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Collecting the Works of Dean Koontz

By Brian Hoey. May 3, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Horror, Book Collecting, Mystery, Suspense & Crime

Like the Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard, Dean Koontz is a man of many names. Following the advice of an early publisher, Koontz determined that he might alienate fans of one genre by publishing under his own name in another. Given how many genres Koontz was going to publish in, it was necessary to have a whole host of pseudonyms (like David Axton, Leigh Nichols, and Brian Coffey) to preserve his image across his various milieus, which ranged from horror and thrillers to satire, science fiction, and mystery. Given that he was, during his era of peak productivity, publishing as many as eight novels a year, it’s a miracle he was able to keep track of them all.

     
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Beyond Bond: The Spy Fiction of John le Carré

By Adrienne Rivera. Oct 19, 2017. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Literature, Movie Tie-Ins, Mystery, Suspense & Crime

During the 1960s and '70s, David Cornwell worked as a member of British intelligence while secretly publishing spy novels under the pen name John le Carré. By his third novel, le Carré had become an international success. He quit his job in order to focus on writing full time. He is a force in the world of spy fiction and many of his novels are considered to be some of the best of the genre. His recurring character George Smiley features in many of his Cold War era novels and is considered to be one of literature's greatest spies. Le Carré has continued writing into his eighties, with his most recent novel A Legacy of Spies published in mid August of this year. Readers new to le Carré should look to the following examples of his impressive body of work.

     
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Seven Interesting Facts About Agatha Christie

By Brian Hoey. Sep 15, 2017. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Mystery, Suspense & Crime

Agatha Christie, going by sheer number of copies in print, ranks behind only Shakespeare and God (or, at any rate, The Bible). That in itself should be enough to suggest the tremendous literary stature of the woman who created Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, but it bears mentioning that she was also a recipient of the Mystery Writers of America’s Grand Master Award, and had her book The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (1926) voted the best crime novel ever by the Crime Writers' Association, all in addition to her success as a playwright (The Mousetrap’s West End theatrical run began in 1952 and continues to the present day). Here are some interesting facts about her.

     
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A Brief History of the Thriller Genre

Thrillers are characterized by suspensea feeling of pleasurable fascination and excitement over what is to come next, mixed in with apprehension, anticipation, and sometimes even, fear. These feelings develop throughout a narrative from unpredictable events that make the reader or viewer think about the consequences of certain characters’ actions. The suspenseful feelings build towards a climax that is sure to be memorable.

With suspense and crime, with conspiracies and revenge, the thriller genre has been keeping audiences on their toes with tension and excitement for centuries. When it comes to thrillers, many think of Alfred Hitchcock and his movies, like Psycho (1960) and Frenzy (1972), that contain storylines of embezzlement, murder, wrong accusations, and more. However, the thriller genre began much before these movies ever hit the big screen. Let's take a look at a brief history of the thriller genre.

     
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Lawrence Block, Writer of 150 Mysteries

By Matt Reimann. Jun 24, 2017. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Mystery, Suspense & Crime

Crime writers have the strangest muses. For best-selling author Lawrence Block, it’s 1970s New York, with all of its grime, noise—and yes—crime. Today, Block still lives in the West Village, now replete with upscale shops and multimillion-dollar townhouses, but the gritty city of yesteryear is still sharp in his spirit, having already provided a compelling backdrop for many of his 150 mystery novels.

     
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Dorothy Sayers, Detective Fiction, and Dante's Divine Comedy

By Adrienne Rivera. Jun 13, 2017. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Mystery, Suspense & Crime

Dorothy Sayers is often regarded as one of the top mystery writers of all time. Her detective stories continue to be read today, and her books' hero Lord Peter Wimsey is often mentioned among such fictional greats as Sherlock Holmes, Miss Marple, and Hercule Poirot. A prolific writer, Sayers published widely and not just the novels for which she is best known. Sayers also had considerable success as a playwright, short story writer, poet, and Dante scholar. If what you know of Sayers' work only includes Lord Wimsey, the breadth and scope of the rest of her workand of her rather interesting lifemay come as quite a surprise. Here are some interesting facts about the work and life of one of the main players in the Golden Age of detective fiction.

     
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Collecting Patricia Cornwell, Master of Mystery and Suspense

By Anne Cullison. Mar 2, 2017. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Mystery, Suspense & Crime

Patricia Cornwell is a contemporary American suspense author who has made her mark writing medical thrillers primarily featuring medical examiner, Dr. Kay Scarpetta. Scarpetta, her niece Lucy, and her friend, investigator Pete Marino, have become such an international phenomenon that Cornwell has earned numerous accolades including the Sherlock Award, the Gold Dagger Award, and the RBA Internation Prize for Crime Writing, among others. What should collectors know if they're hoping to build a Patricia Cornwell collection?

     
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Anne Rice's Top Five Novels

By Matt Reimann. Oct 4, 2016. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Horror, Book Collecting, Mystery, Suspense & Crime

With 100 million books sold, Anne Rice enjoys the sort of success available to only a few authors per generation. Rice made a name for herself with her influential spin on the gothic genre, to which she adds another title, Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis, this year. You may know her from her famous Vampire Chronicles series, though her forty-volume career encompasses far more. Below, we’ve compiled five highlights from Anne Rice’s prolific career.

     
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Seven Perfect Summer Reads by Nelson DeMille

By Andrea Diamond. Aug 23, 2016. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Literature, Mystery, Suspense & Crime

As summer slowly comes to an end, lazy afternoons feel stickier than usual. The air is still, the trees are quiet, and humidity hangs over the front porch like a blanket. On days like these, I find a box fan and a suspenseful novel help pick up the pace. For a quick and captivating read, consider one (or many!) of these seven Nelson DeMille novels.

     
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The History of the Pulps

By Brian Hoey. Jul 23, 2016. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Literature, Mystery, Suspense & Crime

One of the less-remembered truths about the world of books is that, for much of their history, books were expensive. Even in the eighteenth century, owning more than a few books was a marker of middle class status. This fact, of course, did nothing to negate the desire that exists within almost everyone to be taken in by stories. As such, the nineteenth century saw a rise in deliberate attempts to produce inexpensive reading material, the most memorable of which efforts took the forms of the penny dreadful and the dime novel. Cheaply produced on low quality paper, these alternatives to more expensive reading material eventually became synonymous with sensational, low brow, and often lurid storytelling: all mantels that would come to be taken up by the pulps.

     
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How can I identify a first edition? Where do I learn about caring for books? How should I start collecting? Hear from librarians about amazing collections, learn about historic bindings or printing techniques, get to know other collectors. Whether you are just starting or looking for expert advice, chances are, you'll find something of interest on blogis librorum.

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