Mistress Christa’s Ten Rules to Write Noir

By Christa Faust "Seriously, are we still so terrified of pussy?” — see Rule #3 Before I start, let me make one thing clear. I love noir. I read it. I watch it. But I don't really write it. The majority of my crime fiction is more hardboiled than noir. I may not be a … Continue reading Mistress Christa’s Ten Rules to Write Noir

Edward Mercer (Venetian Bird)

Created by Victor Canning (1911-86) Private eye EDWARD MERCER, like most of prolific British thriller writer Victor Canning's other P.I. creations (such as James Helder and Rex Carver) leans more toward the international thriller than the mean streets, but that doesn't mean they're not worth checking out. In Bird of Prey (1950; aka “The Venetian Bird"), … Continue reading Edward Mercer (Venetian Bird)

Gus Slavin (Loophole)

Created by Dwight V. Babcock and George Bricker This time out, he's GUS SLAVIN, an LA-based investigator for a bonding service, who's putting the screws on war hero turned nice guy bank teller Mike Donovan (Barry Sullivan, the star of the show, playing the classic noir bonehead/doofus to perfection). Gus is convinced Donovan had something … Continue reading Gus Slavin (Loophole)

John Collins (Skip Tracer)

Created by Zale R. Dalen "He'll be sure you pay--one way or another!" -- tagline on the VHS edition Hey! Did I just dream this? JOHN COLLINS is the low-key, taciturn debt collector "hero" of Skip Tracer, a bleak, decidedly non-glamourous, low-budget Canadian character study released in 1977. Make no mistake--Collins is no goody two-shoes. … Continue reading John Collins (Skip Tracer)

Jake Blake

Created by Charles Willeford (1919-88) "So you're the private detective, Jake Blake-- " His voice was shaking with an anger that was barely under control. "Yes, sir," I said carefully, and I got up from the couch. "You must be Mr. Weintraub..." I stuck my hand out to shake hands, but he ignored it completely … Continue reading Jake Blake

Murder in the Library: The Best Anthologies of Hard-Boiled, Noir & Pulp Reprints

Until the eighties, I don't think anyone had ever thought of doing a collection of original private eye stories. Oh, there'd certainly been some amazing volumes of reprinted tales, full of hard-boiled cops and cabbies and reporters and other dicks and janes who made trouble their business. It took Robert Randisi and the crew at … Continue reading Murder in the Library: The Best Anthologies of Hard-Boiled, Noir & Pulp Reprints

Johnny Lane

Created by Dave Zeltserman Pseudonyms include Jacob Stone Seemingly just another down-and-out P.I., Denver's JOHNNY LANE displays some surprisingly dark depths (Gary Lovisi calls them "Jim Thompson-dark," although I remain unconvinced) in the well-received self-published debut, In His Shadow (2002). In a more original twist, Johnny also writes a monthly column, "Fast Lane," about his … Continue reading Johnny Lane

Frank Grissel

Created by Andersen Gabrych Art by Brad Rader "Whatever you want. You can find it here. Or die looking for it." -- Frank welcomes readers to San Francisco in the intro Few noir novels, let alone graphic novels, wander into the murky areas of sexual desire, never mind homosexual desire, as well or as audaciously … Continue reading Frank Grissel

Mel Samson (Too Late)

Created by Dennis Huack "I need to change my life." -- Mel Samson MEL SAMSON is the hapless L.A. private eye centrepiece in Too Late, a twisted little bit of cinematic chess perpetrated by writer/director Dennis Hauck that plays with all your favourite P.I. and noir tropes (circa 2016) in all-new ways, thanks to a … Continue reading Mel Samson (Too Late)

Tim “T.M.” Slade

Created by Raoul Whitfield "Sure." -- Slade's reply to almost everything. In High Tide, a rarely seen but highly recommended little 1947 B noir from Monogram, Lee Tracy plays gruff, crusading Los Angeles tabloid newspaper editor Hugh Fresney and Don Castle plays TIM "T.M." SLADE, a former reporter who's become a private eye. When Fresney, … Continue reading Tim “T.M.” Slade