“She captures so beautifully the isolation that many feel in an increasingly cloistered Midwest, the desperation we all experience in our teeter-totter of needs and wants”: Mike Ferro appreciates Laura Hulthen Thomas’s “Sole Suspect” in this Stories We Love essay.
Steve Hamilton is a brightly decorated mystery novelist from Detroit. He is the creator of protagonist Alex McKnight, a Detroit-born detective who solves crimes in Michigan’s rugged Upper Peninsula. In a recent interview with Aunt Agatha‘s, an independent bookstore in Ann Arbor, Hamilton dismantles common misconceptions about the process of writing mystery and the genre of crime fiction. Mystery is widely perceived as a plot-centered genre. One would think that crime fiction authors would be skilled at, and consumed with, the process of plotting, planning, outlining and calculating. However, Hamilton’s writing process is more spontaneous and intuitive. He confesses: Honestly, […]
Ever feel like reading genre without, you know, knowing what to expect? Cam Terwilliger on why Percival Everett’s Assumption—one volume, three mystery novellas—will kick your [ahem] assumptions to the curb.
Writers are sometimes a shy bunch, but two recent writing-related mysteries take that to a new level. Call it “stealth lit,” maybe. Case #1: The Mysterious Incident of the Sculptures in the Libraries Intricate sculptures carved from books have been appearing in Scottish libraries. Way back in March, the Guardian reported on the first occurrence: A tiny tree has taken root in the hearts of librarians at the Scottish Poetry Library. None of the staff at the Crichton’s Close library know who left the fragile paper tree on a table among their bookshelves. It was discovered by Julie Johnstone on […]
J.T. Bushnell considers how Lori Ostlund’s debut story collection, The Bigness of the World, filled as it is with “godless homosexuals scattered across the globe” would have likely pleased Flannery O’Connor, whose own work is “unapologetically regional and almost dogmatically Catholic.” Ostlund, who won the Flannery O’Connor Prize for Short Fiction last year, writes of the mystery beneath our outer trappings, an underlying truth that binds the two writers in common cause.
Why do we love Sherlock Holmes? The famed detective nearly sent his creator off the deep end, and has been the object of countless films, odes, debates, letters, and pilgrimages over the past century. Through the lens of Graham Moore’s new novel, The Sherlockian, Lee Thomas muses on the problem of writing a character who outstrips his creator, and what makes us return to Doyle’s great detective again and again.
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