Monday, May 9, 2011

New Guy on the Blog by J.D.Webb

There’s a new guy on the Make Mine Mystery blog. Wonder who he is? Wonder what he’ll say? J. D. Webb reporting for duty, mystery solved as they say. I’m honored to be a member of such a distinguished panel. I admire and respect each author. And I’m not just buttering up the gang, I really mean it.

Now what to talk about. The subject is mystery, and I wanted to clue you in (okay that wasn’t fair) to a book I just finished rereading - Fer-de-Lance by Rex Stout. One of the things I always tell new authors is to read and learn from the masters. This book would be a good start. Stout was a pioneer of detective noir, and Fer-de-Lance was his first success. His novels still stand the test of time. Once you get past the antique cars and rotary dial phones, his stories are infused with quirky and fun characters that entertain and keep you guessing. The brilliance of Nero Wolf and his caustic sidekick, Archie Goodwin, make a dynamic a team.

When I first dreamed about being an author, Rex Stout’s books convinced me to choose mystery writing. I voraciously read others as well: Spillane, Parker, MacDonald, Prather, Block… well, the list is endless. I also read the newer faces of mystery. In effect, I’m still learning. I admit I steal from them all. Not their words, but their techniques, descriptive artistry, character trait detailing, and plot development. I’ve been known to say the author’s journey is filled with plot holes.

My ultimate classroom experience is to read one of the masters and take notes. Much more fun than during my school years and. I never have to force myself to read.

So I encourage you to read one of Rex Stout’s books. They can be found in most bookstores, especially the independents, many of them specialize in the mystery genre. Your local library may have one or two still on the shelves. And according to my favorite people – librarians - mysteries are still one of their most popular circulations. Music to a mystery author’s ears.

I will mention this new guy, J. D. Webb, has a recent release called Smudge. The cover appears somewhere on this blog. It’s a Kindle offering and also available in print at Amazon, L& and other fine sources. Till next time, keep reading.

J D Webb


Morgan Mandel said...

Welcome aboard, JD!
I have to admit I've never read a Rex Stout book. What got me started on mysteries was Dick Francis. I've read all of his and feel sad there won't be any more.

Morgan Mandel

J D Webb said...

Dick Francis is another of my favorites - a master of action and suspense. But then I have so many favorites.f

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Hi, there, good post! I got started because of listening to mysteries on the radio--and though of course I read Nancy Drew, finding other mysteries to read at the library.

Helen Ginger said...

I don't take notes as I read, but I have gone back and re-read a book that blew me away. On the second read, I highlighted lines and marked pages.

Earl Staggs said...

Well put, Dave. We should never stop learning, so we should never stop reading.