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by Mollie Cox Bryan

ere is the latest installment of our new column, Top 5 Mysteries I Have Read During the Pandemic, this one from mystery author Mollie Cox Bryan. As we continue to spend most of our time at home, we are all looking for book suggestions so we asked mystery authors and reviewers to share the top 5 mysteries they have read during this pandemic.


Writing in the Time of Covid

IN THE October 21 ISSUE

FROM THE 2020 Articles,
andMysteryrat's Maze

by Lois Winston

Shortly after the pandemic hit this past spring, writers began asking each other how they were going to handle Covid-19 in their books. Should we incorporate self-quarantining, social distancing, and mask wearing into our stories, especially for those of us who write ongoing series?


by Sandra Murphy
& Peggy Ehrhart

It’s Halloween in Arborville, and no one is recognizable except Pamela Patterson. She’s wearing basic black slacks and sweater, with only cat ears to define her costume. She’s definitely underdressed in a crowd of mermaids, Greek goddesses, Raggedy Ann and Andy, and the usual wizards and zombies.


by Cynthia Chow
& Melissa Bourbon

All books tell stories, but some people are able to read more than just the words on the pages. As young Pippin Hawthorne will soon learn, her family has been both gifted and cursed to be bibliomancers, ancient practicers who foretell the future and truths through messages hidden within book passages. Pippin knows nothing of this when she and her twin brother return to Devil’s Cove, though, as they have only come to the island off of North Carolina’s Outer Banks to settle their inheritance of their late grandmother’s falling down beach house.


by Terrance McArthur

In 1973, a Florida jury convicted Gerard John Schaefer of two counts of murder in the first degree. He insisted on his innocence, yet he named missing person cases and unsolved murders that should have been added to the list of twenty-eight deaths where he was suspected. On top of that, Schaefer was a law enforcement officer.


by Terrance McArthur
& Randy Overbeck

Darrell Henshaw is a good football coach, has OCD that’s sort-of in check (he counts and touches things, but it’s not a debilitating, Monk-level), and just lost his job and his girlfriend in Maryland. He’s working a junior-high football camp in Cape May, New Jersey, hoping to get together again with Erin, and wishing that ghosts would leave him alone. That’s how things are in Randy Overbeck’s Crimson at Cape May.


by Sandra Murphy
& Ellen Byron

Things are going pretty well at the Crozat Plantation in Pelican, Louisiana. The guest rooms are booked, Halloween is near, and Maggie’s relationship with Bo couldn’t be better. The bookings are due in part, to a plan Maggie devised. A phone app had locals renting out spare bedrooms, which hurt B&B business. Pelican’s Spooky Past features crafts, down-home cooking, a pet costume parade, and a play that takes place in the cemetery.


by Cynthia Chow

As much as Kelly Quinn loves the consignment shop she inherited from her grandmother, making ends meet has been a struggle. After moving from Manhattan back to her hometown of Lucky Cove, the former fashion buyer began rebranding the used-clothes shop into the Lucky Cove Resale Boutique, slowly building a social media presence targeting budget-conscious fashionistas. The stars align when during a Halloween-themed photo shoot at their local cemetery Kelly discovers an adorable, apparently lost Shih-Tzu.


by Paula Bernstein

It was a sunny Sunday in April 1990. My husband, my visiting brother-in-law, our four-year-old daughter, and my husband’s favorite cousin Stephanie, our only LA relative, were having brunch on the patio of a charming restaurant on Main Street in Santa Monica. Stephanie had recently divorced her abusive husband and was trying to get her life back in order.


by Lorie Lewis Ham

I have been an Agatha Christie fan ever since I was a teenager, and her Hercule Poirot stories have always been some of my favorites. I have to admit that I was hesitant to try the new books featuring Poirot written by Sophie Hannah, but I am glad I finally gave in and tried them because they are a lot of fun and wonderfully done.


by Sandra Murphy

Charlie, Helen Louise, and Diesel are on their way to Ashville, North Carolina, to meet the Ducote sisters and the rest of their book club members for a week long discussion of favorite authors. The Ducote sisters reserved every room in the hotel for the group.


by Sandra Murphy &
Allison Brook

Daphne Marriott drops by and introduces herself to Carrie Singleton, library events planner. As a psychic, she’s setting up a business to give readings and wants to do a library presentation to introduce herself to the townspeople. Evelyn, the library ghost, remembers Daphne, whose father was murdered many years ago. Daphne fingered her brother for the crime. Still, the event goes smoothly except for one glitch when Daphne recognizes someone in the audience.


by Kathleen Costa

Passengers hoping to explore the ports of call head over to the Port Adventures and book a exciting excursion from up close animal interactions to once-in-a-lifetime explorations. Not always the easiest task for Lexi when one wants “this” and another wants “that,” but it is rewarding to help create forever memories. Her first client of the day arrives and turns into an unexpected reunion. Josie Brooks was a close childhood friend, but her parent’s divorce caused Josie to move away and the two friends to lose contact. Now, she stands in front of Lexi as the recently knotted Mrs. Phillip Edwards with a obscenely large diamond ring perched on her finger.


by Sandra Murphy &
Hy Conrad

Callie McFee became estranged from her father three years ago. Buddy McFee, former attorney general and now fixer of problems, was investigated following an offhand remark Callie made during her on-air television job. Now fired from her job, she’s returned home, and the only work she can find is as a reporter for the weekly local free paper, a giant step down in life.


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