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Buy Private Investigations: Mystery Writers on the Secrets, Riddles, and Wonders in Their Lives by Victoria Zackheim from Australia's Online Independent Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
Book DetailsISBN: 9781580059213
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Book Review: Private Investigations: Mystery Writers on the Secrets, Riddles, and Wonders in Their Lives by Victoria Zackheim - Reviewed by CloggieA (29 Apr 2020)
4 stars Private Investigations is a collection of non-fiction stories from twenty mystery writers: stories of secrets, riddles and wonders of their lives. It is edited by Victoria Zackheim.
Many of the stories in this collection are the perfect length for reading in small bites. Highlights are the contributions by Robert Dugoni, Sulari Gentill, Caroline Leavitt, Steph Cha, William Kent Krueger, Kristen Lepionka, Martin Limon, Halie Ephron and Carole Nelson Douglas.
Hallie Ephron writes about a friend’s communication with her murdered brother. Jeffery Deaver solves the mystery of being able to live a writer’s life. Sulari Gentill describes the unexplained boy in family photos that fascinated during childhood. Cara Black connects with Paris as a writing experience inspired by Maigret. Connie May Fowler veers from a youthful suicide attempt to a Mexican operating theatre via a cruel mother. Martin Limon ponders the mystery of life: food, clothing, love and the puzzle of language as a young soldier in post-war Korea, and the secret society that is the US military. Willian Kent Krueger relates how writing Ordinary Grace helped unravel for him the mystery of his beautiful, talented, clairvoyant, alcoholic, mentally ill mother and his own habit of fabrication. Ausma Zehanat Khan explains how the mysteries of her family’s past are incorporated into her writing. Kristen Lepionka describes a series of eerie, unexplained incidents in a new apartment that could be a haunting. Lynn Cahoon always wondered how women in bad relationships didn’t see the monster they were living with until she ended up there herself. Rhys Bowen muses on how and why her fascination with wartimes became a significant part of her novels. Rachel Howzell Hall describes how a diagnosis introduced a whole new, unwelcome vocabulary and resulted in her punching back with words in novels. Steph Cha at twenty-one, a ground-floor apartment, a peeping tom in the alley, frozen: insight into failure to defend oneself and ever-present danger. Jacqueline Winspear muses (at length) on how she came to write about the war and crime and mystery, influenced by her family’s wartime experience and her mother’s career. Tasha Alexander asks “Can we live without mystery?” Short answer: no. Think Princes Diana’s death, Kennedy assassination, the Romanovs… Carole Nelson Douglas’s father’s sudden and forever absence at a young age, and being an only child left to find answers for herself, gave her a lifelong need to solve life’s mysteries small and large. Career godfathers played a large part. Caroline Leavitt mysteriously loses her voice. On the long path to recovery and a new voice, she becomes a pantser rather than a plotter, both in writing and life. Charles Todd details the meticulous research undertaken to make his wartime mysteries authentic. Robert Dugoni accidentally discovers at twelve years old that “It is the biggest mystery in writing— how to emotionally touch your reader with just your words.” But it takes many years and a non-renewal of a contract before he understands the way to do that is to write from the heart and not the brain. Anne Perry says much the same, just not as well… This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by NetGalley and Perseus Books
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