Monday, April 27, 2009

Of Indies, Edgars, and Poe Himself

• Continuing his Edgar Awards week celebration, French mystery fan Xavier Lechard has now posted analyses of Edgars trends and winners from the 1960s and the ’70s. What a great idea Lechard had for this mini-series. I only wish I’d thought of it first ...

• Speaking of the Edgars, author Jason Pinter (The Mark) notes that the festivities actually begin in advance of the official Edgar Awards Banquet on Thursday night. “[I]f you’re in [New York City] on Tuesday, April 28th,” he writes, “stop by the Mysterious Bookshop at 6:00, where the Mystery Writers of America will be introducing their brand new anthology: The Prosecution Rests, edited by Linda Fairstein.” (More on that collection here.) There will also be a crime-fiction-related symposium held all day long on Wednesday, April 29, at Manhattan’s Lighthouse Auditorium.

• Apparently at the suggestion of American thriller writer Joseph Finder, this coming Friday, May 1, has been declared International Buy Indie Day. (Wow! I didn’t know that Finder had such tremendous sway, but there you go.) “Be sure to head to the local independent bookstore,” writes Graham Powell of CrimeSpot. “If you’re in the mood, double-dip by picking up a small press book.” Hey, any excuse to acquire new books is a good one, as far as I’m concerned.

• As we noted earlier this month, Jim Winter, a regular contributor to both January Magazine and The Rap Sheet, has decided to offer his hard-to-sell new novel, Road Rules, for free online. He’s set up a special Web site and is already up to Chapter 3 in his postings. What’s more, he is going to begin podcasting his chapters on May 9. Winter’s brief synopsis of the novel:
The road to Hell begins in Cleveland. It’s about Stan, a hapless repo man thinking he has an easy job: Deliver a collectible Cadillac to a buyer in Florida. It’s about Sharon, whose tiny bladder cost her a job. It’s about Mike, whose ex-wife’s husband cost him his job. It’s about Bishop Gallagher, whose [makes a] grand entrance to his new position, only to get punked by Andre the Giant, used-car dealer and loan shark. And it’s about Julian Franco, who may be a coke-sniffing, womanizing, violent drug lord, but he’s also a deeply spiritual man. And he’s willing to kill to prove it. It’s about 35 weeks in the making. Follow along as everyone from Franco to an insurance company to two hit men now doing the Lord’s work try to find a missing holy relic. One sitting in Stan’s trunk.
• Did you see Jill Lepore’s fascinating essay, “The Humbug: Edgar Allan Poe and the Economy of Horror,” in The New Yorker? It’s a good long take on Poe’s career and influence upon modern fiction.

• Oh, and the dedication of a new Boston public square in Poe’s honor on Monday brought out pitifully few supporters, according to Poe authority Ed Pettit.

• Finally, was Amelia Butterworth really the first female detective in fiction? Apparently not.


Ed said...

And I hated Lepore's New Yorker piece. I'm writing a longish reaction now.

J. Kingston Pierce said...

I look forward to reading your response, Ed. Please let me know when it is available.


Rob Velella said...

I can't help but agree with Ed. Lepore has issued the worst Poe-bashing since the 19th century, encapsulated in a serious, thought-provoking scholarly historical context. Her info on the economics and practicality of publishing are fascinating; her info on Poe is misleading, inaccurate, and incorrect.