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In Colin Cotterill's Laos, Dead Men Do Tell Tales()  

Colin Cotterill stands across the street from Mahosot hospital

August 15, 2008 For two years, the author lived in a Laotian hospital, in an apartment above the operating room. His experiences there inspired characters — including a country coroner — for the books he would later write.

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Novelist Highlights The Rich Flavor Of Old Istanbul()  

Jason Goodwin skyline

August 14, 2008 For historian-turned-mystery-writer Jason Goodwin, the bustling Istanbul bazaar is a perfect setting for murder, and the evening call to prayer is "a good time to kick a man to death in the street."

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Mystery And Decay In An Ancient, Occupied City()  

Matt Beynon Rees

August 12, 2008 Crime writer Matt Beynon Rees explores the layers of history and decay that characterize Nablus, a 2,000-year-old Palestinian city in the northern part of the occupied West Bank.

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Probing The Psyche Of Glasgow's Mean Streets()  

Denise Mina, primary

August 11, 2008 Scottish criminologist-turned-crime writer Denise Mina writes about slums and public housing projects — and the unlikely, imperfect characters who make their homes there.

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Joe Wambaugh: The Writer Who Redefined LAPD()  

Joe Wambaugh

July 18, 2008 Wambaugh, who spent years on the force, wrote the best-selling book The Onion Field in three months during a leave of absence from the department. Over the decades, his realistic and multidimensional portrayals of L.A. cops have helped tranform their public image.

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Searching For Bodies In Chelsea Cain's Portland()  

Chelsea Cain

July 17, 2008 Crime writer Chelsea Cain sees danger lurking in the most pastoral corners of the polite Northwest city she calls home. Ketzel Levine dares to search for skeletons with the writer.

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Julie Smith Delves Into New Orleans' Secrets()  

A view of Bourbon Street in New Orleans' French Quarter, an area of the city author Julie Smith says is her favorite.

July 15, 2008 Mystery writer Julie Smith offers a tour of the hauntingly Gothic city she calls home. New Orleans, says Smith, is a great place to write mysteries — not because of the city's crime, but because of its secrets.

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Small-Town Murder In Sarah Graves' Eastport()  

Eastwood 2

July 14, 2008 The Eastport, Maine, Sarah Graves ladles up for her readers in her Home Repair Is Homicide series is picturesque, but not picture-perfect. In fact, it's a lot like the small town the author calls home — give or take a few dead bodies.

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Parker Explores The Shadows Of Boston's Back Bay()  

Boston

July 11, 2008 Robert B. Parker doesn't romanticize the city that is home to his fictional private eye, Spenser. "If I lived in Cincinnati, Spenser would be working in Cincinnati," says the author.

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Real People Inhabit Connelly's Fictional L.A.()  

Michael Connelly, in the Hollywood Hills.

August 24, 2007 Best-selling mystery novelist Michael Connelly roams the streets of Los Angeles in search of a good story. He doesn't have to look far to find real-life inspiration for his Harry Bosch detective series among the city's people and places.

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Laura Lippman's Baltimore: Loving a Flawed Place()  

A pier at Fell's Point, a Baltimore neighborhood where Laura Lippman's private investigator protagonist Tess Monaghan once lived.

August 23, 2007 From the Antique Man's giant ball of string in Fells Point, to the crab cake lunch downtown, Laura Lippman loves Baltimore. Despite the city's crime and other problems, the crime novelist says its flaws are what make it an interesting place.

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Beyond Sex, Tourists in John Burdett's Bangkok()  

John Burdett

August 21, 2007 John Burdett's Bangkok is far more than the bizarre murders, corrupt cops and big-hearted bar girls of his novels. It's also the city as a living breathing, thing.

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Donna Leon's Venice: A Tale Of Two Cities()  

Graffiti on the wooden doors of the old studios on the Rialto Bridge in Venice, Italy. The Rialto bridge is the oldest bridge on the Canal Grande. According to Italian media reports, the incidence of graffiti on buildings and monuments in Venice is on to rise.

August 20, 2007 To detective novelist Donna Leon, there are two Venices. One is the real Venice inhabited by ordinary Venetians, who know each other's secrets. The other is filled with loud tour guides and attracts up to 20 million visitors a year.

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