CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 24, 2010 |
Mystery writers can be a dark lot. "When I was growing up, I was always interested in those books, ‘Women Who Kill,' " Megan Abbott, author of "Bury Me Deep," intoned as her audience laughed. She chuckled. "Strange kid." Across the UCLA campus Saturday, there were writerly confessions — and not just from the authors of noirish mystery tales — and political musings. Celebrities reflected on their lives, poets read from their works and a person or two could be found strolling the grounds in costume.
December 10, 2000 |
I can do without a blow dryer or a slip when I travel. But I wouldn't leave home without a mystery novel. I know I'm not alone. You need only stop in an airport bookstore to find stacks of mysteries or look down the aisle on a plane, where it seems as though someone in every row is bent over a thriller, a suspense novel, an old-fashioned whodunit or a book about a private eye.
November 10, 2005 |
BESTSELLING thriller writer Dean Koontz had told the anecdote dozens of times before: The author wanted his name removed from a film version of one of his books, so he sent a series of letters to the head of the Japanese company that owned the movie studio, mentioning World War II, the Bataan Death March and Godzilla. For years, people would laugh at the story. But after Koontz retold the anecdote on Saturday to a gathering of mystery writers and fans in Irvine -- during which he referred to the studio executive as "Mr. Teriyaki" -- and now the mystery writers group is speaking out against what it perceived as Koontz's blatant racism, and a widespread debate has emerged on Southern California literary blogs about where humor ends and racism begins.
July 3, 2009 |
Dame Agatha Christie remains the gold standard of mystery writers not only for her productivity -- the woman wrote 80 detective novels -- but also for her permanence. One could argue that Sherlock Holmes is the most universally famous detective, but Arthur Conan Doyle had but one iconic offspring while Christie had two -- Hercule Poirot and Miss Jane Marple. (Four if you count the wonderful Tommy and Tuppence; five if you add, and I do, Mr. Satterthwaite of the Harley Quin stories.
February 10, 1994 |
Sitting in the wing-back chair in front of a crackling, simulated fire, one could sometimes hear the lonely wail of the hounds of the Baskervilles. Big Ben chimed in the distance. But the dogs and bells, which helped create the mysterious atmosphere of Sherlock's Home bookstore in Long Beach, were quieted last weekend when the shop's doors closed for the last time.
December 8, 1985 |
It is no mystery what makes Jon Breen tick: He relishes a good puzzle, preferably one involving a murder, a detective and enough twists and turns to stump Scotland Yard's finest. For Breen, the only thing better than solving a whodunit is plotting one--which happens to be his speciality. Delivering suspense between two hardcovers is a skill he has been honing since he read his first Hardy Boys mystery nearly 30 years ago.
January 27, 2002 |
She glides through the wards in green scrubs and glasses, filling her notebooks, eavesdropping on doctors, plotting her next murder. And no one suspects a thing. Officially, Leah Ruth Robinson works as a hospital volunteer. But there's another reason she roams the corridors of St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center in upper Manhattan: She wants to learn how people become infected with anthrax and smallpox, sickened by poisoned mushrooms and botulism.
March 17, 1990 |
It began with a conversation that Orange County Coastline Magazine publisher and executive editor Dave Bartlett had with author T. Jefferson Parker in a Laguna Beach restaurant. They were talking about the burgeoning number of mystery writers the county has spawned in recent years when it struck Bartlett: Why didn't his magazine publish a mystery serial set along the Orange coast, with each installment written by a different Orange County author?
May 17, 1991 |
Mystery writers, from Edgar Allan Poe forward, have been a rich source of supply for the movies and television. Among innumerable films made from the novels and stories of Cornell Woolrich, for example, there are Truffaut's "The Bride Wore Black" and Hitchcock's "Rear Window." Erle Stanley Gardner and Agatha Christie have spawned whole cottage industries for the visual media. Donald E.
January 30, 2001 |
To be sure, nothing as tedious or wincingly cliche as a felt fedora or an oversized spy glass was to be found at this elegant cloak-and-dagger scene. These 300 sleuths, quite to the contrary, were turned out Saturday night in floor-sweeping furs and feathers; wrapped like packages in splendorous mud-cloth shawls or kufi hats shot through with glistening thread--copper, bronze and silver.