We are offering free shipping for a limited time this holiday season! On qualified orders placed through the website, by phone or e-mail. Qualified online orders will have the shipping adjusted out after we process your order.
- December 1st - 15th
- Media Mail Only - US Only - International & Canadian Orders Don’t Qualify
- On Orders $75 or more before tax.
- On Books Currently In Print - Mystery or Non-Mystery they just have to be currently available or a collectible we have in stock - Not applicable to pre-orders.
- We cannot guarantee delivery before Christmas - Especially if shipped to Hawaii or Alaska
Kobo Mini Sale!
Only 2 Left!
We are marking down our Kobo Mini's from $79.99 to $59.99! Get one before they are all gone.
Tuesday January 7th 2014 at Noon - Jayne Ann Krentz signs River Road
13 years after she left her hometown, Lucy Sheridan has returned to deal with the aftermath of her aunt’s fatal accident. Her last strong memory of that time was as a teen, being dragged out of a party by the guy on whom she had a crush- Mason Fletcher – and sent home. Now she learns that something else occurred that night, that the rich kid hosting the party had nefarious plans for her that night, but he vanished and has not been seen since.
All reserved copies will come with the pink River Road screw driver (click the book cover to see what it looks like!). Plus at SMB you can have your book signed any way you want! Call or e-mail us if you have any questions.
C.J. Box - Stone Cold
Everything about the man is a mystery: the massive ranch in the remote Black Hills of Wyoming that nobody ever visits, the women who live with him, the secret philanthropies, the private airstrip, the sudden disappearances. And especially the persistent rumors that the man’s wealth comes from killing people.
Joe Pickett, still officially a game warden but now mostly a troubleshooter for the governor, is assigned to find out what the truth is, but he discovers a lot more than he’d bargained for. There are two other men living up at that ranch. One is a stone-cold killer who takes an instant dislike to Joe. The other is new—but Joe knows him all too well. The first man doesn’t frighten Joe. The second is another story entirely.
Mary Lou Kirwin - Death Overdue
Karen Nash, librarian extraordinaire (whom we met in Killer Librarian) is spending some time in London with Caldwell Perkins, her…ummm…significant other, trying to decide if she should leave behind her life in the States for one with Caldwell….who wants to sell his B&B and open up a bookshop together.
They aren't very far into their trial period when Caldwell’s ex shows up on their doorstep, demanding money for her portion of the B&B. They reach an unfortunate resolution when Sally (the ex) is found dead beneath a bookcase full of books.
Now things are in an in a state of confusion, as the police think Caldwell is a murderer. Karen knows he couldn’t have done it, but there are only three other people with means, motive and opportunity….and she can’t think of a reason why they would do the deed.
This was a solid read and I enjoyed it. The author draws on the Christie style of murder mystery - a small group of people, an unusual murder and complicated motives. She stays much more focused in this book, staying with and quickly solving the mystery set down before her sleuth.
Kirwin also does a great job of incorporating her theme, of books into the story. Integrating them seamlessly into the flow of the story so it neither overwhelms nor detracts from the mystery you are there to read. You can easily empathize with the characters over their love of the written word.
I would recommend this to any cozy reader looking for a nice quick read, which has a great love of books through out the story.
||Cleo Coyle - Billionaire Blend
Things are not going very well for Clare these days….The Village Blend need some repairs - the wiring is starting to go, the espresso machine needs replacing, the floor needs fixing….well the list goes on. Basic, but costly maintenance on the historic site. Plus, there is some insane customer (nicknamed “Quiz Master”) who appears to want to poach Clare’s highly trained staff. Even worse? Mike Quinn (her boyfriend) seems to be distancing himself from New York, his job at the NYPD and Clare.
Never ask whether things could get worse, because invariably they will. A car bomb destroys the Blend, she has to fend off two amorous billionaires, solve a murder, create the world’s most expensive coffee, save her daughter’s love life and her own!
One thing Clare’s life never is? Dull.
If you look at my reviews over the years, you know I am a fan of the Coffeehouse Mysteries. I enjoy reading each new installment that comes my way, and Billionaire Blend is no exception.
What I love most about this series is the characters, it is an ensemble cast. Each person possesses their own strengths and weaknesses which contribute to the overall whole. While each book is told by Clare Cosi (who is fantastic btw), you meet all kinds of new people in each book. Plus each book adds layers to each relationship and history to the main players in each book. So while there is the main mystery that Clare is on top of in each story, these peripheral relationships add an over-arching human mystery (as in what does the future hold for them) to the story. This is what I look forward to reading in every installment, just to find out how they are doing.
In Billionaire Blend I enjoyed watching Clare solve the mystery of who wanted to cook a billionaire. Maybe it’s a bit too serendipitous in how the Blend’s financial problems were solved, but hey it’ a cozy - you want there to be a happy ending. And it isn’t the most farfetched solution I have read this year. But the overall mystery was a lot of fun.
I would recommend this book to any cozy reader looking for a fun and fast paced read!
Joshilyn Jackson - My Own Miraculous
This is a letter I wrote to Joshilyn Jackson:
“Oh you brilliant, wonderful writer!
I treated myself to My Own Miraculous after reading a book that was Quite Dark and had Very Bad Things happen, saving MOM (nice acronym, by the way!) for a gentle refreshment after a serious and disturbing read. But wow, you manage to pack a lot of tension into 75 pages! I spent a good portion of my time muttering "Holy cow" and "shoot shoot shoot!" although I didn't perhaps actually use the words "cow" or "shoot". But at 3:00 in the morning, I can only say I wasn't loud when voicing my opinion.
And the silly thing is, of course, that I read Someone Else's Love Story weeks ago, so I know they're okay and it all works out until they get into the Circle K, and I still vibrated with worry for them.
Excellent work, as usual, my dear!”
John Connolly - The Creeps
For those of you who have been following the adventures of Samuel Johnson, Boswell, Nurd and the rest of the crew in Biddlecombe (and other, less salubrious locations), John Connolly’s The Creeps is a must-read. It’s hard to say much without giving things away, but Mrs. Abernathy is back despite having her atoms scattered all about, Nurd is bored, the Great Malevolence is threatened by something even worse than it is, and there’s an upbeat and generally happy gelatinous cube sliming around.
From the very first book, The Gates, John Connolly’s narration of the events surrounding Samuel and Boswell have charmed me to the point of goofy grinning. It’s not an exaggeration to say that I’ve stopped perfect strangers to read passages aloud, generally the footnotes, quite honestly. They make me laugh as well as being informative! And The Creeps is no different. The footnotes are brilliant, the story races around incredible twists and turns but never loses its traction, and I was sorry to see it end, although the ending is quite satisfying.
It looks like John Connolly has wrapped up his YA series with Samuel Johnson and faithful Boswell in The Creeps, but he has left himself wiggle room for more books, should he decide to revisit these fabulous people. Although you don’t have to bring Miss Moffett back, John. She truly gave me the creeps!
(Amber Here: The Gates age range is, according to the publisher, 12+, and I suspect The Creeps is the same!)
Benjamin Black - The Black-Eyed Blonde
Sorry to do this but the Best Book of the Year won’t be out for another four months.
The Black-Eyed Blonde by Benjamin Black (aka John Banville) comes out in March of 2014 and is a spot-on Philip Marlowe novel. Black/Banville has captured it all – the beauty as well as the brutality of the Mean Streets of LA.
Some time has passed since Raymond Chandler’s last major Marlowe novel, The Long Goodbye. He’s still smarting from the rough departure of Terry Lenox and has mixed feelings about Linda Loring. Sitting in his office one day, watching the secretary across the street type away, he notices a tall blonde crossing the street who, of course, is heading his way like a lovely landslide. It may be a bit of a private eye cliché but blondes do open the outer door.
This one is the daughter of a very rich woman who owns a respected perfume company. The book’s rich with smells as befits this elegant woman, Clare Cavendish. She wants him to find a missing man whom she saw through the window of a taxi in San Francisco. The catch is, of course, that this man was killed in a hit-and-run some time before.
And Marlowe is off on the case.
Is it that simple? No, of course not – never is.
There are thugs and goons and nattily-dressed gangsters as well as subtle references to all things Chandler – Latimer Road (mystery writer Jonathan Latimer was a friend and neighbor of Chandler’s at one point), and Rusty Regan to name two, and most of the action takes place in Bay City. Bernie Ohls is back grousing and drinking gimlets with Marlowe.
But it is Marlowe’s voice that clinches it, the world-weariness that underpins his view and descriptions.
“This must be a private beach,” I said.
“Yes, it is. How did you know?”
I knew because if it had been public, a shelter like this would have been so fouled and littered we wouldnh’t have dreamed of sitting in it. Clare Cavendish, I told myself, was one of those people the world shields from its own awfulness.’”
It might be worth reading (or re-reading) The Long Goodbye before you have a crack at The Black-Eyed Blonde. You have plenty of time, after all. Hell, in four months you can re-read all of Chandler. That’s a Winter well-spent.
"I sat down again, though it felt more like a collapse. On the table stood her untouched drink, with a solitary olive submerged in it. Her crushed cigarette in the ashtray had a smear of lipstick. I looked at my own glass, half empty, at a crumpled paper napkin, at a flake or two of ash on the table that a breath would have blown away. These are the things that get left behind; these are the things we remember.”
I, for one, hope the Universe is wise enough to keep Benjamin Black / John Banville writing Philip Marlowe novels. We need more
||Len Deighton - Spy Hook
Book Condition - As New - DJ Condition - As New
New York: Knopf, 1986. First American edition. Hardcover.
The 4th in the Bernard Samson (a British Spy) series. DJ in mylar cover.
John Le Carre - A Perfect Spy
Book Condition - As New - DJ Condition - As New
New York: Knopf, 1986. First American edition. Hardcover. As New/as new.
1987 Macavity Award finalist for best mystery novel. DJ in mylar cover.
Brandon Sanderson - Steelheart
David was eight (ish) when Calamity came, a burst in the sky which gave extraordinary powers to ordinary people. These were the powers we had only ever dreamed of in comic books, where super heroes and villains vied for power. And more often than not, the heroes won the day.
Only the heroes never came.
Instead, the government signed the Capitulation Act, basically saying no epic would ever be prosecuted for any crime they committed. And slowly over the next ten years the world was carved into small fiefdoms ruled by the smartest (or cleverest) epic, for as long as they could defend their territory. One of the strongest epics in the world is Steelheart; an epic who rules Newcago through fear and intimidation (to be fair, there is no benevolent epic ruler). Steelheart is an epic whose skin is impervious, has the strength of ten men, turn things to steel and wield energy…in other word is invincible.
The government gave up and no one ever fights back. Except the Reckoners.
The Reckoners are a shadowy group which hunts down epics and assassinates them. Because all epics have a flaw, an Achilles heel so to speak. The problem, they are often simple, very esoteric and difficult to unravel.
It has been ten years since the fateful day in the bank, when David’s father was murdered by Steelheart. For ten years David has been studying, planning, assessing the best way to assassinate Steelheart and his minions.
David knows something that all the others who have faced him have not…he has seen Steelheart bleed, and plans to make him do so again.
This is an absolutely FANTASTIC book. I cannot say enough good things about it. It is a smart action-filled story which never drags or moralizes the situations the characters find themselves in.
This is the first book in what will probably become a trilogy, and it starts off with a bang. I enjoyed following the mystery, what made Steelheart bleed? What is his weakness and how can it be exploited to maximum effect? Who exactly are the Reckoners and can they be trusted?
It is a well-thought-out and plotted book; the author does a great job in resolving the mysteries in the first book while hinting and what may/will come in subsequent books.
I cannot give exact details, as I don’t want to spoil the book for anyone, but trust me when I say this is a great book. I would recommend it for any male reader 13+ (or open minded girl as there are several strong females, but it is told exclusively from David’s pov) looking for a different kind of hero/super power book. You cannot go wrong.
Kate Kingsbury - Mulled Murder
The Pennyfoot is ramping up for Christmas again, made even more special by Pansy (a maid) & Sam’s (the former stable manager) wedding on Christmas Eve. Cecily Sinclair Baxter is breathing a sigh of relief, as the Christmas Curse seems to have been skipped Pennyfoot Country Club (not Hotel) this year. The body her friends found was on the beach, no where near the Hot…Country Club. Right?
This was an entertaining and light historical mystery. While it is set during Christmas, the mystery never took a backseat to the holiday season. Instead the holiday adds another layer to the story, a mad hectic rush to get everything ship-shape and solved before the holiday arrives. What was even better, the book never became overly sweet as some mysteries can when set around a holiday theme. The author strikes just the right balance, to engage the reader without turning them off.
I enjoyed the fact it reminded me of all the holidays I have worked in retail, people with impossible demands, nit-picky complaints and rudeness not found during other times during the year, all the while showing how hard it is sometimes to smile and help your customer or coworker out with their problems.
I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a nice holiday read to get them in the mood for eggnog or wrapping presents!
More Holiday Mysteries
We Can Order Almost Anything! For Example....
Nora Roberts - Dark Witch
With indifferent parents, Iona Sheehan grew up craving devotion
and acceptance. From her maternal grandmother, she learned where to find
both: a land of lush forests, dazzling lakes, and centuries-old
Ireland. County Mayo, to be exact. Where her ancestors’ blood and magic have flowed through generations—and where her destiny awaits.
Iona arrives in Ireland with nothing but her Nan’s directions, an
unfailingly optimistic attitude, and an innate talent with horses. Not
far from the luxurious castle where she is spending a week, she finds
her cousins, Branna and Connor O’Dwyer. And since family is family, they
invite her into their home and their lives.
When Iona lands a job at the local stables, she meets the owner,
Boyle McGrath. Cowboy, pirate, wild tribal horsemen, he’s three of her
biggest fantasy weaknesses all in one big, bold package.
Iona realizes that here she can make a home for herself—and live
her life as she wants, even if that means falling head over heels for
Boyle. But nothing is as it seems. An ancient evil has wound its way
around Iona’s family tree and must be defeated. Family and friends will
fight with each other and for each other to keep the promise of hope—and
Angry Robot eBooks On Sale