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.

  • The Ross Macdonald Blog
    I’m not sure what’s more exciting. Not only has writer Neil Albert brought back one of my favourite private eyes of the nineties (disbarred Philly lawyer Dave Garrett) after an astounding 23-year hiatus, but he’s also started up an amazing ongoing blog about the work of Ross Macdonald, working his way through every single novel. He considers Macdonald “one of the great hardboiled mystery writers,” and he’s right.
  • The Private Eye Writers Bulletin Board
    What’s the buzz, cuz? My latest hare-brained scheme to drive traffic to this site is The Private Eye Writers Bulletin Board. If you’re a private eye writer, and you’ve got something coming out in the next little while (a book, a short story, a movie deal, whatever, please let me know via email (or DM me,  for you youngsters) and I’ll post the news on this page. Feedback so far seems positive, but we’ll see.
  • 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.


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


5 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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