Rise and Fall: A Dinger, PI Short

A new “Dinger, PI” short story at Motive Means Opportunity!


in bed smoking 2

We had just finished making love and were sharing a smoke when she nudged my shoulder and said, “There’s something I haven’t told you.”

Turning my head, I blew a long stream toward the ceiling. I placed the Chesterfield between her pouty lips and watched the tip glow like a beacon in the shadows. Dawn crept through the curtains of the huge bay window facing the lake. Tentacles of gray light inched across the hardwood floor. In a few minutes they would join us on Monica’s big four-poster bed. There was plenty of room.

She exhaled and drew on the cigarette again. When I kept my silence she adjusted her pillows and scooted up to rest against the headboard. The curves of her full, beautiful breasts were silhouetted against the pale light. “Did you hear me, Dinger?” she said, the cigarette dancing in her lips. “There’s something I haven’t told…

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Character Rebellion

Grave Robbing, Anyone? Read mystery/crime writer Peter DiChellis’ entertaining post on Character Rebellion at Motive Means Opportunity!


by Peter DiChellis The characters in a couple of my stories are staging an all-out rebellion. Seems they don’t want to rob graves for a living. But the stories are about grave robbing, so somebody’…

Source: Character Rebellion

In The Spotlight: John Hart’s The Last Child*

Mystery writer/blogger Margot Kinberg expounds on a gut-level, literary thriller!

Confessions of a Mystery Novelist...

>In The Spotlight: Kel Robertson's Smoke and MirrorsHello, All,

Welcome to another edition of In The Spotlight. Thrillers take many different forms. Some are psychological thrillers, some are espionage stories, and some are international-conspiracy thrillers. But there are other sorts of thrillers with a smaller scope, if you will, but nonetheless have plenty of action and suspense. Let’s take a look at one such thriller today, and turn the spotlight on John Hart’s The Last Child.

Thirteen-year-old Johnny Merrimon has been devastated since his twin sister, Alyssa, disappeared. She was walking home one day when, from what the police know, she was likely pulled into a car. No-one’s seen her since; not even a body has been discovered. Alyssa’s disappearance has wreaked havoc on the family, too. Johnny’s mother, Katherine, is emotionally devastated and barely functioning (sometimes not even doing that well). His father, Spencer, has gone. It’s been a year, and although the case is…

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Where are we?

Mystery/crime writer writes about a novel’s setting at Motive Means Opportunity!


The best compliment I ever received came from a friend’s next door neighbor. She raced from her house one day, book in hand, and called out, “You gotta read this book.” The book she was waving was my first published book, Zoned for Murder. She went on to tell my how she thought it was a first book by “this writer” and then said, “I really liked it, and you’d swear the story is set in this town.”

I couldn’t help myself, I asked her if she wanted me to autograph it. She took a step backward and gave me that…hum, do you need confinement look, then she said, “Your name isn’t Kait Carson.” I pulled a bookmark from the stash I carry in my handbag, autographed the book, and then took her on a sightseeing tour of familiar locations. She was right. The book was set in our town…

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Why Did Those Days Ever Have to Go?*

Wonderful post, Margot! Right down my alley as I’m now dealing with two private eyes in two different eras: Mac McClellan in modern times; and Dinger, PI, during post-WWII. Fortunately (?), I’m old enough to remember and realize how many things worked “back in the olden times” that Dinger operates in. And, I’ve retained enough “gray matter” to at least keep up with most of the new technology available to today’s crime solvers (although Mac is a reluctant student himself with all this technology).

One of my favorite authors is Ross Macdonald, who’s “Lew Archer” novels never fail to entrance me. I revel in the “old style” PI work Lew must contend with to get to the bottom of the cases he’s been hired to solve.

Thanks again for a great post! 🙂


Confessions of a Mystery Novelist...

Historical NuancesThe world changes, sometimes very quickly. So it’s easy to forget what life was like in the not-too-distant past. That’s one advantage of reading well-written novels from different eras: they offer a look at life at a certain time and in a certain place. And sometimes they include subtle nuances that really add to the atmosphere of a story – nuances we don’t really think about unless we compare them with our lives today.

In Agatha Christie’s Death in the Clouds (AKA Death in the Air), for instance, Hercule Poirot is on a flight from Paris to London when one of the other passengers, Marie Morisot, suddenly dies of what turns out to be poison. The only possible suspects are the other people on board the flight, so Poirot and Chief Inspector Japp have a limited supply of suspects. Along with the mystery in this novel (who killed Marie…

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