After having finished editing my porn book and writing another one (both, sadly (?), non-fiction), I've been reading Bill Granger's Schism from 1981. It's one of his Devereaux spy novels. I'm not big on spy novels, but I find myself liking this very much. It's about a Vatican spy that worked as a missionary in Vietnam and Laos in the fifties, disappeared and gets back around 1980. CIA, Vatican and other people are of course interested in him and Devereaux is hired to find out what the man really knows. I don't remember seeing much discussion on Bill Granger lately, is he still writing?

Today I received a package from John Weagly containing four Hard Case Crime novels, by Christa Faust, Russell Hill, Robert Bloch and Richard Aleas! Woo-hoo! This is so great. I just can't wait to get my hands on them... sadly I'll have work-related books to read, such as the Finnish translation of William Morris utopian classic, News from Nowhere. There are no babies blowing up things in that one, let me tell you...

John also packed along one of his own books, a small paperback called The Undertow of Small Town Dreams. Thanks very much!

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Comment by Juri Nummelin on April 11, 2008 at 8:08pm
Thanks for the info, guys, must read some other Grangers - whenever I get the time!

Patti, Morris holds up pretty well. The translation is new (the earlier one is from the early 20th century) and there's some freshness, since the translator didn't try to duplicate Morris's antiquarian style, except for some odd words here and there.
Comment by Bill Crider on April 11, 2008 at 9:35am
Thanks for the info, Gerald. That's an ironic twist, and sad at the same time. Granger was an underrated writer.
Comment by Gerald So on April 11, 2008 at 9:27am
I was a Bill Granger fan, too. In 2005, Michael Berry commented on Lee Goldberg's blog:

I don't know whether Granger is still alive, but back in 2003, he suffered a stroke that seemed to have wiped out most of his memories of his career. I read a very sad article about him in the Suburban Chicago Daily Herald, the link to which has disappeared.

This from a Google cache:

"Bill Granger, who has worked at the Chicago Tribune, Sun-Times and other Illinois papers, is in a veterans' home at 61 after suffering a stroke. Burt Constable writes: "He grasped the cruel irony that the stroke, which robbed him of his mind, has made him stronger physically by forcing him to forgo alcohol, cigarettes and fatty foods. He always seemed to be in the processing of giving up one of those three -- occasionally resulting in odd lunches of nothing but beer and cigarettes. ...In addition to taking away alcohol and his other vices, the stroke made him 'a nicer person,' Granger figured."

In 2007, a reporter from Madison, Wisconsin learned that Granger was still living at the veterans' home.
Comment by Patricia Abbott on April 11, 2008 at 6:54am
My husband uses Notes from Nowhere in the course he teaches on utopias. How does it hold up in Finnish?
Comment by Bill Crider on April 11, 2008 at 6:44am
I haven't heard anything about Granger in years, but I quite enjoyed a number of his novels.
Comment by Michelle Gagnon on April 11, 2008 at 6:21am
I've heard Christa's book in particular is great, can't wait to read it myself!

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