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January 15, 2019

At first glance, Caleb Carr’s The Alienist looks a lot like a New York version of Sherlock Holmes. The main action takes place in the 1890s (1896, specifically). There’s a Watson-like first-person narrator (John Moore, a reporter for The New York Times). And the protagonist (Dr. Laszlo Kreizler) is a brilliant—if troubled—mind with unconventional investigative methods.
 

But the setting isn’t the only difference. For starters, it’s not Kreizler that’s the degenerate (as Holmes was in Si...

December 30, 2016

On the surface, Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose looks like Sherlock Holmes in a 14th century Italian abbey. There’s a murder mystery; Adso, a young Austrian monk at the time of the story’s events, serves as a Watson-like, first-person narrator; and William, a former inquisitor, plays the part of an observant English detective. Eco even nods at this relationship by having William hail from Baskerville (the site of Holmes’ most famous case).
 

But The Name of the Rose is far more than...

October 31, 2016

All too often, soldiers make the ultimate sacrifice. But what if death didn’t relieve them of their duties? What if the fallen still had a final task to perform?
 

That's the premise underpinning Mary Robinette Kowal’s Ghost Talkers, a paranormal mystery set during World War I. Ginger Stuyvesant, an American heiress, and other female mediums have discovered how to speak with the spirits of recently killed soldiers; the soldiers have been trained to report in and provide details about en...

October 11, 2015

None of the women featured in Paula Hawkins’ thriller The Girl on the Train are particularly likable. Rachel, the main character, is a drunk. Anna stole Rachel’s husband. Megan has panic attacks and sleeps around. Their careers aren't particularly important to them, but they feel incomplete without a man (or men) in their life. And those men aren’t peaches either.
 

Hawkins’ choice of narrative style also gave me pause. Each of the women tells their part of the story in first-...

April 10, 2015

Did I mention that my mom writes mysteries? She's a retired archaeology professor, and she works a lot of her historical knowledge into her books. One of them is even set in a museum. I feel incredibly fortunate that I can go to her for advice.
 

Here's her page: http://www.sarahwisseman.com

#ProudSon
 

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I write mostly speculative fiction. Usually fantasy, with historical elements mixed in. Sometimes there's a bit of mystery too, or (shhh!) even a little romance.

 

But it's weird—it's always weird. Consider yourself warned.

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