162 Holiday Cover, William Kent Krueger

Hi Everyone,

When William Kent Krueger’s father lost his oil company job over matters of conscience, he went back to teaching, then, as now, a poorly paid profession. And, as Krueger remembers, “We all got jobs to help support the family. So what I saw in the summer that I was 13 years old was the importance of standing by the things that you believe in profoundly, the consequences of that, and accepting the consequences in a spirit of perseverance, endurance, and courage.” These lessons were put to use in Krueger's highly anticipated This Tender Land. Teri Duerr, a fellow Minnesotan interviews the author in this issue.

In the 1970s, the 11 p.m. hour on ABC was wide open for something new and different—and along came ABC’s Wide World of Mystery. A young Michael Mallory was parked in front of the TV, enthralled, and all these years later still has fond memories.

Elly Griffiths has two popular—and very different—series: the Dr. Ruth Galloway mysteries about a forensic archaeologist in Norfolk, UK, and the “Magic Men” historical mysteries series featuring one-time members of a WWII special ops unit. John B. Valeri gets the scoop on this versatile author.

Wondering what to get that special someone this holiday season? Ponder no more, as Kevin Burton Smith brings us his annual gift guide for mystery lovers.

Turns out J.K. Rowling of Harry Potter fantasy fame is also a major mystery geek. As Nanc y Bilyeau discusses in he r ar ticle , Ro w ling writ es solidly entertaining PI novels under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.

Amateur sleuth Samantha Washington dreams of owning a mystery bookshop and writing Britsh historical cozies—two dreams of her creator, V. M. Burns, as it happens. “With this series,” says Burns, “I’m able to live vicariously.” John B. Valeri maps out the author’s other dreams in his interview.

Also in this issue, we have interesting My Book essays contributed by Tara Laskowski, Marcia Rosen, and Bonnar Spring.

And now we come to some housekeeping matters. Brian and I took over Mystery Scene 17 years ago in 2002. At the time, the price was $32 a year for five issues, a schedule and price we’ve maintained for all these years. As you can imagine, our print and mailing costs have increased considerably in that time. But we still don’t want to increase prices, so we’ve decided to make Mystery Scene a quarterly publication starting in 2020. We will increase the page count of each of the four issues—in February, May, August, and November—to offset the change. The subscription price of $32 a year will remain the same. We think this is the best way to proceed. We hope you agree and that you’ll continue to be our partner in crime. Happy holidays to everyone and best wishes for an entertaining new year!

Kate Stine