Fresh Meat: <i>The Devil's Making</i> by Sean Haldane Fresh Meat: The Devil's Making by Sean Haldane Katherine Tomlinson The virgin son of a parson becomes a constable on the fringe of the empire. <i>Thin Air</i>: New Excerpt Thin Air: New Excerpt Ann Cleeves A Shetland visitor sees a ghost before disappearing into the island mist herself... <i>Neighing with Fire</i>: New Excerpt Neighing with Fire: New Excerpt Kathryn O'Sullivan A tropical storm is no way to start tourist season. <i>The M.O.</i>: A New Theme is Announced! The M.O.: A New Theme is Announced! Crime HQ Start cogitating on this one!
From The Blog
May 4, 2015
Congratulating 2015's Agatha Award Winners!
Crime HQ
May 1, 2015
Orson Welles At 100: The Stranger (1946)
Jake Hinkson
April 30, 2015
True Crime Thursday: Missing!
Crime HQ
April 29, 2015
Women Jailed for Twerking
Teddy Pierson
April 26, 2015
Orson Welles at 100: Citizen Kane (1941)
Jake Hinkson
Mon
May 4 2015 10:15am

Congratulating 2015’s Agatha Award Winners!

Over the weekend at Malice Domestic, the following nominated works (and their authors) won the Agatha Award teapots!

BEST CONTEMPORARY NOVEL:
Truth Be Told by Hank Phillippi Ryan

BEST HISTORICAL NOVEL:
Queen of Hearts by Rhys Bowen

BEST FIRST NOVEL:
Well Read, Then Dead by Terrie Farley Moran

BEST NONFICTION:
Writes of Passage: Adventures on the Writer's Journey by Hank Phillippi Ryan, Editor

BEST SHORT STORY:
“The Odds are Against Us” by Art Taylor, Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine

BEST CHILDREN'S/YOUNG ADULT NOVEL:
The Code Buster's Club, Case #4: The Mummy's Curse by Penny Warner

Sara Paretsky was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award

 

Congratulations to all!

Leading image from the fabulous Dana Cameron's Facebook feed. Two of the coveted teapots and one of the teacups, too. We just had to steal borrow celebrate it!

Sun
May 3 2015 10:15am

Fresh Meat: The Devil’s Making by Sean Haldane

The Devil's Making, a historical mystery by Sean HaldaneThe Devil's Making by Seán Haldane, winner of the Arthur Ellis Award for Best Novel, features a Victorian-era Englishman who becomes a police constable in British Columbia, the ramshackle outer limit of the empire (available May 5, 2015).

In 1868, Chad Hobbes has gone to sea armed with a thirst for adventure, an enthusiasm for all things Darwinian, and a maroon leather-bound journal his mother gave him. One hundred and forty days out of Portsmouth, bound for Vancouver Island, Hobbes is thoroughly sick of the voyage and his companions, particularly the rough-hewn captain of the Ariadne who has nothing but contempt for the colony of British Columbia and even less regard for his civilian passenger.

The youngest, virgin son of a parson—his wastrel older brother Henry is safely serving in the Army and still going to church as if he cares about the beliefs that Chad has discarded after sober deliberation—Chad knows he comes across a “niminy-piminy” to those older and more experienced, if not wiser. He hopes “the Colony” will cure him of his ignorance. He may publicly claim to be traveling to see the world, but actually, he’s looking to find himself.

But first he needs to find a job.

[He'll be using shoe leather as much as book learning...]

Sat
May 2 2015 11:45am
Excerpt

Thin Air: New Excerpt

Ann Cleeves

Thin Air by Ann Cleeves is the 6th Shetland Island mystery, in which Detective Jimmy Perez investigates the case of a vacationing woman who disappeared into the mist (available May 5, 2015).

A group of old university friends leave the bright lights of London and travel to Shetland to celebrate the marriage of one of their friends. But, one of them, Eleanor, disappears—apparently into thin air. It's mid-summer, a time of light nights and unexpected mists. And then Eleanor's body is discovered lying in a small loch close to the cliff edge.

Detectives Jimmy Perez and Willow Reeves are dispatched to investigate. Before she went missing, Eleanor claimed to have seen the ghost of a local child who drowned in the 1920s. Her interest in the ghost had seemed unhealthy—obsessive, even—to her friends: an indication of a troubled mind. But Jimmy and Willow are convinced that there is more to Eleanor's death than they first thought.

Is there a secret that lies behind the myth? One so shocking that someone would kill—many years later—to protect?

Chapter One

The music started. A single chord played on fiddle and accordion, a breathless moment of silence when the scene was fixed in Polly’s head like a photograph, and then the Meoness community hall was jumping. Polly had spent thirteen hours on the overnight boat from Aberdeen to Lerwick and when she’d first come ashore the ground had seemed to shift under her feet, and this was another kind of illusion. The music appeared to bounce from the walls and the floor and to push people towards the centre of the room, to lift them onto their feet. Even the home-made bunting and the balloons strung from the rafters seemed to dance. The band’s rhythm set toes tapping and heads nodding. Children in party clothes clapped and elderly relatives clambered from their chairs to join in. A young mother jiggled a baby on her knee. Lowrie took the hand of his new bride, Caroline, and led her onto the dance floor to show her off to his family once more.

[Continue reading Thin Air by Ann Cleeves...]

Fri
May 1 2015 3:30pm

Orson Welles At 100: The Stranger (1946)

By 1945, Orson Welles was in trouble. He had arrived in Hollywood in 1939 like a hero, been welcomed at RKO with the best contract any director had ever been granted. Of course, many of the old guard in town resented the brash radio star, and they resented him further when his first movie, Citizen Kane, brought down the wrath of the Hearst corporation. But few people doubted the quality of Kane.

Welles followed it by directing an ambitious adaptation of The Magnificent Ambersons, producing Journey into Fear, and attempting to make a South American documentary-drama hybri, It’s All True. All of these projects had been flops of one kind or another, and by 1945, Welles knew if he was going to survive in Hollywood, he desperately needed to establish himself as a conventional filmmaker.

He got his shot when producer Sam Spiegel hired him to make The Stranger, a thriller about a woman living in a small college town, who discovers that the mild-mannered professor she has just married is really a notorious ex-Nazi mastermind. Welles was cast as the villain, with Loretta Young as his unsuspecting wife and Edward G. Robinson as the government investigator snapping at his heels.

[Always under fire...]

Fri
May 1 2015 11:00am
Excerpt

Neighing with Fire: New Excerpt

Kathryn O'Sullivan

Neighing with Fire by Kathryn O'Sullivan is the third cozy mystery featuring Fire Chief Colleen McCabe where she believes an unearthed body and a recent fire are linked (available May 5, 2015).

Fire Chief Colleen McCabe is enjoying a quiet summer and her budding romance with Sheriff Bill Dorman. However, her peaceful start to the tourist season is shattered when a tropical storm blows through Corolla and unearths a body buried under a vacation home boardwalk. When callous land developer Denny Custis dies in a suspicious fire, Colleen has a hunch the two deaths are linked.

As she and Bill investigate, they discover that virtually everyone, including Colleen, has had a beef or run-in with Denny and a motive for murder. When Pinky Salvatore becomes the primary suspect, Colleen is determined to clear his name. Despite his and Denny's well-documented housing development rivalry, Colleen is convinced that the real killer is still out there.

While digging through an ever-widening list of suspects, Bill and Colleen become embroiled in a vicious battle between those committed to saving Corolla's wild horses, those protecting the endangered piping plover shore bird, and a greedy tour company who would destroy their habitats.

Prologue

Sometimes death comes quietly, and sometimes it thunders in on the wave of a tropical storm. Tropical Storm Ana to be exact. After having wreaked havoc as a hurricane in Florida, Ana had been downgraded to a tropical storm and was now hitting the idyllic beach of the Outer Banks village of Corolla with sheets of driving rain and a storm surge that clawed at the dunes.

[Continue reading Neighing with Fire by Colleen McCabe!]

Fri
May 1 2015 9:00am

The M.O.: A New Theme is Announced!

Like a repeat offender, The M.O. is back! Write a crime story related to the theme of “Wishful Thinking” in one-thousand to fifteen-hundred words.

The theme can be interpreted widely, in whatever style, tone, subgenre, targeted age range, and/or era the writer chooses. If you ever see stuff like it here, we're interested!

On Friday, May 15th, 2015, the steel-toothed maw of submissions will again creak open (watch your fingers!) at 12:01 a.m., Eastern U.S. time zone.  Here's where to check out all The M.O.'s submission guidelines and important dates.

Maybe your very-short story will eventually share a cell with S.W. Lauden's “Fix Me.” And just see how happy joining the Rogues' Gallery of our shortlisters made K.M. Rockwood... Don't fight the joy!

Thu
Apr 30 2015 6:30pm

2015’s Edgar Awards: Mystery’s Faithful Gather

Once a year, the mystery writing community reaches critical mass in a place filled with the greatest living purveyors of the genre. The moment occurs at the Edgar Allan Poe Awards Dinner hosted by the Mystery Writers of America. This year, it took place on April 29 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York. (See the bottom of the post for a complete list of winners.)

To say that attending the Edgars is a religious experience isn’t as blasphemous as you might imagine. For, as the great James Ellroy said when accepting his Grand Master Lifetime Achievement Award, “What better place to bow my head in prayer than in a room full of people who worship the book?”

And there was worshiping.

Because, as the Edgars have proven throughout the 69 years of their existence, there are no more devoted mystery fans than the writers themselves. Spending an evening amidst your idols is bound to produce a certain amount of awe and reverence.

[Count us among the faithful...]

Thu
Apr 30 2015 1:00pm
Excerpt

Don’t Go Home: New Excerpt

Carolyn Hart

Don't Go Home by Carolyn Hart is the 25th cozy mystery in the Death of Demand series about Annie Darling, owner of a mystery bookstore (available May 5, 2015).

Annie Darling, owner of the Death on Demand mystery bookstore, is hosting a party to celebrate successful Southern literary icon—and former Broward’s Rock resident—Alex Griffith and his bestselling new novel, Don’t Go Home. But after the local paper announces that Griffith aims to reveal the real-life inspirations behind his characters, perhaps the author should take his own advice. Not everyone in town is ready to give him a glowing review.

As Annie attempts damage control, her friend Marian Kenyon gets in a heated argument with Griffith. It’s a fight Annie won’t soon forget—especially after the author turns up dead.

Despite an array of suspects to match Griffith’s cast of characters—and a promise to her husband, Max, to steer clear of sleuthing—Annie’s not about to let the police throw the book at her friend when the real killer remains at large…

1

Rae Griffith welcomed the caress of the ocean breeze. Tiny fish formed a dark cloud near her bare feet. Despite the shimmering loveliness of the aquamarine water, she wasn’t enchanted. A few years ago to be here with Alex would have been glorious . . .

[Continue reading Don't Go Home by Carolyn Hart!]

Thu
Apr 30 2015 10:15am

True Crime Thursday: Missing!

What's missing this True Crime Thursday? An art dealer's head, a Florida toddler and the maternal sense of a common water rat, and finally, a couple of fingers on a young agent's instructor.

Dancing with Death by Shanna Hogan is a true story of before and after. She was a glamorous showgirl, previously a stripper and married before... six times. He was her wealthy husband, who disappeared, and after that, was found as a headless, limbless torso.

Mommy's Little Girl by Diane Fanning details the unfolding events as three year-old Caylee Anthony vanished from her home in 2008. Inside the Mind of Casey Anthony by Keith Ablow, M.D. attempts to explain what was deficient in that household, so “devoid of emotional oxygen that it eventually becomes incompatible with sustaining human life.”

Good Hunting: An American Spymaster's Story by Jack Devine is a historical memoir by 32-year CIA  member and eventual acting deputy director of operations that starts during the Cold War and ends in Afghanistan.

When he took to the podium, we held back a collective gasp. A jagged V-shaped scar covered a good part of his forehead. If that wasn’t enough, he was missing a couple of fingers. He extolled the excitement of working with explosives. He also stressed the need for caution when handling such materials....I received my lowest grade in this course, and a not-so-gentle note for my file suggesting that I “not be allowed to handle explosives.” The irony is that, in the mid-1980s, I probably handled more explosives than any other CIA officer in history.

With all that's gone, we're sure glad to be here!

Wed
Apr 29 2015 11:00am
Excerpt

Tom Clancy’s Op-Center: Into the Fire: New Excerpt

Dick Couch and George Galdorisi

Into the Fire is a brand new addition to Tom Clancy's Op-Center series about a group of group of U.S. forces stranded on a small island near North Korea. The series was created by Tom Clancy and Steve Pieczenik, and is now being written by Dick Couch and George Galdorisi (available May 5, 2015).

When a team of assassins murder a high-ranking North Korean general and his family in their sleep, making it look like a robbery, events are set in motion that could shake the balance of world powers. Meanwhile, a U.S. naval combat ship, the USS Milwaukee, is attacked by North Korean forces in the middle of a training exercise off the shore of South Korea, and Commander Kate Bigelow is forced to ground the ship to avoid being captured. The crew takes refuge on a tiny island, trapped dangerously between the grounded ship and a fleet of hostile North Korean soldiers.

Op-Center intelligence discovers a secret alliance behind the attack—a pact between China and North Korea that guarantees China total control of a vast oil reserve found beneath the Yellow Sea. As both sides marshal their forces for a major confrontation at sea, Chase Williams and his Op-Center organization devise a plan to secretly spirit the American crew from the island and out from under North Korean control. But the North Koreans are not finished. In a desperate gamble, they unleash a terrorist cell on the American homeland. Only Op-Center can uncover their plan and stop it in time to prevent a major catastrophe that could lead to all-out war.

[Start reading Tom Clancy's Op-Center: Into the Fire now!]

Wed
Apr 29 2015 8:45am

Women Jailed for Twerking

Three women have been tossed in jail after they filmed themselves twerking next to a World War II monument in Russia, Yahoo News reported.

A court in southern Russia has sentenced three young women to  jail for making a video showing them twerking next to a World War II memorial. Prosecutors said in a statement that the women were found guilty of “hooliganism.”

The court gave two of the dancers 10 days in jail each; a third received 15 days, and the parents of another underage dancer were charged for “the failure to encourage the physical, intellectual, physiological, spiritual and moral development of a child.” Two more young ladies from the video were spared jail time because of poor health.

Remember… If you twerk in Russia — Russia will twerk you!

Tue
Apr 28 2015 3:30pm

Gotham: 1.21 “The Anvil or the Hammer”

Barbara Kean in Detective Comics #500 / DC Comics

I know, a lot happened last night on Gotham, particularly the gang war set up for the finale of this season, but first, let’s talk about a character whose failure to become more than cardboard is indicative of Gotham’s overall failings.

In all her incarnations, Barbara Kean has never come off well. In the 1970s, she didn’t even have a name, she was simply Jim Gordon’s late wife and Barbara Gordon’s mother. She was finally given life by Alan Brennert and Dick Giordano in 1981, in the classic “To Kill A Legend” story in Detective Comics #500.  (Brennert complained of receiving no compensation for co-creating Kean when Gotham added her to its list of characters.)

In Batman: Year One, Frank Miller wrote Kean as a long-suffering wife, a pale shade of Detective Sarah Essen, Gordon’s true love. Eventually, the elder Barbara died in a car accident. Sometimes Barbara (Batgirl) Gordon was her daughter, sometimes her niece. More recently, Kean was written as slightly mentally unbalanced due to terrorization by her firstborn, the unhinged Jim Gordon, Jr.

The first reports of Gotham cited Barbara Kean as a doctor, a definite step up in her characterization. I’m not sure what happened to that angle, but instead, we’ve gotten Barbara going from Jim’s supportive girlfriend to drug-addicted girlfriend of Detective Renee Montoya, to passively floating through life, to Selina’s fashion consultant, to outright victim.

Gotham 1.21: The Anvil or the Hammer, Erin Richards as Barbara Kean, Milo Ventimiglia as Christian Grey, the Ogre

[She's pretty in pink...]

Tue
Apr 28 2015 12:00pm

Now Win This!: Global Getaway Sweepstakes

It's time to pack your bags and escape away from everything in these eight global getaways. Just don't forget to pack your camera!

Click here to enter for a chance to win!

This is NOT a Comments Sweepstakes. You must click the link above to enter.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. A PURCHASE DOES NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING. Sweepstakes open to legal residents of 50 United States, D.C., and Canada (excluding Quebec), who are 18 years or older as of the date of entry. Promotion begins April 28, 2015, at 12:00 pm ET, and ends May 12, 2015, 11:59 am ET. Void in Puerto Rico and wherever prohibited by law. Click here for details and official rules.

[So where exactly are we going...]

Tue
Apr 28 2015 9:00am

Sherlock Holmes and the Killer Bees: A Taste for Honey

From Robert Downey Jr.’s period, pulp-action hero to Benedict Cumberbatch’s autism-spectrum, modern genius to Hugh Laurie’s narcissistic Dr. House to Vincent D’Onofrio’s troubled Detective Robert Goren, we’ve seen nearly every conceivable iteration of the Great Detective. What may surprise you, however, is that the first serious, novel-length Holmes pastiche would also later start the killer bee genre of horror films.

In 1941, Gerald Heard published A Taste For Honey under the name H. F. Heard. This short novel introduces us to Sidney Silchester, a resident of a quiet, English village and a reclusive bachelor with a particular fondness for honey. Silchester regularly purchases his sweet treat from the squabbling Heregroves. When Mrs. Heregrove is stung to death and her husband is ordered to destroy his hives, Silchester eyes his dwindling supply with concern, unsure of where he can obtain more. Shortly after, while walking around the village one day, he chances upon a small notice poking through a hedge:

“The Proprietor has at present a certain amount of surplus honey of which he would be willing to dispose.”

Silchester thinks it’s his lucky day. Happily, he continues down the lane and meets with a man who calls himself Mr. Mycroft. His excitement is short-lived however when the old beekeeper explains that Mrs. Heregrove’s death was murder and not an accident. Mr. Heregrove, he explains, has trained his bees to kill!

[Don't leave yet. It's better than it sounds!]

Mon
Apr 27 2015 1:00pm
Excerpt

Your Next Breath: New Excerpt

Iris Johansen

Your Next Breath by Iris Johansen is the fourth thriller in the Catherine Ling series where the CIA operative attempts to put her life back together after finally reuniting with her young son (available April 28, 2015).

Catherine Ling created a brand-new life for herself, far from her rough beginnings on the streets of Hong Kong. But someone has followed her trail...and is playing a deadly game with her, striking closer to her heart with each blow. First, there's the death of the former prostitute who helped Catherine when she was still a child. Next, the CIA operative who had known her ever since she was pulled into the agency at the age of fourteen. And now Luke is in the killer's sights.

Luke is Catherine's only son. Kidnapped when he was only two years old, Catherine devoted nine years of her life to finding him-and she will not lose him again. Can Catherine, who has made countless enemies throughout her life, protect the ones she loves the most-including Eve Duncan, whose forensic skills were instrumental in freeing Luke-without putting her own life at risk? All she knows is that she will die trying...if the killer doesn't get to her first.

Chapter 1
Boskar, Russia

The woman’s throat had been slashed.

[Continue reading Your Next Breath by Iris Johansen!]

Mon
Apr 27 2015 9:30am

Game of Thrones 5.03 “High Sparrow”

Game of Thrones turned into Game of Tug-O-War this week in “High Sparrow,” and a few unfortunate characters found themselves being pulled in two distinctly different directions. Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) turns up at Moat Cailin, a literal crossroads, with two options: return home to Winterfell, marry Ramsay Snow, and stop being a bystander, or continue running, hide away in a tower, and fail to live up to her family's name. Littlefinger (Aiden Gillen), as he’s prone to do, tells Sansa exactly what she needs to hear in order for her to do exactly what he wants:

There’s no justice in the world. Not unless we make it. You loved your family; avenge them.

The terrain on Sansa’s path to revenge was always going to be tough, but adding Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon) to the equation erects an obstacle that will be difficult to conquer. Speaking of erect, King Tommen (Dean-Charles Chapman) officially wed Queen Margaery (Natalie Dormer), and the new pair celebrated with an immediate consummation. Despite this, Tommen is still seen as a boy, as evidenced by the way both Margaery and Cersei (Lena Headey) try to control him.

Arya (Maisie Williams) may have finally been granted admission to The House of Black and White, but she won’t learn anything until she can shed her identity and become No One. Yet in spite of all of the awfulness being a Stark has brought upon her, she finds herself unable to don a completely new persona.

Between the voyage across the Narrow Sea and now the journey towards Meereen, Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) has experienced the inside of enough boxes for one lifetime, so when he demands to get out and stretch his legs, Varys (Conleth Hill) understandingly obliges – chances of recognition be damned. Perhaps Varys would have been wise to be a bit more cautious, because after a brief trip to the bathroom, Tyrion finds himself not only recognized, but tied up and gagged by none other than the wayward Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen). He tells Tyrion he’s taking his new hostage to the queen, but with so many women in charge, we’re left wondering where exactly he’ll be brought.

On to this week’s Riser of the Week!

[smirk smirk…]

Sun
Apr 26 2015 8:00pm

Tales of the Grim Sleeper: 25 Years of Killings and Looking the Other Way

When a serial killer eludes capture for the better part of three decades, it’s usually because of careful preparation, elusive tactics, and near-perfect execution, but that is not the case when it comes to Lonnie Franklin Jr., the subject of HBO’s newest documentary Tales of the Grim Sleeper (premieres tomorrow, April 27, at 9 p.m. EST). In order to fully comprehend how Lonnie’s sexual crimes and murders (which include at least ten women and could be as many as 100) would go uncaught for 25 years, a better understanding of the surrounding factors is needed – something wonderfully flushed out by the documentary’s director Nick Broomfield.

Lonnie lived in South Los Angeles – an area where less than 50% of its population graduates high school, and drug use is so rampant, that the industry employs more people than Xerox, AT&T, and IBM combined. Like many other drug-ridden areas, South L.A is saturated with prostitution, with women of all ages loitering on street corners looking to make a quick buck. For Lonnie, these women's dependence on drugs made them easy targets. He capitalized on their desparation by throwing around the money he acquired from dealing stolen goods. If you ever needed anything – a television, electronics, even a car – all you had to do was ask Lonnie, and he’d have it for you in a few days. Theft is one thing, but murder is a completely different beast, and when Lonnie was finally arrested in 2010, his friends assumed he’d been caught stealing cars. When news came out that he was a serial killer, dubbed “The Grim Sleeper,” Lonnie’s friends simply refused to believe that it was possible, going as far as to harass and insult Broomfield while he was gleaning the neighborhood for bits of information.

[It's not just a river in Egypt...]

Sun
Apr 26 2015 12:00pm

Orson Welles at 100: Citizen Kane (1941)

One approaches Citizen Kane slowly because of the enormous reputation that surrounds it like the vast fields, cages, and lagoons that lead up to Xanadu. Almost no one sees it for the first time without being over-prepared for it. All the plaudits, all the scholarly works, all the pop culture references—they sprawl about the film itself, always threatening to make it into the kind of museum piece Charles Foster Kane would have boxed up in Europe and shipped back to the states, never to see again. Sure, the film has lasted over seventy years, but so what? The relative youth of cinema (only about 114 years) gives us a trivial view of eternity. As Kane's director once said in another of his films, most of our art is destined to fall into the “universal ash.” Citizen Kane may yet become just another forgotten artifact.

But for now Kane still lives, and what an amazing film it turns out to be after the fifth, the tenth, the twentieth viewing. I lost count a long time ago how many times I’ve seen this movie—hell, I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seen it projected in a theater—yet more than most other movies it continues to fascinate me. Perhaps more importantly, it continues it entertain me.

[When you boil it down, isn't that what it's all about?]

Sat
Apr 25 2015 12:00pm

Fresh Meat: Day Shift by Charlaine Harris

Day Shift by Charlaine Harris transports readers back to the dusty town of Midnight, Texas, where all sorts of paranormal happenings occur in this second book in the trilogy (available May 5, 2015).

Midnight, Texas, could be just another dusty spot in the roads outside Dallas except that it’s a place created by Charlaine Harris. That, of course, means nothing is as it seems.

We came to learn about Midnight in the first book of a trilogy, Midnight Crossroad. It’s a small town that looks more deserted than inhabited with a lot of boarded windows and empty buildings. There’s big news in town, however, when an abandoned hotel is set upon by a construction crew with a hard-edged woman heading up the project. Everyone is Midnight is curious, especially about who would possibly want to stay overnight in the little town.

With the exception of Lemuel, the resident vampire, everyone is in town. The cast includes Fiji, the witch and her cantankerous cat, Mr. Snuggly; Manfred, the resident psychic; Joe and Chuy, owners of the antique/nail shop; Bobo, who operates the local pawn shop; Madonna and Teacher Reed with their infant son, Grady, who run the diner; and the Rev, the mysterious clergyman who operates the pet cemetery.

[Talk about an eclectic town...]

Fri
Apr 24 2015 4:15pm

From the Bleeding Heart of Fandom: A Buffy Confab with Dana Cameron, Charlaine Harris, and Toni L. P. Kelner

This fannish confab about Buffy the Vampire Slayer, with Dana Cameron, Charlaine Harris, and Toni L.P. Kelner, is gleefully offered in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of Mystery Writers of America.

 

Did you watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer from the very beginning?  If not, what lured you in?

Charlaine: I had seen the original movie. (It pales in comparison to the show, but it has its moments.) So I was ready to love the show. My husband liked Buffy just as much as I did, though possibly for different reasons. We both felt that Buffy was a great role model in a lot of ways: she was strong and brave, she spoke her mind, and she tried to do what was right, not what was popular. Though Buffy was pretty, she never traded on that; in fact, no one could be less flirtatious than Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar). I’d never met anyone like her, and I always wanted to! No matter what happened to Buffy Summers, she regained her strength. She would rally! We had her back! Well, us and the Scooby gang.

Toni: Yes and no. I saw the original awful movie, but didn’t get into the TV show until the second or third season, when the ads sucked me in.

Dana: Not until Season 2 or 3; I'd seen the movie and thought it had something. Wasn't sure what. I was flipping past an action scene, paused, and thought “What would make it really cool is if one of them said X (in response to whatever was happening).” And then someone said X!  I knew then it was a totally different kind of show and was hooked. 

[Fave episodes, Scoobies, villains ahead...]