Tuesday, February 5, 2019

MYSTERY BYTES: Quirky Mystery and Book Related Links

Here are several mystery-related articles I found thought-provoking. Hope you do, too. Be sure to follow the links to read the full stories.

First up is this wild article by Ian Parker about Dan Mallory. A Suspense Novelist's Trail of Deceptions. The New Yorker .
Dan Mallory, who writes under the name A. J. Finn, went to No. 1 with his début thriller, “The Woman in the Window.” His life contains even stranger twists. Definitely weird.

Ever wonder about cleaning up a crime scene? in a book you're working on? or in real life? 13 Secrets of Crime Scene Cleaners. Mental Floss.
It’s a profession that few people realize exists—until tragedy strikes, and suddenly they have to deal with the unimaginable. That’s when they call a select group of iron-stomached, steel-nerved workers known as trauma scene restoration specialists, biohazard remediation technicians, or simply crime scene cleaners.

From Crime Reality to Crime Fiction: The Strange Case of the Anne Perry Film. The Spinoff.
 Anne Perry: Interiors, currently streaming on TVNZ on Demand, looks into the famous New Zealander’s life after moving to Scotland. But how much can we learn when Perry herself seems incapable of true self-reflection?

It's Chinese New Year and Paul French looks at Chinatowns around the world. CrimeReads.
Chinatowns have long been a honeypot for crime writers. Once mysterious and “other,” nowadays Chinatown crime reads are likely to feature voracious developers trying to force out traditional communities, corrupt Chinese Communist officials on the run, or newly arrived gangsters challenging the locals.

Speaking of Chinese New Year. Check out the list of Chinese New Year Crime Fiction here on MysteryFanfare
恭賀發財 Gung Hay Fat Choy! This is the Year of the Pig.
Chinese New Year starts tomorrow, and I've put together my latest Chinese New Year Mystery List. Included as well as specific Chinese New Year Crime Fiction, I've added some titles (scroll down) that take place in China and Taiwan, not necessarily during the New Year

Patricia Highsmith's Malcontents, Misogynists, and Murderers: From Carol to Tom Ripley. BookMarks.
Patricia Highsmith wore many hats over the course of her life and five decade writing career. In many respects, she was a deeply contradictory figure: a master practitioner of the bleak psychological thriller who also penned the first, and for several years only, major lesbian novel with a happy ending; a self-described liberal and social democrat who seemed to have no qualms about making racist and antisemitic statements; someone who hated being around people, yet enjoyed countless affairs and short-lived romances.

Don Winslow on The Dirty Secret of El Chapo's Downfall. Vanity Fair.
It’s the trial of the century, right? The satisfying third act in the dramatic rise-and-fall story of a celebrated Mob boss who became one of the world’s richest men, a Robin Hood who gave to the poor, a modern-day Houdini who escaped from not one but two maximum-security prisons. And it’s great show business with a full cast of characters: a compelling antihero, high-level drug traffickers who “flipped,” a sexy mistress, a beautiful young wife in the gallery.

The "Pop Culture Rembrandt" of Paperbacks by J. Kingston Pierce. The Rap Sheet.
You may have noticed over the years what a big fan I am of American artist and paperback illustrator Robert McGinnis. In 2014, I not only celebrated his career with a month-long exposition of his book fronts in Killer Covers, but I interviewed Art Scott, his co-author on the exquisite book, The Art of Robert E. McGinnis (Titan), for both The Rap Sheet and Kirkus Reviews. Two years later, I posted an additional, smaller selection of his work in celebration of his 90th birthday.

It's Up to Us: A Roundatble Discussion. Kellye Garrett. Los Angeles Review of Books.
THIS PAST SUMMER, Walter Mosley, Agatha Award–winning writer Gigi Pandian, and I started a group for crime writers of color. Within two months, the group went from the three of us to having over 80 writers — all in various stages of our careers. We cheer the ups, commiserate with the downs, and brainstorm ways to ensure the appallingly low number of mysteries published by writers of color continues to grow.

Tim Dorsey and the Wild Crime Fiction of Florida. CrimeReads.
There’s a special moment towards the start of every new Tim Dorsey novel when you realize who the villain is going to be, and which cause Dorsey’s psychopathic anti-hero, Serge A. Storms, is going to take up this time. It’s fair to say there’s nothing quite like that sensation going in crime fiction today, which maybe explains why Dorsey inspires such fervent admiration and joy in his readers, who have formed a kind of cult following, twenty-two books into the series.

An Archive of 600 Historical Children's Books, All Digitized and Free to Read Online. OpenCulture.
We can learn much about how a historical period viewed the abilities of its children by studying its children's literature. Occupying a space somewhere between the purely didactic and the nonsensical, most children’s books published in the past few hundred years have attempted to find a line between the two poles, seeking a balance between entertainment and instruction. However, that line seems to move closer to one pole or another depending on the prevailing cultural sentiments of the time.

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