Crime thru Time part 2

Although the author/title database is the core of the Crime thru Time site, there are several other important and useful features. If you’re one of those readers that relies on reviewers to help weed through all the options out there, even in a sub-genre as specific as historical mysteries, then CTT’s reviews page is for you. They have partnered with the expansive book review site, myshelf.com, to provide reviews of any HM book that appears on their site. All of the more than 500 reviews are listed on one page and arranged alphabetically by author’s last name and then by title. Links are provided to the myshelf site with each review being about 300 words and including publisher’s and setting information. Newer reviews also include a book cover image and a link to amazon.

For book lovers who have a craving to devour everything set in Ancient Greece or the Tudor period or any of the many others eras throughout time, then the Timelines page will be a valuable resource. Each era gets its own section with three sections covering all the history of man prior to 1000 AD: Before Common Era, Ancient, and Early Medieval. Beginning with the 11th century, each 100 year span gets its own section.  The lists for each section are not arranged chronologically, but rather by author’s last name. Each entry includes a link to the author’s full entry in the main database, the name of the series or title of stand-alone book, country of setting, and, of course, time setting as well. One handy tool, especially for Anglophiles, is that at the top of each section includes date information on the reign of every ruler since William the Conqueror plus selected other world-renowned leaders.

One of the few areas of the CTT site that has been a bit of a disappointment is the Recent Releases page, which lists all releases made during the current year. Each entry includes title, pricing, publisher and main character data and, like the Timelines page, a link back to the author’s full entry in the main database. Although it covers an entire year, the page is broken into monthly sections and it is updated throughout the year to keep it current. However, the inclusion of both hardback and paperback editions as well as releases in the UK and US leads to a lot of duplicated information or entries for books I’ve already read.

Although technically not part of the web site, I must also mention the CrimeThruTime Yahoo group. This active (five or six messages daily on average), vibrant group of readers and authors discuss all aspects of the historical mystery genre. The topics of discussion are quite varied from book recommendations and criticisms, to resources for research and the use of period language. Occasionally members stray, but moderator Malo brings them quickly back into line. Having a great number of HM authors as active participants in the discussions brings tremendous insight into the writing process and the travails of being a professional writer as members benefit by learning directly from Alan Gordon, Carola Dunn, I.J. Parker, Priscilla Royal, Margaret Frazer, Sharan Newman, Mary Reed and others.

Overall, the Crime Thru Time site and group are amazing and continue to keep me interested in historical mysteries. I can’t thank Kim Malo, who works so hard on the site, and all the authors enough.

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ascot6361 at yahoo.com

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