CATEGORIES

THE MANY FACES OF MORIARTY

By 1893, Arthur Conan Doyle was a worldwide literary sensation. But he was also a man dogged by an unlikely enemy, and that enemy’s name was Sherlock Holmes. Frankenstein-like, the fictional detective haunted his creator, tormenting him, and would not leave him alone. For it must be said that Conan Doyle was a man of high literary aspirations, with a yearning to write books of both “serious” literature and psychical research. But the demand for new Holmes stories prevented him from realising this ambition. Speaking of this period in his career, Conan Doyle observed in an interview for Tit-Bits in December 1900 that “My low work was obscuring my higher.”

9 mins read
Mystery Scene
Summer #168 2021

WILL DEAN

From an isolated cabin in a boggy Swedish forest, Will Dean conjures a fascinating series and now an intense standalone full of claustrophobia and creepiness.

8 mins read
Mystery Scene
Summer #168 2021

STEPHEN MACK JONES

If the meaning of life is a puzzle awaiting assembly, then writers are purveyors of its pieces.

9 mins read
Mystery Scene
Summer #168 2021

Madness on Campus

Helen Eustis’ The Horizontal Man

5 mins read
Mystery Scene
Summer #168 2021

What About Murder?

Reference Books Reviewed

5 mins read
Mystery Scene
Summer #168 2021

SUJATA MASSEY

Sometimes, an idea needs time to incubate until it’s ready to grow. That was the case with Sujata Massey’s series about Perveen Mistry, a woman attorney practicing in India during the 1920s.

10+ mins read
Mystery Scene
Summer #168 2021

TIME TRAVEL, CATS, AND AN OLD MANUSCRIPT

Have you ever wished that you could go back in time and change something in your past or visit the future and find out what it has in store for you? Have you questioned what would happen if time travel was available to everyone? Could 9/11 have been prevented? Could the spread of COVID-19 have been eradicated before it ended so many lives?

2 mins read
Mystery Scene
Summer #168 2021

GRIPPING RESEARCH

I said my first words in a bar—“orange sody.” I eventually outgrew my love of Whistle orange soda, but I have a lifelong interest in bars.

2 mins read
Mystery Scene
Summer #168 2021

JOHN COLLIER Fact & Fancy

Every generation or so, John Collier (1901-1980) is rediscovered. A poet, screenwriter, and novelist, Collier is best remembered for his short stories. His collection Fancies and Goodnights won an Edgar Award in 1952 for Best Story (which in MWA’s early years was occasionally awarded to a volume of stories).

7 mins read
Mystery Scene
Summer #168 2021

CAROLINE KEPNES

It’s more than a book title. It’s an uncomfortable truth that pop culture’s most flawed yet-fascinating (and highly literate) serial predators seem to understand about their appeal, whether Thomas Harris’ Hannibal Lecter or Caroline Kepnes’ Joe Goldberg.

8 mins read
Mystery Scene
Summer #168 2021

WHEN BLOOD RUNS COLD

Why is spying often referred to as a game? There is nothing remotely diverting about it.

3 mins read
Mystery Scene
Fall #165, 2020

Sounds of Suspense

Audiobooks Reviewed

6 mins read
Mystery Scene
Fall #165, 2020

Very Original Paperback Originals

While Bailey Cates’s Witches and Wedding Cake(Berkley, $7.99) is the ninth in her Magical Bakery series, it was the first for me, and I appreciated that I could slide into the narrative effortlessly.

8 mins read
Mystery Scene
Fall #165, 2020

What About Murder?

Reference Books Reviewed

6 mins read
Mystery Scene
Fall #165, 2020

RAYMOND CHANDLER & THE BRASHER DOUBLOON

Sometime in 1960, a friend’s enthusiasm for coin collecting proved contagious, and I began sorting through pocket change and noting dates and mint marks.

10+ mins read
Mystery Scene
Fall #165, 2020

Small Press

Reviewing the Independents

7 mins read
Mystery Scene
Fall #165, 2020

LOVE ON THE RUN

LOVE, BULLETS, AND THE OPEN ROAD. CRIMINAL COUPLES ON THE RUN ARE A HOLLYWOOD MOVIE STAPLE—AND IT’S ALL DUE TO A PAIR OF DEPRESSION-ERA HELLRAISERS.

8 mins read
Mystery Scene
Fall #165, 2020

JENNY MILCHMAN

It’s that enticing-yet-elusive hook that often draws readers back to a writer’s work. Sometimes it’s characters that compel.

7 mins read
Mystery Scene
Fall #165, 2020

CAMILLA LÄCKBERG

Before Camilla Läckberg’s debut novel was published, the Swedish author devised an ambitious, yet workable marketing plan. Among other things, she would visit, if possible, every bookstore in the country to do book events, sign stock and meet and greet as many booksellers and readers as she could.

10+ mins read
Mystery Scene
Fall #165, 2020

A MARY HIGGINS CLARK ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION

It’s easiest to say she had magic. Anyone who has ever been in the room with Mary Higgins Clark understood there was some sort of aura around her, a force field of joy and delight, an authentic pleasure in being wherever she was. (If that wasn’t true, all the more brilliant. You would never have known it.)

9 mins read
Mystery Scene
Fall #165, 2020

R.G. BELSKY

Social distancing may have been common among working writers before it was a necessity, but not all members of that tribe adhered to the stereotype.

7 mins read
Mystery Scene
Summer #164, 2020

What About Murder?

Reference Books Reviewed

5 mins read
Mystery Scene
Summer #164, 2020

VAL,QUEEN OF SCOTS

ONE OF THE LIVING LEGENDS OF MYSTERY WRITING, VAL McDERMID HAS ENTERTAINED READERS AND DRIVEN THE GENRE FORWARD FOR MORE THAN 30 YEARS, BUT SHE WAS NO OVERNIGHT SUCCESS

10+ mins read
Mystery Scene
Summer #164, 2020

THE BEAUTIFUL DARK

Barry Gifford and the Noir Revival

7 mins read
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Summer #164, 2020

the Hook

Intriguing First Lines

3 mins read
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Summer #164, 2020

IVY POCHODA

It may seem odd to equate Greek drama and athletics with contemporary mysteries. But author Ivy Pochoda sees a logical intersection with the violence, structure, and drive inherent in these subjects.

10+ mins read
Mystery Scene
Summer #164, 2020

PUSHING WATER

Write what you know” is the hoariest piece of writing advice, as well as the one most often misapplied. As Stephen King said in his outstanding book On Writing, what if you want to write about serial killers or intergalactic space flight?

2 mins read
Mystery Scene
Summer #164, 2020

Grand Dame Guignol

Sometimes over the top, other times way over the top, Grand Dame Guignol was grisly, memorable entertainment buoyed by the sort of movie stars they no longer make: actresses whose talent, intensity, and willingness to take risks with their images made the wildly melodramatic seem frighteningly real.

6 mins read
Mystery Scene
Summer #164, 2020

EDITH MAXWELL aka MADDIE DAY

Cozies certainly provide solace from many of the dark edges of the actual world,” says Edith Maxwell.

7 mins read
Mystery Scene
Summer #164, 2020

AN OATH AND A TERRORIST

It was the late 2000s and the United States government was engaged in a global hunt for Osama bin Laden.

2 mins read
Mystery Scene
Summer #164, 2020

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