Tag Archives: femnista

In This Issue…

Writers have re-imagined stories for generations. Oral storytelling changed when written tales achieved popularity, and over the years, authors, directors, and playwrights have approached the same themes and topics with unique flourishes. From Hollywood remakes to a new twist on a familiar tale, this month we bring you an assortment of delightful stories made new… Continue reading

The Girl with a Clue



Long before the advent of computers, DVD’s, VHS, and Television, a girl sleuth mesmerized the world. She was not the flashiest personality around, she didn’t drive expensive cars or takes trips to Europe, but nonetheless she inspired three generations of women. She is now a charming old doll of 81, but does she let her age slow her down? No sir! She carries on into the 21st century, still taking part in mystery after mystery with enthusiasm. Her name? Why, it’s Nancy Drew! Continue reading

NCIS: Unknown Rules of Law



For some reason or another, a mysterious phenomenon draws us. Perhaps it is because it is so unlike our daily lives or maybe the explanation is as simple as our enjoyment in solving a puzzle but there must be a reason why we pour over the headlines of the latest high profile murder case and detective shows do so well on television. Who can resist a hero defeating a villain in a knock-out stare-down? Or a squad room where good-natured teasing isn’t just banter but the very foundation of a well-oiled team? A mediocre plot can be forgiven if I’ve become attached to the people whose lives are unfolding and coming alive in my living room. Such is the case with the hit CBS drama NCIS. It got its start in 2003 thanks to Donald Bellesario and has been a highly-rated popular choice ever since. Its first season did not have strength in episodic scripts, instead its draw were the characters. Continue reading

Agatha Christie: The Inspired Average Woman



There is an old short TV series that my mother considers a classic. They are from the 1960’s, in black and white, and there are only four episodes. It is a sleuth/murder show, but not your average kind. They involve an inspector and a murder, but the person who has the nerve to stick her nose in the business of the police, snoop around, ask questions and then solve the murders is an old unmarried lady named Miss Marple. Continue reading

Setting the Standard



In retrospect, it doesn’t seem likely a character like Special Agent Dana Scully could not only appear onscreen but also flourish and set a standard for the portrayal of strong women in a male-dominated genre. A scientist and skeptic, faced every week by increasingly outlandish fantasy villains and a deeply complicated conspiracy quagmire, could not possibly be a woman.  Especially a petite redhead who runs around with a Sig Sauer, in high heels, bringing down bad guys because she has a sense of justice that transcends her skepticism. Surely, even in a science fiction procedural like The X-Files, the role of skeptic would go to the tall, good-looking male partner to a beauty like Dana Scully. Continue reading

Ask Lydia: Love Can Be Murder



Dear Ma’am,

There are two kinds of folks who sit around thinking about how to kill people: psychopaths and mystery writers. I’m the kind that pays better. I figured as a fellow writer you would understand the need of every writer for a muse. I found the perfect one in a gorgeous, smart homicide detective I’m basing the protagonist of my bestselling novels on. She was hesitant at first to let me examine her process, but after a little persuasion from some friends of mine in high places, she let me follow her around. That was four years ago, and even after writing four smash hit novels about her and a full length film in the works (expected to be next summer’s blockbuster), I still haven’t run out of words. She’s smart, talented and a relentless, brilliant cop, loyal friend and has a beautiful serenity about her, as well as really stunning hair. We’re a superb team; her no nonsense procedural police work with my off the wall theories and literary experience in the life of crime and murder merge to form an unstoppable duo of crime stoppers fueled by the coffee I bring her every morning. We get along fabulously and my mother and daughter adore her. I can honestly see myself fighting crime with her for the rest of my life. I used to be okay with keeping a romantic distance (she had a boyfriend and there are other “walls” separating us) but I’m not sure anymore. It’s not about the books anymore and hasn’t been for awhile. Continue reading




if you visit my blog it will quickly become evident I am a devout Masterpiece Mystery fan. It has brought to life classic sleuths like Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot and Sherlock Holmes, then turned around and reinvented a detective I thought I knew for the 21st-century. It has also been the venue through which I’ve come to know new sleuths, modern-day classics I love as much as the evergreen mainstays. The first new favorite was Kenneth Branagh’s portrayal of Kurt Wallander, Henning Mankell’s tortured Swedish detective. After two years of Wallander episodes the same production team switched gears from the isolated, stark brilliance of the Swedish settings to the warmth and color of Italy and a detective named Aurelio Zen. He is the creation of author Michael Dibdin. This summer, PBS aired three captivating, fast-paced, entertaining Zen films that made me love him and his world, a world I long to revisit… but sadly, earlier this year the BBC made an inexplicable decision to cancel Zen, so three episodes is all fans like myself will receive. Lest the premature cancellation discourage one from exploring the show, I wanted to take this fine opportunity to examine what Zen brought Masterpiece Mystery devotees for its all-too-brief existence. Continue reading

The Master of Deduction

NOV / DEC 2011: BY ELLA G.


For the majority of us. the joys in situations are found at their resolution. We are happy when the game is won, the victory decided. But for a precious few, the hunt is more rewarding than catching the prey. The scent of the chase enthralls, and tracking movements brings an adrenaline rush rarely felt in ordinary times. Continue reading

Baring the Bones of Temperance Brennan



Kathy Reichs is an academic, a forensic anthropologist, and author of eighteen novels, who is particularly known for a best-selling crime series that follows the career and exploits of fictional heroine, Dr. Temperance Brennan. The novels were turned into a crime drama on television called Bones, but the changes are significant: in the books, Brennan is an anthropologist who assists authorities in Montreal and North Carolina with criminal investigations. But on screen, in addition to her skills as a anthropologist she is also a best-selling author and assists the FBI. Continue reading

Solving the Mystery



Agatha Christie is not only considered one of the greatest mystery authors of all time, she is also the bestselling novelist of all time. With classic titles like Murder on the Orient Express and such unlikely detectives as Miss Marple, Agatha Christie still captures the imaginations, hearts, and minds of readers to this day. Continue reading