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What's new in the P.I. World
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"A teenaged private eye. Trust me. I know how dumb that sounds."
-- Veronica Mars' first words in the new movie
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This Just In...
What's New in the P.I. World
(Plus Random Thoughts & Other Provocations)
Happy Birthday, Sweet Sixteen
Here at Thrilling Detective Web Site World Headquarters, we're celebrating our new issue, which marks sixteen years of going down those mean streets, knocking on doors, taking down names, wasting our time (and yours).
Among the highlights:
Timothy Webster: Pinkerton Dick & Civil War Spy Corey Recko gaves us a brief look at the man who inspired his latest book.
A Queer Eye for the New Eye Noted M/M crime writer and self-publishing success story Josh Lanyon surveys the new breed of gay eyes.
Dashiell Hammett: The Long-Lost Interview Ben Solomon unearth's a rare early interview with the original Thin Man.
Drive-Bys: The P.I. in Hip-Hop Our Russian correspondent Ray Garraty keeps it real. Yo.
Death Is Not the End In which the editor-in-chief rants about how the death of their creators hasn't stopped some private eyes (such as, oh say, Philip Marlowe) from continuing their adventures.
Robert B. Parker's Jesse Stone to Return
Whoa! And speaking of which, Reed Farrel Coleman, creator of the acclaimed Moe Prager P.I. series, has just been signed to continue Parker's Jesse Stone series, with the first book, Blind Spot, set to be released this September. Hopefully getting the haunted police chief of Paradise back to where he once belonged, after a series of disappointing TV movies and novels by Michael Brandman (the once-great TV series jumped the shark when they stopped adapting Parker's original novels, and one of the post-Parker novels was dubbed one of Entertainment Weekly's worst books of 2013).
- Veronica Mars: The Marketing Onslaught
Not only do we have the obligatory soundtrack album (including a spiffy new cover of the theme song by Alejandro Escovedo) and the launch of a potential series of tie-in paperbacks (which pick up where the movie leaves off), but now we have Veronica Mars and Philosophy: Investigating the Mysteries of Life (Which is a Bitch Until You Die), the latest entry in 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.
- Cold in July
Keep an eye out for this nasty little piece of noir, currently wowing 'em on the film festival circuit. It's based on the 1992 novel of the same name by Joe Lansdale, and stars Michael C. Hall, Sam Shepard and Don Johnson as Jim Lee Luke, a shit-kicker P.I. (and hog farmer).
Sure, it's a little hokey at times, and even a little amateurish, but writer/actress Lauren Tess' homemade, grrl-empowered U-Tube take on the BBC's SHERLOCK is both clever and fun.
- And the first P.I. Feature Film of 2014 is...Canadian?
Yep, looks that way. Comedian Brent Butt (Corner Gas) directs and stars in the P.I. spoof, No Clue, as mild-mannered novelty salesman Leo Falloon, who gets mistaken for, well, you know... Beauty, eh?
- Uneek Mystery Author Miniatures
The real find -- at least for me -- in doing this year's Holiday Gift Guide for Mystery Scene was the discovery of Debbie Ritter's mystery author dolls (pictured above). Each of these little (4-5" high) buggers is hand-crafted from wire, wood and clay and features a hand-painted face and an appropriate book clutched in one hand. Raymond Chandler, for example, looks very much the geeky Anglophile, with his gray flannel trousers, black suit coat and checkered tie, sporting wire spectacles, and a copy of The Long Goodbye in his hand. Other figures, currently ready to ship, include James M. Cain, Elmore Leonard, Ian Fleming, Dashiell Hammett and even Agatha Christie. Even better, though, is that Debs will actually design a doll for you if she's hasn't already created one of your favourite authors. Tell her Kevin sent ya...
- Pulp By Bookxy: Cut the Crap, Get the App
Want pulp, but you're getting damn tired of running down to the newsstand all the time, only to realize once again (D'oh!) that it's not 1938? You might want to consider the Bookxy app, which will delivers novellas full of the good stuff right to your tablet/smartphone/computer. How good is the stuff, you ask? How about novellas by folks like Eric Van Lustbader, Robert Ward, Stephen Hunter, Eric Beetner, Harley Jane Kozak and Gary Phillips? And don't worry that this is soon going to devolve into cheesy sci-fi fanfic -- the publishers are promising plenty of mystery, crime fiction, action-adventure and thrillers. They mean it, man -- and they're even got a subscription plan!
- Black Mask Finally Goes Ebook!
The legendary pulp mag, first launched in April 1920 by H. L. Mencken and George Jean Nathan and gave us such authors as Dashiell Hammett, John Carroll Daly, Raymond Chandler, and Erle Stanley Gardner, is back, with individual stories and collections finally available as downloadable e-books. The first salvo includes stores by Norbert Davis, Paul Cain, Frederick Nebel and W.T. Ballard.
- "The Peach Streaked Blouse"
I finally get another piece of fiction published, and it's not even a P.I. story! But hey, you've read this far, so please check out this little piece of nasty that I've had in my head for years. It finally sees the light of day in the latest issue of CrimeFactory, and has all sorts of fun stuff, like Montreal, domestic angst, violence and incorrect laundry techniques. What more could you want? And if that doesn't float your book, the issue also has a great interview with Aussie writer Peter Corris in it!
- The Twenty-Year Death It's three, three, three books in one.
- Clem Snide Former P.I. William S. Burroughs' private eye.
- True Love, Neither Tranished nor Afraid: A Mash Note from Raymond Chandler
- Pierre Gauthier Cop from acclaimed Quebec TV series Omertà goes private for the big screen.
- Gregg EC comics legends Al Feldstein and Johnny Craig teamed up for this nasty little slice of 50s noir.
- Ruben Calderón Our man in Buenos Aires...
- Gene Parmesan In the ranks of TV private eyes, this cheese stands alone.
- Jill Fitzpatrick A dyke dick, for better or verse.
- The Hard-Boiled Detective It's the patter that matters.
- Ray Donovan Not exactly Father Knows Best.
- Yakov Semenovich Stern This Russian eye is on the books.
- Drew Parker The Gumshoe. Not The Witch, The Virtual Corpse or even The Gorilla.
- King & Maxwell David Baldacci's bestselling novels, coming soon to a TV screen near you.
- Van Trillo and Sam Suede Is the world ready for... dummy noir?
- Nyet, Nyet, Soviet Some Russian Eyes
- Coming Distractions Film & TV goodies you may have missed. Investigation pending.
- Michael McGill Like a cross between Michael Avallone & Hunter S. Thompson.
- Amy Gray The girl can't help it.
- Dan Banion This newsie coulda been a contender...
- The Pigeon This 1969 made-for-TV private eye flick starred... Sammy Davis Jr.
- Nat Lawson John McFetridge teases us with a P.I. short story set in Montreal in 1946,.
- Buck Schatz He survived a Nazi POW camp for this crap?
- Stryker McBride Lives on a boat called the Travis McGee. Subtle, eh?
- So It's Come to This The Film Geeks' Top Ten P.I. Films. James and Gustavo have spoken...
- Sam Pezzo Vittoria Giardino's Italian private eye has a way with B-O-L-O-G-N-A.
- Catherine Winter Linda Pendleton's LA eye.
- Stewart Mann Don Pendleton's pre-Executioner naughty gumshoe.
- Glenn Bowman Not hard-boiled; more like semi-boiled.
- It's Hammer Time! Send-ups and Put-Downs of Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer
- Joey Fly Just an insect P.I. trying to make it in Bug City.
- James Pryce This hacker P.I. could give Lisbeth a run for her money when it comes to digital snooping -- and other nasty habits.
- Joe Goodey Another great P.I. you should know...
- The Complete List of MWA Anthologies Thanks, Abbey.
- Brenna Spector Unforgettability. Blessing or curse?
- Norm Carpenter & Al Hasp A born-again gumshoe and his doubting Thomas of a partner.
- Jonah Geller A Toronto P.I. who seems to want to be anywhere but home.
- Republic of Doyle At last! Newfoundland gets some P.I. love!