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    Fiction Flashback

    Sara Rosett Icon

    Quick, what do the following three things have in common?

    Walk Like An Egyptian, jeans with zippers at the ankle, and The Breakfast Club.

    (Mentally insert Jeopardy theme song here).

    Time’s up. If you said, “What are the 1980s?” Ding, ding, ding. You are correct!

    That’s right, brush up on your 1980s trivia because…they’re back.

    Non-proliferation treaties (“Trust, but verify”), leggings, Gorbachev, shoulder pads, and belts cinched at –get this—the waist. That’s right, ladies we can now wear our belts at our waist instead of our hips.

    In the 1980s I had seriously big hair, a tight corkscrew perm that border-lined on being an afro. No, I’m not going to post a picture. I’m sure you can imagine it just fine. I also had the shoulder pads, the crush on the Brat Pack members, and the music, but it wasn’t until almost a decade later that I discovered the mysteries of the 1980s.

    A change was taking place in the publishing world that decade. Sue Grafton’s A is for Alibi came out in 1983, Carolyn Hart’s Death on Demand hit the shelves in 1987, and private investigator V.I. Warshawski from Sara Paretsky debuted in 1982. Women mystery writers were transitioning to the forefront of the publishing industry.

    When I found those great mysteries ten years later, I loved visiting a struggling P.I. in sunny southern California or dropping in a mystery bookstore on an island off the South Carolina coast. From the P.I. to the cozy, the 1980s were very good years for women mystery writers.

    What’s your favorite 1980s mystery? And don’t be shy, let us in on your favorite 1980s fashion flash-back.

    5 Responses to “Fiction Flashback”

    1. Hands-down, my favorite 1980’s mystery is Mary Higgins Clark’s A Cry In the Night. My original copy is so dog-eared and ratty. Love that book!

      And my favorite 80’s fashion?? Oh God, there are so many. LOVED the belts around the sweaters, loved the perm (though mine wasn’t quite what you described…I don’t think), loved the ripped shirt thing (ala Flashdance) and LOVED the mini skirts.


      Now, if only I had my 80’s body…

      by Laura on September 27th, 2006 at 7:43 am

    2. Oh, yes, the ripped shirt thing!

      And wearing bracelets halfway to your elbow a la Madonna (remember those black rubber bracelets???)

      Gosh, though, I don’t know what my favorite 80s mystery is.

      by Tasha Alexander on September 27th, 2006 at 7:48 am

    3. I didn’t discover them until later, but I really enjoy the Ellie Haskell series by Dorothy Cannell and, of course, Carolyn Hart’s Death on Demand series.

      Favorite 1980s fashion flashback? Gosh, I don’t know. Must give this more thought…

      by Tori Lennox on September 27th, 2006 at 8:26 am

    4. Laura, I haven’t read A Cry In The Night. I’ll have to check it out. And I think it is quite unfair that now that the 80s are back I can’t have my 80s body back, too. In fact, if I still had it I might have been more fond of the hip-hugger/belly button trend.

      Tasha, I do remember the layered/shredded/bracelet Modonna look. Almost like the stylist had her put on every accessory they could find.

      And Tori, Dorothy Cannell and Carolyn Hart are some of my favorites, too.

      By the way, comments from me and some of the other good girls may be spotty for a few days. (In case you didn’t know, we’ll be at B’con! :) ) But we’ll check in when we can.

      by Sara on September 27th, 2006 at 8:55 am

    5. I have to name two books that encouraged me to try writing a novel:
      Freaky Deaky by Elmore Leonard and
      Tourist Season by Carl Hiaasen

      Oh, and I still have my leg warmers from my Flashdance period.

      by David Terrenoire on September 27th, 2006 at 1:07 pm

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