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On All One Case and Ross Macdonald

Loneliness and frustration We both came down with an acute case When the lights came up at two I caught a glimpse of you And your face looked like something Death brought with him in his suitcase —Warren Zevon, “The French Inhaler”

I don't exactly know why I took Kevin Avery and Jeff Wong's It's All One Case: The Illustrated Ross Macdonald Archives off the shelf the other day. Truth to tell, no reason is needed; anyone who's seen this marvelous tome knows that it's a continuing source of wisdom and delight, well worth dipping into at any point in time. A bit of background might be helpful for the uninitiated. In 1976, journalist Paul Nelson recorded…

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Obsessing over Typewriters and Libraries

David Mamet once observed that writers are obsessed with office supply stores. The things these stores contain — pens, pencils, inks, paper — are the only visible proof of what we do. I thought of Mamet’s remark after seeing California Typewriter, a fascinating new documentary about the titular shop in Berkeley, California. Computers may rule […]

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The Path to Publication at Sussex County N.J. Library

Within the historic valleys and state parks of New Jersey’s northernmost county lives an active public library system with a burgeoning community of aspiring writers and, even better, mystery fans. And when a community of mystery loving readers and writers asks for an opportunity to hone their craft, MWA-NY answers the call — no matter […]

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The Clue to Character

Where would a story be without a character? Character is the engine that drives the narrative, and creating a character is a magical process. Imagine having the omnipotent power to mold a person on the page. Not only do you get to conjure up the character’s physical attributes and such details as a birthdate, but […]

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