MysteryLady's blog

It's A Mystery 1/13/09

Beginnings and Endings

The close of 2008 allows us to take another look at some of the news that caught the attention of mystery readers in the last year.

Among the notable authors who passed away in 2008 were these mystery writers:

It's a Mystery 12/06/08

Did You Know ...?

While browsing some mystery authors' websites, I discovered some interesting facts about the writers.  Here are just a few things I learned.

  • Alexander McCall Smith (#1 Ladies Detective Agency series) was a Professor of Medical Law at the University of Edinburgh and served on national and international bioethics panels.

It's a Mystery 10/30/08

Award-Winners

More 2008 mystery awards have been handed out for books written in 2007 and there are two novels which have nearly swept the various awards. 

It's a Mystery 10/07/08

Season's Readings

 

Though we may not be ready, many holiday-related mysteries will soon be appearing in our new book section.  Here is a sampling:

A Christmas Grace - by Anne Perry - Now a holiday tradition, this sixth Christmas mystery, featuring Perry's popular Victorian sleuth Thomas Pitt, tells the chilling story of a storm-wracked coastal village that hides a terrible secret.

It's a Mystery 9/18/08

Collaboration

There's a lot of collaborating going on in the mystery genre.  Whether it is bringing together several characters from different series to solve a crime, or authors working together on a novel, collaboration brings an interesting perspective to the story.

Some mystery authors who write more than one series will occasionally bring their characters together on a case.  J.A. Jance united her Seattle detective J.P. Beaumont and Arizona sheriff Joanna Brady in Partners in Crime.  Robert Parker has included both P.I. Sunny Randall and police chief Jesse Stone in Blue Screen and High Profile.

It's a Mystery 8/21/08


New Fall Releases

 

A number of popular mystery authors have new books coming out in August and September.  Here is a sampling of some forthcoming titles.

It's A Mystery 7/28/08

Authors Who Write More Than One Mystery Series

I started to make a list of mystery authors who have written more than one mystery series, but stopped when I realized there were too many to mention.

Robert B. Parker, for example, is currently writing three mystery series:  the long-running Spenser series set in Boston, the Jesse Stone series about a police chief in Paradise, Massachusetts, and the Sunny Randall series about a female private investigator in Boston.  In a recent interview Parker explained how each series evolved and why he created them:

"I invented Jesse Stone so I could try my hand at a third person narration, and a guy who was nowhere near as evolved as Spenser.  Jesse has problems with alcohol and his ex-wife.  Spenser is complete.  Jesse is a life work in progress.  I also liked writing about a cop and a small-town police force.  Sunny Randall was invented at the behest of Helen Hunt, who wanted me to invent someone for her to play in a series of movies.  We agreed that I would write a novel.  Putnam would publish.  Sony would buy it for Helen, and Helen would star.  Everything worked fine up to actually making the movie.  That is in limbo.  Sunny did well and my publisher urged me to continue, so I did.  I lean heavily on Joan [Parker's wife] for the woman's point of view here.  And I am able to write about things from the perspective of someone of great courage but limited physical strength."

It's a Mystery 7/7/2008

Mysteries on the Move

 

WOW!  What happened to the mysteries?  As many of you may have noticed, the library has been doing a lot of rearranging of the fiction collection, including the mystery section. 

It's a Mystery 6/26/2008

MYSTERY SERIES

 

One thing that often distinguishes mysteries from suspense novels is that most mysteries are part of a continuing series.  Suspense novels are usually stand-alones.

Many readers of mysteries (myself included) enjoy following these series.  You get to know the main characters, their family, friends, and co-workers and how their lives and careers change over time.  As soon as you finish the newest title, you look forward to the next book, especially if the latest one ends in a cliff-hanger.

It's a Mystery 6/5/08

The Cozy Mystery (a.k.a. the traditional British mystery)

 

Among the many sub-genres of mysteries, one of the most popular is the cozy mystery.  The mystery website cluelass.com defines a cozy as a traditional style of mystery that usually includes an amateur sleuth or eccentric professional solving a crime in a country house or quiet neighborhood, with very little description of violence or sex.  There is a limited roster of suspects, all part of the victim's social circle, and a mildly romantic sub-plot.