Tag: Mystery

Crawdads Sing A High Note

Published in 2018 by G.P. Putnam at Penguin Random House, Where the Crawdads Sing was not expected to have any foot traffic. Delia Owens, a retired wildlife biologist, previously published works focused more on her career work “in the deserts and valleys of Botswana and Zambia, where she studied hyenas, lions, and elephants”(Alexander Atler). Due to her previous profession, the publishing industry thought it best to only put out 28,000 copies.

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Image Via DeliaOwens.com

They soon regretted this decision, when Crawdads sold four and half million copies. These sales helped to blow away novels by John Grisham, Margaret Atwood, and Stephen King.

 

Goodreads summarizes Where the Crawdads Sing in this way:

For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life–until the unthinkable happens.
Image result for delia owens author photo
Image Via DeliaOwens.com

In a world where fiction started to dwindle in sales, Crawdads’ brought fiction back to life. So much so that the book held its spot on the best seller’s list for 67 weeks. Most blockbuster novels usually last only a few weeks before dropping off the bestsellers’ list. This news leaves Crawdads’ success to be one of complete surprise. Although Reese Witherspoon has decided to produce a feature film adaption, after reading Crawdads at in her book club, the novel’s rise to fame goes beyond that.

Owens grew up in Georgia and studied zoology at the University of Georgia. She later gained her doctorate at the University of California. Owens spent most of her free time getting up close and personal with wildlife which is no surprise why she has incorporated those experiences into Crawdads.

 

Image Via Slate Magazine

Owens and her husband, Mark, “provided job training, microloans, health care and education to villagers” while working in Zambia. They also focused on the protection of wildlife, making sure that no poachers killed anything, which is described in their memoir The Eye of the Elephant.

Both Owens and her husband were accused of killing one of the poachers, but nothing could ever be proven. This becomes no surprise when Kya is faced with similar issues of harsh rumors and name-calling. Owens’s ability to share her experiences with wildlife in the novel has allowed readers to become more enthralled.

 

 

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Featured Image via Literary Edit 

2020’s Most Exciting Thrillers

As the New Year approaches, it is easy for people to throw away essentials. We live by the phrase, ‘out with the old and in with the new.’ Publishing companies are prepared to present us with this, as the new thrillers have proven to show.  These five novels will scare you straight into the new year!

 

The Night Watchman

Image Via Amazon

A jewel bearing, plant night watchman, Thomas Wazhashk, is a member of the Chippewa Council. The council is in heed of a discussion on the new ‘emancipation’ bill, on its way to the United States Congress. It is 1953 and the council members are aware that the bill has no intention of granting freedom, but rather terminates the rights and identities of Native Americans. With government plans in place, Native American treaties will be broken.

 

The Glass Hotel: A Novel

Image Via Goodreads

Vincent is a bartender at the Hotel Caiette, a five-star hotel on the northernmost tip of Vancouver Island. One night, Vincent is met by a hooded figure who scrawls a message on the lobby’s glass wall: “Why don’t you swallow broken glass.” The shipping executive, Leon Prevant, reads the message and orders a drink. Alkatis, the owner of the hotel, reads the threat unaware that it was meant for him. Alkatis gives Vincent a hundred-dollar tip and a business card, and they reunite a year later.

 

American Dirt: A Novel

Image Via MacMillan Publishers

In the Mexican city of Acapulco, Lydia, a bookstore owner, lives with her son, and the love her life. Though the cracks of Acapulco are beginning to show through the forming of the drug cartels, Lydia’s life remains comfortable. One day, a man enters her shop, bringing four books to the counter, two of which are her favorites. Javier, although charming, is the jefe of the newest drug cartel. Lydia finds herself charmed by his presence, but once her husband figures out Javier’s lifestyle, their lives will turn upside down.

 

Long Bright River

Image Via Amazon

Two sisters from Philadelphia were once close as… sisters? Once the opioid crisis hit, their lives completely changed. Kacey lives on the streets in the depth of addiction. Mickey finds herself walking the same blocks on her police beat. The two no longer speak. Mickey finds herself in worry when she realizes that Kacey has gone missing. Becoming obsessed with finding the culprit for this and other murders, Mickey determines to find her sister before it’s too late.

 

The Other Mrs.

Image Via Amazon

Sadie and Will Foust just moved their family from Chicago to a small town in Maine. Their neighbor, Morgan Baines, is found dead in her home. The island is stricken with fear, but Sadie continues to worry that the killer is in her own backyard.  After inheriting their new home, due to the sudden death of Will’s sister, Sadie finds herself in distress over the decrepit décor and creepy attic. The troubling past, as the blurb states, “continues to wear at the seams of their family”, keeping everyone suspicious of who this murderer could be.


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5 Thrillers We’ll Never Stop Fearing

Mystery is a genre where our deepest desires lie and can be uncovered. Books that make you forget about the world and dive into the familiar. This list will make you scrunch your toes and snuggle under your blanket. Get ready for some timeless thrills.

 

The Girl on the Train

Image Via The Wall Street Journal

Every morning, Rachel catches the same train to London. She knows when the train will stop and for how long. She has even familiarized herself with the nearby houses and the people who live in them. One of her favorite couples, ‘Jess and Jason’, are perfect. Rachel longs to be just as happy, but everything takes a turn when she sees something she’s not supposed to. Nothing can ever be the same. Rachel has allowed herself to become apart of the lives that she has only watched from afar. She is no longer just the girl on the train.

 

Gone Girl

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Image Via Depop

Nick and Amy Dunne are celebrating their fifth anniversary. Everything is underway when Nick’s beautiful wife disappears. Nick, although seemingly charming, becomes the monster of Amy’s nightmares in her diary entries. There are so many people hounding him for information, that it becomes too much for him to keep his bad-boy charm. It’s as if Nick is glad that Amy is gone, but did he really muster up the courage to free himself from the famous Amy….

 

The Couple Next Door

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Image Via Library Shop

Anne and Marco Conti are a perfect couple. Newly married, they have projected themselves as having a loving relationship and a wonderful home, with their beautiful baby girl, Cora. One night, the couple goes over to a neighbor’s dinner party and the unspeakable happens. Cora is gone.

Inside that wonderful home, there are many secrets that are waiting to be discovered. Ones which they weren’t even aware of themselves. Each secret unveils the power of deception and unfaithfulness that will make your jaw drop.

 

Paper Towns

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Image Via The Split

Quentin Johnson has been madly in love with Margo Ruth Spiegelman since she moved in next door, when they were kids. He would do anything for her, even help her devise her plot for revenge. Their night of endless fun comes to an end, and Quentin realizes that Margo is not at the school the next day. Quentin finally realizes that Margo has left clues just for him to discover. The more he discovers, the more he realizes that he barely knew her at all.

 

Into the Water

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Image Via Culturefly

A single mother is found floating in the bottom of the river that runs into a nearby town. A teenage girl suffered the same fate not too long before. They are not the first to be dredged up from these waters. Without her mother or close friend, a fifteen-year-old girl finds herself in the care of her aunt, who desperately needs to stay away.

Hawkins finds herself revealing the same emotion in her thriller, Girl on the Train, by delivering as the blurb phrases “an urgent, twisting, deeply satisfying read.”

 


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CW’s New Nancy Drew Series Sets a Darker Tone

CW’s new “Nancy Drew” series joins a growing trend of putting a dark spin on otherwise light-hearted source material. “Riverdale,” also produced by CW, is a gritty television adaptation of the Archie comics that started way back in the 1940’s. Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina gained somewhat of a cult following when it came out because of its darker take on “Sabrina the Teenage Witch,” another character in the Archie universe. CW is continuing this trend with Nancy Drew, a darker take on everyone’s favorite detective from the 1930’s that stars Kennedy McMann as Nancy.

 

Image via the Cw

 

Noga Landau, the writer and producer behind the series, has spoken briefly about the tone of the new show:

Nancy’s not so prim and proper like she was in the original books. She has complicated relationships with her friends and her father, too.

 

 

These relationships are an intricate part of the first season, which actually debuts tonight. And while the new Nancy Drew series is based off the original detective novels, it uses no existing plots or mysteries. Even die hard fans will be surprised! Viewers will be introduced to the new Nancy Drew just as she meets her soon-to-be best friends George Fayne and Bess Marvin. Audiences will also see Nancy in the middle of some family strife. The first season follows Nancy just after she’s lost her mother to a terminal illness.

 

 

In an interview with Larry Teng, the show’s director, he said he took a lot of inspiration from other recent thrillers like The Conjuring and The Haunting of Hill House. He’s also said the show’s color palette pays homage to the original novels with its use of yellow and blue. He also spoke a bit about staying true to the character:

She should be able to figure things out on her own and create her own plan of escape. We want to present a world on our show that was consensual and being led by a strong female who is in charge of her own body and her own mind.

 

The new series promises to be a modernized update of one of literature most beloved characters. As Landau says:

 

We aged (the characters) up to the year 2019. It was about making them feel modern and diverse and a little more complicated than the characters in the canon.

 

 

 

Featured image via Entertainment Weekly

Why We Love Agatha Christie, the Queen of Mystery

If there’s one writer that any fan of mystery or crime has read, it’s the one and only Agatha Christie. The creator of the red herring has written at least seventy-two books, some featuring recurring and popular characters like Hercule Poirot, the detective with an unforgettable mustache. Yet surprisingly, Christie kept much of her personal life as mysterious as her novels. In celebration of her 129th birthday, let’s look at some of the reasons why we love the Queen of Mystery.

 

1. Hercule Poirot was based on a real person

 

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image by the federalist

 

Hercule Poirot, the detective from Murder on the Orient Express, might seem like an odd fellow and he was just as odd in real life. Christie based Poirot off a Belgian man that she spotted on a bus in the early 1910s. The man had a memorable style of facial hair and an interesting expression that stuck with Christie long enough for her to write thirty-nine books featuring the character.

 

2. those she didn’t like became victims in her books

 

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image by flickr.com

 

If you got on Agatha Christie’s bad side, you might end up as a victim in her books. For instance, Agatha Christie’s husband archaeologist Max Mallowan worked with an archeologist named Sir Leonard Woolley. Woolley’s wife didn’t like Christie and forced her to stay off the digging site so Mallowan had to visit her by train every day. Shortly after the incident, Christie composed Murder in Mesopotamia, in which an archeology field director’s wife was killed by bludgeoning. She even dedicated the book to the Woolleys.

 

3. she dabbled in romance

 

image by the blank garden

 

The Queen of Mystery could also write romance when she so desired. In 1930, she began writing under the pen name of Mary Westmacott. She wrote six fairly successful romance novels: Giant’s Bread, Unfinished Portrait, Absent in the Spring, The Rose and the Yew Tree, A Daughter’s a Daughter and The Burden. Christie wrote her famous mystery novels and romance novels simultaneously—a woman of good balance. In her autobiography, she said that Absent in the Spring was “the picture of a woman with a complete image of herself, of what she was, but about which she was completely mistaken. Through her own actions, her own feelings and thoughts, this would be revealed to the reader.” So not only was she mysterious, Christie was a strong female who wrote the stories of other strong females in her fiction.

 

4. She was against violence

 

Strychnine sulphate in a poison bottle

 

Agatha Christie’s murder technique of choice is often poison or her victim getting hit on the head. She avoids violent methods of murder when possible, rarely involving a gun. Hercule Poirot is also a pacifist who doesn’t carry a gun, and bystanders to crimes never shoot the attacker but may tackle him to the ground instead.

 

5. she was prone to sudden disappearances

 

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image by anomalien

 

For ten days in 1926, Agatha Christie disappeared from her home in London. Her sudden vanishing made the newspapers, and police found her abandoned car an hour away from London. Police had to hunt for her on foot and eventually found her listening to a band at a hotel. Christie never mentioned why she had disappeared, but there are plenty of theories ranging from her need to escape her home life, a bout of amnesia, or even an attempt to boost sales.

 

6. she was dared to become a novelist

 

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image by thoughtco.

 

Agatha Christie’s older sister Madge dared Christie, an avid reader and writer, to try writing her own novel. Clearly Christie took that dare to the extreme. Christie’s first novel was The Mysterious Affair at Styles, written during World War I. It was accepted by John Lane in 1920 after being rejected by six publishing companies. Christie was certainly determined and talented enough to become a writer, and us readers are totally grateful for her perseverance.

 

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