mysteries

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Let’s call April mystery book month. Here’s what I’d read. At the Malice Domestic convention April 22 to 24, devotees of traditional mysteries will present the Agatha Awards. On April 28 the Mystery Writers of America will hand out the annual Edgar Awards. Therefore, Michael Dirda asks, “Shouldn’t April be designated National Mystery Month?” He continues …

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Sympathy for the De Vil: Reading Beyond Likability “As a writer and enthusiastic consumer of unlikable characters, I’m often puzzled by viewers or readers who criticize a story for having these types of characters,” writes novelist and English teacher John Copenhaver. This is a topic that just won’t go away. I Don’t Read to Like …

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20 Great Works of Philosophical Fiction Rebeca Hussey here defines philosophical fiction as fiction that “encourages the reader to ponder big questions. It purposely provokes thought and debate.” Her list of philosophical fiction includes both contemporary and classic books. ‘Never stupid to ask questions’: Rare Raymond Chandler essay gives writing, office tips Here’s a reprint …

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They Are Giving Hemingway Another Look, So You Can, Too Gal Beckerman, an editor at the New York Times Book Review, talks with Lynn Novick and Ken Burns about their three-part series on Hemingway currently airing on PBS. The documentary filmmakers were drawn to Hemingway because of his complex status as both an influence on …

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Why a Campaign to ‘Reclaim’ Women Writers’ Names Is So Controversial “Critics say Reclaim Her Name fails to reflect the array of reasons authors chose to publish under male pseudonyms” Nora McGreevy reports in Smithsonian Magazine about the Reclaim Her Name project recently launched by the Women’s Prize for Fiction in conjunction with Baileys (of Irish …

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Time Is Not Real: Books That Play with the Art of Time Vivienne Woodward looks at some books that manipulate our sense of time. The inspiration for this essay is the way COVID-19 lockdown has affected her perception of time: One of the things reading fiction makes clear is how many ways there are to …

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Murder, He Wrote When Charles Dickens dropped dead on 9 June 1850, he was hard at work on his latest novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Readers who had already devoured the first three instalments of the story were left to solve its central mystery without the author’s help. On the 150th anniversary of Dickens’s …

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‘Killing People in Fiction Was Fun’: Mysteries That Have Stood the Test of Time Like many of us, Sarah Weinman initially thought that the coronavirus lockdown would allow her to read, read, read. And also like many of us, she soon discovered that “Focus has evaporated. The cognitive load of living through the coronavirus has …

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Introduction to Reading Other Women At a time when female “others”—black, brown, and yellow—together constitute the largest block of the world’s population, their persistent invisibility to Westerners not only means they are overlooked in the present moment, but that they are consistently erased from the historical record. Rafia Zakaria reacts against “the challenges that arise …

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