Sunday, January 30, 2011

Crime Fiction on the 'Net: Weekly Round-up

There have been some more great crime fiction stories on the Web this past week - from newspapers, magazines, and fellow bloggers. Hopefully you will all find an interesting article or two linked here, that you enjoy reading.

Just a quick reminder for those readers in the south of the South Island that this coming week Vanda Symon's excellent fourth Sam Shephard novel, BOUND, will be launched at the University Book Shop in Dunedin. All Crime Watch readers are invited to the event, which will be held at 6pm on Wednesday 2 February 2011 at the UBS store, which is located at 378 King Street, Dunedin. RSVP to

Onto the round-up.

Crime Watch Weekly Round-Up: In the News and on the 'Net

  • Speaking at the Jaipur Literature Festival this past week, Swedish crime writing superstar Henning Mankell discussed the end of Kurt Wallander, that he is inspired by Greek Tragedy, and that Shakespeare's MacBeth is the "best crime story" that he's ever read.
  • Deadline Hollywood reports that ABC has greenlit a pilot for "Poe", a new crime prodcedural that would see author Edgar Allan Poe as a detective using unconventional methods to investigate dark mysteries in 1840s Boston.
  • On the Books South Africa website, acclaimed South African crime writer Margie Orford discusses the desire to write 'a proper book', the flexibility of crime writing, and the trope of feminity and death. In another post Orford discusses the "devilish details" so vital for good crime writing.
  • The Waikato Times interviews local short story writer Stephen Ross, who has been shortlisted for a prestigious Edgar Award, a rare feat for a New Zealand writer.
  • Jeff Pierce, editor of the excellent website The Rap Sheet, is on the lookout for "any authors or critics out there would like to contribute an essay to The Rap Sheet’s regular 'forgotten books' series" - see here for more details.
  • The Parkridge Herald-Advocate takes a look at the upcoming "Love is Murder Mystery Conference," the premiere Midwest gathering of mystery authors, readers, publishers, and agents which returns this year on 4-6 February after a hiatus in 2010 (this is the thirteenth instalment in 14 years).
  • Scott Eyman of the Palm Beach Post grabs a few moments with a very busy Robert Crais, currently touring in support of his latest novel THE SENTRY, for an interesting Q&A.
  • Star News Online reports that wo mystery writers, Judy Nichols and Joyce Lavene, have helped revive the defunct and once-popular Cape Fear Crime Festival, which ran in Wilmington, North Carolina from 2001 to 2007. You can read the news story about the new festival, which will be on Saturday 5 February, here, and check out the festival website here.
  • Ngaio Marsh Award judge and acclaimed book blogger Graham Beattie comments on the latest thrillers from British author Robert Goddard and Norwegian Ann Holt here.
  • The Kansas City Star reviews MR HOOLIGAN, a crime novel by Florida journalist Ian Vasquez set in his native Belize (perhaps a good option for some of the readers undertaking Dorte Jakobsen's excellent 2011 Global Reading Challenge).
What are the roots of crime fiction - do you agree that Greek tragedies and Shakespearean plays are also crime fiction, at least in part? Does the modern focus on 'detective fiction' unnecessarily constrain many critics from realising crime fiction is much wider and longstanding than that? Do you like attending crime fiction festivals and meeting authors? Are you taking part in the 2011 Global Reading Challenge? Comments welcome.


  1. Craig - Thanks, as always, for this round-up. You know, I never really had thought about Greek tragedies and other ancient writing as crime fiction, but they certainly could qualify. Really interesting point...

  2. Yes, I had some interesting discussions with Gregg Hurwitz (thriller writer, screenwriter, graphic novelist) back in 2009 when he visited New Zealand - he studied Shakespeare at Harvard and Cambridge, and always considered MacBeth a prototypical 'gang story'...

  3. I just read Alan Glynn's Winterland and was struck by its Shakespearean overtones - the setting was modern politics rather than a royal Family but there were definitely hints of Hamlet and The Scottish Play

    I sort of wish all this genre labelling would disappear though as I think it misleads and constrains more than it helps.