Just when you thought it was safe!!!
Yep, The "Thrillies" are back, the most notoriously bogus (but hopefully fun) awards in all in Mysterydom.
And here are the results, so far, for the 2006 Awards. In the next few days, things will really start cooking -- trust me.
Don't agree? Have a comment? Let's hear what you have to say. But remember, I'm a man who likes to talk to a man who likes to talk...
THE BEST P.I. BOOK AWARD
For Books First Published in 2006
- The Wrong Kind of Blood by Declan Hughes
- I'm rubbish at remembering what book was published when but Ray Banks' Saturday's Child and Ken Bruen's Priest stand out amongst PI novels for me.
- Echo Park by Michael Connelly
Does Bosch really count as a P.I. at this point?
- Saturday's Child by Ray Banks.
- The One from the Other by Philip Kerr.
- A Stolen Season by Steve Hamilton
- Red Sky Lament by Edward Wright
THE OTHER BEST P.I. BOOK AWARD
For Books You Read in 2006, Regardless of When They Were First Published
- The James Deans by Reed Farrel Coleman.
- By A Spider's Thread by Laura Lippman.
- How thin am I allowed to stretch the term PI? If you're feeling kind, Kevin, I shall go with Al Guthrie's Kiss Her Goodbye and Charlie Williams' wonderful Mangel trilogy. Otherwise it would have to be a Shell Scott which I am slowly (very slowly) collecting and working my way through - hilariously politically incorrect.
- The Forgotten Man by Robert Crais.
- Blues for the Prince by Bart Spicer. Possibly the best P.I. book about music I've read, and a brave book for its time -- or any time. Private eye Carney Wilde's empathy and compassion cuts across the racial divide in a way rarely seen even fifty years later. A class act -- the George Pelecanos of his time.
- Bowen's Gabriel DuPre novels (if a semi-retired brand inspector could be considered a PI > these were my find this year)
Depends, I guess, if he just keeps stumbling into cases, or if he seeks them out.
- The Barbed-Wire Kiss by Wallace Stroby
- The Wrong Kind of Blood by Declan Hughes
- Already Dead by Charlie Huston
BY THE BALLS
The P.I. Book That Grabbed You Hardest in 2006
- Phillip Kerr's The One from the Other. If even half of what he claims about American policies in post-WWII occupied Germany is true...
THE BEST P.I. SHORT STORY AWARD
For Stories Published in 2006 (and please list where they appeared)
- I'm not sure I read one other than my own...
BEST P.I. SHORT STORY COLLECTION
Published in 2006
- Damn Near Dead ed Duane Swierczynski.
- The Jack Eddy Stories by Dick Stodghill. Good old-fashioned P.I. tales, with finely rendered period details and a working class sensibilityh that rings true.
- Duane Swierczynski's Damn Near Dead: An Anthology of Geezer Noir. Dave White's Jackson Donne prequel kicks ass.
BEST P.I. NON-FICTION OR REFERENCE WORK
Published in 2006
- Cracking the Hard-Boiled Detective by Lewis D. Moore.
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
The Best New P.I. in 2006, in Any Medium
- Ray Banks' Cal Innes (I know he's been around a while, but 2006 was the first in novel form)
- Cal Innes appeared in book form this year, does that count?
- Shawn Spencer of USA Network's Psych.
- Walter Gibson and Lester Dent (in The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril by Paul Malmont)
SLIM PICKINGS: THE BEST P.I. FILM/TV SHOW AWARD
For Films/Shows First Released in 2006
- Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (or was that 2005?)
- Casino Royale
Hey, that's not a P.I. flick, by any stretch!
- Kidnapped. At least they ran the rest of this prematurely cancelled show's last episodes on the web.
- Hollywoodland, for sure. Everything the over-hyped The Black Dahlia should have been, but wasn't.
- Veronica Mars, though the show is gradually going downhill this season
WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?
The Worst P.I. Film/TV Shows Released in 2006
- Las Vegas. As shallow and cheesy and glitzy as the town itself. So of course it's a hit.
- Kidnapped. Look at me! I'm angsty!!!
WHAT THEY SHOULD BE THINKING
P.I. TV Shows and Movies That SHOULD Be on DVD
- PJ with George Peppard and Raymond Burr from 1968. No idea if it's any good, i just know that I want to see it!
- The usual: Harry O. The Outsider, maybe Johnny Stacatto.
- The complete run of Kidnapped.
- Spenser For Hire, Vengeance Unlimited
SPINNING WHEELS GOT TO GO ROUND
Best PI Movie or TV Show Released on DVD in 2006
- Perry Mason
- Just happy happy happy about several new film noirs being re-issued - some PI, some not - all good.
- Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.
- Well, this wasn't released on DVD but AOL did release the prematurely cancelled Eyes online, including the previously unseen episodes. Unfortunately, if you're on a Mac you're out of luck.
- Harper and The Drowning Pool only available in the Paul Newman boxset? That really sucks...
- Rockford Files season 2
- Perry Mason: Season One. He fakes (or destroys) evidence, he roughs up suspects (a little), he breaks and enters. He later became respectable, but the early shows showed a mch more hard-boiled shyster.
- Veronica Mars, season 2
DRAWN THAT WAY
Best P.I. Comic Book or Graphic Novel of 2006
- Sam Noir, Samurai detective, the limited three-run series about a ruthless P.I. samurai spawned perhaps the funniest wisecrack of the year: "Less talky, more stabby."
BEST MYSTERY MAG, WEB SITE, E-ZINE, LIST-SERV, BLOG or NEWSGROUP
Fiction or Non-Fiction, In Print or On-Line Besides This One, Natch!
- The late lamented Flashing In The Gutters hosted by Tribe.
- The Gumshoe Site.
- The Rap Sheet. Now a blog and better than ever.
- DetecToday and Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind.
- CrimeSpot.net, Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind, James O. Born's Amazon Blog.
Best One-Liner in P.I. Fiction (read or seen) of 2006
- "Less talky, more stabby."
(Sam Noir, the Samurai private eye, dispatches a particularly talkative thug)
BEST TIP OF THE FEDORA
Best Cameo or Mention of a PI in Books, TV, Movies, Songs -- Pop Culture, Basically.
- From Alkaline Trio's "Private Eye"
"New Year's Eve was as boring as heaven
I watched flies fuck on channel 11
There was no one to kiss, there was nothing to drink
Except some old rotten milk someone left in the sink."
Plus, I'm sure there must be a Flaming Stars track that mentions PIs, since Max Decharne is a huge crime fiction fan. They reference Coffin Ed and Gravedigger Jones.
Oh, I LOVE that song. It's on my Thrilling Detective Greatest Hits Mix CD.
WISDOM OF THE AGES
The Best Thing I Ever Learned from a P.I. Novel Was..
- Never use a fist when a verbal jab will do.
HOW MUCH LONGER?
Most Anxiously Awaited P.I. Event
- The return of Harry Stoner.
- Personally, the publication of my own book in 2007. Publicly... the new Joe Pike novel.
- (Dave White)
REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL
What gives you the most hope for the future of the P.I.?
- Reed Farrel Coleman and Ken Bruen.
- The explosion of cheapo public domain B-flick releases in DVD, priced to own, from Alpha Video and other outlets. no long lost classics (so far), and some of them are real turkeys, but man, what fun. Pure popcorn for pulp people.
- All the talented people I've worked with and met as Thrilling Fiction editor and DetecToday moderator.
- The April 2007 release of Payback: Straight Up, Brian Helgeland's director's cut.
THE ASHES, ASHES, WE ALL FALL DOWN AWARD
- Kidnapped scrapped and only available on the web.
- Eyes, another prematurely scrapped show, not available on the web for Mac users.
- That Chinatown Death Peril book. The pulp's were everything this pompous snooze wasn't.
- Anytime a P.I. is portrayed as a crass snoop or walking cliche, moreso in movies and TV I've seen than books (e.g. Matt Dillon as Pat Healy in
There's Something About Mary)
- The Black Dahlia movie (I was expecting SO much more...)
NO FUTURE, NO FUTURE
Most Depressing P.I. Trend
- Mob-related PI storylines (whether they be Italian, Russian, or from the planet Zog - I'm just a tad fed up of mobsters)
- Spenser-like detectives.
THE "MICROWAVED CAT" AWARD
Most Nauseating Cover Design
THE "THAT''S MORE LIKE IT" AWARD
Cover Designs That Don't Suck
- Reed Farrel Coleman's The James Deans, anything and everything by Hard Case Crime.
- Hard Case Crime.
- St. Martin's cover for The Blonde.
WHERE HAVE ALL THE GOOD BOOKS GONE?
P.I. Classics Too Long Out of Print
- Thomas B. Dewey's books.
- More Shell Scott (and not just as e-books).
- Bart Spicer's books about Carney Wilde.
- Ron Goulart's John Easy series. The P.I. Elliot Gould should have played.
P.I. Classics FINALLY Back in Print
- The Gil Brewer books by Stark House.
- Cocaine and Blue Eyes by Fred Zackel.
- Martin Brett's A Dum-Dum for the President, also by Stark House.
WELCOME TO THE FOLD
Mystery Fiction Character Who Should Become a P.I.
- Daniel Woodrell's Ree Dolly from Winter's Bone - one of my favourite characters of this year.
- Dave Robicheaux. He already acts like one.
- Fearless Jones.
- Steve Hamilton's Alex McKnight
TOO LONG IN THE WASTELAND
P.I.s Missing In Action
- Harry Stoner and John Marshall Tanner.
These two seem to be perennials at this spot, but at least we can console ourselves this year with the long-overdue return of Sid Halley and Bernie Gunther.
- Hilly Palmer
- Brock the Rock: Hey has Gault passed away?
I'm afraid so. Way back in 1995. His brief bio appears here.
- Bill Pronzini's Nameless and Marcia Muller's Sharon McCone. Remember when they weren't bit players in on-going soap operas?
SO LONG, IT'S BEEN GOOD TO KNOW YOU
We'll Miss Them...
- Mickey Spillane.
- Darren McGavin
- Tribe's Flashing In The Gutters, and I STILL miss Plots With Guns.
- 87th Precinct and Mickey Spillane.
- Darren McGavin, Dennis Weaver, Jack Palance.
ALL I REALLY WANTED FOR CHRISTMAS WAS...
- Used Richard Prather and Gil Brewer paperbacks.
- Carmen Sternwood in my bed. I'll take the chance.
HEY! YOU FORGOT TO ASK...
Make up your own damn questions!
SPILL THE BEANS
Further Comments, Suggestions, etc.
- I know when I read everyone else's comments I'm going to say "Oh yes, I wish I'd remembered that - especially in the short story questions, but really, I have enough trouble remembering to dress in the mornings so there's no way I'm going to remember everything I read and loved. The great thing about The Thrillies though is that I always get some great suggestions for things to look out for.
(Donna Moore from Scotland)
Actually, Donna, the more you forget to dress in the morning, the more we forgive you.
- Can't wait to read the next Ken Bruen book.
- Just keep the site going... please.
Well, that's the plan.