About six weeks ago, I invited the blogosphere to suggest GAD topics for a mammoth group discussion between my blogging buddies Noah, JJ and me. The response was staggering. Okay, three people replied, but they were great suggestions, and I thank you! One of them came from my online friend rkottery: “How about the role … Continue reading READER’S CHOICE: The Detective or the Egg?
If you want to be a successful author today, you had better be ready to devote some time to self-promotion. This may be especially true for self-published and mid-tier writers, but everyone who wants to be read needs to get on the publicity circuit. Publishers have reduced the effort they will expend to promote books, … Continue reading SINCEREST FORM OF FLATTERY: Ellery Queen’s There Was an Old Woman
The Golden Age of Detective Fiction, which was essentially borne out of the chaos of the First World War and began its slow decline partway through World War II, had a function beyond its power to entertain. The classic murder mystery served as a metaphor for war itself: a disruption of social order that tested … Continue reading POINT ME IN THE RIGHT MISDIRECTION (Part One: The Knave of Clubs and the Queen of Hearts)
I’m following up my prize-winning post on Agatha Christie books one should read before they are spoiled with something along the same lines for several reasons. First, it’s Sunday and I’m fighting a cold, so while I have nothing better to do but suck down zinc lozenges and write, I'm not feeling particularly creative. Secondly, … Continue reading FIVE BOOKS TO READ BEFORE THEY’RE SPOILED FOR YOU – Ellery Queen Edition
Smack dab in the middle of The Tragedy of X, the 1930 debut of mystery writer Barnaby Ross, detective Drury Lane, a retired Shakespearean actor who is stone deaf, resides in a castle called The Hamlet, and employs a hunchback dwarf named Falstaff as a butler, is philosophizing with a group of men – one … Continue reading I SUSPECT MICE: A Discourse on the Dying Message
I love prolific authors. Agatha Christie, John Dickson Carr, Ellery Queen, and Ngaio Marsh basically got me through my teens and 20’s and taught me the ABC’s of classic mystery fiction. Yes, each of them had their share of clunkers, but, by and large, their output was brilliant. Of course, other mystery writers made their … Continue reading MISS SILVER AND THE GREAT CONFLUENCE OF 1937
All this month, the Tuesday Night Bloggers are talking about "firsts," famous and otherwise. After writing about the first detectives in literature and the first Christie, it suddenly occurred to me that, if you're going to take a purely historical approach to a theme, you had better know a damn sight more about mystery history than … Continue reading WHO’S ON FIRST? A Man, a Mug, and a Da Vinci, That’s Who!