Saturday, December 22, 2012

Eight crime writers in the Philadelphia Inquirer

My article on "Eight crime writers worth tracking down" appears in Saturday's Philadelphia Inquirer. This one was close to my heart, a chance to big-up some of my favorite crime writers and their publishers, to put their names before a wider public, and to help out eight authors who suffer the handicap, for a crime writer, of not being from Sweden or Norway.

Readers of Detectives Beyond Borders know them already, but if you're joining us for the first time, the Big Eight are, in alphabetical order:

Declan Burke. Allan Guthrie. Vicki Hendricks. John McFetridge. Adrian McKinty. Scott Phillips. Giorgio Scerbanenco. Charlie Stella.

I recommend all eight as the perfect stocking stuffer. Now, get reading.

© Peter Rozovsky 2012

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25 Comments:

Blogger Dana King said...

I've read five of these in the past year; rare for me to stay so current. All five were winners, so I;ll take that as a recommendation of the other three, as well.

Thanks.

December 22, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Dana, I hope you'll like them, and I hope you'll suggest and blog about other authors I could have mentioned but did not (Dennis Tafoya, for one.) These authors are so much better than most of what's out there, and so in danger of being squeezed by declining advertising and promotional budgets and by by chain stores' reluctance to stock anything but the biggest of the big. We need to spread the word about them!

I'm guessing Giorgio Scerbanenco is one of the three you have not read. Who are the others?

December 22, 2012  
Blogger R.T. said...

Thanks for posting this one, Peter. And as for your recommendation to Dana, I also can vouch for Dennis Tafoya (e.g. see my review here: http://www.mysteryscenemag.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1435 )

My local library--like the bookstores--has an aversion to less known authors and titles; budget woes have badly damaged our library's acquisitions program. This means that most of your recommendations never make to the library's shelves. Danielle Steele, Mitch Albom, James Patterson and their ilk make it onto the acquisitions list, but there is little room for a wider list.


So, until I win the lottery, I have to live on a slim book buying budget. Your recommendations help me choose more wisely that I could have otherwise.

And, before I overlook having the opportunity for saying this, "Merry Christmas!"

December 22, 2012  
Blogger R.T. said...

Postscript: Please excuse the hideous typos and diction errors in my earlier postin. When it comes to keyboarding and thinking at the same time, I really am terrible.

December 22, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Thanks for the kind wishes. I think Dante and Hieronymus Bosch have spots reserved for me in their hells, where I will be condemned to an eternity of correcting my own typographical errors.

Thanks, too, for the link to your Tafoya review. I’m a big fan of The Wolves of Fairmount Park. In addition to being well above the general run of crime writers, the author is gentleman who appeared as part of the original Noir at the Bar readings and whom I hope to bring back again if I revive the series, which I’m thinking of doing.

In an ideal, more literate world, people like my eight and Dennis Tafoya would be read instead of the Alboms and Pattersons of the world. I could accept a world in which many millions read A&P and many thousands read the good writers, but in today's publishing, retail, and media environments, these books aren't even reaching those many thousands. So forgive me if I feel a bit of missionary zeal in this matter.

December 22, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Oh, and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you, as well.

December 22, 2012  
Blogger R.T. said...

Forgive the unabashed promotion of an acquaintance I know from grad school, a writer who also pushes against the "glass ceiling" of publishing, but Victor Gischler writes quirky, entertaining crime novels you might enjoy.

I know that is not a fair gift exchange. You offered 8 (+1) on your list, and I offer you only 1 in return.

December 22, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Victor Gischler is not just quirky, he's an out-and-out oddball, as far as I can tell. He is on my list for a future busman's holiday from "international" crime writing.

December 22, 2012  
Blogger R.T. said...

Victor would not be offended with the oddball title. Skip his most quirky speculative fiction adventures and zero in on the hard core crime stuff (paradoxically serious and parody at the same time).

December 22, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Anyone who writes books with titles like Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse and is called Gish as a diminutive has my favor.

He's more known for speculative/crime fiction. Where should I start with his hardcore crime writing?

December 22, 2012  
Blogger R.T. said...

Warning: Victor's books are not for everyone.

I began with Gun Monkeys and then went to Shotgun Opera. I think the The Deputy shows promise.

It might help to know the author, so I might be subjectively influenced, though I knew him slightly and briefly.

He once had his office wall decorated with rejection letters. He was amused by the decor. I do not recall him ever saying anything without his tongue being in his cheek. He (like me) is a natural born cynic.

December 22, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

The Deputy is on my list; it was offered at a bargain price a while back. I've seen him in action at crime conventions. I think he's one of those people who doesn't just say funny things, but says things funny.

December 22, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

budget woes have badly damaged our library's acquisitions program

As they have, I think, forced bookstores and newspapers into an ever-more pinched caution and conservatism in their book choices, at least in crime fiction. That's why I'm so pleased my editors gave me the go-ahead for this article.

We're on a rescue mission to save the world from crappy reading.

December 22, 2012  
Blogger R.T. said...

Well, if book sales numbers are evidence, at least people are reading something.

Even though I teach literature and drama to university undergraduates, I am not naive enough to think that everyone should be reading Shakespeare, Moliere, Ibsen, Tennessee Williams, Dickens, Hemingway, Cather, Blake, Flannery O'Connor, Cervantes, Samuel Beckett, and . . . . well, my list of canonical favorites goes on and on. I am somewhat content that readers are at least reading.

I really do wish, though, that libraries could offer wide selections, but I understand that they must serve the demands of the reading public.

December 22, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

R.T., I noted in a similar discussion that most of the fine reading I've done has been since college.

The best reason (and maybe the only valid one) to read is for pleasure. How do we ensure that what we read for pleasure os good rather than shite? That's a great task of our time, I'd say.

December 22, 2012  
Blogger R.T. said...

Harold Bloom (in his book, _How to Read and Why_) discusses the "virtue" of reading as a "solitary praxis" during which we encounter ourselves in others. That shock of recognition--fiction as mirror--is provocative, and it makes addicts out of readers. The latter (concerning addiction) is not Bloom's idea; I take the blame.

December 22, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Hmm, what sort of psychological condition does that sound like? And where does that leave people who don't read?

December 22, 2012  
Blogger Dave Whish-Wilson said...

Thanks for the list Peter. I've some last-minute presents to buy, so...

December 23, 2012  
Blogger Declan Burke said...

Thanks kindly for the mention, sir. Deeply humbled to be found in such exalted company. With the exception of Al Guthrie, obviously.

December 23, 2012  
Blogger Howard Sherman said...

Congratulations and kudos! Too many good writers don't get the recognition they deserve.

December 23, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Dave, you won't need me to tell you that these must be hard times for authors not named J.K. Rowling. If anyone reading this is a stocking, get stuffed!

Merry Christmas (I think I'd like to visit Australia for the novelty of seeing Christmas celebrated in midsummer.)

December 23, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

My pleasure, Declan. I'm pleased to do anything I can to get good books into readers' hands. And Merry Christmas to everyone on my list, including you and Allan Guthrie.

December 23, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Howard: Thanks. That was precisely the point of the piece. The original version, which I trimmed for space, speculated about and ranted against the problems mid list authors face, especially caution and conservatism on the part of booksellers and newspapers. People need to know about these writers.

December 23, 2012  
Blogger Kelly Robinson said...

I got the 1st McKinty novel, so I'll be exploring him in the upcoming year. He's been recommended to me by so many people and gets compared to some of my favorites pretty often. I'm sure I won't be disappointed.

December 24, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Kelly, is The Cold Cold Ground the novel you got? You won't miss with that or with any of the books I mentioned.

Two more "Dead" books follow Dead I Well May Be, but I suggest you read the three in order, or at least the third after you've read the first two in whatever order. He, and the others on my list, are simply better --harder, funnier, truer-- than most of the crime writing that gets the big ink and big bucks and big promotion.

December 24, 2012  

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