MY TOP TEN CRIME NOVELS WITH AMATEUR SLEUTHS

MY TOP TEN CRIME NOVELS WITH AMATEUR SLEUTHS

MY TOP TEN CRIME NOVELS WITH AMATEUR SLEUTHS   The notion of ordinary people caught up in extraordinary events is one that has a wide and enduring appeal. I’ve certainly fallen foul of it in my own novels, turning a number of innocent souls into amateur detectives over the years: a fisherman on Long Island, […]

10 Surprising Facts About the Roaring Twenties Many read Roaring Twenties and picture Gatsby-inspired parties. But what else did the 1920s bring? Some of the revelations, fads, and nuances of this era may surprise you. 1. While the 18th Amendment made the manufacture, import, and sale of beer, wine, and hard liquor illegal, Prohibition did not make it illegal to actually drink alcohol. It was bottoms up if you could get the hooch in your cup. 2. Many believe speakeasies began popping up during the 1920s, but these illegal establishments date back to the 1880s, referring to unlicensed bars where patrons were implored to “speak easy” as not to draw the law’s attention. 3. The introduction of sleeveless dresses made it important for women to remove “objectionable hair.” Prior to this revolution in ladies’ clothing, even the word underarm was considered shocking because of the body part’s proximity to a woman’s bossom. 4. The fashions of the Twenties also included higher hemlines, baring more of a woman’s gams. Even still, most women shrugged at the idea of shaving their legs. 5. While the Roaring Twenties often reflected an era of prosperity and revelry, many farmers struggled due to falling farm prices after the high production of World War I, resulting in one in four farms being sold. 6. Many of the brand-name foods we enjoy today originated during the 1920s, such as Wonder Bread, Baby Ruth Candy Bars, Yoo-Hoo Chocolate Drink, Kool-Aid, Welch's Grape Jelly, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Wheaties, Hostess Cakes, Peter Pan Peanut Butter, Velveeta Cheese, and more. 7. Fads and other spectator sports often began as dares; for example, Alvin "Shipwreck" Kelly, a professional stuntman, was dared to sit atop a flagpole. People took notice and Kelly later set the World Record for pole sitting at 49 days with a crowd of 20,000 gawkers. 8. The most famous gangsters of the Roaring Twenties all had nicknames: Al "Scarface" Capone, George “Bugs” Moran, Charles “Lucky” Luciano, and Jack "Legs" Diamond. The odd man out was Dutch Schultz. 9. While the word teenager wasn’t used until decades later, the teenage mindset began during the 1920s with the wider use of automobiles, allowing adolescents less supervision, greater independence, and easier, more private access to “bedrooms on wheels.” 10. Fortuitously, Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin during the 1920s after returning from a two-week vacation to find that, before he left for his holiday, he had accidentally contaminated an experiment. That contamination prevented the growth of bacteria, which penicillin is now used to treat.

10 Surprising Facts About the Roaring Twenties

10 Surprising Facts About the Roaring Twenties   Many read Roaring Twenties and picture Gatsby-inspired parties. But what else did the 1920s bring? Some of the revelations, fads, and nuances of this era may surprise you.   While the 18th Amendment made the manufacture, import, and sale of beer, wine, and hard liquor illegal, Prohibition […]

The Ten Best Steamy Thrillers

The Ten Best Steamy Thrillers

The Ten Best Steamy Thrillers My husband always goes for the gangster epic, but when it comes to movie night, I’m all about the erotic thriller. But how many times can a person sit through Fatal Attraction? In case you share my predilection for stiletto heels and ice picks but are in desperate need of […]

Top Five Creepiest Serial Killers

Top Five Creepiest Serial Killers

Top Five Creepiest Serial Killers I’m not a serial killer groupie, but I definitely enjoy a good, twisted story of evil. I often say that if I’d known myself better in college (read: hadn’t been a dumb kid with zero confidence), I would have gone into criminal psychology. Now I create bad guys worthy of […]

Six Reasons You’re Not as Creative as You Could Be

Six Reasons You’re Not as Creative as You Could Be

Six Reasons You’re Not as Creative as You Could Be   Years ago, I attended a writers’ conference. After my speech was over, I sat in on a talk given by a writing professor, and what she said has stayed with me ever since. A woman in the audience lamented that she wanted to write, […]

The Top Ten Texas Crime Novels

The Top Ten Texas Crime Novels by Harry Hunsicker Everything is bigger in Texas, except top ten lists. Really? Only ten? In no particular order, here are my top ten crime novels set in the Lone Star State.   Big Red Tequila (1997) by Rick Riordan. Before he became known for his mega-bestselling young adult […]

Top ten biggest reveals in mysteries and thrillers

Top ten biggest reveals in mysteries and thrillers

Top ten biggest reveals in mysteries and thrillers   1          The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie Agatha Christie’s novels were my first introduction to adult books and I read them avidly, trying desperately to work out who the culprits were and why they’d committed the crime. Through reading her novels, I learned about […]

Why Sherlock Holmes Wouldn't Survive in South America

Why Sherlock Holmes Wouldn’t Survive in Latin America

Why Sherlock Holmes Wouldn’t Survive in Latin America Why Sherlock Holmes Wouldn’t Survive in Latin America By Jorge Zepeda Patterson Translated from the Spanish by Alicia Lopez An already-violent context makes for a poor stage on which to set a crime novel. Three men hung from a bridge; a family massacred in their sleep; eight […]

Five Sea-based Mysteries

Five Sea-based Mysteries

Five Sea-based Mysteries   There are plenty of things that can go wrong on or by the sea: shipwrecks, drownings, tsunamis, monsters coming up from the watery depths to get you: the possibilities for fiction writers are endless. Swimming Lessons, my second novel, is set on the coast in Dorset, a county in southern England. […]

Harvesting the Wonders of Historical Mysteries

Harvesting the Wonders of Historical Mysteries

Harvesting the Wonders of Historical Mysteries    Both of the series I write are set in faraway places—the Inspector Shan series rendered distant by geography, the Duncan McCallum/Bone Rattler series by time. That distance gives me a headstart as a mystery writer by providing a stage that is itself implicitly puzzling even before I introduce […]

Nominees For 2016 Strand Critics Awards and Clive Cussler Receives The Lifetime Achievement Award

Michael Connelly, Tana French, and Fiona Barton headline the nominees for the Strand Critics Awards and Clive Cussler receives the Lifetime Achievement Award Recognizing excellence in the field of mystery fiction, the Critics Awards were judged by a select group of book critics and journalists from news venues such as The Associated Press, NPR, TIME, […]