Introduction by Stuart Kaminsky
“It is always a treat to read a Nero Wolfe mystery. The man has entered our folklore.”—The New York Times Book Review
A grand master of the form, Rex Stout is one of America’s greatest mystery writers, and his literary creation Nero Wolfe is one of the greatest fictional detectives of all time. Together, Stout and Wolfe have entertained—and puzzled—millions of mystery fans around the world. Now, with his perambulatory man-about-town, Archie Goodwin, the arrogant, gourmandizing, sedentary sleuth is back in the original seventy-three cases of crime and detection written by the inimitable master himself, Rex Stout.
A full chapter offers a delving biographical study of Patterson, including a brief timeline, that traces his early literary and personal interests and later professional achievements. Another chapter discusses the genres of detective and mystery writing, and situates Patterson 's contributions within this framework. Patterson's sociological writings are also considered. Whether for personal pursuits or school assignments, this volume provides ample insight and extensive bibliographic information on Patterson's work, including critical sources and reviews.
Fourteen novels. Fourteen poisons. Just because it's fiction doesn't mean it's all made-up ...
Agatha Christie revelled in the use of poison to kill off unfortunate victims in her books; indeed, she employed it more than any other murder method, with the poison itself often being a central part of the novel. Her choice of deadly substances was far from random – the characteristics of each often provide vital clues to the discovery of the murderer. With gunshots or stabbings the cause of death is obvious, but this is not the case with poisons. How is it that some compounds prove so deadly, and in such tiny amounts?
Christie's extensive chemical knowledge provides the backdrop for A is for Arsenic, in which Kathryn Harkup investigates the poisons used by the murderer in fourteen classic Agatha Christie mysteries. It looks at why certain chemicals kill, how they interact with the body, the cases that may have inspired Christie, and the feasibility of obtaining, administering and detecting these poisons, both at the time the novel was written and today. A is for Arsenic is a celebration of the use of science by the undisputed Queen of Crime.
The Sherlock Holmes Book is packed with witty illustrations, clear graphics, and memorable quotes that make it the perfect Sherlock Holmes guide, covering every case of the world's greatest detective, from A Study in Scarlet to The Adventure of Shoscombe Old Place, placing the sorties in a wider context. Stories include at-a-glance flowcharts that show how Holmes reaches his conclusions through deductive reasoning, and character guides provide handy reference for readers and an invaluable resource for fans of the Sherlock Holmes films and TV series.
The Sherlock Holmes Book holds a magnifying glass to the world of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's legendary detective.
Preview of this summary: Part1
Down-on-his-luck, Augie Odenkirk helps homeless Janice Cray care for her baby as they wait in the early morning fog for a job fair. A gray Mercedes plows into the crowd. Augie, Janice and the baby are among the victims.Part 2
About a year after the Mercedes crash, Retired Detective K. William Hodges watches more grubby reality shows, fails to enjoy his beer, and thinks, again, of shooting himself. The arrival of the mail distracts him. A letter, allegedly from the driver of the killer Mercedes, stuns him. The writer brags about killing eight and wounding many. He says that he got off sexually at he drove into the crowd. He wore a condom and used bleach to get rid of any DNA. He wore a hair net under a clown mask for the same reason. He knows Hodges is miserable and hopes the letter cheers him up. He gives Hodges a website where they can talk, including a username: kermitfrog19.
Hodges wonders if he should turn the letter over to his former partner, Pete Huntley. He believes the writer is the killer because he knows inside information about the condom and the bleach. The idea of using this letter, and chats on line, to catch the killer gives Hodges a reason to live.
Hodges analyzes the letter and sees that the writer has several identifying traits, including misusing perk for perp and peppering his words with an image of a smiley face. The same smiley face was glued onto the steering wheel of the Mercedes. Hodges calls Pete and makes a lunch date....
P. D. James examines the genre from top to bottom, beginning with the mysteries at the hearts of such novels as Charles Dickens’s Bleak House and Wilkie Collins’s The Woman in White, and bringing us into the present with such writers as Colin Dexter and Henning Mankell. Along the way she writes about Arthur Conan Doyle, Dorothy L. Sayers, Agatha Christie (“arch-breaker of rules”), Josephine Tey, Dashiell Hammett, and Peter Lovesey, among many others. She traces their lives into and out of their fiction, clarifies their individual styles, and gives us indelible portraits of the characters they’ve created, from Sherlock Holmes to Sara Paretsky’s sexually liberated female investigator, V. I. Warshawski. She compares British and American Golden Age mystery writing. She discusses detective fiction as social history, the stylistic components of the genre, her own process of writing, how critics have reacted over the years, and what she sees as a renewal of detective fiction—and of the detective hero—in recent years.
There is perhaps no one who could write about this enduring genre of storytelling with equal authority and flair: it is essential reading for every lover of detective fiction.
From the Hardcover edition.
The perfect companion to Stieg Larsson's "The Girl with the Dragon," this study guide contains a chapter by chapter analysis of the book, and a guide to major characters and themes.
BookCap Study Guides do not contain text from the actual book, and are not meant to be purchased as alternatives to reading the book.
In Pursuit of Spenser offers a look at Parker and to Spenser through the eyes of the writers he influenced. Editor Otto Penzler-- proprietor of one of the oldest and largest mystery specialist bookstores in the country, New York's The Mysterious Bookshop, and renowned mystery fiction editor whose credits include series editor for the Best American Crime Writing and Best American Mystery Stories, among many others (and about whom Parker himself once wrote, "Otto Penzler knows more about crime fiction than most people know about anything")-- collects some of today's bestselling mystery authors to discuss Parker, his characters, the series, and their impact on the world.
From Hawk to Susan Silverman to Jesse Stone and Sunny Randall, from the series’ Boston milieu to Parker’s own take on his character, In Pursuit of Spenser pays tribute to Spenser, and Parker, with affection, humor, and a deep appreciation for what both have left behind.
The first edition of Sherlock Holmes Handbook appeared in 1993. This edition catches up on new films, new books (a few with a hint of the supernatural) and the advent of the Internet, which has spread Holmes's fame and Sherlockian fun even further worldwide. The intervening years have brought three multi-volume editions of the Sherlock Holmes stories, with hundreds of footnotes providing new insights and new amusement. They have also seen Holmes repeatedly on the amateur and professional stages, including a few Canadian productions. And there have been changes to everything from copyright rules to libraries, booksellers and audio recordings.
With The Getaway Car, we get our first glimpse of another side of Westlake the writer: what he did when he wasn’t busy making stuff up. And it’s fascinating. Setting previously published pieces, many little seen, alongside never-before-published material found in Westlake’s working files, the book offers a clear picture of the man behind the books—including his thoughts on his own work and that of his peers, mentors, and influences. The book opens with revealing (and funny) fragments from an unpublished autobiography, then goes on to offer an extended history of private eye fiction, a conversation among Westlake’s numerous pen names, letters to friends and colleagues, interviews, appreciations of fellow writers, and much, much more. There’s even a recipe for Sloth à la Dortmunder. Really.
Rounded out with a foreword by Westlake’s longtime friend Lawrence Block, The Getaway Car is a fitting capstone to a storied career and a wonderful opportunity to revel anew in the voice and sensibility of a master craftsman.
Today he is the inspiration for fiction adaptations, blockbuster movies, hit television shows, raucous Twitter banter, and thriving subcultures. More than a century after Sherlock Holmes first capered into our world, what is it about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s peculiar creation that continues to fascinate us? Journalist and lifelong Sherlock fan Zach Dundas set out to find the answer. The result is The Great Detective: a history of an idea, a biography of someone who never lived, a tour of the borderland between reality and fiction, and a joyful romp through the world Conan Doyle bequeathed us.
In this “wonderful book” (Booklist, starred review), Dundas unearths the inspirations behind Holmes and his indispensable companion, Dr. John Watson; explores how they have been kept alive over the decades by writers, actors, and readers; and visits locales—from the boozy annual New York City gathering of one of the world’s oldest and most exclusive Sherlock Holmes fan societies; to a freezing Devon heath out of The Hound of the Baskervilles; to sunny Pasadena, where Dundas chats with the creators of the smash BBC series Sherlock. Along the way, he discovers the ingredients that have made Holmes go viral—then, now, and as long as the game’s afoot.
Conversations with Walter Mosley covers the breadth of Mosley's career and reveals a craftsman and wryly witty conversationalist. Conscious of his forebears as well as literary techniques, he discusses favorites and influences including Camus, Shakespeare, and Dickens as well as writers in popular genres, especially speculative fiction and the hard-boiled noir detective tradition. He also discusses how his work modifies the crime tradition to engage it with black experience.
PART 1 explores the nature and history of the genre and helpsyou get started with ideas, planning and research.
PART 2 includes tips by bestselling crime writers: Mark Billingham, S.J. Bolton, Alafair Burke, Lee Child, N. J. Cooper, Meg Gardiner, Tess Gerritsen, Sophie Hannah, Jim Kelly, Laura Lippman, Gayle Lynds, Alex McBride, Val McDermid, Dreda Say Mitchell, Sara Paretsky, Jill Paton Walsh, George Pelecanos, Ian Rankin, Peter Robinson, S. J. Rozan, Guy Saville, Yrsa Sigurðardóttir, Dana Stabenow, Andrew Taylor, Charles Todd and Laura Wilson. PART 3 contains practical advice--from shaping plots and exploring your characters to the meaning of writer's block, the power of the rewrite, and how to find an agent when your novel is complete.
Through insightful commentary and revealing interviews, you will enter the unique world of Lisbeth Salander, Mikael Blomkvist---and of Stieg Larsson himself---discovering the fascinating real-life experiences and incidents involving Swedish politics, violence against women, and neo-Nazis that are at the heart of Larsson's work.
John-Henri Holmberg, a Swedish author and close friend of Larsson for more than three decades, provides a unique insider's look into the secrets of the author's imaginative universe, his life, and his ideas for future books---including the mysterious "fourth book" in the series, which Larsson had started but not finished at the time of his death.
Included within are answers to compelling questions on every Larsson fan's mind:
· What makes the Lisbeth Salander character so unique and memorable? Why have so many people from all backgrounds and with all kinds of tastes found The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo so riveting?
· What are the speculations---and what is the truth---about Stieg Larsson's tragic death at age fifty, just before the publication of his novels, and the bitter battle over his legacy?
· What changes were made in the plots and translations of the novels after Larsson's death---and why?
· How did Larsson's early interest in science fiction and American and British crime writers feed into his creation of the Millennium trilogy?
· What were Larsson's ideas for the fourth book, and are there any clues to the plots he imagined for his ten-book series? Will we meet Lisbeth's twin sister, Camilla, or any of her other seven siblings that Zalachenko tells her she has?
· Does Lisbeth Salander give feminism a new definition?
· What will happen in the contentious battle between Stieg Larsson's life partner, Eva Gabrielsson, and his father and brother over the future of the books, as well as the billion dollars at stake in his legacy?
· Who are the emerging Swedish crime writers we should pay attention to now?
· And much, much more!
Ivy Beasley, the beloved cantankerous spinster from the Lois Meade mysteries, has found a silver lining in her golden years as an amateur sleuth.
She teams up with Gus, a mysterious newcomer to the small English village of Barrington who can't resist a little excitement even as he strives to keep his past a secret, and her own cousin, a widow with time on her hands and money in her purse. Together they're determined to solve the murder of Gus's elderly neighbor.
And yet no one rivals our dear, dear Holmes. Why does Sherlock reign, even more than a century later, as king? Can this mystery be solved? Unable to reach either Holmes or Watson (or Doyle for that matter, though we’ve tried every medium we can think of), we’ve been forced to gather our own team of investigators to practice their powers of observation and perception, to apply their own reasoning and methodologies to the task at hand. The results, I fear, have led us to a number of cases that must be solved first.
Is Holmes simply eccentric or a sociopath? Is he human or something from the holodeck? Is he as dangerous on the page as he is in person? Wait – does he even exist? For that matter, do you? (I fear several investigators have been forced to take a much needed holiday after wrestling with that one.)
What is the source of his faculty of observation and facility for deduction? Systematic training as Watson surmises? Genetic? Or is he just really lucky?
And is this whole logic thing compatible with emotions? Are Holmes and Watson good friends or soul mates? Just what is the nature of friendship? Do they complete each other or just get on each other’s nerves? And why all the secrecy? Disguises? Deceptions?
The plot thickens. What is the essence of consciousness? Is the observable world subject to our intentions? Why does Holmes debunk mysticism when Doyle so readily embraces it? Why is Holmes our favorite drug user?
Our notebooks are filled with clues and, dare I say, answers. Is there more than one way to define the concept, justice? Is hope necessary in the world? Is boredom? Play? Can any thing really be understood? Objectively?
And just what is the last unresolved mystery involving Sherlock Holmes? The game that's afoot isn't just the thing being pursued but the fun to be had as well.
Apart from the unwelcome noise made by the morning cleaning crew, life has been quiet at Springfields Home for the Elderly. Too quiet, in fact. Ivy and her team of sleuths, Enquire Within, have resorted to finding lost cats, and Gus is even threatening to return to his memoirs. But no sooner does he attempt to put a winning phrase together than he receives a call from his ex-wife, Katherine, who is in desperate needs of a place to hide.
Though Gus has a difficult time getting a straight answer from Kath—just as it was in their many years of marriage—something is most certainly afoot, and soon Enquire Within is back in business. This time they have their hands full, not only with missing pets, but missing jewels, and evidence of foul play uncomfortably close to their too quiet home…
In this new edition, Gunn provides an overview of milestones in the development of gay detectives over the last several decades. Also included in this volume is an annotated list of novels, short stories, plays, graphic novels, comic strips, films, and television series with gay detectives, gay sleuths of secondary importance, and non-sleuthing gay policemen. The most complete listing available—including the only listing of early gay pulp novels, present-day male-to-male romances, and erotic films—this new edition brings the work up to date with publications missed in the first edition, particularly cross-genre mysteries, early pulps, and some hard-to-find volumes.
The Gay Male Sleuth in Print and Film: A History and Annotated Bibliography lists all printed works in English (including translations) presently known to include gay detectives (such as amateur sleuths, police detectives, private investigators, and investigative reporters), from the 1929 play Rope until the present day. It includes all films in English, subtitled or dubbed, from the screen version of Rope in 1948 and the launch of the independent film Spy on the Fly in 1966 through the end of 2011. Complete with two appendices—a bibliography of sources and a list of Lambda Literary Awards—and indexes of titles, detectives, and actors, this extensively revised and updated reference will prove invaluable to mystery collectors, researchers, aficionados of the subgenre, and those devoted to GLBTQ studies.
Born Lee Earle Ellroy in 1948, James Ellroy is one of the most critically acclaimed and controversial contemporary writers of crime and historical fiction. Ellroy's complex narratives, which merge history and fiction, have pushed the boundaries of the crime fiction genre: American Tabloid, a revisionist look at the Kennedy era, was Time magazine's Novel of the Year 1995, and his novels L.A. Confidential and The Black Dahlia were adapted into films. Much of Ellroy's remarkable life story has served as the template for the personal obsessions that dominate his writing. From the brutal, unsolved murder of his mother, to his descent into alcohol and drug abuse, his sexual voyeurism, and his stints at the Los Angeles County Jail, Ellroy has lived through a series of hellish experiences that few other writers could claim.
In Conversations with James Ellroy, Ellroy talks extensively about his life, his literary influences, his persona, and his attitudes towards politics and religion. In interviews with fellow crime writers Craig McDonald, David Peace, and others, including several previously unpublished interviews, Ellroy is at turns charismatic and eloquent, combative and enigmatic.
In Lovecraft and Influence: His Predecessors and Successors, Robert H. Waugh has assembled essays that are vast in scope, ranging from the Bible through the Edwardian period and well into the present. This collection is devoted to authors whose work had an impact on Lovecraft—Alexander Pope, Jonathan Swift, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allan Poe, and Lord Dunsany—and those who drew inspiration from him, including William S. Burroughs, Ramsey Campbell, Thomas Ligotti, and Stephen King.
A fascinating anthology, Lovecraft and Influence will appeal to aficionados of classic horror, fantasy, and science fiction and those with an interest in modern authors whose works reflect and honor Lovecraft’s enduring legacy.
Using Chandler’s own words as well as Day’s text, here is the life of “the man with no home,” a man precariously balanced between his classical English education with its immutable values and that of a fast-evolving America during the years before the Great War, and the changing vernacular of the cultural psyche that resulted. Chandler makes clear what it is to be a writer, and in particular what it is to be a writer of “hardboiled” fiction in what was for him “another language.” Along the way, he discusses the work of his contemporaries: Dashiell Hammett, James M. Cain, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Agatha Christie, W. Somerset Maugham, and others (“I wish,” said Chandler, “I had one of those facile plotting brains, like Erle Gardner”).
Here is Chandler’s Los Angeles (“There is a touch of the desert about everything in California,” he said, “and about the minds of the people who live here”), a city he adopted and that adopted him in the post-World War I period . . . Here is his Hollywood (“Anyone who doesn’t like Hollywood,” he said, “is either crazy or sober”) . . . He recounts his own (rocky) experiences working in the town with Billy Wilder, Howard Hawks, Alfred Hitchcock, and others. . .We see Chandler’s alter ego, Philip Marlowe, private eye, the incorruptible knight with little armor who walks the “mean streets” in a world not made for knights (“If I had ever an opportunity of selecting the movie actor who would best represent Marlowe to my mind, I think it would have been Cary Grant.”) . . . Here is Chandler on drinking (his life in the end was in a race with alcohol—and loneliness) . . . and here are Chandler’s women—the Little Sisters, the “dames” in his fiction, and in his life (on writing The Long Goodbye, Chandler said, “I watched my wife die by half inches and I wrote the best book in my agony of that knowledge . . . I was as hollow as the places between the stars.” After her death Chandler led what he called a “posthumous life” writing fiction, but more often than not, his writing life was made up of letters written to women he barely knew.)
Interwoven throughout the text are more than one hundred pictures that reveal the psyche and world of Raymond Chandler. “I have lived my whole life on the edge of nothing,” he wrote. In his own words, and with Barry Day’s commentary, we see the shape this took and the way it informed the man and his extraordinary work.
From the Hardcover edition.
In this book about the world’s most dashing secret agent and the evolution of the James Bond franchise, leading writers including Raymond Benson, J. A. Konrath, Raelynn Hillhouse, and John Cox discuss the ten sexiest Bond girls, the best villains, and the battles over which actor should play the incomparable superspy.
Topics covered range from the playful—how to build a secret lair and avoid the perennial mistakes made by would-be world dominators—to the thought-provoking, such as Bond’s place in the modern world, his Oedipal tendencies and perceived misogyny, and his unerring allure. It’s a feast for fans who can’t get enough of their hero.
On Conan Doyle is a much-needed celebration of Arthur Conan Doyle’s genius for every kind of storytelling.
With the cooperation of Sue Grafton, who provided unprecedented access to her working journals, authors Natalie Hevener Kaufman and Carol McGinnis Kay have created a fully dimensional biography of Kinsey Millhone that will answer every question readers have ever had. Here is a feast for Kinsey's fans, including such features as time lines, maps, floor plans, case logs, and photographs.
But this book is also a revealing journey into the mind and work habits of Kinsey's creator. You'll learn why Grafton chose to write detective fiction and how she responds to runaway plot lines and unruly characters. You will find out what titles she has discarded in the series, what she plans for Kinsey's future, and how she sees their evolving relationship. Ultimately, you'll understand why Grafton is so esteemed in the field of detective fiction and, from an analysis of her craft, why she has earned so prominent a place in American letters.
Examining the work of these authors, Stephen Soitos frames his analysis in terms of four uniquely African American tropes: altered detective personas, double-consciousness detection, black vernaculars, and hoodoo. He argues that black writers created sleuths who were in fact "blues detectives," engaged not only in solving crimes, but also in exploring the mysteries of black life and culture.
Soitos grounds his study in African American literary theory, particularly the work of Houston Baker, Bernard Bell, and Henry Louis Gates, Jr. He offers both a new way of conceiving black detective fiction and a series of insightful readings of books in this genre.
Including numerous interviews and articles about Cornwell's work, a number of rare photographs of the author and her world, as well as a detailed discussion of each title, the Companion is a fact-packed encyclopedia for the millions of readers who've become hooked on Scarpetta and her creator. Fans will delight in the true insider's look at Richmond, the city Kay Scarpetta calls home, as well as a thorough examination of the geography of Cornwell's world. A glossary of forensic terminology and a guide to the characters who appear in each novel round out the book, making it a useful reference tool in addition to a revealing look at a reclusive author.
All in all, The Unofficial Patricia Cornwell Companion is a must-read for each of Patricia Cornwell's millions of fans.