Murder He Reads

Lucy’s Birth Story

It’s been a while since I wrote a birth story. Four years. This morning I sat over my breakfast of coffee and eggs and mulled over this fact. For a while, I was turning out a birth story every two years like clockwork: 2015, 2017, 2019. Then nothing. Why did I stop? Was it the…

Wise Blood

One look at the cover of Flannery O’Connor’s debut novel makes clear what is central to the story. The red heart, wrapped in barbed wire, conjures the image of the sacred heart of Jesus, but I doubt most Catholic readers will be able to persevere through this heady and often gruesome novel–but they certainly should!…

Christmas 2022

Friends, Sometimes a year is too much for one Christmas letter to contain–so it is with this year, but I’ll give it a try. Susan found out she’s pregnant with baby #4! That’s probably the lead. We found out over the summer in between one of our many trips. Susan came up with the tummy…

Jólabókaflóð Mysteries 2022

Jólabókaflóð, or Christmas Book Flood, is a literary tradition a number of American readers have been borrowing over the last few years. It centers on buying books for friends and loved ones and giving them on Christmas Eve. In this way, you can share your love of books and spend the evening reading by the…

Review: How to Be Perfect

I don’t usually review non-fiction books, least of all books on philosophy, yet when I started the ironically named, How to Be Perfect: The Correct Answer to Every Moral Question, by Michael Schur, I should’ve known immediately that I would be jotting down my thoughts the second I finished it.

Mystery Review: Down a Dark River

From the publisher: London, 1878. One April morning, a small boat bearing a young woman’s corpse floats down the murky waters of the Thames. When the victim is identified as Rose Albert, daughter of a prominent judge, the Scotland Yard director gives the case to Michael Corravan, one of the only Senior Inspectors remaining after…

Kansas Library Tour

This June, I had the honor of traveling the state of Kansas to offer a mystery writing workshop. I spent a good deal of time back in September and October setting this up, but I think it was well worth it. We visited TEN libraries across the state of Kansas! While I failed to take…

Review: The Wayward Path

Fans of straight police procedurals will find a lot to like in the pages of Mark Love’s newest. Also, those with an interest in seeing both sides. With his attention to Agonasti’s backstory, I was reminded of Dennis Lehane’s Joe Coughlin series.

Learning from the Masters: How to Write a Mystery

The collection is edited by Lee Child with help from Laurie R. King. The essays are broken into four sections: The Rules and Genres; Other Mysteries; The Writing; and After the Writing. Rather than give an overview of these, I thought I would just offer some gems I found in each section.

Review: Six Memos for the Next Millennium

In 1985, Italian novelist Italo Calvino delivered a series of lectures on the future of the novel at Harvard University. Six Memos for the Next Millennium includes five essays on different topics—lightness, quickness, exactitude, visibility, multiplicity—and an unwritten essay on consistency.


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