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Intent to Sell
by Jeffrey Marks
Hilliard & Harris
|Happy Holidays! |
Laurie R. King on Jane Langton, Gift Ideas for Mystery Lovers, MS Holiday Gift-away and more.
We wanted to thank you all for one of our best years ever at Mystery Scene. We've had a great time in 2010 finding fun books, TV shows, movies, and other criminal delights for your entertainment.
So why not share the fun? In this newsletter, we've pulled together ideas for all the mystery lovers on your holiday gift list and provided links to even more ideas on our website. Lead your friends and family into "a life of crime" - they'll thank you for it!
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Laurie R. King on Jane Langton's
The Diamond in the Window
Noble children, nutty relatives, and magic realism
I must have read Jane Langton's The Diamond in the Window shortly after it was published, in 1962. I was ten years old. It changed my life.
The novel has everything one could possibly want in a tale: noble children,
both present and long lost; a mad uncle and a beleaguered aunt; historical truth and philosophical speculation; an exotic Indian prince and the solid Americana of Concord, Mass. (Old North Bridge; Emerson, Thoreau, and Alcott.) Today, the adventure they are all caught up in would be called magical realism. Langton's deft touch manages to build a story both lighthearted and frightening - darkly, creepily frightening - and the whimsical ink drawings by Eric Blegvad are perfect (make sure you get an illustrated edition.)
If any book made me a writer, it is this one.
The amazing thing to me now is, the book holds up. Most of the fiction we
loved as children goes flat under adult eyes, when cliché and bad writing make one wince, and regret. Not this one. I read it aloud to my own kids 20 years ago, I still read it from time to time, and love it. It's all about the architecture: not only the house itself - "a great wooden Gothic-Byzantine structure, truly in need of painting" - where the key to the mystery is found, but the very real architecture of Eleanor and Edward's inner world. The Diamond in the Window is a child's book, and an adult's book - it is a reader's book. It is also, most emphatically, a writer's book.
Laurie R. King's latest Mary Russell - Sherlock Holmes book is The God of the Hive (Bantam 2010).
"Writers on Reading" is a special ongoing Mystery Scene series available as a first look exclusive to our newsletter subscribers. Next month: Alex Kava.
Overheard - Playing Claus: Authors Give Gifts to Their Own Sleuths
"I would give Gumdrop Coal
a Chihuahua lamp."
- Ken Harmon, author
The Fat Man: A Tale of North Pole Noir
More gift ideas for detectives from their creators online
Playing Claus Part One
Playing Claus Part Two
Give the Gift of Mystery Scene this HolidayAnd be entered to win our Thrilling Holiday Gift-away, four gripping reads including Moonlight Mile by Dennis Lehane, Coming Back by Marcia Muller, Worth Dying For by Lee Child, and Chasing the Night by Iris Johansen.
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