Boarding House Blues

Author: Tiger Wiseman

2 May 2022
What to Read: Agatha Christie

A Belgian detective, a soldier recovering from duty on the Western front, and a Scotland Yard detective walk into a country manor . . . It doesn’t take a genius to recognize the beginning of an Agatha Christie mystery. It is, in fact, Christie’s first mystery, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, written during World War […]

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10 April 2022
Casper, Hannibal, or Heathcliff? Susan, Lolita, or Sunbeam?

What's in a name?  Whether you're a parent or an author, names are important. Names invoke mental images and carry emotional connotations. Authors expend a tremendous amount of time and sweat naming their characters. I bow before the geniuses who coined the names Wil E. Coyote, Hot Lips Houlihan, and Dr. Strangelove. What about Willy […]

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10 March 2022
Mysteries on the Small Screen

When I say “TV series set in the 1920s,” what comes to mind? Most people would immediately respond Upstairs Downstairs and Downton Abbey. Some might add Peaky Blinders. As a mystery writer, my list is a little different: Murdoch Mysteries, Miss Fisher Mysteries, and Frankie Drake Mysteries The Roaring Twenties, aka the Jazz Age, were […]

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16 February 2022
 Traveling the Nostalgia Road

Motel (n.) an establishment which provides lodging and parking and in which the rooms are usually accessible from an outdoor parking area. First used in 1925, coined from motor + hotel. Originally a hotel for automobile travelers. For those of us of a certain age, the sight of an orange roof, cupola, and weather vane […]

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13 July 2021
Flappers Weren't the Only Fashionistas of the 1920s

Women's fashions may have stolen the headlines during the 1920s, but men's wear flourished nonetheless. In 1818, Henry S. Brooks opened a clothing store on the corner of Catherine and Cherry Streets in Manhattan, which was the early 19th century garment district where some of the first textile wholesalers in Manhattan were located (Lord & […]

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17 June 2021
Talkies Take the Town

During the 1920s motion pictures played a huge role in social life for people of all ages but especially those in their teens and early twenties. The first public exhibition of projected sound films took place in Paris in 1900, but it would be decades before sound motion pictures were made commercially practical. Reliable synchronization, […]

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18 May 2021
New York's Love Affair with Brownstones

Brownstones are an essential part of New York's DNA. From the mid-1900s all the way to today, New Yorkers have enjoyed a special relationship with these stately single homes and their special architecture. Way back when, my grandparents owned a NYC brownstone, as did their parents. In fact, my mother was born in my great-grandmother's […]

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10 April 2021
A Rockefeller by Any Name

Oysters Rockefeller was created in 1889 at the New Orleans restaurant Antoine's by Jules Alciatore, son of founder Antoine Alciatore. Jules developed the dish due to a shortage of French escargot (snails), substituting the locally plentiful Gulf Shore oysters. The dish was named Oysters Rockefeller after John D. Rockefeller, the then-wealthiest American, for its extreme […]

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5 April 2021
Typewriters

As a writer, typewriters have a mystical allure I can't resist. I played on my mother’s clunky Remington and, as a journalism grad student, learned to type on an IBM Selectric. And now I save my money to buy antique machines. In 1714, a patent for “an artificial machine ... for impressing ... letters ... […]

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8 March 2021
1920s Unsolved Mysteries - Little Lord Fauntleroy

Consider the case of Little Lord Fauntleroy — not the English one, but the unidentified American boy found murdered in Waukesha, Wisconsin, in 1921. That’s not his real name, but the one given to him by the press. On March 8, 1921, the body of a boy were found floating in a pond near a […]

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