Mystery Author of the Month

Sherlock Holmes

Who knew that there were so many mysterious people in Liberty and Montville? Mystery is the most popular section at the Liberty Library. So we decided to feature a Mystery Author of the Month. One of our volunteers chooses the author and puts the books on display.

This month features psychological thriller writer ...

Jeffery Deaver April, 2014
Deaver wrote his first book when he was eleven and has been writing ever since. A former journalist and folksinger, he practiced law for a large Wall Street firm for a time before embarking on a career as best-selling novelist.  His most popular series features Lincoln Rhyme, a quadriplegic detective, and Amelia Sachs. Learn more at www.jefferydeaver.com Jeffery Deaver
Charles Finch March, 2014
Charles Finch

Charles Finch (born 1980) is an American author of historical mystery novels set in Victorian era England. Born in New York City, he graduated from Yale University and the University of Oxford, from which he holds a degree in Renaissance English Literature. He lives in Chicago. The books in his Charles Lenox series of mystery novels:

A Beautiful Blue Death, 2007
The September Society, 2008
The Fleet Street Murders, 2009
A Stranger in Mayfair, 2010
A Burial at Sea, 2011
A Death in the Small Hours, 2012
An Old Betrayal, 2013
The Last Enchantments, 2014

“Vividly capturing the essence of Victorian England, Finch presents us with a unique sleuth who combines the deductive powers of Sherlock Holmes with the people skills of Thomas Pitt.” —Library Journal (starred review)

Follow him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/charlesfinchauthor

Mysteries from Abroad February, 2014

Be an armchair traveler and mystery sleuth with some Mystery books with settings from different countries around the world:

Travel to Paris, France in Murder in the Marais by Cara Black - dauntless private investigator Aimee Leduc is confronted with deciphering an encrypted photograph from the '40s and deliver it to an old woman in the Marais (the historic Jewish quarter of Paris). When Aimee arrives to present the photo, she finds the woman dead, a swastika carved into her forehead.

In Sweden, Kurt Wallander investigates the strange case of a lawyer who is hit over the head while driving home at night and stops to investigate an effigy sitting in a chair in the middle of the highway in The Man who Smiled by Henning Mankell.

If you haven't traveled to Botswana yet with Alexander McCall Smith"s The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, you are in for a treat as Mma Ramotswe's love of Africa is conveyed through her wisdom and humor.

A little closer to home, in Still Life by Louise Penny, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Surêté du Québec and his team of investigators are called in to the scene of a suspicious death in a rural village south of Montreal.

There are more countries to visit at the library. Check them out. And remember, wherever you go, take a good book with you!

John Sandford January, 2014

John Sandford, pseudonym of John Roswell Camp, is the author of thirty-one novels, all of which have appeared on the New York Times Best-Seller lists. In 1989, Camp wrote two novels - The Fool's Run (Kidd series) was published under his own name, but the publisher asked him to provide a pseudonym for Rules of Prey (Prey series) so it was published under the name "John Sandford". Camp is a Civil War buff, and chose the name Sandford after his paternal great-grandfather, Henry Sandford, who fought in the Union Army. After the Prey series proved to be more popular, all of his books have been published under John Sandford.

John Sandford

Camp has a variety of interests other than writing: archaeology, photography, hunting, fishing, canoeing, golfing, and skiing. Having lived for many years in Minnesota, the setting for the Prey series, he recently moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico. His wife, Susan, died of metastasized breast cancer in May, 2007. For a list of his books, see his website.

John D. MacDonald December, 2013

John D. MacDonaldJohn Dann MacDonald (1916–1986) was named a grandmaster of the Mystery Writers of America in 1972. He wrote 78 books, including the famous Travis McGee series, many set in his adopted home of Florida. His writing has earned the praise of the best writers around:   

"...the great entertainer of our age, and a mesmerizing storyteller."  -Stephen King

"...a dominant influence on writers crafting the continuing series character." -Sue Grafton

"...my favorite novelist of all time." -Dean Koontz         

While the library has only three of his books, we would like to acquire more. Do you have some on your private bookshelf that you would like to donate? Hopefully by introducing MacDonald as our Mystery Author of the Month, he will gain even more fans. There is a website devoted to John D. MacDonald books at jdmhomepage.org and an interesting newspaper clipping about him at the library.
Robert B. Parker November, 2013

Robert Brown Parker (September 17, 1932 – January 18, 2010) was born and raised in Massachusetts and graduated from Colby College in Maine. Parker was 77 when he died of a heart attack at his home in Cambridge, Massachsetts. Between 1973 and 2011, he published nearly 70 books and is best known for his bestselling detective series—those featuring Spenser, Jesse Stone or Sunny Randall. His characters live on in books written by other authors and published posthumously. For more information, see his website at www.robertbparker.net

Robert B. Parker
Tom Clancy October, 2013
Tom ClancyTom Clancy is best known for his technically detailed espionage and military science storylines set during and in the aftermath of the Cold War. He was born in 1947 in Baltimore, Maryland. While at Loyola College, he tried to join the Army Reserves but was ineligible to serve due to his nearsightedness. He worked in the insurance business and wrote books on the side. His first book was The Hunt For Red October (1985). He went on to write seventeen #1 New York Times bestselling novels. Command Authority will be available on December 3rd. Clancy died on October 1, 2013, of an undisclosed illness. He was a part-owner of the Baltimore Orioles. See a list of his books at his website www.tomclancy.com.
"I don't remember the title, September, 2013
but the cover was BLACK..."
Have you ever wanted to find a book and the only thing you remembered about it was the color of the book? Well, this month's Mystery books all have BLACK covers. Come check them out. You might say they are Noir Mysteries ...
Maine Mystery Authors August, 2013

Maine is the home of a number of mystery writers, as evidenced in the Maine Crime Writers blog. This month you have an oportunity to meet two of our famous fellow Maine residents.

Tess Gerritsen - August 9th, 6:00 PM at the Maine State Library in Augusta. Ms. Gerritsen's latest series of novels featuring homicide detective Jane Rizzoli and medical examiner Maura Isles inspired TNT television series "Rizzoli & Isles" starring Angie Harmaon and Sasha Alexander, and during her talk on August 9, she'll share insights into her character development of Rizzoli and Isles as well as answer questions from attendees. Following her book talk, Ms. Gerritsen will sign copies of her new book, Last to Die: A Rizzoli & Isles Novel. For more information, click Maine.gov or www.tessgerritsen.com. Also see #Tess Gerritsen below.

David Rosenfelt - August 8th, 11:00 AM Maine Coast Bookstore in Damriscotta. Rosenfelt has written fourteen novels and three TV movies. His main character in most of his mystery books is Andy Carpenter, attorney and dog lover. He describes himself as "a novelist with 27 dogs" and his recent memoir, Daytripping, is a moving account of a cross-country move from California to Maine, and the beginnings of a dog rescue foundation. For more information www.davidrosenfelt.com or Maine Coast Book Shop and Cafe.

A Prize Giveaway! We are giving away a signed copy of The Sinner by Tess Gerritsen this month. Just put your name and phone number in the can at the library. The drawing will be at the end of the month.

Edgar Award Winners July, 2013

The Edgar AwardsEach Spring, Mystery Writers of America present the Edgar® Awards, widely acknowledged to be the most prestigious awards in the genre. The Liberty Library has the following winning books for borrow:

  • Novel - Live by Night by Dennis Lehane
  • Best First Novel - The Expats by Chris Pavone
  • Best Original Paperback - The Last Policeman: A Novel by Ben H. Winters
  • Best Fact Crime - Midnight in Peking: How the Murder of a Young Englishwoman Haunted the Last Days of Old China by Paul French
  • Best short Story - "The Unremarkable Heart" - Mystery Writers of America Presents: Vengeance by Karin Slaughter
  • Young Adult - Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
  • Mary Higgins Clark - The Other Woman by Hank Phillippi Ryan

Click here for a list of all the winners and nominees.

Murder in Maine! June, 2013

Maine is generally known for its quiet lifestyle, but this summer there is danger afoot in the Pine Tree state. Maine Game Warden, Mike Bowdich, is summoned to a rustic cabin while investigating a notorious drug dealer. (Bad Little Falls by Paul Dorian). An overbearing land developer is found dead next door to Natalie Barne's quaint bed and breakfast on Cranberry Island. (Murder on the Rocks by Karen MacInerney.) Or examine the grittier side of Maine with Portland detective, Joe Burgess as he investigates a child's murder. (The Angel of Knowlton Park by Kate Flora). Travel far downeast to Eastport with Jacobia Triptree, onetime financial advisor to the Mob, who finds an ice pick in the forehead of dead man in the Victorian pile she is in the midst of restoring. (The Dead Cat Bounce: A Home Repair is Homicide Mystery by Sarah Graves). Whatever you find to read this summer, we hope you enjoy it, but keep in mind - Maine can be Murder!

P. D. James May, 2013

Phyllis Dorothy James White, age 92,  is the author of twenty books. She spent thirty years in the British Civil Service, including the Police and Criminal Law Department. James began writing in the mid-1950s. Her first novel, Cover Her Face, featuring the investigator and poet Adam Dalgliesh of New Scotland Yard was published in 1962.  In 2011, her latest book was published - Death Comes to Pemberley, which begins six years after the close of Pride and Prejudice and Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet are happily married and living at Pemberley. If you are interested in becoming a mystery writer, check out the “Mystery Writing Lessons” on her website.

P. D. James
Janet Evanovich April, 2013
Janet Evanovich

Janet Evanovich began her career writing short contemporary romance novels under the pen name Steffie Hall, but gained fame authoring a series of contemporary mysteries featuring Stephanie Plum, a lingerie buyer from Trenton, New Jersey, who becomes a bounty hunter to make ends meet after losing her job. The 19 novels in this series consistently top the bestseller lists, most recently with Notorious Nineteen. Plum 20 is due out in November 2013. She has a fun website at www.evanovich.com with "Stuff for Fans" and a monthly contest for a chance to win a signed copy of one of her books.

John Grisham March, 2013

John GrishamJohn Grisham, Jr. is an American lawyer and author best known for his popular legal thrillers. He practiced law for about a decade and also won election as a Democrat in the Mississippi House of Representatives. His writing career began in 1984 when he was hanging around the court and overheard a 12-year-old girl telling the jury what had happened to her. Three years later, that was the seed for the plot of his first book, A Time to Kill. The book was rejected by 28 publishers. His second novel, The Firm, was published in 1989 and remained on the The New York Times' bestseller list for 47 weeks. His 23rd book, The Racketeer, was published in 2012. His website is jgrisham.com

Dick Francis January, 2013

Dick FrancisAnd we’re off to the races!  Richard Stanley "Dick" Francis (1920-2010) was a British steeplechase jockey whose crime novels center around horse racing in England. Francis wrote more than 40 international best-sellers. He is the only three-time recipient of the Mystery Writers of America's Edgar Award for Best Novel, winning for Forfeit (1970), Whip Hand (1981), and Come To Grief (1996). He collaborated extensively in his fiction with his wife until her death in 2000. Felix Francis, his youngest son, is following in his father's footsteps  with writing thrillers set in the English horse racing world. His most recent book, Dick Francis's Bloodline, was published in October, 2012. Read more about father and son at dickfrancis.com.

Elmore Leonard December, 2012

Elmore LeonardElmore Leonard (born October 11, 1925) is a novelist and screenwriter. His earliest published novels in the 1950s were Westerns, but Leonard went on to specialize in crime fiction and suspense thrillers, many of which have been adapted into motion pictures. Among his best known works are Get Shorty, Out of Sight, and Rum Punch. In 2011 at age 86, he wrote his 45th novel. The National Book Foundation recently gave him its 2012 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters in recognition of his outstanding achievement in fiction writing.

Michael Connelly November, 2012

Michael ConnellyMichael Connelly was born in Philadelphia, PA but later moved with his family to Florida. He majored in journalism at the Univrsity of Florida and eventually landed a job as a crime reporter for the Los Angeles Times. In 1992, Connelly's first novel, The Black Echo, was published. It features LAPD Detective Hieronymus Bosch and is based in part on a true crime that had occurred in Los Angeles. He went on to publish over 20 books, and his latest book, The Black Box, which focuses on Harry Bosch once again, will be released in November 2012. He lives in Florida and can sometimes be seen on the hit TV show Castle playing poker!

The Kellermans September, 2012

Jonathan KellermanJonathan Kellerman is an American psychologist, and Edgar and Anthony Award winning author of numerous bestselling suspense novels. Most of his fictional stories feature the character of Alex Delaware, a child psychologist who consults for the police. Jonathan Kellerman lives in Los Angeles with his wife ...

Faye KellermanFaye Kellerman is the author of mystery novels, in particular the "Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus" series. She attended UCLA where she earned a B.A. in mathematics in 1974. Four years later she received her Doctorate of Dental Surgery degree. Despite her intentions, she has never practiced dentistry. She and her husband have four children.

Jesse KellermanTheir oldest, Jesse Kellerman, is a bestselling novelist and award-winning playwright. He has published four novels: Sunstroke, Trouble, The Genius, and The Executor. He studied psychology at Harvard and playwriting at Brandeis University.

Aliza KellermanTheir youngest, Aliza Kellerman, co-wrote Prism, a young adult novel published in 2009, with her mother. Her sisters, Rachael and Ilana, collaborated with their mother to write the short story, Luck of the Draw, a tale about a family's experience winning the lottery, told from three different points of view.

Tess Gerritsen August, 2012

Tess Gerritsen, child of a Chinese immigrant and Chinese-American seafood chef, grew up in San Diego, CA. A fan of Nancy Drew books as a child, she dreamt of becoming a writer but instead received her medical degree in 1979 and started work as a physician in Honolulu, HI.

While on maternity leave, she began writing again. Tess’s first medical thriller, Harvest, was released in hardcover in 1996, and it marked her debut on the New York Times bestseller list. Her suspense novels since then have been: Life Support (1997), Bloodstream (1998), Gravity (1999), The Surgeon (2001), The Apprentice (2002), The Sinner (2003), Body Double (2004), Vanish (2005), The Mephisto Club (2006), The Bone Garden (2007), The Silent Girl (2011), and her forthcoming Last To Die (August 2012.)

Her series of novels featuring homicide detective Jane Rizzoli and medical examiner Maura Isles inspired the TNT television series “Rizzoli & Isles.”

Tess Gerritsen is married to Jacob Gerritsen, who is also a physician. She has two sons. She enjoys gardening and playing the fiddle. They live in Camden, ME.

Her website is tessgerritsen.com

Paul Doiron & Vickie Doudera          July, 2012
Paul Doiron is the editor in chief of Down East: The Magazine of Maine, Down East Books, and DownEast.com. A native of Maine, he attended Yale University, where he graduated with a degree in English, and he holds an MFA in creative writing from Emerson College. His first book, The Poacher’s Son, was published in 2012 and received numerous awards. Trespasser, was published in 2011. His third book in the Mike Bowditch series, Bad Little Falls, will be out on August 7,2012. Paul is a Registered Maine Guide and lives on a trout stream in coastal Maine. His website is www.pauldoiron.com

A top producing real estate broker, Vicki Doudera writes the acclaimed Darby Farr Mystery Series, starring  smart, savvy, realator Darby Farr. She wrote A House to Die For in 2010, and Killer Listing  in 2011. Her third book in the series, Deadly Offer, came out in April 2012.

Darby's third appearance is just the property for those who want a fast, entertaining read with a diverse cast and appealing setting. - Library Journal

For more information about her books, visit vickidoudera.com

Gerry Boyle & Lea Wait                               June, 2012
Gerry Boyle

A graduate of Colby College and former reporter for the Waterville Sentinel, Gerry Boyle lives in central Maine and writes gripping mysteries with Maine settings. His first novel, Deadline, was published in 1993, followed by nine more books in the Jack McMorrow series: Bloodline (1995), Lifeline (1996), Potshot (1997), Borderline (1998), Cover Story (1999), Pretty Dead (2003), Home Body (2004) and Damaged Goods (2010). Port City Shakedown (2009) and Port City Black and White (2011) are his two Brandon Blake mysteries. Boyle makes frequent visits to libraries around the state. He was at the Liberty Library in 2011. Visit his Gerry Boyle website for a list of events where he will be speaking.

Lea Wait (pronounced Lee) has been a fourth generation antique print dealer since 1977, just as her alter ego, Maggie Summer, is in the Shadows Antique Print Mystery series. Shadows of a Down East Summer (2011) is the fifth book in the series. Wait has also written for children four historical fiction books set in Wiscasset. For more information about her books, visit Lea Wait's website. Lea Wait

Maine Crime Writers is a fun blog about living and writing in Maine. Both Gerry Boyle and Lea Wait are contributing authors.

Donna Leon May, 2012

Donna LeonLeave behind Coben's New Jersey setting and travel to Venice with Donna Leon. Leon's love affair with Italy began in the mid-1960s when she visited for the first time. She returned frequently over the course of the next decade, while working as a teacher in such far-flung paces as Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, England, Iran, and China. She teaches English at the University of Maryland extension at a U.S. Air Force base near Venice Italy, where she has lived for over twenty years.

Leon's writing career began accidentally. One evening, following a performance at a Venice opera house, Leon and some friends were discussing a certain conductor they all disliked. Someone jokingly suggested killing him off; and when the conversation turned to how, where, and why, suddenly the idea for a dandy murder mystery took shape in Leon's mind. Published in 1992, Death at La Fenice introduced Commissario Guido Brunetti, the melancholy Venetian policeman who would go on to star in a series of witty, intelligently plotted, and critically acclaimed detective novels. The twenty-first in the series, Beastly Things, was published in April 2012.

Elegant writing, deft characterization, and lots of local color elevate the Brunetti novels above the run-of-the-mill mystery series. But although her books are international bestsellers, they have never been translated into Italian.

For more infomation and a list of her books, visit the Donna Leon website.

Harlan Coben April, 2012

With 50 million books in print worldwide, Harlan Coben's last four consecutive novels, Live Wire, Caught, Long Lost and Hold Tight all debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list and lists around the world.

Review for Stay Close, his newest book: “Coben excels in descriptions of his characters’ tortured, ruminative inner lives. He also can pull out of their psychological nosedives to deliver some of the most shocking action scenes in current crime fiction.” --Booklist, starred review

For more infomation and a list of his books, visit The Harlan Coben website.

Harlan Coben