Nostalgia City Mysteries

By Mark S. Bacon

Tag Archives: Death in Nostalgia City

Do you hate f***ing profanity in mystery novels?

3

A thug the size of an NFL lineman grabs Sam Shamus around the neck and throws him down the stairs. The bad guy follows him, stomps on his face and tells him he’s a low-life private dick and if he ever shows up again he’ll get a real beating.

Somehow Sam manages to get to his feet. He glares at the crook and says, “Pardon me sir, but I object to the way you’re characterizing my profession. And I ask that you refrain from inflicting further physical indignities, you hooligan.”Profanity-balloon

That’s what Sam says, anyway. Your average detective-novel hero might use different words.

Sam’s situation—or a version of it—went through my mind when I started writing mystery short stories and later, my first mystery novel. Should I use profanity? My initial answer: no. We’re slammed with the f-word so often in crime movies that profanity loses its punch. But the more I wrote, and the more I thought about it, studiously avoiding profanity seemed unrealistic. What the hell was I to do?

Profanity in literature, a fascinating topic—particularly in the mystery/suspense/thriller genre—varies from author to author. But before we get into that, a few words about four-letter words. While I eventually decided in favor of what’s delicately called swear words in my fiction, I’m still a journalist when I’m writing articles online. My inner AP Stylebook doesn’t permit me to use words you won’t find in your daily paper. Therefore I’m going to resort to f*** and s*** for two words everyone knows. Bear with me.

Not long ago, someone writing on an Amazon discussion page asked about bad language. She wrote: “I am Continue Reading →

Best-seller list announcement

0

Death in Nostalgia City has made the best-seller list. Okay, not The New York Times list or USAToday or the San Francisco Chronicle. It’s on the Mendocino coast’s Independent Coast Observer’s best seller list. Supplied by Four-Eyed Frog Books in Gualala, Calif., the list shows the most popular books on that beautiful stretch of northern California.

The store hosted me for a talk about murder mysteries and I signed copies of my book. Many thanks to Joel and Jeremy Crockett who operate the bookstore.

Reviews, Reviews

“The book pulled me in from the very beginning and never let me go.” That’s a quote from a just-posted review of Death in Nostalgia City by the Open Book Society.

“I had to keep turning pages as fast as I could to find out what was going to happen to Lyle and Kate” the reviewer wrote.   For the complete review, go to the Open Book Society’s website.

Where are we?

Locales for murder mysteries can become almost another character in the story. A good mystery can not only capture your imagination and challenge you with clues, it can transport you anywhere on the globe. Do you like mysteries at the seashore, in dark alleys or mountain tops? In a new guest column on Cecile Sune’s website, I explore the importance of locales. The story is filled with examples from some wonderful novels.

Hyperlinks:

Independent Coast Observer Best-seller list

Open Book Society

Cecile Sune’s Book Obsessed

Coming next time: reviews of two new, exciting mystery novels featuring strong-willed female amateur sleuths.

%d bloggers like this: