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Dean James
Author of the "Cat in the Stacks" mysteries as Miranda James
Recent Activity
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A few months ago, I was offered the chance to read a book in manuscript by mystery writer Julia Buckley. The book's title intrigued me: A Dark and Stormy Murder. When I read a description of the plot, and that... Continue reading
Posted Jun 21, 2016 at My Weblog
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During my teenage years, I discovered the Middle Ages, chiefly medieval England, through historical fiction. At the time I had no idea where reading those historical novels would lead me. When I first started reading them, I didn't have any... Continue reading
Posted Jun 8, 2016 at My Weblog
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Words are everywhere these days, thanks to social media -- along with pictures, of course. Social media platforms like Facebook (aside from the cute cat and dog videos and pictures) abound with words. Blogs -- millions of blogs -- all... Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2016 at My Weblog
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One of the hallmarks of mysteries on the cozier side -- like the ones I write -- is the lack of in-your-face violence and gore. Another is the conspicuous absence of explicit sex. Cozy writers leave that kind of thing... Continue reading
Posted Apr 27, 2016 at My Weblog
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I have been reading mysteries for nearly five decades now. I got my start with Nancy Drew and The Secret of Shadow Ranch (the revised version). I devoured hundreds of mysteries written for juveniles (as we were called in those... Continue reading
Posted Mar 16, 2016 at My Weblog
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I became fascinated with medieval England as a teenager after having read historical novels by Roberta Gellis and Anya Seton. Their books were filled with color and excitement and described a world that entranced me. So much so that I... Continue reading
Posted Feb 17, 2016 at My Weblog
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In my mailbox yesterday I found a copy of a magazine called Garden & Gun. I have no idea what it was doing there, although it did have my name and address on the mailing label. From the way my... Continue reading
Posted Feb 3, 2016 at My Weblog
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The late Margaret Millar (1915-1994) was one of the finest of all suspense novelists of the twentieth century. Except for the cognoscenti, however, Millar appears to be little known these days because she was eclipsed by her famous husband, Kenneth... Continue reading
Posted Jan 20, 2016 at My Weblog
Years ago -- so many years ago now I don't remember exactly when -- I resolved not to make any more New Year's Resolutions. That was one New Year's Resolution that I've been able to keep. In that dimly remembered... Continue reading
Posted Jan 6, 2016 at My Weblog
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Many of us have our own, personal traditions for this holiday season. For many, the tradition is a re-read of a favorite book, and for others, watching -- yet again -- a favorite movie. There is one particular Christmas mystery... Continue reading
Posted Dec 8, 2015 at My Weblog
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Unless you've been hibernating under a particularly commodious rock the last few weeks, you have probably seen some mention in social media of British singer Adele. Her latest release, Adele 25, came out this past Friday. In less than a... Continue reading
Posted Nov 25, 2015 at My Weblog
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Over the past two years I have dealt with considerable change in my life, and I am thankful to have survived it all. That change consisted of the loss of a job, ten months of unemployment, a move from Texas... Continue reading
Posted Nov 11, 2015 at My Weblog
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Our guest today is Kay Finch, who has recently published her fourth novel, but the firs t in a delightful new series featuring an aspiring mystery writer and a mysterious black cat named Hitchcock. Black Cat Crossing (Berkley Prime Crime)... Continue reading
Posted Sep 29, 2015 at My Weblog
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Our guest today is Elizabeth Foxwell, Managing Editor of Clues: A Journal of Detection and editor of the critically acclaimed series, McFarland Companions to Mystery Fiction. She has recently published an anthology of the writings of American women who served... Continue reading
Posted Sep 15, 2015 at My Weblog
My "treasures on my shelf" blog about Victoria Holt drew some great comments, and I thought I would follow that with a recommended reading list for those who might want to do some retro-reading of my favorite romantic suspense novels.... Continue reading
Posted Sep 1, 2015 at My Weblog
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I've written here before about discovering mysteries with Nancy Drew when I was around ten. A couple of years later, I read my first adult mystery, a copy of The Shivering Sands by Victoria Holt that one of my aunts... Continue reading
Posted Aug 19, 2015 at My Weblog
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Georgette Heyer (1902-1974) is known to aficionados of Golden Age detective fiction as the author of twelve mystery novels, but to a much wider audience she is perhaps better known as the author of historical romances set chiefly in the... Continue reading
Posted Aug 5, 2015 at My Weblog
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I have written many times about the influence of Nancy Drew in my life, and Nancy was the first series character whose books I collected. Before I encountered Nancy Drew, I don't recall having the impulse to own books. We... Continue reading
Posted Jul 22, 2015 at My Weblog
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In my last blog I talked about the task of moving my extensive book collection when I relocated from Houston to the Jackson, Mississippi area. Today I thought I would talk about some of the treasures on my shelves, books... Continue reading
Posted Jun 24, 2015 at My Weblog
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I could easily talk about the books I've read over the years that have moved me; for example, the first book that broke my heart, Charlotte's Web. Instead, I'm going to talk about the physical act of moving books. In... Continue reading
Posted Jun 10, 2015 at My Weblog
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Today we have a special guest, Carolyn Haines, in celebration of her latest release, Bone to Be Wild, the 15th in the Sarah Booth Delaney series, just released by St. Martin's Press/Minotaur. Carolyn also writes ghost stories as R B.... Continue reading
Posted May 26, 2015 at My Weblog
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Ruth Rendell, who died recently at the age of 85, was one of the greatest crime writers of her generation, along with the late P.D. James. Rendell's first novel was published in 1964, and her final book will be released... Continue reading
Posted May 12, 2015 at My Weblog
In Mississippi when I was growing up -- lo these many years ago -- people set a great store by good manners. Children were taught to respect their elders, people didn't show up to parties they weren't invited to, and... Continue reading
Posted Apr 15, 2015 at My Weblog
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I am one of the many writers (probably in the majority) who do not make a living as full-time writers. I have a day job -- I am a medical librarian. In my position I am in charge of the... Continue reading
Posted Mar 18, 2015 at My Weblog
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The news earlier this week that singer, songwriter, and activist Lesley Gore had died put me in a reflective mood. Though I was not quite four years old when she burst onto the scene with "It' s My Party," she... Continue reading
Posted Feb 17, 2015 at My Weblog