Blurbs & Awards

They Said It!

Okay, once upon a time — maybe for a year or two, sometime when this web site was a toddler — awards for web sites meant something, and kind words maybe mattered even a little longer than that. But in a world where you can sock puppet your way to fame and fortune, or buy yourself five-star Amazon reviews, none of it means too much any more.

So take all that follows with a large grain of salt…

So far, we haven’t received any big bags of cash (we keep hoping) but we have been fortunate enough to receive some pretty cool awards, back when online awards meant a little more, including The Page One Award for Literary Excellence and the Aprescence Award of Excellence. We’ve also been mentioned in such diverse publications as CrimeTime, Shots, Australia’s NetWeek, Sympatico Netlife (Canada), The Houston Chronicle and Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, and I’ve been interviewed on local radio shows (including the CBC), the Behind the Black Mask podcast and on Sleuth TV. I’m still waiting for some sort of recognition from the mystery community itself (maybe a used bowling trophy with “Good Job” written on it with a Sharpie?) but I figure eventually someone will notice.

When I’m dead…

We were even been once deemed “the internet’s most popular crime-fiction site,” according to, an subsidiary that compiles data on web site traffic.


We’ve also managed to hoodwink some people into thinking we know what we’re doing.

  • “Nobody knows more about private eye fiction than Kevin Burton Smith.”
    — Max Allan Collins (October 27, 2022; unpublished letter to Mystery Scene)
  • “The greatest website in the world is surely Thrilling Detective. I started reading that site in college and haven’t stopped reading the a-z detective list since. I’ve learned more about crime writing from that list that I can say.”
    — Mike Aaron (May 30, 2021, via Twitter)
  • “…a resource-heavy location that provides endless hours of exploration…”
    — Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine (November/December 2020)
  • “I love your site.”
    —  Otto Penzler, The Mysterious Bookshop (New York City)
  • “There’s enough testosterone here to power a battleship, and sufficient wisecracks to put Bogart’s tongue in a twist. Smith and his contributors never fail to keep things lively, even when their subject is death.”
    — J. Kingston Pierce, The Rap Sheet
  • “If I had to pick one single mystery site as best designed and most interesting, it would be Thrilling Detective. (And yes, you may quote me on that.)”
    — Kate Derie (founder and editor of Cluelass)
  • “I have not consulted the Thrilling Detective Web site since … yesterday.”
    — Peter Rozovsky, Detectives Beyond Borders
  • “I should say how much I enjoy your Web site, which I bookmarked a few months ago … It’s a lot of fun, and very informative. Thanks for doing it!”
    — — Cathleen Jordan (editor, Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine)
  • “We all owe a debt of gratitude to Kevin Burton Smith for this website, which I often use as a reference when talking about crime fiction.”
    — Craig Pittman, Tampa Bay Times)
  • “The fictional private eye’s best friend.”
    J.L. Abramo (creator of the Jake Diamond series)
  • One of the most impressive and thorough sites on the internet…”
    — The Mammoth Encyclopedia of Modern Crime Fiction
  • “Just wanted to tell you that you have one of the coolest and most important sites on the web. I learn something every time I log on and I log on frequently… what a mind-boggling, fantastic piece of work.”
    — Ed Gorman
  • “Nice work…You’re doing a mankind a great service. You will be rewarded, though probably not in this lifetime. Keep it up.”
    —  Harlan Coben (creator of the Myron Bolitar series)
  • “If I paid more attention to Internet sites, as I should do, I’d have known about Thrilling Detective much sooner. Very enjoyable. I’ve bookmarked your site and will keep an eye on it. Continued success.”
    — Bill Pronzini
  • “I’m DELIGHTED with this website, and didn’t even know of its existence until today. I’m very gratified by your kind words and support for my work.”
    —  Les Roberts (writes the Saxon and Milan Jacovich series)
  • “Just perusing the Internet and found your site by accident….very cool.”
    — E.M. Cosin (creator of Zen Moses, and writer for TV’s Buddy Faro)
  • “My first visit and I’ve bookmarked you for life…”
    — Andi Shechter (fan, critic)
  • “Checked out your Thrilling Detective site…There is soooooo much good stuff to look at…And now I can say with authority it’s WAY COOL! ”
    — Jan Grape (writes the Jenny Gordon and C.J. P.I. series, and former editor of the PWA newsletter)
  • “I find your site to be a valuable resource for detective noir. It encapsulates the best of the genre and continues its legacy. Some people may not realize how cool noir is until they visit your site.”
    — Kevin Guhl (creator of Detective Fork)
  • “Just stumbled onto your P.I. site…mindboggling…. a terrific job!”
    Max Allan “Impossible to Satisfy” Collins (writer; Nate Heller, Ms. Tree, Mallory, Mike Mist, Dick Tracy, Mike Hammer, etc., etc.)
  • “Nifty… All in all, a great site — next time I update our page, do you mind if I list yours under our ‘links’?”
    —  Terry Beatty (cartoonist, co-creator of Ms. Tree, known accomplice of Max Allan Collins)
  • “You’re a man who likes talking to a man who likes to talk? What about dames? This is the first time I’ve been here. It won’t be the last. Nice site.”
    —  Alison Gordon (creator of the Kate Henry series). Alison also called me an asshole, but in a nice way…
  • “One of the best sites I’ve come across, and I’ll certainly be pushing it with people this side of the water.”
    — John Baker (British P.I. writer)
  • “Thrilling Detective is the best I’ve seen, and I’ve been hunting around the web for a while, hungry for hard-boiled action. I’ve spent much of today avoiding work and dipping into the various trivia items. Excellent stuff.”
    — Duane Swierczynski (editor, writer)
  • “What a totally cool and damned informative site!”
    —  Oline Cogdill, Sun-Sentinel Mystery, Mystery Scene
  • “You’re a brave guy, Kevin….hang in there….a very cool web site.”
    —  Walter Satterthwait (creator of the Joshua Croft series)

And now, a few words from our advertisers:

  • “You can send anyone who asks about ad value my way. My ad at the Thrilling Detective Web Site brought as traffic to my site as I got from my heavy presence at Blue Murder, and more than ads placed with other on-line mystery magazines. As far as I’m concerned TD delivers. Also, you Neil, Vicky, David, Denise, Anthony, and Bob have all given plenty to those of us who write mystery and crime fiction on the web. The least of what we get is the money even when folks decide to try to pay. I don’t know of a web mystery writer who isn’t grateful to all of you guys. The check is in the mail…. Use me a reference for your advertising any time you’d like. Thanks.”
    —  J. Michael Blue, author of 3 Lady Blues + 12, Justified Crimes and A Favor For Zodiac
  • “Wanted to let you know that my ad on the Thrilling Detective Web Site is bringing me a decent number of hits. It’s been well worth the money. Timing worked out well – I was able to add a nice quote from Vicki Hendricks a few weeks after the ad went up.”
    — Dave Zeltserman, author of In His Shadow

So, if you’ve got a book to sell, a store to plug, or an announcement to make, please consider us.

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