Tuesday, February 28, 2006

I feel pretty, oh so pretty, I feel pretty and witty and...

I notice that a few of you--well, actually A LOT of you are having trouble with the current contest (#3 for those who are keeping count).

One question in particular seems to be throwing my little gumshoes.

9) Who among the following does NOT write a mystery
series featuring a gay private eye:
a-Richard Stevenson
b-Greg Herren
c- Josh Lanyon
d-Dorien Grey

As many of you have pointed out, ALL of these novels feature gay sleuth protagonists. The key (or the "trick," if you so choose to think of it) is the term "private eye."

The P.W.A (Private Eye Writers of America) define a "private eye" as any mystery protagonist who is a professional investigator, but not a police officer or government agent. The full definition is, and I quote, "a person paid for investigative work but not employed by a unit of government. Thus books and stories about private investigators (licensed and unlicensed), lawyers and reporters who do their own legwork, and other hired agents are eligible; works centering on law enforcement officers or amateur sleuths are not."


See what I'm hinting here? (If all caps can be considered a hint.) You are looking for the sleuth who is not paid to sleuth. You are looking for an Amateur Sleuth.

When I first joined the DorothyL listserv oh so many years ago I didn't realize that there was a difference between a private eye and an amateur sleuth. Then of course I met Mr. Thrilling and all was revealed. (But I'll protect you from THAT.)

Because I'm rather frantically busy at the moment I've left Contest #3 up for a second week--therefore we will have two winners from Contest #3--meaning if you blew it the first time around, you can go ahead and re-enter with the correct answer.

Also the winner to contest #2 submitted an email address that doesn't work. So we had to re-do the drawing (thank goodness I hung on to all the names). I felt especially bad because he was the only gentleman we've had so far who correctly answered all the questions. What up with that?

Just another puzzle in a rather mysterious world!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square

So the bad news is that a lengthy and, I thought, quite amusing blog I did on my favorite caper films has disappeared into the nether. How the heck does that happen?

And the good news is that my agent just sold my chick lit yoga mystery series to Berkeley in a three book deal. Of course I haven't actually signed the contract, so perhaps I shouldn't jinx it by speaking of it openly. Perhaps I should just hum my new theme song...

The streets of town were paved with stars,
It was such a romantic affair.
And as we kissed and said "Good-bye,"
A nightingale sang in Berkeley Square.

I've always loved that song--and in fact I associate it very much with the Poetic Death series--which reminds me! Apparently Publisher's Weekly has reviewed SONNET OF THE SPHINX. Gulp. I keep reminding myself of my mantra--that the most important thing is simply being reviewed in the right places--but I admit I'm hoping the review is favorable.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Mummy Dearest

I know, I know! Enough with the cute mummy titles!

Contest Two (which I tried to make a bit easier than Contest One) went as follows:

1) Lauren Willig's mystery-romance THE SECRET
HISTORY OF THE PINK CARNATION is a kind of sequel to which
historical novel:
a- The House of Blue Mangoes by David Davidar
b-Green Darkness by Anya Seton
d-The Black Moth by Georgette Heyer


2) Dashiell Hammett was romantically involved
with--and may have lent a creative helping hand--to
which writer:
a-Myrna Loy
b-Mary McCarthy
c-Raymond Chandler

3) Who of the following did NOT play Jane Marple,
the quintessential spinster sleuth?
a-Joan Hickson
c-Angela Lansbury
d-Helen Hays

Oh, dem ruby slippers!

4) Which author initiated a lawsuit against
bestselling author Dan Brown, claiming that the DA
VINCI CODE bore "striking infringements of protected
a-Lewis Carroll
b-C.S. Lewis
d-Pardee Butler

5)Elizabeth Peters' Amelia Peabody series is set in
which era of British history:

(This ended up being a giveaway -- I explain why on my Amazon page)

6) Grace Hollister, the protagonist of the Poetic
Death series, is romantically involved with which
dashing reformed jewel thief:
a-Edward Fox
b-John Smith
c-R.J. Raffles
d-Edward Fox

7) Name the 1944 film about a detective who falls in
love with the portrait of a murdered woman:
a-Portrait of Jenny
c-The Woman in the Window

8)Bouchercon, the largest mystery convention in the
world, was first held in:
a-1970 *

9)The 2002 crime film THE TRUTH ABOUT CHARLIE was
actually a remake of what film starring Audrey
a-Wait Until Dark
b-Love Among Thieves
d-How To Steal a Million

10)The current cover on the Thrilling Detective Web
Site is based on artwork by which famous paperback and
pulp cover illustrator:
a-Raphael de Soto
b-Robert McGinnis
d-Rudolph Belarski

Your Mummy's Calling!

Sooooooo aparently some of you sticklers for details want to know what the correct answers to these contest questions are--cannily surmising that I might recycle a few questions down the line.

Okay, I can do that.

CONTEST #1 (The correct answer is in bold--assuming I remember the correct answer!)

1)Who among the following does NOT qualify as a spinster sleuth?
A – Maud Silver
C- Jane Marple
D – Hildegard Withers

2)Frances Iles was the pseudonym of which mystery writer?
A – Ronald A. Knox
B – Anthony Boucher
C – Ronald Anthony

3)Which of the following was an early mystery story by Sir Arthur
Conan Doyle?
B – Mr. Midnight Goes Trick or Treating
C – The Crime of the Midnight Express
D – Death Swims at Midnight

4)The original manuscript of Diana Killian's Sonnet of the Sphinx was
A) The Mummy Case
B) Death Comes as the End
C) DOCKETFUL OF POESY (Which I still plan on using one of these days!)
D) The Egypt Game

5)The author of the Jarrod Jarvis mystery series also has film
credits for what cartoon sleuth?
B – Inspector Gadget
C – Kim Possible
D – Elmo the Aardvark

6)Diana Killian's self-published mystery The Art of Dying is set in:
a.The English Lake District
c.Northern New Jersey
d.The south of France

7)The term "bibliophile mystery" refers to:
A -Christian mysteries approved by the CBD
b-Any mystery novel
D-A mystery or crime novel set in a library or bibliothèque

8)Which of the following items does Diana Killian NOT list on her
Amazon Profile page?
A – McMillan & Wife Season One
C-Raymond Chandler Stories and Early Novels
D – The New Avengers `76

9)Which of the following Hitchcock films did Grace Kelly star in?
A – Vertigo
B – Marnie
C – Psycho

10)The graphic image on the Girl Detective web site is taken from
which classic Dell map back cover ?
a)No Crime For a Lady
c)Wife vs. Secretary
d)The Lady is Afraid

Saturday, February 11, 2006

The Egypt Game

Or How I came to devise what appears to be one of the toughest mystery quizzes on earth in an apparently misguided effort to promote my latest and greatest novel.

Okay, it's not quite THAT bad, but it is surprising that out of 67 contest entries only three people managed to get a perfect score on Contest #1. Let me just say here and now that it wasn't much of a drawing!

So we are now on Contest #2.

I don't think the questions are quite as difficult this time, but then I didn't think the questions were that difficult last week! I mean, I knew they were challenging, and I'll be the first to admit that it's not like I know all this stuff off the top of my head. This is not a quiz that most people--even most mystery fans--could pass without doing some...detective work. That's the whole idea! But almost every single answer is to be found on the web.

Most people missed the first question right off the bat.

Who among the following does NOT qualify as a spinster sleuth?
A – Maud Silver
B – Emily Pollifax
C- Jane Marple
D – Hildegard Withers

Nearly everyone thought Hildegard Withers was the non-spinster sleuth, but Withers is most definitely a spinster sleuth. She's the creation of Stuart Palmer (who also created John J. Malone). She is, in fact, one of THE quintessential snoopy, middleaged spinster busybodies (American to boot, which makes a change). I think I even refer to her in VERSE OF THE VAMPYRE (but maybe it's SONNET OF THE SPHINX).

No, the non-spinster sleuth is Emily Pollifax. She's a widow. Half her books have the name "Mrs. Pollifax" in the title.

See, it's THAT kind of a contest. Not super easy, but not certainly impossible. I tried to make sure it wasn't boring, that's all. I thought it was a good thing!

So anyway, I only had three people successfully complete the quiz, and I felt so bad that I drew two of their names for prizes. The winners are:

Shelley McKibbon & Gwendolyn Gwin

I sent congratulatory emails off to both of them. Shelley, of course, I know from Wicked Company She's got a really amusing blog over at...I think it's Live Journal, but I'm not sure.

Anyway, now we're off again with Contest #2 and another ARC of SONNET OF THE SPHINX to give away, not to mention a very kooky little mummy case with letter opener. I'm hoping that this week enough people will get the questions right so that we can have a REAL drawing next Saturday.

We still have about 19 weeks of contests to go! And so far the odds are definitely in YOUR favor.