Feeding My Mystery Muse

After returning from a visit with a friend yesterday, I watched two more classic Perry Mason episodes, and marveled again at the storytelling and dialogue, and the skilled way a mystery was laid out and solved in under an hour. The series is very much a product of its time, and yet feels fresh and modern in many ways. Good conflict is timeless, and Perry’s never-ending quest to help those in need is as relevant today as it was in the 1950s and 1960s.

I’m also reading James Scott Bell’s entertaining “Neo-Pulp” mystery collection, Trouble is My Beat, featuring pulp writer and Hollywood studio troubleshooter Bill Armbrewster. It’s a cracking good read, well written and fast-paced, and above all, fun. If you enjoy a good pulp style mystery, or are a fan of the Coen Brothers film Oh, Caesar, which features another studio troubleshooter, I think you’ll enjoy the Armbrewster story collection.

As a writer, it’s important to “feed” the muse as well as write, and I’ve been doing that for mystery for the past couple of years. Creative writing is a team effort between your conscious “I” self and your subconscious, and the subconscious benefits and enjoys it when you consume stories.

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