141cover465Hi Everyone,

We may all enjoy the damaged-yet-hip privates eyes, the crazed-yet-erudite serial killers and the dead-yet-hot vampire cops of current crime fiction, but there is something to be said for a good, old-fashioned hero with a code of honor and a commitment to his community. Yes, Craig Johnson’s Walt Longmire is a throwback in today’s world, but I’m betting that label wouldn’t bother him a bit. It certainly doesn’t bother his many, many fans. Oline Cogdill caught up with Johnson for a chat in this issue. She also spoke with Robert Taylor, who plays the Wyoming sheriff in the Netflix series Longmire. Boy howdy!

Ray Bradbury is one of my favorite alltime writers, yet I was surprised to learn of the extent of his work in the crime genre. In this issue, Michael Mallory offers an overview of Bradbury’s early pulp short stories and innovative mystery novels.

Here’s an image: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, basketball icon, riding on the Lakers’ bus—and avidly reading Sherlock Holmes stories. It was time well spent, apparently, because now Abdul-Jabbar has written his own Sherlockian tale, or rather, a tale featuring Sherlock’s older brother Mycroft. Don’t miss our interesting conversation with the amiable all-star in this issue.

Julia Keller’s novel Last Ragged Breath is especially timely given the current trial of Don Blankenship, the former CEO of Massey Energy Company, for the Upper Big Branch Mine disaster in West Virginia in which 29 miners lost their lives. Keller’s novel was inspired by another West Virginia mining-related catastrophe from the 1 970s, and it’s a grim reminder that greed can kill.

There’s lots more in this issue, but I want to be sure to welcome our new contributing editor, Matt Schlecht, to the Mystery Scene masthead. Matt’s been handling a lot of our Twitter and Facebook communications, as well as other editorial tasks. He’s worked at a number of magazines over the years and we’re delighted to have his expertise in house.

Enjoy the issue!

We'd love to hear about books you would recommend, new or old - write and let us know!

Kate Stine