Better Lock the Door

Category: Authors (Page 1 of 2)

John Creasey

John Creasey is one of England’s and the world’s most prolific crime writers. He wrote over 600 acknowledged novels under at least

John Creasey's Gideon Fife

John Creasey’s Gideon Fire

twenty-nine pseudonyms. His first published book came out in 1932. His books continued to come out until after his death in 1973. In fact, when he died, he had a backlog of books he had just finished and was waiting to have publish. The last unique work written by him wasn’t published until 1979.

Can you imagine? That productivity blows me away. And it continued for over forty years. But it wasn’t just his output. It was also the range of the characters and plots that he created. One article about him claimed that the plots and characters of his stories were so different, it was like the series were written by twelve different writers.

Not only did he have tremendous output and a range of voices, he also wrote in several different genres: including science fiction, romance (under female pen names), and western novels.

And finally, he wrote with exceptional quality. His work in the 1950s and 60s rank among the finest crime fiction penned in the twentieth century.

So, let’s look at some questions about this amazing man. Continue reading

Mystery Readings for August

Image by <a href="https://pixabay.com/users/stocksnap-894430/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=925589">StockSnap</a> from <a href="https://pixabay.com//?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=925589">Pixabay</a>

Enjoying the summer

Welcome to Opening a Mystery, the August 2022 version. I hope you have a cool drink and a sea breeze to enjoy. I have some suggestions for mystery reading in August,

It’s funny how people don’t talk about being excited about the coming of August. Instead, we look at it as when school is about to start. How can we get one more vacation in before fall? And I’ve found that it doesn’t matter if the family has school kids or not.

But, living in South Carolina, I’m on to the sneakiness of August. By making us look beyond it to fall, it leads us to think cool weather is coming, right?

Not so fast. August is just as blazing as the rest of summer. And September usually slips in a surprise week of Indian summer.

Hopefully, this year it won’t be as hot as July, but don’t let it fool you. Summer never leaves without overstaying its welcome.

Lately, I’ve found some very interesting posts on some of my favorite websites.

First, over on Novel Suspects, Tess Gerritsen talks about her writing process, where she finds inspiration, and how she feels about her latest project of co-authoring a book with Gary Braver. Continue reading

The Rabbi’s Harry Kemelman

The First of the Rabbi Small series

The Rabbi Slept Late

I am so excited about today’s post. Sometimes, when you go through your email list, you find a treasure. And that is how I feel about this post.

One of the goals here at Opening a Mystery is to introduce our readers to authors and series who have lost their popularity. Today’s post comes from the Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine website. (You can find their blog here.)  Arthur Vidro, a specialist on traditional mysteries, tells us about one of their writers whose stories they first published in 1947.

Harry Kemelman (b. 1908) was a contemporary of the Ellery Queen cousins (b. 1903) and John Dickson Carr (b. 1906). He published his first novel, Friday the Rabbi Slept Late, in 1964. That began his Rabbi Small series and earned him a 1965 Edgar Award for Best First Novel. His mysteries provide the reader a window into the Conservative Judaism culture. NBC made the story into a Made-for TV movie, Friday the Rabbi Slept Late, which aired on NBC in 1976, starring Art Carney as Chief Lanigan and Stuart Margolin as Rabbi Small.

Harry Kemelman started writing his novels late in life. His eleven best-selling murder mysteries starring Rabbi David Small began in 1964 (At age 56) and ended in 1996 (at age 88).

I hope you enjoy learning more about this talented writer. Click here for the article.

Learn more about Harry Kemelman's Rabbi Small series @OpeningaMystery @TimSuddeth #EQMM #Mysteries Click To Tweet

 

John D. MacDonald

by Tim Suddeth

John D. MacDonald was one of the most prolific and acclaimed American writers. He is best known for his Travis McGee series and the many TV shows taken from his writing. Stephen King praised MacDonald as “The great entertainer of our age, and a mesmerizing storyteller.”

John D. MacDonald's first Travis McGee novel

The Deep Blue Good-by

But he cut his chops by writing for numerous pulp magazines in the 30s and 40s. He wrote over 500 short stories for over 20 magazines and under several pseudonyms. Between the years 1945 to 1986, he sold an estimated 70 million books, third in detective fiction behind Perry Mason and Mickey Spillane.

 

Early Years, Education, and Military

John D. MacDonald, known to his friend as John D., was born in 1916 in Sharon, Pennsylvania. When he was 18 (1934), he spent several weeks in Europe, creating a love for travel and photography.

He attended Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, leaving during his sophomore year. He later went to Syracuse University, where he met his future wife, Dorothy Prentiss. They married in 1937 and he graduated from Syracuse in 1938. In 1939, he got his MBA from Harvard University. The education he received in business and economic shows in some of his later work. Continue reading

The Case of the Baker Street Irregulars

The Case of the Baker Street Irregulars was written by Anthony Boucher and published in 1940. The Case was a tribute to Sherlock Holmes.

Set in 1939, Hollywood, Metropolis Pictures plans to produce a movie based on one of Sherlock Holmes’s stories. However, they are getting backlash from the fans Holmes because the writer, Worth, wants to change the story to make it a tough, hard-boiled rendition. The executive at Metropolis discovers that, by contract, he cannot replace the hated writer. So, they decide to invite some of the members of The Baker Street Irregulars to oversee the production and give the film their stamp of approval. 

Continue reading

Laurie R. King

Laurie R. King's 2021 Release

Laurie R. King’s Mary Russell Story in Transylvania

The Mystery Writers of America announced that they have chosen Laurie R. King to be their 2022 Grand Master at this year’s conference. The awards she’s won, how her novels have influenced the crime fiction canon, and her writing longevity, all together make her a fitting recipient.

Laurie R. King was born in 1952 in Oakland, California. On her website, she said she was the third generation in her family native to the San Francisco area. Her family moved so much as she was growing up that it wasn’t until she was in high school that she attended the same school in consecutive years.

In an interview for Mystery Scene in 2009, she said, “That, if nothing else, turned me into a reader, which turned me into a writer.” On her website, she said she read through libraries up and down the west coast. Continue reading

John Grisham

 

John Grisham’s name is synonymous with a best-seller. When you think of legal thrillers, John Grisham is one of the first names that comes to mind. Since his first book, The Firm, came out in 1987, he has kept a place on the New York bestsellers list. And if you’ve read any of his books, or seen his movies, you’ll understand why.

Writing Accomplishments
John Grisham's The Firm

John Grisham’s The Firm

The Firm, Grisham’s first bestseller, has sold over seven million copies and was the number one novel in 1991. The success of the book led to a movie with Tom Cruise and a television show that lasted a year.

According to the Academy of Achievement in 2020, his books have sold Continue reading

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
Image by <a href="https://pixabay.com/users/tucaiuly-3923358/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=2093363">IULIAN TUCA SIMINICIUC</a> from <a href="https://pixabay.com/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=2093363">Pixabay</a>

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

What do we really know about John le Carré?

By Tim Suddeth

 

The Spy Who Came In From the Cold

John le Carré is one of Britain’s most popular spy novelists. In 2008, The London’s Sunday Times listed as 22nd in the fifty greatest British writers since 1945. He has written over 25 novels and a memoir in a career that spanned sixty years, from 1961 to his latest, Silverview, which is being released in October 2021. His books have been nominated for a long list of awards and several have been made into movies including: “The Constant Gardener”, “The Tailor of Panama”, “The Spy Who Came In From the Cold”, and “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”.

He introduced millions of readers into the secretive world of espionage. Continue reading

Tess Gerritsen

Terry (Tess) Gerritsen knew she wanted to write when she was a little girl growing up in San Diego, California. With a Chinese immigrant and a Chinese-American seafood chef as parents, she dreamed of writing her own Nancy Drew stories. According to an interview in the July 15, 2021, New York Times, Tess thought Nancy Drew had everything a seven-year-old girl could want; she was clever, fearless, and she drove her own car.

But like many parents, hers had a different idea for their little girl. They were worried about how someone could make enough money writing. Sounds like common concern.

So Gerritsen put off her writing and went to college. First, she went to Stanford University to study anthropology. Then she went on to study medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, where she graduated in 1979 to become an internist. She started practicing medicine in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Beginning of a Dream

It was when she read “The Woman Warrior”, by Maxine Hong Kingston, that she realized Continue reading

« Older posts

© 2022 Opening A Mystery

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑