Thursday, March 23, 2017

2/23/1994 Death gets Superior

3/23/1994.  This was the publication date for A Superior Death, a Nevada Barr novel about park ranger Anna Pigeon.  This time she is on the north shore of Lake Superior,dealing with an extra corpse in the wreck of an old ship.  Kirkus Reviews called it "A crackling good mystery, fleshed out by a detective and a supporting cast far more human than they need to be."

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

3/22/1971 Ross Macdonald, cover boy

March 22, 1971.  The issue of Newsweek with this cover date featured Ross Macdonald on the cover.  The occasion was the publication of The Underground Man, a Lew Archer novel that earned a front page review in the New York Times Book Review from no less than Eudora Welty.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

3/21/2014 The Girl Next Door wins a prize

March 21, 2014.  In this date Brad Parks' novel The Girl Next Door won the Lefty Award, which is given out each year at Left Coast Crime for the best comic crime novel of the year.

The book was part of his series about Carter Ross,a newspaper reporter in Newark, NJ. The Girl Next Door involved union negotiations and Booklist called it a masterpiece.

Monday, March 20, 2017

3/20/1937 The Murderous Mr. Coon

March 20, 1937.  The issue of Detective Fiction Weekly with this cover date featured "The Murderous Mr. Coon," by Richard Sale.  You can read it here, courtesy of Evan Lewis, an excellent contemporary short story writer.

The story stars Daffy Dill, a New York newspaper reporter with an unfortunate name.

Sale also wrote novels, such as Not Too Narrow...Not Too Deep, and directed some movies, including Let's Make It Legal, one of Marilyn's first flicks.  (Oh, you know perfectly well which Marilyn.)

Sunday, March 19, 2017

3/19/1987 Inspector Rebus arrives

March 19, 1987.  Ian Rankin wrote Knots and Crosses, published on this date, while a postgraduate student at the University of Edinburgh.  It was the first novel to feature John Rebus (who happened to live just across the street from Rankin.  Amazing coincidence.)  Rankin claimed he was amazed to discover that he had written a crime novel, a genre with which he was unfamiliar.  He seems to have warmed up to the field. Rebus #20 will be published soon.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

3/18/1954 Marko Vukcic is murdered

March 18, 1954.  On this date Marko Vukcic was gunned down in New York City.  Besides being the owner of Rusterman's, a posh eatery, he was also the best friend of Nero Wolfe.  His death led Wolfe and Archie Goodwin on one of their most spectular - and frankly unbelievable - adventures.  The Black Mountain found the rotund detective marching his seventh-of-a-ton through the hills of Yugoslavia, his homeland, in search of the killer.  Does Wolfe find him?  Well, duh.

Friday, March 17, 2017

3/17/1904 Patrick Hamilton is born

March 17, 1904.  Happy St Patrick's Day.  This holiday no doubt had something to do with the first name of today's subject.  Patrick Hamilton was born near Brighton, England on this date.  Doris Lessing called him "a marvelous novelist who's grossly neglected," but we are mostly interested in two plays he wrote; Gaslight and Rope..Yes, that is where the idea of gaslighting someone (to make them think they are going crazy) came from.  And Rope was made into a very creepy movie by Alfred Hitchcock, remembered today mostly because Jimmy Stewart played a somewhat sinister philosophy professor who inspires the bad guys to murder, and because Hitchcock filmed it as if it were one long camera shot.  (Many years later Birdman used the same stunt.)