Saturday, March 14, 2009

Noir at the Bar: Canadians and coincidences

Bouchercon 2008 in Baltimore included a panel on the private-eye novel at which Declan Hughes offered a ringing defense of the genre. Hughes' passionate theatrics are always a joy to behold, and they did at least as much as the hospitality-suite coffee to jar conventioneers out of their early-morning stupor.

I remember thinking at the time that defense implies attack. So when John McFetridge invited me to quiz Sean Chercover (left) and Howard Shrier (right) at Toronto's first Noir at the Bar, I thought about how these two writers both honor the venerable P.I. genre and keep it fresh.

They do it in some similar ways both small — Chercover's Ray Dudgeon and Shrier's Jonah Geller use computers and databases in their work — and large: both kill where their predecessors may only have felt like killing. Both also shed tears, which earlier tough P.I.s did not do.

The books share other features, too: Location (Both of Chercover's books and significant parts of Shrier's second are set in Chicago). And I don't remember Percocet previously figuring in the work of two consecutive authors on my crime-fiction reading list.

So John chose two well-matched authors. And if my reports on this Noir at the Bar are more disjointed than usual, I realize now that it's hard to take notes when one is asking the questions.

© Peter Rozovsky 2009

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Blogger Linda L. Richards said...

Oh man! Sounds like a great night. Wish I could have been there.

Say: when will it be time for a Vancouver edition of Noir at the Bar?

March 18, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I could squeeze you in the last week of March.

March 18, 2009  

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