NOT YOUR USUAL SUSPECTS

A group blog featuring an international array of killer mystery, suspense, and romantic suspense writers. With premises and story lines different from your run-of-the-mill whodunits, we tend to write outside the box. We blog several times a week on all topics relating to romantic suspense and mystery, our writing, and our readers. We welcome all comments! and often have guest bloggers.

We find our genre delightfully, dangerously, and deliciously exciting - join us here, if you do too!


Julie Moffet . Clare London . Cathy Perkins . Jean Harrington . Daryl Anderson . Nico Rosso . Maureen A. Miller . Marcelle Dube . Sandy Parks . Lisa Q Mathews . Sharon Calvin . Lynne Connolly . Janis Patterson

Monday, December 27, 2010

THE INDIGESTION TABLETS MAY BE A VITAL CLUE...

Good God, am I the first blogger up after Christmas? LOL

I’ve only just managed to roll off the sofa after two days of three full meals, turkey sandwiches, too much Christmas pudding with cream and custard on top, and ALL the orange creams from the selection boxes, to be able to crawl to the keyboard. Catch me quickly, before I fall back to sleep in front of the TV and yet another re-run of Singing in the Rain.

Clare London here... the post-Christmas blob on the straining computer chair.

Hello to you all, and I hope you’re making the most of your Christmas/New Year break! I’m lucky that I have the whole week off from work, though at the moment all I’m managing to do is to watch TV and sleep, but I’m hoping to be more productive as the week wears on.

Right
. LOL.

So… all this TV watching over Christmas has given me food for thought about some of the things I most like to watch, and that’s mystery/crime. And of course, I read and write it too! Funny that, eh?! And if we start to investigate just WHY I like it so much, I wonder if it'll be the same for any other readers?

I like the gradually building suspense - the once-removed shock of sometimes grisly murder - the slow and devious display of clues and conclusions - and the underlying reassurance that the Bad Guy (or Gal) will eventually get their come-uppance.

But most of all, I love to guess WHODUNNIT. Are you the same? How many shows and books do we follow where the crime is investigated - and often solved - by the enthuisiastic amateur? I love the idea that Joe Average can spot the clues that pass the eyes of the trained professionals, that he/she can go where the politically-restrained cannot go, that he/she may pursue truth and justice despite threat to life and limb, and especially if it's to save the one they love.

And yes, many of my books follow that path. I’ve had one release at Carina in 2010 and another scheduled for Feb 2011. Both full of crime, mystery and suspense, though in rather different ways
:)


In Blinded by Our Eyes, the murder happens in Charles Garrett's art studio, and the victim is a man he knew and mentored. He's never faced violence like that before, has always found beauty in life, with its own honesty and rationalty. But all that changes when he starts to investigate just what lay behind the crime. And during his reluctant but determined journey, he discovers both the shocking truth ... and a kind of love he's never found before.

In The Tourist, Ace is a very different kind of explorer - he's a spirit! As a self-confessed sexual adventurer, he "visits" men for fun, joining in their life without them ever knowing he's there. Then comes the day he jumps right into the middle of Ricky and Dan's passionate but troubled relationship, and discovers they're facing danger from Ricky's ex-boyfriend. Will Ace just move on, or will he be tempted to make a proper connection for once, and help them out?

So how many mysteries will you be dipping into this holiday? Hpw many evenings spent in front of TV detectives or reading brooding heroes in blockbuster thrillers? And what do you like best about it all?

Let us know your favourite show this Christmas, and even more importantly - did YOU spot the killer first? :)

Enjoy the rest of your Christmas and a very Happy New Year to you all!
 

Clare London - Writing ... Man to Man
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18 comments:

Chris said...

I have the week off, too! I have one goal - to clean this disaster up. We'll see how I do.

Julie Moffett said...

I'm pretty sure my scale is dysfunctional!! It has this nasty habit of adding five pounds after each holiday! Unbelievable!! :)

I just got a Kindle for Christmas and I'm gleefully loading it up!! Can't wait to get reading!! Happy Holidays!!

Toni Anderson said...

I have been ousted from the TV by ravenous Wii players. I am stacking my PVR with about 6 million movies though. I did watch the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I enjoyed that lots. I knew the bad guy but not sure I figured it out before anyone else would have.
I got a Sony Reader for Xmas! Must now try and load books... :)

Taryn Kincaid said...

Just the kind of weather, time of year, post-holiday recuperation period, what-have-you...for a cozy. Or a hard-boiled who-dunnit!

Tam said...

I spend most weekend mornings with Mystery channel on TV with endless reruns of Law and Order, CSI, NCIS, Bones, etc. Before I got back into romance I read nothing but police dramas/murder mysteries for years. I have a tendency to lean towards forensic stories, using science to catch the bad guys.

I also read the ending first often. LOL I don't really get off on the guessing who did it myself, I prefer to know and then see how the author laid out the little clues for the hero to find. Where they there or did the ending make no sense. I like to read and go "ah ha, that's where he said X which was a clue". If I don't find out until later who the bad guy was it's possible I wouldn't even know that subtle clue was there. So I prefer to watch my hero's process rather than put myself in his shoes, I like to watch the process rather than be surprised. Although that's good sometimes, but more often than not I'll cheat and read ahead. LOL Bad me, bad.

I'm back to work Wed - Fri. But I was off all last week. The advantage of having no family nearby is I made one large meal and that's it. Not saying I don't eat more than I should, but it's not a constant round of family events and meals. Enjoy your week off.

Clare London said...

Chris: I have about 1200 goals to get done in this Xmas holiday period. I'm now only at #3 *mwahaha*. Never mind, soon be Easter. Good luck with yours!

Julie: ALL scales are dysfunctional, it's a well-known scientific fact :). What fun to have a Kindle, though, I'm sure you're enjoying it.

Toni: my God, I feel for you, my TV's been taken over by an XBox! Is it a world-domination thing?? I liked the Dragon Tattoo movie v much, it was close enough to the book to satisfy me. I want to watch the others now, because the books gradually lost my attention, but I'm hoping the movies don't. And *yay* for Sony readers, that's what I've got and I love it :).

Clare London said...

Taryn: Isn't that just right? I love to stretch my dozy mind on a whodunnit :). Enjoy your reading!

Tam: that's a fascinating approach. It's more 'Colombo' than 'Poirot', do you think? And I can see why the NCIS-type dramas would be your favourite. Personally I like to be a little surprised, but I *also* like to try and spot those subtle clues that are dotted in among the red herrings - that's if the mystery is written well. Of course, unlike you, that usually means when I get to the end I have to read the darned thing again with hindsight :). Have an excellent holiday!

chrissymunder said...

For us this week it's football, football, bowl game, and yes, more dvr'd football. LOL. I don't think I've seen anything else on the television in days.

I take that back - today was Barney all day long. And the Yabba Gabba Dance Party which I don't think comes on Xbox or Wii. :)

I enjoy reading the Thomas Harris, Jeffrey Deaver, Eric Van Lustbader, Marc Odin type of mysteries. Rather like Tam, a lot of police procedurals with a huge emphasis on the scientific method.

(For fun, my word verification is: exume)

Jenny Schwartz said...

I was watching an old episode of Jonathon Creek last night and it reminded me how much I love locked room mysteries.

You know, I've survived Christmas, but I'm not sure I'll survive the leftovers! I think I need to be five years old so I can run around screaming to burn off the sugar-high. Of course, I could just go exercise -- nah.

MaureenAMiller said...

My goal is to make it home. At this post, I'm halfway there. I was attacked by a blizzard!!! I would post a picture of what my hair looked like in the wind this morning, but I really don't want to traumatize everyone. :)
Of course Clare's kitty looks like it has had quite a day too!

Jenre said...

I love mysteries and trying to guess the villain but I'm usually terrible at guessing correctly. Because of this, if I do guess the correct bad buy then I'm ultimately a bit disappointed! I also love those books and shows which tell you the bad guy from the start and you watch the detectives piecing the clues together as the bad guy tries to evade them.

Glad you are enjoying the post-Christmas lull, Clare. Today is the first day of that for me after several days of entertaining and I may not even bother to get dressed :).

stevie-carroll said...

I love mysteries, especially the sort where there's more than one to solve within the same story. I'm also split as to whether I like pro or am detectives, which is probably why Kate Ellis' Wesley Peterson stories appeal so much. There are the police, and the archaeologists, and their various family members all providing different parts of the answers to both the contemporary and the historic mystery (which usually turn out either to be linked or to have some vital element in common).

Marcelle Dubé said...

Hope you survive the holidays, Clare! I like all kinds of mysteries, but do tend toward the cosy and suspense. And while I love the amateur detective, I have a very special place in my heart for Inspector Gamache, in Louise Penny's Three Pines mysteries.

Wynter Daniels said...

I'm with you on the post-holiday poundage. Both books sound terrific - congratulations!

Shirley Wells said...

I bought the same scale as Julie. Always adds five pounds after the holiday. Shall send off for a refund - faulty goods!

I've had a Dexter-fest over the holiday. Oh, and a Val McDermid-fest.

Enjoy the rest of your holiday!

Elise Warner said...

Love the kitten. Spent post Christmas watching Mark Twain's "A Connecticut Yankee" will Will Rogers. Amazing how that early movie entertains. Reading Cleopatra who will always be a mystery.

Jaime Samms said...

I've had two weeks off. They seem so much longer at the beginning, don't they? lol! I haven't watched much TV. Everything was in re-runs, but I do love my crime/police shows sooo much.

So instead I read this little doozy of a book called Blinded by Our Eyes (and I confess to knowing whodunnit from the get-go - sorry, hon.) I'm usually good at figuring those things out. But I was so fascinated by Charle's journey through the veil that separated him from most of what he saw that I didn't mind knowing the answer. (and damn, how I wish I had thought of saying that in the review!!!) I was more interested in whether Charles would retain his own inner beauty and truth. F****** fantastic book, Clare.

What was the question again...?

Clare London said...

Well everyone, I must apologise for not replying to the great comments here - there was some kind of breakdown between Blogger Fingertips and the Keyboard I think, because I was *sure* I'd posted :(. Can Christmas over-eating affect the brain as well??

I think it's best I just (shamefacedly) wish us all a very Happy New Year, to include publishing success, thrilling books to read, excellent recipes, magically easy weight loss and/or elasticated-waist clothing :):).

Happy 2011!

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