Saturday, 22 October 2016 12:10


childlee nightschool
Jack Reacher’s avid fans are aptly called Reacher Creatures.

But really, doesn’t that describe most fans of the novels by Lee Child?

Expect a lot of Reacher Creatures—but then there are a lot of Reacher Creatures in every city—at the big launch of Night School, the 21st novel about the nomadic ex-military cop by author Lee Child.

And expect a party but also a boost to those serving in the military.

Night School with Lee Child will be 7:30 to 11 p.m. Nov. 11 at The Carolina Theatre 309 West Morgan Street, Durham, North Carolina.

We don’t publicize book launches because there are so many and we don’t want to neglect any authors. But this one is kind of special because of the military tie-in.

The North Carolina event will celebrate the release of Nigh School with an entertainment, coffee and craft beer tastings, late night food, and Reacher-themed trivia.

The event kicks off with a conversation with Lee Child about the novels, the film and his creative process.

Night School is a prequel, a technique that Child has used twice before.

Night School is set in 1996—in a pre-9/11 world when Reacher is 35 years old and still in the Army. He’s recently received a medal for a mission in the Balkans when he is sent “to school.” In this case, the school is a secret mission. A sleeper cell in Germany believes an American traitor has information to sell to Islamic terrorists for $100 million.

Since Jack Reacher is returning to the 1990s, so will some of those who attend this event.

An after-party is scheduled at nearby Bull McCabe’s (427 W. Main St.). The press release says this after-party is “inspired by Lee Child’s favorite things and Reacher’s singular lifestyle,” which sounds interesting.

Child will be on hand and there will be interactive activities and giveaways.

But the evening is more than just about Reacher’s latest adventures.

In honor of Veterans Day, Random House has partnered with the USO of North Carolina. For every ticket sold, Random House will donate a Lee Child book to a service member overseas.

Details and prices, which include a copy of Night School, are at Lee Child’s website. Here is the link.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016 03:10

gorman ed 2010In sad news for the mystery community, author and editor Ed Gorman passed away on October 14, 2016.

In addition to his many literary accomplishments in the crime, western, and horror genres, Ed and Robert Randisi founded Mystery Scene Magazine in 1985. Ed remained publisher and editor until 2002 and stayed active in the magazine as a consulting editor and columnist up until the most recent issue, Fall #146 2016.

Ed is remembered not only as a talented writer (see the links below) but also as a man with a gift for friendship. Marked by his lively sense of humor and self-deprecating tone, a phone call from Ed brightened any day. In fact, many of his friendships took place solely over the telephone and email since Ed was not one to attend mystery conventions and events.

Ed was a mentor to a generation of crime writers, often giving them their start by publishing a short story in one of the numerous anthologies he edited over the years, many with his great friend Martin H. Greenberg. Ed was known for his encouraging phone calls and emails to new writers as well as more concrete aid in the form of agent and editor recommendations. His network of contacts in the publishing and writing worlds was as vast as it was affectionate.

Ed had a profound effect on my life. We had known each other for years, he as the editor and publisher of Mystery Scene Magazine and I as the editor of The Armchair Detective. In 2002, he called to ask whether I'd like to own a small magazine. Would I! It was a dream come true and Ed was an unfailing source of good advice and good cheer in the magazine's transition from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to New York City. In all the years since, he's been as much a joy to work with as he was a joy to know.

Edward Joseph Gorman was born on November 2, 1941, in Cedar Rapids. He worked in advertising and public relations for over 20 years, becoming a full-time writer in 1989. Gorman’s novels and stories are often set in small Midwestern towns, like the fictional Black River Falls, Iowa (the Sam McCain series), or Cedar Rapids (The Night Remembers). For his Dev Conrad series, Gorman drew upon his years as a political operative. In 1985, he co-founded Mystery Scene Magazine. In 2003, he received the Ellery Queen Award for distinguished contributions to mystery publishing for his numerous anthologies and Mystery Scene. He received a lifetime achievement award from the Private Eye Writers of America in 2011 and was twice an Edgar Award nominee. He is survived by his wife, Carol, a writer of young adult novels.

Here are some links that give some idea of Ed's importance in the field, both as a professional and a person.

First is "The History of Mystery Scene" by Jon L. Breen (Mystery Scene, Holiday Issue #77 2002), which includes the years Ed spent running the magazine.


Next is a ringing set of tributes, "Ed Gorman: A Great Man of Mystery," which ran in Mystery Scene Fall #76, 2002, the first issue after we took it over from Ed.

Tributes to Ed Gorman.pdf

Here is a specific tribute from Dean Koontz, a longtime friend of Ed's. This also ran in Mystery Scene Fall #76, 2002.

Ed Gorman Tribute Dean Koontz.pdf

And finally, here is an article on on Ed's Sam McCain novels which ran in Mystery Scene Fall #136, 2014.

Riders on the Story: Ed Gorman's Sam McCain Novels by Tom Nolan

We'll have more in our upcoming Holiday Issue #147, 2016.


Kate Stine is the editor-in-chief and co-publisher of Mystery Scene Magazine.




Saturday, 15 October 2016 10:10


aurorateagarden julius
Readers—and viewers—get a double dose of Aurora Teagarden this month.

After a 13-year hiatus, author Charlaine Harris brought back the Lawrenceton librarian in All the Little Liars, the ninth novel in that series. The novel was released earlier this month.

And now, Aurora makes a return to the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Channel with The Julius House: An Aurora Teagarden Mystery. The made-for-TV movie airs at 9 p.m., October 16, on the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Channel.

Fans of the Aurora series will again be pleased by the film version, judging from the advance screener I watched last week.

Candace Cameron Bure is the perfect Aurora Teagarden, capturing the librarian’s spirit and intelligence. Bure is energetic, but not annoyingly perky, and that works well in the film version of this beloved character.

The Julius House, based on Harris’ fourth Aurora Teagarden novel, released in 1995.

aurorateagarden julius2
In The Julius House, Aurora finally finds a house, which, of course, comes with a dark past. Years before, the family who lived there disappeared in the middle of the night without a trace.

Being the true crime buff—and the leader of the Real Murders Club that studies true crimes, Aurora is intrigued. The case has never been solved though the family’s nearest living relative remains hopeful they will return.

A teenage couple, a controlling father, a diary entry and hidden closets add to the intrigue. The discovery of bloody towels in a walled off room further Aurora’s determination to find out what happened to the family.

In addition to Bure, Marilu Henner stars as Aurora’s mother, Aida, and Yannick Bisson as Martin Bartell, Aurora’s love interest. Each is believable in their roles.

Aurora’s smooth transition to film is due to Harris’ skills as a writer.

Unlike too many amateur sleuth characters, Aurora’s involvement in solving crimes is organic and realistic. Aurora also doesn’t play the role of a cop but a believable character whose intelligence gives her a unique insight.

The film moves the setting from Georgia to the Pacific Northwest. The Washington State scenery works well, retaining the small-town feel.

Astute viewers will notice Charlaine Harris, and her “guest,” making a cameo early in The Julius House. The author’s performance is spot on!

It’s good to have Aurora back—both in print and on film. Here’s hoping each of the Aurora novels makes it to the screen.

The Julius House: An Aurora Teagarden Mystery airs at 9 p.m. Oct 16 on the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Channel. Encores will follow.

Photos: Candace Cameron Bure, Yannick Bisson, top;  Candace Cameron Bure alone, bottom. Credit: Copyright 2016 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: David Dolsen