It’s not unusual to come across improbably accomplished heroes in mystery novels. You know, the internationally renowned expert with a 15-page resume, an active social life, and a wildly successful sideline in the arts. What is unusual is to find an author who not only matches but far exceeds the talents of her creation.
Readers, meet Kathy Reichs.
Reichs is not only a forensic anthropologist with sterling academic credentials, her consulting work has taken her to many of the most tragic scenes of recent history—the genocides in Guatemala and Rwanda, the World Trade Center site in New York. Oh, and in her spare time, Reichs writes bestselling novels which have inspired a hit TV show for which she also consults...whew! Reichs is definitely a force of nature and we’re delighted she could spare the time to talk with Oline Cogdill for Mystery Scene.
Nancy Springer’s Enola Holmes mysteries are a treat, offering many pleasures to readers both young and old—not the least of which is a well-deserved comeuppance to the Great Detective himself. As Enola’s creator notes, misogyny is the not-so-buried subtext, in the Sherlock Holmes stories and I found it quite satisfying as a female reader to see it trip up Enola’s older brother.
Also in this issue, Lynn Kaczmarek catches up with one of her favorite writers, William Kent Krueger, and Michael Mallory discusses the career of Lester Dent, a little-known author with a very big legacy.
Art Taylor looks at writers as characters in the movies, and Kevin Burton Smith examines writers as chefs in his survey of mystery cookbooks.
This is the last “Child’s Play” column from Roberta Rogow, who is leaving us to focus on her own novels. Thanks, Roberta!
Recently we asked for your input on the future of Mystery Scene, and excerpts from some of the many responses are reprinted in the “Letters” section. We appreciate your thoughtful comments, creative ideas, and the many kind wishes.
Here are some summary results: On balance, most of you preferred print as opposed to a PDF or e-reader format.
The overwhelming consensus was in favor of book-related content, including as many reviews as possible. I particularly appreciated the many thoughtful suggestions on editorial coverage and you’ll be seeing the results in future issues.
Unsurprisingly, no one wanted higher subscription rates. We agree, although do please note that prices are the same now as they were before we took over the magazine in 2002. So far, we’ve been able to fund improvements with advertising revenue and our growing number of readers.
Following that line of thought, you’ll notice that every page in this issue is printed in color—a big step forward and one we think will attract new readers while improving our coverage of crime fiction in all its myriad variations. And as a bonus, it’s a lot of fun!
We hope you enjoy this issue and, as always, we’ll be interested in your input.