Missing Clue

Winter and Spring Mystery Reading Club - The Missing Clue - February 2018

The theme for Winter 2018 is Australia.  Books are available now in store. New members are cordially invited to join the fun.

Tuesday, February 27th – The Dry by Jane Harper (available January 2nd, 2018)

Tuesday, March 27th – Cocaine Blues by Kerry Greenwood

For the spring Jack has decided to be a little bit selfish and the group will be exploring the theme “Books that Jack Enjoyed”:

Tuesday, April 24th The Late Show by Michael Connelly

Tuesday, May 29th London Rain by Nicola Upson

Tuesday, June 26th – Dark Saturday by Nicci French

We know that some non-members of the group do read the assigned titles. If you would like to have the questions that Jack writes, please let Wendy know (via email, phone, or in person). Books will be available for purchase at the store and feature a 10% discount.

Stealing Van Gogh and Other Art Mysteries by Wendy - The Missing Clue - February 2018

One night last week Jack and I watched Andrew Graham-Dixon’s television programme, ‘Stealing Van Gogh’. Graham-Dixon is a British art historian and you may have seen some of his other series which includes one on the art collection of the Royal Family. This programme was different in that it not only talked about Van Gogh’s art but also described a crime which took place in December 2002 and followed the story to its final resolution in September 2016. On December 7th, 2002 a daring robbery took place at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, two smallish Van Gogh’s were stolen. The whole thing took three minutes and 40 seconds, from the time the burglars’ dressed as workmen put up their ladder against the museum wall to when they drove away with their ill- gotten gains. The paintings were retrieved 13 years and nine months later in Naples, Italy. Due to carelessness, he lost his hat during the exit from the museum and the police were able to trace his DNA, one of the burglars was easily apprehended but there was no sign of the paintings. Evidently, valuable paintings are used as currency in the underground drug dealing/crime gang world. If a painting is worth say $14 million dollars, the possessor is able to use about ten percent of its value as collateral for purchasing drugs etc. Possession of stolen art is also often used as a bargaining chip by criminals for reduced sentences. “I’ll give you back the paintings, you can knock x years off my sentence.”

Watching the programme got me thinking about mysteries I had read that involved art. The first one that came to mind, probably because of the title, was A.J. Zerris The Lost Van Gogh, (in stock, used MM, $4). This book starts not with the theft of a Van Gogh but with the return of a missing Van Gogh to the Met in New York, in an ordinary UPS package. Timothy Holme’s, The Neapolitan Streak, was another obvious connection with the television show I had just watched. There are five books in this series featuring Inspector Perini. We have a copy of book #4, The Assisi Murders, in used mass market ($7). Iain Pears has written a number of books with art themes. He has a series which features the Italian National Art Theft Squad and British Art historian Jonathan Argyll. In a classic mystery construct the officials and the amateur, are sometimes working together and sometimes working from opposite ends of the problem. I have really enjoyed this series.

Barbara A. Smith, the thriller writer, has started to write mysteries with an art theme. The first title is The Art Forger (in stock, TP, $16.99) which is based in the Isabella Stewart Gardiner Museum in Boston, which itself was the site of spectacular art theft. In March 1990, two men posing as policemen gained entry to the museum, tied up the guards and during the course of the night stole 13 paintings valued at $500 million. Despite the offer of a $10 million reward the paintings have never been recovered. There were suspicions that criminal gangs were involved and the museum has made announcements regarding the way the art work should be treated to preserve its value. Shapiro’s second novel is The Muralist (in stock, TP, $19.99) and the third novel The Collector’s Apprentice will be published in hardcover in October 2018.

Many mystery writers have one title in a series that includes an art theft. The 17th title in John Sandford’s Lucas Davenport series, Invisible Prey is one example (in stock, used mm, $5). The plot in sixth title in A.D. Scott’s Highland Gazette series, A Kind Of Grief, revolves around the death of an artist (in stock, new TP $18.50, used TP $10). In other series art and art related crime are a continuing undercurrent and subplot. The hero of Daniel Silva’s long series is Gabriel Allon an art restorer by trade. Inspector Roderick Alleyn, the main character in Ngaio Marsh is in a relationship and then married to painter Agatha Troy. The sixth title in the series, Artists in Crime, takes place in an art class (in stock, used mm, $6). Marsh died in 1982. There was an unfinished manuscript which has now been completed by Stella Duffy. Money in the Morgue will be published in hardcover in March 2018 ($32.99). This book like Died in the Wool (published 1944), is set in New Zealand during the second World War (in stock, used mm, $5).

The first title in Margaret Maron’s ‘Sigrid Harald’ series, One Coffee With, starts with a murder in a university Art Department (in stock, used mm, $8). There are eight titles in the series that were published between 1981-1995. Because of Harald’s relationship with an artist she meets during the first murder investigation there is an undercurrent of art in most of the other titles. Maron stopped writing this series and moved on to the Judge Deborah Knott series. Maron announced that Long Upon the Land published in 2015 would be the last title in that series (in stock, new mm, $9.49). In 2017 after a 22 year gap, Maron published Take Out which is to be the final Sigrid Harald title (mm, $10.49, March 2018).

Michael Redhill won the 2017 Giller prize for Bellevue Square (in stock, hard cover, $32), one of his earlier novels Martin Sloane (in stock, TP, $19.95) which is about a missing artist was also short listed for the Giller. Since 2008 Redhill has been writing the ‘Hazel Micallef’ mysteries under the pseudonym Inger Ash Wolfe. We’ve got books #2, 3, and 4 in stock.

A quick look through the store’s inventory produced many books in stock (both new and used) where the plot had an art theme. I am going to list a few of them here but there are many more which we could point out to you. Janice Law has a series in which Irish born British artist Francis Bacon is the main character. The first title is Fires of London which takes place during the Blitz (in stock, TP, $16.99). Other writers and titles would be Arturo Perez-Reverte The Painter of Battles (in stock, TP, $19), John Malcom A Back Room in Somers Town (in stock, used mm, $6), and Barbara Ewing The Fraud (in stock, new, $14.99).

What survey of mysteries would be complete without one of the major figures in the genre Ian Rankin. And yes, he also has an art mystery. Back in 2007 when Rebus had departed, supposedly had his last stand in Exit Music, Rankin published a completely different mystery Doors Open (in stock, used TP, $8/$9). This is a classic heist story revolving around millionaire Mike Mackenzie and the National Gallery of Scotland.

Ms. Sherlock by Sian - The Missing Clue - February 2018

I will first confess that I was never much into Sherlock Holmes. I never read any of the Arthur Conan Doyle stories, although I think I may have tried as a teenager. Before we owned Whodunit? I read some mysteries. I remember buying a number of Stephanie Barron’s excellent ‘Jane Austen’ series at Whodunit? as well as the riotously funny (though likely now very dated) ‘Sam Jones’ series by Lauren Henderson. But once we bought the store I started expanding my palate, often just by perusing the used shelves and seeing what jumped out at me. I can’t recall what prompted me to pick up a copy of Carole Nelson Douglas’s Good Night, Mr Holmes, but Goodreads indicates it was in July of 2010. It was around this time that the first Sherlock Holmes movie starring Robert Downie Jr. came out featuring Rachel McAdams as Irene Adler as well as the modern BBC series starring Benedict Cumberbatch (Irene Adler doesn’t appear in that series until Series 2). However, I got there, Carole Nelson Douglas was my introduction to the genre of Sherlock Holmes Pastiche and I haven’t looked back since.

I remember being confused by Good Night, Mr Holmes originally, as I had understood Irene Adler to be the protagonist. As it turns out she is  not the narrator of the books. That honour falls to Nell (or Penelope, who could possibly have been the inspiration for my daughter’s name), who is Irene’s sidekick throughout her various adventures. I have very fond feelings for this whole series, there are 8 books in total, but my Goodreads ratings indicate things really picked up around book #4 (Another Scandal In Bohemia). Sherlock himself pops up throughout the series but is by no means a main character. I do love a recasting of villain though, and this is an excellent example of it with Irene as the heroine. These are long and meaty books. Not hard to read by any means, but wordy and detailed. Unfortunately, two things make it difficult for me to easily recommend these books. Firstly, they are very difficult to find, particularly book #2 (which is entirely out of print). Secondly, books #2, 3, and 4 have all had title changes since their original publication. It would appear that Nelson Douglas is getting back the rights as they go out of print through her original publisher and is selling certain titles as ebooks. If you’re interested in this series, we are able to get Good Night, Mr Holmes in new trade paperback. We also have book #3 new and books 5 and 7 in used. If you enjoy looking for a hard to find series in used bookstores, this is a good one to pick.

            Similarly, I can’t remember how I came to pick up Laurie R. King’s The Beekeeper’s Apprentice, the first in her Mary Russell series. I know I’d heard about it, but finally in July of 2011 I read it and was instantly hooked. Like Carole Nelson Douglas’s Sherlock, King doesn’t ask us to do much reimagining of the great detective. He is retired now, of course, but also falls in love with his protegee, young Mary Russell. He has also given up some of his more dangerous vices. Mycroft is a regular character, Uncle John (Watson) is often referenced, and Mrs. Hudson still tends the house (and is the main character in book #14, The Murder of Mary Russell). Like any series, there are wonderful books and not so great ones. I don’t think I was alone in feeling like Pirate King was a weaker story. But the subsequent books redeemed themselves and the series continues with book #15, Island of the Mad, being released in hardcover in June. The Mary Russell books really captivated me because they inserted a female perspective into the canon without asking the reader to completely reimagine Holmes. We have most of the books in stock at any given time in new (mostly in trade paperback) and used (often in used), as well as the collection of short stories that had previously only been available online (Mary Russell’s War). The early books are my favorite and I envy anyone who has the opportunity to discover them anew.

            The first book in a new series by Leonard Goldberg called The Daughter of Sherlock Holmes was released last summer. The premise here is that the son of John Watson, the daughter and grandson of Sherlock Holmes and Irene Adler, and the son of Inspector Lestrade all find themselves thrown together to solve crimes. I will admit to finding it a bit silly and contrived that these original characters should all have children who do exactly the same things that they do, but it was an easy read and might scratch an itch if you enjoy Holmes pastiche and none of your favourite authors have anything new. The second book in the series, A Study in Treason, will be released in hardcover this summer.

            But now I want to come to the inspiration for this piece: A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas, the first in her ‘Lady Sherlock’ series. I don’t think I’m spoiling anything that reading a blurb about the book wouldn’t tell you, but if you haven’t read the book and want to be surprised, skip to Wendy’s piece about art theft.

            As I was saying…I didn’t read this book until this summer, almost a year after it was published, because Wendy said she couldn’t get into it and I trust her judgment. She kept promising me her copy and we couldn’t find it but when we were on vacation this summer I borrowed a digital copy from the library (yes, it’s ok to do that sometimes, we aren’t offended). The first few chapters were slow as Thomas built to the premise of the book. I could absolutely see why Mum gave up. But. Once we have the big reveal that Charlotte Holmes has created Sherlock as a fictional creation to allow her to solve crimes, it’s really wonderful. Ms. Holmes benefactor is named Mrs. Watson while her sister Livia plays the part of the writer of Sherlock’s exploits. I love that the series doesn’t require Sherlock Holmes to be real at all, so we aren’t required to suspend any disbelief about what Holmes might or might not do. Book #2 in the series, A Conspiracy in Belgravia, is just as good and includes a sub-plot featuring the stand-in for Mycroft. Book #3, The Hollow of Fear, will be released in October 2018 and it is the book I am most looking forward to in 2018. I won’t pretend this series has universal appeal, but if you love a Sherlockian pastiche and well-written female characters, you will enjoy it.

            In April I’ll be talking about lady Sherlocks (and Watsons) in young adult titles, including the new modern ‘Charlotte Holmes’ series that begins with the excellent A Study in Charlotte.      

We're Moving! - The Missing Clue - February 2018

That's right! As some of you have already heard, we will be moving the store this spring/summer.  All the way from our current address at 165 Lilac St to [drumroll please]...163 Lilac St. Next door!

While there will be more details that we have not fully worked out, and others that will no doubt come up that we cannot predict, the things we can tell you now are as follows:

1) This moves allows us to be twice as big, without having to leave the neighbourhood.

2) It means that there will be more space for us to display what we have, and stock more of what you, the customers, want.

3) It will provide us with a better space to host more events, both public and private, on a more regular basis.

We would like to thank you, our newsletter subscribers, first and foremost, because it is your support that has allowed this to happen.  By shopping with us, telling us what you do and do not like, and participating in the events and promotions that we have run in the past you have made it so that growing the store not only seemed possible, but necessary.  We look forward to your continued support in the future as we move into this exciting new phase.

Obviously, these changes will have effects that we cannot predict, but we are thrilled that we are going to be moving forward into this exciting new phase for Whodunit?

Holiday Orders - The Missing Clue - October 2017

Wendy mentioned the slew of Christmas cozies we’ve already got on our shelves, which is just another reminder that the holiday season is barreling towards us. We’re grateful that so many of you make Whodunit a part of your holiday shopping. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

1)      We can order any book that is commercially available for you, regardless of whether or not it is a mystery. You’ll still get stamps too! Some books can be ordered and received within a few days, but some take longer, especially as we get into December. If you have special orders in mind, the earlier the better. You can check our webstore (https://bookmanager.com/117455x/) for title availability, but keep in mind prices and timing may be subject to change.

2)      If there’s a title that you’ve got on your wishlist and you think someone might come shopping for you, don’t be afraid to let us know! We’re always happy to make recommendations, but we can point your Santa to exactly what you’re dying to read if you tell us.

3)      We’ve got gift cards! Gift cards can be purchased in any denomination and we’ll be happy to tuck them in with a newsletter or a book.

4)      Don’t forget the webstore! Your intrepid newsletter editor has lots of work on the website still to do, but our webstore shows our live inventory along with price and format. Find something you want? You can reserve a copy of a book we’ve got in store or that you would like to order without having to pay upfront. We’ll be happy to show you how the webstore works if you need help.

What I'm Reading by Sian - The Missing Clue - August 2017

And I’m back! Thank you all for your patience with our abbreviated newsletter last month. My to-read list grows ever taller, but I’m happy to say I’ve made something of a dent in it.

First up was Plum Sykes Party Girls Die in Pearls (in store in trade paperback), the first book I read after my daughter Penelope was born. I needed something light but smart and witty and it fit the bill beautifully. I’ve said this before in this space, I really like books where there’s a romantic element but it isn’t something that drives the plot. Ursula Flowerbutton is like my beloved Flora Poste of Cold Comfort Farm and I can’t wait to read more about her adventures at Oxford. You’ll hear it here first when the next one is scheduled.

I had been looking forward to Darcie Wilde’s A Purely Private Matter (in store in trade paperback) and it didn’t disappoint. It was a worthy sequel to A Useful Woman (in store in trade paperback), although it did end with a continuing romantic loose end which I find a little tedious. No third book scheduled, so hopefully we won’t have to wait too long.

Julie McElwain’s A Murder in Time (in store) finally came out in trade paperback so I will continue to wholeheartedly recommend that title as well as the sequel, A Twist in Time (available to order), available so far in hardcover. Both books are lovely and long, which makes them perfect summer reads. Don’t let the time travel element put you off, while it’s a central plot point it’s not at all sci fi like.

David Morrell’s ‘Thomas De Quincey Mystery’ series gets better and better with book #3, Ruler of the Night (available to order), an excellent addition. This is not a light series, there is violence, but it’s so interesting. Thomas De Quincey has many flaws, but Morell paints him with such humanity and compassion, not to mention his brilliant and devoted daughter Emily. This is a series to have at the ready on a dark and gloomy weekend. The first two books, Murder as a Fine Art (in store) and Inspector of the Dead (available to order) are available in trade paperback while Ruler of the Night is still just in hardcover (the trade paperback is coming in November).

Every member of the Bumsted family has their strengths in the store and mine is tidying the used shelves (so you’ll have noticed if you’ve been in the last few weeks how tidy they are!). One of the reasons I love that task is that I always find a new series or two while I’m moving books around as it encourages me to look at titles I don’t normally notice. Last time I visited I picked up the first book in Sujata Massey’s ‘Rei Shimura’ series. Sometimes books from the 90s can feel dated because of the transition to technology (it seems odd not to have a smart phone, for example), but because The Salaryman’s Wife (available to order in mass market) is set in Japan, I was distracted enough by the setting not to notice. Rei is a stubborn and independent young woman trying to make her way in Japan, where her Japanase American parentage makes her not sufficiently Japanese for many people. I’m on book #4, The Floating Girl (available in store in used mass market), and I’m learning a ton about Japanese culture. There are 11 books in the series. Massey has a new series launching in January featuring Perveen Mistry, a young female lawyer in 1920s Bombay. The first book is called The Widows of Malabar Hill and I’ve already got my copy reserved!

Speaking of books I’ve reserved, I’m also looking forward to Anna Lee Huber’s (of the ‘Lady Darby Mystery’ series) new series featuring Verity Kent called This Side of Murder, set in post WWI England coming in trade paperback in September. Then in October in hardcover is Death in St. Petersburg, book #12 in Tasha Alexander’s ‘Lady Emily’ series. Also in October, although I sense this may be my Boxing Day read, is the new book in the ‘His Dark Materials’ universe, Philip Pullman’s The Book of Dust.

As Seen on TV (sort of) by Wendy -The Missing Clue - August 2017

While Sian and her wonderful new daughter Penelope have been visiting, Sian introduced me to a British quiz show called Pointless. Don’t ask me what the app is that gets this because, honestly, I have no idea (editors note: it’s called Filmon Television). I mention Pointless because last week’s celebrity round featured some mystery writers, Mark Billingham, Val McDermid and Tony Parsons. This gave me a hook for this month’s piece.

Mark Billingham was wearing a very country and western outfit and it seems that he is part of a country and western group, as well as being a standup comic in his spare time. His main series is the Tom Thorne series, the 14th title in the series Love Like Blood (trade paper $22.99) will be in the store on August 15th. We also have a spin off from the main series, featuring D.I. Tanner, Die of Shame, (trade paper $15.99).

Val McDermid is a major force in the British crime fiction scene, in addition to her own writing she was the founder of the Harrogate Mystery Conference, which has become one of the pre-eminent conferences in the United Kingdom. The conference has a number of awards including the Theakstons Old Peculiar Crime Novel of the Year Award. The winner receives £3000 and a small hand-carved oak beer cask carved by one of Britain's last surviving coopers. Old Peculiar is Theakstons most popular beer. McDermid’s next new title to be published in Canada is Insidious Intent, the 10th Carol Jordan and Tony Hill title which the will be published in December in hard cover. December also sees the publication of the trade paper of the 4th Karen Pirie title Out of Bounds ($24.95) She does have two anthologies coming this fall, Bloody Scotland, is a collection of stories by major Scotish crime writers; the stories are set between the Iron Age and the present day. Murder on Christmas Eve, is a collection of Christmas stories by writers from the United Kingdom. Unfortunately, we have not yet found a North American distributor for either of these titles but we are working on it.

Tony Parsons writes the Max Wolfe series this is a newer much shorter series. The main character Max Wolfe is a London police detective and as a single father adds a different dimension to the stories. The first novel in the series was The Murder Bag, published in 2014. The fourth title Die Last is arriving imminently. It is based on a relevant topic of people smuggling.

A few other new books which are good summer reads, Connie Willis, Crosstalk, (tp $24), M.C. Beaton’s latest Agatha Raisin, Pushing Up Daisies (mm $10.99) Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies (mm$12.99) which was recently a TV series starring Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman, we also have Moriarty’s newest title The Husband’s Secret (mm$12.99). This is also a good time to check out our used section as we have some great used titles at the moment. A good way of finding a new author or filling in gaps in existing series. Feel free to ask for recommendations based on what we have in stock.

Authors Starting Anew by Michael - The Missing Clue - August 2017 -

2017, for many notable writers, seems to be the year to try something fresh. For some, it is a new character in a familiar setting. Most of you will already be aware of Arnauldur Indridason’s new novel The Shadow District (in stock in trade paperback), if mostly because the mystery set in wartime Rekjavik is known originally by the more local friendly title Man from Manitoba. Regardless of its title, Indridason is setting up these characters to be part of what is described as a “major new series”.

Kathy Reichs Two Nights (in stock in hardcover) is an even greater departure from her comfort zone as it marks her first novel solo effort that does not involve Temperance Brennan and the “Bones” franchise. Whether this marks the end of that series, or whether new heroine Sunday Night will be a recurring character remains to be seen.

Renee Ballard is the heroine of a police procedural set in Michael Connelly’s Hollywood in The Late Show (in stock in hardcover). Like the Indridason, this too is set up to be a regular character, although it remains to be seen whether she will be interacting with his more established characters.

Up and coming British author Gilly Macmillan will be switching from standalones to a police procedural with a new character entitled Odd Child Out (in stock in trade paperback).

One of the more notable changes takes place with Canadian author Linwood Barclay as he makes his children’s series with Chase (in stock in hardcover), a book, quite traditionally, about a boy and his dog. Fellow Canadian, Jenny Nimmo, best known for her Charlie Bone series is starting anew with Henry and the Guardians of the Lost, also for the younger reader.

Finally, further down the road in 2018, we will be seeing one of the more notable shifts, with Anne Perry not only starting a new series, but doing so with a twentieth century (albeit the early portion). She will be introducing Daniel Pitt, son of Thomas and Charlotte in Twenty One Days (April 2018 in hardcover) .

Recent Women Sleuths by Jack - The Missing Clue - August 2017

Women have always been prominent among the writers of crime fiction; Agatha Christie actually had a character, Ariadne Oliver, who was a female writer that she used as a figure of fun. But apart from Christie who had several female sleuths, the remainder of the Golden Age female writers used male protagonists, often linked to females who were the secondary detectives in many of their books. In more recent times, we can find many females, sometimes cops, more often perhaps private eyes or even professionals connected to the criminal justice system.

Probably the most violent of the authors to be considered in this piece is the South African Jassy Mackenzie, whose character Jade de Jong is taught to shoot by her father beginning at age 13. There is a gap of ten years in Jade’s life, but the hint is that she has done a variety of nasty stuff and she certainly re-enters South Africa with several bangs. Not surprisingly, the villain Jade is after in Random Violence (in stock in trade paperback) has homeowners murdered so that their property can be bought at a rock bottom price. In the end, things get pretty gory.

The American writer Linda Fairstein has created a series featuring an Assistant District Attorney in New York City. Alexandra Cooper likes to keep her nose close to the ground of the cases she technically has nothing to do with. But she occasionally gets caught up in the them. Such is certainly the case in Deadfall (available to order in hardcover) when her boss gets bumped off in her arms. She has two police assistants to help her solve the case.

One of the problems with focusing on gendered authors is that husband and wife teams really mess you up, as in the case of Nicci French (aka, Nicci Gerrard and Sean French). But Frieda Klein is one of my favorite sleuths, working as a psychotherapist which gives her some status in the room without quite turning her into a cop. In Dark Saturday (in stock in trade paperback), Frieda deals with an accusation of murder that has seen a young woman spend 13 years incarcerated for crimes she may or may not have committed. This book is particularly well-plotted with a surprise twist at the end.

Ann Cleeves is one of our more prolific authors. She currently has two series on the go, both now television series as well, one set in the Shetland Islands featuring Detective Jimmy Perez and another set in Northern England featuring DI Vera Stanhope. Vera is by far the more interesting creation. She is older, crankier, and more intuitive than Perez. The two victims in The Moth Catcher (in stock in trade paperback) seem to have in common only a fascination with moths, but it turns out that they have more in common than one might expect. As usual, Vera plunges ahead to come up with a most unlikely solution to a very complicated case.

Margaret Maron began her crime writing career with a series starring a New York Police detective, Sigrid Harald. Sigrid was quirky enough, her boyfriend was a successful artist more than twice her age. At some point in the series Maron moves into the South and shifts her locale and her protagonist. Personally, I always regretted the shift since I found that Judge Deborah Knott was much less interesting than the quirky New York cop that had preceded her. Maron has returned to Sigrid for one last hurrah in Take Out (in stock in hardcover). The famous artist boyfriend is dead (auto accident), leaving Sigrid as executor of his estate. This one has an interesting method of killing: two homeless men are given a free meal which turns out to be dosed with Warfarin. The case leads Sigrid into the thickets of a small New York City neighbourhood which features the widow of a mobster who lives next door to his mistress. It only gets more complicated from there.

Rhys Bowen has specialized for many years in “soft” crime fiction. She set a number of cases in the Highlands of Scotland, but more recently has been extremely successful with her Her Royal Spyness, featuring Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie, an impecunious member of the Royal Family who moves from one job to another in her search for steady employment. In Crowned and Dangerous (in stock in mass market), the latest installment of this very popular series, Lady Georgiana is in the process of eloping with her Irish Catholic boyfriend when the couple is brought up short by the information that Darcy’s father is suspected of murder. Elopement is put on hold while they solve the mystery and away we go!

Mystery Reading Club - The Missing Clue - October 2017

The theme for Fall 2017 will be France.  The books are available for purchase in store now. New members are cordially invited to join the fun.

Tuesday, October 24th – Murder in the Marais by Cara Black

Tuesday, November 28th – The Three Evangelists by Fred Vargas

We know that some non-members of the group do read the assigned titles. If you would like to have the questions that Jack writes, please let Wendy know (via email, phone, or in person). Books will be available for purchase at the store and feature a 10% discount.

The Missing Clue - June 2017 - What Wendy is Reading

I think it is impossible to find a series, where one likes every title. Although interestingly enough, readers do not necessarily agree on which titles are disappointing. I have sometimes had to hold my tongue when customers say how much they enjoyed a title when I hated it and vice versa. Sometimes it is difficult to go back to the series after a disappointing read. I have just finished reading the latest Elly Griffith book, The Chalk Pit (9th in the Ruth Galloway series, HC $39) and I really enjoyed it. I thought that the previous title The Woman in Blue was also excellent. If you have not read this series it is well worth a try. The main character is an archaeologist based in Norfolk in England.

Anthony Horowitz is an author I had not read before, but I really enjoyed his latest offering The Magpie Murders (TP, $22.99). It has an interesting construct in that there is a novel inside a novel. There is a classic village murder ala Agatha Christie built around a contemporary whodunit.

In a different vein is Sarah Perry's The Essex Serpent. The book, set in London in 1893, starts when Cora Seaborne is widowed. She has for much of her marriage to lawyer Michael Seaborne been a square peg in a round hall. His death liberates her and with her son Francis, and her maid/companion Martha she retreats to Colchester to pursue her interest in palaeontology. There she hears about the mythical Essex Serpent and then as they say the plot thickens.

Back to where I started this piece, the question of series. I have just rediscovered (thanks to our used shelves) a series that I used to enjoy very much, Janet Laurence’s ‘Darina Lisle’ series. The main character is a food writer. Summer is a good time to try new things and the used shelves are an excellent place to start. Thanks to a few customers who have been downsizing we have a number of almost complete runs of series. So you can either try something new or fill in any gaps in a series that you love or have like me with the Janet Laurence series lost track of.

The Missing Clue - February 2017 - Murder and Publishing by Wendy

One of the advantages of owning a book store is getting what are called ARCs (Advanced Readers Copies) In box that recently arrived there was a copy of a new book by Judith Flanders. One of my favorite books of 2016 was her A Murder of Magpies, the first title in a series set in a small publishing house based in London. Judith Flanders was born in England but grew up in Montreal. After university, she worked for 17 years as an editor in various UK publishing houses. Before venturing into fiction, she wrote a number of nonfiction books, including the 2011, The Invention of Murder. The subtitle of which was ‘How the Victorians Revelled in Death and Detection and Invented Modern Crime’. The main character in A Murder of Magpies, Sam Clair, is an editor. The character is believable and obviously the setting rings true. There are two further titles in the series, A Bed of Scorpions, (tp $22.99 due February 7th) and A Cast of Vultures (hc $36.99 due February 21st). If I have not tried to sell you A Murder of Magpies please think of trying it and if I have sold it to you A Bed of Scorpions is arriving imminently.

I went on to think about other titles that were set in publishing. P.D. James set Original Sin in the headquarters of the Peverell Press an old established publishing house. The offices are housed in a nineteenth century mock Venetian palace which is set on the banks of the River Thames in Wapping, London. Adam Dalgliesh works his usual magic to ferret out the murderer. We have a copy in used mass market (at time of press).

Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling) also ventured into publishing in the second Cormoran Strike novel, Silkworm. It soon becomes clear to Cormoran Strike that what starts off as a bread and butter missing persons case, (missing author, worried wife, but he has done this before), is not straightforward. The author Owen Quine has just submitted a manuscript to his publishers which is full of less than charitable, easily recognizable portraits of people he knows. The publication of which is bound to cause mayhem if not worse. The discovery of Quine’s body leads Cormoran Strike into another murder investigation. I have really liked this series and hope that there will be another title soon. There have been rumours that one is coming but no definite date or title yet. We have the mass market in new in stock.

Another British series set in a publishing house is written by Julie Kaewert. The Plumtree Press is another well-established publishing house based in London. In Unsolicited, the first title in the series, the press is struggling to stay afloat but is about to publish what seems to be going to be a worldwide blockbuster. Unfortunately, the author goes missing with the last five chapters and a critic previewing the novel suggests that this is not fiction at all...It is left to Alex Plumtree, the present head of the company to sort it all out. There are six titles in this series and we have book #4 Untitled in new mass market and book #5 Unsigned in new and used mass market.

The main character in Barbara Rogan’s A Dangerous Fiction, (tp$17) is Jo Donovan a literary agent. Donovan is the senior partner is a prestigious New York literary agency as well as the widow of a famous American writer, Hugo Donovan. A disgruntled would be author begins to stalk Jo and then some of her authors, when added to an about to be published tell all, unauthorized biography of her dead husband and jealousies and rivalries in the company, our heroine has her hands full. We have A Dangerous Fiction in stock in new trade paperback.

Set in California, Marlys Millhiser’s main character is literary agent Charlie Green. Not all the titles in this series are involved with authors or publishing but they do provide a backdrop to the busy detecting life of this amateur sleuth mom. We have book #2, Death of the Office Witch, and book #3, Murder in a Hot Flash, in used mass market.

The Missing Clue - February 2017 - What I'm Reading by Sian

You’d know it if you saw me on my recent visit in January, but I’m expecting my first baby due in May. Needless to say, I’m trying to get in as much reading as possible before life is disrupted.

Our copies of The Hanging Tree by Ben Aaronovitch in mass market should be en route, but Mum surprised Michael and I with the UK hardcover edition, as she knows I like a good read on Boxing Day. I’m happy to say that I wasn’t in the least disappointed, although I did share some of Michael’s confusion about certain plot points mentioned. Turns out they were featured in the graphic novels, which have entirely original plotlines. We’ve got those in stock now though for anyone who needs to get caught up. I might recommend at least a reread of Foxglove Summer (book #6) as it was an awfully long time ago and took me awhile to get back up to speed.

It took us awhile, but we finally got our copies of Mary Russell’s War by Laurie R. King. This is a collection of short stories set in Mary Russell’s universe, some (2) of which have been published as e-originals and some (7) of which are new. They are by no means required reading if you read the series, but they do a nice job of filling in the blanks between books, in particularly Russell and Holmes actual wedding. There will be no new Mary Russell in 2017, so this is your shot at new content. You might read them as they belong in the series as part of a reread or all in one go. There should be a new Mary Russell in 2018 if King herself is to be believed. The Murder of Mary Russell is also coming in trade paperback in March. This wasn’t my favorite, but mostly because I don’t particularly care about Mrs. Hudson’s back story. If you do, you’ll certainly be pleased and intrigued.

I was on the hunt for new series to read as a distraction on Inauguration Day and found Design for Dying by Renee Patrick, a new series featuring the fictitious Lillian Frost and real-life costume designer Edith Head. This is a fun story set in 1930s Hollywood. We have it in stock in hardcover with the trade coming in May. Book #2, Dangerous to Know, is coming in hardcover in April. I was lucky enough to read an ARC but wasn’t quite as captivated due to the plotline surrounding Nazi sympathizers, which was suddenly a little too reminiscent of ongoing political issues for my liking.

We don’t generally like to recommend new series/authors in hardcover because we know it’s a big ask of you and your wallet, but I keep track of the ones that are worth it so I can call them out when they arrive in a more affordable trade paperback edition. A Murder in Time by Julie McElwain is one such title. Kendra Donovan is a hotshot FBI agent who somehow finds herself back in time in a 19th century English castle trying to solve a murder while pretending to be a lady’s maid. It took me a while to warm up to it, but by the end I was thoroughly enjoying myself. This book comes in trade paperback in April with a second book in hardcover A Twist in Time coming in April as well.

Kate Locke’s ‘The Immortal Empire’ is an odd little series that I read some years back in its original hardcover editions. We’ve got the first book God Save the Queen now in mass market with books 2 and 3 coming in February and March respectively. It’s a paranormal steampunk romance featuring humans, goblins, and British royalty. I would say it’s a bit grittier than Gail Carriger’s ‘Soulless’ series but well written and a fun read.

As to what I’m hoping to read before the baby’s born, I have book #5 in Gregory Harris’s ‘Colin Pendragon’ series The Endicott Evil in March. If you like Will Thomas or C.S. Harris, this series is very much in that vein. We’ve got books 2, 3, and 4 in stock in trade paperback. And speaking of C.S. Harris, book #12 in the ‘Sebastian St. Cyr’ series, Where the Dead Lie, is coming in hardcover in April. Sadly, book #11 When Falcons Fall is now coming in trade paperback rather than mass market. If you were holding out for a mass market, it doesn’t look like you’ll get one.

It’s a few years now since I judged the Arthur Ellis Award for best first novel, but I’m happy to say several books I enjoyed reading them have made it into series. Book #4 in Steve Burrows ‘Birder Murder Mystery’ series, A Shimmer of Hummingbirds, is coming in trade paperback in March and book #3 in Janet Brons ‘Forsyth and Hay’ series, Measured for Murder, is coming in trade paperback in April. The Burrows series features a Canadian DCI and is set in the UK while the Brons features an RCMP officer and a Scotland Yard DCI joining forces to solve crimes facing the Canadian community in London. That I can get beyond the birds in the Burrows is a miracle, although I am hoping that he applied the Bechdel test to this new book, as I found the really interesting female characters he has developed a little too focused on their menfolk.

Finally, I have to stop dragging it out and finish Elizabeth Peters ‘Amelia Peabody’ series. I’ve been savouring them and have four to go, but we just discovered that Joan Hess has completed the final book of the series, The Painted Queen, and it will be released in hardcover in July.

The Missing Clue - February 2017 - Bits and Bobs by Wendy

Feeling pretty excited as I have just received a packing slip that shows that Deborah Crombie’s new novel, The Garden of Lamentation, is about to be shipped. This is the 17th title in the Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James series. It has been too long (almost three years) since the previously published title in this series, To Dwell in Darkness. This remains one of my favourite series. We’ve got books 1,2, 6-10, 12, 14, and 15 in stock in a combination of new and used, mass market and trade paperback.

It is sometimes interesting how publishing works. Suddenly there will be a number of new books with the same theme/ background. Just recently we have received two new books by different authors set in Scotish bookshops. Shelton Paige’s, The Cracked Spine, (mm $10.99) is set in Edinburgh and is the first in a new series by this author. Molly Macrae has left the Haunted Yarn Shop and her new series is called Highland Bookshop Mystery. The first title is Plaid and Plagiarism (hc$34.95). We’ve got both in stock.

The Missing Clue - February 2017 - Crossover Crime Fiction by Jack

When you think about the contents of the Whodunit Mystery Bookstore, there are two possible ways of looking at it: one is that it’s a specialty bookstore with a very limited range of books, the other is that it is a specialty bookstore with an extremely wide range of books, stretching from Agatha Christie-type whodunits to cookie baker cozies to Sherlock Holmes to great spy novels to books set in about 50 different countries to steam punk and beyond. As co-proprietor, I choose to think of the store in its latter conceptualization. Moreover, the shop features an interesting assortment of “crossover” titles that defy easy categorization. In this category, I would put a fairly substantial number of books that involve fantasy elements about crime detection. The sort of books I mean are mainly British in origin; the Americans don’t need any fantasy about FF since they have Donald Trump.

For the most part the typical fantasy book involves a large dose of magic. Take Douglas Adams’ The Long Dark Teatime of the Soul, for example. Adams made his international reputation with his space fantasy series The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, but followed this success with a detective series featuring Dirk Gently. The second volume of Gently, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul, opens with the mysterious explosion of an airline ticket kiosk and follows the adventures of several elderly gods through the British private healthcare system, with all sorts of zany blackouts owing much to Monty Python along the way. We’ve got The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul in stock in new trade paperback and book #1 in the series, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, on order. Netflix’s dramatization of the series is available on, where else, Netflix in an initial 5 episode season.

There are robots. Adam Christopher’s Made to Kill stars the World’s last robot, Raymond Electromatic, formerly a private eye and now a hit man for hire. One day a beautiful young woman appears in his office with a bagful of gold bars and a job. He and his controller, a compute named Ada, are off and running in sixties Hollywood. We’ve got the book in stock in hardcover in new. Book #2, Killing is My Business, comes in hardcover in July.

Then there is George Mann’s The Affinity Bridge, a steampunk novel set in 19th-century London. The main task at hand it the investigation of the crash of an automated airship, although there are also strangulations by a mysterious bobby and a plague of zombies that must be resolved. There are four books in the series thus far and we’ve got them all in stock in new trade paperback. Book #5 comes in hardcover in January 2018.

I am personally very fond of police procedurals investigated by special units devoted to paranormal goings-on. These are always British. Perhaps the best illustration of this sub-genre is by Ben Aaronovitch. The first in a series of books by Aaronovitch is called Midnight Riot (or Rivers of London, in the UK, we have had both in stock) and features PC Peter Grant with the assistance of Lesley May who have been co-opted to the Economic and Specialist Crime Unit 9, a Scotland Yard unit also known as ‘The Folly’ headed by a wizard named Inspector Thomas Nightingale. The Folly is one of a number of fictional British crime units in these kinds of books devoted to the supernatural. Grant is a biracial young constable with magical capabilities who has come to the Force’s attention by successfully interviewing a ghost. This act sets off a series of actions and incredible events which stretch across six books and two graphic novels (i.e. expensive comic books). We’ve got all six books in stock in new mass market, The Hanging Tree (book #7) is on the way also in mass market, and the graphic novels in stock too.

After Aaronovitch comes Charles Stross, who has written eight novels in the ‘Laundry’ series. The Laundry is a British government agency along the lines of MI5 or MI6 which specializes in the paranormal. Stross has gotten more ambitious as he has gone along and his latest effort The Nightmare Stacks involves an invasion (called here an intrusion) into the British countryside around Leeds by a small army of extraterrestrials. We don’t currently have any in stock, but can order the first six titles in the series in mass market and The Nightmare Stacks in hardcover.

Guy Adams’ novel The Clown Service – that is what his British government agency consisting of one old man and a younger assistant recently sent there is nicknamed– also deals with the paranormal. So far there are three novels (also The Rain Soaked Bride and A Few Words for the Dead) and undoubtedly more will follow. We’ve got all three in stock in new trade paperback.

A recent entrant into this world of paranormal crime detection is Oscar de Muriel The Strings of Murder which is set in 1888 Edinburgh and features a Scotland Yard Inspector investigating under the cover of a made-up department specializing in the paranormal. We’ve got this first book in the series in new trade paperback. Books #2 and #3 seem to be coming this spring.

Saving the best for last: the master of modern fantasy is the recently deceased Terry Pratchett. One of his best novels of crime investigation is The Hogfather. The main crime is the kidnapping of a figure much like Santa Claus. His disappearance leaves a gaping hole in the world of belief which is very hard to fill. An enlarged tooth fairy just doesn’t hack it. The major investigator is Death’s granddaughter, a gal who is very handy with a frying pan to battle creatures under the bed of the children she looks after. We’ve got a copy in stock in new mass market. We can also recommend the film adaptation, available on DVD, starring Michelle Dockery of Downtown Abbey fame as Susan, Death’s granddaughter.

Fantasy really requires no more suspension of belief than sf novels about space travel. Try it sometime.

The Missing Clue - December 2016 - Recent Bestsellers

1.    Peter Robinson, When the Music's Over      
2.    Alexander McCall Smith, Precious and Grace          
3.    Alan Bradley, Thrice the Brindled Cat Hath Mewed
4.    Joanne Fluke, Christmas Caramel Murder   
5.    Ian Rankin, Rather Be the Devil        

Trade Paper
1.    Susan Ellia Macneal, The Queen's Accomplice
2.    Kate Ellis, The House of Eyes
3.    Stephen Booth, Secrets of Death          
4.    Allan Levine, The Bootlegger's Confession  
5.    Gord Downie, Secret Path                

Mass Market
1.    Sheila Connolly, Seeds of Deception         
2.    Sofie Kelly, Paws and Effect            
3.    Laura Childs, Parchment and Old Lace      
4.    Victoria Abbott, The Hammett Hex     
5.    Leslie Budewitz, Killing Thyme              

1.    Ian Rankin, Rather Be The Devil
2.    Ann Perry, A Christmas Message
3.    P.D. James, Mistletoe, Murder & Other Stories
4.    Charles Finch, The Inheritance
5.    Lee Child, Night School

Trade Paper
1.    Allan Levine, The Bootlegger’s Confession
2.    Ann Cleaves, Cold Earth
3.    Peter May, The Critic
4.    Andrea Camilleri, A Voice in the Night
5.    Charles Todd, No Shred of Evidence

Mass Market
1.    Victoria Thompson, Murder on St. Nicholas Avenue
2.    Shirley Rousseau Murphy, Cat Shout for Joy
3.    Vicki Delany, We Wish You A Murderous Christmas
4.    Kate Carlisle, Deck the Hallways
5.    Michael Connelly, The Crossing

The Missing Clue - December 2016 - Gift Guide: If They Liked This, They Might Like That

One of the most frequent requests we get over the holiday shopping season is to make a recommendation for a friend or loved one. We have our favourites of course, as seen in our picks for 2016, but we’re also happy to help you find another title. A Whodunit gift card is always appreciated, but for those times you’d like to make sure your giftee (or you!) has something under the tree they can read right away, we can offer some guidance. If you know they like a theme or genre, we can direct you to something similar they might like as much or more! The list as follows is based on our bestselling titles in Whodunit for 2016.

This: Set in a remote location like Peter May’s ‘Enzo Macleod Investigation’ or ‘Lewis Trilogy’
That: We’ve seen an influx of series set in remote locations in the British Isles and North Atlantic, most popular of which has been Peter May’s two series. May fans will also enjoy Chris Ould’s ‘Faroes’ series with The Blood Strand and upcoming The Killing Bay (February 2017) and Ann Cleeve’s ‘Shetland’ series which now numbers 7 titles, most recently Cold Earth. Next time you see Jack, as him about his time in the Hebrides (no murder, but he did lose his luggage).

This: Quirky and witty like The Trouble with Goats and Sheep and A Murder of Magpies
That: Wendy is your resident expert for matters quirky and witty, so any of her recommendations will be winners. Another series worth trying (if you haven’t already) via Jack’s recommendation is Alan Bradley’s ‘Flavia de Luce’ books. We’ve got all 8 titles in stock, including the most recent hardcover Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew'd.

This: British Historical Cozy (20th Century) like Rhys Bowen’s ‘Her Royal Spyness’ series
That: If you’ve seen the new Netflix series The Crown, you’ll know that royalty and politics have often been intertwined. If you don’t mind switching your focus from the palace to No. 10, Bowen fans will enjoy Susan Elia Macneal’s ‘Maggie Hope’ series. We’ve got all six titles in store, including the most recent trade paperback The Queen’s Accomplice.

This: Female sleuth like in Sue Grafton’s ‘Kinsey Millhone’ or Sara Paretsky’s ‘V.I. Warshawski’ series
That: We’ve got lots of options for female sleuths, but a more recent (British) addition to the genre is Kerry Wilkinson’s ‘Jessica Daniel’ series. We’ve got a handful in store.

This: Scottish police procedural like Ian Rankin’s ‘John Rebus’ series
That: Here’s another genre where you’ve got lots of options, but might we suggest Denise Mina? She’s got three series, but we mostly have her ‘Alex Morrow’ series, with several titles in new and used.

This: British Police Procedural written by a Canadian author like Peter Robinson’s ‘Inspector Banks’ series
That: Steve Burrows is a Canadian author whose ‘Birder Murder Mystery’ series is a police procedural set in the UK (albeit with a Canadian Chief Inspector). Don’t let the bird theme put you off, the bird-phobic Bumsted who shall remain nameless was the series biggest fan! We’ve got the first three books in store.

This: Historical Espionage like Gavin Scott’s The Age of Treachery
That: Jack is your man to talk to about spy fiction. Some of his favourites include Aly Monroe’s ‘Peter Cotton’ series (although all the titles are proving a little hard to get, we’ve got Washington Shadow in stock) and Ariana Franklin’s standalone City of Shadows. Wendy would also add Jane Thynne’s ‘Clara Vine’ series (she is married to Philip Kerr, another Jack favourite), of which we have several.


This: Food themed cozy like Joanne Fluke’s ‘Hannah Swenson series’
That: Stand in front of our ‘New in Mass Market’ shelf, stick out your hand, and you’ll no doubt grab a cozy with food as part of the theme. But if you want a specific recommendation, try JoAnna Carl’s ‘Chocaholic’ series, which has an equally sweet backlist and lots of fun holiday tie-ins.

This: British Historical Cozy (Victorian) like Emily Brightwell’s ‘Mrs Jeffries’ series
That: We’re coming up on book #36 in the Mrs. Jeffries series, but we’d like to offer the first in a brand-new series as something else to try. Kate Saunders’ The Secrets of Wishtide launches the ‘Laetitia Rodd Mystery Series’ with more books to come.

This: Canadian Female Sleuth like Gail Bowen’s ‘Joanne Kilbourn’ series
That: Joanne Kilbourn started as a reluctant amateur sleuth whereas the protagonist in Janet Brons ‘Forsyth and Hay’ series, RCMP Inspector Liz Forsyth, is a professional detective, but both these series feature strong and interesting Canadian women solving crimes (it is 2016, afterall). We’ve got the first two Brons in stock.

This: Modern British cozy like Hazel Holt’s ‘Sheila Malory’ series
That: Sadly, Hazel Holy passed away in 2015 so there will be no further ‘Sheila Malory’ titles. Still, Rebecca Tope’s ‘Thea Osborne’ and ‘Lake District Mysteries’ series can both ably fill the void.

This: Post War WWI like Jacqueline Winspear’s ‘Maisie Dobbs’ series
That: This is an easy one! Jacqueline Winspear fans will find that Charles Todd’s ‘Bess Crawford’ series fits like a (medical) glove. We’ve got the most recent titles in store.  A post WWII equivalent would be Iona Whishaw’s Lane Winslow series. We have the first title, A Killer in King’s Cove, in stock.

This: Historical with an unusual female sleuth like Darcie Wilde’s ‘Rosalind Thorne’ series
That: Of course, you may not have realized you wanted to read a historical mystery with an unusual female sleuth (Sian’s specialty), in which case you’d start with An Unusual Woman, her book of the year. But assuming you loved that book, why not try Caro Peacock’s ‘Liberty Lane’ series or Deanna Raybourn’s newest ‘Veronica Speedwell’ series?

This: Unusual British male sleuth(s) like Christopher Fowler’s ‘Bryant and May’ series
That: Why, Michael’s book of the year The Vinyl Detective Mysteries: Written in Dead Wax by Andrew Cartmel will fit the bill perfectly here. Other options would include store favorites Ben Aaronovitch and Michael Robertson.

This: Historical with romantic partners as sleuths like Anne Perry’s ‘Charlotte and Thomas Pitt’ series
That: There are more of these to choose from than you might think, but our resident expert Sian recommends particularly C.S. Harris’s ‘Sebastian St. Cyr’ series as well as book of the year author Tasha Alexander’s ‘Lady Emily’ series and Deanna Raybourn’s ‘Lady Julia Grey’ series.

This: Atmospheric modern European detective fiction like Donna Leon’s ‘Guido Brunetti’ series
That: Andrea Camilleri’s ‘Inspector Montalbano’ and Cara Black’s ‘Aimee Leduc’ series are both well established players in the genre. We’ve got lots of both in stock.

This: “Grip Lit” like Paula Hawkin’s The Girl on the Train
That: The great thing about psychological thrillers is that they are often standalone novels, so you don’t need to commit to a whole series or track down the first book. Might we suggest Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris or The Girls in the Garden by Lisa Jewell?

The Missing Clue - December 2016 - Mystery Reading Club Winter Session

The book club will be spending the winter examining Asian Historical crime fiction. New members are cordially invited to join the fun.

Tuesday, January 31st – Elsa Hart, Jade Dragon Mountain

Tuesday, February 28th – I.J. Parker, The Dragon Scroll

Tuesday, March 28th – M.J. Carter, The Strangler Vine

I know that some non-members of the group do read the assigned titles. If you would like to have the questions that Jack writes, please let Wendy know (via email, phone, or in person). Books will be available for purchase at the store and feature a 10% discount. Questions for discussion should be available a few weeks before the meeting.

The Missing Clue - December 2016 - Allan Levine at Whodunit

We were very pleased that Allan Levine could come to Whodunit on Sunday, November 27th to read from his new book and to sign books. The Bootlegger’s Confession is the first title in a new trilogy set in Winnipeg featuring private detective Sam Klein. Klein appeared in Levine’s earlier trilogy which began with the The Blood Libel. The Bootlegger’s Confession is set in 1922, three years after Prohibition had become law in the United States and by this time the business of moving liquor south across the 49th parallel had become entrenched on the prairies.  In talking about how he wrote the book Allan made it clear how much his fiction writing benefited from his work as a historian. A thoroughly entertaining, illuminating and enjoyable afternoon.

For those unable to make the event we do have autographed copies available for sale in the store.