When a mud marathon champion bites the dust, Meg Reed has to go the distance to make sure a killer comes clean…
Back home in Portland, Oregon, Meg is ready to take her career as an outdoor writer for Extreme magazine to the next level. Lesser journalists sling mud—Meg plans to run through it. To train hard for Mud, Sweat & Beers, an extreme 5K mud run, she’s signed on with the Mind Over Mudder team, run by ten-time mud marathon champ—and former drill sergeant—Billy the Tank.
But when Meg finds her tenacious trainer dead in the locker room, she has a sinking feeling someone may have been pushed too far. Digging through the hidden secrets at Mind Over Mudder is a dirty job, but somebody’s got to do it. Meg will have to tread carefully, though—or she may soon be running for her life…
Classic Hollywood. Silver Screen Style. Vintage Murder. A champagne cocktail of a mystery covered in movie magic stardust
December 1938. Lillian Frost has plunged head first into a world of boldfaced names and endless glamour as social secretary to movie-mad millionaire Addison Rice. Costume designer Edith Head is now in charge of Paramount Pictures’ wardrobe department, although her position is precarious: potential replacements are being auditioned on a regular basis. The two friends again become partners thanks to an international scandal: a real-life incident, a historical footnot long forgotten, in which the war clouds gathering over Europe cast a shadow on Hollywood.
At a swanky Manhattan dinner party the well-heeled guests speak ill of Adolf Hitler in front of a German maid with Nazi sympathies. The secrets she spills soon have all of New York society running for cover--and two of Paramount’s biggest stars, Jack Benny and George Burns, facing smuggling charges.
When an émigré composer seeking work at Paramount is found dead, Marlene Dietrich tells Edith she blames agents of the Reich. As Lillian and Edith unravel intrigue that extends from Paramount’s fabled Bronson Gate to FDR’s Oval Office, only one thing is certain: they’ll do it in style.
When the Queen of Crime takes a break from penning her own mysteries who does she read? Elizabeth Daly!
In one interview or another Christie stated that Elizabeth Daly was her favorite American mystery writer and unsurprisingly I agree with the great lady! Daly’s mysteries really are very fun to read. Why? Daly does a wonderful job of pairing a murder mystery with something vaguely absurd like a Victorian death mask (on steroids) with buttons or Byron’s poetry with a governess reappearing from her vacation on an astral plain. Plots which sound odd but when boiled down to their essence all have very rational means, motive and opportunity when ferreted out by the proper detective. The proper detective being the some what reluctant Henry Gamadge - who is sensible, down to earth and so charming that even Anthony Boucher stated Gamadge, “…is a man so well-bred as to make Lord Peter Wimsey seem a trifle coarse.” high praise indeed!
But one of the things which I love about this series, unlike so many of the mysteries of this period - the Gamadge mysteries should be read in order. Henry Gamadge collects people as he makes his way through life (as we all do) with each person growing as they make their way along the long road. Which makes stepping into each book feel like you are catching up with old friends - life happens between each book.
Plus each book ties some sort of biblio or paper based ephemera into the mystery one way or another - without ever falling into the theme trap. Since Gamadge is a documents expert and bibliophile, any kind of ink on paper falls within his set of skills. Each bit of paper Gamadge works with is essential to the mystery investigation and Daly never throws it in just for effect (which often happens in themed mysteries these days). Plus there is a bit of the absurd, humor and warmth to the writing - which makes me think that Daly liked writing about Gamadge and his exploits. Unlike so many mystery novelists (including Christie) who didn’t always like their creations. Plus the plotting and pacing in Daly’s mysteries are great and she plays by the rules!
"…I was born to perturb the orbits of others, myself remaining unsuspected and unseen"
From: Deadly Nightshade
This is one of the best descriptions of Henry Gamadge I have read so far…
(We feel like Steve Martin being excited about the new phone books…)
These are our fourth different style of shop mug. The manufacturers keep discontinuing our styles! Our first ones were big black mugs with red lettering and question marks. The second were the classic red diner mugs, with black printing. Then came the matte black mugs that we used as rewards for the Go Fund Me project. We could’ve ordered more of those but we wanted them to be unique to the fundraiser so we went with something different. The new ones are red with the shop name and the new shop logo (the one on our website) in black. These are meant to look distressed, sorta like old camp mugs. What you see is what you’re supposed to see and you can see them on our shop blog and, soon, on the website itself. Good for large cups of java, tea, soup or targetpractice!
Evan Smoak, the Nowhere Man, returns in the sequel to Fran's favorite Orphan X.
Spoken about only in whispers, it is said that when the Nowhere Man is reached by the truly desperate, he can and will do anything to save them.
Evan Smoak is the Nowhere Man.
Taken from a group home at twelve, Evan was raised and trained as part of the Orphan program, an off-the-books operation designed to create deniable intelligence assets—i.e. assassins. Evan was Orphan X. He broke with the program, using everything he learned to disappear and reinvent himself as the Nowhere Man. But the new head of the Orphan program hasn’t forgotten about him and is using all of his assets—including the remaining Orphans—to track down and eliminate Smoak.
But this time, the attack comes from a different angle and Evan is caught unaware. Captured, drugged, and spirited off to a remote location, heavily guarded from all approaches. They think they have him trapped and helpless in a virtual cage but they don’t know who they’re dealing with—that they’ve trapped themselves inside that cage with one of the deadliest and most resourceful Orphans.
The newest installment in the Jane Ryland Series! Out this November!
When Boston reporter Jane Ryland reports a hit and run, she soon learns she saw more than a car crash—she witnessed the collapse of an alibi. Working on an expose of sexual assaults on college campuses for the station’s new documentary unit, Jane’s just convinced a date rape victim to reveal her heartbreaking experience on camera. However, a disturbing anonymous message—SAY NO MORE—has Jane really and truly scared.
Homicide detective Jake Brogan is on the hunt for the murderer of Avery Morgan, a hot-shot Hollywood screenwriter. Her year as a college guest lecturer just ended at the bottom of her swimming pool in the tight-knit and tight-lipped Boston community called The Reserve. As Jake chips his way through a code of silence as shatterproof as any street gang, he’ll learn that one newcomer to the neighborhood may have a secret of her own.
A young woman faces a life-changing decision—should she go public about her assault? Jane and Jake—now semi-secretly engaged and beginning to reveal their relationship to the world—are both on a quest for answers as they try to balance the consequences of the truth.
Golden Age Gals: Elizabeth Daly - Unexpected Night
First Published: New York, Farrar & Rinehart 1940 My Edition: Felony & Mayhem 2013
Detective: Henry Gamadge
Summary: Twenty minutes to twelve on June 25, 1939 finds Henry Gamadge playing bridge with the Barclay household while vacationing in Maine. The exact time is very important to some relatives of the Barclay’s who have just arrived for a brief visit before heading off to their hotel (the same one Gamadge is staying at). Among the new arrival’s number is Amberley Cowden, a very sick young man who in twenty minutes time will gain control over a very large inheritance. Amberley makes it past midnight without any problems. The next morning finds a much different situation when Amberley is discovered dead at the bottom of a cliff….Was it foul play or a tragic accident due to his heart condition? This is what Gamadge needs to figure out!
Review: You know you’ve read to many golden age, locked room detective novels in a row when you start applying their slightly sinister logic to people in real life! Which is exactly what happened to me in the shop a few weeks back…
While working I witnessed one family member trying to persuade another not to purchase anymore books because “she’d spent enough money on books already” (like there is such a thing!). The absolute first thought which popped into my head at this statement was, “What? Is she trying to protect her inheritance?” (as the book buyer was just a touch older). My thought was absolute nonsense and I felt completely silly assigning such a motive to a real life event - but on the upside it did make me stop and laugh at myself!
The important take away here is the fact that this idea flitted through my head at all! Which (I think) is a tribute to how convincing Daly’s writing is (as I’d just finished one, well maybe three of her books in a row) - she makes you see and really understand the motivations of her characters. Why the “poor relations” in Unexpected Night were so keen to make sure Amberley made it to his landmark birthday and the very real tussle over the monetary legacy left when he died (I am not spoiling anything for you here, I promise). You understand why each of the suspects had a reason why Amberley dying at just the right moment could make or break them. She makes her motives feel ordinary, everyday to the point - my conclusion felt like a natural one to make. Which was demonstrated by my poor befuddled mind leaping to such an outrageous deduction while watching the book drama unfolding in the shop. Speculation on inheritance seemed to be logical conclusion on why someone shouldn’t be making a larger book purchase….right?
Plus Daly’s ability to create such a well thought out means and method to her mystery set a very enjoyable pace in Unexpected Night. I was never sure when a pertinent fact was going to crop up, so I felt compelled to read well into the night to make sure I wasn’t going to stop right before a crucial event! I can honestly say I haven’t enjoyed another pure mystery series this much since I finished my last Marple on March 18, 2014!
"Mr. Ormville sat back in his chair and contemplated Gamadge with the air of one who has stroked the house cat, and had his thumb bitten."
Another great description of Henry Gamadge!
Cheating: Here is the thing if you are a serial cheater like me (i.e. reading the end of the book before you naturally get there), Daly’s style makes these books physically difficult to cheat on. Why? The last chapter or two may or may not actually pertain or contain the answer you are looking for! Her structure makes it difficult to easily suss out the singular name of who did it. Because while I like to know my sleuth makes it to the end and know if I guessed correctly on the culprit I don’t want every detail of the ending laid out for me! So I guess what I am saying is Daly keeps me honest, which is very difficult to do!
Polly Newton has one single-minded dream, to be a starship pilot and travel the galaxy. Her mother, the director of the Mars Colony, derails Polly's plans when she sends Polly and her genius twin brother, Charles, to Galileo Academy on Earth—the one planet Polly has no desire to visit. Ever.
Homesick and cut off from her desired future, Polly cannot seem to fit into the constraints of life on Earth, unlike Charles, who deftly maneuvers around people and sees through their behavior to their true motives. Strange, unexplained, dangerous coincidences centered on their high-profile classmates begin piling up. Charles may be right—there's more going on than would appear, and the stakes are high. With the help of Charles, Polly is determined to find the truth, no matter the cost.
Sequel to The Immortals! Greek Gods Living In Manhattan...
Winter in New York: snow falls, lights twinkle, and a very disgruntled Selene DiSilva prowls the streets looking for prey.
But when a dead body is discovered sprawled atop Wall Street's iconic Charging Bull statue, it's clear the NYPD can't solve the murder without help. The murder isn't just the work of another homicidal cult -- this time, someone's sacrificing the gods themselves.
While raising fundamental questions about the very existence of the gods, Selene must hunt down the perpetrators, tracking a conspiracy that will test the bonds of loyalty and love.
Steven King, John Steinbeck and Charles Dickens all have a familial tradition of putting pen to paper and I must admit to holding a certain fascination with established lines of authors. Doing what they know - what they were brought up around - (I would think) gives them a bit of an advantage. For an author name recognition and connections cannot hurt when sending manuscripts to publishers and magazines. But sometimes I wonder if there might not be a bit of comparison at work amongst family members… The sneaking suspicion that, if Uncle so-and-so who didn’t know the difference between a lemon and a lime - and he could write great books why can’t I? They may get their foot in the door based on their name - but their imagination, hard work and ability is what keeps them in the game, so to speak.
Now I have no idea if Elizabeth Daly’s uncle knew the difference between his citrus fruits, but I do know he was highly influential theater figure in the mid to late 1800’s. John Augustin Daly was a playwright, theater manager, adapter and critic in both New York and London stages. Who caused George Bernard Shaw no end of consternation for his habitual unorthodox treatment of Shakespearian plays and his cutting the Bard’s text to suit his staging (Shaw believed that there wasn’t ever a good reason to alter Shakespeare’s works).
What remained relatively obscure until after John’s death in 1899 was how involved his brother, Joseph Francis Daly, was in his playwriting. Evidentially a significant amount of collaboration took place between the two brothers. Beyond his playwriting, Joseph also penned John’s biography (published posthumously) as well as many legal papers. Why? He was a Supreme Court Judge for New York County until his reelection defeat in 1898. Joseph had a whole slew of other credits to his name, but these are the salient details for today.
Most significantly or more precisely pertinent to this post is the fact that Joseph Francis Daly was Elizabeth Daly’s father (and father to her two brothers). As a teenager Elizabeth wrote and published some poetry but held a lifelong fascination with detective fiction. Elizabeth went on to graduate in 1901 from Bryn Mawr College and got her masters in English from Columbia University in 1902. She taught for several years at Bryn Mawr College until she moved on to producing plays for amateur theater companies. In the 1930’s she started writing again only this time focusing on detective fiction but failed to find a publisher…. Until 1940 when she created her famous refined but rumpled detective Henry Gamadge - Elizabeth was sixty-two years old (gives us all hope that we can achieve our dreams, not matter how long it takes!). She went onto write sixteen Gamadge mysteries and one stand alone over the next ten years. While her output wasn’t as prodigious as some of her golden age contemporaries, her contribution to the mystery genera as a whole was rewarded (beyond just publication, which I think is a huge in and of itself) in 1960 when she received an Edgar award for her body of work.
Continuing this fine literary tradition was Elizabeth’s niece, Eleanor Daly Boylan. Who wrote stories for Ellery Queen and Alfred Hitchcock magazines and continued the Gamadge series. Only changing the mysteries up a bit from her aunt’s - by featuring Clara instead of Henry as her sleuth (Henry’s wife). Eleanor also participated in her family’s tradition of haunting the boards, focusing on children’s theater and unique puppet shows (incidentally she also wrote at least one book on puppetry) until her death in 2007.
Three generations of writers all making their mark in their respective genres in two different centuries. While Elizabeth Daly never married or had any children, her two brothers (Wilfred & Hamilton) on the other hand had five kids between them. And one of the five - Eleanor Boylan (the author) - who (when she passed away in 2007) had five children of her own, eleven grand children and one great-grand child. Now I wonder if any of them will take up the family tradition and make it four generations of writers spanning three centuries? Wouldn’t that be something!
Detective: Henry Gamadge 1st Book:Unexpected Night (1940) Last:The Book Of Crime (1951) No. of Books in Series: 16
Stand Alone:The Street Has Changed (1941)
Pastiches by Eleanor Daly Boylan: Detective: Clara Gamadge 1st Book:Working Murder (1989) Last:Murder Crossed (1996) No. of books in Series: 5