Richard Kunzmann's Blog (10)

Review: A Deadly Trade, Michael Stanley

Michael Stanley A week ago I reviewed A Carrion Death, written by Michael Stanley (the pen name of Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip). Not only was it a strong first attempt at a crime novel set in an exotic setting, it was also a sheer act of determination and personal marketing that eventually saw the book break through to the LA Times bestseller.

A Deadly Trade With A… Continue

Added by Richard Kunzmann on May 14, 2009 at 5:46pm — No Comments

Review: A Carrion Death, Michael Stanley

Alexander McCall-Smith’s No. 1 Detective Agency introduced us to a delightfully fresh setting for crime stories, namely Botswana. His well-known work, featuring the much-loved Mma Ramotswe is a rollicking string of morality tales imbued with good humour and an African charm uniquely its own. But his stories can be seen as deflecting from the true nature of crime, hankering instead after an Africa that’s more nostalgia than reality.

Not so… Continue

Added by Richard Kunzmann on May 6, 2009 at 9:31am — No Comments

South Africa's first crime anthology puts me in a reflective mood about short stories

South Africa’s first anthology of short crime fiction was recently released, to much fanfare. Bad Company, edited by Joanne Hichens, features short fiction by Deon Meyer, Michael Stanley, Margie Orford, Andrew Brown, Mike Nichol, me and many more, and has a great introduction by Lee Child. The publishers, Pan Macmillan, should be commended for sticking out their heads to get the project done, because hardly any of the big-name publishers will touch an anthology these days. Why?… Continue

Added by Richard Kunzmann on April 15, 2009 at 8:05pm — No Comments

Review: The Third Person, Steve Mosby

I for one am very happy to see when a crime author decides to blend genres and firmly leaps out of the box create for the genre. Steve Mosby presents us with an excellent crime story, which has elements of speculative science fiction chucked in, along with a dash of horror.

Steve Mosby published his first book at about the same time as me, and at about the same age, around 26. When I read The Third Person, it left me gobsmacked and not a little jealous. If he can… Continue

Added by Richard Kunzmann on April 15, 2009 at 7:24pm — No Comments

Review: Last Car To Elysian Fields, James Lee Burke

James Lee Burke is arguably one of America’s greatest hardboiled detective authors, and Last Car to Elysian Fields not only does that reputation justice, it strengthens his position as a crime writer with an immense literary range that borders on the poetic.

Detective Dave Robicheaux is asked by Father Jimmie Dolan to join him on a trip into St. James Parish, where he meets the daughter of a musician who disappeared years before. Soon strange links begin to emerge between… Continue

Added by Richard Kunzmann on April 15, 2009 at 7:03pm — No Comments

Review: The Queen of the South, Arturo Pérez-Reverte

Bringing literary pedigree to crime fiction

Every now and again an author who is deemed 'literary' makes a foray into crime fiction. I guess the results are often mixed - though I loved the City of Glass series by Paul Auster, a detective story of identities, so to speak, I still don't quite know what to make of it. Queen of the South on the other hand is emotionally engaging and will stay with you a very long time because of that. That is, if… Continue

Added by Richard Kunzmann on April 15, 2009 at 6:46pm — No Comments

Review: Catch Me a Killer, Micki Pistorius

An insightful profile of South Africa’s leading forensic profiler

Every crime writer needs his or her good sources, and this is one of those autobiographies by a top forensic profiler which is invaluable, particularly when you're writing about serial killers in South Africa. The political and social landscape of that country are unique, and it is terrifying to see the kind of violence which that country's apartheid history bred. When Micki first came to work for the… Continue

Added by Richard Kunzmann on April 15, 2009 at 6:24pm — No Comments

Review: The Bullet Trick, Louise Welsh

The Bullet Trick is Louise Welsh’s second novel, which deftly follows up on her first The Cutting Room . Like her first book, this is a story that shoots for the gothic and carnivalesque in a mystery setting, but this one doesn't quite hit the mark.

William Wilson is a magician on the last leg of a faltering career when an old friend asks him to do a second-rate show in a London strip club. What happens during the show drags Wilson into the violent aftermath of a… Continue

Added by Richard Kunzmann on April 14, 2009 at 6:00am — No Comments

Book Review: A Beautiful Place to Die, Malla Nunn (Picador)

There's a lot happening on the international crime fiction scene these days, and so much of it seems to be linked to Southern Africa. Roger Smith's hardboiled Mixed Blood has become a pressure-cooker story on the international front: German publishers have snapped it up and the film's been optioned with Samuel L. Jackson linked to the project. Then there's Michael Stanley and the writing duo's A… Continue

Added by Richard Kunzmann on March 8, 2009 at 8:00am — No Comments

Dead End Road Interview in the Big Thrill

For those of you interested in my last thriller Dead-End Road and the Harry Mason / Jacob Tshabalala series in general, have a look at this month's issue of the Big Thrill Magazine. And for those writers who haven't yet joined, or the readers who haven't yet subscribed, check out the whole magazine. It's packed with tons of goodies.

Here's the URL:

The interview discusses why I came… Continue

Added by Richard Kunzmann on March 2, 2009 at 3:44am — No Comments

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