(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘mysteries

“In writing a novel, when in doubt, have two guys come through the door with guns”*…

In which two legendary authors compare notes and plot a contract killing…

The world of mysteries and thrillers has produced some memorable friendship but perhaps none quite so distinguished as the one struck up later in life between between Raymond Chandler, the laureate of American hardboiled fiction, and Ian Fleming, the legendary English author of the James Bond novels. The relationship began when Fleming wrote to Chandler asking for an endorsement that would be used to help market the Bond novels in America. Chandler ultimately reviewed two books from the 007 series—Diamonds Are Forever and Dr. No—for The Sunday Times, and the two authors, both on their way to legendary status, struck up a warm personal relationship. In 1958, celebrating Chandler’s 70th birthday, the BBC asked Fleming to “interview” his eminent friend. The result was a rollicking, far-ranging conversation in which the authors discussed the state of the thriller, heroes and villains, the struggle for literary credibility, and how a murder is planned and executed. It would be the last time the two friends met before Chandler’s death the following year, in 1959. Fortunately, the conversation was recorded and made available by the BBC. It’s a treasure for readers and writers alike…

The recording (in four parts) and highlights from the transcript: “The Time Raymond Chandler and Ian Fleming Got Together To Talk About Thrillers,” in @CrimeReads.

* Raymond Chandler


As we get tough, we might recall that it was on this date in 1964 that Kitty Genovese, returning home from her job as a bartender, was assaulted and murdered as she returned to her apartment in Queens. Six days later, her assailant was apprehended, and confessed to her murder and two others.

Two weeks after the murder, The New York Times published an article erroneously claiming that 38 witnesses saw or heard the attack, and that none of them called the police or came to her aid. The incident prompted inquiries into what became known as the bystander effect, or “Genovese syndrome,” and the murder became a staple of U.S. psychology textbooks for the next four decades. But subsequent investigations suggest that there was “no evidence for the presence of 38 witnesses, or that witnesses observed the murder, or that witnesses remained inactive.” In 2016, the Times called its own reporting “flawed,” confessing that the original story “grossly exaggerated the number of witnesses and what they had perceived.”

Still, the murder of Kitty Genovese– and the erroneous story that surrounded it– is credited as one of the factors that pushed the emergency 911 system into place, after New York City officials joined in a national effort involving officials in other cities. It became the national emergency number in 1968.


Written by (Roughly) Daily

March 13, 2023 at 1:00 am

Casting a spell: spelling “aghast”…


Don’t be left out; join in the fun!  Play Oxford Dictionaries On-Line Spelling Bee!


As we chant to ourselves “‘i’ before ‘e’, except after ‘c’,” we might send mysterious birthday greetings to writer, poet, playwright, essayist, translator, and Christian humanist Dorothy L. Sayers; she was born on this date in 1893.  While she’s surely best remembered as a crime novelist– the creator of Lord Peter Wimsey– she considered her translation of Dante’s Divine Comedy (Penguin Classics, in three volumes, e.g., here) to be her best work.


Written by (Roughly) Daily

June 13, 2012 at 1:01 am

%d bloggers like this: