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Showing posts from April, 2008

2008 Edgar Predictions

Last year around this time THD was consulted by Vegas odds makers for our thoughts on the 2007 Edgar Awards. Many lost their shirt using THD's picks. Reports of valuable First Editions ripped in half and shelving destroyed by bookies who came to collect on ill formed wagers were a poorly kept secret in the Crime Fiction community. The underground betting scene for crime fiction awards is not pretty. Lot of tears... and a surprising amount of real blood

Needless to say, this year, THD is free of those leeches in Sin City and we are free to offer you our odds on this year's awards.

Best Novel
Christine Falls by Benjamin Black 7/1
Priest by Ken Bruen 10/1
The Yiddish Policemen's Union by Michael Chabon 20/1
Soul Patch by Reed Farrel Coleman 3/2
Down River by John Hart 5/1

The inclusion of the Chabon book caused a significant amount of ruckus. But I don't think there will be a repeat of 2006 when Jess Walter's slightly out of genre, Citizen Vince, was a surprise win. Bruen sh…

Mr. Clarinet - Review

I really hate not finishing a book. Hate every aspect about it. Sadly for Nick Stone'sMr. Clarinet, I was forced to set the book aside. I had been mulling it over for the last week, and a few nights ago I reached my limit. I was reading a chapter in the book, one that I felt was the turning point, and I just did not care. I didn't care about the hero, Max Mingus. I didn't care about the story, the kidnapping of children in Haiti. I didn't care about the larger social drama of everyday life in Haiti. The thing did not work for me on any level.

I know many have a page limit to termination, but I don't. This lead me to read almost 300 pages of a 425 page book. Seriously, I could have finished the thing if I just spent another day or two with it. It is very strange when a book crosses over from 'not your cup of tea' to 'life is too short.'

Truth be told the book was in trouble almost immediately. Without delving too deeply into it there is a very tiny bi…

Center of the Crime Fiction World - November 8, 2008

Year Four of Murder and Mayhem in Muskego has recently announced their preliminary line up for the second Saturday in November. Forgive the pun but it is KILLER! Look at a partial list of the author's scheduled to attend. Woah!

Sean Chercover, Victor Gischler, Chris Grabenstein, Harry Hunsicker, Charlie Huston, Michael Koryta, Dennis Lehane, Cornelia Read, JD Rhodes, Marcus Sakey, Duane Swierczynski.

Some of the author's aren't even on panels. They're just showing up. How awesome is that? Check out the complete line up of authors. Registration opens July 1.

Page 123 - Tag, I'm It?

Fellow Crime Fiction Blogger J. Kingston Pierce, has tagged THD for the current round of cyber chain mail fun. (Can I use the word Cyber? Does anyone know what that that means? Everyone saw Wild Palms right? Hello? Wild Palms? Jim Belushi? Anyone?)

This is called Page 123. And here are the rules.

1. Pick up the nearest book.
2. Open to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people, and acknowledge who tagged you.

Well I have already broken the rules as I have done half of 5, but lets not let that bother us.

Nearest book. I'm at work surrounded by.... work related books. On my right is a biography on Barbara Stanwyck, but I am left handed so I pick, Houdini's Escapes and Magic by Walter B. Gibson. Published by Blue Ribbon Books, Inc., NYC

I open to page 123. It is a Chapter entitled The Double Box Escape.

Sentence Five will remain a mystery as the next three read:

But for the presence of the top board, the middle board could be lifted from …

The Given Day - Dust Jacket

Thanks to The Rap Sheet for the initial post. All of THD is dying for this book, hence the very large photo. This book graces booksellers with its presence on September 23, 2008.

Pause/Rewind/Nostalgia

My nineteenth year on this earth has finally been put to song. So much of this song is spooky that I dare not speak out loud about it. Lovely and Terrible. Where is the Crime Fiction? Not today dear reader.

The Courteeners - Not Nineteen Forever


I'm even considering buying the UK single... yes they still have those over there.

The Song is You - Review

The best moments of The Song is You are reminiscent of the best James Ellroy. This may seem like a back handed compliment, but trust me it is not. It is out of sheer laziness that I evoke the dean of 50's LA Noir. Which is to say that The Song is You approaches greatness. Give me a little time and I might be talked into calling this one of the great books I have ever read. How's that for a backhanded compliment. To understand this praise that I heaped upon this book it is important to discuss Ms. Abbott's first book, Die A Little.

Die A Little is a book that I was conflicted about. I enjoyed it, but I felt the book was aping the style of noir, of pulp, of Ellroy to be honest. A meticulously researched piece of work that only served to imbue the book with a lifeless quality. It was clinical, not alive. With The Song is You all of those concerns are washed away in an effortless display of noir style.

Jean Spangler was a comer. An actress on the rise. Legs all the way up to the…

Couple of Purchase

THD purchased these last week and it took us all of that week and some of this week to write this post. Sadly, this can be an indication of our enthusiasm for these two books. Which is a terrible thing to write. Our dear readers should take this as a reflection on the laziness of THD staff, and not on these fine authors and the works discussed here.

The Black Dove - Steve Hockensmith
Holmes on the Range and On the Wrong Track are books one and two in this historical-western-crime fiction series. I was a moderate fan of the first in the series. I found its gentle approach and aw-shucks writing style to be a nice antidote to the usually grittier fiction I read. On the Wrong Track added the wonderful flavor of an on board train mystery. A kind of Murder on the Santa Fe Express. Unfortunately that book never clicked... or should I write clickety clacked for me........ sorry. I think it it was a case of me wanting the book to be something it wasn't. I was setting myself up for disappoi…