Tales From The Blue Line 24 Jul29

Tales From The Blue Line 24

It had been a busy stretch. An immediate assignment “right out of the barn,” as we used to say, virtually every day. At 4:00 p.m. we’d be running to the squad straight from roll call. Better this than getting some over-the-hill day shift detective’s meaningless follow up, one of my partners used to say. And he was right. Nothing worse than finishing someone else’s work because they wanted to go home on time, or because they couldn’t figure it out themselves. So off to the wild blue we went, laughing at the other guys who had to sit and listen to someone tell them how to finish their assignment. “This one’s a...

Pet Spotlight: Connie Knight

Two Cats and a Plot   When I’m working on a book, I stay at home where my cats are my only company. I wander through the house, thinking about things, and looking for my cup of coffee. I might end up in the kitchen to make a fresh cup. My current book introduces a new character in my mystery series. She’s returning to her mother’s home town, but she’s not used to the country. As she drives down old dirt roads, things take her by surprise. She saw…um, something I saw once…a furniture van in a pasture, with two guys herding some cattle in its direction. My young character might realize that a furniture van isn’t right for cattle. Might...

Flashback: My Favorite Crime Film Jul27

Flashback: My Favorite Crime Film

This originally appeared in issue ten (Jan/Feb 2006) When Jeremy asked me to write about my all-time favorite crime movie, interestingly one of the first films I thought of was Get Shorty. It’s certainly one of the most enjoyable crime movies I’ve ever seen. Director Barry Sonnenfeld captures the humor of Elmore Leonard brilliantly because the actors never play the script for laughs. All of the characters take themselves ultra-seriously which makes the deadpan crime farce even funnier. The whole cast shines, in particular John Travolta as a mobster/Hollywood wannabe, Gene Hackman as the desperately sleazy film producer, and, best of all,...

Q&A with Jeff Guinn

Elise Cooper: Do you think this book is a realistic look at the western frontier?   Jeff Guinn: Yes, which is why I included blowing dust, bad whiskey, and smelly outhouses. Seriously, conditions in that region were very extreme and hard. Anyone who survived out there in one way or another was a hero, both men and women. What was written in this book reflects what was going on all over the frontier. That is why I included the quote, ‘The simplest conveniences in civilized places were complicated in Glorious.’   EC: Did you want to contrast Saint Louis and Glorious?   JG: Yes. Saint Louis was the line of de-embarkation with...

Q&A with Tom Young

Elise Cooper: Your bio terrorism scenario seems very realistic and plausible. Is it based on your military experience? Thomas Young: I hope this scenario never really happens where terrorists get their hands on chemical weapons in variety and in quantity. Fortunately, I have never experienced a chemical weapons attack. But my training during twenty years in the Air National Guard included how to respond to that scenario. In chem warfare exercises I learned to recognize symptoms of chem weapons poisoning, how to use protective equipment such as gas masks, and how to administer antidotes. We even practiced flying into a chemical-contaminated...

Recipe: Kate White’s Olive Cream Pasta Jul22

Recipe: Kate White’s Olive Cream Pasta

Here at Crimespree Castle in lovely downtown Milwaukee we are currently putting together a cook book. Here is one of the featured recipes from the ever amazing Kate White From Kate White, author of Eyes on You: Olive Cream Pasta I love traveling for all the obvious reasons—the pure bliss of being someplace new and exciting, all the sights to be seen and discoveries to be made, and of course the amazing food you can encounter both from smart planning and a bit of sheer luck. But there’s another crazy reason I love to take off for parts unknown. I do some of my best mystery writing when I’m in a new location, particularly if it’s over 80...