Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Case of the Plot-Twisty Lawyer

Who says mystery stories aren’t relevant to everyday life? Not Sonia Sotomayer, the judge who’s about to become a Supreme Court Justice of the United States. Ms. Sotomayer cited the Perry Mason mystery novels, by Erle Stanley Gardner, as having helped influence her to go into law.

My librarian mother, Suzanne, glowed when she heard about Sonia. “I watched the Perry Mason TV show slavishly when I was a girl,” Mother reminisced. “I so wanted to be Perry’s secretary, Della Street, scrambling around crime scenes in designer suits and stiletto heels, and never springing even a ladder in her stocking.”

Uh, o-kaaay, Mother. Myself, I take pride in the rumpled look. It’s so lived-in, if you know what I mean.

Turns out my soon-to-be-brother-in-law, Jack (you first meet him in The Spy in the Alley), has watched all the old Perry Masons on DVD. He says his favourite episode is The Case of the Deadly Verdict, where Perry saves a woman at the last possible nano-second from the gas chamber. Phew!

Here’s what mystery writer Scott Turow says: “What I took from Perry Mason was the child-like delight in the surprise and in a plot as revelation of character. In the sense that the significant turn of the plot ends up deepening your understanding of somebody and what they had at stake in the situation.”

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

In Queen of Disguises, an escaped con, the actress-turned-thief Violet Bridey, is stalking me. I’m on Salt Spring Island, trying to get in shape. (BTW, I hate that expression. An egg is a shape, right? Ditto a pear, and certainly an M & M.) Vengeful Vi has sworn to hunt me down and exact revenge for sending her to jail.

Well, the Mississauga Public Library did me the honor of naming Queen of Disguises one of its top 10 kids’ reads for summer 2009. I’m tickled pink. Thank you, MPL!

Here’s a joke for you. Mississauga is a long word. How do you spell it? Ha ha ha. Yeah, I know. I should go on Leno.

One last thing, and then I gotta flee the ever-baleful Bridey. Check out my friend Cynthia Nugent’s new blog, about her upcoming book with Orca, Fred and Pete at the Beach. Fred and Pete are dogs based on Cynthia and my own author, Melanie Jackson. Talk about a tale to wag.