Incident Report

Incident Report No. 32


32_375The Incident Report as always covers the goings on in the world of small press crime fiction for the week of March 4th through March 10th. Links to articles and book releases that are new and upcoming.


Do Some Damage: No One Wants To Read Your Book
The advantage small presses have over their behemoth brethren is the ability to experiment and even make mistakes (hopefully small ones). This is where success is found; change is the strength of a small presses.
The Night of the Flood by E.A. Aymar and Sarah M. Chen – Unlawful Acts
The Night of the Flood is a fun experiment with some fantastic storytelling and none of the writers phoned it in which is high praise for an anthology.
Reappraisal: Dash and Don | The Westlake Review
I have this thing, where when I read the book a movie I love was based on, the two duel for supremacy in my mind while I read.  Sometimes they fight to a standstill.  Sometimes the movie wins.  Usually, the book triumphs.
How Are You Going To Be Successful If You Never Learn To Do It Yourself? | Whiskey and Writing Blog – Victoria M. Patton – Crime Fiction Author
I think as new authors we have been told you need to be on this and that, you must do a blog, or be on Facebook. We are told you need to be on all things to build your reader fan base. That is all true. However, I’m telling you, not to do everything all at once. I’m on everything, LOL! It’s fucking hard.
The Rap Sheet: Spillane’s Hundred
Hoping to learn more about all of these plans, I turned for help to Collins (who celebrated his own birthday last weekend—his 70th). He patiently answered my many questions, covering everything from the roots of his relationship with Spillane and his efforts to expand that writer’s oeuvre, to his impressions of Killing Town (starring a pre-I, the Jury Hammer), how he readies himself to work on new Spillane stories, and his favorite Hammer outings. I also inquired about Collins’ own next book projects—another Heller tale, plus a dual biography about mob boss Al Capone and Prohibition agent Eliot Ness.
What Physics Can Teach Us About Writing Fiction – The Millions
Good lord, what a dumb headline for such an interesting article. -DN
Book Review : James Ellroy – Crime Wave (1999) — Dead End Follies
So, the main selling point of this collection, for both fans and non-fans of James Ellroy alike, is: how does he fare with non fiction? Pretty fucking great if you ask me.
I Only Listen to Audiobooks on Vinyl – Electric Literature
When Chaucer was writing The Canterbury Tales, he didn’t intend for you to listen to it in your car; he expected you to drive out to that one Barnes & Noble that’s still open and buy the vinyl recording narrated by Wil Wheaton.
Why is a Harvard Business Professor Studying Independent Bookstores? | Literary Hub
This grand tour of independent booksellers was a chance to really tap into people who are completely committed to the idea of what it means to be an independent bookseller. There’s something unique when you’re around those who are passionate about their work, something contagious. For me, being around these independents was a chance to see people doing work many of them have devoted their lives to in a way that we would think of as like a calling. That’s always very inspiring to be around.
Mickey Spillane Turns 100 | CrimeReads
He was called a fascist by left-leaning critics and a libertine by right-leaning ones. In between were millions of readers who turned Spillane’s first six Hammer novels into the bestselling private eye novels of all time.
SleuthSayers: Just the instrument
Writing fiction is confusing work. There are no rules. Except getting it written.
BLACK GUYS DO READ – Book Reviews Blog: THE WARREN by Brian Evenson
But, you know how it can get super annoying when someone keeps answering your serious questions with other questions? That’s also what this book felt like.
Most Readings Suck. Here’s How to Fix It. – CLASH
Sadly, most of the readers I witnessed at AWP, and a large percentage of those I’ve seen/heard outside BizarroCon, were apparently trying to get me to grab the nearest sharp object and quickly jam it into my jugular as many times as possible.
SONS OF SPADE: Cut You Down (David Wakeland) by Sam Wiebe
There’s the darkness of the first novel alleviated by some nice funny tough guy dialogue and more tender moments of the first novel in this series. There’s also a more spare writing style and short chapters that I personally have loved since picking up my first Spenser novel. Good stuff once again.
It’s Okay If Writing Doesn’t Make You Happy – Electric Literature
To tap into joy, whatever that means for you, makes it necessary to stop worrying about what others have and “focus on yourself,” as my grandmother said to me a lot as a child.
The Writing Life of: A.P. Martin – Whispering Stories
Like most new authors, I set off, all bright eyed and bushy tailed, to find an agent and a publisher. Again like most of us, in the end I realised that self publishing was the only way to go. In my view, it’s much better than messing about with a vanity publisher, or even one of the so called ‘partnership publishers.’ Without doubt, I would encourage any budding author to give self publishing a go.
Isn’t It About Time We Stopped Loathing Mickey Spillane?
“Hell, I’m not an author, I’m a writer,” Spillane once said. “I’m just trying to entertain.” As for his audience, he added, “I have no fans. You know what I got? Customers.”
Exploring The Disposable Woman Trope – Strand Mag
The problem with using the unnamed woman as a plot device is that she’s nothing more than a prop, a McGuffin. And that casual attitude has the potential to desensitize society’s view of violence against women. Anti-violence action groups are targeting the disposable woman trope as something that needs to change. And the new #metoo generation of feminism is also chiming in.
The Rap Sheet: Mustering the Lammys
Lambda Literary, described as America’s “oldest and largest literary arts organization advancing LGBTQ literature,” today announced the finalists for its 2018 Lamba Literary Awards in 23 categories. These “Lammys,” as the prizes are familiarly known, will be handed out during a special ceremony in New York City on Monday, June 4.
Review: Dan Brown’s ‘Origin’ is a Breathtaking, Action-Packed Mystery
“Perfectly written for the big screen, Dan Brown definitely knows how to keep a plot moving!”Umm, that would make it a screenplay, no? -DN
The Rap Sheet: Changing Seasons, Not Subjects
Below I have listed more than 350 promising works for followers of crime and thriller fiction, published in English and set to reach bookshops on both sides of the Atlantic between now and June 1.
Laura Lippman on James M. Cain’s Transgressive Noir | CrimeReads
With success, however, came some frustrations. Cain chafed at the idea that he was hardboiled, a reputation that may have started with a review of Postman headlined “The Six-Minute Egg.” “I belong to no school, hard-boiled or otherwise,” Cain wrote in 1946. He disavowed Dashiell Hammett and Ernest Hemingway as influences. He scolded critics “on behalf of all writers of fiction . . . You’re really being a little naive, you know. We don’t do it that way. We don’t say to ourselves that some lucky fellow did it a certain way, so we’ll do it that way, too, and cut in on the sugar. We each have to do it our own way, each for himself, or there isn’t any sugar.”
Launching today: CrimeReads | Literary Hub
Crime fiction and mysteries are popular, so Literary Hub starts a new website, Crime Reads. If you looking for news from major publishing houses, this is the site for you.
TNBBC’s The Next Best Book Blog: Guest Post – Lynn Sloan on Downsizing Her Library
I miss the books I gave away. I’m happy to have lots of free space on my shelves to fill with new books and new experiences, but I miss what I no longer have. It will be years before I have to face downsizing again.
High and Wide – Los Angeles Review of Books
“I’m tired of reading about the border in books,” he tells his mother, who’s appalled by his decision to become an [border patrol] agent. “I want to be on the ground, out in the field, I want to see the realities of the border day in and day out […] I don’t see any better way to truly understand.”
Come and Find Me – The BOLO Books Review (UK Edition) | BOLO BOOKS
Sarah Hilary is writing crime novels – there is no question about that – but she is also systematically examining the corrupt institutions and various societal ills that give rise to the cycle of violence plaguing humanity. These novels are never less than entertaining, but are also educationally edifying without becoming pedantic or pontifical. If more people were reading the works of this woman, the world might just be better for it.
Your novel blows because… well, the monomyth structure, really — Dead End Follies
There you go, I said. it. Fuck the monomyth and everything it stands for. You don’t need it to write a compelling story and you don’t even need it to write a compelling epic story, so let that antiquated narrative structure fall into oblivion and do your homework. There’s no shortcut to writing something successful. You won’t become the Nickelback of storytelling by copying what the big studios do, all you’ll do is to perpetuate the boring-ass monomyth.
SONS OF SPADE: Bad Samaritan (Nick Forte) by Dana King
A strong PI story with an interesting twist. It reads so good an fast I was suprised when I already arrived at the last chapter in just two days.
One Bite at a Time: A Conversation With Patti Abbott
Almost always an idea comes to me as a short story. Both of the novels started from a short story. I wrote short stories for ten years before trying a novel so it was a real leap from the ledge to try a longer work. I like the hyper-focused lens of a short story best. However, I realize this is not true for most readers or most writers.
Book Review: Lord of the Dead « neverimitate
This is a competently written crime novel, British noir with some intriguing reasoning. A strong addition to a popular genre. For fans of crime fiction it is well worth reading.
#BookReview “In Wolves’ Clothing” Greg Levin @greg_levin – chapterinmylife: Scottish Crime Fiction Blogger
“In Wolves Clothing” pulls no punches, it is raw, it’s current and sadly it’s real. It was an authentic, if harrowing, read that evoked a million emotions in me as I devoured it in one sitting!
Writers Who Kill: An Interview With Karen Cantwell
Despite my gritty and independent declaration that I just wanted readers, it still surprised the gosh-darn heck out of me that someone actually bought the book without having the power of a publisher behind it.
SleuthSayers: Write in Haste, Publish at Leisure
I have said before that every piece of fiction involves two sides of the brain, the Miner, and the Jeweler.  Some people talk about conscious/unconscious mind, or left and right brain, but this metaphor is what works for me.  The Miner digs out the raw material and may do some of the work, but eventually he hands it off to the Jeweler who polishes it into something that is hopefully publishable.  Often when the Miner is running the show the writer has little conscious memory of the process.  “It’s like I wasn’t even there.  The words just flowed out.”
50 Years of Reading Mysteries by Patricia Abbott
I followed my own path, quickly diving into Millar, Macdonald, Sjowal and Wahloo, Freeling, Patricia Moyes, Simenon, Emma Lathen, Ruth Rendell, and pretty much the usual list. Not so often the truly hardboiled writers, though.
I always wanted to write, and after five decades in radio, I finally have the time to devote myself to it. I guess it might be because I grew up as a big fan of the old Warner Brothers detective series. 77 Sunset Strip, Hawaiian Eye, Surfside Six, etc. They were the coolest guys around and if I couldn’t live their lives, I could do so vicariously by writing about them.
Crime Watch: Globetrotting adventures and gruesome romance: an interview with CJ Carver
When I was a kid, I read all my Dad’s books and since he was addicted to thrillers and adventure stories, I guess it was inevitable I followed suit. Eric Ambler, John le Carré, Ken FolletT, I gobbled them up, but when I fell on Wilbur Smith they almost paled into insignificance. I didn’t think I’d read such a gripping story.
What Do the Allegations Against Sherman Alexie Mean for Native Literature?
I’m not comfortable writing this, but none of us should be. Many of the women in my community are too upset to talk about this yet, and I’ve been asked to speak up — but how do I write about what this means for contemporary Native literature? I want to make it reflective of our work; respectful, joyful, and solemn, and funny, imaginative, and caustic, far-reaching and future-looking, mindful of the past yet anti-ossificative in nature, punk and classical, both non-traditional and deeply so, conflicted, chock full of pain, irreverent and angry acknowledging all the relatives while selfish for our field and ourselves, deeply in love with who we are and more so who we need to and can be, acknowledging the fuckedupedness of it all while we eat tradish for supper and zingers and twinkies for dessert and we laugh.
Why I Left Men for Books – Electric Literature
The pursuit of an intellectual life and the desire for intimacy should not have to be mutually exclusive. Yet, for many women — particularly, women writers, academics, and artists — this continues to be the case. They are faced with a choice between the cultivation of love, companionship and family, and a retreat into solitude and creative work.
The First Two Pages: Murder in G Major by Alexia Gordon – Art Taylor
While Killing in C Sharp is the newest book in the series, Alexia looks back in the essay here to the First Two Pages of Murder in G Major—not just as setting up the novel and series but setting up the character’s introduction too.
Do Some Damage: Black Panther vs. Killmonger: Who Wins the Argument?
In essence, the movie does something not all that common in films: it lays out two sides of an argument in its opposing forces, T’Challa’s and Killmonger’s, and then it works toward a resolution of that argument.
Kevin’s Corner: Guest Post: Value in Co-Authoring by Terry W. Ervin II
n the end, I’m glad I took on the challenge. Not only has Rock House, and the follow on novella, Cavern, sold very well, but I learned a lot along the way.
I learned to write in a different genre. That may not sound like a lot, but the scene construction, pacing and even the overall plot structure differed from what I was used to. Less world building and descriptions, more combining of scenes and content to propel the story forward.
Criminal Justice and Crime Fiction | The Thrill Begins
For this publishing panel, we wanted to pull together three of the most preeminent minds in the field of criminal justice. However, we don’t have much of a budget. So I’m being joined by two individuals who are not only terrific writers, but also—like me—have extensive experience working toward the administration of justice. Given the participants, it seems logical to do this interrogation style. But rather than make everyone sweat it out, we’ll keep it light with a little Crime Time Truth or Dare!
SleuthSayers: Book ’Em, Paulie
But either way, I look at going to bookstores as a social experience. Even if I say no more than “Hello” and “Thank you” to the clerk checking me out, I have a social experience with hundreds of authors and books. And that “hello” is more than I get when shopping online.
Short Story Challenge: Marching On | Thomas Pluck
Thomas Pluck on some short stories he’s read. -DN
Detectives Beyond Borders: Cavanagh, McKinty, and Child at the Mysterious Bookshop
It may help if you know that Steve’s protagonist, the irrepressible Eddie Flynn, star of The Defence (The Defense in the U.S.), The Plea, and The Liar, is a con man turned lawyer, and the type of lawyer I’d want on a my side even if he sometimes sleeps in his clothes, tiptoes along high ledges, or works with a bomb attached to his body.
The Rap Sheet: The Story Behind the Story: “I Bring Sorrow & Other Stories of Transgression,” by Patricia Abbott
“Burned the Fire,” the subject of this essay, however, emanated from an interchange overheard on a street in Ann Arbor, Michigan. A young woman walking ahead of me said to her male companion, “I really don’t mind the scars.”
Sherman Alexie’s Accusers Go On The Record: ‘It Just Felt Very Wrong’ : NPR
Writer Sherman Alexie last week issued a statement admitting he “has harmed” others, after rumors and allegations began to circulate about sexual harassment. Without providing details, Alexie said “there are women telling the truth,” and he apologized to the people he has hurt. Now, some of those women have come forward to speak to NPR about their experiences with him.
Ten Women of Mystery Authors To Read This Week! – Strand Mag
I don’t know if last year was particularly rich for books by women crime writers, but I was impressed with several. A few of the writers have published other series or standalones and are striking out with a new series. Others are completely new on the scene. I don’t have room for complete reviews of each of them, but I will give you an idea of what I enjoyed about their work.
A Love Affair with a Body Count – Los Angeles Review of Books
LAURA LIPPMAN’S Sunburn is a noir love story. An unlikely genre blend, but this is a noir that strays from type from the very first page; it’s a summertime noir, trench coats swapped out for sundresses, staging its crimes and misdemeanors not in the anonymous shadows of a big city’s indifference, but in the full glare of small-town nosiness, as though confirming one character’s assertion that “there’s no better way to be found than to try to hide.”
Review: Babylon Berlin by Volker Kutscher, Adapted by Arne Jysch by Dave Richards
Another fantastic element of Babylon Berlin—both Kutscher’s original novel and the way Jysch brings it to life here—is the characters. Inspector Rath is a haunted and wonderfully flawed protagonist.
In this dumpster-fire of a year, Merriam-Webster has embiggened its dictionary
Wordies do a happy dance. -DN
Write. Read. Revise. Repeat. – Mysteristas
As much as writing is a solitary exercise, there’s something special about sharing that solitary exercise with a kindred spirit. I’m doing the writing on my own, and yet sharing my space with someone doing the same thing. I’ve found that joint writing time keeps me focused, as I don’t stray onto the internet, and I’m away from home so I’m not tempted to do those pesky chores instead of wrestle my plot into submission.
Review of BLUE LIGHT YOKOHAMA | Crimespree Magazine
After the last page, BLUE LIGHT YOKOHAMA sticks with you because the trauma suffered by almost every single important character is too much to immediately forget.
The New Vanguard – The New York Times
Our critics chose 15 remarkable books by women that are shaping the way we read and write fiction in the 21st century.
Philip Pullman calls for authors to get fairer share of publisher profits | Books | The Guardian
To allow corporate profits to be so high at a time when author earnings are markedly falling is, apart from anything else, shockingly bad husbandry. It’s perfectly possible to make a good profit and pay a fair return to all of those on whose work, after all, everything else depends. But that’s not happening at the moment.
CRIMESPREE ISSUE 67 | Crimespree Magazine
New Crimespree magazine is out. -DN
Tom Gauld on ebook intelligence – cartoon | Books | The Guardian
New on Your E-Reader: Choose from Your Four E-Personality Modes
8 Writing Tips from Jeff VanderMeer – Chicago Review of Books
So, with that caveat, here’s what I’ve learned over time. If some of it seems basic, that’s important, too. Because at the end of the day, there is no magic solution, no short-cut, to writing something that hopefully will last. No matter how we search for one. I also believe strongly in letting the things about writing that should be organic remain organic, but also working in targeted ways on those things that can be improved mechanically.
The “When” Guide for Writers: Master the Science of Perfect Timing (Part 1) | LitReactor
But this vigilance has its limits. After noon, when concentration and analytical ability reaches its peak, alertness and energy plummet. I can see your head nodding—this is the dreaded “afternoon crash” that everyone fears and is hellbent on avoiding with stimulants, meal timing, nutrition, etc.
Book Review of Lightning Men by Thomas Mullen at AustCrimeFiction
While there is plenty of procedure and some mystery and skullduggery in Lightning Men, this is less of a procedural and mystery than Darktown. That said, Mullen still effectively uses crime genre and procedural elements as the gateway to a complex social picture of a city in transition and the pressures and history underlying some of America’s present day issues.
10 LGBTQ Crime Fiction Must-Reads – Electric Literature
We may read to know whodunit, but what lingers in our minds is what we’ve discovered about the characters and what those discoveries tell us about ourselves.
The Unlikely Pulp Fiction Illustrations of Edward Hopper | Literary Hub
… art historians still struggle to reconcile the most sensational of Hopper’s commercial illustrations with the quiescent scenes that earned him a place among the great 20th-century artists.
A LOOK INTO “NIGHT OF THE FLOOD” | Crimespree Magazine
But, ultimately, much of this pride comes from working with friends; friends who are those hungry, determined, talented folk; friends who saw this concept of a novel-in-stories develop from e-mails traded back and forth to the shiny new book sitting next to me right now.
Should Authors Rate Their Own Books?
This question need not be asked. -DN
Criminal mastermind | The University of Chicago Magazine
Crime fiction is the place in literature where law and justice in society come together.
Don’t Quit the Day Job: Thomas Pluck | elementaryvwatson
A writer is always working, so a day job is just an extension of that. Our currency is character, so surrounding ourselves with people assists in our work, whether it’s at a coffee shop, an office, or a work site at the docks, where I worked for eight years with organized crime figures and extras from The Sopranos. They were a cheeky bunch.
The Writer in The Gutter : NPR Book Review and Kent Anderson’s GREEN SUN
Anderson admirers have had to wait more than 20 years for his third novel. It’s a long time, of course, but they have cause to celebrate: Green Sun is a stunning book, and it’s more than worth the wait.
Crime Watch: Review: MALICE
MALICE, the third in the series, is just a really fun, fast read. I tore through it, Rina is a fascinating character to follow as she navigates London and beyond in the swinging ’60s. Fraser isn’t afraid of confronting some tough and brutal issues in his books, particularly the pressures and prejudices (and worse) faced by women.
Every Finnish crime novel we’ve reviewed to date has shown a degree of originality and capacity for reflection, self-deprecation and black humour, which are substantially different from the more serious Scandinavian novels, but equally as engaged socially.
» Reviewed by Dan Stumpf: WILLIAM L. HEATH – Temptation in a Southern Town.
Heath does a compelling job of charting a collision course without making it look contrived. He picks out little bits of detail, highlights the bit players (a short interview with a mill foreman makes the character real for us, even though he’s never seen in the book again) and throws in the little details that make a story come alive without slowing the pace.
Based on True Crime, One Cozy, One Thriller: Debuts for Every Reader – Elena Hartwell
Elena Hartwell interviews three debut authors: Cheryl L. Reed, Debra Sennefelder, and Tom Hunt. -DN
Big Red Rock sees a welcome return for Inspector Franz Heineken in the ninth Pufferfish mystery. Uniquely quirky in character and narration with a distinctive Tasmanian setting, though on this occasion a trip to Alice Springs and some other parts of Australia get to feature fairly prominently.
Crime Review: March 03 2018
New Issue of Crime Review
SHOTSMAG CONFIDENTIAL: Peter Ritchie on why he writes
So, I entered another community of storytellers in the force. Cops love to tell stories and of course why wouldn’t they given what they see in the course of their job?

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