The first Nancy Drew story
In 1930, Nancy Drew, the brainchild of Edward Stratemeyer, made her first appearance in the book, The Secret of the Old Clock. No one could have imagined the character’s popularity. The series ran from 1930 to 2003, with a total of 175 different titles. But this is only one of thirteen different series that featured the brave, female amateur detective. The publishers have sold at least 80 million copies of the Nancy Drew Mystery series in over 45 languages. As of July 2021, Nancy Drew has appeared in 13 different series and in 613 books, with books based on the character still being published.
Edward Stratemeyer was born in 1862 in Elizabeth, New Jersey, the youngest of six children of German immigrants. Although his parents were German speaking, the family spoke English at home. Growing up, he read Horatio Alger and William T. Adams, writers whose stories involved rags-to-riches tales of young Americans.
He became an American publisher, writer of children’s fiction, and the founder of the Stratemeyer Syndicate. One of the most prolific writers in the world, he produced over 1300 books and sold over 500 million copies. Continue reading
A Jack Reacher Thriller
On October 25, 2022, No Plan B by Lee and Andrew Child is the 27th in the Jack Reacher series hit the stores. No Plan B was co-written by Lee Child and his brother, Andrew Child. Click here for a list of all the novels in the series.
Lee Child is one of the world’s leading thriller writers. Born in Coventry in 1954, he now lives in New York. They’ve reported that one of his Jack Reacher novels is sold somewhere in the world every nine seconds. Continue reading
Elmore Leonard was a master of crime fiction writing. He wrote over 45 novels, many of them turned into TV series or movies. Mystery buffs know Leonard for his tight writing and on-point dialogue. The movie based on Out of Sight starred George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez.
Leonard was a recipient of the National Book Foundation’s Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters and the Grand Master Award for the Mystery Writers of America. Many have called Leonard the “Dickens of Detroit.”
Foley had never seen a prison where you could walk right up to the front gate without getting shot.
Out of Sight by Elmore Leonard
Many critics have chosen Out of Sight as one of Elmore Leonard’s top novels. The reader will find Continue reading
The 2022 Anthony Award winners were presented on Saturday night at Bouchercon. They were the third awards to be presented at the conference along with the Barry Awards and the Macavity Awards.
The Anthony Award is an annual award named after William Anthony Parker White, AKA Anthony Boucher. Boucher was an American author, critic, reviewer, and editor. He was also one of the founders of Mystery Writers of America.
The Anthony Award is one of the most prestigious awards in the world of mystery writers. The nominees are chosen by committee and the winners are voted for by the conference attendees
Here are the 2022 Anthony Award winners:
Mystery Readers International Presents the Macavity Awards
Here is a list of the 2022 Macavity Award winners that were announced at the opening ceremonies of Bouchercon 2022 in Minneapolis. The Macavity Awards are a literary award for mystery writers. They are nominated and voted on by the members of the Mystery Readers International. The award is named for the ‘mystery cat’ of T. S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats.
The 2022 Macavity Awards winners are:
Deadly Pleasures Magazine announced the winners of the Barry Awards at the Opening Ceremonies at the Minneapolis Bouchercon Thursday September 8, 2022.
In 1997, the editorial staff of Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine decided that, since one of their magazine’s goals was to search out and report on the best works being published in the field of crime fiction each year, it would be a natural fit to present an award for excellence. They named the award for one of their reviewers, Barry Gardner, who passed away in 1996. The awards nominees are chosen by the nominating committee. The readers and subscribers vote for the winners.
Best Mystery/Crime Novel Continue reading
Sam Spade. Mike Hammer. Kinsey Millhone. Some of our favorite characters have been Private Investigators. And a great way to keep up with the best in current PI stories is to follow the 2022 Shamus Awards winners and nominees.
Recently, the Private Eye Writers of America (PWA) announced the winners of the 2022 Shamus Awards. The Shamus Awards go to the best private eye novels and short stories published in the United States the previous year. The PWA defines a Private Eye as a person paid to investigate crimes who is not employed by a government agency. Continue reading
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 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. Continue reading
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 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.