June 26th, 2010

Rex Stout

I began reading Rex Stout at the prompting of Herrlee Creel, the great Chicago sinologist. Creel insisted that his students write well, not only well by academic standards, but by his own standards. He was a great writer himself. He frequently railed against journalists – a word he pronounced with a sour expression – but […]

June 6th, 2010

Raymond Chandler

Mystery Stories

Many people think that mystery stories are driven by plot and the belief that murder will out. A mystery prepares the reader for the revelation of the villain. This is the kind of story that requires “spoiler” warnings, something that I always take as a warning that the story may not be worth […]