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Incident Report

Incident Report No. 99

Photo by Khoa Võ from Pexels

Features

Gabino Iglesias on the crime writing of Paco Ignacio Taibo II at CrimeReads.

“Why Is Publishing So White?” by Richard Jean So and Gus Wezerek at The New York Times.

Interview with Ron Rash, author of “In the Valley”, at Southern Review of Books.

Jay Wilburn live-streamed writing 50,000 words during NaNoWriMo.

KKUURRTT and Tex Gresham chat about Jocelyn DeBoer and Dawn Luebbe’s film “Greener Gass” at Babou 691.

Interview with Erika T. Wurth, author of “Buckskin Cocaine” (Astrophil Press, 2017) at Full Stop.

Tom Quiller, author of “Evergreen” (Dream Paladin Books, 2020), is interviewed by John Wisniewski at Punk Noir Magazine.

“The Long, Dark Legacy of William Hjortsberg’s Supernatural Neo-Noirs” by Andrew Nette at CrimeReads.

Interview with cartoonist Berkeley Breathed, creator of “Bloom County”, at The New York Times.

Interview with crime fiction master Janet Evanovich at CrimeReads.

Brian Morton on the politics of cultural appropriation at Dissent Magazine.

A fantastic essay in The New York Times by Ligaya Mishan, “The Long and Tortured History of Cancel Culture”.

Gabino Iglesias on agents, can’t live with them, can’t stuff them in a sack.

Everyone has a different journey to writing, and Chris Whitaker’s path was certainly odd.

Some new short story collections via Chicago Review of Books.

A short interview with Andrzej Sapkowski, the mind behind “The Witcher”, at Literary Hub.

CrimeReads presents us with a 1965 TV interview with John le Carré.

There’s some much juiciness in Joanna Scutts’s The Times Literary Supplement essay on self-help books and their relationship to literary criticism.

An appreciation of Alison Lurie at the Los Angeles Times.

Electric Lit’s Favorite Short Story Collections of 2020

Part II of LitReactor’s Best of 2020.

Taking a test spin of the Netflix of Books, BingeBooks.

Interview with Les Edgerton, author of “Hard Times” (Bronzeville Books, 2020).

Interview with science fiction master Kim Stanley Robinson at Los Angeles Review of Books.

The First Two Pages: “When the Wind Is Southerly” by Leone Ciporin at Art Taylor, Writer.

What the pandemic could mean to Arts in the United States.

Interview Judith Levine and Erica R. Meiners, authors of “The Feminist and the Sex Offender”, who talk about the history of the sex offender registry and explore how we can strive to reduce sexual harm without mass incarceration.

Longreads Best of 2020: Crime Reporting.

Quite a few stories and poems were released on Hypnopmp.

Reviews

Review of “The Wingspan of Severed Hands” by Joanna Koch (Weirdpunk Books, 2020) at Babou 691.

Kevin Tipple reviews “All Due Respect 2020” edited by Chris Rhatigan and yours truly.

Review of “The Aosawa Murders” by Riku Onda, translated by Alison Watts (Bitter Lemon Press, 2020)

Ian Ayris reviews “The Art of Serial Killing” by Mark Ramsden (Fahrenheit 13, 2015).

Review of “The Ancient Hours” by Michael Bible (Melville House, 2020) at Vol. 1 Brooklyn.

Review of “Saying Uncle” by Greg Gifune (2008) at Black Guys Do Read.

Scott Alderberg reviews of “Loveloid” by J.L. Morin (Harvard Square Editions, 2020) at Do Some Damage.

Fiction

New fiction from Daniel Torday at Guernica.

New flash fiction by Max Thrax at Bristol Noir.

New fiction by Phil Hurst at Punk Noir Magazine.

Bristol Noir presents us with new disturbing flash fiction from William R. Soldan.

New fiction from Bryan Costales at Close to the Bone.

Bristol Noir has new fiction from C.W. Blackwell.

New fiction by Rosemary McLean at Tough.

New flash fiction by Ted Flanagan at Shotgun Honey.

New fiction by Mark McConville at Bristol Noir.

New fiction from David Summers at Close to the Bone.

Fiction from Paul D. Brazill.

New fiction by Stephen J. Golds.

New flash fiction from Jeff Esterholm at Pulp Modern.

New fiction by Ian Ayris at Punk Noir Magazine.

Poetry

New poetry by Sharon Waller Knutson at The Five-Two.

Review of Alex Balgiu and Mónica de la Torre’s “Women in Concrete Poetry: 1959–1979” at BOMB Magazine.

New poetry by J.J. Campbell at The Rye Whiskey Review

New poetry by Ian Lewis Copestick at Punk Noir Magazine.

New poetry by Timothy Gager at Live Nude Poems.

New poetry by Brian Rihlmann at The Rye Whiskey Review.

New poetry from Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal at The Rye Whiskey Review,

Punk Noir Magazine has new poetry from John Patrick Robbins.

New poetry by Scott Ferry.

Louise Glück’s Nobel Lecture.

New poetry by Lisa Reynolds at The Rye Whiskey Review.

Podcasts

Frank Zafiro interviews TK Thorne, author of “House of Rose” (Camel Press, 2020) at Wrong Place, Write Crime.

Interview with Christopher Golden, author of Red Hands (2020) at Ink Heist.

Film and TV

Nick Kolakowski thinks that “The Good Thief” might be the best heist movie you’ve never seen.

Growing up watching “Bewitched” and loving Elizabeth Montgomery in “The Legend of Lizzie Borden”, I’m interested in watching the TV movie “Mrs. Sundance” (1974) that was reviewed by David Cranmer in Western Fictioneers.

That’s a hell-a lotta words about Goodfellas.

The Babou 691 interview with Chris Kelso and Laura Lee Bahr, screenwriters of the short film, “Strange Bird”.

Music

New music from Sturgill Simpson.

Ambient composer Harold Budd has died.

Best Southern Albums of 2020 from The Bitter Southerner.

The importance of the “O Brother, Where Art Thou” soundtrack 20 years later.

Art and Photography

Photography of Joan Colom at Fragments of Noir.

Fragments of Noir presents more photographs by Roger Schall.

The Dirty Femmes series continues at Fragments of Noir.

Books

Jason Parent’s “Eight Cylinders” (Crystal Lake Publishing, 2020) is out.

Scott Grand’s “The Girl with the Stone Heart” (All Due Respect, 2020) is out.

“Damaged Goods”, a short story collection, by J. Travis Grundon (2020).

“Killer, Come Back to Me” by Ray Bradbury (Hard Case Crime, 2020), a collection of crime stories.

All Due Respect is accepting short story submissions. We’d love to publish more stories from women, writers of color, and other marginalized voices. We pay $25 upon publication. Submission guidelines here.

Categories
Books

Know Me From Smoke by Matt Phillips

At the end of last year, I finished reading Matt Phillips’s back catalog with “Redbone” and “Bad Luck City”. The reason being was that I had read “Three Kinds of Fools” in 2016 and I knew Phillips had a book coming out in December 2017 called “Accidental Outlaws” which I needed to get to. This should tell you that I’m either a glutton for punishment or I enjoy Phillips’s books. It’s the latter. So I was excited when I found out Phillips had a book come out in August 2018, “Know Me From Smoke” (Fahrenheit 13).

It took me a bit to get into this book as it did the alternating chapters between the two main characters thing, but the book didn’t dwell in that repetition for long. The two main characters of “Know Me From Smoke” are Stella Radney, a lounge singer with a bullet in her hip from a robbery gone bad that killed her husband some 20 years ago, and Royal Atkins, an ex-con just released from prison back home to San Diego. 

But the further I read into Phillips’s “Know Me From Smoke” and saw how good it was, the more I realized that the two books I had recently finished had put me in a reading funk. I blame George Pelecanos’s “The Man Who Came Uptown” for that. What I needed was a palate cleanser before I picked up “Know Me From Smoke”, but Phillips is a good enough writer that he pulled me through my reading distress to the malaise the gripped Stella and Royal. I love malaise in my reading.

Phillips sets us in modern-day San Diego, but it could have easily been unearthed from a 1940s manuscript, not because it’s littered with noirish metaphors and similes, rather Phillips creates a mood that drips with the shadows of meaningless and crime.

I don’t want to go deep into the story but one of the themes of the story is that of being caught in the cages of society. Royal comes early to this line of thinking.

Royal sat there on the bed, his feet tired from walking and his eyes adjust to the soft glow of evening light through the windows, the way it stacked up in some places and left shadows in others. Here I am, Royal thought, I went from one prison to another. One looks better than the other, but it’s still like I have chains around my ankles. And those steel bracelets around my wrists. 

He reclined into the bed and closed his eyes.

Stella, however, is in a cage of her own making. Though as tragic as it is that her husband was murdered, she let’s this one moment define her entire existence. The sorrow and pain feed her soul like alcohol and food replenish her body. And then there’s Phoenix, an ex-con living in the half-way house with Royal, who is creating his own cage of crimes to encircle Royal.

Matt Phillips’s “Know Me From Smoke” is Noir AF. I thought Phillips’s “Accidental Outlaws” was something, but “Know Me From Smoke” is something else. If you are looking for modern day noir, look no further than this book with its atmosphere of loneliness and constant struggle. I can’t guarantee that you’ll feel good after reading “Know Me From Smoke”, but I know you’ll feel good that you read it.

Buy: Amazon

Categories
Books

The Tainted Vintage by Clare Blanchard

The mayor of a small Czech town of Vinice is found dead in his wine cellar on the night of his birthday.  Police detectives Jana Dvorska and Ivan Dambersky are assigned to document the apparent death of the mayor due to a heart attack. But as all mysteries go and Clare Blanchard’s “The Tainted Village” is no stranger to this, it wasn’t a heart attack, but murder.

Dvorska quickly learns that Slansky the mayor that the mayor had been injected with a substance between the toes and this turns out to be a fact that the medical examiner seems to overlook. Dvorska and Dambersky now set out to investigate a murder that no one wants solved.

“The Tainted Village” is a classic mystery where we learn more and more about Slansky’s duplicitous lives and the suspect pool begins to grow with every chapter instead of shrink. A frustrating part of “The Tainted Village” was how Blanchard drove the story along by plot rather than character which had me several times wondering about a character’s motivation for their actions and words. However, I did enjoy Dambersky as a character who the reader didn’t know where he’d end up going. If this type of Golden Age mystery is your thing, you might enjoy “The Tainted Village”. I’m not one for cozies and Blanchard’s book did not convert me.

Buy: Amazon


Thanks for stopping by Unlawful Acts and reading this review.