Better Lock the Door

Month: October 2021

Dorothy L. Sayres: A Queen of the Golden Age

Mystery readers have long named Dorothy Leigh Sayers as one of the queens of the Golden Age of British detective writing. Best known for her Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries, Sayers had a very full and interesting life.

Early Life
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Oxford University, England

Dorothy was born on June 13, 1893, in Oxford, England. Her father was a chaplain of Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford, and headmaster of the Cathedral Choir School. Her mother was the daughter of a solicitor.

An only child, her father started teaching her Latin at six years old. She grew up in the village of Bluntisham and the graveyard next to the rectory has tombstones with many of the surnames used in her books.

In 1912, Sayers received the Gilchrist Scholarship for modern languages to Somerville College, Oxford. She studied in modern language and medieval literature and graduated with first-class honors in 1915. However, Oxford did not award degrees to women at that time. Continue reading

Review of What Doesn’t Kill Us by David Housewright

Reviewed by Tim Suddeth

If you are looking for a book that is a mix of a police procedural and coming from the criminal viewpoint, What Doesn’t Kill Us, David Housewright’s latest novel released this year, might just fit the bill. Rushmore McKenzie has been shot and lies in a coma. His friends, both in the police department and from the other side of the law, will pull out all the stops to find out why he was in such a rough part of town in the middle of the night. And who shot him in the back.

This is the eighteenth book in the Rushmore Mackenzie series. A former detective for the St. Paul Police Department, who unexpectedly became a millionaire, now does the unofficial investigation when a friend asks. And he has a lot of friends who are looking for a chance to return the favors. Continue reading

PIs and Spies

Welcome to Opening a Mystery.

Fall is in the air and the days are getting shorter. And all the coffee shops smell like pumpkin spice.

One of the things that I want to do with this blog is introduce you to mystery novels, authors, and those that love them. There are so many good blogs that are about mysteries. And this week I’ve read two that I want to share. Continue reading

Miss Jane Marple: Agatha Christie’s Surprising Senior Citizen

Miss Marple

Agatha Christie’s Miss Jane Marple

In 1927, Grand Dame Agatha Christie introduced to the world one of the most popular mystery characters, Miss Jane Marple. In the short story, ‘The Tuesday Night Club’, ‘she is an elderly spinster who has lived most of her life in St. Mary Mead. She often acted as an amateur consulting detective. Most people saw her as a dithering old bitty with her dated clothes and her knitting until she surprised the male police officers with her wisdom and knowledge.

In the earlier books, the townspeople wrote her off mostly as a gossip. Yet she had a keen sense for understanding human nature and using her insights of village life to explain the actions of criminals. The later stories show her as a kinder and a more modern person. Continue reading

Paranormal Suspense

 

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Paranormal suspense

October has arrived and what better time could there be to discuss paranormal thrillers. This is the time of year when we turn our attentions to ghosts and ghouls. With Halloween approaching quickly, I enjoy thinking about a world that includes multiple dimensions.

Paranormal suspense considers a world that contains certain phenomena that are outside the realm of scientific explanation which science may explain one day. The genre includes: Continue reading

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