Results of the Agatha Award in the year 2001.
When Tony Hillerman looks back at seventy-six years spent getting from hardtimes farm boy to bestselling author, he sees lots of evidence that Providence was poking him along. For example, when an absentminded Army clerk left him off the hospital ship taking the wounded home from France, the mishap put him on a collision course with a curing ceremony held for two Navajo Marines, thereby providing the grist for a writing career that now sees his books published in sixteen languages around the world and often on bestseller lists. Or, for example, when his agent told him his first novel was so bad that it would hurt both of their reputations, he nonetheless sent it to an editor, and that editor happened to like the Navajo stuff.
In this wry and whimsical memoir, Hillerman offers frequent backward glances at where he found ideas for plots of his books and the characters that inhabit them. He takes us with him to death row, where he interviews a man about to die in the gas chamber…[more]
From the author of books about women police officers and a retired editor who’s now a volunteer cop in small town America, Food, Drink, and the Female Sleuth gathers together the best food scenes in mainstream detective fiction. Over 140 flavorful contributors, over 250 slurpy excerpts, 23 rich chapters with titles like “Undercover Grub and Stakeout Takeout,” “Junk Food on the Run,” “A Dozen Ways to Feed Your Lover,” “Bribing with Food,” and “The Last Bite.” Like us, PIs, cops, and amateur sleuths ARE what they eat. Also they are known by how they eat, where they eat, why they eat, and by who does the cooking. What better way to flesh out a sleuth’s work partner than “Let’s Have A Drink,” or spell out social class with humor in “Upper and Lower Crusts”? What better way to get a plot underway than breakfast? Or stir in suspense and foreshadow events in “Let’s Do Lunch”? This book is for anyone whose shelves are stacked with really good detective novels and really good food. Face it, if you like to eat, put Food, Drink on your table.
Footprints, a smoking revolver, broken glass . . . Whodunit? Get to the bottom of things with Max Allan Collins, who puts the enigmatic, endlessly fascinating world of the mystery genre under the magnifying glass in The History of Mystery. Starting with Edgar Allan Poe’s fictional detective Dupin, Collins tracks the modern detective story from its birth in Allan Pinkerton’s Memoirs to its fullest flowering in the fiction of Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, and Ross MacDonald. Collins widens his scope to explore the rich narrative and visual history of detective comics and the legacy of mystery in radio, television, and film noir. This stunning volume presents a magical selection of pulp and dime-novel covers of the thirties and forties, gats-and-gals paperback covers of the fifties and sixties, the Sunday strips’ yellow-trenchcoat-clad Dick Tracy, and portraits of the terribly proper and totally astute television dynamos Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple, and Jessica Fletcher. En route, Collins reveals…[more]
Craig Rice, the author of fourteen novels, countless short stories, and a number of true crime pieces, once rivaled Agatha Christie in sales. She was on the cover of Time Magazine in 1946. However, the past fifty years have seen her fall into relative obscurity. Rice made for an interesting subject for a biography because nearly every identification point about the author was in dispute: her birth, her real name, her number of marriages, number of children, her canon of fiction, and the cause of her early death. Marks had to wade through years of research to come up with the answers to those questions. Following a trail that went from Venice, Italy to Venice Beach, CA, he talked to a number of her contemporaries, her family, and friends to come up with an engaging book that reminds readers why Rice remains the undisputed queen of the comedic mystery.
Acclaimed mystery and science fiction writer G. Miki Hayden brings her experience and reverence for the craft to readers in this authoritative guide to creating a compelling and commercially viable mystery.
Writing the Mystery begins with a thorough exploration of the genre, and then proceeds to take the reader step-by-step through the writing process, starting with character and plot development, the nitty-gritty of word choice, grammar, and sentence structure, maintaining pace, revealing killers, and tying up loose ends. G. Miki then goes one step further in guiding the reader through the post-writing process, explaining manuscript preparation, cover letters, acquiring an agent, and methods of successful promotion.
Writing the Mystery concludes each section with in-depth exercises, putting the lessons of the chapter into practice.…[more]