It's a Mystery - Looking Back and Ahead

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Time to take a brief look back at 2013 -


Mystery authors we lost this past year:


Robert Barnard, age 76.  This British crime writer authored 40 mysteries.  From the New York Times: "Mr. Barnard called his work "entertainment" and "deliberately old-fashioned."  His murders, set mainly in small villages drolly christened with names like "Hexton-on-Weir" and "Twytching," were plotted with an ingenuity and precision that made him popular among aficionados of what is known in publishing as the English cozy - mysteries with a picturesque setting, colorful locals and minimal violence."


Leighton Gage, age 71.  Mr. Gage, a former advertising agent, published his first novel when he was 66.  He is best known for his mystery series set in Brazil featuring Chief Inspector Mario Silva of the Federal Police.


Barbara Mertz, age 85.  Besides using her own name, this American author wrote under the pseudonyms of Barbara Michaels and Elizabeth Peters.  She always wanted to be an Egyptologist, but writing became her love.  On her website she said, "Mertz writes nonfiction on archaeology, Michaels writes thrillers, many with a supernatural element, and Peters focuses on mystery suspense."  Our mystery section has most of her Elizabeth Peters novels featuring Amelia Peabody.


and these authors of note:


Tom Clancy, age 66.  Clancy is best known for his espionage and military storylines set during and after the Cold War, many featuring CIA analyst Jack Ryan.  A number of his titles have been made into movies and video games, including the very popular The Hunt for Red October.  His books are in our Fiction and Non-Fiction sections.


Vince Flynn, age 47.  Best-selling author Flynn wrote political thrillers featuring his immensely popular character, CIA agent Mitch Rapp.  We have his titles in our Fiction section.


Elmore Leonard, passed away in August, 2013 at the age of 87.  The New York Times described him as "a novelist who made crime an art and his bad guys 'fun'".  You can find his books in Fiction and Mystery.


As mentioned in an earlier blog, the biggest mystery story of 2013 was the publishing of The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith, pseudonym of J.K. Rowling.  It has been extremely popular, with excellent reviews.  On her website, Rowling has stated that she has finished the sequel and that she expects it to be published next year (not sure if she means 2014 or 2015, though).  Good news for the mystery fans who enjoyed the first title.


Looking ahead -


One blog I read recently, World of the Written Word by author Joan Druett, mentioned that the magazine Library Journal will be previewing upcoming mysteries in their April 15, 2014 issue.  Besides focusing on new titles being published between April and November, 2014, they are also looking at the mystery genre itself and the status of these trends:  the popularity of international crime fiction, women sleuths, animal mysteries (investigators with dog and cat partners), historical mysteries (and the effect of the upcoming centennial of the beginning of WWI), and business and techno-thrillers.  I'll keep you posted on the magazine's report.


Here are some soon-to-be released Mysteries by popular authors:


Beaton, M.C. - Death of a Policemen - the 29th full-length novel featuring Scotland's Sgt. Hamish Macbeth (2/25/2014).

Brody, Frances - Murder in the Afternoon - the third in this very popular series about Kate Shackleton, a private investigator whose husband is MIA in WWI England.

Fluke, Joanne - Blackberry Pie Murder - Hannah Swenson's 17th adventure in Lake Eden, Minnesota, including receipes. (2/18/2014).

Jance, J. A. - Moving Target - one of three popular series by Jance, this ninth mystery featuring Ali Reynolds, has the ex-reporter involved in preparations for her wedding, as well as solving mysteries of the past and present.  (2/18/2014).

Nesbo, Jo - Cockroaches: The Second Inspector Harry Hole Novel.  A number of international series that are translated for the U.S. market are done so out of the series' chronological order.  Thus, this is the second title in the series, but the 10th to be published in the U.S. (2/11/2014).

Robb, J.D. - Concealed in Death - Robb's (Nora Roberts) 38th Lt. Eve Dallas mystery involves multiple bodies found in a long-abandoned building being demolished by her husband.

Robertson, Michael - Moriarty Returns a Letter: A Baker Street Mystery.  Brothers Reggie and Nigel Heath share law offices on Baker Street in London and are required by their lease to answer any letters written to the fictional Sherlock Holmes at their address.  This is the fourth entry in the popular series.


WPPL has plenty of mysteries to help ease you through another Cleveland winter.  Enjoy!

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