Tag: mystery

mystery

A Language Lesson

Author Raquel V. Reyes teaches us a little Spanglish today. Read her primer to whet your appetite for her upcoming cozy, Mango, Mambo, and Murder! @missdemeanors6 #cozymystery #foodiecozy #cubanamerican @latinasleuths

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Does Crime Fiction Ever Take a Holiday?

Happy Labor Day! Do you know the origins of this holiday? According to the Department of Labor, in 1882 either Peter J. McGuire or Matthew Maguire (records vary) proposed a holiday in honor of the “laboring classes.” McGuire and Maguire were both labor unionists. McGuire belonged to the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and the American Federation of Labor, Maguire to the Central Labor Union and International Association of Machinists. Celebrations spread Initially a municipal holiday, Labor Day soon became a state holiday. Although New York gets credit for celebrating Labor Day first, in 1882, Oregon beat them to the punch, in 1887, of passing the first state law. By 1894, nearly three dozen states had passed laws honoring the day. A Federal Law and a Bit of Irony Labor Day became a federal holiday in 1894 when President Grover Cleveland signed legislation setting the first Monday in September as the official day of celebration. (A few days later he sent Federal troops to Chicago to deal with striking railroad workers.) From the beginning, the day was commemorated with parades and picnics, with speeches by prominent community members becoming a feature added by the beginning of the twentieth century. The […]

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Are you cozy?

This week all sorts of cozy mystery writers and readers are huddling around our screens to take part in the More than Malice (virtual) Conference. There will be a an assortment of writers talking on such topics as Seeking Agatha: The Christie Tradition and It Happened: True Crime ( which will include fellow Miss Demeanor, Alexia Gordon.) There will also be an Author Speed Dating event at which I will be participating. One minute to talk about my book! One of the panels I’m most interested in, pictured above, is an analysis of the intellectual underpinnings of cozy mysteries. I’m so excited to hear what these scholars have to say. When we talk about cozy mysteries, we’re talking about mysteries which do not have hard-core violence. Think Miss Marple, who is the patron saint of cozy mystery writers. (By contrast, Jo Nesbo is not a cozy mystery author, though he is quite entertaining.) What I love about writing cozy is that the focus is on characters and community. These crimes are not anonymous. They’re committed by people the protagonist knows. And, in some cases, loves. It gives me a chance to think about what pushes people to commit crimes. How […]

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Belly Up to the Bookshelf

I was chatting with my blog-mates earlier about literary feasts—who would we invite and what would we serve, that kind of thing.

The conversation reminded me of real-life literary feasts, like those hosted by Chantal Tseng (@ShinobiPaws). Chantal is a bartender and sherry specialist who earns her living these days by crafting custom cocktails.

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A Book Long Enough to Suit

A deadly pandemic. Protests against racial injustice. Unemployment at levels not seen since the Great Depression. Seismic social upheaval. Wrapping your mind around 2020 presents challenges most of us never imagined facing. Many of us struggle to find the energy to get excited about anything. We’re so overwhelmed, it’s tough to find things to feel good about. Fortunately, books exist. Whatever your preferred format, paper, electronic, or audio, books can help you process what’s happening around you, learn about experiences and perspectives different from your own, help put your fears into perspective, or provide respite. Books, in short, can make you feel good. Here are a few that do that for me: A Step So Grave by Catriona McPherson. Set in the 1930s, this offering in the Dandy Gilver series pays homage to Golden Age Detective fiction without sacrificing a contemporary feel. Hollywood Homicide by Kellye Garrett. A cozy with a Black amateur sleuth. ‘Nuff said. Lies She Told by Cate Holahan. A domestic thriller with a strong, independent female protagonist who drives the action instead of reacts to events. Fer de Lance by Rex Stout. His entire Nero Wolfe series, actually. Because Archie Goodwin. The Return of Retief by […]

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Keeping Up With My Writing Peeps

I attended my Sisters in Crime chapter meeting last weekend and it was the salve I didn’t know I needed. Attendees were all mindful of the perils of social interaction. Everyone kept a respectful distance from one another. Hand sanitizer flowed. But so did the smiles. I think we all had in the back of our minds that we may not see each other in person again for a while. Note that I say “in person.” Just because writers tend to skew introvert doesn’t mean we always want or like to be alone. Thanks to the Internet, we can still participate in our communities, whether local, regional, or global. In the current climate of “social distancing,” keeping in touch is more important than ever. I’m not a psychologist but I do know that isolation isn’t healthy. We’re mammals, and most mammals are pack animals. We need each other. I’ve learned a few tricks in maintaining personal connections from a distance, thanks to a day job that’s 24/7/365. First, of course, there’s social networks. Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, etc. The danger of relying solely on these is the risk of feeding fear and anxiety so I tread lightly here. I’m a […]

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What’s Your Passion?

People love hobbies. Some can be pretty bizarre—clipping and dying dogs to look like wild animals; collecting back scratchers or Ronald McDonald memorabilia; extreme ironing (I’m not making this up); doing cow impressions; playing dead.

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SERIES GIVEAWAY
  • September 23, 2021
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  • September 22, 2021
A Language Lesson
  • September 15, 2021
IN DEEP with Sharon Ward
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