Last year at a charity auction, my husband Peter successfully bid on a vacation package. We had a choice of destination and chose the Scottsdale Princess because although we could not be at the exercises, we could celebrate the graduation from the University of Arizona of our youngest granddaughter, Mandy.  She joined us for […] Read More →

Semper Fi

We don’t do much to celebrate Memorial Day at our house any more. That is because my husband and I, Donis, no longer live near any of our relatives. When we lived down home, we visited my father’s grave to decorate it with flowers around the little veteran’s flag the VFW put on it every […] Read More →

First Lines

How important is a good first line? Some will say it’s the most important one in the book. So how well do we remember them? Which ones stay with us? And for you writers, how long do you agonize over them? I have completed three books, and, since I write chronologically, the first line of […] Read More →


“Austria to the left, Switzerland to the right, and Venice dead ahead.”  No, that’s not meant as an observation on the political state of affairs in those venues, it’s what the captain of EasyJet flight 5155 just announced on our plane out of Gatwick into Mykonos.  We land in about ninety minutes, at half past […] Read More →

All the Way From Russia

by Mary Reed It was a rite of summer. Sunny Sundays saw an exodus from the city, as the railway carried load after load of families away to the windy shore of the North Sea. It was time for a trip to the seaside! Mum made meat-paste sandwiches, bread slices cut thick from yesterday’s loaf. […] Read More →

Where did THAT Come From?

Michael A. Kahn — Readers often ask, “Where did you get the idea for that story?” Most of the time, at least for me, the answer is, “I don’t know” or “I don’t remember.” But sometimes I do. The best example is the premise of my first novel, The Canaan Legacy (renamed Grave Designs in the paperback edition). That mystery opens with the […] Read More →

Catharsis? The Popularity of Crime Fiction–Again

Catharsis?  The Popularity of Crime Fiction—Again      Once again, this is not the blog I planned for today.  Someday I will post about my research in London and attempts to find the newsletters of a nineteenth-century group that named itself The Alleged Lunatics Friends Society. I was writing about Wilkie Collins’s The Woman in […] Read More →

A Typical Day in the Mystery-Writing Life

One of the most common questions I get asked by readers is, “What’s your typical writing day like?” I usually bumble and stammer something about schedules and research, so I decided to actually track my day so that I would be prepared for the question. Here are my results: