Better Lock the Door

Category: Mysteries

Mystery Readings for August

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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

Reacher or Hardboiled, here’s a little something for everyone

Opening a Mystery welcomes you and we hope we have a little something for everyone. Spring is coming. The clock has changed. Now we actually have an afternoon to enjoy. If you’ve been coming home from work in the dark, I’m sure you are doubly happy.

We are seeing a great time to be a crime fiction lover. Whether it is people looking back at the classics, or the number of future best-sellers that are coming out in the next few weeks, there is a little something, whether a book or a show, for everyone.

Reacher
Reacher TV series on Amazon

Lee Cobb’s Reacher

Let’s start with Lee Lofland’s review of the first episode of Reacher. Reacher is the hero created by Lee Child, a powerful, quiet, no-nonsense type of guy. When trouble finds him, trouble is always sorry.

Lee Lofland is a former police investigator, former police academy instructor trainer, and acts as a consultant for several best-selling authors. He is also the founder and host for the Writers Police Academy. The Academy is a chance for authors to meet and receive training from trainers for law enforcement officers. I got to go to it a few years ago, and it was a blast. Continue reading

International Mysteries

If you haven’t been able to travel lately as much as you wish, maybe an international mystery is what you’re looking for.

Learning about a new location or culture is one of the joys of reading fiction. Whether it is living in a foreign country, another region of the US, or in a time past or future, watching the characters interact an international mystery is a great way to become immerse in another world.

That is why police procedurals and spy novels are so popular. We want to know how the people involved in those professions interact and go about their daily lives.

There are two ways novelists can do this. They can have their characters visit other countries like James Bond. In his earlier movies, it amazed

Gambling Table

Gambling Table in Monaco

me at the places where he ended up, whether in the jungles of Jamaica, the baccarat tables of Monaco, or the back streets of Japan. I worried about how James would get back to England. And then, at the most critical time, one of the locals would pop up and reveal that they were also an agent.

I recently read All the Devils Are Here by Louise Penny.  (Get link here.) Her hero, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, from the Surete of Quebec, travels to Paris to see his family and gets involved when someone assaults his family. She takes her reader to the streets of Paris

The other way is when the author sets the story in the different country with characters native to the area. And thankfully, we are seeing this happening more and more. We are also seeing more publishers willing to translate stories into English that we would have earlier never encountered. Continue reading

What Is A Cozy Mystery?

Cozy Mystery Cover

Black Magic Kitten cover

Mystery fiction is a genre, or category, of fiction that usually involves a murder or crime. Within the category of mysteries are a number of evolving and developing genres bridging true crime, fiction, supernatural, paranormal and others. One of the fun things for a writer is to discover new ways to expand the envelop of a genre, although this may not be so comfortable to the reader.

One of the most popular genres in mystery fiction is what are known as cozy mysteries, or cozies. I have to admit, this is one of my favorite genres.

Continue reading

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