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.


Otto Penzler, George Simenon, and Roxy Music

Small Crimes: Friday Reads

Otto Penzler, George Simenon, and Roxy Music | Mister Trot from Tin Street

“Otto Penzler, George Simenon, and Roxy Music – Small Crimes: Friday Reads” features Elisabeth Sanxay Holding, Close to the Bone Magazine, and much more.

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

Article: First issue of Close to the Bone Magazine featuring Holly Rae Garcia, Paul Heatley, and more (Close to the Bone)

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

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

Article: More about Otto from Gabino Iglesias (Mystery Tribune)

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for stopping by Unlawful Acts and reading “Otto Penzler, George Simenon, and Roxy Music”. For more Small Crimes, click here.


Gunslingers, Hosiers, and Johnny Cash

Small Crimes: Weekend Edition

Going Down Slow by Eryk Pruitt | Gunslingers, Hosiers, and Johnny Cash | Unlawful Acts

“Gunslingers, Hosiers, and Johnny Cash” features links to Scott Adlerberg, Cornell Woolrich, Paul D. Brazill, Reed Farrel Coleman, Eryk Pruitt and more.

Essay: Scott Adlerberg on Cornell Woolrich’s “Waltz Into Darkness” (Mystery Tribune)

Interview: Tim Mara sat down to interview Paul D. Brazill (The Big Thrill)

Interview: “Off the Cuff with Reed Farrel Coleman” (Dietrich Kalteis)

Short Story: “Fragrant” by Rod D. Smith (Shotgun Honey)

Book Review: “King of the Crows” by Russell Day (Fahrenheit Press) (Grab This Book)

Journal Review: “Hoosier Noir: One” (First City Books) (Kevin’s Corner)

Book Review: “Blackwood” by Michael Farris Smith (Little, Brown) (Southern Review of Books)

Book Review: “Trains, Jesus, and Murder: The Gospel According to Johnny Cash” by Richard Beck (Fortress Press) (No Depression)

Podcast: Special guest co-hosts E.A. Aymar and Sarah Chen talked with Sheena Kamal and Matthew Quirk (Writer Types)

Movie: “Going Down Slow” written and directed by Eryk Pruitt (Vimeo)

Thanks for stopping by and reading “Gunslingers, Hosiers, and Johnny Cash”. Click here for more Small Crimes.


Jack Waters by Scott Adlerberg

27749912_1580231515377684_3396357469409204750_nIn the first few sentences of Scott Adlerberg’s Jack Waters (Broken River Books), the reader knows immediately that we are in a different world with phrases like “there lived a man named Jack Waters” and “other gamblers envied his consistent success, but the admired his self-control”. Adlerberg’s story is more of a fractured fairy tale, a tale told in plain and unembellished prose that holds its beauty close rather than flash flowery phrases.

Waters is a man of grace and dignity. But he gives no quarter to the impropriety of cheating and welching at the poker table.

His craven behavior made Waters even angrier. The boy had the gall to cheat in his house, and then to think he could depart unscathed. In a flash, like a panther, Waters leapt over the round oak table, scattery cards and chips. He jumped onto the boy and they fell to the floor. The others yanked at his arms and shoulders, but they couldn’t get a grip on him. Waters pushed them away. He drew from under his shirt the long retractable knife he always carried for protection, and ignoring the boy’s cries for mercy, stabbed him in the heart.

Through the help of his friends Waters leaves New Orleans for a Carribean island nation. He is warned by his friend of two things: stay out of politics and don’t play cards with the President of the country. Waters might be an exceptional poker player with the ability to read players at the table, but outside the gambling room, Waters is oblivious to those around him. This is to blame partly on his hubris and for having lived a rather prosper life. Water’s self-absorption is, often times, debilitating.

Scott Adlerberg’s Jack Waters has a Latin American feel to it, not only because it is set in a Spanish-speaking Carribean island, it is because Adlerberg the ability to introduce the absurd without agitation, the preposterous becomes normal, and the ordinary becomes poetic. With Jack Waters, Adlerberg allows the story to come to him, the words don’t force the action and its consequences, rather there is a harmony between “the book” and its pages. Adlerberg’s Jack Waters is a slow read, only so that one can cherish every word.

Amazon: AU CA UK US


Jungle Horses by Scott Adlerberg

jungle-horses-by-scott-adlerbergScott Adlerberg’s Jungle Horses (Broken River Books) is the first book I’ve read by him. I first noticed Adlerberg’s writing in his weekly column in Do Some Damage, all well written and engaging, seemingly a word never out of place. And more often than not, I learn something from his columns. I picked up Jungle Horses as I had Adlerberg’s newest book, Jack Waters near the top of my TBR and I wanted to get a taste of his early fiction before I read his latest work. I had no idea what to expect of Jungle Horses as I shy away from publisher’s descriptions as a rule as they will either have nothing or everything to do with the book.

Jungle Horses opens with Arthur dreaming of horses running in a lush land – horses unlike the racing horses he bred in Africa or the ponies he bets on every day in post-war London. Then Arthur begins his day like all his days thinking of horse racing while eating breakfast with his wife, Jenny, who most likely just arrived home after spending the night with her lover, their friend, and neighbor, Vaughn.

He grabbed his robe and went to the kitchen and there together they drank their tea. They read the papers, which she’d brought in, and geared up each in silence for the vagaries of the day. For Jenny this would mean dealing with customers, deflecting rudeness, suggesting a sweet for the loved one or the missus; for Arthur it would mean the accelerating pulse as he stood rooting for his horses. When he became wealthy, he’d tell Jenny she could sell the shop and live thereafter without working, and perhaps then, if she was willing, they could embark on a voyage somewhere and he would rediscover what he’d lost. That is, they could go off on a long trip if she agreed to part from Vaughn and Vaughn himself voiced no objections. He had no interest in starting a row or coming between her and Vaughn, but he did want time alone with Jenny as they’d had when living in Africa. Yes, Africa. He kept returning to it in his thoughts, and he knew that in order to persuade her to go, he would have to prove to her that she’d be travelling with a live person, someone possessed of a sexual appetite. She’d made no reference to yesterday evening and his abrupt show of desire, and from this he drew the conclusion that she’d laughed it off completely. His peculiar behavior had passed like a joke, commented on but then forgotten, and sadder even than his wife’s response was what had happened to his body, how this morning he’d come awake with no fire left in his blood. The lust had flared suddenly, coursed through his veins, and died overnight. This morning in his body he had nothing but ash.

Though Arthur tolerates his wife’s affair, he has a secret plan, a pipe dream that he can win enough money gambling to take his wife back to Africa – if only Jenny and Vaughn would allow her to travel alone with her husband. Arthur’s life is filled with prime and properness touched with a heavy dose of passive aggressiveness. Adlerberg trusts the reader that we can make it through long paragraphs, but this only works because he expertly guides us through. A pacing with short and long sentences shows us Arthur’s dreams and their possibilities, but Adlerberg ends the paragraph with Arthur’s reality, “The lust had flared suddenly, coursed through his veins, and died overnight. This morning in his body he had nothing but ash.” I like how “flared” and “ash” play off each other showing futility of his dream.

While the first part of Jungle Horses takes place in London, the second part takes place on a small unnamed Carribean island which Vaughn owns. In the London section, Arthur is beaten down by English manners and in the latter part, Adlerberg writing turns to magical realism, a world that releases Arthur from the confines of his Englishness. The transition between the stoic London and the vibrant Carribean stories stumbles a bit, but in looking back the breadcrumbs were there in the London piece foreshadowing the blossoming Arthur in the Carribean. Scott Adlerberg’s Jungle Horses is an enjoyable meld of noir and magical realism that tells a fantastical story of love and redemption.

Amazon: AU CA UK US