20th Century US

Getting the Past Right Is Tough—Even If I Lived Through It by Peg Herring

Posted by on Jul 16, 2017 in 20th Century US, Featured Book, Historical Research | 6 comments

I enjoy writing what I call “vintage” mysteries, books set in a time that’s historical but recent enough that some of us were there. My newest mystery, Her Ex-GI P.I., takes place in the late 1960s. It’s actually a re-release of a book accepted by a publisher early on in my career and made available only as an e-book. I learned a lot in those first years, and two things about the book stuck out. First, the cover, in black with slinky females prominent (which was the publisher’s doing), put readers off. Second, the title, Go Home and Die, didn’t fit the G-rated, cozy-ish sub-genre. (That was...

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Combat Casualties and Battlefield Medicine through the Ages by Lloyd Lofthouse

Posted by on Apr 10, 2017 in 20th Century US, Featured Book, Historical Tidbits | Comments Off on Combat Casualties and Battlefield Medicine through the Ages by Lloyd Lofthouse

It has been estimated that the Roman Empire’s Legions, over a nine-hundred year period, lost an average of one-thousand troops annually from combat. When we compare modern combat deaths, this is amazing. Though the number of killed and wounded in the U.S. Civil War (1861 – 1865) is not known precisely, most sources agree that the total number killed added up to an average of 160,000  – 175,000 combat deaths annually. In the Korean War, the US lost an average of 18,081 from combat deaths annually. In the Vietnam War, that number dropped to 3,063. In Desert Storm (1990-1991) there were only...

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Research and The Return of the Raven Mocker by Donis Casey

Posted by on Feb 8, 2017 in 20th Century US, Featured Book, Historical Fiction Influences, Historical Research | Comments Off on Research and The Return of the Raven Mocker by Donis Casey

Primary Research When the Raven Mocker returns to Boynton, Oklahoma, in the fall of 1918, he brings with him the great worldwide influenza pandemic that claimed fifty million lives. World War I is still raging in Europe, but Alafair Tucker is fighting her own war as the epidemic sweeps through like wildfire. What a perfect time for someone to commit murder. Who’s going to notice? In 2004, when I was writing my first Alafair Tucker mystery, The Old Buzzard Had It Coming, I was particularly concerned with the kind of life Alafair would have led in 1912, so much of my research consisted of...

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The Wild Man, The Goat Woman & the Mississippi Miser by Michael Llewellyn

Posted by on Jan 2, 2017 in 20th Century US, Featured Book, Historical Research, Historical Tidbits | 1 comment

Southerners didn’t write the book on eccentricity, but we’ve certainly supplied literature with more than our share of audacious characters and plots. From the Lesters of Tobacco Road and Boo Radley, to Ignatius J. Reilly and the denizens of Yoknapatawpha County, Dixie has produced a bumper crop of picaresque folk. Fiction, however, rarely eclipses fact. The real-life 1932 Goat Castle Murder in Natchez, Mississippi, was the perfect paradigm, screwy and sensational enough to demand, for the first time in American history, two special tourist trains to a crime scene. It seemed few could resist...

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The Final Case of Dead Detective Seamus Hanrahan by Peg Herring

Posted by on May 30, 2016 in 20th Century US, Featured Book, Historical Research, Historical Tidbits | Comments Off on The Final Case of Dead Detective Seamus Hanrahan by Peg Herring

Dead, but still working. That’s the idea behind the Dead Detective Mysteries. Book #1, THE DEAD DETECTIVE AGENCY, was named Best Mystery of 2012 by the Electronic Publishing Internet Coalition. Readers met Seamus, a detective who died in the 1950s and has been hanging around the gateway to the Afterlife ever since, helping murder victims learn who killed them and why. Two subsequent books, DEAD FOR THE MONEY and DEAD FOR THE SHOW, concern recently-deceased clients Seamus takes on. Once he answers their questions, they can proceed to the final phase, a glorious though mysterious passage....

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What do a Victorian Lady and a 1940s Gal Gumshoe have in Common?

Posted by on Feb 1, 2016 in 19th Century U.S., 20th Century US | Comments Off on What do a Victorian Lady and a 1940s Gal Gumshoe have in Common?

When M. Ruth Myers and I discovered we were both promoting books in our respective historical mystery series at the same time, we thought how much fun it would be to compare the responses our female sleuths from different historical periods would make to the same questions. (This is reposted from a two part series on M. Louisa Locke’s and M. Ruth Myers’ blogs.) On the surface, Mrs. Annie Fuller, the protagonist in my Victorian San Francisco Mystery series, is a rather typical 19th century widowed woman who supports herself by running a boarding house. The fact that she...

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