Yeah, second blog post. Finally! I just had my Thursday night mystery book discussion at the library where I work. This month's selection was Killer Year: Stories to Die For... Overall, I didn't like the collection. The stories aren't the type of thing I typically like to read. Too many of the stories seemed like they were written by the same author, working from the same set of guidelines on style. I like to see more--what I can only describe as--flavor. A better sense of individual author style with colorful descriptions of the people, places, and things to discover in the pages of a mystery. It doesn't have to be pages and pages, but it's no fun reading a story that's set in Anywhere, USA with people that I can't visualize because no description is given. What's the character wearing? How are they wearing it? Does it matter? Maybe not, but it can reveal character and help visualize a scene. Sometimes, it seems like the trend in fiction lately is all action and dialogue.

Or maybe I'm just reading the wrong books! I did enjoy last month's discussion pick: Raymond Chandler's The Long Goodbye. A couple of the stories in Killer Year reminded me of that noir style. Another story reminded me of Janet Evanovich's books. But liking 3 or 4 stories out of a collection of 16 isn't a good result. But then, they weren't cozy mysteries which I tend to prefer. At least I can look at them as a learning experience to better craft my own writing and develop my style. Just hope I'm moving in the right direction. (No pun intended.)

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