I continue this week with a look at four more stories from the Shhhh... Murder! anthology, edited by Andrew MacRae.
In Elsinore Noir by Warren Bull, a library patron unfolds a unique theory about Shakespeare's Hamlet. The reader drops by frequently to update the librarian about his developing concept. Hamlet is treated as a noir whodunit in this very entertaining tale.
The Wrong Coffee Shop by Sharon Marchisello is a story of mistaken identity and two coffee shops with the same name. This had a slice-of-life feel, and left me wanting to know what was on that piece of paper! The story had beautifully worded scene descriptions. Nicely done.
When a librarian goes missing from an exclusive and mysterious private library, his replacement becomes too curious for his own good. Ask a Librarian by Jacqueline Seewald is a fast-paced mystery with a light touch of romance and a heavy dose of what's-going-to-happen-next.
Nudger is a PI in DDS 10752 Libra, by John Lutz and Josh Pachter. I kept wondering when a library or librarian would be involved, and was rewarded with a clever twist.
10/18/2018 0 Comments
Short Story Reviews: Shhhh... Murder!
A collection of cozy murder mysteries using a librarian character or library setting. Sounds like my cup of tea!
Shhhh... Murder!, edited by Andrew MacRae, pulls you in from the first story. This anthology introduces each story with a bit about the author, and his or her attachment to libraries. Some had careers as librarians, while others grew up as I did, considering the local library a second home.
Wuthering Stacks by Deborah Lacy and Pat Hernas hops right into the world of libraries and librarians with a difficult patron dangling the promise of a big donation over the hapless librarian. Add a body and a pile of torn-up books, and you have a mystery in dire need of a solution.
Mr. Sugarman Visits the Bookmobile by Michael Bracken: Graham Sugarman is the primary patron of the bookmobile when it stops in the dried up town of Quarryville, Texas. He selects five books because this is the limit. Graham spends his week reading the books. An accident driving a school bus left him a local hero, but also a bit damaged. His world is upended when the bookmobile fails to arrive the next week. He was the last person to see the librarian/driver alive, but he's not sure what he witnessed. I was delighted when Bracken referenced the Quarryville Smokehouse from a previous story - Smoked - in Noir at the Salad Bar. Excellent wordsmithing combined with vividly drawn characters and an emotionally engaging plot makes for delightful reading.
I'll be sharing my thoughts on more stories in this fun anthology as I make my way through the fictional stacks.
10/16/2018 0 Comments
NaNoWriMo 2018 - Writing from the Peak
Today on the Pikes Peak Writers blog, I share thoughts and tips on participating in NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writing Month. If you start November with a detailed outline, is it cheating? Join me at Writing from the Peak for a shot of inspiration and motivation.
When you announce you are dedicating the month of November to writing a novel, magical things happen.
Writing from the Peak - NaNoWriMo - Is it Cheating?
I've been invited to join a one month, one-time, classic mystery novel reading group. The book is The Mystery of a Butcher's Shop by Gladys Mitchell. Who is this author, a contemporary of Agatha Christie? I intend to find out.
Details about the group here: announcing-the-mitchell-mystery-reading-group
During the month of October, Pikes Peak Writers will be giving advice on how to NaNoWriMo. November is National Novel Writing Month. We all need inspiration to begin this endeavor to write 50,000 words in 30 days. Always wanted to write a novel? Haven't had the time to finish your novel? Need a jump start on your new project? Check into the PPW blog, Writing at the Peak, for helpful how-tos.
The first NaNo article is by Margena Adams - You're Doing WHAT in November?
10/4/2018 1 Comment
Short Story Reviews
The Money Mattress by Jude Roy is an enjoyable read. A heist is planned by an ex-con, a dimwit blonde, and her less than competent boyfriend. I just knew everything was destined to go to hell in a hand-basket. The author surprised me with this clever tale.
You can read this, and many other fine stories, on the Mystery Weekly Magazine website.
I finished reading the September/October 2018 issue of Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine. Rats, by Tom Savage, starred part-time school teacher Alice Wilson. When a Russian mob boss's nephew moves into her apartment building, the former safe haven becomes a dangerous and depressing place to live. Alice and her retired trapeze artist neighbor are determined to win their peace of mind back from the crude and violent thugs. Anyone who has had unpleasant neighbors move in will appreciate the drastic measures Alice and Marco take.
Two stories are set in Germany, and it is interesting how differently the authors approach the similar settings. Buried Past by Mark Thielman straddles two time periods: WWII and present day. Former lovers meet for coffee. While their story unfolds, another tale is told of un-exploded ordinance peppering the German countryside. I was quite a way into the story before I started catching the connection of the historical story to the modern. Nicely done. In an entirely different era, but still in Germany, Matthew Wilson sets his story The Cook Off on a US Army base in 1977. This is pre-unification, with East German defectors seeking asylum in Western Germany. But that's not the core of this story. Sergeant Jefferson faces racial prejudice from fellow soldiers when he dates a white German woman. The title of this story has nothing to do with food, by the way. With no support from superior officers, the sergeant must find a way to stop a group of rednecks from beating up black soldiers. And prevent his own murder.
Lots of good reading this week!
10/2/2018 0 Comments
Tea at the Castle
My mother and sister joined me Sunday at Glen Eyrie Castle. I have been here several times over the years, but this was the first time I saw bighorn sheep on the grounds. This was quite a treat for my sister from Texas. We decided it was a nice gift for my mother's 85th birthday. We enjoyed a Victorian-style tea in luxurious surroundings.
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