There was a great panel discussion at BEA, BookExpo America, Wednesday afternoon, giving attendees a chance to hear about mystery writing from four stars of the mystery world.
It was a pretty free-wheeling discussion about the authors, how they work and write, and some of the influences that have helped them shape their craft.
From the standpoint of a traditionalist, it was great to hear Meltzer talk about his first fascination with mysteries coming from reading Agatha Christie. DeMille had a lot to say about his enduring enjoyment of Sherlock Holmes, saying that he could easily reread the stories every year and still enjoy them. For the two Michaels, their main influences were such giants as Hammett and Chandler, along with Ross MacDonald.
The BEA website has this conversation and others available as streaming video - this one is called "Inside the Mystery." It's informative and enjoyable. I'm not sure how long it will be on their front page, and there's an annoyingly loud ad on the beginning of the video, but it does let four mystery writing pros share their knowledge with us.