Thursday, November 3, 2011

Halloween, Red Riding Hood Again, All Soul's Day, November, Bonfire Night, Guy Fawkes Day

Hey, Halloween isn't over until all the candy's gone.  Pumpkins still grin out from porches.  The October light still lingers.

I had a more difficult time identifying the costumes this year, not hip to all of the popular characters on television these days.  An ordinarily attired lad walked up to the door and held his box out for candy.  When asked, he said he was dressed up as a fisherman, his costume apparel consisting of a common fishing ball cap and the small fishing rod he was carrying.  First time I'd heard of that one.

I blogged about the Red Riding Hood legend the other day, at this link, and I was delighted to see one couple playing the part better than any other I could find, even with a net search.  Not only did Kris and Tracy help to brighten Halloween for us, but Oreo and Gremlin got into the spirit as well.

A lot of ghostly stories take place after Halloween, in November, including a number of detective novels about solving murders that happened on Halloween night.  Then too, there are all those other holidays on this week's international calendar, especially those connected to the Gunpowder Plot, a la MacBeth.

One of the best of these is R. D. Wingfield's detective novel, Hard Frost.  The murder takes place on Halloween and the novel spans the time from Halloween to Guy Fawkes day.  Wingfield's quirky detective, Jack Frost, is not politically correct but he is magnificently funny going up against the Bureaucracy and trying to do the right thing in spite of it.  He is flawed but endearingly so, a bit like Colombo of old.

Another good mystery set  in November is Stephen Dobyns' Saratoga Haunting, which pushes genre just a bit and is one of the best of the series.  Dobyns' straight-laced Charlie Bradshaw is balanced by the cynical, wise-cracking Victor Plotz, his assistant in this one and a central character in novels which came later.

Dobyns hasn't published a mystery novel in a long time, and I surely do miss reading about his characters.

I think the dustjacket illustration on the first edition is great too:

1 comment:

  1. I'd forgotten Stephen Dobyns. Loved THE CHURCH OF DEAD GIRL. And his poetry.