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April 2020 Mystery Minute

by ZJ Czupor Social Distancing Hampers Close-Kill Techniques for Writers I’ve never killed someone—a real person that is—although I’ve often thought I sure would like to strangle so-and-so or knock some sense into my city council person’s head. That kind of thing. But...

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March 2020 Mystery Minute

by ZJ Czupor The Year Without Summer On March 10, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 coronavirus a pandemic. But did you know that one of the greatest novels of all time was written during a pandemic? ​In 1815, Mount Tamora in Indonesia, erupted...

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February 2020 Mystery Minute

by ZJ Czupor Tinker, Tailor, Author, Spy He was a complicated cat and a skilled obfuscator. He was an author, a movie script writer, a suave cigar-smoking spymaster, a defender of the law—and a breaker of the law. Journalist James Rosen called him a “passionate...

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January 2020 Mystery Minute

by ZJ Czupor A Dark and Stormy Night In the “Peanuts” cartoon strip we see the almost human-dog Snoopy sitting on his doghouse, hunched over a typewriter, writing the Great American Novel. And he begins typing: “It was a dark and stormy night.” Then he gets stuck and...

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November 2019 Mystery Minute

by ZJ Czupor A Funny Author with a Big Heart He’s a successful mystery author you may never have heard of. An ordinary guy with a great sense of humor and an even bigger heart. After he graduated from New York University, he decided to work in the film business. He...

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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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