Sunday, August 19, 2012
Going Western Crazy
When I was younger I devoured books of far away places - Greece, Rome, Egypt. Historical novels were my cup of tea. Then one day I discovered Agatha Christi and I was off on a mystery binge that lasted decades. But if you could put a mystery in a historical novel I was a fan immediately. Writers like Mary Renault, Anne Perry, Dorothy Sayers never wrote enough in my humble opinion. I loved their research into the period they placed their mysteries. And the further away from home the better.
Now I seem to be coming home. It began with Tony Hillerman and his mysteries placed on the Navajo Reservation. A friend turned me on to James D. Doss who writes about the Southern Utes. I started seeking out obscure and not so obscure mystery writers of the Southwest: J.A.Jance, Michael McGarrity, Cliff Black. Nothing set in Phoenix please. Has to be a small town and have a cast of western characters. You really have to live here to appreciate that.
PBS turned me on to the new Longmire series set in Wyoming but filmed in New Mexico. I have now read two of the books by Craig Johnson the series is based on and bought a third. I am trying to pace myself because there are only eight thus far. And last night I discovered via Netflix streaming video the AMC series Hell on Wheels. So far just 11 episodes but I have gone through four of those. It has been renewed for season two. That is the good news. The bad news is it isn't based on a book or series of books. I already looked.
So do any of my frequent readers know of mystery writers that are placing their books in present day American Inter-mountain west? Or in the westward expansion period of 1865 to 1910. I can read faster than they write. And definitely faster than movie companies can film.