Thursday, January 26, 2017

The Fine Art of Murder: Excerpt from The Making of a Masterpiece by C.A. Paddock

What happens when a renowned Indiana artist becomes obsessed with his muse while trying to create his masterpiece? Speed City Sisters in Crime chapter member C.A. Paddock explores this question in the short story, The Making of a Masterpiece. It is included among a collection of 18 short stories of murder and suspense in the art world in The Fine Art of Murder. The Fine Art of Murder is available at amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com and walmart.com.
     “She won’t even see it coming,” a hoarse voice echoes in his head. And with that encouragement he raises his Bowie knife and slashes through her mid-section. As the steel blade again cuts through the air and down the side of her porcelain-like face, he howls his disgust at her.
     “You destroyed us. You destroyed our perfect relationship. Now you will pay for what you’ve done to me! I gave you my all for months and months and what do you I get from you? Nothing, nothing that’s what. You lead me on with your beauty and your charms and your teasing perfection. But you betrayed me with all of it!”
     He lifts the knife with even more fervor and slices her over and over, carving out his anger and fear, until he stops suddenly and falls on his knees. His hand, so gnarled and cramped from holding the weapon, gives out and he drops the knife. He stares down at what he has done and knows that she would have screamed out, if she could have, because the pain had to be unbearable. He feels it himself, the small burning sensation that soon engulfs him in a full-fledged roar of flaming agony. He waits and listens, half-expecting to see her rise up and cry out.
    The only sound he hears is the moan that escapes his lips.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Speed City Writer Helps Facing Mentoring

Yet another member of the Speed City Chapter of Sisters in Crime is participating in The Facing Project.  This time it is Stephen Terrell, who has written an article for Facing Mentoring, a project in Muncie, which is where the Facing Project started.

The stories will be read at by performers at Muncie Civic Theater, Thursday, January 19 beginning at 6:30 p.m.

The Facing Project is a community-based effort to face serious issues in local communities across the country. It pairs local writers with people impacted by the issue which local organizers have selected as an important topic for the community.  The writers give a voice to those impacted and whose voice may not otherwise be heard. 

In November, Speed City member Barbara Miller participated in Facing Racism, also in Muncie.

The Facing Project was started five years ago by author Kelsey Timmerman and activist J.R. Jamison-Pippin and have addressed a wide variety of issues in communities throughout the United States. For more information, go to facingproject.com  

Saturday, January 14, 2017

The First Fictional Female Detective

Who was the First Fictional Female Detective in Literature?  Speed City Sisters in Crime Member Crystal Rhodes Investigated. Here's what she found.

As a member of the Indiana Chapter of Sisters of Crime and a history buff, I became curious as to who was the first female detective in literary fiction and who invented the character.   So, I went online to do some research. 

According to the website Crime Fiction Lover (www.crimefictionlover.com) the- character’s name was Mrs. Gladden, featured in a series of serials called The Female Detective by Andrew Forrester.  Mrs. Gladden was an undercover police agent who employed “subterfuge and logical deduction” to solve cases.  Set in London, England the serials were published in 1864.  The work was definitely fiction since women weren’t recruited to London’s Metropolitan Police until 1923.
The website states that a few months later a second English writer, William Stephens Hayward, wrote another series of serial adventures featuring a woman protagonists named Mrs. Paschal.  In Revelations of a Lady Detective, Mrs. Paschal was a cigarette smoking, gun toting sleuth who takes her crinoline petticoat off to go down a sewer.  That was racy stuff in 1864.

It wasn’t until 1888 that the first British novel featuring a female protagonist was published.  Described as a poorly written work of fiction, the name of the book was Mr. Bazalgette’s Agent, by Leonard Merrick.

It was a female author, Metta Victoria Fuller Victor, who wrote the first full length detective novel in America. Published in the 1860s, ironically, her protagonist was a young attorney named Richard Redfield, a man.  It's with Redfield's help that a legendary detective from New York City--another man--solves a crime.  Go figure.
C.V. Rhodes is a member of the Speed City Sisters in Crime chapter and co-author, with L. Barnett Evans, of the Grandmothers, Incorporated cozy mystery series.  Visit their website at www.grandmothersinc.com