June 30, 2014 |
The sun shone with the innocent radiance of late June. Shorts-wearing tourists strolled the sidewalks of Old City, intent on such wholesome pursuits as a frozen yogurt or a ride in a horse-drawn carriage. But inside the darkened confines of a hotel ballroom, a crowd of 60 plotted murder and malfeasance. The fictional kind, fortunately, but a visitor could be forgiven for getting a chill from a one-day "university" held by the Mystery Writers of America. Six established crime authors held forth on the tricks of their trade at the Sheraton Philadelphia Society Hill, covering such topics as dramatic structure, character development, and the art of description.
July 4, 2013
By Timothy Hallinan Soho Crime. 336 pp. $25 Reviewed by Bruce Desilva Junior Bender is a professional burglar, and he's very good at it. He's been breaking into houses and making off with valuables for a long time and has never been arrested. Along the way, though, he's also picked up a sideline, moonlighting as a private eye of sorts, whose clients are all fellow criminals; and in this line of work he's a magnet for trouble. In The Fame Thief , Timothy Hallinan's third novel in this series, Bender is scooped up by a couple of thugs and driven to the estate of Irwin Dressler, a 93-year-old mobster who's had a piece of just about everything that's happened in Hollywood for as long as anyone can remember.
February 21, 2013 |
Robin Hathaway Keisman, 79, of Brewerytown, a mystery author who began writing novels in her 50s and whose first book was published 10 years later, died Saturday, Feb. 16, of cancer at a daughter's home in Reston, Va. Mrs. Keisman used her maiden name as her pen name. In the 1980s, with some prodding by her husband, the cardiologist Robert Keisman, she began a novel. "He said to me, 'You always wanted to write. Don't you think it's time to get started?' " Mrs. Keisman told an Inquirer reporter in 2007.
February 5, 2013
By Timothy Hallinan Soho Crime. 347 pp. $25 Reviewed by Bruce DeSilva Ever since Dashiell Hammett introduced us to Sam Spade in The Maltese Falcon 83 years ago, hundreds of writers have adopted his formula, flooding the bookshelves with wisecracking private eyes who work both sides of the law, disrespect authority, icily stare down gun barrels, and conceal an immutable code of honor beneath a cynical outer shell. This can get awfully tiresome, but every now and then a writer comes along with the imagination and skill to make the whole thing feel fresh and new again.
July 17, 2012
Donald J. Sobol, 87, author of the popular Encyclopedia Brown series of children's mysteries, has died. Mr. Sobol died in Miami from natural causes July 11, with his wife, Rose, by his side, his son John told the Associated on Press on Monday. The series featured amateur sleuth Leroy "Encyclopedia" Brown, who would unravel local mysteries with the help of his encyclopedic knowledge of facts great and small. The books, first published in the early 1960s, became staples in classrooms and libraries nationwide.
June 8, 2011
Lilian Jackson Braun, 97, who wrote 29 books in the The Cat Who. . . mystery series, died Saturday in Landrum, S.C. Ms. Braun almost quit writing after the third book was published because popular tastes had changed so much. She took an 18-year hiatus between The Cat Who Turned On and Off and The Cat Who Saw Red , published in 1986. She resumed because her husband, Earl Bettinger, encouraged her to return to writing after she retired in 1984 from the Detroit Free Press, where she worked for 30 years.
July 23, 2009 |
Barbara Hayes Callahan, 74, of Cherry Hill, a writer of mystery short stories, died of metastasized breast cancer Monday at Cooper University Hospital in Camden. In 1977, her story "Lavender Lady," published in 1976 in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, was among five finalists for an Edgar Award as the year's best short-story mystery. Between August 1974 and last month, Mrs. Callahan had 20 stories published in Ellery Queen's or Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine. Several were reprinted in Japan and Australia; one was adapted for radio in England and another in Italy.
November 8, 2006 |
How does a high school dropout become one of the most acclaimed novelists in America? In the case of Daniel Woodrell, it was a combination of native talent and dogged persistence. Over eight books, culminating with this year's rapturously reviewed Winter's Bone, this Ozark native has refined a style that blends vivid, flinty prose, indelible characters, and a powerful sense of place. Woodrell's work is turning heads, particularly in the literary world. "Usually when I get together with people in my profession," says best-selling author George Pelecanos via e-mail, "we talk about sports, movies, politics, cars . . . only occasionally do we bring up books, because there's no mystery there for us. But when someone is doing something in our field that we're unanimously impressed with, it does provoke discussion.
May 6, 2000 |
Prince Charles rejoined a yacht sailing in the Aegean Sea yesterday after bad weather forced him to spend three days on the all-male enclave of Mount Athos. Gale-force winds and rough seas battering the area since Wednesday abated in the morning, allowing a speedboat to approach the peninsula and take Charles to the waiting yacht. Charles left Greece later yesterday by plane. He had spent two days walking in woodland and touring some of the 20 monasteries in the semiautonomous community, which bans women and even female animals.