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Almost Caught Up with Shakespeare

Last week I sort of reviewed PLAN X, so I'll finish that today. I really liked the book: likable main character, good connection to Shakespeare's work, and lots of action. It's sad that we don't hear about books like this in the glut of stuff on the market. I get tired of hearing big publishers scream about "exquisitely written" novels (that aren't) and "compelling protagonists" (that make me yawn), but the whole deal in publishing today is hype. PLAN X is a good book. There were a couple of unresolved issues at the end, but since it's a series, I'm guessing that was intentional. Today's book is the third of the Shakespeare-related novels the four of us as promoting in the 400th anniversary of the Bard's death. NINE DAYS TO EVIL  begins with the disappearance of a young woman's successful doctor husband. As police search for him, readers learn more about him, his wife, and their friends...and Shakespeare. I'll leave it

Shakespearean Mysteries: PLAN X

I'm focusing on four modern novels related to Shakespeare and his works, since 2016 is the 400th anniversary of my favorite writer's death. Last week's book, MACDEATH, was a cozy set in a theater, and I enjoyed it very much. My plan was to read a book each week for three weeks (mine is the 4th), but that didn't happen. I started reading THE ALCHEMIST'S DAUGHTER and had to finish it. (Loved it!) What I present here, therefore, is an overview from the Amazon page, with reviews from those who have read PLAN X. What I saw there convinced me that it's a book I do want to read, so I bought it for my Kindle. Before next Monday I plan to read this one and hopefully the last one of the four, NINE DAYS TO EVIL. PLAN X is billed as an international thriller for those who love intrigue, secrets, and spies. The protagonist begins in Montana, goes to Washington, DC., and finally across the ocean in search of answers to a puzzle. "PLAN X is both thrilling and sop

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

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