Last Wednesday The Mystery Writers of America New York Chapter had its first 2019 meeting. It was lively. No one has ever accused mystery writers of being shy. MWA was founded in 1945. It presents a bust of Edgar Allen Poe to mystery or crime writers every year. Throughout the year there are readings by members at various venues, mentoring programs and scholarship programs. The Communication Committee announced that the club’s newsletter, The Noose, was having its name changed. The associations with the word noose concern some members and so we are changing it to….who knows? A friend suggested Arsenic and Old Lace.
I watched Eight and a Half, Federico Fellini’s 1963 fantasy with Nino Rota’s haunting music. It’s glamorous and mysterious as we wander through the past and present with a film director played by Marcello Mastroianni. Eight and a half refers to the eight and a half movies Fellini had directed before Eight and a Half. The black and white images by cinematographer Gianni Di Venanzo are stunning. There are parades of course, a Fellini hallmark. It won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Time has weight it down with immense respectability. Even the Vatican considers it one of the best films made before 1995.
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 ? His hated boss, Captain Dick Holbrook, being a trustee of the Windsor School? Losing his girlfriend to Holbrook?