I really like the reviewing work of Steve Steinbock in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine. Having taken over “The Jury Box” column from Jon L. Breen, Steinbock writes very good columns in which he shrewdly judges mysteries by their merits and gives you a good idea of just what you can expect from them. One review in particular caught my eye in the March issue of EQMM – it was a three-star review of Mary Anna Evans’ Rituals. The plot sounded like a don’t-miss concept: consulting archaeologist Faye Longchamp and her adopted daughter are working in the picturesque town of Rosebower, New York, …continue reading
Dennis Palumbo’s novel Mirror Image is the first in a series of books about Dr. Daniel Rinaldi, a psychologist who consults with the Pittsburgh Police. His specialty is dealing with victims of violent crime, those people who’ve lived through a traumatic experience which continues to haunt them in their everyday life. People like Kevin Merrick, a college student who woke up one night to discover he was not alone in his residence, and discovered a burglar. Although the culprit was captured, Kevin continues to have the nightmares and the fears just aren’t going away… but Dr. Rinaldi is making real progress with …continue reading
In September of last year, I absolutely lost it. If you’re a regular reader of this site, you might remember September as the month in which I published a series of my mental breakdowns, disguised as a review of season one of the BBC’s Father Brown. Unfortunately, the story doesn’t end there. Like the grizzled veteran of an action movie, who gets dragged in for “one last mission,” I’m back to do battle once again with the BBC’s Father Brown, mano-a-mano. I’m a very big admirer of G. K. Chesterton. I love the man’s work, both as a writer of …continue reading
Yesterday, you may recall, I pointed out two TNT crime dramas with overt political messages parroting Democrat Party/Obama administration talking points. So, naturally, TNT ran another such program last night. First, I will note that last night’s episode of The Closer was free of any political posturing. It’s good to see the program back on track after the previous week’s nonsense, and the episode was far more dramatically effective than its predecessor, as should be expected given the way didacticism tends to ruin fiction narratives. That happy event was followed by episode three of the new crime drama series Rizzoli …continue reading
I have long argued that contemporary U.S. entertainment offers a much greater variety of ideas and points of view than conservatives usually seem to realize, pointing out that many TV shows, movies, and music releases convey very sound values and ideas that traditionalists and lovers of liberty should appreciate. But there are still plenty of times when the producers of even good series that aren’t usually political (in contrast to, say, the intensely political Law and Order) have to take their jabs at the dangerously ignorant boobs they see as populating Middle America. Two crime dramas in the past week …continue reading
Never a blockbuster author, Stuart M. Kaminsky chose (unlike many other mystery writers) not to go big and turn his whodunnits into thrillers, but to go deep and chart the dark and muddy passages of the human soul.
Lew Fonesca is a fascinating, offbeat detective, and Denial is an engaging mystery.
The talented contemporary British writer Christopher Fowler pens an appreciation for impossible-crime mystery master John Dickson Carr in The Independent. Read it here. Key passage:
The new film Sherlock Holmes, directed by Guy Ritchie, has done very well indeed at the U.S. and global box offices since its December 25 release, and it has evoked much dispute between Holmes purists and Holmes evangelists. Here are opinions from two very different mystery fiction aficionados.
The shortcomings and travails of cinematic mystery fiction could suggest that the cinema can’t be contemplative and intelligent—or perhaps filmmakers tackling the genre just haven’t tried hard enough. TAC correspondent Mike Gray reports.