Thursday, August 9, 2012

Alphabet In Crime Fiction-The Letter L


The Alphabet In Crime Fiction

     The concept was started by Kerrie at Mysteries in Paradise. This week's letter is the letter "L".

     Here are the rules: By Friday of each week participants try to write a blog post about crime fiction related to the letter of the week. Your post MUST be related to either the first letter of a book's title, the first letter of an author's first name, or the first letter of the author's surname, or even maybe a crime fiction "topic". But above all, it has to be crime fiction. You could write a review, or a bio of an author, so long as it fits the rules somehow.

LYING .......... Have you thought about how much lying is involved in crimes? I mean, how else would you be able to write a book if everyone confessed up front that they had committed a crime?  Lying has been around since the beginning of time, all the way back to Lucifer; even Adam and Eve. 
      In July, I read two books that involved lying about their crimes that lasted for years before they  were found out and solved.
      The first book is Sue Grafton's book "Undertow".  She is writing alphabetical murder mysteries. Her books are set in the 80's and for several books, her car was a Volkswagen "Beetle". I loved hearing about that car because it reminded me of one I had owned. Her main character is Kinsey Millhone living in the fictional city of Santa Teresa, California; Kinsey is a private detective. 
     In Undertow, a young man comes to Kinsey because at the age of six, he thinks he witnessed a crime.  It's been twenty years and the news media is doing an anniversary feature on the death of a kidnapped four year old girl.  Something in the feature triggered this young man's memory and he wants Kinsey to determine if he did see two men burying the little girl.  Lying is prevalent throughout the book.  Lying about friendships for years so no one on the off chance would connect them to the crime. Lying became such a guilt factor it ruined lives. But greed was the reason for the first lie. The lie that they needed money and committing the crime was the way to solve their problem. 
     The second book is by Sarah Graves, from Eastport, Maine. She uses her home town, Eastport, Maine,  as the setting of her "Home Repair Is Homicide" series. Sarah was driving through Eastport when she spotted an old house built in 1820; it was in bad need of repair.  Her Home Repair series incorporates her real live repair projects into her stories. Jacobia (Jake) Tiptree, the main character, also purchased an old house built in 1820. She lived in New York, but needed to move her teenage son,  Sam, away from the bad influences he had gotten involved with where they were living. So she bought the house and moved to Eastport.  Her latest book, "Dead Level", had lying from just about everyone. Some lied to cover up their competitive pride, which almost cost them their lives. Another lied to himself about killing his wife, he blamed Jake, so after a few years in jail he decided to break out of prison and go after her just to ease his conscience.  Here's a link to read about Sarah Graves and her books. She is great at making me feel the cold wind off the water or feeling the rain pelting against my face.  Even in mid-summer, reading her books made me want to sit in front of a fire under a blanket. 
      So lying is a big component of writing a mystery.        


Clarissa Draper said...

Lying is a habit good writers will have to add to their character's conversation in order to create good fiction. I really liked your post.

Judy Harper said...

Thanks, Clarissa.