crime novels

While quarantine has seemingly slowed down many of our lives, one High Plains poet and author has been keeping very busy. Tonight at 7pm CT, Amarillo-based writer Chera Hammons launches her first novel, Monarchs of the Northeast Kingdom, with an online reading and discussion—and you’re invited.

Men and Women - Thrillers and Mysteries

Feb 8, 2019

Thrillers and mysteries have long been seen as split along gender lines, and for the first 70 years or so of the 20th century, they actually were.  But things have been changing.

Thrillers were originally written by, for, and about men. The earliest thriller, The Riddle of the Sands by Erskine Childer published in 1903, had not a single female character initially until his publisher forced Childer to add a minor woman character to the book.

Sherlock - Science vs. Story?

Feb 6, 2019

I am fortunate to share a neighborhood block with three science professors. I’m a to-the-bone arts and humanities gal, and to say we have different world views would be an understatement.

Not surprisingly, we rarely agree on books. I am a fiction reader interested in the ways characters interact, those squishy emotional areas full of nuance and interpretation. Scientists, they like problems that can be solved—elusive but good, hard facts.

Mystery Classics In The Context Of Today

Jan 30, 2019
Paget Holmes / Wikimedia Commons

You know that dreadful feeling. A friend encourages you to read a classic novel, the one written over 100 years ago, the one you feel like you should have read already. But… it’s gonna feel “dated,” right?

There’s that bloated, purple prose that lumbers across the page until your eyes glaze over. And the hokey way characters wear disguises at parties only to reveal themselves with a vindicated flourish—aha! It’s me, Rochester! Not a fortune-telling old woman!

Scene of the Crime

Jan 14, 2019
ALICE POPKORN / Flickr Creative Commons

I’m Jonathan Baker, a journalist and crime writer in Canyon, Texas, and I’m here to talk to you about our Radio Readers Book Club topic, on crime and suspense books. 

We’ve got a busy spring for all you mystery lovers out there on the High Plains. Over the next three months, we’ll be discussing an overflowing cornucopia of dark deeds and dastardly villains, with regular radio essays—which we call “Bookbytes”—being read by nine different discussion leaders.