174 Winter Cover, Louise PennyHello Everyone!

Hi everyone!

Fall #173 was a benchmark for Brian and me as publishers of Mystery Scene—our 20th Anniversary Issue. Winter #174 marks a sadder occasion—the final issue of Mystery Scene Magazine after 37 years in business.

The publishing industry has changed seismically over the last two decades with the advent of the internet, publisher consolidation, the birth of social media, and the rise of Amazon. It has become impossible for us to continue to offer you the high-quality print publication in which we’ve taken so much pride.

The website will remain functioning for now, as will our monthly e-newsletter.

We will be refunding readers for their outstanding subscriptions over the next few months. This is a big job, so please be patient with us. We expect to have this task done by February 2023.

We want to thank our outstanding staff, particularly the indispensable Teri Duerr for all her excellent work editing, writing, and organizing over the years. Annika Larsson made all of us look good with her outstanding design skills. The quality of our contributors is apparent to Mystery Scene readers already—but let me just say how interesting, educational, and fun it was to work with them. And we want to thank all of you—we loved bringing you the magazine. Brian and I had the best job in publishing for 20 years and we want to thank you for coming along for the ride.

Louise Penny is one of the most beloved mystery writers working today with every Chief Inspector Armand Gamache novel an instant bestseller and a new TV series, Three Pines, launching soon. Given the quality of her work, Penny’s rise to prominence might seem preordained. Yet she faced profound challenges, challenges that are echoed in the lives of her beautifully realized characters. Craig Sisterson talks to the author in this issue.

It’s all well and good to focus on the current masters of the genre, but what about the next generation? Hank Phillippi Ryan has gathered together four breakout stars—Wanda M. Morris, Eli Cranor, Nita Prose, and Brendan Slocumb—for a chat about their bright futures.

Another newcomer who has made quite a splash is Amanda Jayatissa. Her two critically acclaimed novels draw on her firsthand knowledge of Sri Lanka and its culture and her gift for startling plot twists has made her a favorite with thriller fans. Oline H. Cogdill talks to the author in this issue.

Whether it features a bookstore owner/sleuth, a librarian-turned-detective, or a writer falsely accused of murder, John B. Valeri has ferreted out entertaining bookish mysteries for your reading pleasure. Bibliophiles will love these worthy new titles.

What is better than one writer creating an iconic character that wanders the world righting wrongs as needed? That would be two writers collaborating on the task. Talented brothers Lee and Andrew Child work in tandem to send their inimitable ex-Army cop on the road and into trouble. Learn how they do this in their chat with Eileen Brady.

Cornell Woolrich’s depressing personal life makes him something of a sad sack—but his literary work rates with the best of the 20th century. Curtis Evans give us an overview of this troubled, yet wildly talented, author’s output.

Michael Lister hit upon an underutilized profession for his sleuth—prison pastor. It’s been 20 years since that first John Jordan mystery and, as he tells John B. Valeri in this issue, there’s much more to come.

Have you been naughty or nice this year? How about your family and friends? Our favorite elf Kevin Burton Smith has gathered together a dazzling array of books, games, housewares, liquor, movies, and more to facilitate your holiday gift-giving.


Kate Stine
Editor in Chief