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Friday, June 16, 2017

The Writer's Life 6/16 - Style

As I've said many times in this blog, I'm not a fan of written mysteries, although I do enjoy the genre on film and TV. I even prefer any version of celluloid Sherlock Holmes to the works of Arthur Conan Doyle, although I appreciate the author for his fantastic and enduring creation. I've read two mysteries that transcend the genre: A Fatal Grace by Louise Penny, which had existential overtones, and A Thin Dark Line by Tami Hoag, which was about the temptation those in law enforcement must resist in taking dire measures in the fighting of crime. I picked up Murder New York Style, a collection of 21 short stories, each by a different writer, hoping to be enthralled. Unfortunately, I had that same unsatisfied feeling upon finishing most of the entries. I did enjoy Dorothy Mortman's The House at Lake Place, mostly because the setting is the Gravesend section of Brooklyn, which I pass through regularly. Each tale takes place in the greater Metropolitan area, and all were written by women. Randy Kandel, who contributed Name Tagging, served as editor. I thought Elizabeth Zelvin's Death Will Clean Your Closet the best of the bunch. It had to do with a recovering alcoholic who finds a body in his closet. Lina Zeldovich's Murder in Aladdin's Cave, about a belly-dancer sleuth, was fun. I'd guess the book's appeal is restricted to fans of the genre, especially those who prefer the female perspective. Published in 2007, it has attracted five customer reviews at Amazon. They forge to a consensus of 4.6. The large paperback copy I read will go on sale tomorrow at the floating book shop.  

I just heard Newt Gingrich relate a tale on Sean Hannity's radio show. Enthralled, I ran a search and found the following at, which asks for verification of the story, as it is from a Trump speech. I've edited it slightly: "Luis Haza's father was the police chief in Santiago, Cuba. Just days after Fidel Castro took control, Luis' father was one of 71 Cubans executed by firing squad. Luis buried his grief in his great love of music, playing the violin so brilliantly and so beautifully. Soon the regime saw his incredible gift and wanted to use him for propaganda purposes. When he was 12 they organized a national television show and demanded he play a solo for Raul Castro. They sent an official to fetch him from his home. Luis refused to go, and a few days later soldiers barged into his orchestra practice area, guns blazing, and told him to play for them. Terrified, Luis began to play, and the entire room was stunned by what they heard. Ringing out from the trembling boy's violin was a tune they all recognized - the Star-Spangled Banner."

Someone in a town on Long Island had some fun:

My thanks to the kind folks who bought and donated books today. I had a long chat with Al the Mensch, whose 70th birthday it is. One of the topics was the mail he receives from travel companies offering tours of Cuba, which he immediately tears to shreds. Minutes later Dave the Cook arrived and said that President Trump had rescinded Obama's agreement with the communist country. Al bought a book on the history of Pakistan. As a birthday present, I gave him Mikhail Bulgakov's
historical novel The White Guard, which is set in the Ukraine in December 1918.
Vic's Sixth novel: 
Vic's Short Works:

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