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  1. Feature
    Found and Bespoke: When Mystery Writers Mislead

    Found and Bespoke: When Mystery Writers Mislead

    Found and Bespoke: When Mystery Writers Mislead By Steven Axelrod

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    People at book signings often wonder if there’s some trick or secret technique for writing a mystery. They ask about plot, as if that were the key. The plot is an engine, but engineering the spark plugs is the more ...

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  2. Feature
    A Thief in Cleveland: Writing My Debut Novel

    A Thief in Cleveland: Writing My Debut Novel

    A Thief in Cleveland: Writing My Debut Novel By Annie Hogsett

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    Where do I get my ideas? I steal them. One of the metric ton of things I’m fussing about with the release of my first novel, Too Lucky to Live, is: What sort of questions am I likely to get ...

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  3. Feature
    Diana Gabaldon Discusses “A Clash of Spheres”

    Diana Gabaldon Discusses “A Clash of Spheres”

    By Poisoned Pen Press

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      The following essay is by New York Times best-selling author of the Outlander series, Diana Gabaldon. This is one of the most entertaining, elegant and deeply emotional books I’ve read in years. (I’m tempted just to write “EEEEEEEEE!” to ...

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  4. Feature
    Cultural Diversity in Mystery Novels: Part II

    Cultural Diversity in Mystery Novels: Part II

    Cultural Diversity in Mystery Novels: Part II By Triss Stein

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    In December, I wrote about including real life diversity in mystery fiction. Depictions and plots that reflect that are an important part of the issue, but it does not end there. Deeper and more complicated is the question of how ...

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  5. Feature
    Staying Human: Orwell’s “1984” Revisited

    Staying Human: Orwell’s “1984” Revisited

    Staying Human: Orwell’s “1984” Revisited By Steven Axelrod

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    George Orwell’s 1984 is riding the bestseller lists again, spurred by Kellyann Conway’s ominous reference to “alternative facts” when discussing the crowds at President Trump’s inauguration. This passage from 1984 leapt to many people’s minds: In the end, the party would announce ...

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  6. Feature
    Pulling Out the Nail: Writing Lessons With Irvin Kershner

    Pulling Out the Nail: Writing Lessons With Irvin Kershner

    Pulling Out the Nail: Writing Lessons With Irvin Kershner By Steven Axelrod

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    I’ve been thinking about film director Irvin Kershner, as I work on a flat scene that desperately needs a jump start. Kershner died a few years ago, and even then I hadn’t seen him in decades — since an extraordinary ...

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  7. Feature
    Cultural Diversity in Mystery Novels

    Cultural Diversity in Mystery Novels

    Cultural Diversity in Mystery Novels By Triss Stein

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    While it is possible to find mysteries, from fluffiest to darkest, that take place in the author’s version of never-never land, I prefer mysteries set in some semblance of the real world. There, diversity equals reality. How do we incorporate ...

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  8. Feature
    Where Did Joey Getchie Come From?

    Where Did Joey Getchie Come From?

    Where Did Joey Getchie Come From? By Bill Cameron

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    Joey Getchie may be 16 years old, but he’s been with me more than three decades. He first appeared on a manuscript page—and in 1983 it was an actual sheet of paper rolled into a typewriter—as one of the protagonists ...

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