RARA-AVIS: Mystery mag

From: Moorich2@aol.com
Date: 05 Sep 2000

William Denton: I remember "Mystery" very well. It was a good magazine, mostly non-fiction with a few short stories...kind of a thinner "Mystery Scene" with color covers. Among other things, it featured a review column by Dorothy B. Hughes.

God knows what box it is in but I very likely have that issue. Keep searching elsewhere because I won't be back in the US before late October where I can search through storage and it may be one of the issues I missed. But I doubt it as I liked it enough to watch for it and may have subscribed. As I recall, it went digest just before folding in the early 80s.

I'd be surprised if Crider doesn't have it. He has most everything stashed in Alvin, Texas, except Evan Hunter's first mystery, a PBO published by Falcon.

If he doesn't and if you don't find it elsewhere, remind me in early October that you are still searching.

On the reading front, I have finished DOG EAT DOG by Edward Bunker and found much in it to admire. It was as tough as I expected given Bunker background as a guy who spent much of the first half of his life in prison including a stint in San Quentin and Marion. I had read his autobiography MR. BLUE (in my edition at least) and I gather all his fiction draws on his personal experience. I prefer the novel to the autobiography as it had much more intensity.

The novel builds to a conclusion that seemed to lose momentum and head into anti-climax and surprised me by regenerating the intensity. The flaw? The novel takes on the "third strike" laws that have swept the US and does a very good job in demonstrating how they are counter productive. Over and over again, it makes that case. That plus repeated scenes where the lead character muses on the greater crimes of members of the mainstream community makes it a bit too didactic for my tastes. While I might agree that those who allowed HIV positive blood donations to infect innocent people, I had trouble buying a character musing on this as he committed murder. It was just a bit too much.

So very good but it could have been great with a bit less preaching. Show me, don't tell me.

Richard Moore

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