A Study of Human Nature

A few passages in recent Amazon reviews of the March novels jumped out at me. First, here's one from a reader with law enforcement experience writing about Back on Murder: It's seldom that I read a cop story that gives me goose bumps, but this one did. His description of a fight in the front [...]

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Theology and Noir


Writers disagree on whether it’s a good idea to read reviews of your own work. I still do, mainly to gauge whether or not my deeper effects are coming off. By deeper effects, I meant the subtextual stuff, the engineering underneath the plot. Some readers never notice this kind of thing — and a few [...]

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More Flipbacks

The mailman brought treats from across the sea today, a couple of new flipbacks to sate my newfound passion for the quirky little format. Thanks to the novelty factor, I'll soon be reading an author I really like but haven't kept up with for a couple of years (Peter Robinson) and another I haven't read [...]

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Deconstructing Postmodern Mysteries


Ted Gioia has devoted a site to what he calls the “postmodern mystery,” complete with a list of essential works in the sub-genre, which has led Linda Richards to wonder whether the criteria for ‘postmodern’ — books which, among other things, both celebrate and undermine the precepts of crime fiction — isn’t just another synonym [...]

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The Savage Nights of Jim Thompson


Something surprising happened when my new bookshelves inpired me to re-organize my hopelessly scattered library. As I picked out novels here and there, consolidating each author’s work on a shelf of its own, I started doing a quantitative ranking of favorites. If I had five of one writer’s books and only one of a second [...]

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