Re: RARA-AVIS: Black Eyes, Red Cars

Mari Hall (
Tue, 24 Mar 1998 13:30:55 -0600 Kevin Smith wrote:
> Mari,
> Glad someone else out there likes Haywood's Aaron Gunner. More politically in your face than Mosley, and a bit pulpier, I think it's one of the best active series around these days. But I also love what Mosley's doing, and I'm looking forward to rereading Devil.
> Unfortunately, just as every pale male PI is compared to Chandler, Hammett, Parker and some MacDonald or another, and every female eye is compared to Grafton or Paretsky, so is every current black eye, it seems, compared to Mosley (at least it's not Shaft).
> Gary Phillips' Ivan Monk series is a case in point. I'm sorry, but I found both books rather over-earnest, trying too hard to be tough, or political, or radical or something. Maybe he should relax and let the character breathe a bit. Right now, Monk doesn't seem so much created as assembled from various traits of other eyes. And I don't give a hoot about his damn Eastlake chairs. Yet a friend of mine swears the short story by Phillips in Spooks, Spies and Private Eyes is a stone cold killer. Guess I'll have to dig that one up.
> I had some of the same problems with Robert Greer's CJ Floyd, a Denver
> bounty hunter. Greer doesn't try so hard, so I found his adventures a bit easier to take, but the similiarities to Monk and a lot of other current eyes are very noticeable. The smart but independent girlfriend. The slightly psycho, well-armed sidekick. The extended family of relatives and petty criminals. The classic automobile.
> And what's with all the vintage cars? The TV eye mania for classic wheels is apparently spreading to print. Tailing a suspect in a car is hard enough without driving a mint condition cherry red 1955 Corvette or something.
> Opinionated? Moi?
> But I digress...
> Kevin Smith
> The Thrilling Detective Web Site
> Coming soon!
> For info,
Glad to see some of my faves mentioned here--particularly Robert Greer,
the doctor from Denver (I know if I had a biopsy, I'd want this dude to
look at it). He was so surprized when he came to Dallas to sign his
first book (BTW he signed at Black Images Bookstore) and Emma, the
owner, brought out 2 boxes (meaning 200) of his books. He said "they
just kept comin' and comin'. He has never forgotten this and reminds me
of it every time he sees me and in fact told me he would be here in May
for a doctor's thing-y and will be signing there.
Yes, Spooks, Spies, et al (Mosley himself laughed at the title and said
it was "the best he ever heard" when he was telling everyone at Eyecon
that he was being included in the book) is one of the best anthologies
around. Paula Woods does a lot of reviews and I try to read them every
chance I get. Her husband (has different name which slips my mind) and
she were here in Dallas right after Bouchercon in St. Paul signing their
Christmas/Kwanza book. It's so funny how authors see you at a convention
and you say "see you in ..." and then they are surprized when you show.
whose DOROTHYL nom is Kate Warne the ex-Pinkerton in
The Woman With the Rose Tattoo by Mari Hall
Bouchercon 29 in Philly is next
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