mysteriousnewsThis newsletter is your newsletter. If you are a subscriber writing in the mystery or suspense genres and have an upcoming pre-sale date or new book release, please let me know in advance so I can include your news with applicable links.

If you are a reader in the mystery or suspense genres and have read a book you’d like to share with others, please let me know (and please include a link to your Amazon or other marketplace book review link).


conversationLast Heartthrob: Episode One - The Gunshots and the Suspect Signal

(Reading time: approx. 16 min.)

Preview: As Walter Forbes tried to run up the northwest stairwell, the forty-seven-year-old private eye knew he was no longer a defensive lineman for State. His career-ending back injury reminded him. The punishment lay in wait whenever he pushed himself beyond his usual range of movement.

He played through pain on the gridiron when only a game or a season was on the line. Now actual lives were at stake, and he was the only one to blame.

Read Episode One FREE online or on Kindle.

Movie: The Conversation (1974)

The overall tone of this episode, and the novella generally, is much more old-school Hollywood entertainment than this film. Our serial surveillance man Walter Forbes has a much more extensive toolkit than Harry Caul had in 1974, but he faces a similar dilemma. It's the one faced today by personnel at the National Security Agency. In a world awash with information, how do you decide which information is important? How do you figure out what it all means?

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item1Why a Newsletter?

We’re all connected on social media these days right? I know I am. And I know that if you post something at the exact moment I’m visiting the site, I will definitely see it…until it scrolls off the screen.

For many things we tweet or post, that’s an appropriate level of importance.

But when we definitely want to share something others, we contact them directly.

This newsletter is your newsletter. If you are a subscriber writing in the mystery or suspense genres and have an upcoming pre-sale date or new book release, please let me know in advance so I can include your news with applicable links.

If you are a reader in the mystery or suspense genres and have read a book you’d like to share with others, please let me know (and please include a link to your Amazon or Goodreads review).

You’ll be hearing from me regularly during the summer (explanation below), so I’ll be able to include your news fairly quickly. In September, we’ll try to do this monthly.

More.


item5Breakneck Hamlet: Most Famous Murder Mystery of All Time In Under an Hour

Next time life throws you a curve, take a moment to think of the curve Hamlet threw at his friend Horatio.

"If thou didst ever hold me in my heart

Absent thee from felicity awhile,

And in this harsh world draw thy breath in pain

To tell my story."

What are you going to do? This is your best friend’s dying wish, right?

Horatio says,

"And let me speak to the yet unknowing world

How these things came about: so shall you hear

Of carnal, bloody, and unnatural acts,

Of accidental judgments, casual slaughters,

Of deaths put on by cunning and forced cause.

And, in this upshot, purposes mistook

Fall’n on the inventor’s heads."

Okay, it’s a little long for an elevator pitch, but then, he’s summarizing a work that runs even longer than Avengers: Age of Ultron. He’s summarizing a text that runs 32,241 words.

More.

tobolowskyStephen Tobolowsky on Transforming Mystery into Truth

In the Tobolowsky File on “The Circle of Causation,” Stephen explores the appeal of the detective genre through the lens of his roles on two incarnations of the long-running TV franchise Law & Order.

“In Law & Order: Criminal Intent, the audience usually knows pretty early on who the murderer is. The entertainment is derived by the ingenious way Detective Goren figures it all out.”

On Law & Order: SVU, “The police are not brilliant. They’re not even bright. They’re just determined. They don’t quit.”

“The one thing both shows have in common is the genre. They fall into that phylum we call whodunit. Now it’s easy to think the attraction of the whodunit is mystery. It isn’t, really. The attraction is that mystery can be understood. Either through brilliance or hard work, enough of the clues can be uncovered and mystery is transformed into truth.”

“There is a human need to know who is to blame and why.”

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item10A Mystery Reader's Must-Read List Courtesy of The Edgar® Awards

On Wednesday night April 29, 2015, the Mystery Writers of America presented the Edgar® Awards, widely acknowledged to be the most prestigious awards in the genre.Winners in bold.

I linked these books to their Amazon Kindle pages because the Kindle format works on virtually any computer, tablet, or smartphone. If a book description appeals to you, please download the sample and give it a try. You can decide later whether you want to buy it (and where, and in what format) or get it from your library. Bookmark this page for a virtual mystery bookshelf.

Best Novel

This Dark Road to Mercy by Wiley Cash (HarperCollins Publishers –William Morrow)
Wolf by Mo Hayder (Grove/Atlantic –Atlantic Monthly Press)
Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King (Simon & Schuster –Scribner)
The Final Silence by Stuart Neville (Soho Press)
Saints of the Shadow Bible by Ian Rankin (Hachette Book Group –Little, Brown)
Coptown by Karin Slaughter (Penguin Randomhouse –Delacorte Press)

Best First Novel by an American Author

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Fri, 01 May 2015 16:05:28 -0700


leftcoastcrimeWhy Left Coast Crime is Important for Mystery Readers and Writers

In early March, there I was, this newbie mystery writer setting up my Facebook page and trying to make friends with anyone I could. Another mystery writer noticed I lived in Portland and asked whether I was going to Left Coast Crime. I'm slightly ashamed to confess I didn't know what Left Coast Crime was until I Googled it.

I instantly recognized that it was very important. I also realized that I was knocking out a first draft of my second Walter Forbes novel in March, and a convention would give me just the excuse I needed not to finish it on schedule.

As a newbie mystery writer preparing a serialized novel, I'm slowly learning the tricks of the trade. One of the biggest challenges facing both readers and writers is discovering that a book actually exists. I'm currently reading (when I'm not typing this blog post) a novel called MACDEATH by Cindy Brown.

"Who cannot have fun with a disastrous (and murderous) production of Macbeth? Cindy Brown's first novel is a delicious romp with plenty of humor and suspense. Ivy (or is it Olive) is a fun heroine." – Rhys Bowen, New York Times Bestselling Author of the Molly Murphy and Royal Spyness Mysteries.

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Fri, 24 Apr 2015 18:52:11 -0700


Gillian FlynnGone Girl, Gillian Flynn, and the Aha Moment in Mystery

Your Recommendations!

Gone Girl is the best mystery film I've seen since…

Without looking at my IMDb lists, I'll take a stab and say David Fincher's Zodiac.

If Gillian Flynn's screenplay is as fine an example of the film-mystery-writing craft at least since Zodiac, there are very good reasons for this.

Movie executives can't be blamed for believing that with its endless variations on police procedurals, both American and British, TV has the mystery genre covered. I actually watch one of these shows, and it's quite good. I love the way Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat have updated Sherlock.

Movie executives are right in thinking that mysteries are difficult to market. There's so little you can give away, unlike all the good jokes in a comedy or all the best CGI in a comic-book movie.

Gillian Flynn's mystery is timely: the recent economic downturn plays a role. So does the voracious feeding frenzy of the twenty-four-hour news cycle. But these aren't particularly sexy selling points for an international teenage male audience.

More

Fri, 27 Feb 2015


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If you are a subscriber writing in the mystery or suspense genres and have an upcoming pre-sale date or new book release, please let me know in advance so I can include your news with applicable links.

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