Incident Report

Incident Report No. 95

With so much information out there, as well as many other bloggers doing fantastic aggregation, I’ve trying to do something a bit different. On Monday through Saturday, the Small Crimes posts will be restricted to six stories and one book. And then on Sunday, the filters are off and you are basically trying to drink from a fire hose of weekly crime links. Today’s Incident Report has over 100 links. Enjoy.

Over at the All Due Respect zine, we are accepting submissions for 2021. We are looking for “hard-as-nails” crime fiction and we pay $25 at publication. If you are wondering what we mean by hard-as-nails, the first story we published in 2020, Stephen D. Rogers’s “Mad Dog”, is a great example. Also at the end of the year, we gather all the short stories and publish them in book form.

I cannot stress this enough, but both Chris Rhatigan and I would love publish more stories from women, writers of color and other marginalized voices, so please, send us your short fiction.


Rachel Howzell Hall’s South L.A. novel “And Now She’s Gone” featured in the Los Angeles Times.

How “Blacktop Wasteland” by S.A. Cosby wasn’t on this list is astounding.

A wonderful article about crime fiction getting back to its roots, the voices of the Invisibles and how writers of color are leading the way.

“A New Language of Literature: Borges on Universalism and Nationalism” by Matt Bluemink at 3:AM Magazine

Joshua Isard, author of “Conquistador of the Useless” (Cinco Puntos Press), on trusting the reader.

Cullen Thomas continues his interviews with writers/ex-cons, this time with Gustavo Alvarez, author of “Prison Ramen”.

On the successes and constraints of exploiting a lexicon of equivalent and opposite unit of language expressions whist scripting characters at Kill Zone.

“How to Set Up a Bookstore on an Author Website: The Beginner’s Guide” at The Digital Reader

Thirty Everyday Phrases that Perpetuate the Oppression of Indigenous Peoples at the Radical Copyeditor.

“Sexism and Science Fiction: An Interview with Tang Fei” at Words Without Borders.

Because we have this sick need to rank everything, “A Definitive Ranking of Tana French Novels”.

The podcasters and writers Layne Fargo and Wendy Heard talk amongst themselves.

“What Happens When Literary Events Move Online?” by Anna Leahy, Sam Riask, and Tryphena Yeboah at LitHub.

Interview with Ron Corbett, author of “Mission Road” (ECW Press; 2020).

“‘American Psycho,’ ‘American Beauty,’ ‘American Pie’: White Male Rage at the Turn of the Millennium” at the Los Angeles Review of Books.

Interview with Isabel Allende at Fictions Writers Review.

The First Two Pages: “The Hollywood Gangster” by R.J. Koreto at Art Taylor’s blog.

If you’ve bought any books recently from Barnes & Noble, your information my have been compromised.

The Digital Reader with some instructions on how to set up and run daily website backups.

James Crumley‘s Unofficial Rules for Writing.

Interview with V.M. Burns, author of “Steal Away”, the third book in her RJ Franklin Mystery series.

A wonderful article about bookselling in the time of COVID.

Interview with August Norman, author of the “Sins of the Mother” (Crooked Lane Books; 2020) at Killer Nashville.

Gregory Maguire, author of “Wicked”, on writing by hand.

“We All Live in Don DeLillo’s World. He’s Confused by It Too” as The New York Times.

Interview with J.J. Hensley at The Real Book Spy.

New issue of The Molotov Cocktail is out.

Chloe Maveal on lesbian pulp fiction at CrimeReads.

A conversation with Chuck D at The Quietus.

Say what? The Incident Report came out yesterday.

No one talks about the consequences of a bear shifter romance.

Ivy Pachoda interviews Smith Henderson and John March Smith, authors “Make Them Cry” (Ecco; 2020).

New Releases for Week of October 11, 2020 at dru’s book musings.

“Murder, Molotov Cocktails, and Burning Police Stations: Black Lives Matter, White Feminism, ‘Three Billboards,’ and Intersectionality” by Jerrine Tan at the Los Angeles Review of Books.

Interview with Rea Frey, author of “Until I Find You” (St. Martin’s Press; 2020).

Book Reviews

Review of “Light into Ink: A Critical Survey of 50 Film Novelizations” S.M. Guariento (2019) at Bookgasm.

Review of “The Southland” by Johnny Shaw (Agora Books; 2020)

Review of “Cradle of the Deep” by Dietrich Kalteis (ECW Press; 2020)

Review of “Black Stiletto: Endings and Beginnings” by Raymond Benson (Oceanview Publishing, 2020).

Review of “The Hardest Hit”, a children’s book by Frank Scalise aka Frank Zafiro at Col’s Criminal Library.

“The Magic of Terry Pratchett” by Marc Burrows at LitReactor.

Review of Keven McQueen’s “Weird Wild West” (Indiana University Press; 2019) at the Cleveland Review of Books.

Review of “The Silence” by Don DeLillo at The Millions.

Review of “Map’s Edge” by David Hair (Jo Fletcher Books; 2020) at The Tattooed Book Geek.

Review of “The Domino Killer” by Neil White (Sphere Books; 2016) at

Review of Kim Stanley Robinson’s “The Ministry for the Future” at neverimitate.

Review of “Growing Things and Other Stories” by Paul Tremblay (William Morrow; 2019)

Review of “The Kingdom” by Joe Nesbo (2020) at Crime Fiction Lover.

Review of “The Mathematical Murder of Innocence” by Michael Carter (The Book Guild; 2020) at Crime Fiction Lover.

Review of “Dead Man in a Ditch” by Luke Arnold (Orbit; 2020).

Review of “Shelter in Place” by David Leavitt (Bloomsbury; 2020) at the Washington Independent Review of Books.

Review of “The House on Abigail Lane” by Kealan Patrick Burke at Black Guys Do Read.

Review of “Anything Short of Murder” by Tony Piazza (2010).

Review of “A Bullet for the Bride” by John Messmann (1972).

Review of “The Rage” by Gene Kerrigan (Europa Editions; 2012) at Kevin’s Corner

Review of “Stanley Kubrick: American Filmmaker” by David Mikics (Yale University Press; 2020) at Washington Monthly.

Review of “Truth Lies Bleeding” by Tony Black (Stark House Press; 2020/2011) at Bookgasm.

Review of “Recursion” by Blake Crouch (Crown; 2019) at Do Some Damage.

Stories and Poetry

Monday kicked off Bishop Rider Week at Punk Noir Magazine with the short story, “Fire in the Hole” by Beau Johnson.

New fiction by Paul McDonald at Fictive Dream.

New poetry by Kristin Garth.

Two poems from Ian Lewis Copestick at Punk Noir Magazine

“Ruin and Pain”, a short story, by Beau Johnson.

New fiction by Kevin Tasker at Flash Fiction Magazine.

New poetry by Bruce Morton.

New fiction by Melissa Bowers.

“Like Minded Individuals”, a Biship Rider short story, by Beau Johnson at Punk Noir Magazine.

New poetry by Joumana Altallal.

New fiction by Lance Mason at Close to the Bone.

New flash fiction from Gordon Pinckheard.

New poetry by Mark James Andrews.

Beau Johnson’s short story, “A Better Kind of Hate”, at Punk Noir Magazine.

New flash fiction by Tim Seyfert.

New poetry by Dan Provost at The Rye Whiskey Review.

New flash fiction from Andrew Davie at Bristol Noir.

New short fiction from Andy Rausch.

“The Only Thing That Fits” by Beau Johnson at Punk Noir Magazine.

New fiction by Charlotte Derrick at Flash Fiction Magazine.

“Mayonnaise, The Bastard” by Andrew Davie at Shotgun Honey.

New fiction by Mark McConville at Bristol Noir.

New fiction by Jim Woessner at Close to the Bone.

Poetry by Charles Rammelkamp at The Five-Two.

“Error Printer Jam”, a short story, by Calen MacDonald.

Right Place, Wrong Time, a short story, by Paul D. Brazill

New fiction by Susan Mockler at Flash Fiction Magazine.

Short fiction by John Weagly at Shotgun Honey.


Kim Johnson, author of “This is My America”, interviewed on the Crime Writers of Color podcast.

The third episode of “The Disembodied Parts: A Rhapsody” is out, it’s Pablo D’Stair reading his latest novel. You’ve got to check it out.

Eric Van Lustbader is interviewed on Wrong Place, Write Crime.

Interview with Cinelle Barnes, editor of “A Measure of Belonging: Twenty-one Writers of Color on the New South” (Hub City Press; 2020).

Interview with Laura Bogart, author of “Don’t You Know I Love You” Dzanc Books).

The latest episode of Writer Types feels like an episode of “St. Elsewhere” with Dr. Ian K Smith, Dr. Joel Shulkin, and Dr. John Bishop.

Interview with Mark Edward Langley, author of “Death Waits in the Dark” (Blackstone Publishing; 2020) at It’s a Mystery.

Researching the FCK out of Things with Cory Doctorow at Writing Excuses.

Ayad Akhtar, author of “Homeland Elegies” interviewed on the Los Aneles Review of Books podcast.

Art, Film, and Photography

Fragments of Noir continues their Big Lonely City noir photography series.

Review of “Killing Them Softly,” directed by Andrew Dominik.

The artwork of Claudio Parentela is featured at Punk Noir Magazine.

Review of “Arm in Arm”, the new album from Steep Canyon Rangers.

Fragments of Noir continues its illustration series, “Dirty Femmes”.

Scott Adlerberg reviews “Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror” directed by Xavier Burgin (2019) at Do Some Damage.

David Cranmer reviews “Man of the West” directed by Anthony Mann (1958)

Illustrations by Leonard Pytlak.

The fabulous Big Lonely City photography series continues at Fragments of Noir.

Featured Books

Dig Two Graves

Andrew Davie (Close to the Bone; 2020)

The Better of the Bad

J.J. Hensley (Down & Out Books; 2020)


Emergency Powers

James McCrone


The Unstable One

Mike McCrary



John Bowie (Red Dog Press; 2020)



Christopher Chambers (Three Rooms; 2020)


Incident Report

Incident Report No. 94

Way too many links. Let’s give y’all a headstart.


A nice article about the importance of indie publishers by Matt Keyes.

The 1951 adaptation of Native Son (starring Richard Wright) is a darkly satiric noir.

Bilingual authors are challenging the practice of italicizing non-English words.

Poetry is coming to Close to the Bone at the end of the month.

Dana King on the (un)importance of backstory.

“The Children of the Appalachians” by Rebecca Bengal at The Paris Review.

Raymond Chandler’s letters to a younger crime writer offer a revealing—and often ugly—glimpse into his later years.

Colman Keane continues his deep dive into the works of Ed Gorman.

“The Strange History of Mickey Spillane and New Zealand’s ‘Jukebox Killer’ by Andrew Nette at CrimeReads.

The Stiletto Gumshoe looks at two recent stories about sex in crime fiction.

Interview with M. E. Browning, author of “Shadow Ridge” (Crooked Lane Books; 2020).

The First Two Pages: “Schemes in the Dark” by Jennifer Berg at Art Taylor’s blog.

Why Bryn Greenwood is proud to have her books called crime fiction.

An introduction to the latest volume of “Coast to Coast Noir” (Down and Out Books; 2020) from one of the editors, Paul D. Marks.

“Contextual Cues for Predatory Targeting: Pattern repetition improves the speed and efficiency of victimizing” by Katherine Ramsland, PhD at The Crime Fiction Writer’s Blog.

Book Reviews

Review of “Find The Dead” by Peter James (Macmillan UK; 2020) at The Rap Sheet.

Review of “An Obscure Road to Hollywood: Scoundrels and Spitballers- Writers and Hollywood in the 1930s” by Philippe Garnier (Black Pool Productions; 2020)

Review of “The Six” by Luca Veste (Simon & Schuster UK; 2020)

Review of “Lost Writings” by Franz Kafka, translated by Michael Hofmann (New Directions; 2020).

Review of “Chesapeake Crimes:Invitation to Murder” edited by Donna Andrews, Barb Goffman & Marcia Talley (Wildside Press; 2020) at BOLO Books.

Review of “The Unidentified: Mythical Monsters, Alien Encounters, and Our Obsession with the Unexplained” by Colin Dickey (Viking; 2020).

Review of “To Cook a Bear” by Mikael Niemi (MacLehose Press; 2020).

Review of “Winter Counts” by David Heska Wanbli Weiden (Ecco; 2020) at Lesa’s Book Critiques.

Review of “The Searcher” by Tana French at NPR.

My review of “Third Degree” by Ross Klavan, Tim O’Mara, and Charles Salzberg (Down and Out Books; 2020).

Review of “No Strings” by Mark Safranko (2012) at Col’s Criminal Library.

Review of “Touchfeather” by Jimmy Sangster (1968).

Review of “Dear Child” by Romy Hausmann (Flatiron Books; 2020)

Review of “21 Immortals: Inspector Mislan and the Yee Sang Murders” by Rozlan Mohd Noor (Arcade Crimewise; 2020) at Los Angeles Review of Books.

Review of “Kiss Her Goodbye” by Wade Miller (1956) at The Dark Time.

Review of “Only the Women Are Burning” by Nancy Burke (Apprentice House; 2020)

Review of “Dig 2 Graves” by Andrew Davie (Close to the Bone; 2020) at NewRetroWave.

Review of S.A. Cosby’s “Blacktop Wasteland” (Flatiron Books; 2020) at Pulp Curry.

Review of “Innocent or Guilty?” by A.M. Taylor (One More Chapter; 2019).

Review of “The Man in the White Linen Suit” by David Handler (William Morrow; 2019).

Review of “Devil May Carer” and “Sinner Take All” by Wade Miller (Stark House Press; 2020, originally published in 1950 and 1960).

Review of “The Mystery of the Cowboy Summit” by Darryle Purcell (2020) at Pulp Fiction Reviews.

Review of “Deception by Gaslight” by Kate Belli (Crooked Lane Books; 2020)

Review of “Burn You Twice” by Mary Burton (Montlake; 2020)

Fiction and Poetry

New fiction by Catherine A. Kelley at Every Day Fiction.

New poetry by Michael Minassian.

New fiction by Erika Veurink at Cheap Pop.

New flash fiction by J.B. Stevens at Mystery Tribune.

New short fiction by Judith Present.

New poetry by Mike James.

New fiction by Joe Taylor at The Rye Whiskey Review.

New fiction by H.E. Vogl at Every Day Fiction.

New fiction by Dana Liebelson at Cheap Pop.

“card shop carl”, a poem by John Grochalski.

Short fiction by Sebnem Sanders.

Flash fiction by Paul Garrett.

Poem by Jay Passer.

New flash fiction by A.G. Hilton at Pulp Modern.

Short fiction by Nathan Pettigrew at Bristol Noir.

“The Only Time Fun Comes Before Work is in the Dictionary” by Andrew Davie, a short story, at The Daily Drunk.

New fiction from Nikki Dolson at TOUGH

Poetry by Ian Lewis Copestick at Punk Noir Magazine

“Stakes For Sea Creatures Replaced By Something New” by Kristin Garth, a poem at Punk Noir Magazine

New poetry by Giovanni Mangiante at The Rye Whiskey Review

A new poem by Tom Barlow at The Five-Two.

Short fiction by Sean Thor Conroe at Vol. 1 Brooklyn.

New fiction by Darrent Sant at Close To The Bone.

Poetry by Ben Newell.

New poems from Mark McConville at Punk Noir Magazine.

Short fiction by Paul D. Brazill.

Podcasts and Other Media

Gytha Lodage interviewed on Two Crime Writers And A Microphone.

Interview with Dean Koontz at Otherppl.

Via Punk Noir Magazine, “The Disembodied Parts”, a podcast by Pablo D’Stair.

Helping Writers Become Authors: Ep. 522: The Link Between Your Story’s First Plot Point and Third Plot Point

K.M. Weiland appears on The Creative Penn or is it the other way around?

Writing Excuses on “Researching for Writing the Other”.

Murder in a Small Canadian Town with J.G. Toews on It’s a Mystery.

Illustrations by Geraldine Theurot.

Billy Strings on World Cafe.

Craig Sisterson on fifteen great crime shows to watch at Crime Fiction Lover.

Kronos Quartet Blends Words, Music, and Magic to Celebrate Pete Seeger at No Depression.

Pulp illustrations by Glen Orbik.

“Modern Western Films Written Better Than Ever” by David Cranmer at LitReactor.

Paul Matts reviews the various artist album “Sir J.J. Special: J.J. Johnson’s Ska and Rock Productions 1966-1968” at We Are Cult.

Big Lonely City photography series continues.

Pulp illustrations by the Unknown at The Stiletto Gumshoe.

Film Review of “Female Human Animal” (2018) at Punk Noir Magazine.

Incident Report

Incident Report No. 93

I’m on vacation in the land of the Hatfields and McCoys. Cell phone connectivity is non-existent and wi-fi is spotty at best. This is my last post this week, except a review that will magically get posted on Friday.


Flash Bang Mysteries is soon to be no more.

Michael Cannell gives us a brief tour of New York gangster nightclubs of the 1920s.

Interview with Michael Pool, author of the Riley Reeves mystery series

On the importance of Richard Wright’s “Native Son”.

Interview with crime fiction editor Jim Thomsen.

Austin Camacho interviews Ian K. Smith, author of “The Unspoken” (Thomas & Mercer; 2020).

Alison Stine, author of “Road Out of Winter” (MIRA Books!; 2020) interviewed on the Unlikeable Female Characters podcast.

Jenny Bhatt on the art of literary criticism.

Six Ridiculous Questions: Lee Matthew Goldberg at Vol. 1 Brooklyn.

Pat Kinsella on the problem with exporting America’s writing programs at the Chronicle of Higher Education.

The First Two Pages: “All Shook Down” by Libby Cudmore at Art Taylor’s blog.

Interview with Jeremy Robert Johnson, author of “The Loop” (Saga Press; 2020) at LitReactor.

At The Times Literary Supplement, “Taken at the flood How Agatha Christie moved with her times” by Laura Thompson.

Charles Pappas of the death of Bad Girls in movies at Retreat From Oblivion.

The Los Angeles Review of Books has put together a small anthology, “The Banned Book Reader”. It’s available for a donation as small as $1.

Stories and Poetry

New short fiction by Bobby Mathews at All Due Respect.

New flash fiction from Mark McConville at Bristol Noir.

New short story by Joe Kilgore at Close to the Bone.

New short fiction by Lucy Zhang.

New short fiction by Gabriel Hart at Bristol Noir.

“The Gravitational Constant”, a short story by Bill Gillard.

“Crucial”, a poem by Susan Tepper.

“The Man from Goldman Sachs” by Preston Lang, flash fiction at Pulp Modern.

Short fiction from Paul D. Brazill, “Everyday People”.

“A Bachelor’s Guide To Everything”, a poem by John Patrick Robbins at Punk Noir Magazine.

“A Rotten Plan” by Morgan Boyd, short fiction at Punk Noir Magazine.

The Quietus looks back at Radiohead’s “Kid A” which turned 20.

Short fiction by Phebe Jewell at Fictive Dream.

“Men In the Moon”, short fiction by Mary B. Sellers.

“His Last Vignette”, a poem by Mark Tulin at The Rye Whiskey Review

“Hex Boyfriend” by Andrea Smith, a short story at Close To The Bone.

“Shot Three Times” by Terry Dawley, poetry at The Fifty-Two.

Peter Derk on the joys and sorrows of loving obscure books.

“An Algorithm for Murder” by Michael A. Raithel, short fiction at Shotgun Honey.


Review of Lisa Unger’s “Confessions on the 7:45” (Harlequin; 2020) at BOLO Books.

Review of Maryse Meijer’s “The Seventh Mansion” (FSG; 2020).

Review of “Slow Bear” by Anthony Neil Smith (Fahrenheit Press; 2020) at Econoclash Review.

Review of “The Island” by Ben McPherson (Harper Collins; 2020) at BOLO Books.”

Review of “Culture in the Third Reich” by Moritz Föllmer, translated by Jeremy Noakes and Lesley Sharpe (Oxford; 2020).

Review of “Bank Blogger” by Jeffrey Frye (Murder Slim Press; 2020) at Col’s Criminal Library.

Review of “The Familiar Dark” by Amy Engel (Dutton; 2020) at Black Guys Do Read.

Review of “The Night Drop” by Ian D. Wright (2020) at Col’s Criminal Library.

Podcasts and Other Media

Hari Kunzru interviewed on The New York Times Book Review podcast.

Film Noir posters from aroud the world.

“Times Square”: A Forgotten Punk And New Wave Movie Soundtrack Turns 40.

Album review of Brent Cobb’s “Keep ‘Em On They Toes”.

Photographs by Lawrence & Lothar Stelter at Fragments of Noir.

More illustrations focusing on “Dirty Femmes” at Fragments of Noir

Review of “Mad at the World: A Life of John Steinbeck” by William Souder (Norton; 2020)

Review of Netflix’s “American Murder”, their latest true crime documentary.

Why “Miller’s Crossing” Is the Best Coen Brothers Movie

The Big Lonely City photography series continues at Fragments of Noir.

K A Laity reviews “The Long Goodbye” (1973) at Punk Noir Magazine.

Interview with David Gaughran about author promotion at The Creative Penn Podcast.

Andrew Nette continues his series Parker on the Screen with “Slayground” (1983).

Incident Report

Incident Report No. 92

Here are several sites that I go to on a regular basis to get a run down of crime fiction news and reviews. You should too.

Kevin’s Corner, which luck has it is run by a Kevin, specifically KevinTipple is an indispensable website if you follow crime fiction. Kevin covers all sorts of crime fiction on his website and it should be a daily stop for you.

Next up is dru’s book musings by Dru Ann Love. It focuses more on the cozy side of the tracks but police procedurals and psychological thrillers make the presence known.

J. Kingston Pierce’s The Rap Sheet is also an important website to visit regularly. Pierce also runs Killer Covers, which focuses on, you guessed it, book covers.

Another important crime news and reviews site is Kristopher Zgorski’s BOLO Books which was received the Raven Award from the Mystery Writers of America in 2018.

Yeah, I know these are all sites based in the US, so I’ve got some work to do next time I post something like this again.

If you haven’t watched “The Social Dilemma” on Netflix, please do so. A lot of what is covered is stuff we already know, specifically we all live in a social media bubble, but there are some scary tidbits. Though the documentary peters out towards the end as it tries to wrap everything in a nice red bow, it’s still worth the 94 minutes of your life. I also wasn’t a fan with after-school special style of the docudrama that was interspersed throughout the more important interviews, but I get it – maybe that’s an effective way to get the message out to more people.

The big takeaway that we all tend to forget as we scroll through our social media addictions is that these companies are selling our attention to advertisers as well as manipulating what we see.

We are the product.

Incident Report

Incident Report No. 91

Yonder’s Noir at the Bar was a highlight for me last week. Each writer brought it from Katy Munger’s smokey performance to S.A. Cosby reading from a funeral home. It was fantastic to kick off with Christa Faust and Russell Johnson, and I was unsure if the readings could continue as such a high level. I got to see Johnny Shaw read and later that same night, I picked up his latest “The Southland”, which I am enjoying greatly. But the night, the night belonged to Eryk Pruitt and his performance piece. I’ve paused the Noir at the Bar video a few seconds before Eryk’s reading.

If you have a spare dime or two, why don’t you buy a t-shirt or maybe Venmo them a tip.

On Tuesday first thing or thereabouts, I’ll be out buying the new Rachel Howzell Hall book, “And Now She’s Gone”.

I’ve been a fan of hers since I read the first in her Eloise Norton series and then last year’s “They All Fall Down” which is so good. Great writing and story telling.

Hall is one of the best crime writers today and a new book of hers should bring excitement to all readers. She’s that good.

I’m putting this here for me as much as you. Last week Frank Zafiro had chance to interview Walter Mosley. I haven’t been able to get around to listen to it yet. Who knows, today might be the day.

Some highlights of last week’s published links.

Donald Ray Pollock, author of “The Devil All the Time” (2011), is interviewed on Terri Gross’s “Fresh Air”.

Jim Thomsen reviews “A Man’s Game,” by Newton Thornburg (1996) as part of The Rap Sheet’s “The Book You Have to Read” series.

Over at Punk Noir Magazine, K.A. Laity reviews the supernatural noir film, “Cast a Deadly Spell” (1991) staring Fred Ward.

Over at LA Review of Books, Kathleen B. Jones reviews two new film noir books which focus on women: “Hollywood Producer Joan Harrison, the Forgotten Woman Behind Hitchcock” by Christina Lee (Chicago Review Press; 2020) and “The Autobiography of Veronica Lake” by Veronica Lake (Dean Street Press; 2020)

Dietrich Kalteis interviews Rob Pierce, author of the soon-to-be-released “Blood by Choice” (All Due Respect Books; 2020).

The incomparable Joe R. Lansdale is interviewed by Scott Montgomery over at MysteryPeople.

“The Ancestor” by Lee Matthew Goldberg is out at All Due Respect Books. As Matt Phillips said, “I expected a crime novel, but I got a spell-binding epic, an epistolary revelation, a tale as rich as a paying gold mine.”

“The Otsego House”, a short story, by DAH at Close to the Bone.

“Carrion Heart”, a short story, by Nicholas Kish at Shotgun Honey.

Over at CrimeReads, “The Evolution of Joe Lansdale’s Hap and Leonard” by Scott Montgomery.

Incident Report

Incident Report No. 90

Photograph by Roo Pitt – Concrete (CC-BY)

Welcome to the latest edition of Unlawful Acts’s Incident Report.


“Why Indigenous Crime Fiction Matters” by David Heska Wanbli Widen (Ecco Press; 2020) (CrimeReads)

Penguin Random House releases its Workforce Report on Diversity, and it’s not pretty (Publishers Weekly)

Management problems at New York City’s Strand Bookstore (The Baffler)

Paul D. Marks, author of “The Blues Don’t Care” (Down & Out Books; 2020), on the issues with marketing a book in the time of COVID-19 (Criminal Minds)

Dana King, author of the Penns River series, on James Ellroy’s “The Cold Six Thousand” (One Bite at a Time)

Nate Hoffelder plays the world’s tiniest violin for publishers saddened by a 25% increase in eBook revenues (The Digital Reader)

Jay Wilburn on what to do on how to perform a reading (LitReactor)

Some great bloggers are listed here (The Rap Sheet)

“When Speculative Fiction Becomes Reality” by Rob Hart, author of “The Warehouse” (Ballantine Books; 2019) (CrimeReads)

Nitya Rayapait on how health insurance became a literary device (Electric Literature)

“12 Neo-Noir Authors Too Good Not to Be Crazy Famous” by Greg Levin, author of “The Exit Man”, “Sick to Death”, and “In Wolves’ Clothing”. (Criminal Element)

“Sympathy for the Devil: 5 Classic Noir Villains with a Touch of Humanity” by Nick Kolakowski, author of the upcoming “Rattlesnake Rodeo” (Down & Out Books; 2020) (CrimeReads)

“Seven Essential Native American Crime Novels” by David Heska Wanbli Weiden, author of “Winter Counts” (Ecco; 2020) (Strand Magazine)

On the future of political thrillers featuring James McCrone’s self-published “Emergency Powers” (2020) (The Dorset Book Detective)

Interview with Nancy Jooyoun Kim, author of “The Last Story of Mina Lee” (Park Row; 2020) (CrimeReads)

“Hate the Sin, Not the Book” by Alan Jacobs (The Atlantic)

“The Nature of Gary Snyder” by Robert Haas (The Paris Review)

If you like your books from big publishers, then this list of upcoming releases is for you (CrimeReads)

“Reviewing Chuck Palahniuk’s Reviewers” by Peter Derk (LitReactor)

“Call for Fiction: Autumn 2020” (3:AM Magazine)

Interview with Tess Gerritsen (Crimespree Magazine)

The First Two Pages: “For Love or Money” by Marcia Adair (Art Taylor)

“Tuesday New Release Day: Starring Nunez, Rankine, Bhatt, and More” (The Millions)

Interview with Greg Mania, author of “Born to be Public” (Clash Books; 2020) (Everything Through Humor: Greg Mania Interviewed – BOMB Magazine)

“It’s Hard to Be Scared of the Man with the Knife, Anymore” by Paul Michael Anderson, author of “Standalone” (Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing; 2020) (LitReactor)

“The Unexpected Politics of Book Cover Design” by Jenny Bhatt, author of “Each of Us Killers” (7.13 Books; 2020) (Literary Hub)

Matthew Salesses on grief. Salesses is the author of “Disappear Doppelgänger Disappear” (Little A Publishing; 2020) (Literary Hub)

Interview with Megan Cummins, author of “If the Body Allows It” (University of Nebraska Press; 2020) (Full Stop)

“10 Novels About Working Lives in India” by Jenny Bhatt, author of “Each of Us Killers” (7.13 Books; 2020) (Electric Literature)

Interview with V.M. Burns, author of “Paw and Order (Kensington; 2020) (Crimespree Magazine)

Nathan Ma on the perpetual death-throes of zines . . . especially during the pandemic (The Baffler)

And the chatter begins for E.A. Barres’s “They’re Gone” (Crooked Lane Books; 2020) (Do Some Damage)

“A History of Punctuation” by Florence Hazrat (Aeon)

James Scott Bell has some ideas on how to write through the sluggishness of COVID-19 (

New Releases ~ Week of September 6, 2020 (dru’s book musings)

Joe Hartlaub on a writing lesson he learned from reading Stephen King’s “Cujo” (Kill Zone)

Besides being a shitty writer, Dan Brown is a shitty person. (The New York Times)

“Five Novels On Motherhood and Maternal Fear” by Kate Riorden, author of “The Heatwave” (Grand Central Publishing; 2020) (Strand Magazine)

Book Reviews

“The Ancestor” by Lee Matthew Goldberg (All Due Respect Books; 2020) (Bibliotica)

Rhodri Jeffreys-Jones writes about Leon Turro, one of America’s greatest detectives. Jeffrey-Jones is the author of the upcoming “The Nazi Spy Ring in America: Hitler’s Agents, the FBI, and the Case That Stirred the Nation” (Georgetown University Press; 2020) (Strand Magazine)

“More Better Deals” by Joe R. Lansdale (Mulholland Books; 2020) (Col’s Criminal Library)

“Rattlesnake Rodeo” by Nick Kolakowski (Down & Out Books; 2020) (Econoclash Review)

David Joy’s “When These Mountains Burn” (G.P. Putnam’s Sons; 2020) (Vol. 1 Brooklyn)

“Mystery Weekly Magazine” April 2020 (Kevin’s Corner)

“The Living Dead” by George A. Romero and Daniel Kraus (Tor Books; 2020) (neverimitate)

“A Most Wicked Conspiracy of the Gilded Age” by Paul Starobin (PublicAffairs; 2020) (Los Angeles Review of Books)

“The Seven Doors” by Agnes Ravatn (Orenda Books; 2020) (bertyboy123)

“The Killings at Kingfisher Hill” by Sophie Hannah (William Morrow; 2020) (BOLO Books)

The Patient by Jasper DeWitt (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 2020) (MBTB’s Mystery Book Blog)

“Three Bodies” by NR Brodie (Pan Macmillan; 2020) (Crime Fiction Lover)

“True Story” by Kate Reed Petty (Viking Books; 2020) (Entropy)

“Hanging Falls” by Margaret Mizushima (Crooked Lane Books; 2020) (Lesa’s Book Critiques)

“The Pulp Jungle” by Frank Gruber’s memoir, “The Pulp Jungle” (1967) (The Dark Time)

“Fifty-Fifty” by Steve Cavanagh (Flatiron; 2020) (The Tattooed Book Geek)

“Rabbit Foot Bill” by Hellen Humphreys (HarperCollins; 2020) (Chicago Review of Books)

“The Bass Rock” by Evie Wyld (Pantheon Books; 2020) (Chicago Review of Books)

“Nostromo” by Joseph Conrad (1904) (FictionFan’s Book Reviews)

“Fifty Fifty” by Steve Cavanagh (Flatiron; 2020) (

“Past Tense” by Catherine Aird (Minotaur Books; 2011) (Kevin’s Corner)

“Where the Bullets Fly” by Terrence McCauley (Pinnacle Books; 2018) (Pulp Fiction Reviews)

“Kent State: Four Dead in Ohio” by Derf Backderf (Abrams Comicarts; 2020) (Lesa’s Book Critiques)

“Blood of Empire” by Brian McClellan (Orbit; 2019) (Kevin’s Corner)

“Russian Roulette: The Life and Times of Graham Greene” by Richard Greene (Little, Brown; 2020) (The Spectator)

“Winter Counts” by David Heska Wanbli Weiden (Ecco; 2020) (Air Mail)


“Even As We Breathe” by Annett Saunooke Clapsaddle (University Press of Kentucky; 2020) (Literary Hub)

“One Step Behind” by Lauren North (Berkley; 2020) (CrimeReads)

“Dear Ann” by Bobbie Ann Mason (Harper; 2020) (Literary Hub)

“Exorcisms: A Brief History of Banishing Demons” edited by Joseph P. Laycock (Penguin; 2020) (CrimeReads)

“The Seven Doors” by Agnes Ravatn (Orenda Books; 2020) (Nordic Noir)

Stories and Poetry

“Saturday Night Off” by Linda Boroff (Close To The Bone)

“The Opaque Detachment” by Samuel Prince (Shotgun Honey)

“Cockatoo’s Flight” by Michelle Xu (Cheap Pop)

“Goldmine” by Mark McConville (Bristol Noir)

“The Smell of Death” by Carola Schmidt (Close To The Bone)

“After Sex, We Find a Praying Mantis in Our Bed” by Cortney Phillips Meriwether (Cheap Pop)


“Virginia Creeper” by Sebnem Sanders (Spelk)

“Phoebe: by J. M. Moultrie (Close To The Bone)

“£10 per day” by Ian Lewis Copestick (Punk Noir Magazine)

“Donors” by Craig Francis Coates (All Due Respect)


3 Meanings of ‘Out of Pocket’ (Grammar Girl)

Creative Writing Tips: Plotting by Alec Cizak, author of “Lake County Incidents” (ABC Group Documentation; 2019) (YouTube)

Episode 670 — Matthew Salesses (Otherppl with Brad Listi)

Episode One Hundred and Seven – An Incident with Stephen King – with John Connolly (Two Crime Writers And A Microphone)

Episode 2.46 – Shut Up and Eat Your Shredded Wheat with Jonathan Janz (Ink Heist)

Douglas Stuart Reads “The Englishman” (The Writer’s Voice: New Fiction from The New Yorker and WNYC)

Episode 25: Blogger Kristopher Zgorski of BOLO Books (Central Booking)

WNDB Communications manager and writer Alaina Lavoie returns to the MiP podcast to discuss ableism in the workplace, how remote working has been possible but not available in publishing, and what progress she’s observed in the industry. (Minorities in Publishing)

15.36: Collaboration, with Shannon and Dean Hale (Writing Excuses)

Creativity, Business, And Ambition With Emily Kimelman (The Creative Penn)

Episode #519: 15 Steps to Self-Publish Your Book (Helping Writers Become Authors)

Cold Cases, Hollywood and Homicide with Kellye Garrett (It’s a Mystery Podcast)

Photography, Art, Music, Film

Illustrations by Miles Hyman (Fragments of Noir)

Big Lonely City #123 (Fragments of Noir)

“Me and Sister Bobbie: True Tales of the Family Band” by Willie Nelson and Bobbie Nelson (Random House; 2020) (No Depression)

Photographs by Chaloner Woods (Fragments of Noir)

A Ceremonial Chord Change for John Cage’s 639-year-long Concert (Hyperallergic)

“Noir Inside and Out: Two Retrospectives” by Kurt Brokaw (Retreats from Oblivion: The Journal of NoirCon)

David Cranmer reviews “The Spikes Gang” (1974) (Western Fictioneers)

“Class Action Park”, a documentary (Do Some Damage)

Review of “Tenet” directed by Christopher Nolan (Dead End Follies)

Works by Renato Fratini (The Stiletto Gumshoe)

Big Lonely City #122 (Fragments of Noir)

Cahalen Morrison’s “Wealth of Sorrow” (Saving Country Music)

Dirty Femmes (Fragments of Noir)

“A Very American Zombie Virus in ‘Blood Quantum'” by Robert Sullivan (The New York Review of Books)

Featured Books

“Find Me When I’m Lost” by Cheryl A. Head (Bywater Books; 2020) (Bywater Books)

“Winter Counts” by David Heska Wanbli Weiden (Ecco Press; 2020) (Ecco Press)

“Ace Boon Coon” by Danny Gardner (Bronzeville Books; 2020) (Bronzeville Books)

“And Now She’s Gone” by Rachel Howzell Hall (Forge Books; 2020) (Forge Books)

“Blacktop Wasteland” by S. A. Cosby (Flatiron Books; 2020) (Flatiron Books)

“Love and Other Criminal Behavior” by Nikki Dolson (Bronzeville Books; 2020) (Bronzeville Books)

Incident Report

Incident Report No. 89

“ggrrrrrrr”, photograph by francois karm, CC-BY

Fuck Otto. I hate giving him any attention, but there he is. There he is. Gabino Iglesias said it best:

 He [Otto Penzler] has been in publishing for decades, which means his inability to see the need for diversity and his denial of the obvious biases that have shaped the publishing world for decades are things that stem from one of two things: pure stupidity or racism. I have time for neither.

The Exquisite Corpse wrapped up its second volume. The editors are looking for participants for the third.

Close to the Bone has released its first online magazine and it’s a good one featuring Holly Rae Garcia, Oliver Brennan, Paul Heatley, and the beginning of a serialized novel by Paul D. Brazill called “The Seatown Blues”. If you’ve never read Brazill before, here’s your chance to read wonderful lines like “Bryn immediately recognised Detective Inspector Slipper, a copper so bent you could use him as a pipe cleaner.”


Jesus H. Christ on a pogo stick, a celebrity book curator critiques celebrity bookshelves (Town & Country)

Michael J. Seidlinger interviewed by Tobias Carroll (Vol. 1 Brooklyn)

“A Day in the Life ~ Cassandra Raines” by Tracy Clark (dru’s book musings)

Interview with Art Taylor, author of “The Boy Detective & The Summer of 74 and Other Tales of Suspense” (Madam Mayo)

“Why P.I.s Are Cool” by D.P. Lyle (Kings River Life Magazine)

“AloneStarCon”, a funny piece by Michael Bracken (SleuthSayers)

“Do You Torture Your Metaphors? The Problem of Self-Conscious Writing” by Jessi Rita Hoffman (Jane Friedman)

Rob Pierce, author of “Tommy Shakes” (All Due Respect Books) interviewed (Col’s Criminal Library)

Interview with Bernard Schaffer (Writers Who Kill)

Interview with Laird Barron (Book & Film Globe)

K.A. Laity on some classic noir by Elisabeth Sanxay Holding (Punk Noir)

Author Spotlight: Scott Adlerberg (Eight Million Books to Read)

“Maigret’s Room: The Home Life of Inspector Maigret” by John Lancaster (London Review of Books)

More about Otto (One Bite at a Time)

Short Stories

“Transcendent Ramblin’ Railroad Blues” by Michael Martin Garrett (Shotgun Honey)

“8 Thrilling Horror Stories You Can Read Online Right Now” (Chicago Review of Books)

Book Reviews

“Lockdown” edited by Nick Kolakowski and Steve Weddle (Polis Books) (BOLO Books)

“Rock -N- Noirror: Horror and Noir from the Seedy Side of Rock -N- Roll” edited by Wolfgang Potterhouse and Todd Morr (10th Rule Books) (Eight Million Books)

“Lost Tomorrows” by Matt Coyle (Oceanview Publishing) (Sons of Spade)

“Cold Water” by Tom Pitts (Down & Out Books) (Col’s Criminal Library)

“Tropical Heat” by John Lutz (Open Road Media) (Kevin’s Corner)

“The Life and Times of Malcolm McLaren” by Paul Gorman (Little Brown) (Hyperallergic)

“Bonekeeper” by Luca Veste (The Tattooed Book Geek)

Flash Bang Mysteries: Spring 2020 Issue 19 (Kevin’s Corner)

“I Know Where You Sleep” by Alan Orloff (Down & Out Books) (Men Reading Books)

“Mystery Weekly Magazine” February 2020 (Kevin’s Corner)

“Gender Justice” by Nicky Charlish (Punk Noir)

“Clean Hands” by Patrick Hoffman (Col’s Criminal Library)

“The Lantern Man” by Jon Bassoff (Down & Out Books) (Black Guys Do Read)

“A Small Sacrifice” by Dana King (Messy Business)

“The Blues Don’t Care” by Paul D. Marks (Down & Out Books) (Lesa’s Book Critiques)

“Cutter’s Fall” by Julie Morrigan (Col’s Criminal Library)

“Evergreen” by Howard Owen (Kevin’s Corner)

“Worse Angels” by Laird Barron (MysteryPeople)

“Into Bones Like Oil” by Kaaron Warren (Meerkat Press) (Just A Guy Who Likes to Read)

True Crime

“Murder in Old Barns” by Linsday Jones (The Walrus)

“What Do You Do With a Stolen van Gogh? This Thief Knows” (The New York Times)


Interview with Ivy Pochado (The Maris Review)

ECR Minipod 2.5 “Wally Steakhouse” by J.D. Graves (EconoClash Review)

Other Media

Big Lonely City #102 (Fragments of Noir)

New live album by Margo Price (Bandcamp)

Raymond Carver reading (YouTube)

Interview with Graeme Manson, creator of “Orphan Black” and the new “Snowpiercer” (LA Review of Books)

Big Lonely City #103 (Fragments of Noir)

How The Bryan/Brian Schism Worked For Roxy Music (Quietus)

“Grant the Mini-Series – A Popular Reassessment” (Scott D. Parker)

“How the Banjo Put Down Roots in North Carolina” by Kara Kundert (No Depression)

Featured Books

“Lake County Incidents” by Alec Cizak (ABC Group Documentation)

“Rigged” by D.P. Lyle (Oceanview Publishing)

“The Lantern Man” by Jon Bassoff (Down & Out Books)

“River Bottom Blues” by Ricky Bush (Fahrenheit Press)

“Mister Trot from Tin Street” by Pablo D’Stair (All Due Respect Books)

 “The Mark” by Simon Maltman (Close to the Bone, UKUS)

Thanks for stopping by to read Incident Report No. 89. If you’d like to read more posts like this, please click here.

Incident Report

Incident Report No. 88

“Late Night Decisions”, photograph by J Stimp, CC BY

How did last week go for you? The objectivity of time is losing its battle against the subjective interpretation of time during the quarantine, last week was both fast and slow for me. No prose recap this week, only links collected throughout the week. There are articles, book reviews, assorted other media links, and a few featured books. My one complaint — oh, I have many —, but my one complaint I’ll voice here was my inability to carve out some space to read more short stories. Maybe this week. Maybe not.


“Roller Derby and Mystery” by A.J. Devlin (Do Some Damage)

“Thrillers Bring The Light” by James Scott Bell (Kill Zone)

“25 Classic But Lesser-Known Crime Novels to Read in Lockdown, From King Dido to the Sam Dean Series” by Sarah Hughes (inews)

Next stop for S.A. Cosby, the cover of Rolling Stone (Booklist)

“Legendary Paris bookshop reveals reading habits of illustrious clientele” by Alison Flood (The Guardian)

Submissions are open and what the editors are looking for (Longreads)

“‘This Is A Crazy Time, And It’s Okay If You’re Scared’ Says Man Burying Gagged Prisoner Alive” (The Onion)

“How I Hustled Hundreds of Dollars of Free Tacos for the Literary World” by MM Carrigan (Lit Hub)

More on Greil Marcus’s obsession with “The Great Gatsby” (The Baffler)

The First Two Pages: “Limited Liability” by Sarah Weinman (Art Taylor, Writer)

Otto Penzler’s out (The Crime Lady)

The beginnings of volume two is out now (The Exquisite Corpse)

“Murder in My High School” by K.A. Laity (Punk Noir)

Chapters by Ron Earl Phillips, Todd Morr, and Joseph S. Walker (The Exquisite Corpse)

“Robert Stone’s Bad Trips” by Scott Bradfield (The New Republic)

Submissions call for PM Press (Damppebbles)

Colman Keane interview Nigel Bird, author of “Let it Snow” (Col’s Criminal Library)

“Conflict Without Violence: How to Add More Depth To Your Fiction” by Autumn Christian (LitReactor)

“Tales From the Waffle House and other 24/7 Adventures” by Eve Fisher (SleuthSayers)

“A Day in the Life of a Detective” by Garry Rogers (Kill Zone)

I betcha that CrimeReads will continue to publish the old racist (Facebook)

Short Stories

“Against the Grain” by Rob McClure Smith (Tough)

Book Reviews

“Tommy Shakes” by Rob Pierce (All Due Respect Books) (Col’s Criminal Library)

“Rigged” by D.P. Lyle (Oceanview) (Lesa’s Book Critiques)

“The Only Good Indians” by Stephen Graham Jones (Saga Press) (Malcolm Avenue Reviews)

“Done Deal” by Tony Berry (Lume) (Kevin’s Corner)

“Throwing Off Sparks” by Michael Pool (PI Tales) (Kevin’s Corner)

“Cold Water” by Tom Pitts (Down & Out Books) (Criminal Element)

“The Girl in the Video” by Michael David Wilson (Perpetual Motion Machine) (Do Some Damage)

“We Don’t Talk About Her” by Andersen Prunty (Self-Published) (Just A Guy Who Likes To Read)

“A.P.B.” by David Pedneau (Col’s Criminal Library)

Two opposing views of “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” by Suzanne Collins (Vox and NPR)

“Sorry for Your Trouble” by Richard Ford (Fiction Writers Review)

“Everything has Teeth” by Jeff Strand (Black Guys Do Read)

“Take Me Apart” By Sara Sligar (MCD) (LA Review of Books)

“Honky Tonk Samurai” by Joe Lansdale (Just A Guy Who Likes To Read)

“Dead Girl Blues” by Lawrence Block (Do Some Damage)

“A Rage at Sea / A Party Every Night” by Lorenz Heller (Bookgasm)


Podcast: “SILO” by Cameron Mount (EconoClash Review)

Podcast: Robin Burcell, ex-cop and writer, interviewed by Frank Zafiro (Wrong Place, Write Crime)

Podcast: Kimberly McCreight, Tom Pitts, Mary Keliikoa (Writer Types)

Other Media

Photographs: Big Lonely City #101 (Fragments of Noir)

Music: Drug dealers put up George Jones reel-to-reel tapes as bail decades ago (Saving Country Music)

TV Review: “The Cry” (BOLO Books)

Illustrations: Thomas Ott (Fragments of Noir)

Music: “Shelved: The Misfits’ 12 Hits From Hell” by Tom Maxwell (Longreads)

Photographs: Mosiac Noir #25 (Fragments of Noir)

Music: “Was 1973 the Greatest Year for Roots Music?” by Amos Perrine (No Depression)

Featured Books

“Raise the Blade” by Tess Makovesky (Amazon)

“Cold Water” by Tom Pitts (Down & Out Books)

“Benediction for a Thief” by LA Sykes (Close to the Bone)

“Slow Bear” by Anthony Neil Smith (Fahrenheit Press)

“A Rage at Sea / A Party Every Night” by Lorenz Heller (Stark House Press)

“Slow Down” by Lee Matthew Goldberg (All Due Respect Books)

Thanks for stopping by to read Incident Report No. 88. If you’d like to read more posts like this, please click here.

Incident Report

Incident Report No. 87

Photograph by Dacian Dorca (CC BY)

The Incident Report No. 87 features highlights from the Small Crimes posts I run almost every day. If you don’t have the time to read the daily missives then this might just be for you.

Several months ago, Chris Rhatigan, publisher of All Due Respect Books, asked if I’d like to help out his plan on resurrecting the All Due Respect zine. The idea was simple: we would publish hard-as-nails crime fiction with a touch of drinking money sent to the writers. I was already used to reading a slush pile. Years ago I use to read the slush pile for a literary magazine in Boston but reading so many stories again was definitely eye-opening with what makes or breaks a short story.

Luckily for y’all, over at Do Some Damage, Rhatigan lays down some guidelines that could be followed when writing short stories.

You don’t need a twist to construct a good short story. In fact, one of the most common mistakes I see is writers constructing stories that are built around a twist. In other words, the first three-quarters of the story seems to express, “wait for it, wait for it, the twist is coming!” Every part of a story should be engaging—not just the end. A related problem is that twists are so common that the law of diminishing returns kicks in. I would imagine most readers have seen plenty of twist endings. 

Simple plots that are handled with expert care and focus on a natural progression of events tend to make stronger stories.

Throughout Rhatigan’s “One Approach To Writing Short Stories”, he also recommends some great examples by Tom Pitts, Paul D. Brazill, and Stephen D. Rogers.

Over at LitReactor, Max Booth III wrote about trigger warnings in horror fiction and, not surprisingly, there’s a lot of carryover to the crime fiction genre.

Imagine the following scenario: You are lounging on the couch wanting nothing more than to chill out with a cool-ass horror book. You are enjoying everything going on in the story until—whoa wait what the absolute fuck suddenly—you’ve come across a random rape scene, and now instead of having a good time you are reliving a past traumatic experience from your own life. Your entire goddamn day is ruined. Replace “rape” with “suicide” and it’s the same outcome. All you can think about now is a lost loved one who took their own life or perhaps the long struggle you faced overcoming personal suicidal ideations. Or, to continue with one more example, imagine reading a book where a young child dies in a gruesome manner soon after losing your own child. No way are you in any mental state to possibly continue reading. Shit like that is very likely to wreck you.

I feel I’m giving this essay short shrift, but it’s quality especially given Booth’s wearing of multiple hats in the horror genre: writer, editor, publisher, reviewer, and fan.

The fifth book of Dana King’s Penns River series, “Pushing Water” (Down & Out Books), recently came out, and King has been busy. There’s his Do Some Damage article about writing police procedurals which is quite informative.

It bothers me that so many people think what they “learn” in cop and courtroom novels and shows are how things really are. It creates unhealthy ideas of how law enforcement works, or doesn’t. To feel one has to choose between realism and entertainment is a door to lazy writing. There’s no reason the story can’t be both.

Then King’s off to be interviewed by Dietrich Kalteis at Off the Cuff.

I read cop memoirs to get an idea of how they think. I still leaf through Connie Fletcher’s books of cops’ stories. Adam Plantinga’s books 400 Things Cops Know and Police Craft are wonderful resources. Ask some cops how cases get solved and they’ll tell you it’s usually because someone talks.

But wait there’s more!

King interviewed Tom Pitts on the eve of his upcoming release Cold Water (Down & Out Books). Pitts talked about his new book.

I think the Everyman facing insurmountable odds is a powerful theme, and very relatable. I wanted to write something akin to Joe Lansdale’s Hot in December or Cold in July, but my own version. And in Northern California. And I wanted it to play out in a few locations, not just San Francisco. I think the suburban sprawl is under-represented in fiction. Gentrification has made the big cities so banal. Where’s the hunger, where’s the struggle, where’s the passion? In the burbs, baby.

Other Articles

Adam Scovell on reading crime fiction during the pandemic (3:AM Magazine)

Alex George on letting it all burn, “Why Do Some Writers Burn Their Work” (Lit Hub)

“The Comprehensive Guide to Finding, Hiring, and Working with an Editor” by Chantel Hamilton (Jane Friedman)

“Author Spotlight: Andrew Davie” by Scott Cumming (Eight Million Books to Read)

Rachel Howzell Hall and Alex Segura discussed crime fiction (Writer’s Digest)

“The Origins of Scandinavian Noir” by Wendy Lesser (The Paris Review)

Book Reviews

“This Letter to Norman Court” by Pabo D’Stair (All Due Respect Books) (Col’s Criminal Library)

“Love is a Grift” by Graham Wynd (Fox Spirit Books) (Sonia Kilvington)

“We Need To Do Something” by Max Booth III (Perpetual Motion Machine) (Dead End Follies)

“Dead Man’s Mistress” by David Housewright (Minotaur) (Kevin’s Corner)

“Blacktop Wasteland” by S.A. Cosby (Flatiron) (So Much To Talk About)

“Sordid: Five Crime Stories” by Harry Hunsicker (Kevin’s Corner)

“Broken Dreams” by Nick Quantrill (Fahrenheit Press) (Ian Ayris)

“The Waiting Rooms” by Eve Smith (Orenda Books) (Crime Fiction Lover)

“Rock and a Hard Place Issue #2” (Eight Million Books to Read)

Featured Books

“Shotgun Honey Presents Volume 4: Recoil” edited by Ron Earl Phillips (Shotgun Honey)

“Throwing Off Sparks” by Michael Pool (PI Tales)

“The Good Book: Fairy Tales for Hard Men” by Tom Leins (All Due Respect Books)

“We Need To Do Something” by Max Booth III (Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing)

“Nightmare Asylum and other Deadly Delights” by Sonia Kilvington (Close to the Bone)

“The Brooklyn Trilogy” by Robert J. Randisi (Down & Out Books)

Thanks for stopping by to read Incident Report No. 87. If you’d like to read more posts like this, please click here.

Incident Report

Incident Report No. 86

Photograph by J. Stimp, CC BY

The Incident Report No. 86 features highlights from the Small Crimes posts I run almost every day. If you don’t have the time to read the daily missives then this might just be for you.

The week began well for Shawn Cosby. There was an interview in Publishers Weekly and he made the cover of Booklist, a book review journal published by the American Library Association. Everything was coming up Cosby. But as Eryk Pruitt pointed out, “Book Twitter is why we can’t have nice things.”

The short of it is that a Twitter Mob formed and resulted in Booklist pulling their cover. Please read Cosby’s response.

Again, I am a 46-year-old black man who lives in the former capitol of the Confederacy. I understand that images matter and can be used to reinforce negative ideas. But I feel, no I pray that we, each of us, will do our best to slough off the shackles of our preconceived notions. That we will take time to ask ourselves why is it that when we see the words “crime fiction’ and the image of a black man we didn’t assume he was the hero? 

Adrian Bardon, author of “A Brief History of the Philosphy of Time”, was interviewed for Vox to discuss how the quarantine is affecting our perception of time.

You mentioned this kind of paradoxical thing: We feel that time is dragging, but it’s also flying by. That comes out of the same situation. We’re out of our routine. We’re out of our structure. We’re out of doing tasks that we would normally feel productive and good about. It’s more like we’re treading water or trying to deal with situations we don’t want to deal with. And then in our retrospective judgment of the passage of time, it seems like things went by really quickly because we didn’t really accomplish anything.

Here are the first paragraphs of two short stories that deserve your attention: K.A. Laity’s “The Click of the Shutting” (Punk Noir) and Paul J. Garth’s “Paper Boats” (Tough).

She waited for the sound of it, the sound that meant safety, the sound that meant it was over for now. The time it was when his shouts might soften, sometimes even turn to tears and beg forgiveness, beg for comfort, remind her again how it was all her fault.

“The Click of the Shutting” by K.A. Laity (Punk Noir)

They had only been gone a few hours, just long enough to see a movie and pick up some food for the kid, but somehow that’d been long enough for Taylor Olsen to die, the boy still strapped to the metal folding chair Neil had tied him to before they left, his face blue, his little clenched mouth filled with vomit.

“Paper Boats” by Paul J. Garth (Tough)

Garry Rodgers, author of “From the Shadows”, wrote “What Really Goes On In The Morgue” (Kill Zone). He also peppered his story with anectodes from his law enforcement career.

One was “Mister Red Pepper Paste Man”. My friend Elvira Esikanian, a seasoned forensic pathologist of Bosnian descent who cut her teeth by exhuming mass graves, is a gem. She also has a wicked eye for detail.

I brought this old guy into the morgue after finding him dead in his apartment. Neighbors reported him screaming like someone was skinning a live cat. They rushed in and found him collapsed on the floor. No idea what killed him, but no sign of foul play.

Elvira opened his stomach and it was positively crawling. She knew what it was—botulism. Elvira told me to go back to the scene and look to see what he’d been eating. I found it. It was a jar of red pepper paste that was years past its expiry date, and the inside was a mass of organic activity.

Featured Books

“The Faking of the President: Nineteen Stories of White House Noir” edited by Peter Carlaftes (Three Rooms Press)

“Still Life with a Suitcase” by Scott Eubanks (Down & Out Books)

“Bleak Friday” by Various Artists (King Shot Press)

"KIng of the Crows" by Russell Day | Crows, Cliffs, Stephen King

 “King of the Crows” by Russell Day (Fahrenheit Press)

“Tales from The Longcroft Estate” by Darren Sant (Close to the Bone)

“Blacktop Wasteland” by S.A. Cosby (Flatiron)

Thanks for stopping by to read Incident Report No. 86. If you’d like to read more posts like this, please click here.