RARA-AVIS: _Right as Rain_

From: George Pelecanos ( shoedog1@erols.com)
Date: 20 Feb 2001

Thanks for the kind words about my books. As for my schedule, I returned from the first leg of my tour last week, where I "appeared" with Michael Connelly in Chicago, Milwaukee, LA, San Francisco, Portland and Seattle. I'm in Coral Gables tonight, then will be in New York Thursday and Friday and in Philly on Saturday. Next Thursday and Friday I'll be in Scottsdale and Houston, respectively. A couple more shots in D.C. No plans for Canada this time.

On the planes I finished Ed Dee's NIGHTBIRD (for my money, Dee currently writes the best cop books) and dove into Newton Thornburg's TO DIE IN CALIFORNIA, which I bought in Terry Lankford's cool store in L.A. Recently I had the honor of writing the introduction to the republication of Thornburg's classic CUTTER AND BONE, brought out by the UK's Serpent's Tail and available in the States. CUTTER AND BONE was one of those books that, early on, inspired me to try this writing thing myself. I highly recommend this book to hardboiled/noir fans if you have not already read it.

Other recent good reads, some not yet published: John Shannon's THE ORANGE CURTAIN, a new Jack Liffey novel by a relatively unheralded writer who really gets into the working class neighborhoods of Los Angeles in an interesting way; A MURDER OF HONOR, by Robert Andrews, set in the District
(not the District of that phony t.v. show, the real District); ROBBERS, by Christopher Cook; CARDIFF DEAD, by John Williams; REFLECTING THE SKY, by S.J. Rozan, who continues to maintain a high level of quality in her series work, reminiscent of Ross Macdonald; Chris Petit's BACK FROM THE DEAD, a true noir dealing with sex and obsession; and FORTY WORDS FOR SORROW, by Giles Blunt, an excellent hardboiled/noir novel set in Canada, which should put to rest the recent discussions on this list about the existence of such good books up North. Finally, I'd be remiss in not mentioning Connelly's A DARKNESS MORE THAN NIGHT and Dennis Lehane's MYSTIC RIVER. Yeah, those guys are friends of mine, but aside from that they have written two of the best hardboiled novels you'll read this year.

Best to all of you on the list,


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