THE STRAND MAGAZINE'S MYSTERY BLOG

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DVD REVIEWS

3. Bostock’s Animal Arena (c.1910), part of the Dreamland amusement park on Coney Island, where Edgar Laplante worked. (Courtesy of the Library of Congress Prints & Photographic Division)Is Truth Stranger Than Fiction? The adventures of Edgar Laplante inspired many an author…

Is Truth Stranger Than Fiction? It might be if you read about the talented Edgar Laplante   It’s often said that truth is stranger than fiction. Nowhere is the validity of this tired old adage demonstrated more emphatically than in the adventures of the once world famous yet now little-known Jazz Age singing star, Edgar […]


Fiction Writing from A to Z

Do you know your fiction writing ABCs? Fiction Writing from A to Z   Reminders about our craft make our imaginations burst into creative mode. From A to Z, we find sources of inspiration to keep us writing. I’ve chosen the first word that entered my mind for each letter as a means to keep […]


Five Reinventions of the Boston Crime NovelFive 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 VacationEight 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 ConnectionDVD 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 […]


Three Things John Grisham’s The Confession Teaches Us About Wrongful ConvictionsThree Things John Grisham’s The Confession Teaches Us About Wrongful Convictions

  Three Things John Grisham’s The Confession Teaches Us About Wrongful Convictions   A few years before John Grisham’s The Confession was published, I wrote a 50-page brief to a United States District Court judge asking him to declare the death penalty unconstitutional. I represented a client who was facing the death penalty, and I was […]


Can a House be Character in a Novel? We have sinister homes for you!Can a House be Character in a Novel? We have ten sinister homes for you…

Can a House be Character in a Novel? We have ten sinister homes for you…   Some of my favorite thrillers and mysteries are set in houses that could be characters in their own right. From the gothic decaying estates to the Art Deco clifftop mansions, these are my top ten thrillers that feature the […]


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-UpWriters’ 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 […]


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