THE STRAND MAGAZINE'S MYSTERY BLOG

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The Strange True Stories Behind The Girl in the Mirror

  Why do we read novels? We all know they aren’t true, but we allow ourselves to believe, to get caught up as though in a dream. Readers’ willingness to suspend disbelief is perhaps one of the strangest things about fiction. However, there are limits. Some readers will happily swallow stories with fanciful creatures, sci-fi […]


Locations in Thrillers

    Why is location so important in psychological thrillers? Who can forget the wild, windy moors in Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, or the rugged Cornish cliffs and rough seas in Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca? For me, as a reader and a writer, location is just as important as the plot and the characters in […]


Five Tips on Emotions for Riveting Story-telling

  I’ve always loved writing suspense for a number of reasons. I love the fight for justice and the assurance that the good guys will always win. I love taking a real-world situation, like human trafficking, or a bio-terrorism threat, and dropping my characters into the middle of the chaos as they risk their lives […]


Seven spellbinding books that shaped modern ‘Western’ magic

    Corpus Hermeticum (1st-3rd centuries CE), Anon These mysterious ‘wisdom texts’, written in Greek and attributed to an ancient Egyptian sage Hermes Trismegistus, could claim to be foundational to both Western magic and science! Their huge influence followed their rediscovery and translation during the Italian renaissance, and the hermetic idea of controlling nature by […]


The Killer’s Shadow – Author Q&A with John Douglas and Mark Olshaker

    AFG: Tell us about your latest book.   The Killer’s Shadow is about the hunt for Joseph Paul Franklin, a white supremacist serial killer who roamed the country with the self-imposed mission of killing African Americans, mixed-race couples and Jews, all with the intent of fomenting a race war in the United States. My first […]


WHAT PUTS THE THRILL INTO DOMESTIC FICTION?

  Writing across several genres—women’s fiction, romance and domestic thrillers—can be challenging and a question I’m often asked is ‘what is a domestic thriller?’ For me, it’s women’s fiction with a killer twist…or many. Domestic thrillers are also labelled as domestic suspense, domestic noir and psychological thrillers, when in fact they’re a subgenre of the […]


The Writer Inside Me

    Jim Thompson’s The Killer Inside Me (1952) established him as one of the preeminent practitioners of hardboiled crime fiction. A first-person confession of a small town deputy sheriff going on a murder spree, it is a frightening and gripping novel that earned Thompson the sobriquet “Dimestore Dostoevsky.” Stanley Kubrick, who directed two Jim […]


THE 6 BOOKS KEEPING ME SANE DURING THE PANDEMIC

  I was gazing over at my bedside table the other morning and noticed that the content and size of my ‘currently reading’ pile has changed over the last few months. In the world before Covid, there was always a judicious mix of business books and literary novels—literature and business being two of my great […]


Write Like A Picker

Write Like A Picker by Lindsay K. Bandy Anyone who enjoys historical fiction knows it’s all about the details—but not just any details. Writers who enjoy the rabbit trails of research sometimes lose their way and end up in a confusing plot-maze that leads nowhere. Others collect facts like a flea market dealer—you know, the […]


Hooked on the Drug War

    Seized as we are by dysfunction in our political and social institutions, it might well be time to cut our losses. We must fix certain problems—health care, the environment, education—but fifty years is long enough for the War on Drugs. And America lost. Of course America lost. The fighting is the loss. As […]


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