Sunday, March 27, 2005

New address -- update your bookmarks!

I set up a new website doman for the Crime Fiction Dossier a while ago and now I'm finally ready to start using it exclusively.

From this point on, the Crime Fiction Dossier can be found at:

I look forward to seeing all of your over at our new home!

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Interview with Reed Farrel Coleman

My most recent addition to Mystery Ink is an interview with Reed Coleman, author of the excellent detective novel The James Deans.

We cover such topics as the lure of New York City, his good guy character Moe Prager, and how he got his name.

Very interesting guy. Check it out.

Friday, March 18, 2005

The Return of The Wire

Good news for crime fiction fans and anyone who enjoys quality television. HBO has renewed The Wire for a fourth season.

The critically acclaimed, Peabody Award-winning HBO drama series THE WIRE has been renewed for a fourth season, it was announced today by Carolyn Strauss, president, HBO Entertainment. The 12-episode fourth season will begin shooting in late 2005, with debut set for 2006.

Congrats to David Simon, George Pelecanos, et al. Looking forward to it!

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Interview with Harley Jane Kozak

My latest interview, this time with Harley Jane Kozak, author of the recently published Dating is Murder, can now be seen on Mystery Ink.

I don't know if I've been reading Victor Gischler's interviews too much lately, or just watching too much Inside the Actor's Studio, but check out the last question I asked her:

Q. We end tonight, as we always do, with a question invented by my hero, Bernard Pivot: What is your favorite curse word?

A. The word my children so adore, that I lifted the ban on it last month: poopyhead.

My review of the book will appear in my next Chicago Sun-Times column on April 3.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Another "overnight success" story

I've been posting regular additions to the newest feature of Mystery Ink and the Crime Fiction Dossier, the Overnight Success site.

A new one just went up this morning, from acclaimed writer Robert Ward, and it's a doozy.
I published the first novel I ever wrote, Shedding Skin. Of course, I rewrote it for five years, and almost died in the process.
Don't miss the rest of the story.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Best Paperback Original?

It’s been suggested to me in the past that Mystery Ink should add a category to the Gumshoe Awards to honor the Best Paperback Original. (After all, the Edgars, among others, do it.)

For a long time, I was resistant to the idea. What’s the point, I thought, of creating an award that Jason Starr is just going to win every year?

In recent months, though, it seems that things have changed. With companies like Hard Case Crime and Point Blank Press now publishing some outstanding original novels in paperback form, the field has definitely expanded.

We’re also seeing more traditional publishers issuing books in trade paperback format that previously might have been hardcovers. (Reed Coleman’s outstanding The James Deans is an example that comes to mind.)

So now, perhaps, the time has come. It looks like this year’s candidates could be very strong.

What do you all think? Should we add Best Paperback Original? And should this be an additional category, or should it replace Best European Crime Novel, a category I’m still unsure of. (Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section, or you can email me.)

Friday, March 11, 2005

Save Moe!

I just finished Reed Farrel Coleman's new book, The James Deans. It's the third book with PI Moe Prager, but the first of Coleman's work that I've read. In a word, it's superb.

Moe is a great character, a refreshing change from the typical detective cliché. He's a good man, a devoted father and husband, a successful businessman. Like the rest of us, he's got his share of pain, but he’s not a dark, haunted soul. Even though he runs a wine shop, he only occasionally drinks.

Coleman’s writing is sparse and direct, with great characters and excellent use of setting. There are moments in the book that are very funny, elements of fine suspense, and turns that are touching and even sad.

Coleman launched a campaign at last year’s Bouchercon to "Save Moe," as his publisher was on the fence about whether or not to continue the series. It boggles the mind that this would be in doubt. If writing this good isn’t finding an audience, it’s hard to believe it’s the fault of the work.

Look for more of my thoughts on The James Deans and Reed Coleman in my next Chicago Sun-Times column. He’s definitely a writer to watch.

Myron Bolitar is back!

I just got a hot tip, straight from the horse', the author's mouth. Harlan Coben informs me that Myron Bolitar is back!

Okay, before you get too excited, he's not returning in a novel. But he will appear in an exclusive, original short story, "The Rise and Fall of Super D," to be included in the hardcover edition of Coben's new standalone thriller, The Innocent.

This comes as very welcome news for all fans of Myron Bolitar, and there are lots of them out there. (Including me.)