Down Home Easter

Another Easter has come and gone. A couple of weeks ago (April 18), my fellow Poisoned Pen author Jeffrey Siger posted an entry on his blog Murder is Everywhere about Springtime and Easter on Mykonos, the Greek island upon which the lucky man gets to spend much of the year. Reading his entry put me […] Read More →

It’s Raining, Thank Jeffrey.

I landed on draught-plagued Mykonos Wednesday afternoon to bright sunshine.  Things immediately began clouding up, and by early Thursday came a steady, drenching rain. My idiomatic Greek is a bit rusty—appropriate for the weather—but I believe Mykonians now refer to me as a sort of deity.  At least I think I’m hearing a reference to […] Read More →

“Will you take us in, missus?”

by Mary Reed In childhood we went weekly to our local cinema. It was small, with baroque architecture, and crouched, unexpectedly, in the middle of streets of terraced houses. The sort of picture palace where you’d sit on a shabby plush but somehow prickly fold-up seat, with a sound system not of the best, the […] Read More →

The 10 Best Lines in Literature: Let the Debate Begin

By Michael Kahn The editors of The American Scholar–the quarterly publication of the Phi Beta Kappa Society–have published a piece on their website featuring their ten favorite sentences from fiction and nonfiction. Several were familiar, including one each from The Great Gatsby, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, A Farewell to Arms, and Pride and Prejudice. My favorite of […] Read More →

The Long Road and Voices in My Head

This past Saturday I hopped into my car and hit the road for six hours. I don’t usually make “solo trips” this long anymore, but decided “Why ever not?” (and there were other enticements to hitting the asphalt for this particular short trip). So, off I went, rattling down the road, with my trusty iPhone […] Read More →

Memory and Narrative in Crime Fiction

Memory and Narrative in Crime Fiction   This was not the blog I had planned to write, but something unexpected happened. I was going through old files and came across an essay I had written many years ago and had forgotten, which is ironic, since the essay is about memory.      Its title is […] Read More →


By Jeanne Matthews My favorite war is the war between the sticklers who insist on adhering to standard definitions and usages, and the anarchists who say that a word’s meaning depends on how it’s used, irregardless of whether it makes the sticklers cringe.

Tellin’ Stories

So I had to get some bloodwork done, at a hospital an hour’s drive from my house. At first there didn’t seem to be a problem, but on the way home, a hematoma developed right in the crook of my elbow. Pain, swelling, the whole nine yards. I ended up ducking into a McDonald’s and […] Read More →

Wanna Get Away?

Alert readers will recall that my last post was about my experiences as a volunteer mediator in the local court system. Since that post I was involved in a mediation that was centered around the purchase of an industrial rug shampooer. It was a routine small claims conflict: one guy bought the machine, claimed it […] Read More →

Brand Yourself

The National Endowment for the Arts gave the Oceanside, California library a stack of money to promote the literary genre called noir. A gracious librarian asked if I would give a talk and also participate on a panel on the subject of noir. Sure, I said, especially since they offered money. Then the preparation and […] Read More →