Mystery Readers Journal

Mystery Readers International is the largest mystery fan/reader organization in the world, is open to all readers, fans, critics, editors, publishers, and writers. Started by Janet A. Rudolph in Berkeley, California, it now has members in all 50 of the United States and 18 foreign countries. Members vote each year to nominate and select the winners of the Macavity Award—the 2021 winners have been announced! Join MRI today!

New England Mysteries I

Mystery Readers Journal is a quarterly thematic mystery Journal. Each issue contains articles, reviews, and author essays on a specific theme, as well as special columns and other mystery related material. Journals run an average of 80 pages. Subscribe.

Current Issue: New England Mysteries I is available in hardcopy or as a downloadable PDF.

Recent Issues: Cold Case Mysteries (Winter 2021); Lone Star Mysteries (Fall 2021); Historical Mysteries II (Summer 2021); Historical Mysteries I (Spring 2021).

Coming Up: New England Mysteries II; Art Mysteries; African Mysteries; Legal Mysteries. Submit an article!


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Hello, everyone. Today is pub date for Every Cloak Rolled in Blood. In many ways it is a personal book, but in many ways it is not. There are perhaps five themes in the story, which thread in and out of our history and also the times in which we live. I believe we are at a crossroads, perhaps one that can equal or surpass the Secession of 1861 or the Cuban Missile Crisis. The players fall into two groups: Some wish to undo democracy, and others want to see the egalitarian dream of Jefferson finally become a reality. One group has its origins in the Enlightenment; the other, given the chance, would turn the Grand Canyon into a gravel pit.

Seemingly this book was painted with a wide brush, but not really. I believe the past and the present and future may be one entity, in the same way that the human personality reinvents itself over and over again, for good or bad. The Baker Massacre was not an aberration. It was part of a policy. Its origins lay in the fires set by William Sherman from Atlanta to the sea. Its consumption lay in the slaughter at Sand Creek and Wounded Knee and Custer's annihilation of the Cheyenne village on the Washita and the decimation of the bison in order to starve and drive the Indians to their knees. I believe these events and the state of mind that created them are still with us. I believe gargoyles are real. They may wear three-piece suits, but the glint in their eyes is unmistakable. The meth and fentanyl in small-town America, the White Supremacist with the AR-15, the indifference to the melting of our polar caps are not symptoms. They are the thing itself, like a prehistoric lizard cracking through its shell.

The title of the book comes from Isaiah. The passage is one of the most beautiful and stark and frightening in the Bible. But it also filled with love and an ethereal light that brings joy and hope to the reader. I hope the content of my book does some of the same.

Thanks for reading this. You are a wonderful group of people. It's an honor to be among you.

All the best,
James Lee Burke
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