Crime Fiction, Mystery, Thrillers, and Suspense Blog
Saturday, 08 March 2014 10:35
The HBO series True Detective, which wraps up Sunday (March 9) at 9 p.m., has been a showcase for Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, who play partners in Louisiana’s Criminal Investigation Division.
As Rust Cohle (McConaughey) and Martin Hart (Harrelson), the two actors dial down their usual on-screen personas to create a multi-layered story about the hunt for a killer that spans over 17 years.
McConaughey, in his pre-Oscar win for Dallas Buyers Club, is mesmerizing as Cohle, a man who has lost everything when the series begins in 1995 and has further spiralled down when he and Hart are called back when the investigation reopens in 2012.
As good as McConaughey and Harrelson are, another star is even more important to True Detective—the series’ writer, creator and executive producer Nic Pizzolatto.
Pizzolatto deserves full credit for what True Detective is—a complex look at how an investigation into a horrible murder affects the two detectives, neither of whom was all that mentally secure to begin with.
Mystery Scene caught up with Nic Pizzolatto before the series began and, with the eight-season series now ending, this seemed the right time to post our interview. And if you are new to True Detective, start at the beginning, which is being encored on HBO and also is On Demand. Or wait for the DVD.
Mystery Scene: How did your background as a Louisiana native play intoTrue Detective’s scenery.
Mystery Scene: Your novel Galveston was nominated for an Edgar in 2010, and True Detective is very much crime fiction. What are your thoughts on crime fiction?
Mystery Scene: So many partners in cop novels and films are best friends. Yours are not.
Most compelling to me was how these two men react to each other. They are both very complicated men. Each represents a number of contradictions. Neither knows how to live properly and they don’t know how to live in completely different ways. Hart, on the surface, should be the most grounded. He has all the things—family, children, marriage—that should anchor him. Cole is more of an island yet behaves with more control, responsibility and integrity. Both willing to cross the line of civilized behavior if their sense of justice is violated.
Mystery Scene: Were Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson who you pictured in these roles?
Photo: Nic Pizzolatto on the set of True Detective. Photo courtesy HBO/Michele K. Short
Tuesday, 04 March 2014 21:26
Aimée Thurlo and her husband, David, wrote three separate mystery series, each focusing on a very different investigator but each also showcased the Southwest.
Their main series featured Ella Clah, a special investigator for the Navajo Police Department.
The couple went to the supernatural for their novels about Lee Nez that featured the unusual partnership between New Mexico State Police Officer Lee Nez, who is a nightwalker, a Navajo vampire, and FBI Agent Diane Lopez.
Their last novel will be Eagle’s Last Stand, due to come out later in 2014.
The Thurlos have received the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award, a Willa Cather Award for Contemporary Fiction, and the New Mexico Book Award for Mystery and Suspense.
Our deepest sympathies go to the Thurlo family.
Sunday, 02 March 2014 08:19
Now Patterson has announced that he will be giving $1 million to independent bookstores to help support them. He will be donating $267,000 to 55 bookstores as well as to California Bookstore Day on May 3.
In a statement, Patterson said, “Every day, booksellers are out there saving our country's literature. The work they do to support schools and the rest of their communities leaves a lasting love of reading in children and adults. I believe their work is vital to our future as a country.”
Some of the stores submitted proposals for how they would use money; some were recommended by industry professionals. Nine stores were recommended by fellow authors Kate DiCamillo, Pam Munoz Ryan, Brian Selznick, R.L. Stine and Clare Vanderpool. (Booksellers and book lovers can continue to suggest favorite stores at JamesPatterson.com.)
Stores aren't required to report on how they use the money, but Patterson has said he hopes stores will share their experiences and how the money leads to change in the stores.
One store has state it will use the money to bring children's authors to local schools and the store. Another will put the grant toward buying a van for mobile author events and book fairs. Others will use the money for needed repairs such as damaged floors and worn carpeting.
In a New York Times story, Elaine Petrocelli, co-owner of Book Passage in Corte Madera and San Francisco, Calif., said, "We can't have a business plan that says James Patterson is is going to come along and give us something every year, but these are things that we wouldn't be able to do otherwise.
The following are the 55 stores (and California Bookstore Day) receiving the first round of James Patterson's grants of $1 million, ranging from $2,000 to $15,000, and what some of them are doing with them, as noted by the stores or media, according to Shelf Awareness. Not all stores disclosed the amount of their awards:
California Bookstore Day ($15,000 for marketing and publicity)
A Whale of a Tale, Irvine, Calif.
Alamosa Books, Albuquerque, N.M.
Anderson's, Naperville, Ill. (recommended by R.L. Stine)
Andover Bookstore, Andover, Mass.
Bank Street Bookstore, New York, N.Y.
Book Bin, Northbrook, Ill.
Book Culture, New York, N.Y.
Book Passage, Corte Madera, Calif. (toward the purchase of a van for mobile author events and book fairs)
Book Revue, Huntington, N.Y. (keep employees, pay property tax, repair floor and roof)
The Bookies, Denver, Colo.
The BookLoft, Great Barrington, Mass.
BookPeople, Austin, Tex.
Books & Books, Coral Gables, Fla.
Books & Greetings, Northvale, N.J.
Books of Wonder, New York, N.Y. (recommended by R.L. Stine)
Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, Calif. ($4,500 to bring children's authors to schools and the store)
The Bookstore Plus, Lake Placid, N.Y.
Booktenders, Doylestown, Pa. (recommended by Brian Selznick, finish gallery)
Bookworks, Albuquerque, N.M.
Brazos Bookstore, Houston, Tex. ($5,000 for kids' programming)
Brewster Book Store, Brewster, Mass.
Broadside Book Shop, Northampton, Mass.
Browseabout Books, Rehoboth Beach, Del.
Children’s Book World, Los Angeles, Calif.
Children's Book World, Haverford, Pa. (recommended by Brian Selznick, $2,500 for authors visiting schools)
The Children's Bookstore, Baltimore, Md. (possibly add to program to help teachers buy books for use in classes)
Doylestown Bookshop, Doylestown, Pa. (creative space for older children)
Eighth Day Books, Wichita, Kan. (recommended by Clare Vanderpool)
Gallery Bookshop/Bookwinkle Children, Mendocino, Calif. ($5,000 for computer system upgrades)
Hicklebee's, San Jose, Calif. (new computer system and manager bonus)
Innisfree Bookshop, Lincoln, N.H.
Lake Forest BookStore, Lake Forest, Ill.
Little Shop of Stories, Decatur, Ga. (purchase of a bookmobile)
Malaprop's Bookstore and Café, Asheville, N.C. ($7,500 for floor restoration and new carpeting)
Mysterious Galaxy, Redondo Beach and San Diego, Calif.
Nicola's Books, Ann Arbor, Mich.
Norwich Bookstore, Norwich, Vt. (kids' programming)
Oblong Books, Millerton, N.Y. ($7,500 for roof repairs)
Odyssey Book Shop, South Hadley, Mass.
Old Firehouse Books, Fort Collins, Colo. ($2,500 for a summer reading program)
Page & Palette, Fairhope, Ala.
Park Road Books, Charlotte, N.C. ($2,500 for new carpeting)
Parnassus Books, Nashville, Tenn.
Percy's Burrow, Topsham, Me. ($2,500)
Phoenix Books, Essex Junction, Vt. ($5,000 for community outreach)
Porter Square Books, Cambridge, Mass.
Reading Reptile, Kansas City, Mo. (recommended by Brian Selznick)
Red Balloon, St. Paul, Minn. (recommended by Kate DiCamillo)
Russo's Marketplace Books, Bakersfield, Calif.
Schuler Books and Music, Okemos, Mich. (books for children)
Subterranean Books, St. Louis, Mo.
Wellesley Books, Wellesley, Mass. (iPad to sell books at off-site events, a video camera and a small PA system)
Wild Rumpus, Minneapolis, Minn. (recommended by Kate DiCamillo)
Wonderland Books, Rockford, Ill.
The Yellow Brick Road, San Diego, Calif. (recommended by Pam Munoz
Wednesday, 26 February 2014 06:02
Robin Thicke sings about blurring the lines, but mystery writers have been doing that for years.
The myriad categories of crime fiction have increasingly been melding. And that is good news for readers as it means stories that are deeper, richer, and more realistic.
In The Winter People, a string of disappearances in a small Vermont town date back to 1908 when a grisly murder and the death of a child changed the town.
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