Friday, January 30, 2015

Guess who

Photo by your humbler blogkeeper/shooter,
Peter Rozovsky
I've been too busy to do much blogging the past few days, but here's a bit from a hard-boiled American crime novel of the middle of the twentieth century. See if you can guess who the writer is:
"It was an old rooming house a few blocks behind the Ambassador Hotel. ... The light in the lower hall was dim, barely illuminating the lower steps; at the top of the stairs the darkness was cut only by a narrow knife of light coming from beneath the first door. 
"Behind the door was one man, and a voice ... "
© Peter Rozovsky 2015

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17 Comments:

Blogger seana graham said...

Ay-ay-ay! Too scary.

January 30, 2015  
Blogger R. T. said...

I am clueless -- in spite of your clues. Perhaps I don't have good enough memory for these kinds of challenges. (Ha! If you have been following my blog, you will understand how loaded the comment about my memory really is.) And the photo is too damned creepy!

January 30, 2015  
Blogger Philip Amos said...

Weeelll...Ross MacDonald? I really will be shocked if I'm right.

January 30, 2015  
Blogger Fred said...

Peter,

Reminds me of a Chandler short story I read long ago.

January 30, 2015  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Seana: Ha! It's not what you think.

January 30, 2015  
Blogger seana graham said...

I looked it up--the passage, I mean--so can't guess, but I will say I did think it was a woman. I was guessing Dorothy B. Hughes.

January 30, 2015  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

R.T., I provided no clues, so if you're clueless, I'm responsible in part.

The photo has nothing to do with the passage, by the way.

January 30, 2015  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Philip, Ross MacDonald is a good guess for reasons related to the comment following yours.

January 30, 2015  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Fred, it's not Chandler, but I chose the passage figuring someone would guess that it was. That's why the Ross MacDonald guess was good.

January 30, 2015  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Seana: What made you think it was a woman? A resemblance to Dorothy B. Hughes' writing?

January 30, 2015  
Blogger seana graham said...

No, for some reason the combination of the style and the picture made me think of Dorothy B. Hughes' Ride the Pink Horse, and I knew you had led a panel which highlighted some women authors of that era. A process of association and deduction I guess.

January 30, 2015  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Seana: You're a brilliant detective, and I'm a befuddled perp, because the picture was a subconscious clue, it a clue at all. I chose it simply because it was one of my noir shots that I don't think I had put up before.

I did indeed become acquainted with this author because of the panel you mentioned, though she was not one of the writers discussed on the panel. I thought about throwing in her pre-writing career as a clue, just to make things interesting.

January 30, 2015  
Blogger seana graham said...

Yes, I know her name but haven't read her or anything about her.

January 30, 2015  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

She was one of the names that came up in my discussions with panelists of what authors they would choose as their subject--and one of these days I will reveal her name here.

Interesting that both Fred and I should have noted a stylistic resemblance to Chandler. One of my questions on the panel concerned the extent to which mid-century female American crime writers were creating something new with their focus on domestic crime, or whether they and Chandler were drawing on something common in American life at the time. I chose Chandler because in The Big Sleep, the novel more than the movie, a family (the Sternwoods) is the locus of all the drama.

January 30, 2015  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I should mention that I had great fun preparing for the panel. In addition to the authors who made it into the discussion, I quite enjoyed reading books by some of the authors that the panelists considered but wound up not choosing. I hope to have a similar experience with a similar panel at Bouchercon this year in Raleigh, N.C.

January 30, 2015  
Blogger seana graham said...

It was an excellent panel, Peter. I've already become acquainted with Dorothy Hitchens because of it, and I'll catch up with some of the others in time, I'm sure.

January 30, 2015  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Milton Ozaki and the author I quote in this post were under consideration for the panel, but the panelists eventually chose to discuss other authors instead. Between those two and the authors who did make it, I think I read eight authors for the first time preparing for the panel. I had never had so much fun with panel preparations.

January 30, 2015  

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