Incident Report No. 77

The Incident Report covers the world of small press crime fiction for the week of May 12th through May 18th.

Early in the week, Tobias Caroll stopped by CrimeReads to riff about the importance of Oakley Hall. Carrol, himself an author and editor of Vol.1 Brooklyn, wrote:

There are works of crime fiction about those who break the law, and then there are those about the flaws endemic to the system as a whole. Whether he was turning his gaze back to the 19th century or addressing more contemporary concerns, the writings of Oakley Hall demonstrate a systematic hatred for the systems that dehumanize people, spread corruption, and leave lives broken in their wake.

Books covered in this article include “Warlock”, “Ambrose Bierce and the Queen of Spades”, and “Separations”.


Marietta Miles’s’ “Mother Writes Best” (Do Some Damage) featured Mary Shelley, Kate Chopin and Shirley Jackson. Since Chopin wrote one of my favorite books of all time, “Awakening”, here is what Miles had to say about Chopin, “Hers were stories of oppression, sexism, freedom, and regret. “


Chris Rhatigan interviewed Matt Phillips, author of “Countdown” (All Due Respect Books). Phillips talked about getting dialog right.

The biggest thing I learned as a reporter was how to listen for dialog. You get a rhythm and feel for how people speak when you’re trying to record exactly what they say. I try to listen to cadences and melodies in speech. Even the way a quote looks on the page can tell you something about how people speak, where they’re from, what they do for a living. I try to mimic those rhythms, patterns, melodies in my own dialog.


Kellye Garrett interviewed Terri Bischoff, Senior Acquisitions Editor for Crooked Lane, as part of The Thrill Begins’s The Advocates series.

I start every manuscript as a reader. I read until I get to a no. I am much more ruthless now than when I started! I can decline after a page or after 200. But once I find a book I love, I will do whatever I can to get it published, whether or not it follows a trend or the market… because here is the thing — trends come and go. Trying to acquire as part of a trend is useless. It takes 12-18 months for a traditionally published book to hit the shelves. If I am trying to jump on a trend, it can very well be over by the time that title releases. I like to believe that readers are smart people and want to read widely and that there is an audience for every type of book. To me the key has always been the content and how well a story is told.


I reviewed Paul Heatley’s “Guillotine” (All Due Respect Books)

There is a tendency in crime fiction to have the reader to feel okay about what’s happening, that their voyeurism of this naked world is okay, that the reader feels better about themselves even as the story devolves into violence. Yeah, that doesn’t happen in “Guillotine”. Heatley embraces noir’s fatalistic motif and its compatriot the blackness of defeat. “Guillotine” strikes at the nerve of noir and never lets up.


Indie Crime Releases: Week of May 19 (Unlawful Acts)


News of the Week

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