Gilded Needles

Dysfiction! (Dysfunctional Families In Fiction)

Of course the question should really be, ‘Whose family in fiction is not dysfunctional?’ Conflict drives a story, and so much of that begins at home. The subject offers rich pickings for authors and you can always bring things to a head with an uncomfortable revelation. Family conflict is there in most crime fiction, although […]

Gilded Needles

  I’ve talked in the past about rediscovering the writer Michael McDowell, who died too young. For decades his best work lay unnoticed on dusty bookshelves, but now smart new reprints have returned them to both print and online formats, and they deserve fresh success. Recently I wrote the foreword to one of his most […]

‘Gilded Needles’ Is Back

Michael McDowell frequently returned to the idea of matriarchal, dynastic revenge in his books, and his wonderfully chatty style made it feel as if he was imparting a terrible piece of gossip while describing all manner of disturbing events. ‘Gilded Needles’ is a vivid historical tintype of old New York that forms the backdrop to a nightmarish […]