Thursday, May 22, 2008

Now We Are Two

Believe it or not, it was two whole years ago today (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s birthday) that The Rap Sheet cast loose from January Magazine and went out on its own, joining the ever-expanding world of crime-fiction-oriented blogs. Since then, we’ve learned a great deal about this business, made a few mistakes, earned a handful of plaudits, and generally satisfied ourselves that the decision to launch The Rap Sheet as an independent entity was a sane one, after all. Just this month, we registered our 300,000th visit and put up our 2,000th post.

Rather than begin and end our celebration today, we’re going to stretch out this second birthday for the next eight days, allowing it to merge with next week’s Ian Fleming centenary festivities. For now, I’d simply like to list a few of the posts I remember most fondly from these last two years. If you missed any of these the first time around, this is your chance to catch up. Or, if you’ve been reading all along, I hope these will be salutary reminders of why you started reading in the first place.

When Covers Are Two of a Kind,” the first entry in our now popular series about copycat covers.

Madison Square’s Trial of the Century,” about the 1906 murder of New York architect and “man about town” Stanford White.

What Goes Around Goes Around,” a lament about the repetitious nature of crime fiction TV franchises.

Turn It Up, Jake, It’s Chinatown,” about mystery and music.

Slippin’ Heaven a Mickey,” covering the death of Mickey Spillane.

The Eyes Have It,” regretting the end of TV’s private-eye era.

But Really, Sally McMillan Is Ageless,” on the 60th birthday of Susan Saint James.

Happy Birthday, Hitch,” a tribute to filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock.

Remembering My Mystery Friend,” about the death of a “a world-class fan of crime fiction.”

What Is the Secret of the Lost Girl,” Megan Abbott’s thoughtful analysis of the 1949 disappearance from Los Angeles of wannabe movie star Jean Spangler.

The Please-Come-Back Kids,” resurrecting memories of fine crime and detective novelists who just stopped publishing.

Warm Ocean Breezes, Ominous Wind Chimes,” a celebration of Body Heat’s 25th anniversary.

America’s Top Sleuths: I Was There,” Kevin Burton Smith’s look at the Sleuth Channel’s “America’s Top Sleuths” TV special.

Robert Crais, Exception and Rule,” an interview with the creator of Los Angeles gumshoe Elvis Cole.

The Third Act,” one of James Ellroy’s entries from his single day of guest blogging at The Rap Sheet.

A Christie for Christmas,” Stephen Miller’s encomium to the not-so-cozy Agatha Christie.

The King and I,” about Ali Karim’s meeting with Stephen King.

Talk About Dressing on the Run ...,” in which we highlighted one of our favorite movie action sequences.

The Surreal World,” Ali Karim’s interview with British author Michael Marshall (Smith).

Marlowe Redux,” analyzing the staying power of Philip Marlowe.

You Could Kill Him in the Rain ... or On a Speeding Train,” about the unlikely friendship between Raymond Chandler and Dr. Seuss.

Happy Birthday, Georges Simenon,” which is self-explanatory.

Happy Birthday, David Janssen,” looking back on the late star of The Fugitive, O’Hara, United States Treasury, and Harry O.

Raise a Glass of Jamie ...,” Jim Winter’s tribute to Ken Bruen.

Happy Birthday, Mr. Ellroy,” in which Megan Abbott praised “the sweep of James Ellroy’s vision.”

Judge Not, Lest Ye Be ... Oh, Never Mind,” Dylan Schaffer’s poetic musings on the judging of Edgar Allan Poe Award nominees.

My Lee Child Tradition,” part one of Ali Karim’s tribute to the creator of military policeman-turned-troubleshooter Jack Reacher.

Their Finest Hours,” applauding TV crime dramas.

The LongPen Is Mighter Than ...,” in which Ali Karim carried on a very long-distance pen-pal relationship with author Dean Koontz.

My Debt to Dostoevsky,” Roger “R.N.” Morris’ tribute to the great Russian author of Crime and Punishment.

M*A*S*H, Murder, and Morgan,” in which we looked back on the career of American actor Harry Morgan.

Happy Birthday, Jimbo,” which found us taking a deep bow to Rockford Files star James Garner.

Strike Up the Band,” a recollection of memorable TV theme songs.

The Ones That Got Away,” our first-birthday special, which had us asking more than 100 crime novelists, book critics, and bloggers from all over the English-speaking world to choose the one crime/mystery/thriller novel they thought had been “most unjustly overlooked, criminally forgotten, or underappreciated over the years.” Now conveniently available on one blog page.

Hey, Joe!,” Ali Karim’s interview with Joe Finder.

Praising Cain,” our two-part profile of pseudonymous thriller writer Tom Cain (The Accident Man).

A Stand-up Crime Writer,” in which we interviewed comic-turned-novelist Mark Billingham.

Fright Time in the Forests,” or “Don’t Fool with Mother Nature.”

The Defense Never Rests,” a celebration of Perry Mason and the man who brought him before the bar, Erle Stanley Gardner.

Not to Be Overlooked,” our fond look at Michael Connelly.

‘Heyday in the Blood’: A Never-Before-Published Lew Archer Tale,” by Ross Macdonald (from The Archer Files: The Complete Short Stories of Lew Archer, Private Investigator, edited by Tom Nolan).

Dusting Off a True Classic,” a recollection of Dilys Winn’s Murder Ink: The Mystery Reader’s Companion.

From Well Beyond the Grave,” in which Conan Doyle engaged in something of a very early screen test.

Off on the Right Foot,” a rediscovery of Lee Roberts (aka Robert Martin), author of If the Shoe Fits.

There Once Was a Gumshoe So Green ...,” the start of our unintended series on crime fiction limericks.

Get Wheel,” in which we pined for the NBC Mystery Movie.

‘I’m Just Another Cop. My Name Is Columbo,’” about Mark Billingham’s meeting with the man behind the famous raincoat (or at least the actor who played him).

The Girl from Guy,” our drooling ovation for The Fall Guy’s fetching Heather Thomas.

What Say You, Mr. Leonard?,” a short interview with the man known as Elmore.

Book Covers We Love

‘Thank God, It’s Over.’ Or Is It?,” a look back at the 97-year-old murder case of Hawley Harvey Crippen, convicted wife murderer.

Back to Black,” Mark Coggins’ series on The New Black Mask magazine, plus an interview with magazine co-editor and Dashiell Hammett authority Richard Layman.

The World Is Black, the World Is White,” Kevin Burton Smith’s musings on racism at the movies.

Voices from the Chorus,” Anthony Rainone’s interview with the authors behind that audiobook presentation, The Chopin Manuscript.

Heade of the Class,” an appreciation of the work by British “girlie” paperback cover artist Reginald Heade.

A Giant Turns 93,” remembering Madigan’s Richard Widmark.

Cover Me ... I’m Going In!,” announcing the winners of The Rap Sheet’s first “Book Covers of the Year” competition.

A Master of the Medium,” contributor Al Navis’ fond farewell to the late, prolific short-story writer Edward D. Hoch.

Children of the Storm,” which found guest-blogger Laurie R. King remarking on her historical-research methodologies.

A Quiet Belief in Himself,” our interview with too-long-underappreciated novelist Roger Jon Ellory.

This Is the Zodiac Speaking, Again,” which had Megan Abbott waxing fondly about the DVD release of the 2007 film Zodiac.

Man of Mystery,” Ali Karim’s four-part study of onetime horror master Robert McCammon’s interrupted literary career.

The BS Index,” in which Gary Phillips tackled bullshit and politics. Or are they really the same thing?

It’s a Shame About Ray,” a tough-love assessment of Judith Freeman’s hardly straightforward Raymond Chandler biography, The Long Embrace.

Lyons Ends His Roar,” our obituary of private-eye novelist Arthur Lyons, the creator of Los Angeles P.I. Jacob Asch.

Wilson’s War Hero,” a chat with historical novelist Laura Wilson.

Whew! That only touches on the wealth of posts this blog has supported over the last 24 months. But not a bad beginning, eh?


pattinase (abbott) said...

Thanks for all your good work. I never miss a day of stopping by.

Unknown said...

Just keep on truckin'.