Celestine Sibley (1914–1999) worked as a journalist with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution for more than 50 years, covering the James Earl Ray trial, among her many assignments. She penned more than 10,000 columns, as well as many popular essays on southern culture.
She had a bit of a detour in the early 1950s, working as a Hollywood correspondent and interviewing celebrities like Clark Gable, Walt Disney, and Jane Russell. It was at this point she turned her hand to writing pulp stories, moonlighting as a True Confession and True Detective reporter and selling stories with faux-shocking headlines like "I Wanted to Die" and "I Was a Junkie."
Perhaps motivated by her pulp-experiences, she decided to switch to writing books. Those efforts resulted in the publication of The Malignant Heart (1958), the first book in her mystery series featuring newly-widowed Atlanta newspaper reporter-columnist Kate Mulcay. However, she didn't write her second Kate Mulcay novel, Ah Sweet Mystery, until 1991, some 33 years later, then followed up with four more before her death.
Bill Kovach, a former editor of The Journal-Constitution, referred to her newspaper writing as "a country-girl-come-to-the-city kind of column" and that Sibley "was the last voice of the white-glove, tea-and-apple-blossom set that had not a sharp edge on it.'' I think that aptly sums up the style of writing in Ah Sweet Mystery.
The novel begins with Mulcay living by herself in a rural log cabin with some reminiscing on life with her husband Benjy, a member of the Atlanta police force who died from cancer. One of the friends Mulcay has made in the area is the elderly Miss Willie, devoted stepmother to the adult Garney Wilcox. Wilcox is a land developer hated by just about everyone who is pushing his stepmother into a nursing home, egged on by his equally-unpleasant wife Voncile.
When Garney is found poisoned, electrocuted and bludgeoned, Miss Willie confesses to the murder, but Mulcay doesn't buy it for a minute. With the help of Atlanta PD Sergeant Mellie Alvarez and some Nelson Eddy-Jeanette MacDonald songs, the feisty Mulcay sets out to exonerate Miss Willie and finds that the traditional southern culture in Fulton County hides dark secrets of incest, rape and drug-running.
If you're looking for more sleuthing and procedural elements, this novel isn't for you. It's more of a social commentary with detailed painting of the place and the characters who populate it. The mystery takes a back seat, the story ends somewhat abruptly, and the dialect gets laid on perhaps a bit thick at times. However, if you can get past all of that, you will enjoy Sibley's leisurely, folksy style.
Based in Vermont, author Tim Weed teaches at GrubStreet in Boston and in the MFA Creative & Professional Writing program at Western Connecticut State University. He is the winner of a Writer’s Digest Popular Fiction Award and a Solas Best Travel Writing Award and also has published many short stories and essays. In addition to his writing work he has more than two decades’ experience developing and directing educational travel programs around the world and is currently a featured expert for National Geographic Expeditions on traveling programs to Cuba, Spain, and Patagonia/Tierra del Fuego.
Tim Weed’s first novel, Will Poole’s Island is set in New England, 1643. A meeting in the forest between a rebellious young Englishman and a visionary Wampanoag leads to a dangerous collision of societies, an epic sea journey, and the making of an unforgettable friendship. Will Poole's Island is a tale of adventure, wonder, and mystery in which a young man discovers that he is destined for more than his narrow upbringing led him to expect.
Tim Weed stops by In Reference to Murder today to talk about how his interest in family history led him to research that inspired the events of this novel:
Several years ago I got interested in family history. Tracing the Weeds back through the decades and the centuries, I found that the first Weed, Jonas, had come to America in 1630, on the ship Arbella, with Governor Winthrop of Massachusetts Bay Colony. Another ancestor was a young widower named Thomas Trowbridge, who crossed the Atlantic with three young sons and a household servant in 1637 to become one of the founders of New Haven, Connecticut. In 1645, Thomas Trowbridge sailed back to England to help Oliver Cromwell fight against king Charles in the English Civil War. He was killed in battle, leaving the three young Trowbridge orphans in the trust of their father’s servant, Henry Gibbons. Gibbons turned out to be corrupt, and basically swindled the boys out of their fortune.
Left on their own to survive in the wilds of America, the boys became merchant sea captains. One, William Trowbridge, was captured by the French and later became the subject of a sermon by the famous Puritan cleric Cotton Mather. Anyway, all of this was fascinating to me, and those who have read the book may recognize echoes of these ancestral histories in the story of my protagonist, Will Poole, his brother Zeke, and their legal guardian, the servant James Overlock.
I also have Native American ancestors – my great grandmother was half Cherokee – and I was fascinated by that heritage. So I wanted to find out more about the New England Indians too. I started reading a lot of primary resources, mostly accounts written by early English travelers and colonists. These books were very interesting, but they were of course written purely from the English perspective. Most of the observations of Indians by these early English described them as tall, handsome, healthy, with exceptionally good teeth. And then there was the fact that English captives, especially young ones, were often reluctant to return to the settlements after they’d been ransomed or rescued – because the freedom and ease they found in Indian society compared favorably to the strictness and repression of Puritan society. I found this most provocative, and it gave me an important insight into the character of my protagonist, Will Poole.
In 1614, six years before Plymouth Rock, an English sea captain named Thomas Hunt kidnapped twenty-seven Algonkian-speaking Indians from different spots along the New England coast and sold them as slaves to the Spanish. Among this group was a Patuxet Wampanoag who called himself Tisquantum, a name that was later shortened to “Squanto.” Tisquantum managed to escape slavery in Spain and made his way to England, where he was taken up by a group of investors interested in colonizing the New World. Tisquantum spent five years in England and found his way home in 1619, only to discover that his entire band had perished in a devastating plague. There is a character in my book, Squamiset, who has a very similar story.
Anyway, in the course of all this research I was beginning to develop a mental picture of New England in the 17th century. The thing was, the picture wasn’t complete. It wasn’t vivid or alive in my mind. And so in a sense the novel came to me because I passionately wanted to know more about the time and place, and I was only getting a dry and limited vision from my research.
And when it came time to transition from the research phase to the novel-writing phase, I began to get a feeling of accumulating energy, as if the story were telling itself. It was as if my early American characters had an important message they wanted to communicate - a new way of thinking, perhaps, or a reminder of a very old way of thinking. Novels are obviously limited in what they can achieve, of course, and in the end this is just a story. It’s a story about the friendship between a young man and an old man, their adventures and struggles and the landscapes they travel through, and the people and beings they interact with. I hope you enjoy it!
Bouchercon 2014 wrapped up this past weekend, which also means we now know this year's winners for the Anthony Awards, the Barry Awards, the Macavity Awards, and the Shamus Awards. William Kent Krueger scored close to a sweep by winning the Best Novel Anthony, Best Novel Barry, and Macavity Best Novel nods for Ordinary Grace, while the Shamus for Best Hardcover PI Novel went to Brad Parks for The Good Cop. (For all the winners, check out the Shots Ezine blog.) For all the finalists, check out these websites for the Anthonys, the Barrys, the Macavitys, and the Shamus Awards (via Crimespree).
RT Book Reviews also announced the finalists for their annual awards in various categories, including a general Mystery, Suspense, Thriller category and Romantic Suspense.
Kirkus Reviews named their "Best of 2014" fiction selections, including several mysteries and thrillers.
Martin Edwards notes on his blog that the British Library's Crime Classics series are publishing two anthologies of Golden Age fiction edited and introduced by Edwards that he hopes will "introduce a new generation of readers to some of the marvellous short stories published between the wars." The two books are Resorting to Murder, which focuses on holiday mysteries, and Capital Crimes, a collection of stories set in and around London, with each volume including include one or two rare stories. Edwards has also been named Series Consultant for the Crime Classics initiative, which has several more interesting titles in the publishing pipeline.
The latest Mystery Readers Journal is devoted to bibliomysteries, mystery stories set in the world of books (publishing, bookselling, libraries, academia, etc.).
India's first Crime Fiction Festival debuts January 17-18, 2015, featuring crime and thriller writers from across the world, as well as noted scriptwriters and directors, who will "dissect the genre in visual medium and performing arts."
Law enforcement officer and author B.J. Bourg's blog Righting Crime Fiction aims to help authors get the details in their fiction just right. His latest offering is about spent casings and crime scenes.
Author Val McDermid takes a look at the brillliant unconventional crime novels of Josephine Tey, the "enigmatic writer whose dark, unsettling stories dragged the crime novel into the modern age."
An essay in The New York Times claims that modern technology has led to "The Death of the Private Eye," although the P.I. team Colleen Collins and Shaun Kaufman have a different take on the subject.
Paul Dickson selects his top 10 favorite "authorisms" – neologisms coined by authors which have entered the wider language, from Shakespeare to Joseph Heller.
The Guardian profiled the tiny books in the famous Queen Mary's Doll House collection, including the 503-word Sherlock Holmes story "How Watson Learned The Trick" that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle created for the Doll house. The newspaper is giving away five tiny replicas of the book to lucky winners who enter by November 24 November.
This week's crime poem at the 5-2 is "Escape From Dallas" by William G. Rector.
The Q&A roundup this week includes an interview over at The Mystery People blog with Paul Oliver, founder of Syndicate Books, a new independent publisher dedicated to bringing back the works of great and influential crime authors back in print; Mark S. Bacon stops by Omnimystery News to talk about his new mystery Death in Nostalgia City; and Preston Lang takes Paul D. Brazill's "Short, Sharp Interview" challenge.
Today's guest post is from British author JM Shorney, author of Progeny of a Killer.
Undercover agent and assassin, Aidan McRaney, is sent to infiltrate the lair of fellow Irishman, Daniel Corrigan, by his boss, wheelchair-bound Sir George Treveleyan. Only Corrigan and Treveleyan know of McRaney’s secret past. Aidan has no idea of his mother’s affair with wanted I.R.A man, Connor McMartland, who was also Corrigan’s father. This shocking news triggers a chain of unprecedented events that sends Aidan into the world of white slave trafficking and puts Aidan's own son in harm's way.
Shorney stops by In Reference to Murder today to share her inspiration for her books and some insights into her research:
As three of my novels Stalking Aidan, The Devil in Soho and Staying Out are related to gangsters, what better way of recounting my experiences in the area of research, than to actually revisit the early years when I once dated a man actively involved in gangland. This was before marriage and children, but it was an experience I have drawn upon for my novels.
As I was about to become engaged to him, he had gone from being penniless and unemployed, to throwing his money around. It turned out that he, and other members of his hoodlum fraternity, had held up and robbed a post office in Chesterfield. It was this incident that perhaps led me to immerse myself in the gangster/crime genre. Watching countless movies and reading non-fiction crime books has also acquainted me with this twilight world of nightclubs, drugs and prostitution.
Of course, visiting the places has added more feeling and sensation to my writing. Nothing is more powerful and atmospheric than to visit the places you write about. I have to admit I've worn out much shoe leather walking the streets of London, particularly the East End and South London, where my stories are set.
For Progeny of a Killer I had researched Irish history extensively for many years, and gone through many Kleenex tissues due to being upset by this bloody history. I have been able to construct this story of revenge and desperate sorrow, experienced by one man, Danny Corrigan, for what he sees as acts of insurgency against the Irish nation.
In Dublin, prior to writing the novel, I visited Kilmainham gaol. I saw that small, lonely black cross over the mound of earth and knew I had to write about it. Particularly the death of James Connolly, the last of the rebel leaders of the1916 Easter Uprising. Connolly was propped up by a chair and shot, which is referred to by Danny Corrigan in Progeny. Corrigan's hatred of the British is such, that he has a plan is to bring them down, not with bombings or assassinations, but paedophilia and white slave trafficking. In the murder and torture of children lies the machinations of this man. Visiting Kilmainham and seeing the small barred cells, gave me the first hand experience no Wikipedia entry or Google search could ever offer.
To get to real grips with your story, write what you know, what you feel and what you see.
For more information about Storney and Progeny, check out her AuthorAmp website.
Here's the latest news wrap-up for crime-related movies, television shows, podcasts, and the theater:
At last week's Hollywood Film Awards, David Fincher's adaptation of Gillian Flynn's novel Gone Girl took home the top prize. Benedict Cumberbatch snagged the Best Actor honor for his role as WWII codebreaker Alan Turing in The Imitation Game, and his co-star Keira Knightley won Best Supporting Actress.
Two-time Oscar winner Christoph Waltz has signed on to join Daniel Craig in Sam Mendes’ Bond 24, and speculation is that he will be playing the villain.
Production on the Jake Gyllenhall-starring film The Man Who Made It Snow (based on the nonfiction book of the same name by Max Mermelstein) may be in jeopardy due to a production company lawsuit. The the film tells the story of an American who cracked the inner circle of the Colombian drug cartels in the 1980s and helped build Pablo Escobar's empire.
Sundance Selects picked up North American broadcast rights to three popular Danish "Department Q" thrillers (The Keeper Of Lost Causes, The Absent One, A Conspiracy Of Faith), all adaptations of the bestselling Department Q series of novels written by Jussi Adler-Olsen. The stories focus on chief detective Carl Mørck who’s banished to a basement office to run a cold case division, and star Nikolaj Lie Kaas (A Second Chance) and Fares Fares (Child 44, Zero Dark Thirty).
A trailer was released for the film adaptation of Mordecai, based on the books by Kyril Bonfiglio. The film stars Johnny Depp on a globe-spanning adventure to recover a stolen painting.
Longmire fans take note: the series based on the stories and characters by author Elmore Leonard is reportedly close to a deal for a new life on Netflix.
Fans of Perception aren't as lucky, however, as TNT announced it was axing the show after three seasons. The show starred Eric McCormack as a neuroscience professor who consults with the FBI on various cases.
CBS has given a production commitment to Sneaky Pete, a drama written and executive-produced Bryan Cranston and David Shore, about a con man in his thirties who assumes the identity of a cellmate to escape his darker past after leaving prison.
ABC put into development Emma Cavendish, a legal procedural written by NCIS co-executive producer Chris Silber about a young attorney who discovers a long-buried secret about her family.
Sundance TV greenlighted the drama series Hap and Leonard, based on the book series by Joe Lansdale. The six-episode series centers on a pair of best friends and martial arts experts who struggle through misadventure in a bid to stay on the right side of the law in 1980 East Texas. Production is scheduled to begin in 2015 for a 2016 broadcast.
NBC is looking to add to its recent foray into live productions with a live version of Aaron Sorkin’s famous play A Few Good Men, which was turned into a film directed by Rob Reiner and starring Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson.
The creators of Justified are creating a new series for CBS that's set in a Texas suburb. It centers on a prosecutor named Gaby Ortiz, nicknamed “The Beast,” who's tasked with taking down the rampant crime rate in the area, following the disturbing death of the district attorney.
Elizabeth Perkins (Weeds) will costar in TNT’s untitled Miami-set project from Jerry Bruckheimer and Michael Bay about the wild and unpredictable world of the Florida drug trade in the 1970s.
Lolita Davidovich and Intruders star James Frain have been added to the cast for the second season of HBO’s True Detective.
Jessy Schram (Veronica Mars) and Jonathan Banks (Breaking Bad) have joined the cast of Lifetime’s six-episode limited series The Lizzie Borden Chronicles, based on the life of the notorious murderess.
Girl Meets World actor Ben Savage is set to guest star in an episode of Criminal Minds on CBS, playing a young version of Mandy Patinkin's character.
Ron Perlman has signed on to play The Blacklist's next mega criminal when the show returns on February 1st behind the Super Bowl. He'll play a meticulous thief who plans his international heists over the course of several months or years, creating diversions and chaos to get what he wants — until he faces off with Red Reddington (James Spader).
BBC Two has ordered a third series of the Steven Knight-created period crime saga Peaky Blinders, with Netflix set to air Season 3 in the U.S. after BBC Two airs the series first.
NBC, Nat Geo and Discovery are teaming up to launch The Justice Network, dedicated to solving crime and “make a difference.” Programming will feature stories of true crime and aim to make communities safer by empowering viewers to take action.
Showtime renewed Homeland, starring Clare Danes, for a fifth season.
USA renewed its law-enforcement drama Graceland, starring Aaron Tveit and Daniel Sunjata, for a third season. The series centers on a group of diverse law-enforcement agents from the DEA, FBI and Customs forced to live together in an undercover beach house in Southern California.
TNT announced it's pulling the plug on the legal dramedy Franklin & Bash, which just wrapped up its fourth season on the network.
Amazon released a trailer for its upcoming new TV series Bosch, based on the Harry Bosch books by Michael Connelly.
What's the state of the art in forensic science? Find out on the latest Crime & Science Radio: Improving Forensic Science with Kevin Lothridge Of The NFSTC.
Garrison Keillor's Midwestern private eye Guy Noir from Prairie Home Companion was the inspiration for a ballet by James Sewell Ballet in the Twin Cities. Although it's too late to catch the show, here's hoping it might spur other companies to take on this new production. (Hat tip to Elizabeth Foxwell.)
Paula Gosling was born Paula Osius in 1939, the daughter of an inventor in Detroit, Michigan. She tried her hand at poetry at Wayne State University and later at a Detroit advertising agency, but wasn't happy. In 1964, she headed to England in search of romance, intrigue and adventure, eventually meeting her husband, Christopher Gosling, whom she married in 1968.
Although divorced after only nine years of marriage, she kept the Gosling surname as she started writing her books. Perhaps she felt she owed him her literary start, because it was loneliness when he was away working that led her to start writing to pass the time. The result was A Running Duck in 1974, which won the CWA's John Creasey Award for the best first novel of the year and was named in 1990 as one of the CWA's Top 100 Crime Novels of All Time.
Many books followed, mostly standalones at first, including one paranormal book penned under the name Ainslie Skinner. Eventually she created her first series, with Detective Chief Inspector Luke Abbot, and another, the Blackwater Bay series, she set near the Great Lakes with Sheriff Matt Gabriel as protagonist. A third series, which she also set in the U.S., was launched in 1985 with Monkey Puzzle, a police procedural centered around homicide Lieutenant Jack Stryker, which won the 1985 CWA Gold Dagger Award.
Money Puzzle takes place primarily around Grantham University in Ohio, when one of the English professors, Aiken Adamson, is murdered and his tongue cut out. The professor was despised by all of his colleagues for collecting and hoarding secrets about them like the human equivalent of a thieving magpie. Hours before his death, all of the department members were with Adamson at a sherry reception, giving each of them opportunity for murder, in addition to the various motives they had—personal and professional rivalries, envy, sexual intrigue and blackmail.
As Detective Stryker digs deeper into the case, he realizes he has secret ties of his own to one of the professors, Kate Trevorne and starts to fall for her, despite the fact her boyfriend and fellow English prof is the prime suspect. Although at first, the murder is considered a crime of passion (the victim was a homosexual), the case soon takes a different turn when the Chairman of the Department is attacked and his ear cut off. Stryker, recovering from pneumonia, is doggedly determined to nail the culprit no matter what it takes, but when Kate is attacked and the murderer attempts to gouge out one of her eyes, the case becomes personal.
Gosling does a good job of portraying the sometimes cut-throat world of academia with its petty squabbles, jockeying for position and inter-departmental feuds. The characters are also relatively well drawn, although some might find a few cliches that date the book, i.e., the sleazy homosexual (complete with mirrors on the ceiling), an alcoholic Vietnam vet and a cop-hating young professor who participated in campus riots in the 70s. The writing carries you along at a suspenseful clip, but it can also show hints of Gosling's poetry background, like this excerpt following a snowfall that is appropriate for the recent winter weather we've been having:
He loved the city like this, hushed and briefly upended in it headlong run to destruction, mantled with a transient beauty that hid all the dirt and slowed all the hate. In two miles he passed only four cars, and the drivers smiled as they edged past one another in the rutted, twinkling streets. The snow made them momentary partners in adversity, witnesses of that fleeting moment in time when nobody had spoiled anything. Yet.
As a side note, Gosling's novel A Running Duck, written in 1974 (also published as Fair Game), was adapted into two separate films, one starring Sylvester Stallone, titled Cobra, and the second starring Cindy Crawford, titled Fair Game. Unfortunately, like a lot of books-to-film, the results were less than Oscar-worthy; the Stallone version was nominated for a Razzie in 1986 for worst screenplay and Metacritic listed the Cindy Crawford flick as one of its five worst movies based on a novel.
Not that Gosling was particularly worried. In a People interview, she noted she had optioned the film to Warner Bros, for a "mid-five-figure" sum and almost forgotten about it when a friend of her son's alerted her to the fact Gosling's name was in the Stallone film' credits. At the time, she said "I haven't really taken it in yet. It's all very exciting."
Hemmie Martin has spent most of her professional life as a nurse, including being a Community Nurse for people with learning disabilities and a Forensic Nurse working with young offenders. She spent six years living in the south of France, and currently lives in Essex in the U.K. She writes crime fiction with a dark edge, including a series with D.I Eva Wednesday novel, second of which, Rightful Owner, was published this week.
When a murder occurs in an exclusive swingers’ club, D.I. Wednesday and D.S. Lennox find themselves immersed in a murky world of sex and secrets. It doesn’t take long for the members to turn on one another, and for their clandestine affairs to come crashing into their everyday lives. As Wednesday experiences the pressures of work and caring for her mother’s mental illness, and Lennox’s ex-wife has him worrying about the sustainability of his role as a father, their case brings about questions of personal freedom and they begin to wonder if we are all, in fact, owned in one way or another.
Martin stops by In Reference to Murder today to talk about "Being Close to Crime":
I had always wanted to be a policewoman, but life took me down the nursing route, after a volunteering placement. Years down the line, I found myself working as a Forensic Nurse with young people between ten and eighteen, who had committed crimes. Their offences ranged from theft, drug or alcohol use, assault, to murder. I visited the young people in their homes, schools, hostels, or young offender institutes (prison). I was finally working alongside the police.
My experiences of visiting prisons, police cells and courts, add some (I hope) realism to my novels. I remember vividly the pressure of the job, the claustrophobic feeling of the cells, and the general malaise clinging to the atmosphere in the prisons. I was visiting an offender once, when the prison alarm rang. A fight had broken out, and lock-down was being enforced. Although I was completely safe, adrenaline riddled by body. I also remember taking a group of male adolescents to a male adult prison, with the idea of dissuading them from a life of crime. Walking within the grounds, men were hurling obscenities at myself and my female colleague, which was an uncomfortable experience.
I obviously do not use real people or their actual crimes in my novels, but I do liaise with a Detective Inspector in the Metropolitan Police Force, who advises me on procedural issues, which is a great help. As he is the same rank as my female DI, he is able to see things as she would. However, I reserve the right to use artistic licence, as sometimes the police procedure is quite a drawn-out process, which could be quite boring to read. I want an element of realism in my work, but not an out-and-out- procedural novel. I like to study the human aspects of crime, and the people behind the Detective Inspector and Detective Sergeant badges.
I am due to attend jury service in a week, which I hope will add another dimension to my writing. I’m used to being in Court with an offender, but never on the side of a jury, so I’m excited to see what that is like.
I have a plethora of books on policing, forensics, poisoning, true crime, and criminal psychology, to name but a few. I read a variety of male and female authors of crime fiction, such as Ian Rankin and P.D. James, but nothing beats human intervention, in my opinion.
When I write, I have the idea of the crime in mind, but sometimes the perpetrator changes from who I originally intended it to be, as once I start, things I could not see before writing suddenly develop. It is then I see who else would be better suited as the perpetrator, which often affords me the twist in the denouement, which hopefully thrills the reader.
This has taught me that over-planning a novel could stifle such hidden gems. I will write a mind-map as I move through the story, to check where people were when the crime took place, but I only use this overview as a guide, not a testament to follow religiously, as things always have a potential to change. But that makes a story interesting for me to write, and for a reader to devour.
Amazon's editorial staff chose its "Best Books of 2014" including those in the Mystery/Thriller/Suspense Category. You can check out all of the twenty chosen titles via this link.
Five authors were shortlisted for the CWA 2014 Dagger in the Library award, which honors an author’s body of work to date. The top vote-getters include Sharon Bolton, Elly Griffiths, Mari Hannah, James Oswald, and Mel Sherratt.
John Fortunato's Dark Resrvations won the 2014 Tony Hillerman Prize for a best first mystery novel set in the desert southwestern U.S. (Hat tip to Ali Karim.)
The deadline for submission to the William F. Deeck-Malice Domestic Grants Program for Unpublished Writers has been extended to December 15, 2014. (HT to Donna Andrews.)
Via Mystery Fanfare: If you're going to the Bouchercon crime fiction conference this weekend, you can download the official Bouchercon app for Android and iPhones.
One thousand International Thriller Writers authors are donating a book so that lucky winners can read a book each week for a year. Simply sign up on the ITW website to receive The Big Thrill magazine, and you'll be be entered to win. Winners drawn November 30, 2014 (and prizes mailed in time for holiday gift giving, if you prefer to share the spoils).
Joshua Rothman takes on "A Better Way to Think About the Genre Debate" in fiction, noting the "genrification" of fiction today and how it remains unclear exactly what the terms “literary fiction” and “genre fiction” mean.
Charles Finch chose "Classic mysteries every fan should read" for USA Today.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled against heirs of Arthur Conan Doyle over a copyright battle in a decision expected to clear way for wave of new Sherlock spin-offs.
RIP to Seymour Shubin, 93, who died this past week. He was a best-selling author of 15 mystery novels and won numerous awards, including the Edgar Allan Poe Special Award.
The featured crime poem at the 5-2 this week is "Felony Adultery" by Robert Cooperman.
The Q&A roundup this week includes Terry Shames chatting with The Mystery People; John Connolly discussed his Charlie Parker series with the Minneapolis Star-Tribune; Raymond Benson was interviewed at Omnimystery News abou his fifth and final book in The Black Stiletto series, Endings & Beginnings; Lawrence Block talked with the UK's The Skinny publication about his life and writing career; The Independent took on the "the self-styled 'Demon Dog' of American crime fiction," James Ellroy.
Today is Veteran's Day, and the traditional parades and ceremonies are a great way to celebrate the veterans of our armed forces. However, many veterans who have returned from tours of duty are still suffering from physical and psychological wounds that can take a lot of time and money to treat. The Wounded Warrior Project takes as part of its mission:
The physical support is important, but as a 2012 New York Times article reported, the emotional and psychological support is every bit as crucial, since for every soldier killed in war, about 25 veterans take their own lives.
The organization not only provides a support system and helps provide for physical needs, it also helps veterans with job training and in securing jobs. You can help by giving financial donations, by participating in one of their 8K runs and hundreds of other sports events throughout the country, or by shopping with affiliate companies.
For more information about the program and how to help, check out their website, or follow them on Facebook and Twitter.
This charity meets all of the qualifications for the Wise Giving Alliance Seal from the Better Business Bureau.