RE: RARA-AVIS: Boucher: after Toomey, Crider, and Reasoner

From: Todd Mason (
Date: 23 Jan 2002

And while his crime fiction (as opposed to suspense/horror such as "They Bite"--it's been too long for me to remember on which side of the arbitrary line that fine story falls) and such hybrids as "The Compleat Werewolf" may not be hb, they aren't anyone's stereotypical cozy, either. Although the wit of many of the better cozy writers is in evidence here, as well.

(Just in case anyone doesn't know, William White, aka "Anthony Boucher," "H. H. Holmes," and "Herman W. Mudgett" [to stick with the pseuds I understand he lifted from mass-murderers] not only was the first to translate Jorge Luis Borges's crime fiction into English, and the cofounder of THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION, but also edited THE BEST DETECTIVE STORIES OF THE YEAR for a long stretch, and was as Boucher the CF reviewer for the NY TIMES while as Holmes was the CF reviewer for the NY HERALD TRIBUNE for another long stretch. Also, he was an early member of the Pacifica Radio gang, and conducted opera programs for that pioneering public broadcasting entity. And. I'm still looking forward someday to reading his sf-community roman a clef ROCKET TO THE MORGUE...and see you at the Bouchercon.)


-----Original Message----- From: James Reasoner [mailto:]
----- Original Message ----- From: <>

> Bob Toomey writes: "Boucher's fiction is far from hardboiled, but he was
> a great friend of
> hardboiled and one of the first important reviewers to pay attention to
> tough paperback originals."
> Absolutely. Boucher was reviewing John D. MacDonald, Charles Williams,
> Jim Thompson, Gil Brewer, Peter Rabe (not to mention lesser lights like
> Al Fray, Jack Ehrlich, and many others) before they were even a blip on
> the radar of any other reviewer.
> Bill Crider

And occasionally, as in the story "They Bite", he comes pretty darned close to hardboiled.

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