Crawling out of the pits of suffocating illness, this will probably be my last post for the year. Minus: Too tired to do any kind of comprehensive memorial. Plus: Too tired (even!) for my usual sociopolitical jeremiads.
Now I'm kinda late -a year late, and not a dollar to my name - to say hey to the Golden Anniversary of The Andy Griffith Show. But (who knows?) I may be the first to 'publish' a little-recognized phenomenon. A phenomenon I dearly love, honor and treasure. God bless the TAGS originators and the wonderful authors (and their characters, storylines and tone) inspired by The Andy Griffith Show.
That's right, it's a self-lucent gem of a sub-sub-sub-sub genre of fiction: Mystery/Detective > Cozy > Humorous > Rural: The great ensemble TV show Barney Miller took Mayberry spirit to an urban PD, and there were some semi-cozy TV series featuring rural law enforcers, fish in or out of their accustomed waters, but these were more children of Matt Dillon than of Andy Taylor.
AND ANDY TAYLOR BEGAT: Joan Hess's ARLY HANKS OF MAGGODY, M.C. Beaton's HAMISH MACBETH, Bill Crider's DAN RHODES, and Rhys Bowen's EVAN EVANS. There may be more. If there are, I want to find them! I hope this genre will go on and on, till Jesus comes back and rids existence of badguyness. If you haven't had the pleasure of this deceptively folksy and casual constabulary, detect your way to your local libraries and booksellers, and go for it!
Now, see here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franklin_Canyon_Park ~'Myers Lake' WARNING: Innumerable visitors have been helplessly seized by the compulsion to whistle the TAGS 'Fishin' Hole' ditty.
Outrageously, there is no Wikipedia page for the great JOAN HESS. You might ought to try these:
http://www.maggody.com/ ... http://www.maggody.com/joanbio.htm Y'all be sure to look into Ms. Hess's CLAIRE MALLOY series, too!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marion_Chesney (a.k.a. M.C. Beaton)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Crider (To their shame, Mr Crider is not on the Alvin, Texas, or Alvin Community College pages. What is it with towns and colleges ignoring their authors... Especially when most of us would probably never have heard of the places 'cept for their noble scribes?)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janet_Quin-Harkin (a.k.a. Rhys Bowen)