Much of this morning was spent watching President Barack Obama’s second inauguration (an event that’s been well-coupled on newspaper front pages with today’s U.S. holiday celebrating the legacy of civil-rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.). But I’ve also been digging up news of interest to crime-fiction readers. A few useful links:
• Lee Goldberg notes on Facebook that, despite his previous denials, prolific author/ghostwriter Donald Bain has “finally been ‘outed’ as Margaret Truman ... with the publication of [2012’s] Experiment in Murder.” Truman, the only child of former
U.S. President Harry Truman, died back in 2008, but her series of
Washington, D.C.-set mysteries has continued to expand ever since.
• Los Angeles Times TV critic Robert Lloyd notes the current
proliferation of serial killers on the small screen, and voices concern
about this trend: “I understand that terror has its uses and am not averse to a
bit of frightful catharsis; too much decorum in our shared fantasies can be as
unhealthful as too little. Nor do I believe that, in a general way, violence in
entertainment makes violent people ... But it does create violence in the
culture, in the social air we commonly breathe, and objections to it should not
be dismissed merely because it can't be tied to a particular real-world act or
because most of us are smart enough to tell the difference between fantasy and
• Jose Ignacio, author of the blog The Game’s Afoot, reminds us
that Spain’s BCNegra crime-writing festival is scheduled to take place in beautiful Barcelona from February 4 to 9. “During the festival,” he adds, “the Carvalho Award will be handed to Swedish crime writer Maj Sjöwall
who, alongside her husband, Per Wahlöö, penned The Story of
a Crime: The Martin Beck series.”
• Here’s a book I’d like to add to my shelves.
• Robert Wilson, author of the new thriller Capital Punishment, writes in The Daily Telegraph about his new love for London as a crime-fiction locale. “... [O]ver the years, London to me has become increasingly exotic as its population has expanded, sucking in people from all over the world,” he remarks. “Being an outsider for many years helped me to look at London with fresh eyes.” His essay is here.
• In Pulp Curry, novelist Wallace Stroby selects “the best 5 crime films you’ve never seen.” (Actually, I’ve watched a couple of them.)
• It seems I’m not the only one who loved
Peter May’s The Blackhouse. Kristopher (last name unknown) at BOLO Books has posted his own favorable review of that same novel.
• Let’s celebrate James Bond movie themes!
• Guns, Gams, and Gumshoes weighs the validity of recent articles suggesting that the private-eye “myth,” as a source of film storytelling, is well past its sell-by date.
• From Shotsmag Confidential: “The German writer, crime novelist and playwright Jakob Arjouni, has died from pancreatic cancer at the age of 48 years. He was at home in Berlin with his family. More information can be found here. His books were published by No Exit Press in the UK and a new Brother Kemal Kayankaya novel is due to be published this year. Mark Lawson’s tribute in The Guardian can be found here. His
obituary in German can be found here.”
• Finally, the true-crime site Tickle the Wire revisits the life and career of Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel, the handsome mob boss who did so much to create today’s Las Vegas “strip.”