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THE BRASS VERDICT, the nineteenth novel from #1 New York Times Bestselling author Michael Connelly, gives definitive proof that Connelly is the most gifted crime writer since Raymond Chandler. Those with a debt to Chandler typically lack either the research skills, the knowledge of Los Angeles, or the soul for the job. Connelly has it all. Utilizin…
 
It is hard to imagine a sequel that is any more tightly intertwined with, or distinct from, its predecessor than Scott Phillips's 2002 THE WALKAWAY. His 2000 debut novel THE ICE HARVEST was a tight tale of one day in the tragicomic life of small-time Wichita mobster Charlie Arglist. THE WALKAWAY is an ambitious prequel-sequel to that bestseller, a …
 
THE TURNAROUND, George Pelecanos's fifteenth novel, is the work of a mature writer at the top of his game. It is a thoughtful examination of one event that permanently alters the lives of six young men—three black, three white. The story is both as straightforward and as complex as the characters it involves, and pulls the reader in through their p…
 
That Coggins is a disciple of Chandler and Hammett is abundantly clear in his most recent August Riordan novel, RUNOFF. Riordan is in many ways analogous to Chandler's iconic Philip Marlowe. He is a relatively poor man, or he would not be a detective at all. He is a common man, or he could not go among common people. He has a sense of character, or…
 
Jonathan Santlofer is an artist and author of exceptional talent, a master of virtually any visual or linguistic medium. His work has been displayed in fine galleries around the world,and his art-themed crime fiction has drawn comparisons to the work of Michael Connelly. He is the author of five novels, three starring NYPD detective turned art hist…
 
Christa Faust's latest novel, MONEY SHOT, distills all the darkest and most addictive spirits of 1940's film noir and 1950's hard-boiled into a lethal elixir. Such a statement is necessarily contradictory, for Faust's unique blend of a noir atmosphere of inescapable doom with the campy, two-fisted action of Gold Medal-era pulp, gives us characters …
 
Long before Seth Harwood's JACK WAKES UP went to print with Breakneck Books it came roaring into our homes as a series of expertly-produced podcasts, a serialized publication in the tradition of classic pulps, but with a throaty growl and lightening agility like that of Jack Palms's one true love—his 1966 Mustang Fastback K-Code GT. And in this car…
 
Shannon Clute, Seth Harwood, and Richard Edwards presented this Cybernoir panel on April 5th, 2008, as part of the Noircon Conference in Philadelphia. Clute and Edwards kick things off with a discussion of how noir style and pulp publishing models seem to provide the fundamental structuring logics of emerging digital media—from blogs to podcasts, m…
 
Wise guys and femmes fatale form the central focus of these next panel discussions from Noircon 2008. In the first half of the podcast, Clute and Edwards talk with authors George Anastasia and Anthony Bruno. Anastasia and Bruno are two seasoned mob-watchers who uncover life on the mean streets-Philly style. Based on their Noircon panel, Wise Guy No…
 
Clute and Edwards discuss the editing and publishing of noir fiction with three members of this Day 2 Noircon panel: Charles Ardai, Stacia Decker, and Michael Langnas. Charles Ardai is the editor and publisher of the Hard Case Crime series. Stacia Decker is an editor who has worked with such writers as Ray Banks, Declan Burke, Allan Guthrie and Joh…
 
Philadelphia noir is the focus of two panels at Noircon 2008. The first panel presents the historical moment, cultural milieu and writings of the 19th century Philly writer George Lippard. Ed Petit and Robert Polito make a compelling case to consider Lippard an important proto-noir author, an author whose writings look back towards 1798's gothic no…
 
Day One: Opening Night. Noircon 2008 opens at the Society Hill Playhouse in Philadelphia, PA. Clute and Edwards kick off this special podcast mini-series coverage with short interviews from the opening night reception. They talk with film critic Irv Slifkin, authors Gary Phillips, Seth Harwood, Ken Bruen, “The Czar of Noir? Eddie Muller, publisher …
 
Ken Bruen's PRIEST, the fifth entry in the award-winning Jack Taylor series, has been nominated for the 2008 Edgar for Best Novel, and that still may not be high enough praise. PRIEST is the story of Galway, Ireland, a city in transition from tradition to modernity, from impoverished but united community to cutthroat capitalistic individualism, fro…
 
Laurie King's TOUCHSTONE is set in England, 1926, in the tense atmosphere of impending labor strikes that threaten to tear the nation apart. It is the story of a remarkable WWI-scarred veteran whose injuries have stripped him of sensory filters, allowing him to feel the slightest emotional turmoil in those he encounters. He finds himself at the mer…
 
David Fulmer's January 2008 Harcourt release, THE BLUE DOOR, will restore your faith in storytelling. In a digital world of slick production, inanely catchy and endlessly repeated refrains, and single tune download logic, Fulmer gives us a literary LP. THE BLUE DOOR recaptures the lost arts of letting the story unfold over time, of building it on f…
 
DEADLY BELOVED, released in December 2007 by Hard Case Crime, is the culmination of Max Allan Collins's eclectic and prolific career. Its tight pacing and razor-sharp scene cuts recall Max's talent as a filmmaker. Its visual prose speaks to his experience writing the Dick Tracy comic strip, the Ms. Tree comic book series, and the justly famous grap…
 
Tim Maleeny's second Cape Weathers mystery, BEATING THE BABUSHKA, is nearly impossible to pigeonhole. Its literary predecessors run the gamut form Walter Gibson and Dashiell Hammett to Robert Crais and Elmore Leonard, and it seems to draw in equal measure on movies the likes of THE THIN MAN and THE BIG LEBOWSKI. That this multifarious, madcap pulp …
 
Harry Hunsicker's strong third installment to his Lee Henry Oswald series, CROSSHAIRS, is a hard book to categorize. Though set in the sprawling suburbs of modern Dallas, it often reads like throwback hard-boiled—in all the best ways. Oswald is a Chandler-esque creation, a reluctant but unflappable hero who tries to get out of the PI game but keeps…
 
Chelsea Cain's HEARTSICK is at once a recognizable and very original addition to the serial killer genre. While the principal plot twist (a detective working to stop a serial killer must consult with another killer already behind bars) reminds us of Thomas Harris's RED DRAGON, Chelsea Cain's detective Archie Sheridan has suffered at the hands of ki…
 
Jason Starr builds THE FOLLOWER on the seemingly shifty foundations of feeling and perception, but in his hands these are the cornerstones of substantial suspense. With a dazzling alternation of third person points of view and razor-sharp dialogue, Starr contrasts the interior thoughts with the exterior realities of several twenty-somethings strugg…
 
Most writers will tell you to write what you know; such advice places few constraints on author Jane Cleland, whose latest Josie Prescott antiques mystery DEADLY APPRAISAL is evidence of her vast experience and erudition. Formerly a rare books dealer, Cleland uses her knowledge of the antiques world to vividly evoke Prescott's daily experience and …
 
P.J. Parrish is the penname under which sisters Kristy Montee and Kelly Nichols work their magic. Together they have written seven Louis Kincaid mysteries, and garnered the same number of major literary award nominations. On June 15 they join Clute and Edwards to discuss their latest release A THOUSAND BONES, which focuses on the dark past of Kinca…
 
This episode features interviews with the creators of three alternative noir publications: Tee Morris, founder of podiobooks (www.podiobooks.com) and author of the fantasy-hardboiled podiobook "Billibub Baddings and the Case of the Singing Sword;" Kevin Burton Smith, creator of the superlative "Thrilling Detective" website and ezine (www.thrillingd…
 
LACED is the tenth Regan Reilly mystery by New York Times bestselling author Carol Higgins Clark. Higgins Clark's training as an actress is everywhere apparent in this installment to the series: her visual prose allows us to see each scene, the action is blocked with precision, and the subplots involving the large ensemble cast are expertly laced t…
 
"If you can't write hard-boiled fiction about Coney Island, you're in trouble: the decay; the disappointment of what something once was, and what it is now. It's symbolic of how people view their lives. They start out as the Empire State Building, but by the end--or middle age--they look around, and they're Coney Island." So says author Reed Farrel…
 
Like the haar rolling off the North Sea, Al Guthrie's HARD MAN will disorient and chill you. His Edinburgh is not the fairytale of High Street, but a nightmare of lower class hardship and indifference. It is populated by flawed characters desperately seeking a little creature comfort. For hope of a pittance they're willing to sow the seeds of destr…
 
THE SONG IS YOU deftly blends fiction and fact, cinematic dream and post-war reality, to recreate the charged atmosphere of late-1940's Hollywood. It is a fictional account of events surrounding the real-life disappearance of actress Jean Spangler. In Gil "Hop" Hopkins, tabloid newshound and studio publicity spin-man, Abbott gives us one of the rar…
 
The "Noircast Special" allows Clute and Edwards to address topics of interest to listeners of "Out Of The Past" and "Behind The Black Mask." This inaugural episode features a roundtable discussion with the director, playwright, and lead actors of The Stolen Chair Theatre Company's off-Broadway play "Kill Me Like You Mean It." Inspired by film noir …
 
English novelist Danuta Reah is a Forensic Linguistics lecturer specializing in the link between language disorders and criminal behavior, a creative writing instructor, the former chair of the British Crime Writers' Association, and winner of the prestigious Dagger Award. Remarkably, she cites none of these factors as being the primary influence o…
 
Theresa Schwegel's training as a screenwriter is evident in her fiction. She is able to zoom from the setting of Chicago to vivid locales in a flash, to enter and exit scenes with cinematic efficiency, and to focus on just those details that flesh out characters with heartrending minimalism. This focus on character, and a keen eye for the distincti…
 
Author and editor Charles Ardai is a double-feature unto himself. In the first half of this special hour-long episode Richard Aleas (Ardai's anagrammatical authorial alter ego) discusses his Edgar and Shamus Award nominated novel LITTLE GIRL LOST: its literary predecessors--from William Blake's poetry to period pulp, and its complex vision of justi…
 
Ex Private Investigator, failed academic, frustrated musician, and inspired writer--David Corbett himself is perhaps the best illustration of his theory on character development: if the back-story wound is evident, the person will act in meaningful and poignant ways. Only an author who has done his share of living could pen so piercing a tale of th…
 
The tagline is "mystery writers revealed" and Duane Swierczynski's frankness makes for truth in advertising. He admits that behind his hard-boiled exterior, a soft spot for family fuels his writing. He acknowledges that his Catholic upbringing creates a particular brand of justice in his novels, and that his ambivalent relationship with his hometow…
 
With his Sundance hit film BRICK, writer-director Rian Johnson attempted to convey his powerful reactions to the work of Dashiell Hammett. Thus, BRICK is a deeply personal film; though it may be evident that a Hammettesque script propels its action, its nuances can only be appreciated when a familiarity with Johnson is achieved. In this episode, Ri…
 
Where does pulp end and the real begin? As Paul Malmont discuses the historical facts underpinning his fantastic and fantastical throwback pulp novel THE CHINATOWN DEATH CLOUD PERIL, he provides surprising answers to this question. THE SHADOW author Walter Gibson was a world-class magician, and married a woman who did a fortunetelling act with a ch…
 
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