The Killing Type

a literary mystery novel by Wayne Jones

bye

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The Killing Type

The Killing Type

This is my 76th and last post to this blog. It’s been fun, but I’m setting it aside in order to concentrate on another writing project, a book I am writing about … well, I’ll let you know when it’s finished. Please feel free to send me a comment — and of course, buy my novel any time. Bye for now …

Wayne Jones, author of The Killing Type

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Written by waynejones

February 9, 2012 at 9:40 pm

Posted in The Killing Type

Indian

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The waiter arrives with our soup just as I am shaking my head to reassure her that she is making sense, or that if she isn’t, it’s quite understandable. I wonder about her motivations as much as about my own. The primal, primeval, primitive, primordial ones, even tip-tapping in alphabetical vowel playfulness like that, knifedo not apply in my case: I have no interest in sexual congress, even the kind that is tempered with what the magazines, the cinema, even apparently real people, like to call love. Wait, wait, wait—it is not bitterness or an aversion to having (or causing) a broken heart, and certainly it is nothing misogynous or otherwise grandly negative. A matter of practicality, really: being disconnected makes it easier to get one’s work done. I also do not have any particular interest in smoking her out (an atrocious colloquialism I heard on television last night, from a seriously overacted crime investigator) about the killings. I don’t have enough evidence to suspect her yet, and I am disinclined to fish around (from the second of the back-to-back episodes: must stop watching that box!) for any right now.

As for her, well, I don’t think she’s a killer. There’s a certain innocence about her that isn’t compatible with a murderous streak—though, of course, murderous streaks are notoriously unpredictable. Whenever those magnificently coiffed reporters—women with elegant-anvil jawlines, men with overdeveloped trapezius muscles making their sport coats fit funny—whenever they interview the distraught suburban neighbour of the man who has been keeping heads in his freezer for years, or has beaten his wife to death with a hammer for suggesting a divorce, or—well, the killer is always remembered as a quiet guy whose actions come as a complete surprise. Why is it that we never hear that he was always trouble? So, I don’t actually know anything at all about Tony of course, and it’s just a feeling, as prone to being inaccurate as any other—a feeling I have that she couldn’t kill anything.

The soup is good. Our eyes meet across the table after the first simultaneous sip and we nod at each other vigorously and raise our eyebrows as if we are approving something much more significant. I have to admit that there is the tinge of something in her eyes that I just can’t figure out, a glint like on a well-polished knife blade, a darkness like down the barrel of a gun, and it gives me a chill, even here with my face above the wafting warmth of the dahl. I look down.

Written by waynejones

February 8, 2012 at 10:46 pm

Posted in The Killing Type

another email

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Andrew has committed himself to finding out who the killer is and writing a book about it. Several times during the story, though, the killer sends him emails which are pretty harshly phrased, and with the general message that Andrew is engaged in a fruitless task. The killer will keep on killing, will not be caught, and there is nothing that Andrew — or anyone else — can do about it. For example:

Oh, dear Jesus, but you are a sight for a killing type such as myself. I feel somewhat like the ghost of Hamlet’s father, coming back not to inspire you to action but to remind you of your haplessness and futility. Give up, lay the book aside, stop this incessant analysis (or semblance of same), and return to whatever hole you came out of and leave me be to finish my job. I’ve killed and I will kill again, and your meddling will be something I merely crush as I proceed undeterred.

Written by waynejones

February 6, 2012 at 9:56 pm

Posted in The Killing Type

interview with mystery reader

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Interview with Mel Simoneau, friend and mystery reader …

Are you an avid reader of mysteries and crime writing?

No. As a kid, I enjoyed the Hardy Boys. I’ve only read a handful of adult mystery novels, e.g. P. D. James.

What types do you prefer? Ones that emphasize the whodunnit aspect? Or the ones that deal with police procedure? Or something else?

I do enjoy whodunnits. But as films, not books nor TV series. I really like watching cheap mystery time-wasters. I just finished watching Mickey Blue Eyes, a Jeanne MelTripplehorn/Hugh Grant romantic comedy. Fun to watch a mix of a rom-com with some level of suspense. For a more traditional mystery, one of my better memories is seeing The Mouse Trap play in London. The memory of visiting London and seeing a classic play (and the longest-running one in the world) is probably the biggest reason I fondly remember The Mouse Trap, but I hadn’t read the Christie novel so I was pleasantly surprised at the end to boot. 

How important is the quality of the writing to you in a mystery novel? Does it matter, or does the story of the quest for the killer make up for that?

Quality of writing doesn’t matter too much. My interest is entertainment.

When did you start reading mysteries? Do you still read them?

The first mystery novel I recall reading was as a boy. It was Mystery of the Haunted Mine (published 1962 and I probably read it three or four years after that). I still have it (in hand). I intend to re-read it at some point. Back then, I was “Melvin Simoneau” according to the handwritten note on the cover page.

Who are some of your favourite mystery writers? Some of your favourite crime books? Or movies? 

Movies: Hmmm … Many. What was the name of the one with Neve Campbell and Denise Richards? I watched it for aesthetics too.

Mel Simoneau is from Murdochville, QC, a small mining town in the Gaspé interior. Over 30 years ago, he made Ottawa/Gatineau his permanent home (studied at Algonquin College in Journalism and Toolmaking, so civil service was an obvious choice). Almost set to retire.

Written by waynejones

February 5, 2012 at 10:43 pm

Posted in The Killing Type

Victoria

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“And what do you plan to do when you are in the city?” I hear him saying, and at that point, no alternative seat possible on this full flight, no means of escape, I contrive an illness (“doctors say I should limit talking to an absolute minimum”), and my last raspy half-sentence to him is an apology. He says he understands and for a brief moment I worry that he’s interpreted my situation as permission for him to do all the talking—but, no, thankfully, he returns to a magazine and Victoriaafter I watch him flip to an article about back pain or foie gras or the imminent Rapture or whatever it is, I sink a little lower in my seat, rest my head near the window, and start to watch the world go by.

Victoria is one of those cities in which I’ve never felt comfortable. Nothing to do with danger, just that it feels like an undecided, unsettled city, and it leaves me a little unsettled as well. It’s a movie set in one part of town, the ocean in another part; quaint side streets with ethnic restaurants here, and deserted post-apocalyptic industrial burbs over there. Every time I go there I always feel compelled to drive somewhere else, head up the island to Tofino or make the crossing to Vancouver.

I am outside a Thai restaurant called Thia and my eyebrows go halfway up at the crude and obvious typo before I realize that it’s intentional, a cachet by way of bad orthography. The place is well lit and charmingly decorated with a combination of Western and Asian (Asain?) pieces. I am already seated at a window table when Leonard walks up to me. I stand up and am unfortunately too distracted by the napkin that falls from my lap onto the floor to devote much effort to the hug.

Written by waynejones

February 2, 2012 at 10:37 pm

Posted in The Killing Type

university

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In my own room, the continual internal debate is whether I should keep perfecting the silos, or just get rid of a few universitythings. Perhaps a lot of things, perhaps even a silo or two. In any case, I realize with some tincture of shame that the whole effort is for domestic control. Some drab psychology textbook I was leafing through recently referred to the desire for control as “stemming”—yes, that word exactly, as if any part of the course of a ragged life could resemble the beauty of a flower—stemming from the lack of control in childhood. A sister who wouldn’t knock before entering a curious boy’s bedroom. A mother who demonstrated no respect for my clothing suggestions. A father—well, the less said the better. I hate to appear as the embodiment of a psychological truism, but a fact is a fact: I crave control. At Toronto University, even though the main impetus for my leaving stemmed from the class of clowns that I found myself surrounded by, some part of it (let’s say 10 percent for the mathematically inclined reader) was because life was so frantic, so hectic, so uncontrolled. I enjoyed having only the two classes (one Tuesday, one Thursday), both finishing conveniently around lunch time, but those were two glorious distinct points from which radiated a blinding array of activity. Misspelled essays to correct. Exams, tests, midterms, and other variations. Committee meetings whose agendas indicated only an hour, but during which the chair invariably droned on and ended up at one or other digression (“now I’m not saying that my wife is a shoplifter!”), and at nearly two hours there was more checking of watches than taking of notes. Students dropping by my office at hours clearly not covered by those posted in Times New Roman 16-point on my door. Evaluations, promotions, letters of reference solicited by this incompetent Nabokovian or that specialist in a 17th-century poet whom I frankly had never heard of.

Written by waynejones

February 1, 2012 at 8:44 pm

Posted in The Killing Type

categorization, again

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?I’ve cited three other sources which attempt to some extent to provide a hierarchy or ontology or catagorization of mystery and crime writing (Amazon.com, the Oxford Companion to Crime and Mystery Writing, Wikipedia). Soon I’ll have a look at a fourth one: The Readers’ Advisory Guide to Mystery (2nd ed.). Just looking at the table of contents, I see a few categories already:

 

  • amateur sleuths
  • private investigators
  • police procedurals
  • historical sleuths
  • genre-blended mysteries

This doesn’t look all that promising, but perhaps the details will come out when the book is examined more closely.

Written by waynejones

January 30, 2012 at 9:33 pm

Posted in The Killing Type