As Winston Churchill said, ‘Never give in; never, never, never.’

The first pages of this book, which is being released on Amazon today, were written in 2005. To give you some perspective on that: At the time, the reigning social media platform was MySpace. Really.

Also in 2005, I was a relatively young writer in San Luis Obispo, California, who’d…


This noir novel’s central mystery is solved about 2/3 of the way through the book — and holds our attention anyway

What is it about Montana that produces, or inspires, such great writers? If you don’t believe me, here’s an entire article on the unlikely rise of Livingston, Montana, to a literary epicenter. …


Objectivity belongs to all of us. Don’t let anyone tell you different

On my first day in the seventh grade, in math class, we were working through a difficult problem in the textbook. The teacher was prompting us for the correct answer, which none of us could come up with. …


Was ‘The Great Gatsby’ the forerunner to the hardboiled crime story? (Caution: Many spoilers)

A vanity table holding cocktails, a pearl necklace and a vintage lamp.

In my younger years, my father gave me some advice — wait, that wasn’t me.

Let’s try again: In my younger years, I read The Great Gatsby twice. Once in high school, again in college, sprinting through its nine economically-written chapters so I could write the obligatory paper on “Car…


Get ready to show off your mastery of these two vexing verbs

Earlier this week, I edited a very tense psychological thriller. So tense that I almost failed to notice two very common errors in language (but not quite) These were reign in used for rein in, and flaunt instead of flout. …


How did an entire part of speech become off-limits?

Two years ago, I was on a Slack board for writers and editors, reading an introductory, happy-to-be-here message from a new member. Her brief bio wrapped up with a whimsical list of loves and hates, ending with her avowed hatred of adverbs. …


Evergreen lessons from a dead language

Everyone loves the Latin language. So romantic, so historic, so ceremonial. Up until the point that we actually start studying it. Then it’s so foreign, so incomprehensible, so unnecessarily complex.

The main reason that people think Latin will be easy to learn is because of its vocabulary. Latin words are…


On the character at the center of my first novel

Note: A version of this essay ran on my website. Since I no longer maintain a site for my novels, and there’s been some interest in Sarah with the release of the third book in the trilogy, I’m reproducing it here.

The year that Sarah Pribek began to appear in…


Everyone likes to name-drop a forgotten mythic figure now and again, right?

The Great Cover-to-Cover-to-Cover-to-Cover (it’s two volumes) Dictionary Read continues! I’m up to the “ant-” pages, which can only mean one thing — a whole chariot-load of words with Greek prefixes! Including two names of figures from classical mythology…


There, I said it.

A feminine hand thrusting a Starbucks cup up into the air.

Today, Starbucks releases the Pumpkin Spice Latte, that love-it-or-hate-it phenomenon of 21st-century life. If the PSL were a human historical figure, it’d be Mata Hari: Over-the-top sexy, potentially deadly … or, possibly, just extremely overrated.

The Starbucks “fall classic” has been tarred by its association with — horrors! — basic…

Jodi Compton

Jodi Compton is the author of four crime novels. Learn more about her books at amazon.com/author/jodicompton.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store