Sunday, May 23, 2010

Fantastic Four

Every year, when we celebrate the latest anniversary of The Rap Sheet’s “birth” in May 2006, I like to look back at some of my favorite posts from the preceding 12 months. Activity at Rap Sheet headquarters has been extremely busy since last May, as we’ve not only launched a new series (“The Story Behind the Story,” which invites prominent crime authors to offer background on their latest books), but continued our search for all-too-available copycat book covers, experimented (successfully, I would say) with book-giveaway contests, and built upon our popular series about “forgotten books.”

Far from an exhaustive recap of what The Rap Sheet has been up to over the last 52 weeks, what follows are simply some of the posts I remember most fondly. If you missed reading a few of these the first time around, now’s your chance to catch up.

A High Point for Hammer,” our lengthy conversation with Max Allan Collins about the latest posthumous Mickey Spillane novel, The Big Bang.

Forshaw Tackles the Larsson Phenomenon,” and in turn, Ali Karim tackles Barry Forshaw, who has composed the first Stieg Larsson biography, The Man Who Left Too Soon.

The Intimidating Mr. Kerr,” in which I finally have the opportunity to interview--at some length--British thriller writer Philip Kerr.

Maxim Exposure,” the results of Michael Gregorio’s conversation with prolific editor-writer Maxim Jakubowski.

Mina’s Lighter Side,” in which Jim Napier talks with Scottish writer Denise Mina about her eighth novel, Still Midnight.

Mark Coggins’ coverage of Left Coast Crime 2010.

“Looking for Robert B. Parker,” a two-post tribute (here and here) in which his fellow crime-fictionists paid tribute to the creator of Boston P.I. Spenser, who died on January 18 at age 77. In another fine piece, “They Won’t Have Parker to Kick Around Anymore,” Kevin Burton Smith chimes in with his own good-bye.

Last Orders,” an original Gus Dury short story from Tony Black.

How Swede It Is,” Ali Karim’s first look at the Swedish film adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s novel The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Our mini-series about the writing legacy of Derek Raymond.

Three Masterpieces Etched in Stone,” Charlie Stella’s tribute to Boston lawyer-turned-littérateur George V. Higgins.

The Plundering Po8,” about the 1870s career and capture of masked stagecoach robber Black Bart in Northern California.

Triumphs, Troubles on Webcon’s First Voyage,” author Mary Reed’s assessment of the world’s first mystery conference.

Raiding the Ivory Tower,” Megan Abbott’s fascinating, two-part conversation with British scholar Lee Horsley, author of The Noir Thriller.

Our text and video coverage of Bouchercon 2009.

Don’t Stop the Presses!” Stephen Miller talked with Mystery Scene editor Kate Stine about the sad folding of rival Mystery News.

First Thoughts on Kaminsky’s Last Day,” about the unexpected death, at age 75, of renowned author Stuart M. Kaminsky.

Cash and Carey,” recognizing an amazing 50 years since actor Philip Carey took on the role of Raymond Chandler’s most famous detective in the short-lived ABC-TV series Philip Marlowe.

The Brickbat Boys,” Dick Adler’s favorite historical put-downs.

Vice Work If You Can Get It,” noting the passage of a quarter-century since the debut of that trend-setting NBC-TV cop drama, Miami Vice.

Ghost of Honor,” commemorating the 40th anniversary of the debut of that quirky British P.I. series, Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased).

‘Who Are Those Guys?’,” another 40th anniversary tribute, this one to the endearing Paul Newman-Robert Redford western film, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

West Meets East in Brooklyn,” Anthony Rainone’s report from the Fourth Annual Brooklyn Book Festival in New York.

• “Missing No More,” which revealed--finally--what Martha C. Lawrence has been up to since the publication of her last Elizabeth Chase novel, Ashes to Aries, in 2001.

The Power of 10,” in which Ali Karim chats with Irishman John Connolly about the latter’s first decade as a crime writer.

World of the Weird,” Rafe McGregor’s three-part examination of supernatural crime fiction.

Bloodsport,” a three-part, never-before-published short story, written by British thriller novelist Tom Cain (Assassin).

A Taste of Honey,” in which we interviewed John C. Fredriksen, author of a non-fiction book devoted to that famous Anne Francis TV detective series, Honey West.

Private Eye? No, Private Spy,” Ali Karim’s interview with Joseph Finder in association with the release of Finder’s latest novel, Vanished.

Thieves Like Them,” Cameron Hughes’ celebration of the popular TNT-TV con-artist series, Leverage, featuring an interview with executive producer John Rogers.

Rediscovering the Real Sherlock Holmes,” which found Rafe McGregor defending Guy Ritchie’s plans to deliver a more action-oriented Victorian sleuth in the then upcoming film, Sherlock Holmes.

A Long Line of Zen Men,” Cameron Hughes’ captivating video interview with Christopher G. Moore, who writes the Bangkok-based Vincent Calvino detective series.

‘Get Carter’: A Re-examination,” Gordon Harries’ tribute to the famous 1971 big-screen adaptation of Ted Lewis’ novel Jack Returns Home, starring Michael Caine.

Fame Is the Name of His Game,” which applauded longtime and suave TV performer Gene Barry on his 90th birthday. (Unfortunately, Barry perished just six months later).

Asta and You Shall Receive,” a recap of some of the best quips from the old Thin Man movie series, starring William Powell and Myrna Loy.

“‘Romeo and Juliet in a Getaway Car,’” recalling the ambush slayings, 75 years ago, of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow--characters better known to history as gangsters Bonnie and Clyde.


Declan Burke said...

Many happy returns, Jeff ...

Cheers, Dec

Paul D Brazill said...

Happy Birthday to an essential read.

Dorte H said...

Congratulations to a mature yet sprightly blog.

Ivan G Shreve Jr said...

Happy anniversary, Jeff!

Julia Buckley said...

Happy Birthday, Rappers.