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October 2019 Mystery Minute

by ZJ Czupor Money can be a motivating factor In 1920, he was born to poor Italian immigrants in the Hell’s Kitchen area of New York City. At the age of 12, he dropped out of school to get a job after his father deserted the family. He worked as a railroad switchboard...

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September 2019 Mystery Minute

by ZJ Czupor The Art of the Red Herring “Four little Indian boys going out to sea; a red herring swallowed one and then there were three.” The above line is the seventh stanza from a longer American nursery rhyme, “Ten Little Indians,” (1869). The entire rhyme is...

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2019 Six Word Mystery Contest

WHO CAN SUBMIT: Anyone 18 years or older. WHAT TO SUBMIT: All submissions must be in English. Use only the keys on a standard, computer keyboard (upper/lower-case letters, numbers, punctuation, basic symbols). Emojis, special symbols and other images are not allowed....

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June 2019 Mystery Minute

by ZJ Czupor Fingerprinting in Fiction Picture Dawson’s Landing, a fictional Missouri frontier town, on the banks of the Mississippi River in the first half of the 19th century. It’s the setting for Mark Twain’s 1894 satiric crime novel, Pudd’nhead Wilson, which...

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May 2019 Mystery Minute

THROUGH A GLASS, DARKLY: The Pioneering Author and The Omnipresent Title Helen Worrell Clarkson McCloy (1904-1994) was a prolific writer of mystery novels and a major influence on the genre. She wrote under the pseudonyms Helen McCloy and Helen Clarkson. She was born...

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April 2019 Mystery Minute

The Butler Did It By ZJ Czupor Tonight, we’ll examine the origins of the phrase, “the butler did it.” But first, let’s consider Arthur Conan Doyle’s (1859 – 1930) “The Musgrave Ritual” an 1893 detective story from The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes. Though the butler was...

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March 2019 Mystery Minute

Writing the Hardy Boys series was “hack work” By ZJ Czupor After he graduated from high school in Haileybury, Ontario, Leslie McFarlane (1902 – 1977), spent the next fifty years as a writer. He produced hundreds of short stories for pulp magazines, novellas and...

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February 2019 Mystery Minute

Sweetheart Sleuths: A Valentine’s Mystery Minute By ZJ Czupor Feb. 14, 2019 The “mistress of mystery” Janet Rudolph blogging in “Mystery Fanfare” (Feb. 11, 2019), claims there are roughly eighty authors who’ve written about “sweetheart sleuths,” couples who either...

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2018 RMMWA SIX-WORD MYSTERY CONTEST

Congratulations to this year’s Finalists and Winners! The Overall Contest Winner is: She took his name. For starters.  (Matthew Porter) Category Finalists and Winners are listed below: ** designates category winners. COZY **Auntie’s needles were not for knitting. ...

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January 2019 Mystery Minute

A MYSTERY MINUTE By ZJ Czupor And They Were Spies In a sense all mystery writers function as spies. We observe people around us, we study character types, we create plots and then we uncover them. Even the most boring luncheons can be fodder for our craft. I think...

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