Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Carnival of the Criminal Minds, No. 8

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for coming. The title of this evening's lecture is –

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

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Blogger Kerrie said...

I enjoyed this post and the links Peter.

January 15, 2008  
Blogger Peter said...

Thanks. I'd mentioned many, if not all, of these links in the past, but it was fun to write about them all in one place. It reminded me why I like them.

January 15, 2008  
Blogger Julia Buckley said...

Cool choices, Peter. I'll have to get my mom to read me the German ones; I'm out of luck with the Italian, I'm afraid. :)

And you do seem to have a big brain.

January 15, 2008  
Blogger Peter said...

If I really were a green-skinned Mekon, the green would be tinged with a flush of red, thanks to your compliment.

I meant what I said about those sites being of interest even if one recognizes only the authors' names. I got a kick out of learning, for example, that Peter Temple's The Broken Shore had been translated into German and won a prize from German crime-fiction critics, even if I could understand no more than a word or two of the blog post that announced the news.

January 16, 2008  
Blogger Linkmeister said...

Scene in Penn library:

Our host, sitting at table with two books in front of him, side by side.

Camera peers in over his shoulder.

Ah. Book on left is German crime novel; book on right is German-English dictionary.

Host can be heard muttering to himself:

Verdammt publishers! Why won't they translate these books for US editions?!?

January 16, 2008  
Anonymous Michael Walters said...

Thanks for the plug, Peter - made me realise I'd been a bit thin on the quirky titles recently. I'll have to try harder...

January 16, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


your comments on my blog suggest something different than "...no more than a word or two..."

If you don't mind I would like to point out, that the "Bestenlist" which was headed by Peter Temple is not really a prize, but just a list of books, which is chosen monthly by 18, since December 19 different german reviewers.

I don`t think that Temple will receive the "Deutsche Krimi Preis". It seems that reviewers darling at the moment is James Sallis "Drive".

January 16, 2008  
Blogger Barbara said...

Thanks, Meko-- I mean, Peter. I thought I had a fairly good grasp of world crime fiction sites, but you've pointed out more that I need to explore. I teach a first term seminar at my college and am now thinking of designing one around international crime fiction - it's such an interesting way to get insight into the world we live in. Now if I can just whittle down the reading list of 10,000 books.......

January 16, 2008  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Peter,thanks for the mention.
I must admit I intended to make the questions easier this time, but every time I think about the Mekon's brain I am tempted to make them more difficult. ;)

January 16, 2008  
Blogger Peter said...

Nah, Linkmeister, it will never happen. Reading fiction with a dictionary does not lend itself to spontaneity or enjoyment. On the other hand ...

January 16, 2008  
Blogger Peter said...

Michael, the news is interesting enough that the titles are nothing more than, what, the topping on the ice cream?

Krimileser, nest time I'll say something like "Peter Temple has won praise from German critics." I like the idea of a regular list like that. As long as the critics are capable and fair, that seems like a good way to draw attention to crime fiction and also a sign that critics take crime fiction seriously.

January 16, 2008  
Blogger Peter said...

Uriah, the Mekon has not done all that well on your quiz. But I still enjoy the questions.

Barbara, I'd like to hear more about that seminar you're thinking off.


Barbara, by the way, is the creator and founder of this crime-fiction carnival. Send some cotton candy and a rollercoaster ride her way.

January 16, 2008  
Blogger Linkmeister said...

Grins. Why do you think I wrote you cussing?

January 16, 2008  
Blogger Peter said...

On the other hand ... reading the original version after first having read a translation just might be entertaining and educational.

January 16, 2008  
Blogger sauron said...

Wow.. crime fiction's world in a post...
You are greate!!!


January 17, 2008  
Blogger Peter said...

Mille grazie! And there is much more in the crime-fiction world, too. If I tried to explore all of it, the post would have been the size of a planet.

January 17, 2008  

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