Category Archives: crime

South American mysteries: Garcia-Marquez, Vargas Llosa, and Sabato: three great short novels

These three books will take you to Columbia, Peru, and Argentine. They’re all short enough for an afternoon’s read, great length for a three-to-five hour flight. Chronicle of a Death Foretold (1981) is on my list of all-time favorites. A reporter visits a small … Continue reading

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Clarence Darrow: “Most men haven’t killed anybody but they have read obituaries with pleasure.”

I like to read and write about people implicated in crime. Say you see in your small town weekly that your 60-year-old lesbian mother’s friend Clara, an electrician, died in a work-related accident. You wonder why your mother didn’t tell you when you dropped … Continue reading

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Double Indemnity: You’ve seen the movie but have you read the book?

I recently re-read Double Indemnity, originally published in 1935. It’s a gripping novella not to be missed, whether you’re 15 or 95. In a remarkable twist of morality, Cain has his readers rooting for an anti-hero who really doesn’t deserve the pathos we … Continue reading

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Unsolved murder–New York Met tenor killed, 1949: John Garris, a singer stilled

The Newsweek article read:  Case of the Touring Tenor Backstage at the Fox Theater in Atlanta last week, a Journal photographer, Ed Pierce, was taking routine shots of the Metropolitan Opera touring company. “We always keep pictures of everyone,” reporter … Continue reading

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Enter the Twilight Zone: on their honeymoon, her husband arrested for her sister’s murder

A young man and his bride. It doesn’t matter what their names were. Let sleeping dogs lie. This murky picture is 64 years old. In a late ‘forties Newsweek, it was credited to the Milwaukee Sentinel from International, and the caption … Continue reading

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