Thursday, July 08, 2010

Clearing the First 100 Hurdle

Sometime tomorrow morning, The Rap Sheet will publish its 100th entry in the “Books You Have to Read” series. That popular succession of posts began way back in May 2008 and was inspired by Derringer Award-winning short-story writer Patricia “Patti” Abbott (pictured below with her husband, Dr. Philip Abbott). The mother of novelist (and Rap Sheet contributor) Megan Abbott, Patti had rather offhandedly suggested a month before then that it might be fun--and even enlightening--for book bloggers to recommend, each Friday, “books we love but might have forgotten over the years. ... I’m worried great books of the recent past are sliding out of print and out of our consciousness. Not the first-tier classics we all can name, but the books that come next.” Little did Patti know that so many people would pick up on her suggestion, and launch what has become a familiar weekly blog feature about “forgotten books.” Our “Books You Have to Read” series has been part of that estimable venture.

Over the last two years, we’ve endorsed older volumes by such diverse wordsmiths as William Campbell Gault and Eric Ambler, Barbara Seranella and Mickey Spillane, Newton Thornburg and Karen Kijewski, Cornell Woolrich and Stanley Ellin, Donald Goines and Reginald Hill and Josephine Tey. We hope our 100 posts have provided people who are on the lookout for novels to fill in the missing parts of their crime-fiction education with invaluable guidance in making their next reading choices. Personally, it’s because of this series that I was finally provoked to delve into the output of Neil Albert, Norbert Davis, and Jonathan Latimer.

If all of this makes it sound as if The Rap Sheet is winding down its “Books You Have to Read” series ... well, that’s right, but it’s also wrong. After having recruited so many contributors over the last couple of years, I do find myself a bit weary of the task. However, I very much enjoy the results of the effort and so don’t intend to end the series here. The change will be, that from here on out I won’t try to maintain a weekly schedule of “forgotten books” posts, but will add them to the editorial mix on a less regular basis. There are a few writers who still owe me submissions to this series, and there are a number of books I would like to read (or re-read) myself for possible mention. If there are any published authors out there who haven’t yet submitted recommendations to The Rap Sheet’s series, but would like to, I’d be very happy to hear from you. The same goes for people who’ve contributed before and want to do so again. Just drop me an e-mail note here.

By the way, tomorrow we have a special guest making our 100th “forgotten book” pick--none other than Patti Abbott herself!

In the meantime, if you haven’t been keeping up with The Rap Sheet’s “Books You Have to Read” series, here’s the rundown of the works we’ve plugged so far. Following each book title and author name, I’ve identified (in parentheses) the person who commented on the work:

The Iron Gates, by Margaret Millar (Patti Abbott)
Tony and Susan, by Austin Wright (Maxim Jakubowski)
The Song Dog, by James McClure (Stanley Trollip)
Caleb Williams, by William Godwin (Andrew Taylor)
Drink to Yesterday, by Manning Coles (Irene Fleming)
Thumbprint, by Friedrich Glauser (Patrick Lennon)
The Black Path of Fear, by Cornell Woolrich (Thomas Kaufman)
Blanche on the Lam, by Barbara Neely (Naomi Hirahara)
The Zimmerman Telegram, by Barbara Tuchman (J. Sydney Jones)
Murder Fantastical, by Patricia Moyes (Jim Napier)
Death of a Peer, by Ngaio Marsh (Les Blatt)
Shoot, by Douglas Fairbairn (Mike Dennis)
Train, by Pete Dexter (David Thayer)
The Great Zapruder Film Hoax, by James H. Fetzer
(Michael Atkinson)
The Adventures of Max Latin, by Norbert Davis (Ed Lin)
Swag, by Elmore Leonard (Mike Dennis)
Build My Gallows High, by Geoffrey Homes (Thomas Kaufman)
Light of Day, by Eric Ambler (Leighton Gage)
Alley Kat Blues, by Karen Kijewski (Karen E. Olson)
The Most Dangerous Game, by Gavin Lyall (Calum MacLeod)
The Saint-Fiacre Affair, by Georges Simenon (Matt Beynon Rees)
The Body on the Bench, by Dorothy B. Hughes (Jeri Westerson)
The Drowner, by John D. MacDonald (Ace Atkins)
Dead Man Upright, by Derek Raymond (Ray Banks)
I Was Dora Suarez, by Derek Raymond (Cathi Unsworth)
How the Dead Live, by Derek Raymond (Russel D. McLean)
The Devil’s Home on Leave, by Derek Raymond (John Harvey)
He Died with His Eyes Open, by Derek Raymond (Tony Black)
The Staked Goat, by Jeremiah Healy (Libby Fischer Hellmann)
Nightmare Alley, by William Linday Gresham (Kelli Stanley)
The First Deadly Sin, by Lawrence Sanders (L.J. Sellers)
The Dolly Dolly Spy, by Adam Diment (Tom Cain)
Freak, by Michael Collins (Russell Atwood)
Who Killed Palomino Molero? by Mario Vargas Llosa (Marshall Browne)
The Cracked Earth, by John Shannon (Dick Adler)
The Last One Left, by John D. MacDonald (Bill Cameron)
Room to Swing, by Ed Lacy (Art Taylor)
Someone Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe, by Nan and Ivan Lyons (Jeffrey Cohen)
Solomon’s Vineyard, by Jonathan Latimer (Mike Ripley)
Modesty Blaise, by Peter O’Donnell (Vicki Delany)
Modus Operandi, by Robin W. Winks (Stephen Miller)
The Eighth Circle, by Stanley Ellin (J. Kingston Pierce)
The Woman Chaser, by Charles Willeford (Kathryn Miller Haines)
The Friends of Eddie Coyle, by George V. Higgins (William Landay)
GBH, by Ted Lewis (Ray Banks)
The Criminal, by Jim Thompson (Nate Flexer)
Trent’s Last Case, by E.C. Bentley (Stefanie Pintoff)
The Depths of the Forest, by Eugenio Fuentes (Ann Cleeves)
Putting the Boot In, by Dan Kavanagh (Michael Walters)
Switch, by William Bayer (Col Bury)
Sympathy for the Devil, by Kent Anderson (John Shannon)
The Quiet Strangers, by John Buxton Hilton (Stephen Booth)
Raffles: The Amateur Cracksman, by E.W. Hornung (Chris Ewan)
No Orchids for Miss Blandish, by James Hadley Chase
(James R. Benn)
War Against the Mafia, by Don Pendleton (Matt Hilton)
Daddy Cool, by Donald Goines (Gary Phillips)
Edith’s Diary, by Patricia Highsmith (Jason Starr)
Night of the Panther, by E.C. Ayres (J. Kingston Pierce)
Death of a Unicorn, by Peter Dickinson (Keith Raffel)
The Andromeda Strain, by Michael Crichton (Anthony Rainone)
The Bigger They Come, by A.A. Fair (J. Kingston Pierce)
Death of a Citizen, by Donald Hamilton (Rob Kantner)
The Double Take, by Roy Huggins (J. Kingston Pierce)
The Overseer, by Jonathan Rabb (Simon Wood)
A Coffin for Dimitrios, by Eric Ambler (Ali Karim)
The Scarf, by Robert Bloch (John Peyton Cooke)
The Ebony Tower, by John Fowles (Michael G. Jacob)
The Grifters, by Jim Thompson (Chris Knopf)
A Clubbable Woman, by Reginald Hill (Simon Wood)
The Bloody Bokhara, by William Campbell Gault (David Fulmer)
Journey into Fear, by Eric Ambler (Charles Cumming)
Despair, by Vladimir Nabokov (Robert Eversz)
Marathon Man, by William Goldman (Linwood Barclay)
Mayhem, by J. Robert Janes (Cara Black)
The Caves of Steel, by Isaac Asimov (Jane Finnis)
The 12:30 from Croydon, by Freeman Wills Crofts
(Dolores Gordon-Smith)
The Golden Crucible, by Jean Stubbs (Amy Myers)
Rilke on Black, by Ken Bruen (Tony Black)
The Daughter of Time, by Josephine Tey (Judith Cutler)
Nine Times Nine, by Anthony Boucher (Jeffrey Marks)
The Three Coffins, by John Dickson Carr (Edward Marston)
Some Must Watch, by Ethel Lina White (Mary Reed)
The Golden Gate Murders, by Peter King (Anthony Flacco)
The Big Bow Mystery, by Israel Zangwill (Will Thomas)
Coffin’s Got the Dead Guy on the Inside, by Keith Snyder
(Timothy Hallinan)
The Twisted Thing, by Mickey Spillane (Max Allan Collins)
The Falling Man, by Mark Sadler (Robert J. Randisi)
Don’t Cry for Me, by William Campbell Gault (Ed Gorman)
No Human Involved, by Barbara Seranella (Louise Ure)
Watcher in the Shadows, by Geoffrey Household (Mike Ripley)
Cutter and Bone, by Newton Thornburg (Kirk Russell)
Funeral in Berlin, by Len Deighton (Tony Broadbent)
God’s Pocket, by Pete Dexter (David Corbett)
Chinaman’s Chance, by Ross Thomas (Tim Maleeny)
I Am the Cheese, by Robert Cormier (Steve Hockensmith)
The Honest Dealer, by Frank Gruber (Dick Lochte)
When the Sacred Gin Mill Closes, by Lawrence Block (Dick Adler)
The January Corpse, by Neil Albert (Kevin Burton Smith)
The Lunatic Fringe, by William L. DeAndrea (J. Kingston Pierce)
Memoirs of an Invisible Man, by H.F. Saint (Ali Karim)

1 comment:

George said...

Love the colorful photo of Patti and Phil!