Saturday, April 26, 2008

"Contact and Cover" by Greg Rucka

From: The Blue Religion ed. Michael Connelly. Little Brown and Company, 2008.

Novelist and comic book writer Rucka delivers his trademark authenticity and white-knuckle action in this story of three female Portland, Oregon police officers who serve their own justice on a misogynistic partner after the system fails them. From a brand new collection of nineteen stories on "cops, criminals, and the chase."

Sunday, April 20, 2008

NBS Special: Jen Jordan Chat Transcript

In my capacity as DetecToday moderator, I chatted with Expletive Deleted editor Jen Jordan. Author Sean Chercover also attended.

NBS Special Report: This Day in History

On April 20, 1841, the first detective story was published, "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" by Edgar Allan Poe. Many of the story's elements would be adopted by later authors as the genre developed: the genius detective, the first-person narrating sidekick, the red herring... "Rue Morgue" is also known as the first "locked room" mystery.

The story's opening paragraphs, distinguishing analysis from ingenuity, are still inspiring.

More background from Wikipedia. The full text of the story is available here.

"Find Me" by Anthony Neil Smith

From: Expletive Deleted. Ed. Jen Jordan. Bleak House Books, 2007.

After picking up a college girl at a bar, Louisiana P.I. Hopper Garland agrees to look for her missing roommate, Cynthia. Garland goes on to have sex with multiple partners in the course of his investigation, and the act of sex goes from being something Garland uses to a way he is used and humiliated. Like all of Smith's crime fiction, this is a dark, no-nonsense tale of substance.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

"Souls Burning" by Bill Pronzini

Available in Spadework by Bill Pronzini, Crippen and Landru, 1996.

For Pronzini's birthday, a review of one of his darker Nameless Detective stories. Nameless agrees to meet Eddie Quinlan, a small-time crook six months out of Folsom prison, at the seedy Hotel Majestic in a bad neighborhood. Eddie is fed up with the state of the world, visible right outside his window, and itching to do something about it. Nameless can't begin to tell him what that might be. Tiring of Eddie's ruminations, Nameless takes his leave. Eddie ends up committing a horrific crime, and Nameless must come to grips with the fact he could have done nothing to stop it. A master of the pared-down, efficient mystery story, Pronzini is equally adept at image-rich stories like this one.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

"Nobody's Ring" by Terence Faherty

From: The Shamus Game ed. Robert J. Randisi. Signet, 2000.

In 1951 Hollywood, P.I. Scott Elliott finds an ostentatious sapphire ring left in the bathroom during a dinner party. No one at the party claims the ring, so Elliott visits local jewelers until one identifies the ring as his handiwork and tells Elliott who ordered it.

Elliott calls the jeweler's client to give the ring back, and the client requests they meet at a more private location. Soon after Elliott arrives there, he finds the client shot dead and is brought in by the police. Faherty keeps this long short story moving with many more twists. Well worth a read.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

NBS Special Report: 2008 SMFS Derringer Finalists

As posted to Shortmystery today:

Best Story 1,000 words or less:

Keri Clark, "Saved" (Mysterical-E, Fall 2007)

BV Lawson, "Dreaming of a Spite Christmas" (Mouth Full of Bullets, Winter 2007)

Jillian Berg, "A Woman Scorned" (Mouth Full of Bullets, Autumn 2007)

Keri Clark, "Your New Fan" (Mouth Full of Bullets, Winter 2007)

Patricia Abbott, "My Hero" (D Z Allen's Muzzle Flash, 2007)

Best Story 1,001 to 4,000 words:

Beverle Graves Myers, "Brimstone P.I." (Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, May 2007)

Hugh Lessig, "We All Come From Splattertown" (Thuglit, Issue 17, July 2007)

Rick Noetzel, "Joyride" (Shred of Evidence, Dec., 2007)

Jack Hardway, "Handful of Stars" (Mouth Full of Bullets, Issue 5, Autumn 2007)

John Weagly, "In the Shadows of Wrigley Field" (The Back Alley, Vol. I, Nov 2007)

Camille LaGuire, "The Promise" (Future's Mysterious Anthology Magazine, March-April 2007)

Best Story 4,001 to 8,000 words:

Twist Phelan, "A Trader's Lot" (Wall Street Noir, Akashic Books, June, 2007)

John Schroeder, "Devil's Lake" (Futures Anthology Magazine, Jan/Feb 2007)

Herschel Cozine, "A Private Hanging" (Mysterical-E, Summer, 2007)

Kate Flora, "Mr. McGregor's Garden" (Still Waters, Level Best Books, 2007)

Rosemary Harris, "Growing Up is For Losers" (Still Waters, Level Best Books, 2007)

Richard Helms, "The Gospel According to Gordon Black" (The Thrilling Detective, Fall 2007)

Best Story 8,001 to 17,500 words:

Beverle Graves Myers, "The Bookworm's Demise"(Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, Dec. 2007)

Eric Shane, "Paper Walls / Glass Houses" (The Back Alley Vol. 1, June 2007)

John Burdett, "The Enlightenment of Magnus McKay" (Wall Street Noir, June 2007)

Mike Wiecek, "Wasting Assets" (Alfred Hitchcock Sept., 2007)

Clifford Royal Johns, "Forget Me Not" (Mysterical-E, Fall 2007)

The finalists are put before Short Mystery Fiction Society members voting April 1-30 to determine the winner in each category. Congrats and good luck to all.