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General mystery discussion

Discussion in 'General mystery discussion' started by Maine Colonial, Mar 24, 2014.

  1. janebbooks

    janebbooks Member

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    Here's a tidbit from John Connolly's current newsletter. How I'd like to be in London in May 2014 for OXCRIMES.....
    (I marked the authors I read or am reading in bold.... and one of these days I'm going to read a James Sallis.....)

    "I will be back in England in May, to spend my birthday at the Hay Festival as part of the launch celebrations for OXCRIMES, an anthology of mystery stories to benefit Oxfam. (Actually, my story, "The Children of Dr. Lyall," is a supernatural story—I know, you're shocked, right?—but let's not quibble about details.) The full list of authors includes, in addition to my good self: Mark Billingham; Ann Cleeves; Stella Duffy; Christopher Fowler; Neil Gaiman; John Harvey; Anthony Horowitz; Maxim Jakubowski; Peter James; Simon Lewis; Alexander McCall Smith; Val McDermid; Adrian McKinty; Denise Mina; Walter Mosley; Stuart Neville; George Pelecanos; Ian Rankin; Phil Rickman; Peter Robinson; James Sallis; Yrsa Sigurdardottir; Fred Vargas; Martyn Waites; Louise Welsh; and Anne Zouroudi."
     
  2. Maine Colonial

    Maine Colonial Moderator Staff Member

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    Wow, I'd like to be there too. So many of my favorite authors on that list, like Christopher Fowler, Neil Gaiman, Ian Rankin, Peter Robinson and Fred Vargas.
     
  3. quilter Kathy

    quilter Kathy Active Member

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    Maine,
    Have you begun THE PARIS ARCHITECT? I'm into the 3rd disc. I'm not sure how I like it. So far it hasn't made me wish I had someplace to go so I could listen more (in the car).
    Kathy
     
  4. Maine Colonial

    Maine Colonial Moderator Staff Member

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    Kathy, yes, I finished it a couple of days ago. I didn't like it much. I thought the plot was well constructed, but the characters were pretty one-dimensional, sometimes behaved inconsistently, and I was put off by the very modern American sounding slang and swearing.
     
  5. quilter Kathy

    quilter Kathy Active Member

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    Thanks, Maine, for your reply. I'm just not "feelin' it" and I'm glad to know it isn't just me.
    Kathy
     
  6. pontalba

    pontalba Well-Known Member

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    Jane, your London visit sounds lovely.
    're Sallis......I can certainly recommend him. Both series and stand alones.
     
  7. Reads to Sleep

    Reads to Sleep Moderator Staff Member

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    Great writers in that list, Jane.

    I like Sallis, too. He's a writer who uses crime as a vehicle for stories about the human condition. There's a down-home warmth to his writing that reminds me of Peter Bowen's Gabriel Du Pré books.

    I don't know why Sallis has brought to mind Robert Stone. I really enjoyed A Hall of Mirrors, Dog Soldiers, A Flag for Sunrise, and Damascus Gate, but I found his 2013 book, Death of the Black-Haired Girl, a little meh. There was nothing wrong with it; it's just that I didn't miss it when I wasn't reading it. Anybody else read it?
     
  8. pontalba

    pontalba Well-Known Member

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    It seems to me I have Death of the Black-Haired Girl on order at Amazon, I must be waiting for the paperback.

    One of the first things I liked about Sallis was his true to life portrayal of New Orleans. He had the time and place down pat. :) But his stand alones are perfection as well.
     
  9. janebbooks

    janebbooks Member

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    James Sallis...the American crime writer. I don't know whether I want to read him or see Ryan Gosling in another film adapted from one of Sallis's novels (he did write a sequel). The film I reviewed was DRIVE from the novel of the same name...

    When American crime writer James Sallis, wrote DRIVE, a standalone novel, in 2005...he had written six well-received detective novels featuring Lew Griffin. Critics agreed that James Sallis "may be one of the best mystery writers that most readers have never heard of" (Knight Ridder Tribune). In DRIVE, he combines murder, treachery, and payback in a sinister plot resembling 1940s pulp fiction and film noir. The story is told through a complex, cinematic narrative that weaves back and forth through time and place.

    Producers Marc E. Platt and Adam Siegel of Marc Platt Productions optioned the novel after Siegel read a review of it in Publishers Weekly. The Driver intrigued Siegel because he was "the kind of character you rarely see anymore - he was a man with a purpose; he was very good at one thing and made no apologies for it." The character interested Platt because he reminded him of movie heroes he looked up to as a child, characters typically portrayed by Steve McQueen or Clint Eastwood.

    Marc Platt Productions released DRIVE in 2011 as an American arthouse action crime drama film directed by Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn. Like the book, the film is about an unnamed Hollywood stunt performer who moonlights as a getaway driver for criminals......


    The unnamed Hollywood stunt performer in the film is, of course, Ryan Gosling. The film also stars Carey Mulligan, Albert Brooks (in a brilliant out of the box role as a gangster), and Bryan Cranston (as a crippled body shop owner). I compared it to a 1940s cowboy movie and thought the film a powerful character study: A quiet action film with no shaky handheld cameras or loud noises....except the roar of a well tuned engine. At the end our hero drives off into the sunset without the girl. In a fast car....not on a horse.

    This is one example when the movie may be better than the book!
    Jane
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2014
  10. pontalba

    pontalba Well-Known Member

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    Insightful review. I haven't read either Drive, or Driven, have them on the shelf though.

    I've read several of the Lew Griffin series, and Others of My Kind and Death Will Have Your Eyes and another that I can't immediately remember. All rather unusual aspects of their type. All are excellent, and I can highly recommend them.
     
  11. MaryJo Dawson

    MaryJo Dawson Member

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    We found a 2013 television presentation, 13 episodes, called Catch Killers on Netflix streaming. Each episode
    traces - through re-enactments - the history of forensics used in solving modern day murders, and compares the
    first case to a recent crime where this method featured prominently in finding the solution. The first episode was
    about DNA, and traced the advancement from the first crime solved in using DNA in the 1980's in a small village
    in England. I had no idea a fingerprint was used for the first time to solve the murder of two small children in Argentina
    over a century ago - and was still the primary key to catching a serial killer in the past decade.
    Anyone writing a serious crime novel would find these programs Very helpful.
    I'll be sorry when we've seen them all, they're great.
     
  12. quilter Kathy

    quilter Kathy Active Member

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    Thank you, MaryJo. It does look interesting.
    Kathy
     
  13. JCBC

    JCBC New Member

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    Hi, since I read the guidelines for posting, I thought it would be alright to ask members what sites they use to find mystery books, indie or print. There are so many it is hard to know which ones to visit for suggestions.
     
  14. 753C

    753C Active Member

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    I liked that movie a lot and had no idea it was a book. Never heard of Sallis either.... Will have to check him out. Thanks!
     
  15. janebbooks

    janebbooks Member

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    Anybody going to Bouchercon in Raleigh, NC this fall? Here's my newspaper column


    Once a bookseller, a bookstore owner, a book collector, a book scout, and a book reviewer, you are always a book lover. I’ve done all these things…selling books online and in a brick-and-mortar store in a small Southern town, scouting for Midwestern mysteries for a Taos bookstore, writing book reviews since 2010, and collecting hardcover books, some signed, of my favorite authors. And I soon will be heading to the ultimate book lover convention-- the worldwide Bouchercon for mystery and detective fiction lovers-- in Raleigh this fall. This is the first time in its almost 50 year history that this international book festival will be held in the South.


    Bouchercon is named for Anthony Boucher (1911-1968), who was an American editor/book critic and a writer of mystery novels and short stories. Boucher (rhyming with “voucher”) helped found the Mystery Writers of America in 1946 and, in the same year, was one of the first winners of the MWA’s prestigious Edgar Award for his mystery reviews in the San Francisco Chronicle. In addition, Boucher was awarded an Edgar for Outstanding Mystery Criticism in 1946 and again in 1950.


    The Anthony Boucher Memorial World Mystery Convention is held annually in the fall, each year hosted in a different city by a local group of volunteers. Only registered attendees nominate and vote each year for the Anthony Awards for excellence in mystery and crime fiction, including Best Novel, Best First Novel, Best Short Story, Best Critical Non-Fiction and Best Paperback Original announcing the winners on Saturday night of the convention. People who attend Bouchercon are fans, authors, agents, booksellers, publishers and other people who read and enjoy mystery and crime fiction. The first convention was held in Santa Monica, California in 1970. These annual events have been held successfully since 1970 and typically attract 1,500 to 1,800 attendees.


    Here are the writers who are Guests of Honor for the Raleigh Bouchercon event:


    Lifetime Achievement Recipient: Margaret Maron

    American Guests of Honor: Kathy Reichs and Tom Franklin

    International Guests of Honor: Zoë Sharpand Allan Guthrie

    Toastmasters: Sean DoolittleandLori Armstrong

    Local Guests of Honor: Sarah Shaberand Ron Rash


    And here’s some “book” background on three of these favorite guests:


    Margaret Maron was born in Greensboro, North Carolina, grew up in Johnston County, and is the author of numerous short stories and more than 25 mystery novels to date. Her first series began with One Coffee With (1981) featuring Sigrid Harald, a loner lieutenant in the NYPD whose policeman father was killed in the line of duty when she was a toddler. The second in the series Death of a Butterfly (1984) is a Doubleday Crime Club selection and the most difficult of Maron’s books to find. I found a very good ex-library hardback in the 1990s with a fine dust jacket and had Maron sign it at a Sisters-in-Crime event in Greenville, SC. (She, like I, was pleased to hold the book in hand and see the beautiful cover.) There are eight Sigrid Harald titles.

    Another series follows the adventures of Judge Deborah Knott, attorney and daughter of an infamous North Carolina bootlegger. Although Maron is probably the proudest of her 2013 Grand Master Award from the Mystery Writers of America, I’m sure she also savors the awards for her first Deborah Knott novel. Bootlegger’s Daughter (1992) won the 1992 Agatha Award for Best Novel and a 1993 Edgar Award, a 1993 Anthony Award, and a 1993 Macavity Award for Best Mystery. There are nineteen Deborah Knott titles; the last one Designated Daughters was published in 2014.


    Tom Franklin is an American crime fiction writer and academic. Born Thomas Gerald Franklin in 1962 in the small town of Dickinson, Alabama, his first book is a collection of short stories Poachers (1999). Of ten stories set in Alabama, the title story won the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Mystery Story. Franklin has written three novels, the third of which is Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter (2010) which won the CWA Gold Dagger Award and was shortlisted for the 2010 Hammett Prize, the 2011 Anthony Award, the 2011 Barry Award, and the 2011 Edgar Award for Best Mystery.

    In my May 2012 book review of Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter, I called the novel a Southern melodrama and wrote:

    …this is a Southern tale set in rural Mississippi. It's September and grassy fields are filled with honeysuckle, goldenrod and thistle near woods of loblolly pine trees. Kudzu is running wild in gulleys along red clay roads. And then Tina Rutherford, a college student headed back to Ole Miss, goes missing. The folks in the hamlet of Chabot recall the time another girl disappeared. They remember the odd friendship of Larry Ott, a white boy and book nerd, and Silas 32 Jones, a black boy and baseball player, in the late 1970's. Larry Ott was the main suspect then in the disappearance of Cindy Walker, but he was never arrested. He has lived under a cloud of suspicion for twenty five years running his dad's garage the Ottomotive Repair. Sitting there day after day with no customers unless a traveler drops by with an overheated radiator or somebody going somewhere needs a quick brake job…

    I am anxious to meet Tom Franklin and have him sign my fine hardback copy with fine dust jacket of his Gold Dagger winner. And I’ll ask him how he came up with the idea of naming Larry Ott’s mother’s chickens for First Ladies.


    Ron Rash is an American poet, short story writer and novelist and the Parris Distinguished Professor in Appalachian Cultural Studies at Western Carolina University. Rash was born on September 25, 1953 in Chester, South Carolina and grew up in Boiling Springs, North Carolina. His extended family has lived in the southern Appalachian Mountains since the mid-1700's, and it is this region that is the primary focus of his writing. In 1994 he published his first book, a collection of short stories titled The Night the New Jesus Fell to Earth. Since then, Rash has published four collections of poetry, three other short story collections, and five novels. His 2008 novel Serena was made into a motion picture starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper.

    Rash was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction in 2008 and 2009. He won the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award in 2010.

    I met Ron Rash at a book festival in my Carolina hometown in November 2000. He was a participant in the second Upcountry Southern Writers Festival that a University of Georgia professor, an antiquarian bookseller and I helped organize. Rash had written four books of poetry by then including my favorite "Eureka Mill." He was the only writer for the Festival that visited my bookstore that weekend: he signed all the books of his poetry at the store.

    All the while I’m writing this column, I’m thinking that our beautiful River City of Jacksonville would be a perfect location for the second Bouchercon convention to be held in the Southern states. Unfortunately, New Orleans, LA will be the 2016 hosting city. What about the first convention in Florida? No, St. Petersburg, FL has that honor in 2018. But the host city is up for grabs after St. Petersburg.

    Florida has some fantastic mystery and crime writers that need to be honored (see sidebar below). Who wants to propose Jacksonville, Florida, with its fine riverfront and hotels that could easily accommodate this famous international book festival? If I’m around in five or six years, I will gladly volunteer to help! A proposal has to be submitted by June 30 of each year to the annual Bouchercon board meeting.

    After all, Jacksonville did host a Super Bowl! This is the super bowl of book festivals!


    SIDEBAR…..

    Some mystery and detective fiction writers who set
    their novels in Florida


    (selected and updated from www.StopYoureKillingMe.com)

    James O. Born (1961- )
    * Bill Tasker: agent of Florida Dept of Law Enforcement
    * Tim Hallett: deputy and his K-9 Rocky in Florida

    Edna Buchanan (1939- )
    * Craig Burch: sergeant in Miami Police Cold Case Squad
    * Britt Montero: newspaper crime reporter in Miami, FL

    Blaize Clement (1932-2011)
    * Dixie Hemingway: sheriff's deputy, now a professional
    pet sitter, in Sarasota, Florida (Series continued by son

    John Clement)

    Tom Corcoran (1943- )
    * Alex Rutledge: freelance photographer in Key West, FL

    Mary Anna Evans (1961- )
    * Faye Longchamp: a black archaeology student finding
    artifacts on her plantation on North Florida's Gulf Coast

    Carolina Garcia-Aguilera (1949- )
    * Lupe Solano: private investigator in Miami, Florida

    James Grippando (1958- )
    * Jack Swyteck: criminal defense lawyer in Miami, FL

    James W. Hall (1947- )
    * Thorn: eco-avenger PI in Key Largo, Florida

    Carl Hiaasen (1953- )
    * Non-series books set in Florida

    Rita Lakin (1930- )
    * Gladdy Gold: Florida's Oldest Private Eye & her gang

    of retirees, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    John Lantigua (1947- )
    * Willie Cuesta: private investigator based in the Little
    Havana section of Miami, Florida

    Paul Levine (1948- )
    * Jake Lassite: ex-linebacker turned lawyer in Miami, FL
    * Steve Solomon: Coconut Beach bum, & Victoria Lord,

    a Miami blue blood, squabbling law partners in Florida

    Jeff Lindsay (1952- )
    * Dexter Morgan: blood spatter tech for Miami Dade
    Police Department and sociopathic serial killer

    John D. MacDonald (1916-1986)
    * Travis McGee: private eye in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    T. J. MacGregor (1947- )
    * Mike McCleary & Quin St. James: husband & wife PIs
    * Mira Morales: bookstore owner in Tango Key, Florida
    * Aline Scott: homicide detective in Tango Key, Florida

    Barbara Parker (1946-2007)
    * Gail Connor: corporate attorney in Miami, Florida

    P.J. Parrish (Kristy Montee [1950-] and Kelly Montee [1953-] )
    * Joe Frye: the only female homicide detective in the
    Miami-Dade Police Department

    Lawrence Sanders (1920-1998)
    * Archy McNally: playboy private eye in Palm Beach, FL
    (series continued by Vincent Lardo)

    Laurence Shames (1951- )
    * Non-series books set in Florida

    Les Standiford
    * John Deal: building contractor in Miami, Florida

    Elaine Viets (1950- )
    * Helen Hawthorne: Florida society gal working a series of
    minimum-wage jobs in the Dead End Job series

    Randy Wayne White (1950- )
    * Doc Ford: ex-op marine biologist in Sanibel Island, FL
    * Hannah Smith: fishing guide in Florida

    Michael Wiley (1951- )
    * Daniel Turner: a homicide detective in Jacksonville, FL

    Stuart Woods (1938- )
    * Holly Barker: former MP commander turned police chief
    of small town Orchid Beach, Florida
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2015
  16. Jeremy Jenks

    Jeremy Jenks New Member

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