Aug 30, 2011

Crimespree issue 43 ready to ship

Crimespree Magazine issue 43

Editorial by Jon Jordan
Hanging with Ayo
A Slice of Mystery with Avery Aames
The Perils of Writing a History Mystery with Tony Hays
COVER STORY: Get Closer to Sara Gran w/ Scott Phillips
Sunset Boulevard by Sara Gran
Behind the Books with Lisa Unger
Crime & Idiocy by Jen4 Jordan
FICTION: Old Friends by Anthony R . Pezzula
Morphing Into Mystery by Martin Shepard
The Long and the Short of It Darrel Janes Interviewed by Alan Orloff
In the Court of Public Opinion by Denise Hamilton
FICTION: The People I Help Out by Kenneth Nicols
NEW CONTRIBUTER Mystery Town with Linda Brown
Reed Farrel Coleman
Craig’s Joint by Craig McDonald
5 Favorite Films with Dan Krokos
5 Favorite Films with Todd Ritter
Dialogue with Declan Burke featuring Dennis Lehane
The Towering Non Inferno by Douglas Lindsay
FICTION: Rain Dog by Thomas Pluck
DVD Reviews and Eye on Hollywood with Jeremy Lynch
Buzz Bin and book reviews
Cooking with Crimespree  by Avery Aames

This one is heading out the door on Wednesday the 31.
Need to renew?

Aug 29, 2011

bouchercon redux

Mrs, Crimespree has sent off mail today. She has composed a to-do list that Lewis and Clark themselves would be proud of. She realizes this is the last time she has for a truly chatty blog before Bouchercon 2011. Indulge me folks, for this is yet another how much do I love my life post.

I love my life a lot. Last week on Monday, at the Laura Lippman Pizza party there was a lot of synergy for me. Laura introduced me to someone I’ve “known” for two decades. Jacquelynn Bost Morris is not a name you all will be familiar with, but Jackie from the AOL Hardboiled board certainly is a name known to some. Jackie with Kathy Bartlett made a world for me. A world where I could reach out and talk to writers I admired, share their experiences. Somewhere along the blurred lines these folks began to share mine. Charlaine Harris made me laugh out loud again when my family had given up. Sara Paretsky made me question why one death could be so hard. Val McDermid showed me life’s possibilities. Then Bob Crais told me to go to Bouchercon (rather emphatically), you know, my good friend from the innernets. Sexiest author alive that year too (we gave him hell).

The mystery community has always been inclusive. The inclusion is why Bouchercon started, a group of Anthony Boucher’s friends decided they needed to celebrate this genre he loved so much. Anthony, I have to tell you, you’d be proud sir as would your widow. Thanks to a wonderful group of volunteers over these 4 decades, your name may be mispronounced but it is never forgotten.

So, I was “The Girl Who Went to Bouchercon”. I met Val McDermid. I met Ian Rankin. I met George Pelecanos. I met Dennis Lehane. I smoked with Lee Child and M.J. Lake. C.J. Songer was an all-star that year. I met Otto Penzler and Steve Stillwell. I met Richard Katz and the gang from Sleuths of Bakerstreet. I met Kate Flora and a guy named Jon Jordan.

I’ve reached out over the years and have met Robert Randisi as a result (thanks Bob). I’ve met new writers and writers back on the scene; One of my favorite moments ever is with Gayle Lynds, another with Michael Koryta. An interview with Sean Chercover in ’08 left me giddy.

I’ve come a long way, always fan first. The most important person in my life outside of my husband may well be Judy Bobalik. Judy is the bomb, y’all. If you come to Bouchercon 2011 without meeting her, you’ve made a mistake. For like “Jackie” of the hard-boiled board she has the passion to make this a community. She is what Anthony Boucher thought this place in fiction and community is all about.

Now, I go to Bouchercon with an expectation to meet friends I never have and celebrate with friends I love. Some will be there this year. Some will be missing. Elaine, Barbara, David. I also know I’ll have a hug with Alafair & Hillary, finally meet Erin and by Joseph, that laptop is ours Duane Swierczsynki!

Aug 25, 2011

An Afternoon in Brigadoon

On Tuesday afternoon a 5.8 earthquake hit the city of Baltimore. I happened to be in Baltimore but I didn’t feel it. In fact, I think the author Laura Lippman and I may have been the only two people in Maryland to not feel it. As the lady in Louise’s Bakery said, “Well, you were in a car, you wouldn’t feel it in a moving car.”

Why were we in a car? The cookies at the bakery were a factor. A beautiful day was the other. The day was so lovely the thought of going to a gym to get on a machine for cardio was uninspiring. Ms. Lippman offered an alternative. Would I like to hike her childhood neighborhood with her instead?

Laura has been one of my strongest fitness inspirations for a decade now. The last two years I’ve even been paying attention. A hike with one of my facebook cheerleaders on a beautiful day in a part of Bal’mor I didn’t know? (Yeah) We set out on a nice path; my tour included parts of Woodlawn, the babbling stream & the pond above (where Laura learned to skate), The Crimea Estate, a set of steps that led to a trail, a trail that had an incline that kicked my ass by the way. The house Ms. Lippman grew up in and the elementary school she had attended were part of our hike. The highlight was the beautiful and out of time Dickeysville. An old mill town surrounded by Leakin Park, it has a sense of isolation and promise. There’s a peace in this community. A feeling that the world can be anything you’d like it to be.

Somewhere after the incline that kicked my ass and before the playground ….

My perspective of the afternoon shifted. I was still walking with my friend Laura, but everything became slightly surreal. It was launch day for Laura Lippman’s newest novel , THE MOST DANGEROUS THING and I was on a walking tour of the novel’s inspiration. A community the writer said later that evening, “I’ve been circling for years in the books, and finally got there.” I looked at my host and admitted to her there would probably never be a bigger fan moment for me. She laughed and retorted, “Well, I won’t be doing it for anyone else today.”

I have a lot of joy in my life. I have family, I have friends, I have reading and I have a group of authors I admire and have had the opportunity to spend time with. Tuesday afternoon they all melded into one. I understand why Laura thinks of Dickeysville as Brigadoon. There was an instant on Tuesday when it became mine.

Saturday Jon and I left Milwaukee to visit with friends in Baltimore. Saturday Crimespree Magazine went to Baltimore to attend the Laura Lippman Pizza Party celebrating the release of her novel, THE MOST DANGEROUS THING. The magazine was also present at the Tuesday night launch for the book. Ruth and Jon took their friend Laura out to dinner afterwards. It’s a wonderful life (giggle,giggle,giggle).

For more on the Baltimore trip and reviews of the book THE MOST DANGEROUS THING, see the print edition of Crimespree.

Aug 18, 2011


Thank you Smallville. I wasn't sure how I would react to your end. Being able to see and yes, preview the last episodes months before viewing could have been a bad thing. Years ago a friend declared, "Smallville will end when Clark becomes Superman and Lex becomes Lex Luther. The finale gave us that and so much more.

How happy am I that Chloe had a happy ending and Tess has become a hero? Thank you writers for not putting every guest star ever in the church for the wedding scene.

That's the thing about Smallville, whether you watched the TV series with Steve Reeves, saw the Christopher Reeves movies, or simply have read the Comics over the years ... Smallville is accessible, in the way few television shows are. It tells a story we've all known from the beginning. It entertains and at times has exceptional writing. Tom Welling take a bow. You were born to play this character. the finale episode is isolated and yet true to a story arc as only a comic can be. I will not spoil it here. I simply hale the series in its entirety. For every misstep and overwrought scene there is a "pencil line" that brings us back to the legend of Superman.

The last season featured "the darkness" and even affects some of our heroes. It's almost an anti-the watchmen. There's history in a series this long and some are rescued. Some fall. Destiny is pure in a comic world and you guys have pulled it off. Thank You for making me understand just how pure my concept of Superman is. Thank you for letting me follow the story of Clark Kent, his family and his friends. I'll miss you and have no idea what I'll do Labor Day weekend from now on. Maybe the U.S. Open ????

Aug 7, 2011

Duane Swierczynski : Serial Thriller

Serialization – Publication in serial form.

When I was a little girl in Burlington Vt. I was introduced to Buck Rodgers on our black and white T.V. The 60s version Batman could be heard every afternoon, “Same Bat Time. Same Bat Channel.” The summer between 7th and 8th grade I sat in a movie theater and with millions of others read the words, “Long Ago, In a Galaxy Far, Far away.” The Star Wars movies and George Lucas have defined “serial” for three generations now.

Certain forms of “publication” have used this format for a very long time. Both Dickens and Doyle were serialized in Magazines. I remember reading Agatha Christie in my Grandmother’s Ladies Home Journal. Play Boy was the first glimpse we had of many talented authors. There’s panache and a history to the very idea. There’s Star Wars.

In the last decade of the last century Stephen King released GREEN MILE through every outlet that ever sold a book. I was all in. It was a glorious experiment. Green Mile was a great but not all together successful work of Serialization. It’s a fine work and King talked frankly about the Death Penalty, mortality and morality within the parameters of the form. I wasn’t sharing my views at the water cooler though. I think mainly we were just waiting to figure out the deal with the mouse. No one peels back a story better than King but like many I didn’t get over the King part of it all.

A few years back, when the NYT had a better budget they serialized works by some of my favorite writers including Ian Rankin and Laura Lippman. Great stories and bound together, really good books. Waiting in the wings with a story of his own was a young writer by the name of Duane Swierczynski. The Times concept didn’t pan out as they’d hoped and EXPIRATION DATE was released as a novel. A fan of the book, I wondered how would this experience have been, waiting week to week to see what would happen next?

Swierczynski is younger than me. Star Wars has always been a part of his life. He’s a true scholar of not just popular fiction but pop culture. All of it. Movies? I suspect he can quote dialog from just about any movie, ever. Music? Try to stump him.

When Little, Brown & Company announced a new imprint called Mulholland Books in 2010 they released a mission statement.

“The goal of Little, Brown’s Mulholland Books is simple: to publish books you can’t stop reading. Whatever their form—crime novels, thrillers, police procedurals, spy stories, even supernatural suspense—the promise of a Mulholland Book is that you’ll read it leaning forward, hungry for the next word. With a focus on online community building, internet marketing and authentic connections between authors, readers and publisher, Mulholland Books will be at the center of a web of suspense.”

Duane Swierczynski is just one of the terrific writers published under this imprint.His is a special story.
FUN &GAMES was released earlier this year. A good book demands you read it. FUN & GAMES left me frothing for the next book. In the cliffhanger to end all cliffhangers ….

The story of a man with a past and a young actress thrown together… The author pulled out all stops creating an Entertainment for the reader that had me buzzing like nothing in any form since those words scrolled down the movie screen. My expectations for the sequel to FUN & GAMES was so high I quite wondered if HELL & GONE would be able to further enamor me or if it would be a Phantom Menace in book form.

I am so very happy to report that in the middle of a too busy week I opened this book and once again dove into Swierczynski’s world with abandon. The author accelerated in FUN & GAMES . He floors it in HELL & GONE. Charlie Hardie and the Accident People are destined to entertain for a long time to come. Swiercyski’s series defines serialization for the book world like Lucas has for the movies. Now, where the hell is book three?