Tag: thrillers

thrillers

The Mystery Novel and a Realistic Modern Heroine

By Sharon Ward Every mystery novel has to have an appealing heroine or protagonist, and recently, the Miss Demeanors were talking about our protagonists’ super powers in our respective mystery novel series, and I was complaining about how many female protagonists are written as though they were “Jack Reacher in a dress.”  Most women, as people in the real world know, don’t act like Jack Reacher in one of Lee Child’s thriller novels. (Neither do most men.) Now, I love Jack Reacher. I eagerly await each new installment to find out how he is going to right the wrongs he encounters, and to vicariously enjoy the mayhem he creates while doing it. But Jack Reacher is a big guy. If he wants to kick the snot out of the bad guys, he’s got the brawn to do it. Which is why it makes me crazy when I read a mystery novel or a thriller with a so-called ‘modern heroine” where the petite protagonist hides behind the door and manages to best the bad guys purely because of her superior fighting skills and the element of surprise when she jumps out from behind the door.  No weapons. Bare hands. I think not. […]

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Sunken Death Release

This New Year’s Eve will be especially exciting for me. First, because 2022 HAS to be better than 2021 was, right? We’ll be getting COVID under control, either through vaccinations or growing immunity, and soon we’ll have more options open for socialization and entertainment—at least I hope so. And there will be a ton of fabulous new mystery novels ready for publication, including Emilya’s Behind the Lie, coming February 8! The second reason I’m excited for 2022 is because book 2 in my Fin Fleming Sea Adventures Thriller series of books is coming out on January 31.  I love the main character in this series. Fin Fleming is a very accomplished underwater photographer, but she has trouble achieving the recognition she deserves because someone stole her work and then accused her of plagiarism. She also struggles with self-esteem and feelings of abandonment.  All the books in the series are rollicking adventures and mystery/thriller books, but the real underlying theme is Fin’s struggle to find acceptance and a sense of family. You’ll have to read the books to find out what sets her heroine’s journey in motion. Here’s the back cover copy for Sunken Death: A few months after a death in her […]

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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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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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Conflict, Suspense, Terror: When Is Too Much Too Much?

Almost the first thing a budding writer learns is the importance of conflict—internal, external, situational, relational. Conflict is what creates story. As Donald Maass famously says, “The cat sat on the mat” isn’t a story. “The cat sat on the dog’s mat” is a story. Suspense is created when the outcome of conflict is unknown or delayed. This is a gross simplification, of course, but if the tension on the page isn’t felt by the reader, the conflict falls flat. Suspense taken to the extreme creates terror. I read once that out of all the living creatures on earth, human beings are the only ones who like to scare themselves. We pay money to watch horror films and buy books that scare the living daylights out of us. If you need an example, check out Emilya Naymark’s recent blog on påskekrim , Norway’s obsession with reading crime novels at Eastertime. But when is too much too much? Some years ago I discovered a thriller writer who will remain anonymous (well known, very skilled) and began reading her series featuring a female medical examiner. I knew I was reading scary stuff about violent crime and serial killers, but the writing was […]

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Welcome Emilya Naymark

Today I am thrilled to introduce one of our new Miss Demeanors, Emilya Naymark.

Emilya: Years of hearing my husband’s tales of buying drugs in the city got my gears churning and instead of helping him write his memoirs, as we always joked I would, I up and made him a lady and stuck him into a crime novel.

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The Thrill of a Thriller for Non-Thriller Lovers

Okay, I’ll say it. I find many, more likely most thrillers boring. I know. I must surely be in the minority, but someone has to say it. Non-stop action with weaponry technologically impossible to imagine page after page is as monotonous as any repetition. It’s like having sex in every scene. Who cares? I said most thrillers because there are some fantastic exceptions. Books where writers have taken the time, however brief, to artfully engage the reader in the story in which the action takes place. Books where writers have captured the reader and facilitated an attachment with the character(s) so there is something/someone to care about during the wild ride ahead. One of my favorite thrillers is Harlan Coben’s Tell No One, one of his earliest novels and the one that landed him on the NY Times bestsellers list forever. During the first several pages we meet a young doctor, a pediatrician, who works in an urban setting and witnesses his patients falling prey to sociological problems beyond his medical talents. He is honest and sincere and has in his short time practicing medicine learned not to judge. We like him. We soon learn he has had his own […]

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Congratulations,Cate!

This week marks the publication of my fellow Miss Demeanor’s new book, One Little Secret. You’ve probably seen it mentioned on all sorts of “Best Of” lists and it’s well worth the acclaim. Truly a chilling and suspenseful story. And, it has a fabulous pink cover!

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Things Thriller Writers Do On Vacation…

I went to Porto, Portugal earlier this week. There were many things on my must do list, including visiting the Livrario Lello and tasting port in the city that made it famous. But also on this list was visiting the catacombs by the Church of Saint Francis.

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