Published in the Rains County Leader on February 16, 2022:
From the time I read my first Agatha Christie novel, I’ve been a diehard mystery fan. In addition to Dame Christie, I’ve read a lot of Dick Francis, all of Sue Grafton’s Alphabet Murders (and was broken-hearted when she died before writing Z), and all but a few of Robert B. Parker’s works. The list includes James Patterson, David Baldacci, Terri Blackstock, Joel C. Rosenberg, and many more. I’m also a fan of TV sleuths like Perry Mason, Columbo, Kojak, Magnum PI, Hawaii 5-0 (the original), Hill Street Blues, CSI, NCIS, Black List, The Mentalist, and Elementary. There are many more, but you get the idea.
When I began writing my first suspense/thriller novel, legal and illegal dialog and descriptions of criminal activity seemed to flow from experience rather than research and hours of reading and watching. That’s why, when we had our own little mystery at the Brendle house, I felt competent to handle it without consulting any of my fictional detective heroes.
One of our current favorite authors is Michael Connelly, especially his Harry Bosch series. At the Friends of the Library Book Sale last April, I found six or seven of his books that we hadn’t read. I also found a number of books by a new author to us – Harlan Coben whose main character is sports agent and amateur detective Myron Bolitar. I brought home a total of sixteen books. I divided the books between us, stacking half on my night stand and half on David’s with the earliest books on top and proceeding down in date order. When either of us finishes a book, we pass it to the other and it goes on the bottom of our to-be-read pile. After we have both finished a book, it goes into a donate pile to be returned to the Friends of the Library for the next Book Sale or to be placed in one of the Little Free Libraries around town.
A few of nights ago David picked up the next book in his pile, but after reading a few pages, he said, “I think I missed a book or two. This one is ten years later than the last one, and Bolitar has a son I didn’t know about.” It was bedtime, so I found an unrelated book he hadn’t read, and put off the investigation until the next day.(more…)