Carnival of the Criminal Minds, No. 8
Wait, this a carnival, not a lecture, isn't it? But a previous host of the carnival as well as its creator have alleged that I have "a brain like the Mekon from the old Dan Dare comics" and "a brain the size of a planet."
So I'll stick with the egghead (or is it fathead?) theme for a moment and take you on a tour of some of my favorite reference sites. If you can read Italian, get over to Jazz al Nero. If you can't, get over there anyway and scroll down the site's list of biographies. There's something exciting about seeing that many crime-fiction names from that many countries all together in one place. It's like a stroll through a well-stocked bookstore or library. Click on the names, read the accompanying bibliographies, and, in some cases, wring your teeth and gnash your hands over titles translated into Italian but not yet into English.
Same with Krimi-Couch and Internationale Krimis, only the language is German. It's always interesting to see what crime-fiction readers in other countries read, and besides, crime is the universal language. I'm sure these blog hosts appreciate efforts to communicate in their language, but they can get by in English, too!
The ne plus ultra, sine qua non and heavyweight champ of crime-fiction reference is In Reference to Murder. Looking for bibliographies, blogs or book clubs? Dictionaries or discussion groups? Magazines, media or miscellaneous? You need look no further than In Reference to Murder. In addition to all the entertaining and useful features, it is also the only blog I know of whose mascot is a fingerprint.
Every good library has a periodicals section full of inviting racks of hanging newspapers. Here on the Internet, visit Euro Crime news, part of the Euro Crime family of fine Web sites, for the latest in news coverage of crime fiction.
Now, let's take a hop, a skip and a jump around the globe, starting in Mongolia. Michael Walters has published two crime novels set in that country, and his blog offers looks behind the books as well as weird bits of news about a fascinating and rapidly changing country. Recent posts bear titles such as "Stolen Nuts and Geometric Haircuts," "A Mad Soft Expanse of Green" and "Sumo Chucks a Sickie."
From Finland, Juri Nummelin holds forth about crime, noir, pulp, hard-boiled, horror, fantasy, erotica, cartoons, writing and publishing at Pulpetti. We in America tend to regard some of those genres as our own. It's fascinating to see how far they've reached. Besides, he knows a hell of a lot more about obscure corners of these genres than just about anybody anywhere.
For reasons I can't recall, my first group of overseas readers and contacts at Detectives Beyond Borders was in Australia. Two from that early group maintain blogs and reference sites that are excellent places to bone up on Australian crime fiction. Say g'day to Aust Crime Fiction, Crime Down Under and the Australian Crime Fiction Database.
For Irish crime, there are no better and no more raucously entertaining guides than Critical Mick and the hard-working elves at Crime Always Pays. Finally, if you like Italian mysteries, you'll like Italian Mysteries.
Let's take one more quick visit to the library before I turn you over to the ninth host of this crime carnival. Uriah Robinson of Crime Scraps has been writing about crime fiction as long as I have, with emphasis on Italian and Scandinavian writers. Recently he has branched into quizzes, and his sweetly named Quirky Quizzes have shrunk my fat green head a notch or two. Drop in, and prepare to have your brains busted.
Since libraries are quiet places, visit Glenn Harper at International noir fiction. He doesn't post as much as some other bloggers do, but no one writes more thoughtfully about international crime fiction. Pester him with comments, and maybe he'll write more.
But there's more to the world than Detectives Beyond Borders, and I urge you to explore that world and visit the previous hosts of Carnival of the Criminal Minds. Then, in about two weeks, get ready for a whole new kind of exploration when your host will be Graham Powell of CrimeSpot.
(Carnival photo from the History of Carnival Web site.)
© Peter Rozovsky 2008