The Thrilling Detective Zoom

Proudly Present

A Hard-Boiled History

A special digital event about crime fiction’s hard-boiled history, featuring acclaimed and bestselling authors and celebrating the awesome new book by Susanna Lee.

WHEN: Tuesday, August 18, 2020. 6 p.m. EDT.
WHERE: Join us via Zoom at   

Join a riveting online discussion on the past and present of hard-boiled crime fiction with leading crime fiction authors. Featuring Max Allan Collins (Road to Perdition), Ace Atkins (the Quinn Colson series), and Alex Segura (the Pete Fernandez series), the live event will celebrate the release of Susanna Lee’s new history of the genre, Detectives in the Shadows: A Hard-Boiled History. The event will be hosted via Zoom by Kevin Burton Smith of the Thrilling Detective Web Site and Johns Hopkins University Press.

America has had a love affair with the hard-boiled detective since the 1920s, when Prohibition called into question who really stood on the right and wrong side of the law. And nowhere did this hero shine more than in crime fiction. In Detectives in the Shadows, literary and cultural critic Susanna Lee tracks the evolution of this character type—from Race Williams to Philip Marlowe and from Mike Hammer to Jessica Jones.

In addition to being accomplished authors, everyone on the panel has a vast knowledge of the genre’s history. Enjoy a fascinating moderated discussion about crime fiction’s most iconic gumshoes and participate in a live Q&A with the panelists.


Susanna Lee is a professor of French and comparative literature at Georgetown University. She is the author of Hard-Boiled Crime Fiction and the Decline of Moral Authority, A World Abandoned by God, and Detectives in the Shadows: A Hard-Boiled History, now available from Johns Hopkins University Press.

Max Allan Collins is a New York Times bestselling author of original mysteries, a Shamus award winner, and an experienced author of movie adaptions and tie-in novels. His latest book is Eliot Ness and the Mad Butcher: Hunting America’s Deadliest Unidentified Serial Killer at the Dawn of Modern Criminology, cowritten with A. Brad Schwartz.

Ace Atkins is a New York Times bestselling author of crime fiction, including the Quinn Colson series and the continuation of Robert P. Parker’s iconic Spenser character after Parker’s death in 2010. His most recent book is The Revelators, his tenth Quinn Colson novel.

Alex Segura is an acclaimed writer of novels, comic books, and podcasts. He is the writer of numerous books, including his most recent Star Wars Poe Dameron: Free Fall and the forthcoming crime novel Secret Identity.

Kevin Burton-Smith is a writer of and about crime fiction and the founding editor of the Thrilling Detective Web Site, and a contributing editor to Mystery Scene magazine.

DETECTIVES IN THE SHADOWS: A HARD-BOILED HISTORY, by Susanna Lee is available now from Johns Hopkins University Press. Attendees are invited to save 30% off the cover price of $27.00. Just use this handy-dandy discout code: HTWN.


Just click on the link at the right time, and type in the password if/when prompted. (There shouldn’t be a password)

Free to share the link with friends who are also fans of crime and detective fiction, particularly private eyes.

zoom account isn’t required to participate, if you’re using a computer.  You can also join a meeting using the zoom mobile app on your phone or tablet.

Don’t worry about being seen or heard at first. Think of this as a panel discussion…

But AFTER, we are going to open it up to every one for a Q&A. Then you may have to turn on the audio and video. It’s at the bottom left. We do want to see your lovely mug. If you’ve got kids, dogs or angry bleach drinkers in your home, consider using “MUTE.”

For those of you interested in our very first Noir at the Bar, head here.

Questions? Go ahead. Like the Fat Man says, I like to talk to a man (or woman) who likes to talk.

5 thoughts on “The Thrilling Detective Zoom

  1. The THRILLING DETECTIVE NOIR AT THE BAR last night (5/23) was just lovely. Thanks so much for hosting!


  2. Just bought the book and looking forward to the panel discussion! I hope someone will point out that Birdy Edwards (ACD’s “The Valley of Fear”) was the first “hard-boiled” detective in fiction (and Pinkerton himself probably the first in the “real” world)!


    1. THE Leslie Klinger? Love your books!!! And as the theoretical moderator of this impending circus, I look forward to splitting some of those semantic hairs with you. I’m planning, after the more formal panel, to open up the Zoom to a Q&A and schmooze session.


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