Incident Report

Incident Report No. 33

33_375The Incident Report as always covers the goings on in the world of small press crime fiction for the week of March 11th through March 17th. Links to articles and book releases that are new and upcoming. Before we begin with the latest edition of the Incident Report, let me share some recent news that I will be hosting a Noir at the Bar in Wilmington, Delaware on May 7th. Current scheduled readers are Scott Adlerberg, Shawn Cosby, Richard Goffman, Tony Knighton, and Eryk Pruitt. I will have an announcement later this week with the addition of a new reader being added. If you live in the vicinity and would like to read, please give a holler and we could see if it make it work.

This week’s Incident Report has over 70 article links and I have added over 20 new books releases. The thirty-third Incident Report covers the goings on in the world of small press crime fiction for the week of March 11th through March 17th.


Snuff Racket by Tom Leins – Unlawful Acts

(Click on the image above to enlarge.)
If you don’t mind violence like Sonny Corleone’s beating of Carlo Rizzi then Tom Leins’ Snuff Racket is for you. Going for the price of a cup of coffee in the 1980s and also a quick read – an hour tops – you should buy this today.
I Bring Sorrow And Other Stories of Transgression by Patricia Abbott – Unlawful Acts
In I Bring Sorrow, Abbott’s stories grasp that Melania Trump look, the one when she is standing next to her husband, but Abbott’s voice is far more beautiful and more alive than that current picture you have in your head. Patricia Abbott’s I Bring Sorrow, besides being well-written, captures the ether-like disenchantment and weariness of a people lost.
Criminal Minds: Writing With Your World Rocked
Am I writing about redlining or ghetto creation? Am I attempting an allegory about the dangers of government overreach? Man, I’m just trying to get to the next car chase or shootout. Still, I just can’t help it. Danny wants to learn only what he wants to learn, and I learned where I take Elliot in the future is far different than where I wanted him to go.
Barry Gifford’s lifetime of outsiders
Then in the ’80s, Gifford parlayed his love of film noir and pulp fiction into an effort to find a wider audience for writers David Goodis, Jim Thompson and Charles Willeford by launching Black Lizard Books. He published 80 titles in four years, including Thomson’s “The Killer Inside Me,” bringing a literary sensibility to crime fiction that influenced a new generation of writers and filmmakers. (In 1990, Black Lizard was sold to Vintage, which slowed the frenetic pace of its reissues and many are once again out of print.)
Review: I Bring Sorrow & Other Stories of Transgression by Patricia Abbott by Kristin Centorcelli
This is just a sampling of the 25 stories in this stellar volume, and like I said, this is the perfect place to start if you haven’t discovered this razor-sharp gem of a writer.
Lori Rader-Day – A BOLO Books Composite Sketch | BOLO BOOKS
Vera Stanhope, from the Ann Cleeves‘ series. I’m obsessed. Ann Cleeves already probably feels the need of a restraining order from me because I’m such a fan. Also, if I can cheat and add one more: Ellie Stone from James Ziskin’s series. I think Ellie, Vera, and I could have a nice drink together, get into some trouble, and sort the world’s problems. IF WE FELT LIKE IT.
The best recent crime novels – review roundup | Books | The Guardian
Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, Little Brown, HarperCollins again, and Penguin Random House. That’s all you need to know. -DN
Book Review : Owen Laukkanen – The Professionals (2012) — Dead End Follies
While The Professionals had an interesting premise and an original angle on moral ambiguity, I can’t say it had the strongest identity. It’s so heavily plot driven that characters are lead by their function in the narrative.
How to Find Audiobooks on Spotify: A Guide
Wait, what? Audiobooks on Spotify? -DN
Do Negative Reviews Disproportionately Impact Women and Writers of Color?
It’s so much worse to be ignored.
Val McDermid: ‘I was scornful of fantasy until I read Terry Pratchett’ | Books | The Guardian
William McIlvanney’s Laidlaw was the first crime novel I’d read that dealt with the lives of people I recognised. They spoke in the speech rhythms I’d grown up hearing, theirs were the concerns of ordinary people. It showed me that it was possible to write crime fiction that was rooted in my reality. And it’s as fresh and inspirational today as it was 40 years ago.
A World of Cop Reporters | CrimeReads
I always kind of knew I was going to write fiction one way or another, but there remained the matter of how to make a living. Journalism struck me as adventurous and idealistic at best, and rarely boring at worst. Because I grew up on the South Side of Chicago in the 1960s and 1970s—a violent place at a violent time—I was interested in cops and crime. Because I was the son of immigrants and had traveled, I had notions of becoming a foreign correspondent. It all came together somehow in the end.
How Language Came to Be — and How We Use It Today – The New York Times
Here’s a fun fact: Did you know that in conversation, people tend to respond to each other within one-fifth of a second — about as fast as it takes to blink an eye? Or did you know that men use words like “um” and “uh” more often than women do? And were you aware that people take about 35 milliseconds to answer “yes” to questions, whereas “no” answers take nearly twice that long?
Alain Locke’s Controversial Vision of a “Negro Renaissance” | Literary Hub
Locke’s problem was simple. He was not only the principal chronicler of the New Negro—he was a New Negro himself, an upstart rebel against the kind of paternalist control that had become the staple of Negro higher education.
Writing takes a toll, both physical and mental. It takes a lot of physical discipline to keep writing, even when you simply don’t want to that day. But the fact is, you don’t get it done unless you sit your hind end in that chair and do it. It also takes a lot of mental discipline to focus on getting better and keeping your optimism. That’s especially true when there’s a negative review, or when you notice a stupid mistake you’ve made, or…. or… But you have to let it go and keep writing.
Being Influenced by Your Favourite Crime Writers by Andrew Nette – Down & Out Books
Gunshine State has a number of literary influences. I am a big fan of the Crissa Stone books by Wallace Stroby and Australian writer Garry Disher’s Wyatt books. But my most obvious inspiration—and probably my desert island series—is the character of the master thief Parker, created by Richard Stark aka Donald Westlake.
#TimeForCrime: getting to the darkest heart of writers and bloggers!With Kate from #TheQuietKnitterer @TheQuietKnitter – chapterinmylife: Scottish Crime Fiction Blogger
Something about it just calls to me, I love the intensity and intrigue of it all.  It’s fascinating and I guess, the glimpse into a world that’s so far removed from my day-to-day life means I can live vicariously through others.
SleuthSayers: We Got the Funk… and The Point!
Joe Lansdale has more of a tough-love approach with it. If you don’t have to write, don’t. Don’t bother us with your scribbling if this is something you’re doing because someone else says you ought to write a book, or you think it might be “fun.” If you’re driven, then you will write.
10 Female Authors Who Changed My Life | LitReactor
No other author is more responsible for me creating barrio noir than Gloria Anzaldúa. Her writing put into words my feelings about la(s) frontera(s). She showed me how to talk about language and bilingualism. She gave me the power to recognize that I can’t go back home and I don’t belong anywhere, and that’s okay. Anzaldúa is the magic bruja of the Borderlands, now and forever, and we are all under her spell.
The National Book Critics Circle winners are announced — and they’re all women
Women swept the National Book Critics Circle awards, announced Thursday night in Manhattan. Women prevailed in all of the six competitive categories.
Bookaholic Confessions: Author Interview: M.J Ford
I wasn’t even much of a reader until I really started to enjoy English at school. I had a particularly brilliant teacher (shout out to Mr Andrews), who introduced me properly to poetry, and my first (very bad!) creative efforts were in that field.
David Mamet Looks At Prohibition In Chicago | website
David Mamet’s new novel Chicago. follows a Great War vet and newspaper man, Mike Hodge, hunting down those who killed the woman he loved in the corrupt Windy City of the prohibition era. No surprise, the novel is filled with wonderful dialogue, painting the place and era with it’s newspaper offices, burlesque houses, and high tone brothels.
Mystery Fanfare: Unforgotten: PBS Masterpiece Mystery!
PBS Masterpiece Mystery! has a new series coming up that starts Sundays April 8 and runs through May 13 (9 pm, but check local listings). Unforgotten is a really thoughtful, well acted, and plotted detective show and there are two seasons that will be aired. I binged the first season and found it mesmerizing. I highly recommend it.
Why You Need To Focus Your Writing, Not Your Writing Career. | Whiskey and Writing Blog – Victoria M. Patton – Crime Fiction Author
No matter what vehicle you choose to move your writing career forward, remember that the writing is ultimately what will keep readers coming back to you. Not your blogging or your YouTube videos.
Penance – The BOLO Books Review | BOLO BOOKS
Penance is an episodically structured novel that becomes more brilliant as the various parts converge to reveal the truth. Each of the extended chapters tells its tale in a unique way – there’s a personal letter, a press conference, and an interrogation to name just a few. What ties these stories together is that each of them stem from the same core event:
the psychopathology of everyday life – Adrian McKinty’s blog: More Info On The Final 3 Sean Duffy Novels
so as I said a couple of weeks ago Police At The Station And They Don’t Look Friendly will definitely not be the last Sean Duffy novel. I’ve announced a new deal with Blackstone Books for a final Duffy trilogy. Here are some more details…
We Need to Talk About Derek Walcott’s Sexual Harassment Scandal
God damn it. -DN
Is Conspiracy Fiction Too Dangerous? | CrimeReads
Sadly, we now live in the age of Infowars, Pizzagate and, of course, Donald Trump. My own country, the UK, doesn’t seem to churn out conspiracy theories at quite the same dysenteric rate as the US …
Recommended Read: Slaughterhouse Blues by Nick Kolakowski – Paul D. Brazill
Like A Brutal Bunch of Heartbroken Saps, Slaughterhouse Blues is jam packed with high-octane action, gaudy characters, witty dialogue and enough sharp twists and turns to give you whiplash. Five hardboiled stars.
Do Some Damage: Audio Best Seller Lists
Have we had a Death of Ebooks story this week? Are audiobooks the Netflix of IPAs now? I can’t keep up.
No, I’m Not a Psychopath | The Thrill Begins
After all, what if you offend me mightily and I am one? – Mark Pryor
Book vs. Film: ‘The Ritual’ | LitReactor
The Ritual tells the very original story of a bunch of white guys getting lost in the woods and consequently murdered. A Predator-esque monster hunts them down, one by one, slaughtering its prey with the utmost brutality. Why are they in the woods? Well, they’re going hiking, of course! Do they have hiking experience? Well…not exactly. And why is it they get lost, again? Because of reasons, that’s why.
Howling from the Mountains: An Interview with Taylor Brown | LitReactor
I think we find such religious practices so fascinating because of the mystic element—the images of worshipers spinning like dervishes with live rattlesnakes hanging around their necks or speaking in tongues—to me, these recall a shamanic mysticism that’s been with us long before our present religious traditions, spanning cultures and centuries and geographies.
The Rap Sheet: PaperBack: “The Pale Door”
Part of a series honoring the late author and blogger Bill Crider.
Do Some Damage: On Black Panther, ‘tho I Haven’t Seen It
Can you imagine what it must be like for a black person who chooses not to identify with that movie’s themes and notions? Can you imagine how it must feel to be the only black person in your community who isn’t, or even refuses to be, so Wakanda’d out? I still haven’t seen it. I’ve been busy. Once I do, I’m pretty sure it’ll be good, but not quite good enough to justify how mean black Americans have been to everyone else since they announced it.
Founder Resigns, Spinetingler to Close
Our founder, former Editor, and current Fiction Editor Sandra Ruttan has resigned, effective immediately. We’ve had a serious and unsolvable disagreement about current and future issues. Since I cannot run this magazine by myself, Spinetingler will close sometime this Spring.
The Rap Sheet: The Story Behind the Story: “Newport Ave,” by Ken Kuhlken
… he recalls the real-life family members on whom he based characters in his new noir novel, Newport Ave.
Killer Covers: Bennett’s Beauties: A Father’s Legacy
Over the course of 43 posts, running from early December 2017 through the opening week of 2018, Killer Covers celebrated the remarkable career of American artist and illustrator Harry Bennett (May 15, 1919-November 29, 2012). I’d been thinking for some while before then of how best to honor Bennett, whose paintings for vintage paperback covers I have long admired, and decided that an ideal kickoff for such a tribute would be the fifth anniversary of his death at age 93. Yet as I promised on the concluding day of that series, my interest in Bennett was not yet exhausted.
“The Misadventures of Ellery Queen” (by Josh Pachter and Dale C. Andrews) | SOMETHING IS GOING TO HAPPEN
On Thursday, March 8, Wildside Press published The Misadventures of Ellery Queen (hardcover, paperback, and electronic editions), edited by the two of us—Josh Pachter and Dale Andrews. The book is an anthology collecting sixteen pastiches, parodies, and homages inspired by the legendary Ellery Queen.Collections of “misadventures”—by which we mean stories carrying forward an established character and either written in or spoofing the manner of the original author—are nothing new. But a collection of the misadventures of Ellery Queen has been a long time coming.
Author of the Week: Jedidiah Ayres – DIGITAL MEDIA GHOST
Whatever transgression is central to the noir story, it’s usually inspired by some kind of class envy – whether of the classic economic variety or perhaps of a more privately perceived mental or spiritual or sexual division – somebody who considers his/herself on the wrong side of a divide and acts in resentment or desperation to change that status.
A New Anthology of Asian American Writing Asks What Home Even Means
To live in an Asian-looking body in a Western country so often involves being perceived as foreign, alien, from and of elsewhere.
Recommended Read: Down To No Good by Earl Javorsky – Paul D. Brazill
Down To No Good is a fast-moving and funny crime fiction thriller that is full of great characters and sharp satirical asides. The supernatural elements don’t detracting from this cracking yarn but give it a distinctive flavour all of it’s own.
Recommended Read: May by Marietta Miles – Paul D. Brazill
Marietta Miles once again proves herself to be one of the best noir writers working today.  May is a brutal, brittle and brilliant gem.
The First Two Pages: Mornings in London by Janice Law – Art Taylor
My fellow SleuthSayer Janice Law joins us today to discuss her most recent novel, Mornings in London, the final novel of her Francis Bacon mystery series.
Writing Rules That Were Made to Be Broken: Kill Your Darlings | Literary Hub
Kill the crap I say and save your darling. – Elisa Gabbert
I hadn’t written many stories with an historical setting. It always seemed like a tough task, bringing an era I never witnessed to life. But the challenge intrigued me. When an Italian-American friend told me the story of Enrico Caruso’s famous cape at a dinner party, I had a subject.
#359: Minor Felonies – The Secret of the Old Clock (1930) by Carolyn Keene [rev. Harriet Adams 1959] | The Invisible Event
As for the plot…well, there we come down to one’s definition of ‘plot’.  A series of events happen to a cast of characters who crop up one more than one occasion, but really that’s only the basest attempt at plotting anything.
Blog Tour ~Review~ We Were Salt of The Sea by Roxanne Bouchard. – booksaremycwtches
We Were Salt of the Sea is different to your traditional thriller, in that the main focus is on character rather than events. It moves along at a much slower pace than you expect and its heart is firmly based in the people of a remote fishing village in Quebec and their reactions to the death Marie Garant.
Kevin’s Corner: Review: Down The River Unto The Sea by Walter Mosley
What follows is an incredible read as Joe Oliver deals with repercussions from his past, the legacy of family, and the criminality of the moment. Author Walter Mosley, has a style in this read, as do the works of James Lee Burke, where the storytelling carries incredible impact with just a few words and at the same time paints a world rich in color and nuance.
How It Happened by Alma Katsu | The Thrill Begins
Make friends with authors before you sell your first book. These are the people who will advise you, console you, keep you from losing your mind and making dumb mistakes. You need a good network to survive in this business. And be a friend, too. Don’t just take; give.
Zakk reviews He Digs A Hole by Danger Slater – Ex Libris The Eyes of Madness
He Digs a Hole, is a charming piece of fiction (is it fiction?) that forces me out of my comfort zone, not only on preferred genre but also in the challenges I tend to accept in literature.
Crime Time : I BRING SORROW – Patricia Abbott
I read all of the stories, including those that didn’t entice me with startling starts. I read them all because I’d read and enjoyed Abbott’s two crime novels and knew that even were she to begin a story with the word “coal” her writing is so sly and original she’d have me gasping with delight and admiration by tale’s end. I shan’t reveal whether in fact she did start a story in this collection with “coal” but I will say she left me gasping with delight and admiration after every one of them.
Do Some Damage
Now, I’m the type to flip the bird against any criticism of being out of step with the zeitgeist, but when a white guy chastises my black ass for not letting a Marvel movie change my worldview, that’s taking things a bit too far.
BLACK GUYS DO READ – Book Reviews Blog: FUN & GAMES by Duane Swierczynski
If you’re curious about how to write great thrillers, check out this and Swierczynski’s other work, to see how clever plotting and structure, humor, relatable characters and fearlessness can leading to pure entertainment.
Crime and History in “The Widows of Malabar Hill” – Los Angeles Review of Books
Sujata Massey’s The Widows of Malabar Hill is one such aggregate: traditional mystery, domestic fiction, historical novel, and even legal thriller, since the main character, Perveen Mistry, is one of India’s pioneering female lawyers. It is a series debut, but not Massey’s first novel.
Review: The Neighbors by Hannah Mary McKinnon – Novelgossip
The Neighbors is the kind of book that sneaks up on you, it lulls you into a sense of complacency with its lighter style of suspense and intrigue and then BAM the last few pages deliver an onslaught of twists that make you go, oohhh I see what you did there!
Complete fiction: why ‘the short story renaissance’ is a myth | Books | The Guardian
These are all exceptional books that deserve space on any serious fiction reader’s shelves. But you know what? Pick any year and you’ll find some great story collections were published then, too; sometimes even more than in 2017, sometimes less, but enough to suggest a healthy genre. Like any art form the short story needs attention, of course that’s true; but if you really care about it then please, don’t call it a comeback.
Movie Review : Wind River (2017) — Dead End Follies
Wind River is a confident film. Taylor Sheridan trusts his writing and his setting to communicate tone and emotion, so the direction is not needlessly dark. There are beautiful mountains and forest all around and, most times, it’s beautiful outside. The Wind River Indian reservation looks like a place where hipster tourists would go hiking and that contrast with the bleakness and ongoing drama is definitely one of the film’s biggest strengths. It allows a blue collar talent like Jeremy Renner to efficiently deliver his lines without calling too much attention to his one-note game, among others.
‘The novel is about making believe your world is real’: an interview with Peter Temple | Pulp Curry
The death of Peter Temple at the age 71 has robbed Australia of what is undeniably one of its most influential crime writers.
100 Must-Read Contemporary Short Story Collections
Of all of the 100 must-read lists I have done so far, this was probably the easiest, because there are so many amazing contemporary short story collections.
Alison Gaylin’s Crime Fiction for the Social Media Era | CrimeReads
The difference between how we see ourselves and how others see us is another theme of If I Die Tonight …
Don’t Quit the Day Job: Linda Huber | elementaryvwatson
Don’t Quit the Day Job: Linda Huber by elementaryvwatson via elementaryvwatson
Getting To Know The Character with Kay Hunter
Rather than label her “strong”, I’d like readers to think of Kay as “resilient”. She knows and understands her limitations – that’s why she relies so much on the team around her. She’s not a lone wolf.
#Review Walls of Silence by Ruth Wade @Bloodhoundbook | The Quiet Knitter
Walls of Silence is one of those slow burn psychological thrillers that creeps up on the reader and lures them in to the point that they daren’t put the book down through fear of missing something
Earthy, violent, fast-paced, funny and entertaining, populated by a couple of dodgy characters who despite their flaws – and there’s more than a few – you root for to come out on top. I don’t really want too much more from my reading.
Writers Who Kill: Norman Rockwell’s Murder Mystery
In 1948, Rockwell did a drawing he called Murder Mystery, or Who-Dun-It. Rockwell’s intent was to present a classic drawing room murder mystery that the viewer would solve from the clues in the picture.
LitReactor Instructor Joshua Isard on Creative Writing, Getting an MFA, and the Long View | LitReactor
The only way an MFA program is a necessity for a writer is if that writer wants to teach at the college level. You just need a degree for that, no way around it.
THIEF – Michael Mann’s Classic Back on the Big Screen | The Venetian Vase
Thief is one of the best films for portraying the thin line between cops and criminals, and it is significant that it was one of the first films produced in Chicago after Mayor Richard Daley left office. Daley had made it difficult for studios to get filming permits for Chicago (there was a de facto 20 year hiatus) during his tenure as Mayor of the Windy City.
Pretty Sinister Books: F@200: Monster – Dave Zeltserman
Monster (2012) is the the tale of Frankenstein told from the creature’s viewpoint with Victor Frankenstein cast in the role of sorcerer and alchemist.
Six of the Best Sidekicks in the Detective Business… – Strand Mag
The sidekick is forever straddling the line between pragmatism and becoming the main character’s partner in crime. In fact, I think my favorite sidekicks are the ones who overcome all voices of reason (including their own) to get directly involved with solving the murder plot—the wackier the better…
Brit Grit Alley ~ Out of the Gutter Online
My new novel Android Love, Human Skin is out. It is a novel about four genders. I don’t think that has been done before. It explores the nature of gender conflict and the addiction to pleasure in a virtual world. This novel is about a possible future.
List: Ten Tips to Write a Novel That’s Literary as Fuck – McSweeney’s Internet Tendency
That said, your dialogue should be realistic. Be that creepy asshole in a coffee shop listening in to other people’s conversations.
Grammar gripes: why do we love to complain about language? | Books | The Guardian
My colleague recently tweeted to apologise that her posts were “so thirsty tonight”. The next day I asked what “thirsty” meant and I have never felt so old. She did, in fact, act quite extra about it. I’m usually the goat at knowing words so I was salty. And her outfit was snatched, which made things worse. The whole thing was not lit and I have receipts.
Short, Sharp Interview: Richard Godwin – Paul D. Brazill
Paul D. Brazill interviews Richard Godwin. -DN
Up in smoke: should an author’s dying wishes be obeyed? | Books | The Guardian
Slavish obedience is one route for an executor, defiance for the sake of literature another. When several parties are involved, each jealously possessive of the author, things get trickier.
Lots to like about all three of these stories. There’s violence, gun-play, plenty of death, elements of humour and old-man grumpiness and in the case of Easy-Peezy an intriguing blend of historical fact and fiction. Decent stories with plenty of pace, enough development of character and unusual  scenarios. Never a dull moment.
Do Some Damage: The Crushing Weight of Canon
Some how I missed Scott D. Parker’s post about the constraints and the freedoms of canon when creating a universe. -DN

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