THE STRAND MAGAZINE'S MYSTERY BLOG

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From Mary Shelley to Horace Walpole, why Gothic novels have stood the test of time

From Mary Shelley to Horace Walpole, why Gothic novels have stood the test of time   Crisp fall weather calls for chill-inducing reads, and there’s nothing better for that than a good gothic novel. In more than 250 years, the gothic has never been out of style, though it’s undergone transformations and has had more […]


Are you going to make me a character in your book?

Are you going to make me a character in your book?   When people discover you’re a writer, there are a lot of reactions: Have I read you? Should I know you? And— Are you going to make me a character in your book? The answer: No. You’re not interesting enough.   I know somewhere […]


Ten American Pirates You’d Best Have Avoided When They Were in Their Prime

Ten American Pirates You’d Best Have Avoided When They Were in Their Prime   Most of us think of 17th Century pirates as swashbuckling outlaws that wore eyepatches, drank grog and buried their treasure on desert islands. And while some pirates probably did lose an eye and most definitely drank watered-down rum, outlaws they were […]


He wrote The Silent Patient, and now he tells us what he’s afraid of

He wrote The Silent Patient, and now he tells us what he’s afraid of… Almost every year, there is a crime novel or thriller that reaches so far and wide – frequently propelled by enthusiastic word of mouth – that it becomes a kind of phenomenon. And so, to the ranks of Before I Go […]


What are you afraid of as an adult?

What are you afraid of as adult? There are many things writers dream of – critical acclaim, perhaps, or an international bestseller – but for some of us, a nod from Stephen King will always be top of the wishlist. Well, C.J. Tudor has all three. “If you like my stuff, you’ll like this,” King […]


“There is one movie that scares the hell out of me.”

“There is one movie that scares the hell out of me.” For so much of the time, our lives progress in predictable ways. We have our routines and expectations, and we have people close to us – especially our families – whom we think we know. What could be more unnerving, then, than the sudden […]


Why do readers like to be frightened?

Why do readers like to be frightened?     They say a good series detective needs a town, a city, a beat for them to walk. Rebus has Edinburgh, Morse has Oxford, and so on. But another way of looking at it might be that every place needs a detective. Bradford is an industrial city […]


What’s the scariest thing that happened to Ruth Ware?

What’s the scariest thing that happened to Ruth Ware?     Ruth Ware began her writing career with a series of young adult fantasy novels, before moving on to the gripping, uneasy psychological thrillers that have made her an international bestseller. Her ingenious plots frequently play out in closed and claustrophobic settings, against an escalating […]


Are Villains Good Bad Guys? We have five of the best!

Are Villains Good Bad Guys? We have five of the best!   It may sound like an oxymoron, but there’s something about a good bad guy that draws me into a story every time. Maybe it’s because a well-crafted villain often has some redeemable facets woven into their very fibers. Maybe it’s the morally gray […]


“Were You Scared of the Dark?”

“Were You Scared of the Dark?” Alex North Explores the pathology of fear with Steve Cavanagh   Anybody who’s met Steve Cavanagh will tell you the same: it’s difficult to imagine him being frightened of anything. Steve has worked both as a bouncer in Belfast and as a highly-respected human rights lawyer, and he’s the […]


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