Monthly Archives: January 2013

Love and Death – Romance and Sexual Tension in Writing Mystery

This one comes from the Meg Brown Facebook Page (my very own page for fans of the Meg Brown stories as written by yours truly). I had a little trouble coming up with a subject for today’s mystery post so i threw it out there for all my friends and neighbors to come up with some suggestions. I figured it wouldn’t do to write another review – particularly seeing as i hadn’t read anything in the past week to review about.

Anyway. The question i’ve picked is a good one: does every detective or protagonist always need a love interest, partner, or sexual tension? The short answer is: No.

End of blog. Move on.

Just kidding. I don’t know about you but when i’m reading a mystery or thriller i sometimes get the feeling that the sexy vamp or quirky love interest is just casually dumped in on a whim after being loosely cobbled together from the random love interest factory. You don’t have to go far to see this sort of thing. Just go to the grocery store, find the tiny little book shelf and pick up the first thriller you see. Now read the back jacket cover. If it isn’t so laden with accolades that after reading it you still haven’t a clue what the book is about you’ll probably find something similar to the ‘partnered with his gorgeous assistant district attorney’ or ‘now, with the help of a beautiful comic book fan’ etc. Implying that whoever the hero is they will encounter, at some point, a ready-made perfectly-built sidekick complete with potential sex right out of the package.

This is just my opinion but that sort of thing irritates the hell out of me. A romantic interest and sexual tension is a great thing to have in any story. Like Chandlers adage of bringing in the guy with the gun sexual tension and a fitting love interest can really punch up the ingredients of any given thriller. It can also add the level of spice that sends it over the top into stupidity. Chandler and Hammett were so good with the sexual tension that they’ve become tropes in and of themselves. Who can forget Lauren Bacall as Vivien in The Big Sleep or Mary Astor as Brigid O’Shaughnessy? But like everything else, they created a cliche that’s become so familiar that even those completely unfamiliar with the mystery/thriller genre can tick off the type from memory.

In my own stories i’ve so far avoided adding a love interest. It may come up when the time is right and i don’t discount the advantages of such a thing. Any chance you can get to add conflict and tension to a mystery/thriller and do it convincingly only serves to advance the plot and create more drama for the protagonist. The trouble i have with it is that the romantic interest only seems to exist for it’s own sake as a cast off character. If you aren’t consistently using such a character (preferably the same character) then whoever it is becomes the skirt or sausage de jour and a reader isn’t likely to give a poop about them, knowing that they are only providing motivation RIGHT NOW. What Chandler and Hammett did so well was grill their love interests right into the story. The Maltese Falcon would be a dull lackluster chase after a bird statue without the intricate machinations of O’Shaughnessy, and i would hate to think of The Big Sleep without the slinking sultry Vivien and her playfully deadly sister. These characters weave their way through the story like a cinch and pull it tight when it needs to be pulled.

Mystery and thriller writers have a tendency to jerk readers around with a protagonists sense of compassion for a given character. It’s roughly akin to ginning up concern. Most of the time you don’t feel it at all. Does anyone even remember the female companion to Robert Langdon in The Lost Symbol? Anyone? I had to go look it up, actually. But then i’m not Dan Brown’s biggest fan anyway. We’ve all seen the revenge motive, the race against time to save the girl, the intimate betrayal, all that stuff. It’s been done to death and unless you can really bring something new to the table like Tana French does in In The Woods, then leave it on the dust bin of cliches.

Basically my point is this: People – and your characters especially – will have relationships and they should. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s really a question of how you write it and what it adds to the story at hand. Love is always a terrific motive for murder, after all. But if you’re going to go that route you really need to put your back into it. What does love turned to murder actually look like? What does it feel like? What does it smell like? It’s really a matter of how you explore that without treading the same well worn ground. Because it is SUCH a tired cliche you’ll really have to blow up your comfort zone to make it work. This means research folks. Buckle down and hit the books. Read some ee cummings. (Not even the rain/has such small hands) Read Wuthering Heights if you haven’t already. Read Austen. Read The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. I recommend those right off the bat because they do very well to soak you in the sour, gurgling, underbelly of love and romance – they give you a nice taste for the lunacy of it. Things like that would have to be a source of your inspiration. If you want a protagonist who’s going to risk life and limb to rescue the damsel from the bad guy you’re going to have to convince us why and what that means to them. You can’t just say “she’s awful pretty, It’d be a shame if she got run over by a train while tied to the tracks.’

Unless your protagonist is the german grail hero Percival. In which case he’s mind bogglingly stupid so it’s okay.

Quite honestly and in my completely unasked for and un-expert opinion – consider your character as an individual first and foremost. You should know your detective or whomever you’re writing about personally. They should feel comfortable enough with you that they start lying to your face. You should know what they’re looking for in the grocery store, what their favorite brand of wine is and what they drink it out of (in Meg’s case she’s drinking chard out of a small glass beer stein) Don’t expect to know everything about them. Let them have their secrets but know where they bury them. THEN, if you want to add a love interest or a romance do the same thing with someone else and put the two of them together. That way when the real sparks start flying they’re coming out of the writing organically and not as a forced plot march.

Be careful – very very careful – if you’re working on a series that your character doesn’t have the skirt or sausage de jour. It’s a remarkably easy way to ruin a readers empathy with a character if they pick up a new girl or cute guy every book. At some point, as a reader, you just stop caring and you wonder about their sanity as they’re dashing headlong on the train tracks trying to get there before their love gets run over.

Like anything else, romance and sexual tension is a tool and like any tool it needs to be maintained and cared for or it becomes useless. If you can’t use it effectively then go get the blades sharpened or don’t use it. Not every mystery needs a love interest but every mystery needs a mystery. Put that first in your plot – make a few characters, stir and let breathe. If they generate heat you’ve got a bonus, if they separate… well… that can be amazingly dramatic too.

Categories: Fiction, Mystery, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Seeking Whom He May Devour – a review

It’s thursday? Already? What? No. I’m not ready for the weekly mystery blog. Not ready. But i said i would be so here it is. The first of the book reviews. The idea is to talk about stuff you MIGHT not be into – yet. I mean, we’ve all heard of Tana French by now and so forth, so it’s only right to blerb about stuff you may not have. Of course i’m probably not that qualified at finding this stuff. I search for it blindly and am ALWAYS open to suggestions so if you’ve got anything that you think i might be interested in let me know and i’ll take a look. The same rules will apply. If i don’t like something or it’s a little too ‘normal’ chances are i won’t write about it. So please don’t recommend Patterson or Sanford and such.

Anyway. Today it’s Seeking Whom He May Devour by Fred Vargas.

Fred is French. Just so you know. All of the books of the Commisaire Adamsberg series are translations. I’ve read two of them so far The Chalk Circle Man and this one and i have to say they are – weird. In other places at other times i’ve described them as “what if Amelie was a homicide detective?” and i think that still holds up. Adamsberg is a charming weirdo and he’s well insulated and surrounded by other intriguing weirdos, some of whom have murder on their minds.

In this one Adamsberg isn’t so much at the heart of the book, though. Here the central character is his enigmatic ex, Camille, who finds herself as a small town plumber in a mountain town full of mountain folk tending sheep. She’s surrounded by charming pastoral folk, a foul mouthed shepherdess and her adopted child whom she’s convinced is an African Prince, a grumpy superstitious shepherd with a passion for strong wine, a Canadian documentary filmmaker studying wild wolves. Drop in one werewolf terrorizing the neighborhood and a victim, stir, ferment, see what happens.

Of course this isn’t one of the glut of paranormal mysteries so we don’t believe for one second that there is, in fact, a real werewolf terrorizing the Mercantour. It’s a testament to the languid and dazzling flow of Vargas writing that she somehow convinces us that it just MIGHT be a lycanthrope, even as we laugh at ourselves for being so stupid. Of course it may  be that we’ve seen this sort of thing before, too, and have conditioned towards the spontaneous outbreak of lycanthropy in otherwise perfectly good mysteries.

In any case, Vargas keeps her main detective involved from afar, he’s a little busy trying to fend off the murderous attention of a woman so doesn’t quite have time to track down possible werewolves in another district. In stead, the wonderfully bizarre keeps us going down the road throughout most of it and she’s truly a gem to follow. Vargas clearly loves her being enigmatic and somehow, in spite of being central to the story, she manages to keep her distant and yet interesting. We never quite get familiar with her. You might think it would be difficult having a protagonist you’re never allowed to fully identify with but Vargas makes it all a pleasure – like spending time with a marvelous host at a party you know you’ll have to leave.

She is not, however, a detective. Her pursuit of the wolf through the countryside takes the whole thing into a road book – On The Road with idiots, werewolves and murder. Setting off with her two companions to find the murderer and (literally) eviscerate him they bumble amiably through the countryside collecting things they think are clues but aren’t and following leads that go no where.

It’s here that the story does become a little bit of a chore as we’re already aware that Adamsberg must show up at some point and Vargas makes us wait just a little too long. Oh it’s fun. Solimon and Watchee are excellent comic relief even though the reader never really needs relief from anything. They repeatedly deflate any latent idea of buried wisdom that we might feel about old shepherds and their proteges but at times it seemed that that was all their purpose was, to kill time while the reader waits for Adamsberg to get into position.

When he does show up i immediately felt how much i missed him. Maybe that was the point? To get the reader to the point where we’re as relieved to have him along as the characters themselves. Adamsberg is easily the ruling king of this motley band. His style of detection is as charismatic as it is bizarre – almost tranquil and nonchalant. There is literally no other detective in film or literature (that i can think of anyway) who would have been able to stick with the assorted ensemble effectively without losing their minds in the process, though i have to admit it is fun to think of Thomas Magnum trying.

In any case i don’t want to give too much away. Vargas is a fun and engaging writer and i’m always predisposed towards writers who can efficiently use vivid detail to elucidate the unique qualities of their characters. She’s quirky. I like that. And it’s not quirkiness for just the sake of itself – it shows tiny glimpses of deep characters who are comfortable with their own oddities. She uses enough of it to get you to want more. You want to hear the end of Soliman’s strange, rambling stories even if no one else does, you can’t wait for Camille to page through her big catalog of tools like it’s her personal bible.

I can’t say that the ending was any great surprise. It may be just a little overly elaborate for a story who’s greatest charm is it’s unique and unapologetic simplicity. Order is restored. That sort of thing. We’re rewarded with a killer. Yay. About what you’d expect really, but getting there is a lot of fun if you have a little bit of patience and like your characters vividly random.

If you’re a straight up whodunit procedural type and like your characters tough, straight faced (boring) then this probably isn’t for you. But if you have a ken for the weird, the daring, and the interesting then you probably couldn’t do much worse, though i still feel that the ending was a bit of a let down. It reached more than it needed to and you could see it a pretty long way off, but then again i can’t remember the last time the ending of a mystery actually surprised me.

Categories: Mystery | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Few Perfunctory Notes on the Lulu Service

Way back in November i managed to publish my latest story in the Meg Brown Mystery series (The Ice Cage – Meg Brown Mysteries #5) through the Lulu service. I’m sure quite a few of you have tried the same, as we try to claw out a litter box for ourselves in the now thoroughly glutted universe of e-literature. I have to say i wasn’t well pleased with the service. The advertise the ability to publish to all the major e-readers. They give you options on covers. They seem reputable and like a nice one stop marketplace for people trying to get their work out there. Well….

In december my sister got, as a christmas gift from Santa, a Nook. It seems like a nice gadget. I don’t have one myself. In fact my little tablet, an iPad, was recently absconded outside of a wedding reception and i’m now completely out of e-readers. bummer. If you stole my iPad, you suck. In any case, as a budding writer, the first thing i did was download The Ice Cage onto her Nook. The second thing i did was scream in horror at just how incredibly awful the formatting was.

Now just so you know, it takes a while to upload something through Lulu and the first thing you’ll notice is that it does NOT upload itself to Kindle. I did that well after the fact. On Kindle the story looks pretty nice. On Nook it looks like an eight year old wrote it with no concept of paragraphs or structure. Every paragraph was wiped out and line breaks were shot throughout as though from a literary shotgun out of one of Jasper Ffordes novels. Of course this is even AFTER you manage to negotiate the approval process which took upwards of two weeks. In the interest of fairness i’ll admit that the approval process was complicated by issues in formatting the title and the author name. Everything must be exact throughout the whole process: I included a middle initial in the author name and that sent me back to the drawing board in spite of everything else being correct. It also only handles one error at a time. Basically this means, correct, resubmit, wait, then read the NEW error report and correct again.

Lulu does provide a sample e-reader experience to review your work before it goes out and, of course, i used it. Everything looked fine on my end. Which means that either their sample e-reader wasn’t updated to current specifications or… well… that’s pretty much it. It doesn’t work. Like i said, formatting on the copy i had was just fine and the issues weren’t discovered until i downloaded it to my sisters Nook.

Anyway, now i have to work through the unenviable fix. Whatever that is. I haven’t quite figured it out yet. It may require deleting the entire thing off of Nook and resubmitting it direct, without using Lulu. I don’t know what that would do to sale but i can’t imagine that it would be any worse than the story being completely unreadable. If, however, any readers who stub their toe on this blog has a different answer or hints at how to fix it, i’ll be happy to listen.

I don’t intend to use Lulu in the future. I don’t exactly know what i’m going to do in the future but Lulu isn’t on my list. Nothing personal, folks at Lulu. I don’t think you did it maliciously. I’m not nearly famous or important enough at either blogging or fiction writing for anyone to take a grudge against me. Unless you’re just a jerk and take grudges just because it’s fun. In which case you probably stole my ipad and as i mentioned before, you suck.

Post Script – oddly enough i just looked at the version in the Barnes and Noble store – independent of an e-reader and it looks just fine. So if you have a nook, would you be a dear and tell me all about it when you buy it? It’s cheap. I’d reimburse you but i’m currently broke so…

Categories: Fiction, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Writers Homicide School – Where you NEED to go if you intend to write murder.

I’ve been fretting a little bit about what to officially open the new mystery blog with. I’d thought i might kick it off with a review of Seeking Whom He May Devour – a Commisaire Adamsberg book by Fred Vargas that i recently finished reading but then i relented and figured something a little more writerly would be appropriate. The Adamsberg review will probably be next week, then. But in the mean time i thought i would do a little bit about the Writers Homicide School, a excellent traveling seminar put on by former Detective Sergeant Derek Pacifico of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s department.

A couple of months ago, in October actually, i had the pleasure of attending the Writers Homicide School in Los Angeles. Seriously, folks. If you intend to write homicide at all, ever, you NEED to take this two day course. It could have lasted another two days and i still would have been sitting on the edge of my seat, furiously writing notes and getting aggravated at the high level of audience participation.

Pacifico is the sort of homicide instructor you want. The guy knows his stuff and he knows how to impart it in a way that is useful to writers, which isn’t always an easy task. Let’s face it – we can be a bunch of idiots. We think we have something great and then it’s off to the races, crafting elaborate byzantine nonsense to back it all up. Pacifico allows us to take a step back and appreciate the craft of mystery and thriller writing not as an exercise in narrative absurdity, but as a job we can have characters do. The seminar, more than anything else, opened up the narrative space of what is usually a very stereotypical process.

Many many years ago now i read the terrific David Simon book Homicide: A year on the killing streets. If you haven’t read it, do. It was followed by a pretty good television series, which gradually turned stupid as the cops got prettier and the stories got more idiotic, but for a while there it was one of the best shows on TV. I say this only by way of introduction because the first thing you get from Homicide is what you get from the Writers Homicide School: that this is a job. It’s a very serious job, at times, but it’s a job. This may sound pretty simple but way too often we watch our cops grimly track down clever, whitewashed bad guys with absolutely ridiculous motives and we get so wrapped up in the story of the plot that the characters themselves become something static and stupid. They are terrible caricatures of people, only interesting insofar as they manage to find the douchebag de jour and invoke their hackneyed sense of sanitized justice.

This can make for some fun nights, and Pacifico isn’t beyond presenting the fun of it – the unintentional comedic menu of detective offerings. He’ll present examples of some of the great travesties of crime writing, CSI, NYPD Blue, and humorously eviscerate them with reality which, as usual, is WAY more interesting and potentially entertaining.

You’ll learn a lot of very specific and very useful information in the Homicide school: Blood spatter, swipes, wipes, how to roughly determine the distance from the wound that a weapon was fired, interview, interrogation, lying, basic investigative procedure, police organization and administration, all the basic things that most of us overlook when we’re crafting our first stories. These are what you pay for. These are the things that make you sign up to begin with. It’s the things that aren’t on the syllabus, though, that really make it a valuable experience – the humor, the grind and the perspective on crime and criminals from a veteran detective that elevate the whole thing to something excellent.

The seminar is loaded with real world anecdotes about the actual day to day job of police work and through them we get the impression of it as a job and a life independent from and including the investigation of untimely death. Shockingly enough, and much like Simon’s Homicide, many of these anecdotes and stories are laugh out loud funny, though always framed by tragedy. There are no grim pronouncements while dramatically whipping off your sunglasses, no blazingly idiotic one liners. There’s a job. I can’t stress that enough. What Pacifico does so well in this seminar is tell you about his job. Like your job, really. Only his involves people dying.

The Seminar is also crammed with audience participation. This was where it bogged down just a little bit, but i think it may have been due to the audience in question rather than any formatting issues. I’m a mild mannered midwesterner. We raise our hands when we have a question. I get the impression that the folks in LA do not have that concept very well ingrained in their behavior. They blurted out questions rapid fire and constantly, occasionally dragging everything down to a still fascinating crawl. It made getting through the material a little difficult, however, and truncated portions of the seminar that i would have liked to have seen in a little more depth.

That said there were moments in which the audience participation was even more hands on and i can’t stress enough how invaluable it was to watch interview and interrogation techniques actually being demonstrated right in front of you and with your active participation. I’ve said it to others and i have to mention it again – i’d take a full two day class about interrogation and interview all on it’s own if it were offered. It was easily as fascinating as all the technical stuff on blood evidence and there’s nothing quite like watching it happen right in front of you on video or in person to hammer all the points home.

In a nutshell, go to this seminar if you can. It’s being held in various locations all over the country. I’d provide a schedule of it but apparently i can’t find one right now. I’d recommend keeping an eye on the offerings for the Writers Store (where i signed up for mine) The Writers Homicide School will also be offering the seminar on DVD soon, from what i hear. I can’t wait. Even though i’ve been there in person (and i fully recommend you go too) i will certainly be buying a copy of it.

Categories: Mystery | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Safe Cig vs. Blu (or as i like to call it, Bleich!)

Blu sucks. There it is in a nutshell. You don’t want any part of it, unless wrapping your lips around an exhaust pipe for a coal burning farm tractor circa 1915 excites you in some way. It’s just godawful. I can’t even pick up the ultra cheapo, poorly designed carrying case without having a moment of actual stomach churning revulsion. It only gets worse once i flip the little plastic lid thingy and take a whiff. Then i actually feel like i might throw up. 

But let’s back the truck up for a moment. 

I’ve been using the Safe Cig for over a year now. I’ve been trying to quit smoking you see, or at least quit smoking real cigarettes because i hear they’re pretty bad for you. So for christmas a few years ago my mom, who is entirely in support of me quitting smoking, bought me a Safe Cig starter kit. I don’t even remember for sure what was in the kit. Probably the initial battery and a set of refills. If you know what i’m talking about this is all pretty self explanatory and i won’t bother going over it again. If you’re looking to purchase though, PLEASE read on before you make a horrendous and expensive mistake.

Safe Cig worked fine, for the most part. They came out with a wide variety of flavors, the product worked okay, things were nice and groovy. It didn’t immediately make me quit smoking, though. That’s more my fault than the product, though. The trouble is i live in Wisconsin and the replacement cartridges get shipped out from L.A. There is no local distributor, so when you run out or haven’t sufficiently planned ahead there is no running down to the store and picking up a quick box of replacements to tie you over until the post office comes through. Combine that with the occasional outages in supply, lost shipments, the rare completely empty cartridge and sometimes completely empty online store and i ended up with a few too many moments of panic where the option was to go and buy a pack of cigarettes or try a different, more available e-cig. 

Of course i wasn’t about to give up on all my hard, non-smoking work so i went with the option of getting a more available replacement e-cig. No big deal, i figured. How different could it be, really? And this way i can just nip down to the local Walgreens and pick up some replacements whenever. A friend suggested i give the throwaways a try and i did but it was a short term solution and i needed something a little more permanent. 

So i chose the Blu. Good god, what a mistake. 

The starter kit comes with two batteries that are a good deal smaller than SafeCig regular but about on par with the same companies slim version. It also comes with a variety pack of cartridges in cherry, menthol, something else and something else? I think. One has a little pipe picture on the side. I think it’s supposed to be like pipe tobacco. The other one has a cup of coffee on the side. I have no idea what the hell that’s supposed to be. It turns out it doesn’t matter anyway as they all taste the same. If you happen to be a professional taster of things, like a faux tobacco sommelier or something you might detect a difference but i wouldn’t want to ruin your refined taste buds on something so horrendously awful so i don’t recommend it. 

Let’s put it this way: if you were to slow roast a chunk of pig poop in a brine of the worst sort of toxic cleaning agents you could find – the sort that you would use to strip rust off things or pollute entire provinces in India – you would come fairly close to the exciting flavor of the Blu e-Cigarette. To say it’s horrible doesn’t quite come close. It’s the sort of thing a conference of frightened cigarette manufacturers might come up with if they really wanted to prevent smokers from not smoking. Yes. You read that right. It made me want to smoke. And not just smoke, but smoke something awful – like cat feces. Anything would be better than that. 

So, i’m stuck with my Safe Cig. I’m actually very happy with it. It works pretty well, has a nice heft to it, the flavors (the good ones anyway – there are plenty that i don’t “like” but none that i abhor with quite the same venom that i hate Blu) are actually pretty nice. I’m a huge fan of the Royale, but don’t ask me to describe it. The best i’ve been able to come up with is that it tastes a bit like the berries in Crunch Berry cereal. The only trouble is the supply and the constant, nagging fear that one day i’ll be completely without them. It’s happened once already where i’ve had to go more than a month without resupply because there was literally NOTHING available in their online store. 

That said i would swim through a pool of acid filled with piranha’s to get away from the Blu which is ironic because that’s pretty much how it tastes. Dead piranha’s in acid. If that’s your thing go for it but it means we can’t be friends. I can’t associate with anyone who would have taste buds so mangled as to think it’s a good thing. 

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 7 Comments

A Few Introductory Notes on the New Mystery Blog

So here you are. You’ve hunted, fished, rode, swam through alligator infested waters which is an amazingly intrepid thing thing to do to alligator infested waters. Congratulations. You are among the elite of the sleuthing wanderers. You’ve followed clues, you’ve tracked me down. You wanna know what your reward is. Well here it is: The alligators didn’t eat you. You are alive. I think. I hope. 

The truth is i don’t really know what’s going to happen here either. I just got here myself. I’m still looking around, picking up clods of dirt, seeing what might grow, testing the water for piranhas, checking the ammunition supply, making the sure the blade is still sharp. 

Here’s what i THINK is going to happen here. I think you’ll find reviews. Lots of reviews. Of mystery novels. You’ll find links to seminars or other things you might be interested in. You’ll find reviews of those seminars if i’ve taken them, you’ll find plaintive cries of interest if i haven’t taken them but really want to and you may even find a few interviews if i can swing it. All of them will be related to literary mysteries, detective novels, thrillers, sleuthing and writing the same. If this intrigues you, i hope you come back regularly and comment often. If this doesn’t intrigue you then what the hell are you doing here in the first place? 

Now, in the interest of full disclosure, i will briefly mention that i’m the author of the sublime Meg Brown Mysteries series. Don’t worry about the ‘sublime part’. No one has called them sublime except me and thats only because i had a lot of fun writing them. That’s the last you’ll hear of them on this page, though. If you want more information on them you can go elsewhere in these blog pages or over to my website, (which may bounce you back to another of these pages but i do try to keep things separate and organized.) 

Some things you will not see on these pages: It’s not terribly likely that you’ll see a lot of self published authors here. It’s possible, but unlikely even though i’m self published myself. The reason for this is primarily because I generally don’t have a lot of time for reading and when i do i prefer to hunt and fish out stuff that i’ve paid for that you may not know about. That’s why it’s also still possible. If i manage to come across a self published mystery writer that you ought to take a look at i’ll be happy to mention it here. 

You also won’t really find a lot of things that i DON’T like. I don’t really believe in wasting my time blathering wittily about crap. Crap is crap. I figure anyone who’s made it this far knows it when they smell it. Not to mention it causes far less strife and bitching and moaning to only review and write about things that i like. If i ever get vaunted enough that someone actually requests a review of something i regard as total crap then, well, i’ll burn that bridge once i get to it but i’m not going to hold my breath.


I’m constantly looking for new and interesting things and would greatly appreciate it if you’d share whatever you’ve found out there in Mystery Land. I can’t guarantee anything, of course, except the pleasure you get from sharing things you think are great. I do, however, love good, respectful discussions, thoughts, reflections, and general communication with those of similar interest.

So. Now that that’s all out of the way, let’s begin shall we?  

Categories: Mystery, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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