| Oct 9, 2011
How survivors of the Chicago Fire sought scapegoats 140 years ago
Even as the embers of the Chicago Fire cooled, the saga of Mrs. O'Leary began. For 140 years, she has been alternately accused and exonerated of setting off the inferno that consumed...
| Oct 16, 2011
'The Ninth Day' By Jamie Freveletti. Harper, 416 pages, $9.99
Believability is one of the most important aspects of mysteries. The most brilliant plot, the most evocative setting or the most insightful characters stall if the author doesn't make that...
| Oct 24, 2011
| 8:02 AM
Video gamers spend tons of time -- for many it's 10,000 hours by age 21 -- battling mythic monsters, shooting aliens and rescuing princesses from digital castles.
Adrien Treuille wants to put those efforts to better use.
The Carnegie Mellon computer...
| Feb 21, 2012
Since at least 1976, the woman who calls herself Seven has lived without a formal identity.
She says she's 71 years old and a lifelong Cubs fan. She has fleeting childhood memories of visiting the Indiana Dunes but can recall little else and suffers from...
| Sep 18, 2011
"Trick of the Dark" By Val McDermid. Bywater Books, 307 pages, $24.95
British author Val McDermid specializes in deep psychological thrillers that culminate in heart-wrenching, tense situations, but she injects only a bare minimum of violence.
| Oct 29, 2011
Who wrote Shakespeare? Sounds like "Who's buried in Grant's tomb?" Yet about 150 years ago, people on both sides of the Atlantic began asking how an otherwise obscure William Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon could have crafted the most brilliant works...
| Oct 30, 2011
Florence Parry Heide, a prolific children's book author best known for her droll illustrated picture book "The Shrinking of Treehorn" and her ability to convey in her writing what it is like to be a child, has died. She was 92.
Heide died in her sleep...
| Nov 22, 2011
| 8:31 AM
The time for the "Mystery Movie" has come again. In the 1970s, the idea worked so well for NBC, the network used it twice weekly for a while ... on rotating components including Peter Falk's "Columbo," Dennis Weaver's "McCloud" and Rock Hudson's "McMillan...
| Jul 29, 2012
Shadow of Night
Viking: 584 pp., $28.95
Writing second installments of planned trilogies is harder than you think. There has to be enough background from the first novel — but...
| Jul 28, 2012
| 5:08 PM
In the early days of their marriage a few years ago, Chicago attorney Brett Nolan and his wife, the thriller novelist Gillian Flynn, were having drinks with a group of friends when Flynn posed a surprising question. "Does anybody have any idea," she asked...
| Jul 30, 2012
| 1:03 PM
Sometimes the Amazon robots get a little wacky with their book recommendations for readers. The bots must get rusty from all of the rain out in Seattle.
Read Street reader Eileen O'Brien recently got some weird suggestions for mysteries and thrillers,...