Modern Mysteries: Living In The Past?

Besides science fiction and fantasy, I try to maintain a general impression of the state of the mystery genre.

It's seemed to me that a lot of newly-published mysteries over the last several or more years have been set, not in the present day, but back in the 1970's, 80's, or earlier decades.

I wonder if that might be because those earlier times were pre-cellphones, pre-Internet, pre-Surveillance-Society?

In a society where everything is known, or has the potential to become known, has the traditional mystery story become impossible (or at least damn difficult) to write?

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Along the line of mysteries, I only recently realized science fiction blog Tor.com has a sister site, Criminal Element, covering the mystery and thrillers beat. One of their regular columns is "Noir's Goon Squad", profiling some of the actors and actresses who regularly portrayed thugs and goons and femme fatales in films of the mid-20th century. "Noir's Goon Squad: Barton MacLane" covers the career of a man who "just had a face you wanted to punch", "was the king of the assholes", and portrayed characters "like he was born in a bad mood."  Apparently he was a pretty good actor; outside his film work, MacLane was a playwright and musician.


Library Update, and other stuff

Ack, it's been a busy last few weeks, and I've kept running out of time to make new posts here.

The Foothills Library "expansion" (as in gut, downsize and relocate to smaller quarters in a different facility) proposal I've been writing about recently came before the Glendale City Council on March 17th. In the face of an overwhelming public response against the proposal, the council voted unanimously to remove the proposal from consideration. So Foothills Library is safe for now. The question still remains, why was this awful proposal ever given any consideration in the first place? (I may write more about that when I get time.)

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I'm going to admit defeat on the idea of making a regular "Weekly Links"post. I'll go back to making irregular posts and links to things that catch my interest. I have a stack of notes and URL's, so some posts will probably appear in the next few days.


The Uninvited Guest

"That's right, I've come into your backyard, I'm lounging around on your back porch,
in front of your patio door. Excuse me, did I say YOUR back porch? Sorry, I meant to say
MY back porch. Because possession is nine points of the claw, sucker,