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Big, not in the sense of size but in that Symons was a long-active critic who hands down judgments on the various books and authors covered. Which brings us to the real problem with this book—its reflexive de This is one of the big histories of the genre, right? Because Symons says so! Jul 04, Francis rated it really liked it.

A literary guide and critique of Detective fiction writing If you are seeking a well written and comprehensive guide to mystery writing this may be the best in a limited field. The books strengths lie in it's comprehensive treatment of the mystery genre. In particular it is a gold mine of mystery writers for you to consider from Poe to Rendell. Be warned however if your interest is strictly with current mystery writers, this book was last published in the 90's.

Personally, I found the book a great A literary guide and critique of Detective fiction writing If you are seeking a well written and comprehensive guide to mystery writing this may be the best in a limited field. Personally, I found the book a great aide for filling out a mystery wish-list. And for me, I now consider my wish-list to be adequately stocked at least a decade or more. Be warned however, the author is opinionated, but then the point of the book is to offer opinions, good and bad, so, if some of your favourite authors are slighted, take it with a grain of salt.

If I had a complaint, which I do of course, it would be the organization of the book. He starts with a pretty straight forward chronological approach starting with Poe and Collins and working his way through the early classic period, Holmes and Co. While these chapters are enjoyable they seemed to take the book from a linear disciplined historical approach to more of a hodgepodge of opinions and curiosities. I thought the content valid but would have been better suited within the chronological framework rather than having discussions of people like Edgar Wallace, Mickey Spillane and Martin Cruz Smith's "Gorky Park" lumped together in a single chapter.

This is a critical analysis of the mystery and crime genre from its beginning in the late 's with the detective short story through the 's and the psychological thriller.

It predicts the complex emotional novels of the 21st century. Symons is both sarcastic and unrelenting in his analysis and has made me want to read authors I have not yet read, and has unfortunately made me rethink my devotion to certain authors from the golden age. It was not necessarily entertaining, but it was in This is a critical analysis of the mystery and crime genre from its beginning in the late 's with the detective short story through the 's and the psychological thriller.

It was not necessarily entertaining, but it was informative. Jan 09, Olavo Soares rated it it was amazing. This is a remarkable book. By far the best and most comprehensive story of the genre of mystery novels that I have ever seen. This book is also a unique source of further readings on the subject, as Mr Symons provides us with great reviews about the most significant books and authors. It is not a cold treatise, because the author's opinions are given in a rather personal and informal way. Apr 18, Sophia rated it liked it Shelves: Mar 18, Luis Minski rated it it was amazing.

Feb 28, Naomi rated it liked it. Aug 04, Kestrell rated it it was ok. As the author of this book might phrase it, he and I are not in sympathy with one another. A number of times he singles out Dorothy Sayers's Lord Peter Wimsey books for scathing criticism regarding Sayers's class snobbery and her anti-Jewish attitude, but then he goes on to extol the qualities of a number of books which feature Oxford dons, as if, before World War II, an Oxford education wasn't a privilege of class.

The anti-Jewish attitudes are also a manifestation of that period, and show up i As the author of this book might phrase it, he and I are not in sympathy with one another. The anti-Jewish attitudes are also a manifestation of that period, and show up in many of the golden age detective novels. The author also specifically links women writers of this period with conservative attitudes, but again, this characteristic was shared by male authors also. Further on, Symons dismisses Borges and Eco as too "jokey," and then goes on to dismiss modern literary theory as just silly, but doesn't really provide any argument other than to say that detective fiction, like other forms of pop culture, is not an art and thus does not deserve serious literary consideration.

Finally, although I read the third revised edition, which is copyrighted in the '90s, the author barely covers any novels dated after the early s, and he gives the impression that this is because nothing of any merit has developed since then. Ultimately, this book is worth skimming if you are interested in golden age detective fiction and if you purchase a cheap used edition. Mar 14, Gail rated it liked it Shelves: I had hunted this old gem down for years before managing to get a copy.

Symons is widely read in the mystery genre, and has excellent insight and a good bit of humor as well. I dno't always agree with his assessments, but his arguments are clear and precise. Recommended to anyone interested in the history of fictional detection. Sep 12, Robert Stewart rated it it was amazing. I'm surprised this book isn't more highly rated. I might not agree with all his assessments, but it's very comprehensive and Symons gives you a good idea of what to expect from authors you haven't read before. Is there anyone who's done it better?

Sep 15, Jaye rated it really liked it. Truthfully, I read snippets. This novel is how Zofia, owner of a small independent bookstore in pre-Katrina New Orleans, ended up thrust in the middle of intrigue -- she wakes up to a murder in her bookstore. What I really appreciate is the lack of heavy-handed and artificial application of literary tension. The words come smoothly and naturally, and before long, the novel was over, leaving me wanting more.

Yes, there were plot twists, but none felt contrived. When I first read this, I said I'll buy it. If you're a fan of mysteries, you should too. One person found this helpful 2 people found this helpful. I loved this book! Zoe Smith is one of the most endearing heroines I've run across in a long time. The humor that's interspersed throughout the story is a lovely sidebar to engrossing mystery story. The characters are presented as people you know They're all human and endearing in their own ways.

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I hated to leave them at the end of the book! I heartily compliment Ms Kulig on handling the romance angle with the delicacy that kept it from being tacky. Made me wish I was young enough to fall in love again! I won't comment too much on the story line, as not to ruin it for anyone fortunate enough to purchase this gem. All I can say is that you're in for a tremendously enjoyable read! Following an attempt on her life, things get more and more complicated as she finds the assistance of a handsome investigator and her family background moves to the foreground.

All around, it's got romance, suspense, action, and a wonderfully written New Orleans backdrop, the best I've seen in a while. Great job, four stars! A intelligent, warm, funny and engrossing murder mystery. It ensnares you from the moment you meet this personable cast characters.

Bloody Murder

You will find yourself worrying about what will happen to them next. The cozy and welcoming bookstore has successfully existed for six years without mishap. That is until one morning when going downstairs to open up Zofia trips over a dead body on her landing! This well written character driven journey is a quick yet enjoyable read.

I recommend everyone take the time to read this book that has all the tenants to become a new classic. This was a great read.

Bloody Murder: From the Detective Story to the Crime Novel by Julian Symons

Would have been a 5 rating except for poor editing. The main character was interesting and likeable, the secondary characters had good depth as well. This is definitely a keeper as I can see myself reading it again. I gladly recommend this book. After spending the next eleven months polishing her draft into a real novel, she has a solid first mystery novel that kept me intrigued in spite of my strong preference for paranormal and science fiction. See all 17 reviews. Most recent customer reviews.

Published 1 year ago. Published on June 10, Published on October 5, Published on September 23, Published on October 31, This book has a great first line: Although not normally known as a quiet part of town, the bookstore has enjoyed six years of peace and prosperity until Zofia trips over a body on the way downstairs from her apartment, upstairs from the bookstore, to go to work. So far so good. Zofia's life becomes abruptly even more complicated whe This book has a great first line: Zofia's life becomes abruptly even more complicated when she meets an intriguing young man of Native American-Asian ancestry with a great smile.

Bloody Murder Bloody Murder Mysteries Book 1

The tale continues with complications that include false starts and red herrings galore. The Blood Murder bookstore always stays front and center during the story, with helpful references to classical mysteries — both well-known and not-so-well-known and also snide asides about not-so-good offerings. The regional references and descriptions of local food make the setting a delight, especially as told through the eyes Zofia, a non-New Orleans native. I found the prose to be competent and well-paced aside from the occasional first-person 'overtelling' or repetition.

The characters are likeable and plausible.

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There were parts of the story that suffered from too much exposition and backstory. But once the plot begins to unfold, the reading becomes easier. The book's end surprises but doesn't cheat and leads to some satisfying complications that are sure to appear again as the series progresses. If you like a fast read with a highly-spiced setting and characters with a generous dose of romance, you'll enjoy Bloody Murder. Sep 10, Lorne Oliver rated it really liked it. Bloody Murder is the definition of a cozy mystery. It is not action packed and there is no gore, but you quickly start to care about the main character, Zo, and you want to stick around.

Now I will say that the first half of the novel is slow. You learn about Zo and all of the characters that work in and out of her Bloody Murder bookstore, you learn about her ill-fated career in journalism and the sadness she had from her tragic family life. But you are also witness to her growing relationship with Michael. As you round the halfway mark you have to keep reading to find out what happens. Nov 06, M Raindancerstahl rated it really liked it. This is a fun little twisty maze of finding a dead body and puzzling out the who, why, and how of it.

Normally I shy away from self-published books, but I knew Kate had spent the necessary time to turn her NaNoWriMo challenge into a real book. More importantly, I knew Kate had not only passed a college writing course, but also retained everything she had learned in 8th grade English class. If you read enough comments on internet blogs, you might understand what I mean. Also handicapping my open This is a fun little twisty maze of finding a dead body and puzzling out the who, why, and how of it.

XYZ," I much prefer my literature to have at least one paranormal major character. I happily surprised to enjoy this, especially since I bought both books at the same time. Zo is likeable, believable, and smarter than Sookie Stackhouse.

I know that's not saying much, but it's still a point in her favor. The food porn does drag the story off-point a little, but it also rounds out the world of Zo: Sep 09, Tamara Temple rated it it was amazing Shelves: Still in the midst of this novel. The story is gripping, realistic, and the dialog is superb. I highly recommend this book and this author; looking forward to future novels! Finished the book and WOW!!!

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Did not entirely see that ending coming. This book is sprinkled with phrases that I've heard Kate utter at some point, or others in the chat spaces we both have inhabited. This was such a delight to read, not only from the standpoint of knowing the author online, but in and of itself such a well-written tale. Apr 28, C. Cole rated it really liked it. Following an attempt on her life, things get more and more complicated as she finds the assistance of a handsome investigator and her family background moves to the foreground.

Great job, four stars! Sep 22, Tanya Watt rated it really liked it. The characters are likable, and I love that it takes place in New Orleans — Plus the food sounds delicious! Mar 09, Shelley marked it as to-read Shelves: Author's guest post at my blog: Kulig rated it it was ok Mar 30, Laurie Jasper rated it it was amazing Jan 02, Sara rated it really liked it Feb 02,