Fictionista, Foodie, Feline-lover

Saturday, February 28, 2015

the Stats Don't Lie! Women Love Thrillers

there's an interesting article over at The Telegraph today, a story by Rebecca Whitney filled with facts and figures about how many women read thrillers. (Spoiler--way more than men.) This is interesting in the face of the ongoing frustration among women crime fiction writers being dismissed or ignored when it comes to things like...annual anthologies of best stories. Read the story here.

Eric Beetner's The Year I Died Seven Times--coming next week

It's the beginning of March mayhem@! Coming next week from Eric Beetner and Beat to a Pulp Press!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Free Historical mystery--for your Saturday reading

A Layer of Darkness by R. A. Niles is set in 1945 San Francisco. Get it here. Here's the book's description: In 1945 during the closing months of World War II, British statesman Nigel Cunningham lies dead, burnt and smoldering in the fetal position on a cold garage floor in San Francisco. As the crime scene begins to reveal numerous irregularities, Police Inspector Andrew Johnson senses a twisted case of appearances and realities and a frightening truth ultimately revealed by the grisly corpse at his feet. After FBI agent Ryan Kinahan is brought in with a rush of justice to convict local war veteran Mario Romano, Johnson becomes convinced of federal corruption. He finds himself pitted against his lifetime nemesis of dirty cops, but at a new level as the case opens links going up the chain of command in war time politics.

Rachel and the Pink-haired Pundit

My parents didn't watch a lot of television but they were news junkies, so every night it was Chet Huntley & David Brinkley delivering the news to the Tomlinson household. I switched to Walter Cronkite in college because he was the majority pick of the dorm and everybody watched in the commons room. After college, CNN came along and it was Wolf Blitzer. And Bobbi Batista!!! I can't tell you how awesome it was to see a woman anchoring the news. Yes,there'd been women reporters out there--the glamorous doomed Jessica Savich, UN reporter Pauline Fredericks, disgraced White House correspondent Helen Thomas, and the awesome Andrea Mitchell, but on the networks, the women didn't fly solo but were paired off with men. Barbara Walters and Diane Sawyer made their marks and paved the way. And then came Rachel Maddow. Rachel Maddow is a force of nature and a breath of fresh air. And last night, she had two guests on her show who just seemed to epitomize what 2015 is all about. One was the new mayor of my hometown, Washington DC. Muriel Bowser is African-American. Rachel's other buest was journalist Xeni Jardin, co-editor of the site. Xeni Jardin has pink hair. (She mostly writes out tech culture but she also writes openly and movingly and with humor about living with breast cancer.) I (heart) Xeni Jardin.
And she is great on TV--comfortable with the camera and able to communicate complex issues in a relatable way. And I just thought--pundits with pink hair. A mayor who is a woman of color. A lesbian anchorwoman who is the smartest person in the room. This is a feminist's dream come true. This is 2015. Good night Chet. Good night David. I love this century

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

the Miss Zukas Mysteries by Jo Dereske

The Miss Zukas mysteries (twelve in all) are wreitten by Bellingham, WA resident Jo Dereske, who has written another series as well as a moving memoir about caring for relativdes with Alzherimer's Disease. Miss Zukas is a librarian, and the first book in the series is Miss Zukas and the Library Murders. The books are cozies and set in a city very like Bellingham. I can't wait to dig into the series.

Serial novels set in Bellingham, WA

The Bellingham Herald has run several serialized novela over the years and the most recent one is a mystery. You can read it and all the other serials here.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Happy Birthday August Derleth

It seems kind of counter-intuitive to name someone born in February "August" but that's how they did things back in 1909
when My favorite thing about the novelist (more than 100) , short story writer (more than 150) and anthologist is that he plowed the money he got for his Guggenheim Fellowship into his comic book collection. Yes, he was a geek before it was cool. Check out what the Wikipedia has to say about him. If you're a fan of Sherlock Holmes, you must read atleast one of Derleth's "Solar Pons" stories, which are admiring pastiche of Arthur Conan Doyle's iconic detective.

Mysteries for Children

I don't remember reading mysteries as a child. i remember reading the Pokey Little Puppy and I remember reading Beverly Cleary's wonderful books, and then I discovered Nancy Drew books and while they were for girls, they weren't for little girls. I ran across this book, The February Friend, over at GoodReads. It sounds sweet and I have to wonder if it will launch some young readers onto a lifelong path of reading mysteries. How wonderful to be a writer that could steer so many readers in that direction. does anyone remember reading childrens' mysteries as a kid? Anything stand out?

The Doomsday Equation by Matt Richtel

I review Matt Richtel's techno-thriller The Doomsday Equation over at Criminal Element today. Check it out here

March reading list: March Violets by Philip Kerr

If you haven't read Philip Kerr's March Violets--the first of his Bernie Gunther mysteries, you should put it on your TBR list. Set in 1936, it is the first of what the author called his "Berlin Noir" trilogy. The story takes place during the Summer Olympics of that year. the book was published more than 25 years ago, but remains a terrific read.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

COMING IN MARCH!! The return of Kattomic Energy

Yes, the blog has been off-line since last fall but now, in the creative Year of the Ram, it has been re-energized. And reincarnated with a slightly different focus--as a mystery site, with reviews and other mystery musings. Now that I'm in Bellingham, WA--home of one of the country's great bookstores, Village Books, I will be part of a new Mystery Readers Group and hope to involve my fellow readers and writers in that enterprise as well. And this will also give me an opportunity to indulge my love for Etsy. Because there are people out there like Pattie Tierney who designs really cool mystery-themed jewelry. Check her out here. I am particularly fond of this Trixie Belden bracelet.
As Rachel Maddow would say, "Watch this space."