Born in 1899, she was called America's Agatha Christie by her biographer, Rick Cypert, and was once the third highest paid female mystery writer (after Christie herself and Mary Roberts Rinehart). Her name is Mignon Good Eberhart and she was nothing if not a prolific writer, with 59 novels and numerous short stories, novellas and plays, many adapted for film in the 1930s and 1940s. It didn't hurt that she got an early start on her career as a teenager, mostly, as she later said,
"Because I preferred writing to studying Caesar's Commentaries and algebra. There was one halcyon period during which I traded work on English themes for the solution of geometry problems, with an obliging classmate, but, perhaps for the best, this was very brief. There was a long novel to which I could add chapters at will, and numerous plays, all of which were advisedly destroyed. In my early twenties I gathered up courage and postage stamps and sent a book-length typescript to an editor. It was accepted. The story was a murder mystery and thus started me on a hard but rewarding writing path. The writer hopes that a mystery novel is entertaining to read but it is not easy to write."
That first book was The Patient in Room 18, introducing nurse Sarah Keate and police detective Lance O'Leary (who both appeared in four more novels), later made into a movie starring Ann Sheridan and Patric Knowles. Female sleuths abound today, but it was still somewhat revolutionary for the time. Eberhart wasn't necessarily an early feminist, however—she said of her creation, "I loved her because she had a good sharp tongue." It was only a year after the publication of this book that Agatha Christie followed suit and introduced Miss Jane Marple for the first time in a novel. Another of her popular heroines was Susan Dare, a precursor to Jessica Fletcher of Murder She Wrote. Dare, quite possibly Eberhart's best creation, only appeared in short stories, some of which you'll find in the 2007 Crippen and Landru collection titled Dead Yesterday.
Eberhart's books primarily feature female heroines in often-exotic locations; in fact, her primary contribution is quite probably to the development of the romantic-suspense subgenre in crime fiction, one reason she's often said to resemble more Rinehart than Christie. Another reason for that comparison is Eberhart's dedication to character development and her interest in scientific detection, as seen through her nurse-protagonist and medical themes. Plus, Rinehart herself had her own Nurse Pinkerton.
Some contemporary readers will find formulaic elements and eye-rolling elements in Eberhart's novels, particularly the early ones where female heroines tend to show poor judgement and even faint (does anyone really faint all that often? Did they ever?), but she was adept with the elements of suspense and atmosphere in what Thrilling Detective said was "spare but almost lyrical" writing. Mike Grost added that that "suspense passages in Eberhart often show the heroine with a heightened sensory awareness of her surroundings, and are almost hallucinatory in their intensity."
These qualities are seen in her closed community mystery from 1946, Five Passengers From Lisbon. Five passengers and three crewmen survive a sinking Portugese cargo ship via a lifeboat, but when they're picked up by a U.S. hospital ship, the Portugese mate is found murdered. Against a backdrop of Portugal being a haven for espionage with undertones of Nazi and Resistance alliances, Eberhart spins a claustrophobic web first as the group floats in the darkness:
There were no signs of other lifeboats; although once a barrel floated past and they thought at first it was a man, and another time it was a man, on his face, dead when they reached him. Alfred Castiogne bent down to drag the floating, dark bulk a little out of the water, and to cast it back again. Marcia remembered the way his thick shoulders hunched over, and the moment while the boat drifted and Gili's whimper. But nobody said anything; it seemed too natural an event, so precisely and unexpectedly part of the pattern of the night.
and again along the dim windowless corridors and decks shrouded in fog:
The deck below seemed deserted, too. She reached the last wet black step and turned sharply around the stairway. But the deck was not deserted; it was, instead, horribly inhabited. Marcia stopped, holding the railing. The foghorn began again, so waves of sound broke over the deck, shaking the ship and all the impenetrable grey world about her with dreadful tumult. It kept on sounding, while Marcia stood, looking down at the dark swarthy little man who lay with his eyes no longer suspicious and wary but blankly open, staring upward. He was Manuel Para and his throat had been cut.
A very long time seemed to have passed when suddenly she knew that someone was coming down the stairway immediately above her, following the steps her feet had taken. She looked up. It was a man in a red bathrobe. She could see him, and he had no face, but only white bandages with holes for eyes.
In H. R. F. Keating's Crime and Mystery: The 100 Best Books, he describes Mignon Eberhart as the heir and successor to Mary Robert Rinehart and a "star writer" in the first person single feminine tradition. Gertrude Stein described her as one of the "best mystifiers in America." She received the Scotland Yard Prize in 1930, became the Grand Master of the Mystery Writers of America in 1971, and 1979, received a MWA special Edgar to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the publication of her first novel.
There's been a lot of news lately from a variety of annual crime fiction awards, but what if those awards only happened every four years? That's what you face in the world of piano competitions, including the Van Cliburn and the just-completed Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. Since I have a piano background and the crime consultant in my Scott Drayco series is also pianist, it's been fun to watch snippets of the live-streaming from the competition. The Gold Medal was given yesterday to 27-year-old Russian Dmitry Masleev, with Lithuanian Lukas Geniušas and American 19-year-old George Li awarded Silver Medals. You'll be hearing a lot more from all of these talented artists.
Here's a snippet from one of wunderkind George Li's first-round performances:
At a banquet last evening, the Crime Writers Association announced more of its annual Dagger Awards. The International Dagger went to Camille, by Pierre Lemaitre, translated by Frank Wynne; the Short Story Dagger was handed out for “Apocrypha,” by Richard Lange (from Sweet Nothing: Stories, by Richard Lange; Mulholland Press); The Non-fiction Dagger: In Plain Sight: The Life and Lies of Jimmy Savile, by Dan Davies; The Endeavour Historical Dagger: The Seeker, by S.G. MacLean; The Debut Dagger: Last of the Soho Legends, by Greg Keen; and the Dagger in the Library for body of work went to Christopher Fowler. (Hat tip to The Rap Sheet.)
Foreword Reviews announced the winners in its 2014 INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards, including the mystery and thriller categories.
The Eleanor Taylor Bland Crime Fiction Writers of Color Award is an annual grant of $1,500 for an emerging writer of color, sponsored by the Sisters in Crime organization. An unpublished writer is preferred, although publication of one work of short fiction or an academic work won't disqualify an applicant. This grant is intended to support the recipient in activities related to crime fiction writing and career development. Deadline for applications is July 5, with the winner to be selected and announced in the fall.
Seattle Mystery Bookshop announced the sad news that the shop's founder, William D. Farley, died this week. Farley and his wife B Jo opened the bookshop in the summer of 1990. As the store blog noted, "It was his intention that the Seattle Mystery Bookshop be a place where readers and writers could meet, that it be a resource for those with questions or simply looking for a new author to read, that it be a place for someone new to the novels as well as the serious buyers looking to extend their collections."
The latest edition of Thuglit is out and available for download for the Kindle. Check out new original short fiction from Michael Pool, Mike Madden, Matthew J. Hockey, Dan J. Fiore, Joseph Rubas, Amanda Marbais, Luis Colón, Garnett Elliott.
Mike Ripley's latest "Getting Away with Murder" column for Shots Ezine includes a wrap-up of the annual Crime in the Court party thrown by Goldsboro Books, plus a look at recent awards and the usual variety of book reviews and news.
Crime fiction author James Patterson has been making headlines donating money to bookstores and libraries. The efforts include a $1.75m program to help fund school libraries and independent booksellers, and he recently announced the first round of awardees for those grants.
Since we're on the topic of bestselling crime fiction authors making donations, Peter James has donated £15,000 to a Sussex Police crime prevention campaign aimed at highlighting the danger of cyber crime and how the public can keep themselves safe.
The Indiana University library at Bloomington has a little exhibit they're featuring this summer. Titled "Death by Gimmick!," the four cases display gimmicks that pushed the fiction of some authors into the territory of the bizarre. Mapbooks are there, as is Dennis Wheatley's Crime Dossiers, which included print material such as cablegrams and transcripts of interview to each reader to help them solve the crime.
The Guardian picked a list of the top ten books about the mafia, "some fact, some myth, and some both."
The island country of Malta decided that one way to boost the country's profile was to have crime thrillers set there. So, the Malta Tourism Authority spent a week hosting authors Chris Kuzneski, Boyd Morrison and Graham Brown in hopes they'll help promote the Maltese islands in the U.S. market by using the archipelago as a backdrop in their books.
The Sydney Morning Herald profiled the new book Blockbuster! The Mystery of a Hansom Cab by Lucy Sussex. It details the story of Ferguson's 1886 crime thriller set in Melbourne and how it became a global publishing phenomenon. (WaPo discussed it last year, and it was one the subject of an IRTM Friday's "Forgotten" Book.)
The Guardian examined the Sherlock Holmes canon via a series of charts to help explain his enduring appeal. Meanwhile, the Den of Geek blog profiled "10 Offbeat Takes" on Sherlock Holmes.
In more classic crime fun, the International Crime Fiction Resesarch Group blogged about the "Semantics of murder: A look at the titles of the 66 novels by Agatha Christie."
Mashable offered up a list of "10 influential pulp novels that are criminally good," from the pulp tradition of the early 20th century, from Doc Savage to Raymond Chandler, to Dashiell Hammett.
You've heard that no two fingerprints are alike, but now scientists think that each person may have a unique sense of smell. They hope that a sort of "olfactory fingerprint"' test will not identify individuals but rather may help with everything from an early diagnosis of degenerative brain disorders to a non-invasive test for matching donor organs.
It's official: "twerking," the dance movement popularized by Miley Cyrus, has been officially added to the Oxford English Dictionary. But, surprise! The OED editors say that "twerk" actually dates back to 1820 when it was spelled "twirk," meaning a twisting or jerking movement or twitch.
The new poem at the 5-2 is "Elegy for a Lost War" by Dennis Weiser.
In the Q&A roundup this week, the latest "9mm interview" from Crime Watch featured Rosie Claverton, author of a series of cybercrime thrillers and an in-progress historic fantasy mystery set in Victorian times; mystery author Channing Whitaker stopped by Omnimystery News to talk about his new supernatural mystery; Jame DiBiasio took Paul D. Brazill's "Short, Sharp Interview" challenge to discuss the sequel to his debut thriller, Gaijin Cowgirl; and the Mystery People snared Don Winslow to talk about his new drug-trafficking novel, Cartel.
Pinterest isn't all just recipes and fashion - it can be a treasure trove of research for crime fiction authors. I have boards there for my Scott Drayco series research and another for Drayco's world, but also ones for Writing Prompts, Mystery Research, and some "just for fun" boards.
Other authors use Pinterest boards to post images related to their books, like Debbi Mack and her board for her character Sam McRae, Kristi Belcamino with a board on casting her novels, and Laurie R. King on various aspects of her Sherlock Holmes/Mary Russell series.
If you're interested in historical fiction, you can search for information on style and culture of, say, the 1920s or conduct a search on World War II and find images of people, documents, posters, aircraft, even games. Researching archaeology turns up fascinating artifacts and dig sites from around the world, helpful if you're writing a novel on that theme.
Searching for noir novels or pulp fiction novels provides a virtual library of hundreds (thousands?) of classic and not-so-classic covers spanning the history of those genres. Or pick an iconic author like Edgar Allan Poe or Raymond Chandler and there will be quotes, gravesites, childhood photos, movie posters, and the occasional video (and yes, scads of merchandising).
Want to know more about serial killers, past and recent? Or other aspects of true crime? Perhaps you want photos of settings in Edinburgh, from the underground vaults to Edinburgh Castle to pubs. There's also plenty of information, photos, and links about various weapons like Glocks or daggers.
Lest you also think Pinterest is only for women with children (which started out being the social network's core base), the number of U.S. men on Pinterest increased 73% in 2014, and the company says that more men are using Pinterest in the U.S. than read Sports Illustrated and GQ combined (via TechCrunch). Check out these boards from crime fiction authors Ed Lynskey, Lee Goldberg, T.E. Avery, and tech rockstar author Guy Kawasaki.
Plus, Pinterest is the second-largest growing major social network, with a jump of 7% in the past year (just behind Instagram at 9%). So there will continue to be plenty of research opportunities for writers and readers of all stripes. Just be sure and set a timer, because it's easy to fall into the Pinterest universe and get sucked in for hours.
Steven Spielberg is developing author Michael Crichton’s thriller Micro at DreamWorks. The story "follows a group of graduate students lured to Hawaii to work for a mysterious biotech company, only to find themselves miniaturized and cast out into the rainforest, with nothing but their wits and scientific expertise to protect them."
Game of Thrones star Kit Harington is joining Dakota Fanning and Guy Pearce in the upcoming thriller Brimstone. He'll play an outlaw who has a crucial role in the tale of retribution, replacing Robert Pattinson. Fanning stars as Liz, a heroine on the run from her past who's chased by the evil Preacher (Pearce).
Josh Brolin, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Olivia Munn have rounded out the cast of Otto Bathurst’s crime thriller Three Seconds, based on the bestselling novel by Anders Roslund and Borge Hellstrom. The story follows an ex-con, working undercover for the police, who is sent into a maximum security prison to break a criminal organization’s stranglehold on amphetamine dealings.
Ben Affleck and Matt Damon have signed on to produce a Warner Bros. adaptation of House of Deceit, a book proposal by BuzzFeed reporter Ken Bensinger about the FIFA soccer (a/k/a football) corruption scandal. Gavin O’Connor (The Accountant) has been hired to direct, with Anthony Tambakis on board to pen the script.
Another week, more Bourne casting news: the franchise starring Matt Damon (not the Jeremy Renner reboot) is allegedly in talks to sign on Viggo Mortenson as the bad guy, and Ex Machina star Alicia Vikander has landed the critical co-starring role.
Robert Downey Jr. has a project in the works based on David Howards' upcoming book, Chasing Phil: The World’s Greatest Con Man, Two Undercover FBI Agents, And Their Amazing Around The World Adventure. The book centers around the FBI’s first foray into white-collar crime using young agents as undercover operatives tasked with infiltrating the shady world of a rich con man.
Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed on to star in 478, a revenge thriller based on a script by Javier Gullon. The story follows a man whose wife and child are killed in a plane crash, which leads Schwarzenegger’s character to pursue the air traffic controller responsible for the tragedy.
A new trailer was released for Hitman: Agent 47, starring Rupert Friend as a mysterious assassin genetically engineered to be the perfect killer.
The upcoming latest installment of Mission Impossible (titled Rogue Nation) also released a new trailer.
Despite never having achieved huge ratings, this news is a bit of a shocker: NBC is cancelling Hannibal after three seasons. The season’s final episode will be shown on September 3, although showrunner Bryan Fulmer hinted that the show could return in another form or on another network, and Deadline reported there "has been a significant interest in Hannibal from other outlets."
NBC spared Aquarius the same fate however, renewing the David Duchovy-starring series about Charles Manson for a second season.
Bryan Cranston and David Shore’s pilot Sneaky Pete was given a pass by CBS, but Amazon may pick up the drama about a con man (Giovanni Ribisi) released from prison who assumes the identity of a cellmate. Amazon's streaming service will ultimately make the decision where to turn the pilot into a series based on account viewing data and customer feedback.
Another potential CBS project going through a transformation of a different sort is the legal drama Doubt, written by longtime Grey’s Anatomy executive producers Tony Phelan and Joan Rater. The network is looking to recast both lead roles, played in the original pilot by KaDee Strickland and Teddy Sears.
Justified executive producer Chris Provenzano is working on another Elmore Leonard adaptation for a new AMC series called Gunsights. Based on Leonard’s Western novel set in 1893 Arizona, the plot centers on Army officer Brendan Early and scout Dana Moon, who used to work together for the 10th Cavalry until they find themselves on opposite sides of a conflict between mining company thugs and a group of settlers.
Director David Fincher is taking on a new HBO project, the remake of Dennis Kelly’s U.K. mystery thriller series, Utopia. Rooney Mara is eyeing an unspecified starring role that would reunite her with Fincher for the first time since 2011’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Fincher, who intends to direct every episode of Utopia's first season, is also re-teaming with Gone Girl author/screenwriter Gillian Flynn to adapt the Channel 4 series.
ITV announced that Stephen Mangan and Michael Weston are to star in the 10-part, supernatural crime drama series Houdini & Doyle, from House creator David Shore. The series focuses on the relationship between early 20th century illusionist Harry Houdini and mystery writer Arthur Conan Doyle.
Blythe Danner has come aboard the Bernie Madoff miniseries to play Ruth Madoff, the convicted Ponzi schemer's wife.
Alana De La Garza (Forever) will take on a recurring role on the second season of CBS’ Scorpion. She'll play the smart, tough and driven new Head of Homeland Security "who needs the Scorpion team to be successful, but is it because it’s best for the team or because it’s best for her?"
Lili Taylor's is being promoted to a cast regular for the second season of American Crime. In the first season she played a victims rights advocate, but will have a different role in Season 2.Cast members Felicity Huffman, Timothy Hutton, Regina King, Elvis Nolasco and Richard Cabral have previously been confirmed to return in new roles for the second season.
Channel 4 has commissioned a second season of Paul Abbott's police procedural No Offence.
NBC announced its fall premiere dates, including The Mysteries of Laura and Law & Order: SVU (September 23); The Blacklist (September 24); Chicago P.D. (September 30); Chicago Fire (October 13); and Grimm (October 30).
Rolling Stone magazine profiled HBO's True Detective series, the shady history of California noir, and how the show's new season draws on everything from Chandler to Chinatown.
NPR's Scott Simon chatted with crime novelist Val McDermid about her new book, Forensics: What Bugs, Burns, Prints, DNA and More Tell Us About Crime.
Another NPR interview focused on Daniel Silva about the "double-edged sword" Of writing an Israeli spy protagonist.
The Canadian Broadcast Company's Mystery Book Panel returned with their annual summer reading list.
Mary Higgins Clark appeared on the Today Show to discuss her latest book, The Melody Lingers On.
NPR's Fresh Air program welcomed Noah Charney, author of The Art of Forgery: The Minds, Motives and Methods of the Master Forgers.
Three-time Emmy Award winner Laurie Metcalf has replaced Elizabeth Marvel as the leading lady to Bruce Willis in the new Broadway adaptation of Stephen King's Misery. She'll play the role of the obsessed fan played by Kathy Bates in the 1990 film version.
Sam Barlow, writer and lead designer of Silent Hill: Shattered Memories and Aisle, launched his first indie title Her Story. Playing like an interactive true crime documentary, the game lets you go hands-on with a police database full of live action video footage.
Tin Man Games is developing the popular TV series Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, which is based on a series of historical detective novels by Kerry Greenwood. The game will be called Miss Fisher and the Deathly Maze, and will be a "chooseable-path adventure and visual novel."
Author Heron Carvic was a study in contrasts. Born Geoffrey Richard William Harris in 1917, his public persona took him into very visible roles as an actor, and yet he was such a private person that very little is known about him. He did reveal that he was a great-grandson of Sir Richard Mayne, one of the two original Commissioners of Police; an old Etonian; and happily married to Phyllis Neilson-Terry of the famous British theatrical family (including her parents and her cousin, John Gielgud).
Carvic's acting roles were mostly dramatic and often included crime or science fiction. One of his early parts was in The Bat, a stage adaptation of Mary Roberts Rinehart's The Circular Staircase, and later roles included Gandalf in a radio version of The Hobbit, Jonathan Brewster in Arsenic and Old Lace, and guest roles in the TV shows Police Surgeon, The Avengers, and Dr. Who.
Thus, it's curious that he chose to write a comedic mystery series featuring the slightly barmy English spinster, Miss Seeton. But it was a success from the start with the first book, Picture Miss Seeton, a finalist for the Edgar Award in 1969.
Cavic had first used Miss Emily Seeton in a short story, and fifteen years later said that "Miss Seeton upped and demanded a book," with Carvic deciding that if "she wanted to satirize detective novels in general and elderly lady detectives in particular, he would let her have her lead." Later, Carvic contributed a chapter to the book Murder Ink, edited by Dilys Winn, titled "Little Old Ladies."
Carver said at one point that the character of Miss Seeton was inspired by his friendship with an artist who turned in a commission for a mother-child portrait and then destroyed her canvas of the mother's face rather than use it again. Years later, the now-adult son from the painting was sent to the Broadmoor psychiatric hospital after cutting his mother to ribbons with a kitchen knife. The author had no logical explanation for her destruction of the canvas, but "clearly she must have somehow have seen rather more than she knew."
Emily Seeton is a recently-retired art teacher in the process of moving to the country town of Plummergen, population five hundred and one, but her plans get waylaid when, after a night at the opera, she sees what she thinks is a man insulting a young woman. In fact, what she actually witnessed was a notorious drug dealer knifing a prostitute. (Which brings up a typical Seeton-esque line when she learns from the police about the young woman's "profession": "Oh, dear. A very hard life; such late hours—and then, of course, the weather. And so unrewarding one would imagine."). Aghast at the drug dealer's "bad manners," she pokes him in the back with her brolly (umbrella, to Yanks), which later makes her a darling of the newspapers, which dub her "The Battling Brolly."
When she's questioned by Superintendent Delphick and Detective-Sergeant Ranger of Scotland Yard, they ask her to sketch her impressions of the crime. Even though it was dark, she's able to draw enough details, particularly an element that she only sees in her subconscious, that it helps the police track down the killer. Miss Seeton, as it turns out, is an "anti-psychic." She has a knack for innocently drawing clues (sometimes foretelling events, sometimes revealing important character traits) into her sketches that she's totally unaware of, a talent that becomes invaluable to the police. Her innocence becomes one of the series' central devices, as she continues to attract crime and criminals even as she accidentally helps to foil them.
If your taste in mysteries runs toward the whimsical, then you'll be entertained by Miss Seeton, her brolly, her attempts at yoga, and snippets such as this one, about two denizens of Plummergen:
They were dedicated vegetarians, known collectively as The Nuts. Miss Nuttel, tall, angular, with the face of a dark horse, was generally referred to as Nutcracker. Mrs. Blaine, whose dumpy geniality was belied by the little blackcurrant eyes, was called by everyone Hot Cross Bun; this derived largely from Miss Nuttel's pet name for her of Bunny, but it may have been also a tacit acceptance of the shrewish temper which flared through the placid surface when she was thwarted. Their house, Lilikot, a modern innovation with large plate-glass windows screened by nylon net, was inevitably The Nut House.
Sadly, Carvic only completed five novels in the series before being killed in a car accident in 1980. The Miss Seeton series didn't die, however, continued under two other pseudonyms, Hampton Charles, the pen name of Roy Peter Martin, who wrote three novels all released in 1990, and Sarah J. Mason, writing under the name of Hamilton Crane, who took up the series after that point, writing 14 installments.
The winners of the Lamda Awards for LGBT fiction were announced last week, with The Old Deep and Dark: A Jane Lawless Mystery by Ellen Hart named best Lesbian Mystery, and Blackmail, My Love: A Murder Mystery by Katie Gilmartin, named Best Gay Mystery.
The finalists for the Macavity Awards were also announced, based on votes from members of Mystery Readers International, subscribers to Mystery Readers Journal, and friends and supporters of MRI. The candidates for Best Novel includeThe Lewis Man, by Peter May; The Last Death of Jack Harbin, by Terry Shames; The Killer Next Door, by Alex Marwood; The Day She Died, by Catriona McPherson; The Missing Place, by Sophie Littlefield; and The Long Way Home, by Louise Penny. For the complete lists in all the categories, check out the Mystery Fanfare blog.
FYI, Mystery Fanfare also posted links to all the Macavity-nominated short stories that you can read for free.
The inaugural St. Albans Writers' Festival in Australia will include a crime writing panel on Saturday, September 19, featuring authors Nigel Bartlett, Barry Maitland, PM Newton and Michael Robotham in conversation with crime fiction aficionado Rachel Franks.
As part of the 125th anniversary celebrations for Agatha Christie, a "treasure trove" of photos of the author from the her private collection will go on display at the Bankside Gallery in London August 26 - September 6. Titled "Agatha Christie: Unfinished Portrait," the exhibition will include notes from her unpublished private correspondences and a timeline highlighting key moments in her career. The collection will then move to the Agatha Christie Festival for display in September. (HT to Crime Fiction Lover.)
Martin Edwards, author of The Golden Age of Murder, spoke with the BBC's history magazine about Agatha Christie and The Detection Club, the "mysterious" social network to which Christie and other major Golden Age writers belonged.
Crime fiction author Mark Billingham, who has also worked as a standup comedian, chatted with The Guardian about a comedy/crime theme running throughout the Theakstons Old Peculier Harrogate crime writing festival this year.
The Journal of the Academic Anglophone Society of Romania is seeking submissions for a special 2017 issue on Contemporary Crime Fiction, guest edited by Dr Charlotte Beyer. The special issue will focus on contemporary crime fiction and trace thematic and formal priorities that emerged during the late 20th to early 21st Century. The deadline for papers is October 1. (HT to Sandra Seamans.)
Writing for the blog of the Library of America, Tom Nolan discussed husband-and-wife mystery authors Ross Macdonald and Margaret Millar and "the traumas that encompassed literature and life" for the successful duo.
The Guardian's Sam Jordison makes the case that Patricia Highsmith’s book Plotting and Writing Suspense Fiction is an inspiring primer for budding psycho-crime novelists.
Inkshares is a new company that will offer indie booksellers their own imprint. Seattle-based Ada’s Technical Books became the first to come on board, and the Seattle Mystery Bookshop could be next. The Mystery Bookshop's owner J.B. Dickey explained that an Inkshares imprint could be an opportunity to help midlist authors at a time when so much of publishing seems to focus on bestsellers.
Mental Floss had fun with the article "15 Curious Facts About Sherlock Holmes and the Sherlockian Subculture."
Cannon Hall, the childhood home of Daphne Du Maurier (author of Rebecca and "The Birds"), has sold for around £28million. Regarded by some experts as one of London's finest period homes, the property was a key location in Otto Preminger's 1965 movie thriller Bunny Lake Is Missing, starring Laurence Olivier.
The new e-issue of Yellow Mama is out, with new crime short stories and poems.
The new crime poem at the 5-2 is "Ice Cream People" by Jennifer Lagier.
In the Q&A roundup, the Mystery People chatted with James W. Ziskin about his series with Sixties-era “girl reporter” Ellie Stone, and also with Mark Pryor about his latest Hugo Marston novel; Col Bury took Paul D. Brazill's "Short, Sharp Interview" challenge; Steven Tyler spoke with Omnimystery News about his new murder mystery featuring amateur sleuth Luna Susan George; South Africa's BooksLive spoke with Joanne Macgregor about her psychological thriller Dark Whispers, recently translated into Afrikaans; Ragnar Jónasson discussed his writing with the Irish Times and how The Murder of Roger Ackroyd had a great impact on him; and the Huffington Post interviewed Don Winslow about his latest drug trafficking novel, Cartel.