Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Mystery Scene Review/Commentary #1

Setting here at 2 a.m. with a Shiner Bock on coffee table next to me. I have spent the last couple of hours researching professional blogging since I think this is what I am going to be doing for a while. Blogging my brain out here so you can read it.

Thus begins my review of Mystery Scene Magazine, Holiday Issue, 2009 This is my first issue of Mystery Scene, and so far so good. I am going to continue to read it monthly till it gets boring or dies. Let me start off by saying I am a writer by profession, passion, and hobby. Right now I am reading a bunch of mystery novels and working on some mystery fiction myself. Another thing to keep in mind is that this will be my commentary also and not just a straight review.
  • Castle/Stephen J. Cannell: First thing I want to say is that Castle is one of the best shows on T.V and gets my vote for best mystery series ever! It is a mystery show about a writer who helps solve crimes in order to do research for a book series. The publishers did something also that has not been done to my knowledge before, they published a book by a fictional character on a T.V show. On the show Richard Castle writes a series of books about a character named Nikki Heat who is based on the cop he is working with. I have not read it yet but it is on my list. Will review after I read it. So there is a scene in an early espisode where Castle is playing poker with some other writers, real writers, Micheal Connelly (who I am reading a book by now), and Stephen J. Cannell. Stephen is the one who gives him the key information that ends up leading Castle into conflict, and therefore breaking the case. It was great to see some real mystery writers getting face time on a popular TV show. I hope there will be more of this in the future.
  • Intelligence: This is the first time I have heard about this show but I am hooked just by the short description in the magazine. It is the Canadian Broadcasting Channel's Crime Drama show. The quote that made me want to watch it is "Intelligence may just be the antidote for those who miss The Wire and The Sopranos." I am in and ordering it off Amazon ASAP.
  • Dixie Noir: This is another new genre that is hitting the mystery scene in a big way. Dixie Noir is gritty realist crime fiction set in the deep south. The article in the magazine is written by the man who is leading this amazing movement Kirk Curmutt who is the author of the book that the movement is names after Dixie Noir. If you have ever read Daniel Woodrell think noir set in the deep south in stead of the Ozark moutains. My blogging friend and fellow blogger Don Lee wrote a great review of Woodrell on his blog that you can read here.
  • Xmas Gifts: The issue had a full color xmas gift idea section and couple of the things really struck me as wonderful and thing I need sooner or later. The first was a coffee mug from Thinkgeek.com called The Melee Mug and the second thing was Credit Card Lockpicks. Both things very amazing. Check them out for your loved ones or for me if you love this blog.
  • Lawrence Block Column: I think this was the best thing in this issue and apparently it is the first in a new series of columns by the master mystery writer himself. I was very excited, the first mystery novel I ever read (outside of Holmes) was The Burglar Who Painted Like Mondrain it blew my mind and made me realize I could write mystery fiction. His photo in the magazine was very good and the column was pretty good too; years ago he wrote a memoir, but it was not what people thought he would do or expected of him it is a book about walking and his passion for walking; it is called Step-By-Step: A Pedestrian Memior. So due to popular demand he is going to publish his memoir in a series of columns in Mystery Scene. In this issue he recounts a story that happened to him, Donald Westlake, and an editor/writer Stanley Ellin. Block's favorite book by him is The Eighth Circle and he explains why in this article and a lot of other great stuff about the three of them. I suggest getting this issue for this column if for no other reason.
So remember everyone, Please comment and lets get some interaction going I want to know who I am blogging for. John Taylor explains in his wonderful book that you should envision your ultimate blog reader and write with them in mind. So please tell me something about yourself so I have something to go on when I sit down to rant. See you all in the afternoon at some point.


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