Writer Mark Frost may not be a household name in most circles but he is responsible for writing one of the most talked about and unique fictional television murder mysteries of all time. In the early 1990’s you couldn’t go to work, read a magazine or turn on the television without hearing speculation about “who killed Laura Palmer?”
The ground-breaking television show “Twin Peaks” became a pop culture global sensation with Mark Frost at the writing helm. Incredibly, the series only lasted two seasons due in large part to ABC wanting the mystery wrapped up sooner rather than later. The show was different from anything else on television at the time and each episode was quirky, funny and dark. The powers that be didn’t know what to do with it.
For the show’s creators, solving the murder of Laura Palmer was only one piece of the Twin Peaks puzzle. Twin Peaks was meant to be about the people in the town and what went on there, not just about solving one murder mystery. There was so much more to delve into in Twin Peaks but the creators never got that chance. Once the mystery was wrapped up in the middle of the second season, it was hard to keep audience interest peaked. The die-hard fans who really got it continued watching but unfortunately many viewers jumped ship after the question of “who killed Laura Palmer” was answered.
| Twin Peaks 2017
Fast-forward 25 years and we will soon have the return of Twin Peaks on Showtime. In anticipation of that event, Mark Frost has written a new book entitled, The Secret History of Twin Peaks. It is set up and reads like an FBI file and has so much backstory packed into it that it is hard to put down once you start reading.
In true form, Frost rewards the reader with a mystery from the beginning. Who is the Archivist? Who is the person who has compiled all the information in the file and how do they know so much? The meshing of real historical events with the fictional characters and town of Twin Peaks is done so expertly that I was googling people and historical events the entire time I read this book. It all seems so real.
I highly recommend re-watching the Twin Peaks series while reading The Secret History of Twin Peaks. I am about half way through the first series and already certain behaviors and phrases make much more sense to me. I suspect that once I get to the second half of the second season a lot more things will make more sense to me than when I first watched the series.
If you are done reading The Secret History of Twin Peaks and you need something else to help pass the time before Season 3 airs, you can get a detailed cast list and rundown of everything known so far about season 3 of Twin Peaks here.
| Other Writings
In the 25 year interim between the first Twin Peaks season and the upcoming Twin Peaks season 3, Frost has penned over a dozen books and worked on many feature film projects. After Twin Peaks, Frost wrote two mystery novels using Sherlock Holmes author Arthur Conan Doyle as his protagonist. The plotting and mysteries are first rate and I highly recommend them.
Frost has also written an excellent trilogy in the young adult supernatural genre called The Paladin Prophecy and one can find some parallels in the background stories of both Twin Peaks and The Paladin Prophecies. Both are steeped in Native American mysticism and served up with government corruption and secret societies.
Frost has quietly befuddled and shocked readers and viewers for years. I can’t wait to see what he has in store for us when we go back to Twin Peaks in 2017. I guess I will have a cup of coffee and a slice of pie while I wait…
| Books by Mark Frost
| Television and Movies
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