NYMysteries  Dec. 8

 

Last Wednesday I went to my first Mystery Writers of America holiday party, aptly called Revels. MWA took over Distilled on West Broadway and it was fun. The late Lawrence  Block was honored. There was an open bar and delicious food was offered by a pleasant wait staff. Can you juggle a drink, a purse, a napkin and a skewer with a smile on your face? If so, teach me. Before the party, I had the forever fifteen anxiety that no one would know me or talk to me.  What is it about mystery writers? Is it because we have a purpose, writing mysteries, that makes it easy to talk to one another. A common question is what’s your genre? In crime fiction the answer could be police procedural, cozy, thriller, Victorian, hard-boiled, private eye, medical, military.

 The Edgars have been presented every year. Named after Edgar Allan Poe, they honor the best in mystery fiction, non-fiction, television, film, and theater.

MWA was founded in 1945. It’s catchy slogan, courtesy of Clayton Rawson, is “Crime doesn’t pay – enough.” 

Graphic Lessons: What do a thirty-four-year old, a nine-year-old and an eighteen-year-old have in common? Murder. 

Millie Fitzgerald applies for a private school teaching job, faints on a  dying man in the school kitchen, deals with a troubled nine-year-old and with the eighteen-year-old niece of the murdered man.

Graphic Lessons: Nine-year-old Dana is the only witness who overhears a person fighting with George Lopez, the soon to be stabbed Windsor School kitchen worker. Who can she tell? Her mother who never listens or accuses her of lying? Her father who’s started a new family in Singapore? She tells Millie. 

Graphic Lessons: NYPD Detective Steve Kulchek is assigned the murder case at the  prestigious Windsor School. What’s bugging him? His partner being stabbed while Kulchek was buying cigarettes? Escaping an attempted car bombing?  His hated boss, Captain Dick Holbrook, being a trustee of the Windsor School?  Losing his girlfriend to Holbrook? 

NYMysteries –  Dec. 1

 

I’ve written two fan letters in my life. The second one was to Tom Volk, the director of Maria by Callas. Believe me, after you see this movie you too will write Mr. Volk a fan letter. He’s captured perfectly the feelings of the times and culture when Diva Callas reigned. Bel Canto was her singing arena: Donizetti, Bellini (Norma, anyone?) She also sang in the operas of Puccini, Bizet, Rossini, Verdi. Her voice makes me cry. I can hear it in an upscale shop, on the radio, anywhere. The reaction is always the same. 

A friend and I went to the Paris Theatre on Fifth Avenue and 58th Street to see Maria by Callas. It couldn’t have been a more appropriate venue. It’s an immaculate movie house that reeks of a bygone NYC fifties flavor. I don’t think anyone under fifty is admitted. Before the mercifully short coming attractions and the featured movie begins, you are treated to the crooning of Dean Martin (Volare) or Edith Piaf (Non, je ne regrette rien).

For years I have known a great artist. His name is Frank Galuszka. He works and lives on the west coast. We met in Rome. He had just completed a Fulbright in Romania. I bought his big nude painting for five hundred bucks, a lot of money at the time, and had to badger him for years to sign it. He did, finally, with a magic marker. Yesterday I received two catalogs of his recent work: VOTIVE: The Art of Frank Galuszka. He continues to paint like a master.

Frank Galuszka’s Nude

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are two other of Frank’s paintings.

Advice by Frank Galuszka

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rose Room by Frank Galuszka

 

 

Graphic Lessons: What do a thirty-four-year old, a nine-year-old and an eighteen-year-old have in common? Murder. 

Millie Fitzgerald applies for a private school teaching job, faints on a  dying man in the school kitchen, deals with a troubled nine-year-old and with the eighteen-year-old niece of the murdered man.

Graphic Lessons: Nine-year-old Dana is the only witness who overhears a person fighting with George Lopez, the soon to be stabbed Windsor School kitchen worker. Who can she tell? Her mother who never listens or accuses her of lying? Her father who’s started a new family in Singapore? She tells Millie. 

Graphic Lessons: NYPD Detective Steve Kulchek is assigned the murder case at the  prestigious Windsor School. What’s bugging him? His partner being stabbed while Kulchek was buying cigarettes? Escaping an attempted car bombing?  His hated boss, Captain Dick Holbrook, being a trustee of the Windsor School?  Losing his girlfriend to Holbrook?