Word on the Street
What's new in the P.I. world...
Reference, Non-Fiction and True Crime
- July 2014 Reference, Non-Fiction and True Crime
- Duncan, Paul, & Jürgen Müller, Film Noir: 100 All-Time Favorites.. Buy this book
What with all the whiskey fumes and cigarette smoke getting in their eyes, sometimes movies can go too fast for you to catch all the cinematic nuances. So along comes this hefty five-pound slab of a book to lend a hand. It's crammed with loads of glorious photos (many in glorious black and white!) and thoughtful essays on what the authors consider the 100 greatest examples of the genre, from early, ground zero German and French silent films right through the classic period and all the way to such modern neo-noir outliers as Black Swan, Sin City and The Dark Knight. Yummy.
- June 2014 Reference, Non-Fiction and True Crime
- Dugain, Marc, Avenue of the Giants (true crime).. Buy this book. Kindle it!
Compelling story of real-life seven foot tall American serial killer Al Kenner who prowled the states in the 60s and 70s.
- Kabatchnik, Amnon, Blood on the Stage: 480 B.C. to 1600 A.D... Buy this book. Kindle it!
Subtitled "An Annotated Repertoire," this is the latest volume in Kabatchnik's staggeringly ambitious project to list the theatrical milestones of "murder, mystery and mayhem" throughout history. Other volumes range from 1900-1925, 1925-1950, and 1950-1975, but this one reaches a lot further back, and really shows the depth of the author's scholarship (and obsession), as he tackles the earliest of theatrical murder mysteries, covering everything from Prometheus Bound by Aeschylus (480 B.C.) to Hamlet by some cat named Shakespeare (c. 1600 A.D.), with well-researched entries on works by Sophocles, Christopher Marlowe, Euripedes, Thomas Kyd, Seneca, The Wakefield Master and others. Bravo!
- May 2014 Reference, Non-Fiction and True Crime
- Dunn, George A. (editor), Veronica Mars and Philosophy: Investigating the Mysteries of Life (Which is a Bitch Until You Die)....Buy this book
Part of the popular Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series, a weird combination of ching-ching marketing and a serious discussion of serious philosophical issues raised by various popular pop culture phenomena, from Batman to The Simpsons. Next stop, Neptune High.
- Rolfe, Lee, From Jack to Jodi... and Other Criminal Matters (non-fiction). Buy the book
A collection of quizzes, over 400 of them, on all matters of crime, both true and fictional.
- Spencer, Shawn, & Burton Guster, Psych's Guide to Crime Fighting for the Totally Unqualified.. Buy the book
Perhaps not as thorough as The Hardy Boys Detective Handbook, and with less recipes than The Nancy Drew Cookbook, this handsome volume nonetheless fills that annoying gap on your shelf between the two, with totally awesome tips on setting up a bitchin' detective office, how to pick up chicks at a crime scene and other pointers on achieving crime-fighting awesomeness. Written by Shawn and Gus from the TV show. Sure.
- February 2014 Reference, Non-Fiction and True Crime
- Cline, Sally, Dashiell Hammett: Man of Mystery....Buy this book...Buy the audiobook
In a brief, roughly ten year burst of creativity, Dashiell Hammett pretty much changed the face of crime fiction, adding grit and literary heft to the genre -- and then he inexplicably quit writing for the last thirty years of his messy, controversial life -- a mystery that still hasn't been cracked. But that doesn'ty stop biographers from trying. This punchy new and apparently agenda-free bio gives Hammett's messy, controversial life another shake, hoping something new will fall out. Cline is to be commended for cutting to the chase, sidestepping much of the revisionism of previous biographies and trying to get down to some sort of truth, as well as weighing in on the literary side of things, all while trying to put everything into the context of the times. You can argue with some of her conclusions, but this seems to be the most authoritative attempt so far -- or at least until the next one comes out.
Sloniowski, Jeannette & Marilyn Rose, Detecting Canada: Essays on Canadian Crime Fiction, Television, and Film....Buy this book
Touting itself as "the first serious book-length study of crime writing in Canada," this scholarly tome contains thirteen essays on some of Canadaís most popular crime writers, including Peter Robinson, Giles Blunt, Gail Bowen, Thomas King, Michael Slade, Margaret Atwood, and Anthony Bidulka, and takes itself very seriously indeed. "Mounties and Metaphysics in Canadian Film and Television," anyone?
- October 2013 Reference, Non-Fiction and True Crime.
- Galpert, Alan, The Colossal Columbo Quiz Book..Buy this book
"A Plethora of Perplexing Questions About Television's Greatest Detective Show." 'nuff said!
- September 2013 Reference, Non-Fiction and True Crime.
- Christie, Agatha, & Mathew Pritchard, editor, Around the World with the Queen of Mystery (r)..Buy this bookRoad trip!!! The Grande Dame's 1922 round-the-world jaunt that took her to South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii and Canada. Loaded with snapshots and transcriptons and reproductions of personal letters (mostly to her mother), it's a fascinating and often surprising peek at a young wife and new writer slowly coming into her own. Plus, any book featuring a photo of Chrstie hanging with the beach boys and surfing in Hawaii just has to be seen. Cowabunga, dudes...
- Recko, Corey, A Spy for the Union: The Life and Execution of Timothy Webster...Buy this book...Kindle it!
Non-fiction account of NY cop turned Pinkerton op who became the first spy executed in Civil War
- Williams, Tom, A Mysterious Something in the Light (biography)...Buy this book. Kindle it!
It's been a while since anyone tackled Raymond Chandler -- you've got to wonder what's left to find out -- but this highly fascinating and compelling study by rookie author Williams gets right down to the nitty gritty, digging up all sorts of dirt, from child abuse to alcoholism, and backing it up with footnotes, interviews, quotes, letters and articles, that will have Chandler disciples fascinated -- and non-fans wondering what the fuss is about. For those unfortunates, just give them a drink and hand them a copy of The Big Sleep.
- August 2013 Reference, Non-Fiction and True Crime
- Collins, Colleen, Secrets of a Female Private Eye (non-fiction).. Kindle it!
The lowdown on the shamus game, from real-life gumshoe and writer Collins.
- Ritt, Brian, Paperback Confidential: Crime Writers of the Paperback Era...Buy this book
With an intro by Rick Ollerman and 132 profiles of the men and women who worked the black vein of crime for the burgeoning paperback market from the 1930s through the 1960s, covering everyone from Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, James M. Cain and Cornell Woolricht o Gil Brewer, Norbert Davis, Brett Halliday, Day Keene, Charles Williams, David Goodis, Elisabeth Sanxay Holding, Ennis Willie and Douglas Sanderson.
- July 2013 Reference, Non-Fiction and True Crime
- White, Randy Wayne, & Carlene Fredericka Brennen, Randy Wayne White's Gulf Coast Cookbook: With Memories and Photos of Sanibel Island.. Buy this book
Includes more than 125 recipes with photos of the real Tarpon Bay and the most appetizing food-related passages from this acclaimed writer's essays and novels.
- April 2013 Reference, Non-Fiction and True Crime
- Federle, Tim, Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist.. Buy this book. Kindle it!
If some of the puns in this book don't drive you to drink, nothing will... And remember, The Postman Always Brings Ice.
- January 2013 Reference, Non-Fiction and True Crime
- Gifford, Justin, Pimping Fictions.. Buy this book.. Kindle it!
The sub-title is "African American Crime Literature and the Untold Story of Black Pulp Publishing," and it pretty much delivers. In spades. Eveything you ever wanted to knpw about black pulp fiction, from Cheser Himes, Iceberg Slim and Donald Goines to Holloway House and the commercial rebirth of the genre -- mostly by women -- is covered; a long overdue overview that serves as both a literary and cultural history.
- Konnikova, Maria, Mastermind: How to Think like Sherlock Holmes (non-fiction).. Buy this book.. Kindle it!
A psychologist tells you how the brain works -- or at least how it should -- using examples from the canon.
- Schaap, Rosie, Drinking With Men (non-fiction ode to bar life).. Buy this book.. Kindle it!
- Stashower, Daniel, The Hour of Peril (Allan Pinkerton).. Buy this book.. Kindle it!
Billed as "narrative non-fiction," this one by Edgar winner and historian Stashower purports to tell the story original private "eye" Pinkerton and his role in "The First Time They Tried to Kill Lincoln."
- November 2012 Reference, Non-Fiction and True Crime
- Morris, Erroll, A Wilderness of Errors (true crime)
First they tell us Sybil was a crock; not it turns out that Joe McGuiness' acclaimed 1983 true crime classic A Fatal Vision may have been a little less than the whole story.
- October 2012 Reference, Non-Fiction and True Crime
- Connolly, John, and Declan Burke, editors, Books to Die For (criticism). Buy this book
A treasure trove of goodies for crime fiction lovers, as over a hundred of the world's greatest mystery writers look at their favourite mystery novels and tell us why they matter..
- Kelly, Charles, Gunshots in Another Room (biography). Buy this book. Kindle it!
Amnesia, alcoholism, armed robbery, kinky sex, sociopaths and murder. It wasn't just the stuff of fiction for damned, doomed hard-boiled writer Dan J. Marlowe, creator of tough guy house dick Johnny Killain and ruthless professional criminal Earl Drake.
- Kelly, Charles, Gunshots in Another Room (bio of Dan J. Marlowe)
- Queenan, Joe, One for the Books.. Buy this book.. Kindle it!
noted columnist, humourist and all-around crank goes book crazy -- and dares you to follow him. For those who truly ove books, Queenan's Quixotic quest is like a hit off a bibliographic bong. Inhale deeply.
- May 2012 Reference, Non-Fiction and True Crime
- Collins, Max Allan, and James Traylor, Mickey Spillane on Screen. Buy this book
Just like it says, this is a "Complete Study of the Television and Film Adaptations," lovingly put together by long-time Spillane champions Collins and Traylor, who first made their case for the Mick way back in 1984, with their pivotal One Lonely Knight: Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer. This time out, the boys are ambitiously tracking down and delivering all the dope on all the various big and small screen adaptations. But there's oh, so much more -- the asides, rarities and trivia flow copiously, like blood from a gut wound. Spillane fans will love it!
- MacDonald, Erin E., Ed McBain/Evan Hunter: A Literary Companion...Buy this book
An astounding labour of love (and scholarship), as MacDonald, not content with spending seven years on a dissertation on the 87th Precinct novels, wades into the vast ocean of work McBain left us, from short stories in the pulps and digests to his bestselling police procedurtals and crime novels. Detailed overviews and an impressive listing of character-by-character breakdowns, plus oodles of bibliographic info make this an essential reference work for both fans and collectors, both encyclopedic and engaging.
- April 2012 Reference, Non-Fiction and True Crime
- Miss Demeanor, Criminal Crafts.. Buy this book.. Kindle it!
What? You don't have a cozy for your shiv? The perfect book for those guys and molls who know the ecstasy of a hot glue gun on a cold Sunday afternoon, this only slightly tongue-in-cheek volume offers thirty darkly themed "outlaw projects," plucked from the annals of crime. Pass the glue gun.
- Hall, James W., Hit Lit.. Buy this book.. Kindle it!
Author Hall's long-promised, long-awaited survey of bestsellers, subtitled "Cracking the Code of the Twentieth Century's Biggest Bestsellers."
- Penzler, Otto, editor, In Pursuit of Spenser (non-fiction).... Buy this book!
Fellow mystery writers, incuding Gorman, Block, Gary Phillips, Coleman, Collins, Rozan, Healy, Lehane, etc. on Robert B. Parker and the "creation of an American hero." In his intro, Penzler doesn't just make case for Parker as the legitimate and worthy successor to the hallowed Hammett/Chandler/Macdonald trinity -- he just states it as a matter of fact.
- Polito, Robert, editor, American Noir:11 Classic Crime Novels of the 1930s, 40s, & 50s.... Buy this book!
The noir genre gets a big hunk of respect from the folks at the Library of America, with this classy two-volume hardcover collection that digs deep into the heart of darkness: The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain, (1934), They Shoot Horses, Don't They? by Horace McCoy, Thieves Like Us by Edward Anderson, The Big Clock by Kenneth Fearing,, Nightmare Alley by William Lindsay Gresham, I Married a Dead Man by Cornell Woolrich, The Killer Inside Me by Jim Thompson, The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith, Pick-Up by Charles Willeford, Down There by David Goodis and The Real Cool Killers by Chester Himes. That's over 1800 acid-free pages of despair, bleakness and bad luck. Pass the razor.
- February 2012 Reference, Non-Fiction and True Crime
- Davis, Lindsey, Falco: The Official Companion (r). Buy this book...Kindle it!
Paperback edition of the official companion to the long-running series, including a slew of stuff about the author and her greatest fictional creation that will knock your socks off -- or at least twist your toga a little.