Saturday, July 3, 2010

Miss Marple, Meet John Le Carre´

So far, my favorite tidbit about the Russian spy ring is the following, as reported on NPR, "The Guardian" and several other sources:

Upon learning the truth about the nice couple next door, a neighbor said, "They couldn't have been spies. Look what she did with the hydrangeas."

My favorite line from Agatha Christie is very similar. Miss Marple is a guest at a country house where, as luck would have it, there's a murder. After a few days' careful observation, she reveals the name of the murderer to the hostess, who replies, But she has the best herbaceous border in the county!

It's no secret that I'm a big fan of murder mysteries and, indeed, am writing one of my own. No, I'm not published (I hope I'm justified in adding yet), but some of my best friends are.

When you settle into your room, you're likely to notice a couple of books, for loan or resale. One is a true crime story by Laura James. Besides the quality of the writing, what's truly fun about The Love Pirate and the Bandit's Son is that much of the real life action happened in and around Sapulpa, Oklahoma, just east of the DBR.

The other books are from the new Medieval Noir series by Jeri Westerson. A devotee of medieval history, Jeri set out to bend the rules about what a historical novel set in the period could be. And her sleuth, a disgraced knight named Crispin Guest, bends them, indeed. As one reviewer put it, Crispin is "more Sam Spade than Brother Cadfael."

I hope to have Jeri on soon as a guest blogger, comparing the lawlessness of Oklahoma Territory and the Middle Ages. Trust me, there are comparisons. Besides, here at the 'Bean, we've been known to bend a few rules of our own.

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