So, Who is Your Mystery Inspiration?

Image credit to the NY Times, as posted in the article in the image link: Sherlock Holmes Is in the Public Domain, American Judge RulesYes, I have been on an Agatha kick, particularly dear Miss Marple, for some time. I’ve been laid up (that is beginning to sound so redundant, isn’t it?) recently, so am doing much more reading than writing. Reading can be done horizontally. I just can’t get the hang of typing on a laptop while flat on my back.

I suppose having Agatha Christie at the top of my favorite mystery authors list is also probably fairly redundant. I’m guessing that there are a lot of mystery writers out there whose list of inspirational sources start the same way. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Edgar Allan Poe are probably also somewhere on those lists, I’m sure. Yes, I know many people associate Poe with horror, but he also had a flair for creating intriguing mystery scenarios that teased the intellect while they shivered the spine.

How about you? Who are your favorite mystery writers? They can be ancient, classic or modern. They can be well-known or (maybe even more fun) obscure. What books or stories turned you on to them? What about their writing inspires you to create? If you’re not a writer yourself, what inspires you, period?

Feel free to leave a comment; I look forward to reading your lists — and broadening mine!

 

  • Image credit to the NY Times, as posted in the article in the image link: Sherlock Holmes Is in the Public Domain, American Judge Rules
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What? Every Miss Marple story? Only $5.99?

Yes, I’m still reading Miss Marple. And yes, I know I tend to be a bit obsessed when I find something I truly enjoy. I’ve always loved this character, especially, of Agatha Christie’s creations. I’ve always loved Agatha Christie.

I also really love, “Wow, you really can’t pass this up!” deals on books.

I just happened to be looking at the next Miss Marple book in the series, when I spotted the entire collection, which has (till perhaps a week ago) been for sale for around $60.00 US, for $5.99.

Yes, that’s five dollars and ninety-nine cents. For the entire collection. That is all thirteen books — the novels, plus the entire short story collection. Now, I already own five of these books, but hey — who cares? My momma didn’t raise a dummy. I clicked “Buy Now”!

I’m guessing you will, too!

It turns out that both Amazon (for Kindle) and Barnes and Noble (for Nook) are running this deal. Perhaps it’s in celebration of the new Tommy and Tuppence series that just premiered in the UK. Whatever the reason, I don’t know how long it will last, so I’ll plug in the links here so you can grab a copy while it’s hot.

Note, too, that both formats have readers that can be installed as apps/programs on every device imaginable. So, if you don’t have a Nook or a Kindle, you can still take advantage of this deal, and install the free app on your PC, Mac, iPhone, Android Phone, tablet….

Do note that this collection is only in e-book format, and does not seem to be available in print.

Enjoy!

 

 

What Mystery Writer Doesn’t Love Agatha?

Let’s face it. Everyone who writes mystery stories fell into that vocation (or avocation, as the case may be) because they love to read mystery stories. Is there anyone out there who pushes the perilous pen who doesn’t list Agatha Christie among their favorite authors? Certainly, no one I know personally. I could read Agatha every day and never get tired of her.

All of Christie’s characters are delightful, but my favorite has to be Miss Marple. I can’t get enough of the little lady from St Mary Mead. I’m currently reading Miss Marple: The Complete Short Stories. Although I’ve read many of the novel-length Marple mysteries, this is my first time through the short story collection. I am, as always, entranced by the dear old gal. Her ability to see every problem in a way that covers all perspectives and gets to the heart of the matter illustrates the creator’s genius as clearly as the character’s charm.

Agatha Christie had a way of penning a twisted tale mystery writers can’t help but envy. Our brains try to work out the puzzles as we read. We scour the pages for little hidden clues, try to filter out the red herrings, and make mental lists of suspects. Then, we come to the end of the story and say, “I hope I can do it as well some day!”

There’s a very good reason that Malice Domestic Ltd named their mystery writer awards the “Agatha Awards“, after all. I can’t think of a loftier goal than to entertain my readers like Agatha Christie.

I keep reaching for that goal, and while I reach, I will keep reading.

Thank you, Dame Agatha.

NaNo SlowDown

Well, I’d been cranking along, and then came to a bit of a standstill. I wound up spending yesterday at doctors and picking up prescriptions thanks to a bizarre infection that started with a mosquito bite, of all things. By the time I got home, I was swamped with back-logged animal chores, then so exhausted I wound up in bed early.  Today was my daughter’s birthday. Between preparations, phone consultations with more doctors, and all of the things I have to get done normally, though I wrote for a couple of hours, I only managed to tally up a little over 1200 words. But I did write today, at least.

The best plans I’m laying out right now include an effort to make up for lost time tomorrow. Wish me luck! Dinner out with family and friends in the evening (still birthday celebrating) , but I’m hoping for lots of quiet time before then.

 

 

 

The Ending Scene From Today

So, today was the fifth day of NaNoWriMo. I’ve just topped 12.000 words, so am a bit ahead of schedule and it feels good. Today was crazy. I thought I would have a lot of writing time, but a series of interruptions, some actual paying work that came up, and an infected (is it? I don’t know, but it sure is weird) bug bite that has me feeling pretty crappy came very close to thwarting my plans.

Still, I stuck to my word, stuck it to my words, and ended with the following teaser for the night.

Now, to go check on my horses (did I mention I am owned by two adorable Minis?), tend to all the other critters, and tuck myself in for the night.

Be kind, now, and remember that it’s just first draft stuff being pounded out at super-human speed (possibly augmented by a low-grade fever). LOL Happy Happy, and Enjoy!

Zenko’s form began to shrink, to fold inward on itself. Fur sprouted over his face, neck, slender arms. With a yelp and what felt like a snap of electricity, there was suddenly a red fox sitting on the bed … and then it was gone.

“What the— Ugh!” Nash’s hand flew up to cover his mouth. “What is that horrid stench!?”

Abby, though her nose did wrinkle, responded with a chuckle. “That, my friend, is the musk of a fox. Everyone thinks they’re beautiful, but few people know how bad they smell. But good lordy, whatever you do, don’t mention it in front of Zenko! He’s very self-conscious about it!”

The smell was fading as Nash waved his hand in front of his face. “Where did he go?”

“Lacey was calling him. He went to help her.”

“Wait … what? You mean to the living world?”

Abby nodded. “He’ll bring her back to us.”

“The living world? She can see him there, too?”

“Everyone can see him there, Detective Nash. Haven’t you been paying attention?”

He racked his brain, trying to figure out what he had missed. Nope, there were no hidden clues there. “I have been, Ma’am, but I didn’t hear anything that—”

“Well, aside from the fact that I just told you Lacey isn’t the only one who can be in both worlds, we also told you he is a Kitsune.”

“And how am I supposed to know what a Kitsune can do?”

“Well, we did say they watch over families and homes … the good ones, anyway, right?”

“Yes, I guess so. But I didn’t know that meant in the physical world. I figure they were like angels or something, not that they can, well, walk among the living.”

“And who says that angels can’t walk among the living?”

Nash’s jaw dropped.

This being dead thing was getting to be just a bit too much to handle.

 

NaNo Starts Today

There is a lot going on in my life, and I honestly had begun to doubt if I’d be sitting here on November 1st, working on The Other Side of Murder. However, as the saying goes: you don’t find the time to write, you make the time to write.

I did. I’ll be back to write more later, but I totally enjoyed that first 1800 words. The daily goal is about 1660 or a bit more, so I have already reached that for the day. Once other necessities are out of the way, however, I’ve no doubt I’ll top it by far today.

I love the way the story feels. It feels like a winner.

Is anyone else playing NaNo this year? Feel free to stop by and say hello!

From my NaNoWriMo Dashboard:

Synopsis

What do a developmentally disabled teen-aged girl, a dead detective and a Japanese fox spirit have in common?

Absolutely nothing, until they find themselves thrown together to solve the detective’s murder.

How does a cop solve his own murder from the grave, when his only solid links to the living world are a Kitsune spirit who can only appear as an ordinary fox when on the physical side of the veil, and a child whose communication skills are practically non-existent?

You don’t know? Well, I don’t know, either.

Let’s find out together, as The Other Side Of Murder unfolds.