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Showing posts with the label Macbeth

The Ubiquitous--and Erroneous--"They"

A friend told me the other day she'd started a new British mystery and found it had tons of swearwords and name-calling. Her question to me was "Do you think they really talk that way over there?" Talk of "they" bothers me. Yes, "they" had different beliefs than ours in 15th century Europe, but I don't for a moment think everyone believed they'd go to hell if they had sex on Sunday. If those people believed everything the Church said they shouldn't do, there wouldn't have been any sinfulness, but murder, theft, fornication, and other sins went on, as they do now. It simply paid to keep quiet about what you did, what with the Inquisition and all. I once hosted a teacher from Moscow who was disappointed by our small town. In Russia, she'd been told that in America "they" go shopping every day and night-clubbing every weekend. Spending a year in a county with no mall and not even a stoplight wasn't what she'd pictured

MACDEATH

Four authors are observing the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death by showing off their Bard-related mysteries. I'm going to focus on one at a time, so this week it's Cindy Brown's Macdeath . Here are some things I like/love about the book. *It's a cozy--amateur sleuth, small cast of characters who all know each other--but it never descends to the silliness I despise in some cozies. People act like real people (even if they are all actors). :) *It takes place in a theater. Anyone who knows my drama director background can guess I'd like that. *The play Macbeth is woven into the story. Anyone who knows my English teacher background will know I loved that. *The main character is real. I felt like she was someone I've known, or might have. *The author has a sense of story. I particularly liked the connection between the first line and the last. *...and who doesn't love that title? Makes me wish I'd thought of it! Here are the other th

Books with a Theme: SHAKESPEARE'S BLOOD

Last week's post was about four authors who've joined together to celebrate Shakespeare's work. We've each written a mystery, set in modern times, that connects to the Bard. That led me to wonder who the other authors were and why they chose Shakespeare as a theme for their books. Here's what I found out. Nancy G. West, who wrote NINE DAYS TO EVIL, ( http://tinyurl.com/a9aswr9 ) tried to convince herself to love business, but writing was always tugging on her sleeve. She went back to college and studied English literature. I can guess there was some time spent on the works of you-know-who.                     Lise McClendon, author of PLAN X     ( http://smarturl.it/plan–x )  likes Gothic novels (which were my faves growing up) and thrillers (which PLAN X is). What could be more natural than combining those things with Shakespeare's work? Love, blood, a little scary stuff--It's perfect. Cindy Brown's book MACDEATH ( http://amzn.to/1O

Double Toil & Trouble x 2/3

Here's the new historical romance, and the answers to a few questions. 1. Another romance?     I know! I didn't think I'd ever do it, but the story was so much fun I had to. 2. Available where?     Amazon for e-book for sure.     Amazon in print any minute now.     Ingram in print someday soon. Since Ingram connects to bookstores, it's nice to have the book offered there, but they take longer to get things set up. Give it a week before you ask your favorite library or bookstore to get it for you.     Hometown folks-It will be at Tom's, but probably not until March. It's just the way things worked out for me. 3. So what's it about?    Jenna and Jessie, two more of Macbeth's nieces. If you remember Tessa from Macbeth's Niece , my very first book, you'll see her again. Because it's ten years later, I didn't call this a sequel. It's more like a relative. 4. Where do the characters come from? If you happen to know sisters name

Blood & Guts in Mysteries

 In classic Greek theater, violence happens offstage. If someone's going to kill himself, he tells you so then exits. If the hero and the bad guy engage in a duel to the death, they'll thrust and parry "stage right and exeunt." Only one will return. It's partly good taste, the belief that audiences shouldn't have to see such things. I suspect the other part is more practical: a good death scene is difficult to stage--and what do you do with the corpse afterward? Shakespeare takes the easy way many times, too. People come in carrying dead bodies, like Lear bearing poor Cordelia; or parts of them, as Macduff does with Macbeth's head. Easy to make a fake head, not so easy to make it appear the head of a living actor is being separated from his body. Today we have all kinds of tricks to make on-stage deaths look real. If you've seen the Three Musketeers decapitate the evil Milady just as the theater goes dark, or the trick of light in Les Miserables t

Soon-to-Be Book--Not What You Expect

Many years ago, my first book came out. Macbeth's Niece is a romance set in--well, the time of Macbeth, around 1053. Here is what Five Star Publishing did for its cover. And here's what I did when the rights reverted back to me and I re-released it as an e-book. Theirs is prettier, but mine shows more of Tessa's fiery personality. Why did a mystery writer start with a romance? Well, they say to write what you know, and as a long-time English teacher, Macbeth is very familiar to me.  I always loved the story and felt sorry for Macbeth, who didn't comprehend that things seldom turn out the way you imagine they will until it was much too late. The story of a girl living at his castle who has her own adventures and comes to the same conclusion (though with a happier ending) seemed to form itself in my head without much effort (though writing it down was a little more difficult.) I was shopping two books at the time, and two different agents tried to find a pub