Have You Heard the News?

Wherein I talk a little about what’s up in the P.I. world, for better or worse, and point toward a few recent links I thought may warrant further investigation. Feel free to comment below, or follow me on Twitter. And scroll on down to see what’s new on this site.

  • Free Verse for Free!
    Our old pal fiction-editing Gerald So has a new poem, “Gray,” up at  up at Retreats from Oblivion, and it’s a corker–a spiffy, spot-on distillation of the essence of noir.
  • Woo-hoo!
    Speaking of old pals (and former Montrealers), I just learned that the Divine Sarah Weinman (aka “The Crime Lady”) is taking over Marilyn Stasio’s long-time (33 years!) spot as crime editor in The New York Times Book Review!!!! I couldn’t think of a better fit. I am so fucking happy! Congrats, @sarahw !
    (By the way, Sarah was an early contributor to this site, with a couple of stories about NYC P.I. Stuart Kovacs.)
  • The Game is No Longer A-foot 
    Sadly, another former Montrealer Christopher Plummer, arguably the best Sherlock Holmes ever (in Bob Clark’s Murder By Decree) has left the building, at the age of 91. He wasn’t bad at Shakespeare either.
  • Free Leonard Pine!
    Fans of Joe R. Lansdale’s Hap Collins and Leonard Pine are in for a treat. There’s an apparently brand new short-short posted for free over on the Subterranean Press site,  called “Leonard Walks into a Bar,” and it’s a good one. The idea is to tempt you into buying Fishing for Dinosaurs and Other Stories, a new collection boasting five of Lansdale’s novellas.
  • Snow Predicted
    ABC has announced a series in development starring Keegan-Michael Key and written by Paul Eckstein, based on Stephen Mack Jones’ biracial ex-Detroit cop August Snow.
  • The Lincoln Lawyer Comes to Netflix
    The streaming channel has announced a deal with Michael Connelly for him to adapt his 2008 novel The Brass Verdict, featuring his freewheeling LA shyster, Mickey Haller. The show’s first season will span 10 one-hour episodes. Hopefully it will be as good as as Amazon’s Bosch. Manuel Garcia-Rulfo will star as Mickey because, they say,  he “brings a powerful dynamic and dimension to the role–one that aligns with the books and will give the show the opportunity to celebrate the Latinx heritage and roots of this Los Angeles-based story.” Excuse me while I roll my eyes.
    Popcorn alert! On January 22, those of you who get TCM are in for a treat–Turner Classic Movies will be serving up Femme Fatales, airing  a rogues’ gallery of classic (and no doubt Eddie-approved) noirish examples of bad girls going badder. The lineup includes The Narrow Margin (1952), The Unholy Wife (1957), Any Number Can Play (1949), The Unsuspected (1947), Lady in the Lake (1947), High Wall (1947), Tension (1950) and The Sellout (1951).
  • The Writer in America: Ross Macdonald
    CrimeRead’s Dwyer Murphy discusses a wonderful mini-doc from 1976 on Ross Macdonald, originally created for public television, calling it “fascinating and unexpectedly beautifu.” He’s right–but even better is that he provides a link.
    This is the cap on a couple of other wonderful pieces on Macdonald that have popped up in the last few months. In November, our pal Sarah Weinman published “Linda, Interupted,” a powerful and moving piece on Ken and Margaret Millar’s troubled daughter, whose secrets found their way into novels of her celebrated parents. And just a week or so ago, 
    another of our pals, Duane Swierczynski, tweeted a few shots of the Santa Barbara house where the family lived from 1946 to 1951.
  • The Call for Submissions for the 2021 Shamus Awards
    Wrote a P.I. novel or short story last in 2020 you figure was pretty good?  This is your chance to get a little recognition from your peers at The Private Eye Writers of America.
  • The 2020 Shamus Award Winners
    It took a while, but here they are, in all their glory.
  • The Best Mysteries of the Year 2021 (Call for Submissions)
    The folks at New York’s landmark Mysterious Bookstore are now screening submissions for The Mysterious Bookshop Presents the Best Mysteries of the Year 2021 through the end of the year. It’s the first in what will hopefully be a long running anthology series, and they’re certainly kicking things off with a bang: the guest editor is Lee Child, and the series editor–in case you didn’t see it coming–is Otto Penzler. Maybe you heard of him. For more details…
  • The Return of Detective Fork!
    He may not have been the most polished piece of cutlery in the drawer, but it’s good to see Silver City’s very own private eye Detective Fork back in action. A regular of our Web Comics section back in the day, I always had a soft spot for this heart-felt spoof by artist/writer Kevin J. Guhl. And now, after a thirteen year absence, the trenchcoat and fedora-wearing eating utensil is currently available on duckwebcomics.com!
  • Big Sky P.I.
    ABC television has announced the November 17 debut of Big Sky, a promising new P.I. series, featuring a Montana female private eye, Cassie Dewell, and based on a series by C.J. Box. The showrunner is David E. Kelley, who’s given us everything from The Practice and Ally McBeal to last year’s edgy Stephen King adaptation, The Outsider, so it might be worth checking out. Mind you, I had high hopes for last year’s Stumptown as well, and ABC pulled the plug on that one a few months ago.
  • Thrilling Detective Mentioned in Ellery Queen!
    Hmmm… I’m grateful for the kind recent mention in EQMM’s BLOG BYTES column (I’m grateful for any attention, really). They even go sar far as to mention it’s “a resource-heavy location that provides endless hours of exploration.” Kind words, indeed.
    But they failed to mention (or didn’t notice?) that my site’s mostly dedicated to private eyes. I’ve already been told I’m missing Columbo. And Kojak. And James Bond…
  • The Modern Detective: Inside The Secret World Of Private Investigators
    Real-life private eye Tyler Maroney, author of the terrific new The Modern Detectiveon how corporate intelligence is reshaping the world, for better or worse.  (September 2020, CrimeReads)
  • An Equalizer Reboot?
    With the foul taste of Spenser Confidential and HBO’s Perry Mason still lingering in our mouths like unwelcome guests, CBS has just announced that they’ve given a pilot green light to a re-imagining of the classic TV series, The Equalizer, with Queen Latifah stepping in as vigilante-for-hire Robert McCall. Will she be Roberta McCall? Hard to say–details are scant at this point, although those taking offense at this latest reboot should consider this: after already cannibalizing the original for Denzel, what’s left to save, anyway? Still, I really wish the film and television industries had more writers and producers who could actually imagine, not just re-imagine.


By no means comprehensive, but the following are some of the new or recently updated entries  and features on the site, as well as a few that just tickled my fancy. Hopefully, they’ll tickle yours, too.


Did Dashiell Hammett Change the Way America Drinks?
Respectfully compiled by Kevin Burton Smith. Hammett photo is © The Hammett Estate.


4 thoughts on “Have You Heard the News?

  1. Hello, I just read your interview with Robert Crais re Demolition Angel and I was shocked. Pleasantly. Impressed. So how do I ‘follow you’–I am not very erudite in these matters. Eg, I follow Crais, ‘website’. I SEE your website but not sure how to ‘subscribe’, if thats the right word. Med school was easy, this isn’t. Thanks!
    Froggie (my writing handle)


      Oh, wait, sorry, I thought you were “Kyle.” To follow me, there should be a small widget in the bottom right of each page, when viewing the site on a computer. On phones and tablets, it’s at the very, very bottom.

  2. I’m new to this site and love to read a good detective book. I’ve been reading Robert Galbraith, CJ Sansom and Delores Redondo just to name a few and was wondering if you could recommend a good thriller. Sorry to be so blunt but there are so many authors out there but I would really like to know one from your personal choice. Many thanks, Anthony

    1. Jeez, put me on the spot, why doncha? 🙂

      But if you enjoyed Galbraith, you might get a kick out of the similar-in-tone ODDS AGAINST, by the late, great Dick Francis. Francis’ empathetic handling of damaged detective Sid Halley still rings true and clear all these years later. If you like that one, Francis wrote a lot of books.

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