“Just the facts, Ma’am.” Joe Friday delivered this line in his flat, robotic tone every week on the TV series, Dragnet. Dragnet aired two different times, once from 1951-1959 and then in 1967-1970. Detective Joe Friday of the Los Angeles Police Department was played by Jack Webb, who was also the producer.
Dragnet, and the similar show Adam-12, are great examples of one of the more popular genres in mystery, the police procedural. These books and shows centered on the work of the police, usually focusing on one individual but highlighting more their time on the job and working with others in the department than on the person’s personal life. It is the life and environment of a police officer that the reader is interested in, rather than an individual. Although how much this is carried out varied with the series.
Although cop shows have been common on TV, even today, I want to focus on the novels and their authors. Continue reading
Every writer has their own process. I love hearing how our favorite writers got started and how they developed their processes.
Recently, I found two interviews by two legendary writers that I wish to share with you. The first is with J. A. Jance, a New York Times best-selling author of not one, but three series of novels centering on retired Seattle Police Department Detective J. P. Beaumont, Arizona Sheriff Joanna Brady, and former LA news anchor turned mystery solver Ali Reynolds.
She spends part of her year in Seattle and part in Arizona.
The other writer is British author Ruth Rendell (1930-2015), the Baroness Rendell of Babergh. The author of over 60 novels, she is best known for creating the police procedural series about Chief Inspector Reginald Wexford. Her awards include the Silver, Gold, and Cartier Diamond Daggers from the Crime Writers Association and three Edgars from the Mystery Writers of America.
Ms Rendell also wrote under her pseudonym Barbara Vine.
You can find Ms Jance’s interview here.
You can find Ms Rendell’s interview here.
I hope that these interviews encourage you to find your own way in your writing journey.
On February 23, 2021, we lost one of the legends of crime fiction with the passing of Margaret Maron. Born in Greensboro, NC, in 1938, she grew up on her mother’s family farm in Johnston County. She shared that farm life with us in the twenty books in her Judge Deborah Knott series.
Ms Maron had been in hospice care and died of stroke-related illness.
Her first book, One Coffee With, was published in 1982. Continue reading