THE FIVE BEST AND THE FIVE WORST FICTIONAL LAWYERS

THE FIVE BEST AND THE FIVE WORST FICTIONAL LAWYERS   This rather quirky list focuses on attorneys whose competence (or lack thereof) might not be obvious. In no particular order:   BEST FICTIONAL ATTORNEYS Hans Rolfe, Judgment at Nuremberg (Abby Man, 1961 motion picture) Rolfe represents a Nazi war criminal at the Nuremberg trials. Paradoxically, […]

Top Five Creepiest Serial Killers

Deadly Motives: The Hedonistic Drive of Serial Murder

Deadly Motives: The Hedonistic Drive of Serial Murder There are several motives that drive serial killing as far as experts are concerned. Some are driven by missions such as ridding the world of what they perceive as a sin, or because they think they’re a higher being. Others are motivated by power or control over […]

The Anatomy of an Architectural l Mystery

The Anatomy of an Architectural Mystery

The Anatomy of an Architectural l Mystery   A few weeks ago, I was going through this abandoned 1880s rowhouse in north central Baltimore and came across a mummified cat on the third floor. (See attached) It reminded me of those cats the ancient Egyptians put in their tombs because they worshiped cats. I would […]

Ten Great Things about Emperor Nero 

Ten Great Things about Emperor Nero

Ten Great Things about Emperor Nero  The emperor Nero, who reigned from A.D. 54—68, has been called “the first mass market pop star” and “the Elvis of the ancient world.”  Who could not want to know such a character better?  Although he was emperor, he saw himself primarily as an artist, especially as a performer […]

Five Reinventions of the Boston Crime Novel

Five Reinventions of the Boston Crime Novel

Five Reinventions of the Boston Crime Novel How to account for the popularity of Boston as a setting for crime fiction? There’s the city’s checkered history of real-life crime, from the Brinks truck job to the Gardner Museum heist to the tragic Boston Marathon bombing of 2013. Then there’s the Hub’s rogues gallery of larger-than-life […]

Eight Outer Banks Locations Guaranteed to Add Chills to Your Vacation

Eight Outer Banks Locations Guaranteed to Add Chills to Your Vacation

Eight Outer Banks Locations Guaranteed to Add Chills to Your Vacation   For many American families, the words Outer Banks are synonymous with nostalgia and summer family fun. From historic lighthouses and mountainous sand dunes to wild horses and enchanting maritime forests, these narrow barrier islands along the east coast of North Carolina have something […]

"You mean I'm not Perfect?" Celebrate those idiosyncrasies in your favorite sleuths...

“You mean I’m not Perfect?” Celebrate those idiosyncrasies in your favorite sleuths…

“You mean I’m not perfect?” Celebrate those idiosyncrasies in your favorite sleuths… The “Defective Detective” trope in fiction and media is often viewed negatively. Some readers believe it does a disservice to normalizing mental illness, and many feel it might add to the stigma surrounding sufferers.  Below are five detectives whose mental illness acts not […]

DVD Review– The Palermo Connection

DVD Review– The Palermo Connection

DVD Review– The Palermo Connection   The Italian-language miniseries The Palermo Connection centers around twin themes: first, that it is impossible to escape your past, and second, that it is impossible to escape your conscience.   When Angelo Caronia (Riccardo Scamarcio), a talented but arrogant investigator for the Italian police, alienates his superiors and is […]

The Ties that Bind: Ten of the Best Family Mystery Novels

The Ties that Bind: Ten of the Best Family Mystery Novels The first and most vital relationships we have are with our families. Our roles within our home life shape who we become as an adult, and it’s no secret that “sister,” “mother,” “wife,” or “daughter” carry certain expectations of behavior. Sacrifice. Nurture. Don’t ruffle feathers.  […]

Writers’ Police Academy Wrap-Up

Writers’ Police Academy Wrap-Up

Writers’ Police Academy Wrap-Up What happens when you take the pen out of a writer’s hand and replace it with a pistol (or a Taser or a police baton)?  At a public safety school in Wisconsin where real training happens for police trainees, I found out. The 10th annual Writers’ Police Academy brought writers from […]