by Bill Crider
It’s been about four years since I first mentioned Ben Boulden’s Gravetapping (gravetapping.blogspot.com), and if you haven’t visited there lately, it’s well worth another look. It’s still primarily a review blog, but the focus has changed a little. For example, Boulden has been reading and reviewing the novels of Harry Patterson (a.k.a. Jack Higgins, James Graham, Hugh Marlowe, and several other names) in the order they were written. He’s also introduced a feature called “Thrift Shop Book Covers,” in which he shows the covers of books he’s picked up for a pittance and talks a bit about the books themselves. He reviews Westerns occasionally, too, by writers like Brian Garfield and Jack Bickham, both of whom have crime-writing connections.
Rob Lopresti is a blogger, mystery writer, librarian, and songwriter. He’s started a new blog called Today in Mystery History (mysthist.blogspot.com). It’s like one of those daily calendars that gives you a new fact each day. In this case, as the title of the blog tells you, the facts are all related to mysteries and crime, usually the fictional kind found in books, on TV, or in the movies. If you’re looking for an interesting and entertaining way to start the day, here it is.
Keith West’s Gumshoes, Gats, and Gams (adventuresfantastic.com/gumshoes) is “a celebration of noir and detective fiction.” Although it occasionally offers an essay, it’s primarily an excellent review site. As you can see from the URL, it’s under the umbrella of Adventures Fantastic, and there are links that will take you to that blog and also to Futures Past and Present, both of which have reviews of SF books. And don’t forget to click the link to Dispatches from the Lone Star Front, where you’ll find non-crime-related essays on such wonders as Collin Street Bakery’s fruitcakes. (Punctuation fans will note that West uses the Oxford comma in his blog’s name. I approve.)
Jacqueline Seewald (jacquelineseewald.blogspot.com) is a writer who’s worked as a teacher and librarian. Her blog has writing advice (“Setting the Scene”), interviews, and essays on topics like empowering women in fiction. If you’d like to find out “what we can learn from Taylor Swift,” this would be the place to go. And if you don’t know who Taylor Swift is, this would be as good a place as any to learn the answer.