Authors continuing series created by others is the rage right now. Among the first was Max Allan Collins, finishing up Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer series. (This is a bit of a special case, as Collins had worked hand-in-glove with Spillane for years, and was asked to complete the unfinished Hammer novels by The Mick himself.) Ace Atkins is continuing Robert B. Parker’s Spenser series at the behest of the Parker estate. More recently, Raymond Chandler’s Phillip Marlowe has been resurrected…Continue
Added by Dana King on April 1, 2014 at 6:34am — No Comments
Egomaniac that I am, I publish an annual list of what I thought were the best books I read each year, as if anyone else gives a shit. In 2012 the list contained no female authors. This was a genuine surprise to me when pointed out—I honest to God hadn’t noticed—but it got me to thinking. Since then I have made a conscious…Continue
Added by Dana King on March 24, 2014 at 10:42pm — No Comments
I'm giving away a free copy of Grind Joint to a random commenter over at my blog,One Bite at a Time. (The comments shouldn't be random; that's just how the winner will be chosen.)
Contest is open through midnight, Sunday March 16.
Added by Dana King on March 14, 2014 at 4:42am — No Comments
January was a real good month for reading. Let’s get to it.
The Glass Key, Dashiell Hammett. Said by many to be Hammett’s greatest, and I see why. Loyalty, betrayal, politics, and sex interwoven in a story…Continue
Added by Dana King on February 8, 2014 at 7:15am — No Comments
True noir is hard to find. By “true noir,” I mean the classic story of a person who is not necessarily bad, but can be nudged in that direction, either through opportunity, or forced by events. This person makes decisions that go sour, though the options at the time ranged from bad to worse; the die was cast with the first unfortunate choice. The stories are engrossing because readers can’t help but wonder what they would do in the same situation, and are relieved…Continue
Added by Dana King on January 28, 2014 at 5:46am — No Comments
Mike Dennis is no stranger to readers of this blog. A frequent commenter, his novel, Setup on Front Street, made my Best Reads of 2011 list. The Take made one of my monthly lists this year, and his short story, The Session, is one of the small handful of best short stories I’ve ever read, regardless of genre.
It was a treat to sit next to him on this year’s Bouchercon panel, moderated by Peter…Continue
Added by Dana King on January 14, 2014 at 2:20am — No Comments
I don’t like writing Top Ten lists. It’s too hard to draw the line, but 2013 was such a good reading year for me, this post would be too long if I wrote a blurb for each worthy book. So, here are the Top Ten, plus some honorable mentions. (Books listed in the order in which they were read.)
The Cold, Cold Ground, Adrian McKinty. If there’s ever been a better historical mystery written, let me know. McKinty…Continue
In the order in which I read them:
Crooked Numbers, Tim O’Mara. The second book of what is shaping up to be an excellent series. He has a franchise brewing here. Don’t be surprised to see Raymond Donne on television someday. You heard it here first. (Unless you already heard it elsewhere. This is the first I’ve heard of it.)
Saturday’s Child, Ray…Continue
Added by Dana King on January 4, 2014 at 1:28am — No Comments
Festivus really was a holiday this year.
First, Sons of Spade, a web site dedicated to fictional PIs, named A Small Sacrifice runner-up for Best PI Novel of 2013.
Then, before turning in, I learned Woody Haut, writing in the LA Review of Books, has named Grind Joint among his fifteen favorite reads of 2013. Not in the Top Ten, but that was populated by the…Continue
Soho Crime gave away copies of Stuart Neville’s Ratlines during Bouchercon 2012. I apparently had something more important to do—the hotel bar may have been involved—and I missed out. Consider this another argument against drinking; Ratlines is a great book.
In 1963 the United States’ first Irish and first Catholic president—John Kennedy—visited Ireland, the first visit of an American president in Irish history. Many of Kennedy’s advisors…Continue
Added by Dana King on November 4, 2013 at 9:04am — No Comments
The following will appear in the November 15 edition of Booklist:
King has created vividly drawn characters, a plot the late Elmore Leonard would appreciate, and dialogue that hits all the right notes. His Penns River recalls K.C. Constantine’s wonderfully rendered Rocksburg, another struggling, soulful Pennsylvania mill town. But the reclusive Constantine has retired. Let's hope Grind Joint is the first in a new series…Continue
Added by Dana King on November 2, 2013 at 12:27am — No Comments
Peter Rozovsky is the curator of the award-winning blog Detectives Beyond Borders, and is among the Bouchercon moderators whose panels are worth attending even if you don’t think you have an interest in the topic. This year he worked double duty: “The Siegfried Line: World War II and Its Offspring” covered crime during wartime and the aftermath of war; “Goodnight, My Angel:…Continue
Added by Dana King on October 26, 2013 at 3:36am — No Comments
I'm giving away a copy of my first dead tree novel, Grind Joint, over at my blog, One Bite at a Time. To enter, just read the post,and leave one or more suggestions for interview questions in the comments. The winner will be selected at random from all commenters who post before 11:59 PM Eastern time on Tuesday, October 22.
Added by Dana King on October 22, 2013 at 8:30am — No Comments
Today my blog, One Bite at a Time, begins a series of interviews with Bouchercon participants, seeking their opinions on panels. Today the discussion starts with Judy Bobalik and Jon Jordan, who put together this year's panels, describing how it's done. Future interviews will include a moderator, authors, and readers.
Added by Dana King on October 19, 2013 at 1:47am — No Comments
A non-fiction article, "Chandler's Heroes," appears on the Spinetingler web site. An examination of the relevance of Raymond Chandler's idea of the private eye hero from "The Simple Art of Murder," and whether such a character is relevant today.
Many thnaks to jack getze and everyone at Spinetingler.
Added by Dana King on October 18, 2013 at 2:50am — No Comments
Today marks one month until the official launch of Grind Joint at the Mystery Lovers Bookshop in Oakmont PA. Details will be provided as I learn them. What I can say for sure is:
1. It starts at 10:00 AM
2. It ends around noon
3. Books will be available for purchase
No one looks forward to the date more than The Beloved Spouse. I’ll read a couple of…Continue
It’s hard to know what to expect in a book by Scott Phillips. There will be dark humor, and there will probably be a crime, though not necessarily, and whatever crime is committed may not be strictly illegal; more of a crime against conscience. For all the unpredictability, his books never disappoint. The more you read, the more different aspects of Phillips’s insight and talent become apparent. This is never more true than in The Walkaway.
The Walkaway begins a few years after…Continue
Added by Dana King on October 15, 2013 at 12:12am — No Comments
I was 486 words into what was intended to be this blog post when I had a rare moment of artistic lucidity and realized it was an even bigger stool sample than usual. So I ditched it, which left me here:…Continue
I assume I’m going to like every book I read; why else would I have bothered with it in the first place? I can’t keep up with all the things I want to read as it is; why waste time on unnecessary risks?
Of course, some books disappoint despite my highest hopes; I fail to finish about ten percent of the books I start. (That may seem low to some, but remember: I didn’t even startl if I wasn’t pretty sure I’d like it.)
I saw Robert B. Parker at a book signing many years ago. He told a story of being on one of those morning wake-up shows all television stations have, sharing a spot with Elmore Leonard. They were sitting in the Green Room, passing the time, and agreed the question they least liked answering was, “Where do you get your ideas?”
Ten minutes later, on camera, the helmet-haired blonde hostess’s first question was to Parker: “Where do you get your…Continue