Author: Emilya Naymark

Emilya Naymark is the author of the novels Hide in Place, out now, and Behind the Lie, out February 8, 2022. Her short stories appear in A Stranger Comes to Town, edited by Michael Koryta, Secrets in the Water, After Midnight: Tales from the Graveyard Shift, River River Journal, Snowbound: Best New England Crime Stories 2017, and 1+30: THE BEST OF MYSTORY. She lives and writes in the Hudson Valley

Poison Them with Love

These holiday seasons seem just as much about food and sitting down with family and friends as they are about gifts or any religious significance.

As I looked at my bounty of treats that included a metric ton of Christmas chocolate and even an authentic Jamaican Rum Cake baked by a friend from her grandmother’s recipe, my thoughts turned, as they are wont, to murder weapons. Specifically, poison.

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Anne Rice

I was very saddened to hear of the passing of Anne Rice on December 11. Her work was hugely influential to many, and to me personally.

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Books to Film, 2021

I’m as much of a film buff as I’m a reader, and when I find out a favorite book is now a movie… well, life is good!

This year brought an abundance of adaptations, with a couple more to come early next year. Here are some of the ones I saw and enjoyed thoroughly, plus a sneak peak at the future.

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Save a Plate

Giving thanks to those who spend their holidays serving society. Police officers, firefighters, nurses, doctors, EMTs, the bartenders and waiters who will serve people who don’t have a family or who need an escape, the gas station attendants who will make sure everyone gets to their destinations, the pilots and flight attendants. Yes, they all chose their jobs, but it doesn’t take the sting out of being away from their loved ones on a holiday.

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Locked Room Mysteries

Locked room mysteries are awesome because they usually present the environment as an oppositional adversary. It’s easy to imagine oneself trapped with a killer, and how delicious to burrow under a blanket and know you’re safe, while reading about people who most certainly aren’t.

So, here are three locked room mysteries I’ve read lately that are chilling, thrilling, and all around awesome.

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Etiquette

I admit it, I’ve been obsessed with etiquette from a very tender age. While still in elementary school, I somehow found myself in possession of an ancient copy of Amy Vanderbilt’s Complete Book of Etiquette, and reader, I read that thing cover to cover. Even more than modern ones, Victorian etiquette books are the BEST.

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Entropy in storytelling

Entropy is the opposite of stasis, and therefore, the exact thing that makes stories so interesting. A character wakes up one morning expecting their life to roll along as it always had, and then WHAM. Disorder, a break, destruction. And nothing can ever go back to how it was, because that’s how life works.

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Traveling, Vicariously

In no particular order, here are some of the books I’ve read this past year that allowed me to walk the streets of Edinburgh, wander the fields of Ireland, live in a cabin in Michigan’s Upper Penninsula, and in one in coastal North Carolina, and in one on the Czech-Polish border. Yeah… I spent a lot of time in cabins in the woods.

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