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Home Invasion, Roller Derby, and George Jones

Small Crimes: Monday Reads

“Home Invasion, Roller Derby, and George Jones – Small Crimes: Monday Reads” features Rob Pierce, Tess Makovesky, Stephen Graham Jones, and more.

Article: “Incident Report No. 87” comes at you with Chris Rhatigan on writing short stories, Max Booth III on trigger warnings, lots of Dana King, and much more. (Unlawful Acts)

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

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

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

https://downandoutbooks.com/bookstore/goldberg-slow-down/

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

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

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

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)

Book: “Raise the Blade” by Tess Makovesky (Amazon)

Thanks for stopping by Unlawful Acts and reading “Home Invasion, Roller Derby, and George Jones”. For more Small Crimes, click here.

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Scandinavian Noir, Werewolves, and Megan Abbott

"Shotgun Honey Presents Volume 4: Recoil" edited by Ron Earl Phillips |
"Scandinavian Noir, Werewolves, and Meghan Abbott"

“Scandinavian Noir, Werewolves, and Megan Abbott” features links All Due Respect Books, Shotgun Honey, The Paris Review, and more.

Article: Incident Report No. 86 came out yesterday. (Unlawful Acts)

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

Article: “Writing What You Know (or Remember (or Research))” by Art Taylor (Lesa’s Book Critiques)

Article: “Finding Inspiration in Tough Times” by V. M. Burns (Writers Who Kill)

Article: “How Much Research is Enough” by James Scott Bell (Kill Zone)

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

Podcast: Megan Abbott on writing (Working)

Podcast: “Drunk on the Moon” by Paul D. Brazill (Twisted Pulp Radio)

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

Thanks for stopping by Unlawful Acts and reading “Scandinavian Noir, Werewolves, and Megan Abbott”. For more Small Crimes, click here.

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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.

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Small Crimes: Wednesday Reads

PJ Parrish on why making mistakes is so important (Kill Zone)

My review of Jason Beech’s “Never Go Back” (Unlawful Acts)

Kevin Tipple reviewed the anthology “The Eyes of Texas: Private Eyes From The Panhandle To The Piney Woods” edited by Michael Bracken (Kevin’s Corner)

Marilynne Robinson, The Art of Fiction No. 198 (The Paris Review)

How to support your local bookstore instead of Amazon (McSweeney’s)

Still shots from the movie “Small Crimes”, based on David Zeltersman’s book (Fragments of Noir)

Review of Scott Dadich’s “Abstract: The Art of Design”, a Netflix documentary (Broad Street Review)

Joe Ricker’s “Some Awful Cunning”, a novel (Down & Out Books)

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Small Crimes: Thursday Reads

John Gilstrap’s primer on movie deals (Kill Zone)

Ed Aymar interviewed Sherry Harris and Lori Rader-Day, past and present presidents of Sisters in Crime (The Thrill Begins)

Parodies of the inevitable onslaught of coronoavirus literary fiction. (The Millions)

How pandemics seep into literature (The Paris Review)

Hilary Davidson interviewed on Frank Zafiro’s podcast (Wrong Place, Write Crime)

Review of Derek Marlowe’s spy thriller “A Dandy in Aspic” (1966) (Vintage Pulp Fictions)

Review of Max Allan Collins’s “Quarry’s Cut” (1977) (Col’s Criminal Library)

Photographs by Erwin Blumenfeld (Fragments of Noir)

“Keeping Tabs” by Beau Johnson (Punk Noir) from his short story collection “All of Them Burn” (Down & Out Books)