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Messages - KiwiCraig

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31
What I'm Reading / Re: My latest read is...
« on: July 04, 2019, 04:07:56 am »
I just finished reading Laura Lippman's LADY IN THE LAKE (July, 2019). The quality of the writing is just swoon-worthy. It's a tale of two women in 1960s Baltimore:Cleo Sherwood, a poor young black woman, and Maddie Schwartz, a well-to-do but frustrated suburban wife. The shifting viewpoints come from a variety of characters as well as these two, giving the book a kaleidoscopic quality that brilliantly evokes a time and a place. Lippman beautifully organizes a complex story -- her concerns are much broader than who died and how -- and the emotional payoff at the end is just brilliant. Lippman is one of the best writers in the genre and I can't recommend this highly enough.

One of my fave reads of 2019, and it's been a year packed with really terrific mystery fiction.

32
What I'm Reading / Re: My latest read is...
« on: July 04, 2019, 04:07:03 am »
Just finished BULL MOUNTAIN by Brian Panowich. Really brilliant 'hillbilly noir', gorgeously written. I read and loved LIKE LIONS, the sequel, earlier this year so grabbed the first book from the library last week and devoured it over the weekend.

Now halfway through BLUEBIRD, BLUEBIRD by Attica Locke, again catching up on a great book I didn't get to on release. Marvellous, absolutely terrific. I have an ARC of the sequel, HEAVEN, MY HOME (out in Sept), so wanted to read the first one first.

Other terrific recent reads: THE CHAIN by Adrian McKinty, LADY IN THE LAKE by Laura Lippman, WHATEVER IT TAKES by Paul Cleave, the Natchez Burning trilogy by Greg Iles (been meaning to get to that for a while too), DOWN THE RIVER INTO THE SEA by Walter Mosley (another catch-up), THE WHISPER MAN by Alex North, CONVICTION by Denise Mina, CALL ME STAR GIRL by Louise Beech.

33
Welcome and General Discussion / Re: POLL: Favorite Kid Detective
« on: July 04, 2019, 04:01:49 am »
Hardy Boys for me, in a landslide. Read so many of them as a kid growing up in 1980s New Zealand.

Also popular for us (being a British Commonwealth country) where the Secret Seven and Famous Five by Enid Blyton. Not sure if they were as big in North America. Nancy Drew was also popular in New Zealand, not so much Trixie Belden etc.

34
Welcome and General Discussion / Re: Collecting? Watcha got?
« on: July 04, 2019, 03:59:33 am »
Over the past decade I've been collecting out-of-print and hard-to-find New Zealand crime novels. Even keen booklovers in New Zealand who like mystery fiction often think the history of the genre in our country is basically Dame Ngaio Marsh, one of the Queens of Crime of the Golden Age (wrote early 1930s-early 1980s) then Paul Thomas shaking up the local genre in the 1990s with Elmore Leonard-esque hardboiled tales, a few other one-off books here and there, then the recent surge post millennium.

But in fact I've discovered over the years that we had many other Kiwi mystery writers over the decades, some who wrote 10-15 books (even 30+ in one case) that were popular and well-reviewed at the time but have fallen out of print and been forgotten. So I keep my eyes out whenever I'm home and browsing secondhand bookshops, and nab any such books when I can. I probably have over 200 now from 1950s-1990s.

I also like collecting crime fiction from the places I travel, grabbing local stuff that may not be as widely distributed elsewhere.




35
Welcome and General Discussion / Re: Say Hi and Introduce Yourself
« on: July 04, 2019, 03:52:11 am »
Kia ora (hello) everyone,

My name is Craig Sisterson and I'm a lapsed lawyer from New Zealand, currently being a stay-at-home Dad and freelance features writer in London, UK. I've loved mysteries since I was a wee kid (started with Hardy Boys, Secret Seven, then Holmes and Poirot) growing up in the 1980s in a small town near the top of the South Island of New Zealand.

I started writing about mystery fiction for magazines and newspapers in 2008. Since then: hundreds of pieces in dozens of publications in several countries. I'm very grateful to get to be part of such a wonderful community, interviewing authors and chairing events at festivals, talking about the genre on radio, judging book awards in a few countries, and more.

I'm stoked to be a contributor to Mystery Scene in recent years. What a fantastic magazine, full of great writers and writing about our genre. For my part, I began a ways back by interviewing James Runcie (author of the Sidney Chambers mysteries, on which the hit TV show Grantchester is based) in the churchyards where the TV series is shot. In the current Summer 2019 issue I wrote a feature on Australian and New Zealand crime writing, a nod to my own heritage, as well as a few reviews.

I'm a bit of a crime and thriller omnivore, devouring a wide range of tales, from funny to dark and lots in between. I have a lot of US and British favourites, but particularly like exploring other parts of the world through great mystery storytelling.

Looking forward to chatting with other booklovers.

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