Interviewing Dead Writers

I’m struggling to find questions for those authors who are among the living, partially because I am woefully behind in reading current mystery writers’ work. It does take a modicum of knowledge regarding a detective series, or suspense novel which one can only really get from spending time trundling across the internet for tidbits, or cracking open and reading through a book. What I do

Erle Stanley Gardner who spent much of his time, alone, in the desert with not one, but three secretaries–all sisters.

have, is a ridiculous amount of dead authors books under my belt. It occurred to me that I have questions for many of those whose work lives on, long past their creators expiration dates. For example, Rex Stout. The man created an iconic character out of…? Did Mr. Stout dream up Nero Wolfe, the agoraphobic, beer swilling, orchid loving, gourmand after a indigestible meal? His cohort, Archie Godwin is more  typical of the genre, while Wolfe is decidedly a unique voice. Stout wrote other things before embarking on his best selling series. How and when did this inspiration hit him? I would think that a publisher being pitched the idea of Wolfe would have been skeptical at the very least. To Erle Stanley Gardner, the mastermind behind Perry Mason, I’d want to know why he couldn’t put pen to paper. He dictated his books to his, ‘secretary’.

A young Rex before the odd beard.

Quotations because he eventually married that secretary, finally, after the wife passed on. I’d also like to know how much or little real law is used within the books. When reading a Gardner, I’m struck by how Mason either eludes laws, or just plain breaks them and gets away with it. If, as a former lawyer, Gardner’s writing what he knows, did he circumvent the law while practicing?

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On The Right Track – Railway Mystery Books

My dad loved model railroading. The HO models–not the big antique things that are so valuable today, such as Lionel etc. He built his own layout in the basement, designed a coal chute, and a bridge that crossed the bottom of the stairs that could be raised for people to enter and leave. He belonged … Read more

Books about Books–Better Known as Biblios–Part 1

Biblios = Books about Books Part 1: Books about Books–Better Known as Biblios Part 2  Bibilos Focusing on Booksellers/Collectors Part 3  Bibilos Focusing on Writers Part 4  Bibilos Focusing on Writers Part 5  Bibilos Focusing on Publishers Biblio–def.: ‘the Greek root for a variety of words referring to the book, such as bibliography, bibliomania, etc.’ I’ve often … Read more

An Ace of a Book

An interesting subject I know zilch about–playing cards. I don’t understand poker, bridge, whatever other games are played with those interesting things full of hearts, spades, diamonds, and clovers. But I must be in the minority, because there are apparently loads of books with a playing card theme or motif–with various authors either expounding on … Read more

Pulp Vixens

Politically correct or not, I love the artwork on old paperbacks, magazine covers, and dust jackets depicting barely clad babes. I go as far as to collect them. And I find I’m not alone, by a long shot. I belong to flickr, the website for sharing photos. But besides pictures, there’s an underground section filled … Read more

New Expanded Article-Malice Domestic Agatha Award Nominees Announced!!

The Agatha Awards are different than The Edgars, in that they are voted on by readers and writers–anyone who attends the Malice Domestic convention each year. You must register by a specific time to be able to nominate, but all attendees at the conference vote The Edgar Awards are decided by a small group of … Read more

Comfort Reads

Have you ever had a particularly crappy day and needed something to read that would be familiar, give a cozy feeling, a sense of comfort to you? If sick, in bed or the hospital, are the books you crave of a nature to cheer you up? These are called ‘comfort’ reads. Where the phrase comes … Read more