Category Archives: Blogs

Edgar Allan Poe–The Man–The Writer

I live near the city of Baltimore and the people of Baltimore love their sports teams. Mention the word raven and a cheer goes up for the Super Bowl champs. Go Ravens! And if you weren’t aware unlike other NFL … Continue reading

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Mystery Book Recommendations–Good Reads

I’m constantly being asked what mysteries I’m reading. As a result, I thought I would share my list from last month. Fer de Lance (Nero Wolfe Mysteries) by Rex Stout It’s been a while since I read a Nero Wolfe … Continue reading

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The Very Likeable Archie Goodwin

We have chatted about Seconds before, but I must admit that Archie Goodwin is my personal favorite. As mentioned in a previous blog Archie is the Second to the Rex Stout’s incomparable Nero Wolfe and I think Archie in his … Continue reading

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Let’s Talk About Nero Wolfe

Previously in our discussion of Golden Age detectives we learned that these detectives have characteristics that cause them to stand out from the average person. These characteristics can be in the form of quirks, habits, hobbies or even physical appearance. … Continue reading

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A Laptop Is a Mysterious and Murderous Tool

Recently I needed to move parts of one chapter to another section of a mystery book I’m writing. I realized as I completed the task how easy it is to make these changes with a computer. I’m old enough to remember typewriters. … Continue reading

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Why Do More Woman Write and Read Mysteries

Let me apologize in advance that this blog is not meant to insult all the wonderful male writers and readers of mysteries, but… Why are the majority of mystery writers and readers women? The easy answer might be that since … Continue reading

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I Love a Cozy Mystery

We recently looked at Agatha Christie and her writing style and how she generally followed the rules from the Golden Age of Mysteries. Christie was definitely part of the Golden Age, but she is also listed as one of the … Continue reading

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The Quotable Miss Marple

(Note: Quotes are from The Tuesday Club Murders unless otherwise indicated.) One of Agatha Christie’s most beloved characters is an old lady—Miss Jane Marple. But an old lady who is sharp as a tack and applies her years of experience … Continue reading

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Agatha Christie-Deserves a Second Read

I never grow tired of reading Agatha Christie. Each time I read a Christie mystery I find something new–some hidden clue, some nuance that I missed the first time. Characters are so interesting and the plots so intricate that I … Continue reading

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The Golden Age of Mysteries

What do the names listed below have in common? G.K. Chesterton, Mary Roberts Rinehart, Agatha Christie, Earl Derr Biggers, Patricia Wentworth, Rex Stout, S.S. Van Dine, Dorothy Sayers, Dashiell Hammett, Ronald Knox, Phobe Atwood Taylor, Ngaio Marsh, Lucy Beatrice Malleson, … Continue reading

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The Proper Cocktail for Summer Murder Mysteries

It’s been hot where I live. Unbearably hot and humid with long summer days and temperatures continually in the high nineties. These are the type of days when heat waves rise slowly from the hot black road tar. It was … Continue reading

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Great Mystery Openings from Edgar Allen Poe and Mickey Spillane

Recently I was reading a few Edgar Allen Poe stories and I came across the opening from The Fall of the House of Usher. Then just a few days later I was looking at an old yellowed paperback from my … Continue reading

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Dr. John H. Watson as Sherlock’s Chronicler

In the last blog, we ended with Holmes saying, “I am lost without my Boswell” referring to Watson’s efforts to document his adventures. It is Watson’s descriptions of Holmes methods and his detailed information about the cases that we rely … Continue reading

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Watson-Defining the Role of the “Second” in Mysteries

In a previous blog we discussed the role of Seconds in mysteries. Since Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Dr. John Watson really defines the role of an assistant he deserves his own blog. In fact he deserves two. So here is part … Continue reading

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I Miss the Fog in Mysteries

Some of my fondness memories as a little girl were the times I spent watching mystery movies with my Mom. It seemed that so many of those early black and white movies had an element of fog in them. I … Continue reading

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What Makes Mystery Books Different?

Mystery Books continue to be one of the most popular genres in publishing. Have you ever wondered what makes mystery books so popular and different from other novels? In order to answer this question let’s start by looking at the … Continue reading

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Let’s Not Forget Ellery Queen—Part 2

 In Part One, we looked at the creation of the Ellery Queen mystery books and how they are an important part in the development of the American detective genre. Now let’s take a closer look at the Ellery Queen stories and why they are … Continue reading

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Let’s Not Forget Ellery Queen-Part 1

I was straightening out some book shelves the other day and I discovered an old audio copy of an Ellery Queen mystery. I had forgotten about Ellery Queen. It’s been a long time since I ventured into his world, so … Continue reading

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Red Herrings

What is a red herring? On the simplest level, it is a kipper or a herring fish that is heavily salted and smoked. As a result of this process the fish turns red and has an extremely  strong smell. How … Continue reading

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Civilized Murder–Caroline Graham’s Midsomer Murders

The amazing thing about the Midsomer Murder series is that the murders are all so civilized. Midsomer murder mysteries are the creation of Caroline Graham and the stories all take place in English villages which are part of the county … Continue reading

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The Role of the Second in Mysteries

There are so many mystery novels that team the main detective with a second individual. For example, the Second might be the detective’s sergeant, a friend, an associate, a member of the police department or a husband or a wife. … Continue reading

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Investigate versus Detect

What is the difference between the words investigate and detect? In mysteries there is a tendency to use these two words interchangeably, but according to the dictionary there is a difference. If we go to Mr. Webster we find the … Continue reading

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When Mysteries Come to Life–(I mean really come to Life)

As a mystery reader, when I can identify with a particular element of a story it’s a special treat. However, when I can personally experience something from a book, that story really comes alive. I had one of these experiences … Continue reading

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Types of Mysteries

I was wandering around my Barnes and Noble store recently and was struck by how large the mystery section was. In addition to almost two full rows of hardback mysteries, there were three long rows of paperback offerings. For me, … Continue reading

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Mystery Puzzle Blogs

You will see that today’s blog is a puzzle. Starting this week, I’m going to periodically post a mystery puzzle instead of a written blog.  The selections are either a word search or a crossword puzzle and of course the … Continue reading

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Mysteries–A Perfect Circle

Mysteries–A Perfect Circle I’ve often wondered why so many people, including me, love mysteries. I think part of the reason may be that a good mystery is like a perfect circle.  And I suspect many of us take comfort in … Continue reading

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