Wednesday, April 18, 2018

But There’s Always More

Pressed as I was for time yesterday, I didn’t mention all of the crime-fiction news links I have collected lately. Here are a few more.

• How are the multiple scandals and bizarre news reports coming out of Donald Trump’s chaotic administration affecting today’s crime-fictionists? In an article for CrimeReads, Brad Parks explains:
Because of the long gestation period of a novel, we’re only just now seeing the first trickle of books that were developed, written, and edited during the ascendancy of President Trump and the head-spinning early days of his reign. With this in mind, I undertook a highly unscientific poll of agents, editors, and my fellow authors of crime fiction to ask them how this extraordinary time in history was impacting our genre—both in what’s being written, how it’s being written, and what is capturing readers’ attention.

What I found was, unlike so many things related to Trump, subtle and nuanced. There’s no great tsunami of forthcoming books in which an erratic narcissist in the White House casts juvenile taunts at foreign leaders while casually threatening nuclear war—and thank goodness, because we get enough of that already. It’s more a gentle lapping of smaller waves, created by authors who are no longer looking at this mad new world in quite the same way.
• CrimeReads has also posted—in relation to National Poetry Month—a list of mystery and thriller writers who’ve penned verse.

• In a piece for New York magazine’s fashion blog, The Cut, crime-fiction critic and editor Sarah Weinman writes about her bout with breast cancer and its potential connection to alcohol.

• What do publishers see as the trends made evident by much-anticipated novels being readied for release this spring and summer? Library Journal contributor Lisa Levy says we can look forward to more “suspense novels involving missing women,” abundant historical mysteries set during the 1920s and in the Victorian era, and works of “psychological suspense bordering on horror.”

From The Guardian: “While literary novels are sidelined, crime fiction is fast developing as the most versatile narrative of our times.”

• In The Trap of Solid Gold, Steve Scott looks back at John D. MacDonald’s hesitation about collecting his pulp-fiction tales.

• As longtime Rap Sheet readers know, one of my favorite private-eye films is Paul Newman’s Harper, which was adapted from Ross Macdonald’s 1949 novel, The Moving Target. So I was intrigued to see not just one, but two blogs recently address the many strengths of that 1966 film. Here is a review from Vintage45’s Blog; and clickety-clack here to read Raquel Stecher’s comments, in Out of the Past, on both Harper and its lesser, 1975 sequel, The Drowning Pool.

• Not long ago, my mailman brought me an advance reading copy of The Trial and Execution of the Traitor George Washington, by Charles Rosenberg (Hanover Square Press), which I hope to read in advance of its late-June publication date. By odd coincidence, this arrived shortly before I received an e-mail note from a Web site that features all 1,399 installments of the 1974-1982 radio drama, CBS Radio Mystery Theater, suggesting that I enjoy a 1982 episode titled “The Washington Kidnap,” inspired by the same historical curiosity—a Revolutionary War plot, by British military forces, to apprehend then Continental Army commander George Washington.

• It was 112 years ago today that an earthquake and fire devastated San Francisco. Click here to read about those frightening events.

And let’s hear it for Batman—road-safety instructor.

No comments: