This is a special weekend for myself and for Crimespree.
We started out yesterday with the original Jordan Trio of Ruth, Jen and Jon. Bleak House descended upon us promptly at 10 a.m. Ben Leroy, publicist Tiffany and Bleak House author Evan Kilgore were in town for a book signing. Evan's book WHO IS SHAYLA HACKER? has been well received by critics and readers. Something different to read amongst the summer thrillers. It tells the story of a group of people who've never met and are brought together by Shayla Hacker. With a narrative that's straightforward and yet ethereal reader's are sure to be as sucked in by Shayla as the book's characters. A David Lynch experience in written form.
And Mystery One had readers on hand. Friends of Crimespree Penny Halle and Bev DeWeese were amongst the patrons. There were several hours of informal chat on mystery, Evan's background and plans, and the heat.
It was an appropriate beginning to a weekend which sees Crimespree packaging up the first edition of it's forth year. Because we love this shit.The books themselves, the commaraderie of fellow readers and the oppurtunity to meet and talk to the people who create the books we like to read. And we hope that what Crimespree does above anything else is share this "love" for murder and the discovery of new voices within our genre. Mornings like yesterday and lunches like the one shared with Shirley Damsgaard and Denise Swanson last Saturday reenergize the publishing personel of our eighty page magazine. We hope you see it in the end product.
After the event there was talk about one of the arguments that saps the energy out of even the most passionate. Yes the whole "What is Noir?" argument seeped right out of Sarah Weinman's blog and into my living room. To the point where Jen, Jon and I have decided we will devote an article on the subject in our magazine. Keep in mind I've heard the definitive answer. At the Austin Bouchercon Paul Johnston was asked this question of the moderator, leaned into the mike and summed it up, "Noir is the french word for black." And that folks is the only true answer. But the cult of noir continues to have many factions with passionate advocates. It ought to be interesting.
Rounding out the steamy Saturday was what remains the heart of my whole fascination towards mystery. Several hours of good reading. Last night I shared my pillow with an advanced copy of NIGHT WORK, a stand alone from Steve Hamilton set in upstate New York. Hamilton continues to be a master of the written word, look for this book and enjoy.