Tag Archives: mysteries

…and the beat goes on…

This week I’m shopping not one but two mystery novels to agents, meanwhile wondering what I want to write next. One of the two is a realistic historical mystery; the other is a crossover YA/fantasy/mystery set in another world, so … Continue reading

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Crusty

I love reading mysteries. Lately I’ve been on an Agatha Christie jag — bought many of the titles that were not already in my collection. Her approach to plot is somewhat formulaic, though there are often surprising twists. (That’s part … Continue reading

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The Delicate Aura of Mayhem

P. D. James is depressing. She’s a fine writer; this is not a criticism of her talent or technique. At least, not directly. It’s the materials she chooses for her stories that cast long, gloomy shadows. Right now I’m reading … Continue reading

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Reading: Strangers

Stayed up ’til 2 in the morning finishing J. D. Robb’s Strangers in Death, so I may as well admit it was a good story. The plot is borrowed from an old Hitchcock movie, but Robb (Nora Roberts in real … Continue reading

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The Middle 8

In jazz parlance, the middle 8 is the B section in a 32-bar AABA song form. In the middle 8, the chord progression turns a corner and the song moves off into a different space. I’ve been working on a … Continue reading

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Reading: The Thin Man

Having absorbed a few recently published mystery novels, I thought it would be fun and possibly instructive to compare and contrast them with one of the old masters. So I pulled out my copy of Dashiel Hammett’s The Thin Man. … Continue reading

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Reading: Oh, Faye

Elmore Leonard has said that when writing his novels, he tries not to write the parts that people skip. Yesterday the mystery novel at the top of my stack was Faye Kellerman’s The Burnt House. I found myself skipping large … Continue reading

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Reading: Whodunits

Being on vacation, I wandered into the local library and grabbed a couple of whodunits — Kate Wilhelm’s A Wrongful Death and Aimee & David Thurlo’s Red Mesa. I was up ’til 1:30 this morning finishing A Wrongful Death, and … Continue reading

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Reading: Genre vs. Genre

While plodding through Ramsey Campbell’s The Darkest Part of the Woods, I took a break last night to read Poirot Loses a Client by Agatha Christie. Campbell is a capable writer, if a bit too fond of adjectives. His ability … Continue reading

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