RARA-AVIS: St. Martin's First PI Awards & Gary Phillips

From: Stephen Miller ( readingbear@earthlink.net)
Date: 28 Nov 2001

Kent asked:
> >
> > Last year another Phillips mystery titled Only the Wicked was supposed
to be
> > released. Anyone know anything about it?
On the Wicked was released by Write Way Press, and as I recall, went out of print pretty quickly. Phillips has had enormous difficulty with publishers having any clue how to promote or market him. It's a shame, since the man is an incredible writer. You might find a copy of Only the Wicked on something like abebooks.com, or perhaps from the mystery booksellers that specialize in first editions (Poisoned Pen comes to mind). Also, No Exit had printed many of his Monk novels in paperback, but don't know if this was one of them.
  Kent went on to ask:
> Also can anyone comment on the last couple of St. Martin's Best
> > First P.I. Novel winners? The latest is Catching Water in a Net by J.L.
> > Abramo.
> >

I tried reading Abramo twice, and both times could not get past page thirty or so. Insufferably cliche-ridden. It seems the writer wasn't sure if he was writing a tribute to the old style, a pastiche or a parody. Had he chosen one, it might have worked. I thought it was an extremely weak book.
  The last three or four have been pretty good. Steve Hamilton's A Cold Day in Paradise will knock your socks off. Lise Baker's book The Liar's Club won in 1998 and while it's not terribly HB, I thought it was very well done, although I know I hold a minority view. For readers who have tired of Grafton and Paretsky but haven't given up on female protagonists, Baker is worth a read. In 1999, Bob Truluck scored the award with Street Level, which is pretty HB, has great energy, but I thought went on too long and

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 28 Nov 2001 EST