What? You thought I made this all up, or cut-and-pasted it all from Wikipedia? Nope. Here are the books that inspired me to create this site, and the books I've used to cobble it together over the years, as well as the ones I've discovered along the way, broken down into various categories. If you … Continue reading Murder in the Library: Radio
The Man Who Came Uptown by George Pelecanos | Buy this book | Buy the audio | Kindle it! Pelecanos takes a break from HBO’s The Deuce to deliver this taut, nervy salute to the redemptive power of the written word and to those who try to make the world a better place. Michael, a soft-spoken young DC knucklehead finds … Continue reading These Were a Few of My Favourite Things (2018)
EDITOR'S NOTE Monsignor Ronald A. Knox (1888-1957) was a British clergyman, editor, a literary critic, a humourist and a detective story writer himself who nicely laid out, with a gentle wit, the "ten rules" that guided detective fiction in its so-called Golden Age. They appeared in his preface to Best Detective Stories of 1928, an … Continue reading Father Knox’s Decalogue: The Ten Rules of (Golden Age) Detective Fiction
EDITOR'S NOTE S.S. Van Dine (1888-1939, real name Willard Huntington Wright) was one of the most popular American mystery writers of the twenties and thirties, and his wealthy amateur sleuth Philo Vance remains one of the great fictional detectives, if not also one of the most insufferable. Read today, Vance comes off as a pompous, … Continue reading Bald Trickery: S.S. Van Dine’s Twenty Rules for Writing Detective Stories
Colours Both the Pat and Jean Abbott series by Frances Crane, and the Travis McGee series by John D. MacDonald use colours in their titles, although Frances thought of it first, scooping John by over twenty years. Examples: The Turquoise Shop, The Golden Box and The Yellow Violet by Crane, and The Deep Blue Goodbye, … Continue reading The Name Game: Series Title Gimmicks
Originally noir, at least in English, meant film, but now it's used to describe everything from literature to music. And perfume. And lingerie. And coffee beans. And breath mints. And lawnmowers, probably. And everyone seems to have a slightly different definition of it. But once upon a time, it meant something. The formal definition is something … Continue reading And while we’re at it, what the hell is “Noir”?
By Kevin Burton Smith Here we are. David Montrose's The Body on Mont-Royal. The third and final of his books to feature private eye Russell Teed. First published in 1953, by Harlequin. Yes, Harlequin. And now it's finally back in print. Pulp fiction chez nous. As vivid as Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles, as Montreal as … Continue reading Pulp Fiction Chez Vous: An Introduction to David Montrose’s The Body on Mont-Royal
My Scrapbook Raymond Chandler complains about his book's cover For the homepage of my November 2011 issue, I "borrowed" a cover from a reprint edition of one of my all-time favourite books by one of my absolutely all-time favourite writers: Farewell, My Lovely by Raymond Chandler. It's not my favourite cover for this much-reprinted title … Continue reading My Scrapbook: Raymond Chandler Bitches About His Book Cover
My Scrapbook WTF? The first edition cover of Raymond Chandler's Farewell, My Lovely No, seriously... Raymond Chandler's Farewell, My Lovely (1940) has always been my favourite Philip Marlowe novel, and one of my all-time favourite novels, period. After all, what's not to love? Moose Malloy? Velma? Shine bars? Jewel thieves? Betrayal? Armed robbery? Love with no … Continue reading My Scrapbook: Farewell, My Lovely… Flying Saucers?
Television Anthology Series WESTINGHOUSE DESILU PLAYHOUSE was an American television anthology series produced by Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz's Desilu Productions. It ran on the Columbia Broadcasting System between 1958 and 1960, and was hosted byy Betty Furness in the first season, and Desi Arnaz in the second. Stories came from several genres, but there … Continue reading Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse