Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘mystery writers’

CJ Verburg’s Another Number for the Road  has all you could ever want from a murder mystery set in two iconic periods of American history: the 1960s: Free Speech, Free Love, Stop the War, Civil Rights and sex, drugs, rock and roll; and 1980s: Reaganomics, Cold War Collapse, Punk Rock, big hair and bigger shoulders.

Rock journo cum detective, Cory Goodwin (who has as many names as identities) goes on a “Magical Mystery Tour,” and then some, to recover her true inner self which has been consumed and subsumed by the demands of her multimillionaire son-of-the-founder-of-a-cosmetics-conglomerate husband’s boardroom betrayal of all they meant to each other as writing romantics who eloped in creative Paris and crashed in corporate necessity in Boston.

Cordelia Goodwin Thorne had many years of protest activism and rock star groupie antics to keep her from sinking into the paradox of her journo daydreams and her cosmetic charity dinner reality.

She joins the “Magical Mystery Tour” when she learns that The Rind is the mystery band—a group she interviewed for a magazine as a teenager. She aims to rekindle her past admiration for the much-maligned strongman of the band, the appropriately named, Dan Quasi, who, after the brutal murder of his friend and co-band member, Mickey Ascher, takes a runner and hides out for the twenty year hiatus, having lost his wife and his French bit to aforementioned co-band member.

Did this Quasi musician kill his best friend? Or was it the French bit? Or possibly her jilted lover and third band member, also appropriately named, Roach? Or has the mild-mannered Terry, fourth band member, been hiding a violent temper all these years?

The process of discovery is further energized by the author’s experience as a playwright and director. CJ Verburg makes use of the theatrical technique of juxtaposing two scenes on stage at once: flashbacks, backstory, supposition and real time, one upon the other, while skillfully  juggling a cast of characters that would daunt Cecil B. DeMille and D.W. Griffiths.

Another Number for the Road  will satisfy all fans of complex, convoluted whodunits who remember the Sixties with longing and survived the Eighties, Nineties and are in deep with the Twentieth Century.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Historical Mysterydeath-visits-a-bawdy-house-small-1

DEATH VISITS A BAWDY HOUSE by Adele Fasick

A Charlotte Edgerton Mystery, set in the 1840s in New York City

When Charlotte Edgerton, moves from staid Boston to bustling New York City in 1843, she finds the crowds on Broadway thrilling. She is young, idealistic, and in love. But when first one and then another of the glamorous “sporting girls” who work in the city’s famous brothels are murdered, Charlotte becomes aware of the darkness that lurks behind the bright glow of  Manhattan. In a city where abolitionists are not popular and suspicion of free blacks runs high, the arrest of a black man for the crimes enflames much of the city. Charlotte  discovers that police can be prejudiced, politicians are not always honest, and kindness can lead to danger. Will she be able to find safety for herself and end the terror gripping women throughout the city ?

Death Visits a Bawdy House is available on Amazon and is the 2nd in the Charlotte Edgerton Mystery series.

Read Full Post »

Three weeks after the Romance Writers of America National Conference in New York, I wrote this article for Avalon Authors, July 23, 2011

suchstuffasdreams1The romance genre in commercial, popular fiction has been attracting considerable criticism in recent months. Most of that has been directed at the more risqué end of the romance spectrum but the bad press filters through to all the many and varied categories. The book, Such Stuff as Dreams, sheds some light on how we benefit from fiction of all descriptions – well worth a look for the pundits who rage at romance.

Last month, at a writers association’s national conference, I had the opportunity to attend a workshop on Media Handling. This month, I had an opportunity to use what I had learned. The principle issue discussed in the workshop was how to handle adverse interviews.

This did make me wonder if crime writers, fantasy and science fiction authors, mystery and western storytellers ever have to fend off the attacks that romance authors are currently having to defend themselves against. Maybe some of you can answer that for me.

Until then, I’m assuming you don’t – or at least not in the way that romance is being kicked around the media. Because romance is predominately written by and read by women, there is an assumption that we don’t understand the difference between fiction and the ‘real’ world. Romance is considered a danger to women’s psychological and emotional health. Do these pundits seriously think that a love story is more insidious than a gruesome, brutal description of a serial killer’s activity?

Most of the people making this claim obviously have not read a romance novel or they would see the error of their thinking. Romance is no more outside the realm of reality than some of the novels written by Anne Rice, Ken Follett, James Patterson or Annie Proulx.

One of the pointers given at the workshop was to ask that the interviewer present the questions to be asked so that the interviewee could prepare. I asked for this when I was invited by a local radio station to participate in a weekly broadcast. For about three minutes, we stuck to the questions. From then on, it was a freewheeling conversation. But, from the workshop, I learned to self-edit my answers so they could not be twisted.

Do [those of you who are] non-romance writers have to shield yourselves in this way? Do you have sage advice for those of us who are in the media’s claws right now?

Fortunately for me, the interviewer was sympathetic to the creative effort and had no bias against my art form. Many of my colleagues have not been given this respect. One of the things, I think, that contributes to the lack of appreciation for genre fiction in general and romance in particular is the practitioners’ and readers’ tendency to keep their preference under cover. So, at the workshop, I made a pledge, from that moment, I will practice the principles of Open Carry.

How frightening is a romance novel compared to a holstered gun?

Read Full Post »

sandracareycodyMy guest this weekend is Sandra Carey Cody, mystery writer and Missourian. She is the author of the Jennie Connor mysteries, published by Thomas & Mercer, an imprint of Avalon Publishing Group. These include Love and Not Destory,  Left at print-versionOz, Put Out the Light, Consider the Lilly and By Whose Hand.

cody_leftatoz1put-out-the-lightconsider-the-lilly

bywhosehand

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I  first ‘met’ Sandra when my debut novel was acquired by Avalon Books and I joined the group blog of many of their authors at Avalon Authors. Sandra is my guest this weekend to present her latest novel, Lethal Journal.

What About the Victim?

Writers love characters. We love creating them. We love forcing them to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds before they get to their happily ever after or, in some cases, get what’s coming to them.

Lethal Journal - ebookIf you write mysteries, as I do, the one character you really need to understand is the victim. Why? In a sense, everything in the book flows from some facet of this person’s personality or their history. Murder is a drastic act, way outside the experience of most of us. So it has to be believable that someone would cross into the ultimate forbidden territory and take a human life. What is it about the victim that would make someone want to kill him or her? More often than not, the reader never sees the victim alive. Their introduction to him/her is when s/he is found dead. So, how can a writer bring the victim to life for the reader? How does a writer make the reader care who killed him/her and want to see the killer get what’s coming to him/her?

Different mysteries use different techniques. In my latest book, Lethal Journal, I gave Jake Appleton, my victim, a journal. Jake’s a loner. No one knows what’s going on in Jake’s head. Ah, but he keeps a journal. When Jake is murdered and the journal can’t be found, we know where he kept his secrets and that’s where we begin our search for the truth about Jake.

Link to Lethal Journal on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1j7cXnW

http://www.sandracareycody.com

Read Full Post »