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Gang Roundup – January 2017

Here we are, the first post of the year and it’s going to be a collection.

You know, I’m still going to figure out what I’ll write for this blog this year. I do have a few posts already in mind, and I’ve kind of decided the theme for the April AtoZ Challenge will be ‘noir’. All the rest is still pretty much black.
So, I may just as well ask you what you’d like to see. Do tell me!

1920s Cocktails

Since we’re still in a festive mood (it’s the Epiphany today, it’s bank holiday here in Italy) I figured the way to stort off is by sharing some good, Prohibition-inspired cocktail recipes.
Now I have to confess I may not be a teetotal, but I’m very closed to it, still I find the culture of cocktails so fashinating. In the early stages of my reserach for Ghost Trilogy I spen quite some energy and time researching liquors and cocktails. I don’t know, it’s fun.

So her eit is a nice collection of Prohibition cocktail to try. Well, if you have a taste for it, go aheand and make some. And dont forget to tell me how it turned out.

Sebastian Droste was a poet, actor and dancer connected with the gay and underworld subcultures of Berlin in the 1920s. In 1922, Droste married expressionist exotic dancer and actress in German silent movies, Anita Berber.

Dieselpunk Lexicon Part 7: Dark Cabaret

“Dark cabaret may be a simple description of the theme and mood of a cabaret performance, but more recently has come to define a particular musical genre which draws on the aesthetics of the decadent, risqué German Weimar-era cabarets, burlesque and vaudeville shows with the stylings of post-1970s goth and punk music.”

Post WW Europe (both the first and the second) is very popular in Dieselpunk literature. I’ve read quite a few short story set in Europe after WWI. There is indeed a particular feel to it which goes well with the dark, disinlusioned element of Dieselpunk and of course there’s the attitude toward totalitarism, which I suppose Europe at that time is particularly apt at portraying.

Weimar Republic Kabaret is a good synthesis of it: cutting edge, expressionist, eccessive, decadent, but also intimately vibrat. It’s a place where stories are born.

What’s On Your Radio?

Radio was just starting to become popular in the 1920s and by the end of the decad it had turned into a powerful media. Some historians theorise that the success of jazz on a national level was partly possible because of the radio (and because of the pioneering recording industry, of course). Like cinema, radio offering was often national and this helped to create a national feeling for the new world.

This article gathers a bunch of early mystery radio serials (yes, there are links where you can actually listen to those serials), with a commentary on each one of them.
Really really intersting.

100 Iconic Photos of New Orleans Through the Ages

You may know by now that I love vintage photos, so it shouldn’t be a surprise this awesome collection of photoes spanning many decades of New Orleans history caught my interest. Really, go have a look at it.

A duty to the Dead

Dedicated to helping the many wounded during the Great War, Bess Crawford receives a desperate request from a dying lieutenant while serving as a nurse aboard a hospital ship. “Tell my brother Jonathan that I lied,” the young man says. “I did it for Mother’s sake. But it has to be set right.”

Back home in England, Bess receives an unexpected response from the dead soldier’s family, for neither Jonathan Graham‚ his mother‚ nor his younger brother admit to understanding what the message means.

But the Grahams are harboring a grim secret, and Bess must, somehow, get to the bottom of it. It is her sacred duty to the dead, no matter how painful, or dangerous, that obligation might be.

I’ll be honest, I was first drawn to this book by the cover (yes, I’m that kind of reader), but the blurb is also pretty awesom. And lately, I find that I’m easily hooked by stories set during WWI

Somewhere in France – October 15, 1915

Author M.K. Todd has written a trilogy of novels set during and around WWI based on her huband’s uncle’s letter from the war. On her blog, she’s sharing some of those letters and you can read one at this link.
I find it particularly intersting, and also touching, that we have the possibility to read these fist-hand account of the war. These men and women might have gone, but their words remain to us and remind us of what shoudl never happen again.

Gang Roundup - January 2017 - What's happening around the net involving dieselpunk, 1920s and noir


  • Margot Kinberg
    Posted January 6, 2017 at 22:08

    Thank you so much for including my post in this collection. I’m honoured! And some of those 1920’s cocktails look very good indeed. I’m also glad you included that bit about dark cabaret; that was something I didn’t know about before, so I was happy to learn something new. Happy New Year!

    • Post Author
      Posted January 7, 2017 at 10:05

      You’re very welcomed, Margot. I find your post fascinating, especially because of the links to the radio shows. I’ve tried to listen to a few, but I admit I need to get a ear for it ;-)

  • lupachi1927
    Posted January 6, 2017 at 22:10

    I read “A Duty to the Dead” recently and quite liked it. What did you think of it? Personally I think I’m more a fan of their Ian Rutledge series, but Bess was interesting, and it was fun to see some nursing stuff again (I’ve read a LOT of nursing memoirs from WWWI). Do you plan to read the rest of the series at all? I’d definitely recommend Rutledge’s series, and I think you’d really like the “ghost” aspect, too. The first one is called “A Test of Wills.”

    • Post Author
      Posted January 7, 2017 at 10:07

      I actually haven’t read it yet, I’ve just put it in my (allarmingly growing) TBR pile.
      I’m researching WWI now and so I’ve become interested in reading neovels set in that time. I’ve noticed there are quite a few mysteries out there.

      Mhm… did you say ‘ghost’?

      • lupachi1927
        Posted January 10, 2017 at 22:21

        Well, he’s *kind* of a ghost. This doesn’t spoil anything, since they cover it in the first book and all, but Inspector Rutledge, the main character, was a CO during the war and blamed himself for the death of one particular solider named Hamish. Rutledge’s guilt and trauma was so intense regarding this soldier’s death (you find out later as to exactly why), he ends up hallucinating the solider in question, who follows him around, talks to him, and basically acts as a sounding board for thinking his way through the mystery…when he isn’t driving him nuts of course. It’s an interesting idea, and while not quite a ghost per se, I think you’d appreciate it.

        Another WWI mystery writer I’d recommend is Elizabeth Speller. The first in her mystery series, of which, sadly, there are only two so far, is called “The Return of Captain John Emmett.” It’s a little slow-moving occasionally but very lyrical, and it’s obvious she’s done tons of research—plus the insight into shell-shock hospitals was useful, at least for me.

        • Post Author
          Posted January 10, 2017 at 22:44

          Oh, wow! I love that idea of ghost. Book going into my TBR list. That thing is becoming very long…
          And I’ll check Elizabeth Speller too. Thanks so much for mentioning these stories :-)

  • Teagan R Geneviene
    Posted January 7, 2017 at 13:01

    Gorgeous photos, Sharah! Thanks for the reminder about the radio during that era. All the best with “The Frozen Maze.” Mega hugs.

    • Post Author
      Posted January 7, 2017 at 14:06

      Thanks for stopping by, Teagan. Happy you liked the post :-)

  • M.K. Tod
    Posted January 7, 2017 at 16:29

    Many thanks for the mention, Sara. I appreciate it. I think I’ll download A Duty to the Dead – sounds like a great read. Wishing you all best for 2017. Mary (aka M.K. Tod)

    • Post Author
      Posted January 10, 2017 at 21:36

      You are very welcome, Mary. And happy new year to you too! :-)

  • Tiyana Marie
    Posted January 8, 2017 at 00:01

    Happy New Year, Sarah! ^_^

    I love that you’ve included a link about vintage radio serials. My favorite right now (and I see it’s also mentioned in your link) is The Adventure of Philip Marlowe serials voiced by Gerald Mohr, based on Raymond Chandler’s famous private eye stories. I could listen to his voice all day…

    • Post Author
      Posted January 10, 2017 at 21:37

      I’m trying to listen to a few of these shows, but I haven’t come to the one you mentioned yet. Now I’m very curious :-)

  • Kathryn
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 07:11

    The radio was a wonderful invention and makes me think of how it must have changed peoples lives, giving them access to music and drama like never before. I can remember the time before TV and we were heavily dependent on the radio even in the ’50’s.

    • Post Author
      Posted January 16, 2017 at 14:58

      I think that, with today’s web podcast, radio is actually living a second birth.
      History may be strange sometimes ;-)

  • J Lenni Dorner
    Posted January 17, 2017 at 06:46

    Excellent post! I love the round up. And these are some fantastic pictures. Thanks for sharing!

    • Post Author
      Posted January 17, 2017 at 18:37

      Thank you, Lenni. I have a lot of fun compiling the Gang Rounups. I’m happy to hear you enjoy them too :-)

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