remarks re: jail, series, victoria thompson and laura childs
happy new year to all. to start 2012, here are three announcements of interest to readers of the whodunit? blog who are also writers
1.The 6th Annual Women Writers’ Winter Retreat
February 24 - February 26, 2012
Write, Read & Relax in Historic Downtown Willough
Phone: (440) 946–1902. please email registration form to Deanna at DeeNCR@aol.com
2. Submission Call - The Columbus Creative Cooperative has announced the theme for a new anthology. The theme is "While You Were Out: Stories of Life and Death and Life".
3. i have a notice on my facebook page (or am i supposed to say 'wall'?) asking if i would be interested in teaching writing or editing students' works in a prison. if any of you are interested, please go to facebook and check out 'audrey lavin.' an interesting coincidence is that i did teach in a prison once. it was the maximum security prison, outside of madrid, spain.
the university of alcala de henares, where i was a fulbright professor teaching american literature and culture, was asked for volunteers to teach at the jail. no one volunteered. it was not perceived as a career-enhancing move, and that's what other professors were interested in. i figured it was an opportunity for me to see a part of spanish life that i would never see as a tourist, so volunteered. my special student was named sammy wafula. he was in prison for murdering his wife. my husband accompanied me on my first few trips to the prison for possible protection. how did i know that sammy wouldn't think i was the spittin' image of that wife??
i will close with notes on two more novels that are good examples of something i've discussed before--not extending a series. i say this with a straight face, knowing that within a month anaphora press should have the third novel in my eloquent murder mystery series, eloquent tattoo, in bookstores and available on line. but i plan eloquent tattoo to be my third and last murder mystery starring professor mary beth goldberg.
on the positive side, i point out that i truly like tea. i am very serious about ordering my teas and brewing cups using tea leaves. i like the ceremony of doing this. not to be confusing, i am not talking here about the japanese tea ceremony, but rather something much simpler, my own breakfast, my own lunch. and charleston, where the novels take place, is indeed a lovely city. but and beware the 'buts' in life, theodosia browning this star of the cozy series, is stuck in the middle of a series that seemingly repeats itself. the three tea house characters are o.k., but (there we go again) the story that surrounds them seems to be the same story i've read a number of previous times. this might be due to the fact that this is the eleventh novel in the series. it's a strain (get it?) for tea to be involved in that many murders.
as the thirteenth novel in the gaslight series, Murder on Sisters' Row (Gaslight Mystery) suffers from the same problem. though not a cozy it is the kind of soft historical novel that is similar. again brave mid-wife sarah brandt faces the dangers of the tenements in nineteenth century new york. i have been consistently amazed with victoria thompson's ability to find new ways and places for our heroine to deliver those babies. this time it is in a house of prostitution. the woman who helps rescue the new mother from the house of prostitution is murdered. sarah and her boyfriend sgt. frank malloy, whose role is getting smaller and weaker, solve the murder. you will too. there is not much of a mystery about it. to me the biggest mystery is why the berkely publishing group didn't put an editor on board to help with point of view and dull dialogue in the 289 page novel.
last week's comment from lauren concurs:
What is wrong with Janet Evanovich? I struggled through Explosive Eighteen: A Stephanie Plum Novel (Stephanie Plum Novels). It was hard to stay interested in the diluted plot that started blah and ended without the promised bang. The loyalty stock Evanovich had created has kept us all reading her last half dozen duds but that party is over. Many reviewers suggest that she publish less and write better. In her earlier books Stephanie Plum was quirky and fun and bewildered about how to handle career and her love life. Stephanie hasn't changed, developed or evolved over the years. In 18- SPOILER ALERT, she destroys her 4th car and has sex with both guys. So I guess in 19 she will be pregnant and have her car insurance canceled.