A California Magazine with Local Focus and Global Appeal:
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Weekly issues every Saturday morning and new articles throughout the week, including — movie reviews each Monday at 7pm and live events Wednesdays at 7pm. If you love mysteries — explore Mysteryrat’s Maze — there's something for everyone… and check out our sister site on Blogger for bonus articles.


Mysteryrat’s Maze is your online source for everything mystery!Click on article titles to see full articles.

by Cynthia Chow


The third installment in the adventures of FBI agent Kate O’Hare and international thief Nicholas Fox opens with Kate mind-numbingly bored after spending four days working undercover at California Metro Bank. Thankfully, the Tarzana bank is finally held up by the Businessmen Bandits, although an untimely phone call from Nick has her take a more confrontational route than originally planned. Kate soon learns, someone has been stealing priceless artifacts around the world and skillfully framing Nick.

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by Cynthia Chow


In this fourth collection of short mystery stories celebrating Thanksgiving, you truly can judge a book by its cover. The cartoonishly adorable illustration perfectly captures the spirit of these ten tales of families who unite, sometimes unwillingly, for a day of food, dysfunctional interactions, and an occasional murder or two. Interspersed between the stories are recipes that will have readers drooling in anticipation of a meal that takes a week to prepare and ten minutes to consume.

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by Cynthia Chow



When an Indiana developer, the reprehensible bigshot Charles Rasmussen, is murdered on the Dog Dayz agility competition trail, the question isn’t who had a reason to kill him. Truly, it would be amazing to find someone who hadn’t had a confrontation with the abhorrent blusterer. There are ample motives for putting the detestable man out of everyone’s misery. He was abusive to his poor but wealthy wife Louise, put a local store owner out of business after she refused to sell to him and he bought the wetlands area in order to bulldoze it into a shopping center. One of his last acts was to threaten to kill a feral cat’s litter and then assault and have the cat’s rescuer arrested when she trespassed on his property.

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by Rhett Shepard


Detective Max Huntington moved to another part of the victim’s living room, as he considered the crime from a new angle.
Bethany Sharples made a beautiful corpse, if the sight of a woman dead well before what should have been her time could be called beautiful. Her long, light blonde hair draped like a shimmering waterfall over the back of the sofa.

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by Cynthia Chow


After gentle nudging from his mother, Samuel Hoenig establishes Questions Answered, an agency designed to answer questions—not solve problems—and nudge him out of his mother’s attic apartment. Samuel has the trait (he doesn’t consider it an affliction) of Asperger’s Syndrome. The very aspects that make socializing difficult allow him to be an observant and intellectually effective detective. After finding a lost boa constrictor, Samuel gets a referral to locate someone who has literally lost a head.

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Double Strike By Gretchen Archer

IN THE November 15 ISSUE

FROM THE 2014 Articles,
andCynthia Chow,
andMysteryrat's Maze
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by Cynthia Chow



After three years as secret security at the Bellissimo Resort and Casino, Davis Way is accustomed to handling daily chaotic crises that often have her don wigs, contact lenses, and inappropriate outfits. This is in addition to her secondary job as the lookalike stand-in for Bianca Casimiro Sanders, the owner’s wife. Bianca delegates unappealing duties to Davis, such as boring media events, charity dinners, and meetings with her son’s school board. Davis is less prepared for her own impending wedding to attorney Bradley Cole. The situation resolves itself when the ceremony is cancelled due to Bianca’s dog pool-related construction fire. The fact that Davis just learned that she is still married to her ex-ex-husband (she made the same mistake twice) is a somewhat more alarming.

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by Sharon Tucker


Detective novels set in California—particularly San Francisco, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara (or Santa Teresa) are particularly attractive to us in the rest of the country. What makes them seem out of the ordinary involves both the paradise syndrome of the California that exists only in our imaginations, as well as the schadenfreude we experience as the underside of the great Hollywood dream factory is lovingly detailed in fiction —especially detective fiction.

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November Penguin Mysteries

IN THE November 8 ISSUE

FROM THE 2014 Articles,
andCynthia Chow,
andMysteryrat's Maze
SECTIONS

by Cynthia Chow



This week we have reviews & giveaways of 3 November Penguin mysteries-Lethal Letters: A Books By the Bay Mystery by Ellery Adams, A High-End Finish: A Fixer-Upper Mystery by Kate Carlisle, and On Borrowed Time: A Book Lover’s Mystery by Jenn McKinlay. Details on how to win a copy of all 3 books at the end of this post, along with a link to purchase the books where a portion goes to help support KRL.

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by Sandra Murphy



It’s time, long past time, for the old Dumpe Manor to be restored. Members of the Queensville Heritage Society have divvied up the rooms and each will decorate one, keeping in mind, they all have to blend and stay within style parameters. Jaymie Leighton has drawn the kitchen as her restoration project and that’s right up her alley as she collects vintage cookware and utensils. To add to what she can find in thrifts and at auctions, a box full of vintage mallets, like those used to tenderize meat, is found in the house. Jaymie is researching them for age and value. Too bad that before she can find all the answers, someone uses one of the mallets on her head!

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Burned: A Mystery Short Story

IN THE November 8 ISSUE

FROM THE 2014 Articles,
andMysteryrat's Maze,
andTerrific Tales
SECTIONS

by Laurie Stevens



“I see you,” Paul St. Germain muttered to himself. He was looking across the beach chairs and could see Blaine Taylor sitting with his mistress. Ashley, thought Paul, my ex-girlfriend. Through the poles of the blue beach umbrellas, Paul watched as Ashley and her new lover Blaine giggled and shared secrets. They are probably talking about me, Paul thought.

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by Cynthia Chow



When Molly Malone returned to Washington D.C. in 2007, it was as the daughter of a United States senator and widow of a Representative who committed suicide following a trumped up scandal. Now, just a short time later, Molly has settled in as an accounting staffer for Colorado Senator John Russell and is in a relationship with former Special Forces officer, Danny DiMateo, now a Quantico consultant.

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by Sunny Frazier



I saved my last Bouchercon column for special friends throughout my career. It is always a pleasure to show off their latest!
How does a hoarder and her fortune connect to a corpse in a limestone cavern in Arizona? Joanna Brady has her hands full in What Remains of Innocence—Joanna Brady #16 by the prolific J.A. Jance.

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by Cynthia Chow



Over ten years ago Craig Johnson started to give short stories as thank you presents for his newsletter subscribers. Released every Christmas Eve, his fans began to anxiously await the annual treats. Finally there is a collection of these delightful peeks into the life of Absaroka County, Wyoming Sheriff Walt Longmire. Petunia, Bandit Queen of The Bighorns is the one completely original new story but all will be delightful reminders of Johnson’s past gifts to his readers.

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Beyond Blue By Austin Camacho

IN THE November 1 ISSUE

FROM THE 2014 Articles,
andMysteryrat's Maze,
andSandra Murphy
SECTIONS

by Sandra Murphy



It was his son’s 25th birthday. Over lunch, Ferooz Hassan planned to tell the young man it was time for a promotion. Soon Yasser, known to New York City friends as Jesse, could take over the reins for his company. It was a proud day.

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by Cynthia Chow



Children have always been a weak spot for Scottsdale private investigator Lena Jones. Considering her own upbringing in a series of abusive foster homes, that’s not too surprising. Even Lena has reservations, though, when she’s asked by the ultra-conservative, left-wing, and possible Senatorial candidate Juliana Thorsson to investigate the murder of the Cameron family, committed by the fourteen year-old daughter and her boyfriend. Thorsson has a potentially politically-damning reason for wanting to clear the girl, though. To pay her college tuition the Arizona congresswoman sold her eggs to a fertility clinic—the accused murderer, Alison Cameron, is her biological daughter.

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Hot and Cold: A Mystery Short Story

IN THE November 1 ISSUE

FROM THE 2014 Articles,
andMysteryrat's Maze,
andTerrific Tales
SECTIONS

by Debra H. Goldstein



Judge Emma Rose Stewart frowned. She would have to teach her new law clerk not to be quite so over eager, but in the meantime she had a duo dilemma to deal with. She wasn’t sure which was worse – the earnest young lawyer her clerk had left stranded in her office doorway or trying to hide the ice cream cone she had been eating behind her.

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by Sunny Frazier



At first, it seemed off in the distance, but now we’re only two weeks out! With Long Beach on the horizon, I still have many authors who have asked to be included in my Bcon updates.

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by Mark Bacon



Route 66 was constructed in the 1920s. Bobby Troup wrote the song lyrics in the 1940s, and by the 1960s, the Mother Road had taken on mythic proportions, becoming the best-known highway in the country. A TV series took its name and sent two young men on adventures down the road. Rock stars recorded Troup’s song. For me, growing up in Southern California, Route 66 represented the appeal of the open road, the wide open spaces of the West, and the pull of days gone by. So when I looked for a setting for a retro-themed suspense novel, it was natural for me to follow the yellow-striped road.

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