In their roundup of the summer’s best fiction, The Daily Express says of THE BURGLAR WHO COUNTED THE SPOONS:
You cannot fail to be entertained by the latest Bernie Rhodenbarr mystery which follows the New York-based bookshop owner as he helps the police to track down the killer of a rich widow. So assured is the writing, with plenty of wisecracks and literary in-jokes, you almost forget Bernie is trying to solve a crime. Block at his very best.
Longmire, A&E Network’s most-watched original drama series of all time, will be ending its run on the cable network after three seasons. In a surprising move, the network has opted not to renew the series for a fourth season. I hear Warner Horizon, the studio behind Longmire, will be shopping it immediately. “We would like to thank the phenomenal cast, crew and producers of Longmire, along with our partners at Warner Horizon, for their tireless work on three seasons of quality dramatic storytelling,” A&E said in a statement. “We are incredibly proud of what we have achieved together.”That Deadline Hollywood report, by Nellie Andreeva, notes Longmire’s viewer numbers declined somewhat during its recently concluded third season, but observes that fans of the show are unlikely to take this cancellation casually. “Especially since they are being left hanging by the recent Season 3 finale, which ended with a cliffhanger, the sound of a fired shotgun.” You can read the whole piece here.
I hope some other network does pick up Longmire, which Andreeva says “logged A&E’s largest viewership for any series this year behind only flagship Duck Dynasty.” Although I am still two or three episodes short of having watched all of Season 3, Longmire--starring Robert Taylor, Katee Sackhoff, and Lou Diamond Phillips, and based on Craig Johnson’s best-selling mystery series--has certainly proved itself to be among the boob-tube’s more interesting, least predictable crime dramas of recent years. It deserves a longer run.
(Hat tip to Crimespree Magazine.)
Revived and Reissued! Brand Spanking New! Eye-catching Design!
It's the latest reprint of a (somewhat) forgotten pulp classic from Raven's Head Press. Bury Me Deep (1947) by Harold Q Masur was the first of eleven fast paced, semi hard-boiled, detective novels featuring the hip and with it Manhattan lawyer Scott Jordan. Taking his cue from Raymond Chandler who he admits was his inspiration to write for the pulp magazines Masur pens a tale of avarice, manipulation, duplicity and murder. A new trade paperback edition was released a few weeks ago and is now available for purchase from amazon.com or by visiting Raven's Head Press. Our new cover design by artist Doug Klauba is a nod to the original 1st paperback edition (see below) published by Pocket Books back in 1948. Verna Ford, the blond in her underwear, has served as the inspiration for two previous paperback covers. Why not? Scantily clad women -- whether lounging and drinking from a brandy snifter or being threatened and menaced by dark men with guns -- have been the iconic imagery for pulp magazines and paperbacks since the 1920s.
It opens with Jordan discovering Verna in her lingerie helping herself to expensive brandy in the appropriate snifter. She's been waiting for someone in Jordan's apartment but it cant' possibly be him. He was away in Miami and cut his trip short to come home. No one was expecting him. Verna tries to put the moves on Jordan but he won't have any of it. Then she downs her brandy and immediately passes out. Jordan foolishly takes her to a cab, bribes the driver to babysit her until she comes to, and asks him to let her off at her home. But the driver soon discovers Verna is not dead drunk, just dead. The lawyer is immediately suspected of doing her in and trying to dispose of the body. So he decides to find out who she is, why she was in his apartment and who poisoned her brandy. The case becomes a lot more complicated when it turns out Verna was involved in a legal battle involving a will that leaves millions of dollars to the proper surviving relative of a husband and wife who died in a car crash. Lots of down and dirty action that turns pretty nasty. Villainy and double crossing galore! It's a corker, gang.
GIVEAWAY TIME! A full review of the book will appear tomorrow, but I wanted to take the time to help promote the Raven's Head Press release of this new editions. As usual I'm giving away three copies of Bury Me Deep. Don't all raise your hands at once. (First of all I can't see you. This is the internet, you know) Sorry, but this giveaway is confined to USA and Canada. If you'd like to be considered simply leave a comment below. Three names will be selected by a highly irrational process involving a blindfold and a dart board. OK, not really. Winners be selected at random, etc, etc. You know the drill. I'll announce the winners probably next Friday to allow for Labor Day revelers who may be drinking and BBQ-ing and whooping it up away from their computers to catch up on their blog reading.
fascinating interview he gave Gary Lovisi back in 1992 when Masur was 83. Among many intriguing anecdotes he talks about how Bury Me Deep came to be written, his inspiration in Chandler, and how he walked into Simon and Schuster's offices with the manuscript in hand daring them to publish it. What chutzpah! He was also one very involved with the Mystery of Writers of America serving a stint as president in the 70s and as their legal counsel throughout his lifetime.
- David Shafer connects the dots between his grandfather, the CIA, a sudden death, and a mysterious photo album in an essay for the New York Times.
|The Last Tiger, shortlisted for Not the Booker.|
The Last Tiger continues to rack up the reviews - breaking the 20 five-star reviews mark on Amazon recently - and landing some very nice plaudits from the folks at Upcoming4.me.
In the coming weeks I'll be talking about The Last Tiger - and other things - to students at Edinburgh Uni and I'll be doing a Hunting the Last Tiger event in Elgin.
The Undiscovered Scotland reviewer pointed out I wasn't making too many friends at the Ayrshire Tourist board, and is probably right. But I liked this bit best:
Crime Review called Artefacts a "superbly told tale" and added that it: "treads the fine line between dramatic license and realism with a sure-footedness close to perfection with often unrelenting violence finessed by surprising emotion and compassion."
|Hard Truths is out now in paperback.|
This series was something of a labour of love, spanning about five years' worth of interviews with the likes of Irvine Welsh, Ian Rankin and Andrew Vachss. The interviews cover a host of topics from the writing process to more personal anecdotes and featured in a number of newspapers, magazines and on my own, now defunct website, Pulp Pusher.
You can catch an edited version of my interview with the legendary Godfather of Tartan Noir, William McIlvanney on YouTube now.