Of the hundreds of books that arrive in our office every season only a few inspire mad, hair-pulling scrambles—and Lisa Lutz’s Spellman mysteries are among the most hotly contested. Funny, hip, unpredictable, with a trace of melancholy beneath all the wisecracking—these books are true pleasures. And as Cheryl Solimini’s profile reveals, Lisa Lutz is just as much fun as her chaotic family of private eyes.
Brian and I are planning a trip to Europe this fall. Originally we were going to Amsterdam but after reading Tom Nolan’s interview with Cara Black, we’re seriously considering Paris instead. Take a look and maybe we’ll see you in Paris, too!
Also in this issue, Ed Gorman talks with Karen Berger, the founder of the famed Vertigo line of graphic novels and Charles L.P. Silet picks terrific gangster movies for your next movie night at home.
In addition to being two of the most celebrated crime writers of their generation, Larry Block and Don Westlake were lifelong friends. In his latest column, Larry ponders the literary road Don didn’t take—and discusses the publication of a long lost manuscript that shows an unexpected facet of Don’s talent.
Here’s a hot tip for your summer reading list—Thrillers: 100 Must Reads, edited by David Morrell and Hank Wagner, Oceanview Publishing, July 5, $27.95. This entertaining collection starts with Lee Child’s thoughts on Theseus and the Minotaur (1500 B.C.) and ends with Steve Berry’s take on Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code (2003). In between are some thought-provoking essays by contemporary stars of the thriller field. We’re reprinting one for you in this issue, Marcus Sakey’s appreciation of Lee Child’s Killing Floor, and we’ll have another one in the next issue. You’ll have to buy the book for the other 98 essays and, take my word for it, you should.
The New Mystery Scene Website
Brian and Teri have been slaving over the MS website—with spectacular results. It’s been months of hard work but we think you’ll enjoy all the new features and content online. For example: Tom Nolan’s article about Watchlist, the serial thriller collaboration by 21 big name authors such as Jeffery Deaver, Lisa Scottoline, Lee Child, Joseph Finder, S.J. Rozan, and Jim Fusilli.
Other articles are from sold-out back issues: “Trixie Belden: The Girl-Next-Door Sleuth” by Judith Sears; “No Escape: Jacques Futrelle and the Titanic” by Jeff Marks; “Charlie Chan: The Case of the Reviled Detective” by Jon L. Breen; and many more.
The 1,000+ Mystery Scene Reviews Database is at the new site as well. Of course, as massive as it is, this is only a small portion of the reviews we’ve published since 2002. Audiobooks, children’s books, small press titles, etc., are being added on an ongoing basis and there are some online original reviews in the mix as well.
The website has room for interesting stuff we couldn’t fit in the magazine, too. A case in point is a complete list of Crippen & Landru’s chapbooks. Many of these little booklets, created by C&L publisher Doug Greene as gifts, constitute the first publication of stories by major writers such as Tony Hillerman, Elizabeth Peters, Joe Gores, Peter Robinson, Nancy Pickard, and Margaret Maron. As such they are of great interest to fans and highly collectible to boot. (Oh, and all of Nate Pedersen’s articles on book collecting will be posted online, too.)
Are you reading electronically?