emphasis on aberrant psychology, and partially because Poe’s imagination so far out-stripped his rivals.

“Poe was an innovator,” says Dawn B. Sova, author of Edgar Allan Poe A to Z and Critical Companion to Edgar Allan Poe. “He was not the first to tackle morbid subjects. He just pushed the envelope.”

Eventually, Poe wasn’t just pushing the envelope anymore. With his story “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” he created one all his own: the tale of ratiocination. Or, as it later came to be called, the mystery.

Always fascinated with puzzles and cryptograms, Poe frequently wrote columns challenging readers to send him a code he couldn’t break. In “Rue Morgue,” he did what no other writer had yet thought to do—took that kind of intellectual challenge and used it as the hook for a work of fiction.

A mother and daughter are found horribly mutilated in a locked room. The police are baffled. Only a brilliant amateur, C. Auguste Dupin, can provide an explanation, which he arrives at purely through the application of cold, precise logic. The tale is told by the dilettante detective’s unnamed roommate, who later returned to relate two more of Dupin’s cases: “The Mystery of Marie Roget” (1842) and “The Purloined Letter” (1844), both of which also hinge on detection and deduction rather than blood and thunder.

“Poe almost single-handedly invented the puzzle element of detective fiction that later came to dominate the genres of mystery and crime,” says Boston University English professor Charles Rzepka.

“There were other writers dealing in mystery and suspense, but not this kind of detective work or ratiocination,” adds Scott Peeples, associate professor of English at the College of Charleston in South Carolina and the current president of the Poe Studies Association. “I don’t think someone else would have come up with it, really. Not one of Poe’s contemporaries, anyway. The character of Dupin, the structure of the stories and the idea of proving oneself to be the intellectual champ—that stuff is intrinsic to Poe. Even when Poe’s not writing detective fiction, there’s often a similar element of gamesmanship.”

Rzepka (whose book Detective Fiction tracks the development of the genre) calls Dupin “the grandaddy of all modern literary detectives.” But it was one literary detective in particular who would pick up where grandpa left off, creating a sensation that helped cement the popularity of the mystery before the genre even had a name.

doyle_studyinscarletThat detective, of course, was Sherlock Holmes. Holmes and his sidekick, Dr. Watson, even acknowledged their literary heritage in “A Study in Scarlet.”
“You remind me of Edgar Allan Poe’s Dupin,” Watson tells his friend. “I had no idea that such individuals did exist outside of stories.”

“No doubt you think that you are complimenting me in comparing me to Dupin,” Holmes replies. “Now, in my opinion, Dupin was a very inferior fellow....”
Despite the haughtiness of Holmes’ dismissal, the character’s creator, Arthur Conan Doyle, was offering a sincere (if cheeky) tip of the deerstalker to a writer who’d paved the way for him.

“Conan Doyle never failed to acknowledge his debt to Poe,” says Daniel Stashower, who’s written about both the English author (in the Edgar-winning Conan Doyle biography The Teller of Tales) and his American predecessor (in the Edgar-nominated 2006 book The Beautiful Cigar Girl, which explores how “The Mystery of Marie Roget” grew out of a real-life murder case).

“‘To [Poe] must be ascribed the monstrous progeny of writers on the detection of crime,’ Conan Doyle once wrote. ‘Each may find some little development of his own, but his main art must trace back to those admirable stories of Monsieur Dupin....’ Elsewhere, he was more succinct: ‘Poe is the master of all.’”
Such high praise would have come as a surprise to the writers and critics of the previous generation, since to them it appeared that Poe was the master of nothing, except perhaps living shamefully and dying young.

The Betrayal
While he had the occasional brush with fame and fortune (most notably after the publication of the poem “The Raven” in 1845), Poe squandered whatever opportunities came within reach. Erratic behavior (exacerbated by alcohol and the long decline and death of his wife) and a string of literary feuds (fueled by his insightful but often vicious reviews) had all but wrecked his career. The sordid, murky details of his death were, appropriately enough, the last nail in the coffin for his literary reputation.

Poe died in 1849 shortly after being found roaming the streets of Baltimore in another man’s clothes. Some accounts say he was drunk, others say he was delirious. Either way, no one knows what exactly killed him. Had he been beaten? Drugged? Bitten by a rabid cat? Infected with cholera? A new theory seems to emerge every year.

Even dead, however, Poe had to withstand one final stab in the back. An editor with whom Poe had often clashed, Rufus Griswold, wrote an anonymous obituary that began, “Edgar Allan Poe is dead. He died in Baltimore the day before yesterday. This announcement will startle many, but few will be grieved by it.” It got worse from there, painting Poe as a debauched lunatic.

Later Griswold went even further, penning a Poe “memoir” that was filled with slanders: Poe had been expelled from the University of Virginia for debauchery, Poe was an army deserter, Poe seduced and blackmailed respectable women, Poe was addicted to opium, Poe was insane. And this from the man who (for murky reasons scholars still debate) Poe had named as his literary executor—which gave Griswold the chance to work even more mischief, altering Poe’s letters to make them more scandalous and cheating Poe’s family (in particular, his beloved aunt Maria “Muddy” Clemm) out of profits from posthumous sales of his work.

Sadly, Griswold’s crusade against Poe wasn’t just tireless: For decades, it was effective.

“In large part because of [Griswold], Poe was considered morally reprehensible,” Sova says. “His work was not thought of as a suitable model [for literature]. It was largely pushed aside in the United States and England for 50 years.”

In France, however, the perception of Poe as an opium-addled madman might have actually helped. The French poet Charles Baudelaire came to worship Poe, seeing in him not only a kindred spirit but a victim of parochialism and hypocrisy. Poe was, to him, the classic Misunderstood Genius. Baudelaire set out to right that wrong by praising Poe to anyone who’d listen and translating the writer’s tales into French.

“Baudelaire was a great press agent,” says Peeples, who devoted an entire book (The Afterlife of Edgar Allan Poe) to the writer’s image and how it’s evolved over time. “He really played up the idea that Poe was rebellious and decadent.”

As a result, Poe was regarded as a master in France long before his reputation was salvaged in his homeland.

When Poe was remembered in the US (which wasn’t by many) it was as a wild-eyed reprobate tortured by demons of his own creation. Which, if you think about it, is exactly the sort of image some PR-savvy horror or crime writers would kill to have today. This gothic, larger-than-life persona meshed perfectly with Poe’s dark tales, and it eventually gave him a sort of romantic glamour he couldn’t quite pull off when he was alive.

“On the one hand, the treatment of him after death created a lag in American appreciation of him,” says mystery/thriller author Matthew Pearl, a Poe enthusiast who edited and wrote the introduction for a recent Modern Library collection called The Murders in the Rue Morgue: The Dupin Tales. “On the other hand, it built up a mystique that has helped his writing survive in posterity.”

That mystique didn’t just allow Poe’s works to live on: In a way, it’s kept Poe himself alive. He’s such a fascinating character that he’s been reincarnated time after time in other writers’ works.

Harold Schechter has penned a series of historical mysteries starring Poe (beginning with Nevermore in 2000), while English writer Andrew Taylor put a young Poe in peril in London in his 2003 novel The American Boy (released in the US as An Unpardonable Crime). More recently, Pearl and Louis Bayard both released Poe-focused books last year—on the same day, in fact. (Pearl’s The Poe Shadow imagines efforts to recruit the real C. Auguste Dupin to solve the mystery of Poe’s death). And this year, Joel Rose’s The Blackest Bird made Poe a suspect in the sensational murder that inspired “The Mystery of Marie Roget.”

Bayard says he’s not surprised in the slightest that so many other authors have wanted to use Poe as a character.

“It’s an act of humility,” Bayard explains. “You read Poe, you read Doyle, even Agatha Christie, and you realize they’re still the masters. And since every writer begins as a reader, it’s entirely fitting to pay homage to these masters in some way—in my case, by placing one at the center of a detective story, the genre he himself created.”

The Legacy
poe_edgarallanBy the end of the 19th century, Poe was finally getting his due. Not only were his contributions being acknowledged by Conan Doyle, the man who’d picked up the detective fiction torch he’d lit, Poe also had a host of other high-profile champions, including W.H. Auden, H.G. Wells, Fyodor Dostoevsky and George Bernard Shaw.

By the time the 20th century reached its mid-point, Poe wasn’t just famous again. He was respectable enough to pop up on high school reading lists alongside Twain, Melville, Hawthorne, Hemingway and other authors who’ve shaped American literature.

Which is no guarantee of immortality given the (complete lack of) enthusiasm the typical teenager brings to reading assignments. Fond of long, clause-choked sentences and untranslated quotes in Latin and French, Poe certainly doesn’t make it easy on young readers.

Could Poe have been rescued from obscurity only to be forgotten all over again by the next generation? Stephen King would like to think not.

“Poe’s stories are wonderful, and they still stand up,” the bestselling author says. “They’re as readable now as they were when I first encountered them in my teens.”

Of course, when King was a teen, he didn’t have MTV and PlayStation competing for his time (and shortening his attention span).

“Most kids today need some help to get hooked on Poe,” says suspense novelist Karen Harper, who has taught English at both the high school and collegiate levels (and wrote about her debt to Poe in the book Mystery Muses: 100 Classics That Inspire Today’s Mystery Writers). “As with someone like Dickens, today’s students don’t get why he doesn’t just ‘cut to the chase,’ as they are used to with horror flicks, TV or short stories today. The idea of setting the mood is something they need to understand.”

Take, for instance, the following sentence from “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” (which opens with several pages of philosophizing about logic and “the analytical power” before even introducing C. Auguste Dupin).

“The faculty of re-solution is possibly much invigorated by mathematical study, and especially by that highest branch of it which, unjustly, and merely on account of its retrograde operations, has been called, as if par excellence, analysis."

To which your average high school freshman eloquently replies: “Huh?”

“The style’s certainly not what we think of as ‘modern,’” admits Bill Crider, another former college English teacher (and an Edgar nominee for a story in the 2006 anthology Damn Near Dead). “The opening paragraph of ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’ has more adjectives in it than most novels now. [And in] his detective stories, like ‘The Purloined Letter,’ the solution can take up two-thirds of the story.”

Yet as dated as Poe’s work can sometimes seem, Crider insists that the author’s best tales are just as relevant as ever—particularly to anyone interested in the craft of writing.

“Poe’s always in the back of my mind,” says Crider (who contributed Poe pastiches to the anthologies Dark Destiny and Cat Crimes II). “‘The Cask of Amontillado’ is still a great revenge story, maybe the best ever.”

Rob Kantner agrees. The Shamus-winning author of the Ben Perkins PI series, Kantner also eulogized Poe in Mystery Muses, picking (like Crider) “The Cask of Amontillado” as an example of the author’s most powerful, enduring work.

“Compared with Poe, most of today’s authors, even the very respected ones, seem to me flabby, self-conscious and pretentious,” says Kantner. “I think studying him can still be good for writers, both new and experienced; for spareness, economy of prose, ability to build suspense.”

So even if the public-at-large remembers Poe as, alas, the creepy, Gomez Addams-looking author of quaint and curious volumes of forgotten lore, mystery writers will always remember him differently.

“We are entwined with Poe,” says MWA historian and archivist Barry T. Zeman. “Without him, we would not have had this genre. He is our father and our symbol.”

MWA’s newest Grand Master puts it another way.

“Poe’s The Man,” King says. “What more can I say?”

Bury Me Deep
Hank Wagner

As with 2007's The Song is You, Megan Abbott was inspired to write Bury Me Deep by a true story. The former was based on the disappearance of actress Jean Spangler from Los Angeles in 1949; her new novel is based on the story of Winnie Ruth Judd, also known as the "Trunk Murderess," the "Tiger Woman," and the "Blonde Butcher." Here, the Winnie Ruth Judd analog is the lonely nurse Marion Seeley (abandoned by her strange husband), who falls under the influence of her colleague, the feisty Louise Mercer, and Louise's gal pal Ginny, both ladies famous for the raucous social life they lead. It's at a gathering of theirs that Marion meets Joe Lanigan. Sparks fly, and they embark on an affair that ultimately leads to disaster, as you might intuit if you reflect on Abbott's clever character names.

With her first three novels, Megan Abbott has already been nominated twice for the Edgar Award, crime writing's most prestigious honor: once for best first novel for Die A Little and again for best novel, taking that prize with her last book, Queenpin. Is a third nomination out of the question? Certainly not—Bury Me Deep is a compelling, almost hypnotic piece of work, one sure to garner Abbott even more attention. Reminiscent of the works of Raymond Chandler and James Ellroy, Bury Me Deep is another jewel in the crown of one of the reigning monarchs of modern noir.

Admin
Monday, 31 August 2009 03:08

As with 2007's The Song is You, Megan Abbott was inspired to write Bury Me Deep by a true story. The former was based on the disappearance of actress Jean Spangler from Los Angeles in 1949; her new novel is based on the story of Winnie Ruth Judd, also known as the "Trunk Murderess," the "Tiger Woman," and the "Blonde Butcher." Here, the Winnie Ruth Judd analog is the lonely nurse Marion Seeley (abandoned by her strange husband), who falls under the influence of her colleague, the feisty Louise Mercer, and Louise's gal pal Ginny, both ladies famous for the raucous social life they lead. It's at a gathering of theirs that Marion meets Joe Lanigan. Sparks fly, and they embark on an affair that ultimately leads to disaster, as you might intuit if you reflect on Abbott's clever character names.

With her first three novels, Megan Abbott has already been nominated twice for the Edgar Award, crime writing's most prestigious honor: once for best first novel for Die A Little and again for best novel, taking that prize with her last book, Queenpin. Is a third nomination out of the question? Certainly not—Bury Me Deep is a compelling, almost hypnotic piece of work, one sure to garner Abbott even more attention. Reminiscent of the works of Raymond Chandler and James Ellroy, Bury Me Deep is another jewel in the crown of one of the reigning monarchs of modern noir.

Trixie Belden the Girl-Next-Door Sleuth
Judith Sears

belden_trixie_onbike


In 1948, Trixie Belden strode into the annals of children's mysteries, taking her place as one of the most distinctive and appealing girl sleuths ever created.

Thirteen (then fourteen) years old, Trixie Belden loved horses, hated chores, and charged headlong into adventure.

The Trixie Belden series was created by Julie Campbell Tatham (and published under her maiden name, Campbell), in response to Western Publishing's call for fast-moving, inexpensive children's books. Almost immediately, the series won legions of fans, including some of today's notable mystery writers.

"There is no doubt that my characters were influenced by the Trixie Belden series," says Agatha-winner Earlene Fowler. "Fans tell me that my detective, Benni Harper, makes them feel that they know what happened to Trixie when she grew up. I'm proud of that," Fowler continues. "It's good fiction and Julie Campbell had a good voice."

Denise Swanson (Murder of a Barbie and Ken) went so far as to give her detective, Skye Dennison, a best friend named Trixie. "I thought maybe one or two people would get my sly joke," Swanson laughs. "But a whole group of Trixie fans showed up at a book signing I did in Ohio!"

Trixie also shows up as the cherished childhood reading of a pivotal character in Keith Ablow's suspense novel, Denial. "My wife was an avid reader of Trixie Belden as a young girl," explains Ablow, who is also a forensic psychiatrist. He was intrigued and impressed by his wife's quest to collect a complete set of Trixie Belden books. "She doesn't have art work or dolls from her childhood: she has her Trixie Belden books. I thought that was a powerful, powerful fact. I imagine these books must hold a special place in a number of little girls lives."

It's easy to condescend to these books as "kiddie potboilers," which, in fact, they are. But that overlooks the real achievements that made the series so memorable. For Campbell salted the contrivances of the genre with witty dialogue, strong characters and a vivid evocation of locale.

Trixie lives at Crabapple Farm in the Hudson River valley, along with her parents and three brothers: 16 year-old Brian, 14 year-old Mart; and six-year old Bobby. Modeled on Campbell's own home just outside of Ossining, New York, Crabapple Farm sits a few miles outside of fictional "Sleepyside-on-Hudson," a name derived from combining "Sleepy Hollow" and "Sunnyside," the name of Washington Irving's home.

tatham_trixiebeldensecretofmansionThe first three books introduce most of the series' regular characters and set the pattern for the remainder of the series. The Secret of the Mansion and its companion volume, The Red Trailer Mystery, chronicle the adventures and blossoming friendships of Trixie and her new neighbor, the wealthy, but lonely and timid Honey Wheeler, and Jim Frayne, a hot-tempered, resourceful runaway. The trio find a fortune in the dilapidated "Miser's Mansion," rescue Jim from a venal and abusive stepfather, and outwit trailer thieves on their way to finding Jim a home as the Wheeler's newly adopted son.

When Trixie's older brothers come home from summer camp in the third volume, The Gatehouse Mystery, the teens form a club, the Bob-Whites of the Glen, vowing to help others and be like "one big family." In between swimming, horseback riding, baby-sitting, and other activities, Trixie and the Bob-Whites catch big city diamond thieves.

Later volumes added two more regulars, Diana Lynch, the school beauty, and Dan Mangan, the rebel who's been misunderstood, but with The Gatehouse Mystery the world of the series is formed. Trixie is firmly situated in a close-knit circle of family and friends. This sense of community exercises a strong appeal for many readers. "Trixie's is a world you want to be in," says Jennifer Dussling, currently the Trixie Belden editor at Random House. "Not everything is about moving the plot along: sometimes they're just hanging out and toasting marshmallows."

Fowler agrees and believes that the ensemble cast influenced her own creative choices. "My books are much more multicultural, but the family feeling is there, just like it is in the Trixie Belden books."

Further, the various characters are often distinctly drawn individuals. "These books taught me to pay attention to how characters speak," says Lora Roberts, author of Another Fine Mess. "Trixie and her friends are alive and are fomenting the action. They're doing things that develop naturally out of their characters and situations."

In the late 1940's, Trixie herself was something of a breakthrough character. "Trixie raised readers' expectations of what a girl character can be," says Octavia Spencer, co-author of the new Rock Holler Gang series which features a female leader. "She is not afraid to go after what she wants."

campbell_trixiebeldenmysteryoffglenrdWhile she's a strong character, she's not perfect. Especially in the first six books, the action of the mystery often coincides with Trixie's personal development. This personal stake sets the series apart from many mysteries where the detective's derring-do and insight solves someone else's problems. Nancy Drew stories, for example, often have a sense of noblesse oblige, Nancy arriving in well-heeled, well-groomed poise to solve the problems of those not quite so quick-witted or fortunately situated as she. Trixie, in contrast, is younger and not quite put together : either in wardrobe or personality. Like most adolescents, she's a welter of possibilities. She loves and readily sacrifices to help her family and friends. But she also jumps to conclusions about people.

Early in The Secret of the Mansion she bluntly dismisses the crotchety neighbor, Mr. Frayne, as a "greedy old miser" and wonders how he could have panicked so completely when his wife was bitten by a copperhead.

A few chapters later, Trixie faces the identical challenge when kid brother, Bobby, is bitten by a copperhead while her parents are away. Trixie administers first aid and, with Honey's help, gets a doctor out to Crabapple Farm. During the emergency she demonstrates a courage and level-headedness that had eluded old Mr. Frayne. But she also comes to empathize with his plight: "every minute of the long wait Trixie lived in her imagination with Old Mr. Frayne and his wife on a lonely road in a car that wouldn't start. 'I guess I'd go crazy too if that happened to me,' she admitted"

It's a classic Trixie developmental moment: her strengths are confirmed and she begins to recognize and outgrow her weaknesses. "People are lovable and admirable when they're working to become what they can be," observes Swanson. "That's what we see in Trixie throughout the books. She's working to become a better person and she always acknowledges when she makes a mistake."

This psychological realism extends to other aspects of the books. While in some ways Crabapple Farm represents an idyllic slice of Americana, the books can throw some big challenges at Trixie and her friends. "People look at the books and say, 'how sweet,' but some issues, such as Jim Frayne's troubled home life, are the precursors for the young adult fiction of the 1970's," Fowler notes. "I don't think Campbell is given enough credit for being ahead of her time."

The Mystery Off Glen Road is a case in point. As the book opens Trixie and Honey are happily contemplating the "perfectly perfect" clubhouse they've been restoring over the course of the previous two books. But they wake up the next morning to find their clubhouse and hard work nearly destroyed by a blizzard. The remainder of the book follows the teens as they put Humpty Dumpty back together again.

belden_trixie_pedalpushers"That's a lesson in life and it's quite a foreshadowing of adulthood," says Swanson who also holds down a day job as a school psychologist. "I see many kids nowadays who aren't as equipped to handle those disappointments. Parents step in and rescue them more than I think is good. This was a turning point for these characters."

For the adult reader, the mysteries themselves sometimes aren't especially well-crafted or convincing. Even so, Roberts believes that the books taught her some valuable storytelling lessons. "Campbell didn't just bring clues in and drop them. Her clues have an actual place in the narrative. For example, Jim's christening mug puts his evil stepfather on his trail in The Secret of the Mansion as well as the trailer thieves in The Red Trailer Mystery. The same mug leads Trixie to him. I doubt that Campbell initially planned for the christening mug to keep turning up: but once she got the clue she carried it forward."

Campbell exploits the specifics of landscape and locale, e.g., copperheads and catamounts, in developing Sleepyside. Later series authors also built on the area's heritage, such as Washington Irving's "Legend of Sleepy Hollow." "The town seemed so real, I was shocked to find there was no Sleepyside in our atlas," recalls children's author Kathryn Reiss.

Years later, the tables were turned when Reiss created the fictional town of Garnet, Massachusetts, for two of her books. She was pleased and amused to receive a letter from a young reader who had tried to locate Garnet while on family vacation. "Shades of Sleepyside!" she says.

A total of 39 Trixie Belden volumes were published between 1948 and 1986. Campbell, however, left the series after the first six books. Subsequent volumes, published under the house name, "Kathryn Kenny," were written by authors of varying abilities and allegiance to Campbell's original vision. But the pattern of a spirited girl and her friends working together and solving mysteries survived.

So did fan loyalty, sending prices soaring at online auction sites. The four volumes Random House reissued in 2003 have already been through multiple printings and the publisher has announced plans for reissuing at least the first 15 volumes.

The small-town, harum-scarum girl with PI ambitions turns out to have staying power. "These were by no means meant to be classic kids books," says Swanson. "They were meant to be pulp fiction for kids. But Trixie tunnels her way into your heart and so many of us still love her."

Trixie Belden, it seems, is here to stay and delight a new generation of young readers and, just possibly, influence another generation of mystery writers.

Judith Sears is a freelance writer based in Washington, D.C. Visit her online at sleepysidezone.com.

Admin
Thursday, 01 October 2009 09:10

belden_trixie_crop2In 1948, Trixie Belden strode into the annals of children's mysteries, taking her place as one of the most distinctive and appealing girl sleuths ever created.

Types of Material
Mystery Scene

 

Articles

 

We are interested in articles on a variety of topics within the crime & mystery genre. These include: essays on various writers, articles on book collecting, appreciations of particular books or subgenres of mystery fiction, biographical sketches of interesting people in the mystery world, historical pieces, articles on film/television/radio, etc., opinion pieces, and the occasional rant. Payment is negotiated with the editor in advance; payment is upon publication. Length: 800 to 2,000 words.

Interviews

 

Mystery Scene offers a wide variety of interviews. In addition to novelists, people we would particularly like to chat with: film/tv writers; film/tv directors and producers; book collectors; biographers; playwrights; librarians and museum curators of mystery-oriented collections.

Interviews may range from 800 to 1,000 words; shorter lengths are preferred. The subject should be introduced in a biographical preface. For interviews with writers, please include a booklist with publication years noted. The format may be in "Q&A" style or in article style with quotes. Query the editor in advance for approval, payment details and possible help with contacting interview subjects. [PLEASE NOTE that we receive more interview queries than any other type of correspondence. If you're trying to break into Mystery Scene, then an article would have a better chance.]

Book Reviews

 

The length of the reviews should range from 100-250 words. By publishing short, but sharp, reviews we hope to cover as many as possible of the 800+ mystery titles published annually. We supply the books and a small payment. When making inquiries, please include two sample reviews (with publication details) and mention what types of mysteries you prefer.

Please query Teri Duer here.

New Books Pieces

Authors of upcoming books are encouraged to send in short essays about their new titles. These essays are meant to entertain and intrigue potential readers, so be creative. Some examples: real-life inspirations for plot and characters; unusual research; issues raised in the book and why they were of interest to you; the story's locale or time period.

Humor is good, detailed plot summaries are not. Please include publication details (publisher, price, month of publication). These essays should be submitted via e-mail. Please provide author photo, book jacket, and any other photo that could accompany the essay by email. Any photo taken with a digital camera should be fine. If you are scanning a photo, use 300 dpi resolution.

There is no payment for these pieces. The length should range from 400 to 500 words. Please query here.

Letters To The Editor and Miscellaneous Items

 

If you'd like to send correspondence for our "Letters" section, please clearly mark your submission as intended for that section. We'd love to hear from you! Miscellaneous trivia, poems, jokes, quotes & anecdotes are always welcome and will be credited if you remember to identify yourself. (Full names, please.) We also appreciate receiving news items and pertinent press releases.

As a service to our readers we will print information on Book Club Guides in our "Letters" section. Authors should email information to the editor—including the contact information you want printed.

Admin
Thursday, 01 October 2009 03:10

 

Articles

 

We are interested in articles on a variety of topics within the crime & mystery genre. These include: essays on various writers, articles on book collecting, appreciations of particular books or subgenres of mystery fiction, biographical sketches of interesting people in the mystery world, historical pieces, articles on film/television/radio, etc., opinion pieces, and the occasional rant. Payment is negotiated with the editor in advance; payment is upon publication. Length: 800 to 2,000 words.

Interviews

 

Mystery Scene offers a wide variety of interviews. In addition to novelists, people we would particularly like to chat with: film/tv writers; film/tv directors and producers; book collectors; biographers; playwrights; librarians and museum curators of mystery-oriented collections.

Interviews may range from 800 to 1,000 words; shorter lengths are preferred. The subject should be introduced in a biographical preface. For interviews with writers, please include a booklist with publication years noted. The format may be in "Q&A" style or in article style with quotes. Query the editor in advance for approval, payment details and possible help with contacting interview subjects. [PLEASE NOTE that we receive more interview queries than any other type of correspondence. If you're trying to break into Mystery Scene, then an article would have a better chance.]

Book Reviews

 

The length of the reviews should range from 100-250 words. By publishing short, but sharp, reviews we hope to cover as many as possible of the 800+ mystery titles published annually. We supply the books and a small payment. When making inquiries, please include two sample reviews (with publication details) and mention what types of mysteries you prefer.

Please query Teri Duer here.

New Books Pieces

 

Authors of upcoming books are encouraged to send in short essays about their new titles. These essays are meant to entertain and intrigue potential readers, so be creative. Some examples: real-life inspirations for plot and characters; unusual research; issues raised in the book and why they were of interest to you; the story's locale or time period.

Humor is good, detailed plot summaries are not. Please include publication details (publisher, price, month of publication). These essays should be submitted via e-mail. Please provide author photo, book jacket, and any other photo that could accompany the essay by email. Any photo taken with a digital camera should be fine. If you are scanning a photo, use 300 dpi resolution.

There is no payment for these pieces. The length should range from 400 to 500 words. Please query Brian Skupin here.

Letters To The Editor and Miscellaneous Items

 

If you'd like to send correspondence for our "Letters" section, please clearly mark your submission as intended for that section. We'd love to hear from you! Miscellaneous trivia, poems, jokes, quotes & anecdotes are always welcome and will be credited if you remember to identify yourself. (Full names, please.) We also appreciate receiving news items and pertinent press releases.

As a service to our readers we will print information on Book Club Guides in our "Letters" section. Authors should email information to the editor—including the contact information you want printed.

The Trans-Atlantic Eye
Adrian Muller

With Britain's rich tradition in crime fiction, it is surprising that this organisation is only just celebrating its 50th year. Its American counterpart, the Mystery Writers of America, banded together in March 1945, taking their inspiration from the British Detection Club. The latter was founded in 1928, but limited its membership to only a chosen few. The MWA from the very start allowed all writers of mystery fiction to join.

It wasn't until eight years later, on the 5th of November: Guy Fawkes Night in England: that John Creasey convened a meeting at the National Liberal Club to form an organisation along the lines of its American equal. According to the minutes of that day those present, all authors of crime stories, were: Josephine Bell, John Bude, John Creasey, Ernest Dudley, Elizabeth Ferrars, Andrew Garve, Bruce Graeme, Leonard Gribble, T.C.H. Jacobs, Nigel Morland, Colin Robertson and Julian Symons.

The notes go on to say that "it was unanimously agreed that those present should found forthwith an association of crime writers, the specific purpose of which should be to raise the prestige and fortunes of mystery, detective story and crime writing and writers generally." And so the Crime Writers' Association came to be.

Chairing the association through its first three years was John Creasey who, to this day, is the only person to have presided over both the CWA and the MWA. (Creasey was MWA president from 1966-1967.) MWA also presented the author with a Grand Master Award in 1969.  That Creasey had time for anything other than writing is impressive: the St. James Guide to Crime & Mystery Writers credits him with 24 pseudonyms and 8 pages of book entries!

Over the years the association has opened up its membership to non-British authors published in the U.K., agents, editors and other professionals in the field. Most people of note have become members of the CWA, however, Agatha Christie, arguably the best known British crime-writer, never joined. When asked if she would like to become a member she replied that she was at a time in her life where she felt happier resigning from things rather than joining them. She also said that, "what you want in your association are the up-and-comings, not those sliding happily down to the grave.Ó The Christie Estate, however, has been a generous benefactor of the CWA over the years.

Soon after its founding a newsletter came into being. Initially called CWA News, it was later renamed Red Herrings, and is only available to CWA members.

One thing that the association does publish for the general public are anthologies. The first was called Butcher's Dozen, and the most recent instalment, Mysterious Pleasures, appeared earlier this year, in time to celebrate the anniversary. It was edited by Martin Edwards (author of the crime novels featuring Liverpool lawyer Harry Devlin), and the contributors include Robert Barnard, John Creasey, Lindsey Davis, Colin Dexter, Dick Francis, Val McDermid, Peter Lovesey, Ian Rankin, and Ellis Peters. Each story is by a member who has won a Diamond or a Gold Dagger Award, or served as Chairman of the CWA. (Some have done all three.)

The CWA Dagger Award was first presented in 1955 to Winston Graham for The Little Walls. Initially there was only one award, that for Best Crime Novel. Since then other awards have been added, including the Diamond Dagger for lifetime contribution to crime writing. Visit <www.thecwa.co.uk> for a full list of past winners.
Besides John Creasey, other luminaries such as H.R.F. Keating, Dick Francis, Peter Lovesey, Ian Rankin and Lindsey Davis have chaired the CWA. The present Chairman is Hillary Bonner, and she passes the reins to historic crime novelist Michael Jecks in early 2004. Her last official duty will be to hand the 2004 recipient of the Cartier Diamond Dagger their award at a ceremony in May. For details of the winner see the next issue of Mystery Scene.

Poirot Complete In the run up to Christmas in the U.K., David Suchet appeared in two more feature length television dramas of Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot novels (Five Little Pigs and Sad Cypress). If fans are chuffed to hear that two further episodes are currently being filmed (including Death on the Nile), they will be thrilled to hear that Suchet doesn't want to stop until all the books featuring the Belgian sleuth have been adapted. Says the actor, "I've done nearly 50 so far and there are 16 more to go. I think everyone's keen to do more, although nothing's been spoken about it directly as yet.Ó  The CWA Debut Dagger This award, for unpublished books, was set up to encourage new writers. It is sponsored by Orion and awarded on the basis of one chapter and a synopsis.

As you will see below, Kirsty Evans was the 2003 recipient of the Debut Dagger. The 26-year-old Australian was one of the hundreds of contestants from more than half a dozen countries who entered the competition run by the British Crime Writers' Association. Evans, a finalist in 2002, turned down offers from several agencies to sign up with Gregory & Co, the company that represents Val McDermid and Minette Walters. So far all the winners: and many of the short-listed authors: have gone on to be published. Ed Wright, the 2001 winner from America, saw his Clea's Moon hit the bookshelves on both sides of the Atlantic last year. Margaret Dumas, a 2003 nominee from the U.S. has since been contacted by several agents, and her manuscript, Speak Now, has received an offer from an American publishing house.

The Debut Dagger competition is judged by top agents and crime editors from well-respected publishing houses and will be held again this year. Entries will be accepted from 1 March to 31 August, 2004. For details of how to avoid publishers' slush-piles and have an opportunity to become a published author, visit the Debut Dagger page at <www.thecwa.co.uk>.

Kirsty Evans, The Cuckoo

Also nominated were:

Duncan Brewer, The Woman From Smyrna

Sandra Charan, The Third Room

Margaret Dumas, Speak Now

Avriel Geneson, Speak No Evil

Judy Larkin, Without Apparent Reason

Peter Wynn Norris, The Long Train

Bryon Quertermous,  Lunchbox Hero

Chris Rose, Driftlines

Melissa Kate Rowberry, The Mouths of Men

Maria E. Schneider, Soul of the Desert

Michael Shenton, The Amazing GM Dog

Betty Jacque, Days of Future Past

Otis Twelve, On the Albi

Visit the CWA website at <www.thecwa.co.uk>

Adrian Muller is a U.K. based freelance journalist and events organiser  specialising in crime fiction. Email:  <transatlanticeye@adrianmuller.com>.

Admin
Thursday, 01 October 2009 04:10

2003 Daggers

At a luncheon ceremony on Thursday, the 13th of November, 2003, the British Crime Writers' Association announced the winners of their annual Dagger Awards (see MS #82 for the winners). In addition to the usual awards a special one was presented to celebrate the CWA's 50th anniversary. The recipient was the association's founder, John Creasey. This was nothing short of a miracle because Creasey died in 1973, which might explain why he looked remarkably like Peter Lovesey.

Crippen & Landru Raising the Bar
Mark Terry

crippen_landru

A chat with Crippen and Landru's Douglas Greene on a decade of publishing Max Allan Collins, Marcia Muller, Peter Lovesey, Ed Hoch, and other great writers.

You could say that publisher Douglas Greene's career path began on a yellow brick road.

A bibliophile since childhood, Greene and his brother Dave had gathered a near-complete collection of Wizard of Oz works by L. Frank Baum. Realizing there was little left to acquire, they decided to auction off the entire collection, expecting it might go for 30 or 40 thousand dollars. "We decided we could use the money for our kids' college tuition," says Greene.

The collection went for $175,000. After paying taxes, the auction house and putting the kids through school, Greene found he still had three or four thousand dollars left over.

So in 1994, the Old Dominion University history professor started a small press devoted to mystery fiction and named after two murderers, H.H. Crippen and Henri Landru. Greene was already the author of an Edgar-nominated biography of John Dickson Carr, so he debuted with a collection of Carr's short stories. C & L's second book was a collection of short stories by Marcia Muller.

The pattern was set. Crippen & Landru, comprised of Greene, along with his wife Sandi and their son Eric, would be devoted to publishing single-author short story collections.

collins_kissesofdeathMax Allan Collins, whose collection Kisses of Death: A Nathan Heller Casebook appeared in 2001, says, "Mystery writers and fans alike owe Doug Greene and C&L a great debt of thanks. Without them, precious little of the short fiction of the last thirty years would be preserved in book form, certainly not in 'single author' collections. The books are classy-looking and Doug's scholarship in attaching bibliographies adds a touch that is at once nicely fan-ish and entirely professional...two qualities that don't come together that often."

In the ten years since opening its literary doors, C&L has published over 50 books by such mystery stars as Marcia Muller, Peter Lovesey, Ed Hoch, Joe Gores and Lawrence Block. "If anybody had told me that we'd last ten years, I don't know if I would have believed it," says Doug Greene. "The surprising thing is we're still around and increasing our market."

Crippen & Landru's "Regular Series" is made up primarily of works by contemporary mystery writers. The books are published in two forms: Signed, numbered, clothbound, limited to 175-300 copies, each with a page tipped-in of the author's typescript or with an additional story in a standalone pamphlet. The Regular Series is also available, unsigned, in trade softcover.

Eric Greene handles the "Lost Classics Series," available in cloth and trade softcover, which are collections of stories by vintage authors. So far, there are ten volumes devoted to works by writers such as Craig Rice, Peter Godfrey and Gerald Kersh. There are more on the way, too, including collections by Erle Stanley Gardner, Gladys Mitchell and Rafael Sabatini.

By all accounts, authors love working with Crippen & Landru. Margaret Maron, whose second collection, Suitable for Hanging will be out in 2004, says, "I find Doug Greene such a pleasure to work with. He asks for my input, listens to what I have to say, and answers my letters even faster than members of my own family."

Author Jerry Healy, whose second collection, Cuddy Plus One, came out in June 2003, agrees. "I imagine the experience is a little like what Rex Stout would have encountered back when publishing was a smaller sorority-fraternity, and editors and publishers all knew well the authors on their lists."

"We try to be as professional as possible," says Greene, noting that they pay advances and always get their royalty statements out on time. He believes that the authors and agents respond well to their professionalism.

But why single-author short story collections? "Ever since Poe and Doyle," notes Greene, "short stories have been the purest form of the mystery story and our goal is to preserve these tales in permanent books. Most commercial presses do not want to publish short-story volumes, so many authors have come to us or we to them."

block_onenightstandsLawrence Block (The Lost Cases of Ed London and One Night Stands) says, "Doug and Sandi Greene have made a wonderful success of small press publishing by following the time-honored formula: Find a need and fill it. Their single-author collections of short stories, artfully compiled and attractively presented, are so designed as to appeal to the reader and the collector."

Greene notes that marketing is one of their trouble spots, but that they've had two very successful initiatives in this area. One involves publishing special collector's pamphlets in conjunction with the annual Malice Domestic conference. These pamphlets feature a short story by "The Ghost of Honor" a vintage author being honored by the convention or a short story by the winner of the Malice Domestic Lifetime Achievement Award. The pamphlets have proven to be excellent advertising for Crippen & Landru books.

Their other successful marketing tactic is to offer a subscriber list. Those on the list agree to automatically purchase all C&L books and in return receive a 20% discount. Notes Greene, "the 185 subscribers pretty much covers the press run costs."

Lawrence Block says, "I don't collect and rarely read these days, but I've been a Crippen & Landru subscriber almost from the beginning, and not only display the books with satisfaction but even go so far as to read them. Two books of my own are a part of the series, and I've never had a more satisfying publishing experience. They are, to the surprise of no one who knows them, a true pleasure to deal with."

But what does Douglas Greene think makes up a great short story? "Obviously character, setting and plot," says Greene, "but novels have (or should have) those characteristics as well. Unlike a novel, a short story has a single idea with a twist."

hoch_morethingsimpossibleEd Hoch, who has several collections of short stories published by C&L, including the upcoming More Things Impossible: The Second Casebook of Dr. Sam Hawthorne, says: "Doug Greene is a publisher who obviously loves books. He consults with his authors about all aspects of their books, including the cover art, with the result that Crippen & Landru publications are among the most attractive mystery series being produced today. At a time when publishers shy away from short story collections, he has proven that a market exists for a quality product."

Max Allan Collins agrees. "I prize my relationship with Doug, who is very easy to work with, but also demanding: it starts with the stories. He and C&L have set the bar so high that they have the field virtually to themselves."

To find out more about Crippen & Landru the murderers, and Crippen & Landru the publishers, visit their website at www.crippenlandru.com.

Mark Terry is a freelance writer and editor living in Oxford, Michigan. www.mark-terry.com.

Admin
Thursday, 01 October 2009 04:10

crippen_landru

A chat with Crippen and Landru's Douglas Greene on a decade of publishing Max Allan Collins, Marcia Muller, Peter Lovesey, Ed Hoch, and other great writers.

You could say that publisher Douglas Greene's career path began on a yellow brick road.

A bibliophile since childhood, Greene and his brother Dave had gathered a near-complete collection of Wizard of Oz works by L. Frank Baum. Realizing there was little left to acquire, they decided to auction off the entire collection, expecting it might go for 30 or 40 thousand dollars. "We decided we could use the money for our kids' college tuition," says Greene.

The collection went for $175,000. After paying taxes, the auction house and putting the kids through school, Greene found he still had three or four thousand dollars left over.

So in 1994, the Old Dominion University history professor started a small press devoted to mystery fiction and named after two murderers, H.H. Crippen and Henri Landru. Greene was already the author of an Edgar-nominated biography of John Dickson Carr, so he debuted with a collection of Carr's short stories. C & L's second book was a collection of short stories by Marcia Muller.

The pattern was set. Crippen & Landru, comprised of Greene, along with his wife Sandi and their son Eric, would be devoted to publishing single-author short story collections.

collins_kissesofdeathMax Allan Collins, whose collection Kisses of Death: A Nathan Heller Casebook appeared in 2001, says, "Mystery writers and fans alike owe Doug Greene and C&L a great debt of thanks. Without them, precious little of the short fiction of the last thirty years would be preserved in book form, certainly not in 'single author' collections. The books are classy-looking and Doug's scholarship in attaching bibliographies adds a touch that is at once nicely fan-ish and entirely professional...two qualities that don't come together that often."

In the ten years since opening its literary doors, C&L has published over 50 books by such mystery stars as Marcia Muller, Peter Lovesey, Ed Hoch, Joe Gores and Lawrence Block. "If anybody had told me that we'd last ten years, I don't know if I would have believed it," says Doug Greene. "The surprising thing is we're still around and increasing our market."

Crippen & Landru's "Regular Series" is made up primarily of works by contemporary mystery writers. The books are published in two forms: Signed, numbered, clothbound, limited to 175-300 copies, each with a page tipped-in of the author's typescript or with an additional story in a standalone pamphlet. The Regular Series is also available, unsigned, in trade softcover.

Eric Greene handles the "Lost Classics Series," available in cloth and trade softcover, which are collections of stories by vintage authors. So far, there are ten volumes devoted to works by writers such as Craig Rice, Peter Godfrey and Gerald Kersh. There are more on the way, too, including collections by Erle Stanley Gardner, Gladys Mitchell and Rafael Sabatini.

By all accounts, authors love working with Crippen & Landru. Margaret Maron, whose second collection, Suitable for Hanging will be out in 2004, says, "I find Doug Greene such a pleasure to work with. He asks for my input, listens to what I have to say, and answers my letters even faster than members of my own family."

Author Jerry Healy, whose second collection, Cuddy Plus One, came out in June 2003, agrees. "I imagine the experience is a little like what Rex Stout would have encountered back when publishing was a smaller sorority-fraternity, and editors and publishers all knew well the authors on their lists."

"We try to be as professional as possible," says Greene, noting that they pay advances and always get their royalty statements out on time. He believes that the authors and agents respond well to their professionalism.

But why single-author short story collections? "Ever since Poe and Doyle," notes Greene, "short stories have been the purest form of the mystery story and our goal is to preserve these tales in permanent books. Most commercial presses do not want to publish short-story volumes, so many authors have come to us or we to them."

block_onenightstandsLawrence Block (The Lost Cases of Ed London and One Night Stands) says, "Doug and Sandi Greene have made a wonderful success of small press publishing by following the time-honored formula: Find a need and fill it. Their single-author collections of short stories, artfully compiled and attractively presented, are so designed as to appeal to the reader and the collector."

Greene notes that marketing is one of their trouble spots, but that they've had two very successful initiatives in this area. One involves publishing special collector's pamphlets in conjunction with the annual Malice Domestic conference. These pamphlets feature a short story by "The Ghost of Honor" a vintage author being honored by the convention or a short story by the winner of the Malice Domestic Lifetime Achievement Award. The pamphlets have proven to be excellent advertising for Crippen & Landru books.

Their other successful marketing tactic is to offer a subscriber list. Those on the list agree to automatically purchase all C&L books and in return receive a 20% discount. Notes Greene, "the 185 subscribers pretty much covers the press run costs."

Lawrence Block says, "I don't collect and rarely read these days, but I've been a Crippen & Landru subscriber almost from the beginning, and not only display the books with satisfaction but even go so far as to read them. Two books of my own are a part of the series, and I've never had a more satisfying publishing experience. They are, to the surprise of no one who knows them, a true pleasure to deal with."

But what does Douglas Greene think makes up a great short story? "Obviously character, setting and plot," says Greene, "but novels have (or should have) those characteristics as well. Unlike a novel, a short story has a single idea with a twist."

hoch_morethingsimpossibleEd Hoch, who has several collections of short stories published by C&L, including the upcoming More Things Impossible: The Second Casebook of Dr. Sam Hawthorne, says: "Doug Greene is a publisher who obviously loves books. He consults with his authors about all aspects of their books, including the cover art, with the result that Crippen & Landru publications are among the most attractive mystery series being produced today. At a time when publishers shy away from short story collections, he has proven that a market exists for a quality product."

Max Allan Collins agrees. "I prize my relationship with Doug, who is very easy to work with, but also demanding: it starts with the stories. He and C&L have set the bar so high that they have the field virtually to themselves."

To find out more about Crippen & Landru the murderers, and Crippen & Landru the publishers, visit their website at www.crippenlandru.com.

Mark Terry is a freelance writer and editor living in Oxford, Michigan. www.mark-terry.com.