Bald Trickery: S.S. Van Dine’s Twenty Rules for Writing Detective Stories

EDITOR'S NOTE S.S. Van Dine (1888-1939, real name Willard Huntington Wright) was one of the most popular American mystery writers of the twenties and thirties, and his wealthy amateur sleuth Philo Vance remains one of the great fictional detectives, if not also one of the most insufferable. Read today, Vance comes off as a pompous, … Continue reading Bald Trickery: S.S. Van Dine’s Twenty Rules for Writing Detective Stories

Erle Stanley Gardner

Pseudonyms include A.A. Fair, Grant Holiday, Carleton Kendrake, Charles J. Kenney, Charles M. Green,  Kyle Corning (1889-1970) Although critics sneered and many felt that Erle Stanley Gardner was not a very good writer (Rex Stout, for example, once claimed that the Perry Mason books weren't even novels), ERLE STANLEY GARDNER was one of the bestselling writers of … Continue reading Erle Stanley Gardner

Pulp Fiction Chez Vous: An Introduction to David Montrose’s The Body on Mont-Royal

By Kevin Burton Smith Here we are. David Montrose's The Body on Mont-Royal. The third and final of his books to feature private eye Russell Teed. First published in 1953, by Harlequin. Yes, Harlequin. And now it's finally back in print. Pulp fiction chez nous. As vivid as Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles, as Montreal as … Continue reading Pulp Fiction Chez Vous: An Introduction to David Montrose’s The Body on Mont-Royal

The Literary Life of Ralph Dennis

By Richard A. Moore RALPH DENNIS (1932-1988) was born in South Carolina and had a master’s degree from the University of North Carolina, where he also taught. For mystery fans, Dennis will always be associated with the City of Atlanta, the locale for the twelve novel series about Jim Hardman, former cop and unofficial private … Continue reading The Literary Life of Ralph Dennis

Murder in the Library: General Reference

What? You thought I made this all up, or downloaded it all from Wikipedia? Nope. Here are the books that inspired me to create this site, and the books I've used to cobble it together over the years, as well as the ones I've discovered along the way. If you like this site, you may … Continue reading Murder in the Library: General Reference

Fredric Brown

Pseudonyms include Bob Woehlke (1906-72) "There are no rules. You can write a story, if you wish, with no conflict, no suspense, no beginning, middle or end. Of course, you have to be regarded as a genius to get away with it, and that's the hardest part -- convincing everybody you're a genius." -- Fredric … Continue reading Fredric Brown

Ed Lacy

Pseudonym of Leonard S. Zinberg Other pseudonyms include Steve April (1911-1968) Author Ed Lacy (born Leonard S. Zinberg) is best known for creating the first truly-credible black private eye, Toussaint Moore, in his 1956 novel Room to Swing, for which he won the Edgar for Best Novel. Lacy, in fact, was white, although he was … Continue reading Ed Lacy

“What? You Want It to be Realistic as Well?”

An Essay by Joe Stein So, credibility? Right. Well, as my first agent told me, fiction is life with the boring bits taken out. Only he wasn't 100% right. True, many readers don't want to see their hero doing the washing, or changing the oil filter in the car, but I always thought (for that, … Continue reading “What? You Want It to be Realistic as Well?”

Telling Lies for Fun and Profit

Lawrence Block Writes (and Writes) About Writing   Some writers write. Some writers write about writing. But Lawrence Block does both. And he's damn good at both. No wonder I still hate him. Like many a starting writer, I tried to figure out how to write by reading books and amgazines about writing. Some were … Continue reading Telling Lies for Fun and Profit

Murder in the Library: Writing & The Writing Life

What? You thought I made this all up, or downloaded it all from Wikipedia? Nope. Here are the books that inspired me to create this site, and the books I've used to cobble it together over the years, as well as the ones I've discovered along the way, broken down into various categories. If you … Continue reading Murder in the Library: Writing & The Writing Life