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 February 24, 2008 - 07:12 PM | chris
Murder for Brunch

We went to the library this afternoon since it was about 25 degrees outside for the 124th day in a row and the city is in deep hibernation. I don't know how you Wisconsinites do it. Anyway, I was struck whilst browsing the mysteries at how there is a mystery series about every possible profession and theme.

In an effort to break into the business, authors will take any gimmick they can get. The alphabet (my money's on X being for Xenophobe, but what about Z?), holidays (is a bake sale truly a holiday?), or the fact that the author was the daughter of a US president, all lead to a prosperous career.

Authors also attempt to stand out by making their detectives as eccentric and odd as possible. We have a Native American policeman, an investigator who catches casino swindlers (these are actually pretty good), a -- I kid you not -- computer, and, of course, noted American supersleuth Eleanor Roosevelt.

But seemingly the easiest way to break into the mystery business is to write a book where the detective is a cat. There are many, many series starring mystery cats, and there is even a series of short story collections entitled Mystery Cats.

Here at the Festival we're big fans of mysteries, but the gimmicks are a little repetitive. I mean, really, another frickin' cat? Another independent female? Another grizzled ex-cop? If I wrote a mystery series, the detective would be the roadie for a mildly popular independent band that tours the midwest in a van. He'd need an animal, but cats are so played out, how about a badger named Professor Clawsington?


Ignore this. I'm just making sure comments still work after a software update.

Posted by: david at April 17, 2008 12:21 AM