RARA-AVIS: Catching up...

From: Kevin Burton Smith ( kvnsmith@thrillingdetective.com)
Date: 04 Nov 2003

Sorry, the last few weeks since that mess in Vegas have seen me playing travelling companion/bodyguard and publicist to DL Browne
(AKA Diana Killian) whose new book, HIGH RHYMES AND MISDEMEANORS, is definitely NOT hardboiled.

Unfortunately, I'm a little behind on stuff here, so please bear with me...

Richard wrote:

>(Stewart Sterling's) known
>character was Fire Marshall Pedley with a career that began in the pulps,
>jumped to hardback novels in the 1940s and continued into the 60s. Art said
>Sterling also had a series featuring a "house dick" by the name of Gil Vine.

He also wrote about Don Cadee, security chief for a swanky Manhattan department store, as Spencer Dean. These were pretty good too, fast-paced, clever mysteries, and again with what seemed like an authentic background.

And Mark chipped in with the link to THE LAST TESTAMENT OF ROSS MACDONALD. Thanks, Mark. What a great book it would have made. But it makes me wonder -- if some publisher did pull a Parker and have a contemporary mystery author complete this book, working from whatever notes are left, who should it be?

I think Parker did a serviceable job on POODLE SPRINGS, especially given that even Chandler himself might not have been able to pull it off (Marlowe married?), but who could do Macdonald justice? Although I think all Ross' children are out there playing his licks, I wonder who could actually get Archer right these days? Could anyone? Compared to Archer, doing Marlowe was a cinch. But to capture the powerful but convoluted plotting and aching sense of loss that Macdonald did so well? Although a lot of people seem to work in the fields Macdonald first sowed, few have ever tried to capture his voice, so I'm stuck wondering who COULD do it. Thomas Cook? Margaret Atwood?

And Joy asked, referring to SHOOTING ELVIS by Robert Eversz:

> I loved this book, Miker, as have all the other women I've heard mention it.
>Women even cite him as proof that, yes, a male author can write a real
>female character. Yet male readers seem to hate this series.
> Have any male rare birds loved this book? Have any female rare birds
>hated it?

I haven't read that one, but I reviewed his newest, BURNING GARBO and I liked it a great deal. In fact, I liked Nina better than the book itself, so I'll be working my way back through the rest of the series. I love the way Nina comes across as the pissed-off, trouble-prone bastard love child of Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe and Joan Jett.... The review, "Have Nose Stud, Will Travel" is at http://www.januarymagazine.com/crfiction/burninggarbo.html

As for men writing women and women writing men, it's not even something I considered in my review, because I thought we'd all outgrown that tedious argument. The truth is that it's not about whether the writer sits up or sits down to pee, it's about whether they're a good writer or not. Some folks can't even write good characters of their own gender.


Kevin Burton Smith The Thrilling Detective Web Site Last chance. The P.I. Trivia Challenge is waiting. http://www.thrillingdetective.com -- # Plain ASCII text only, please. Anything else won't show up. # To unsubscribe from the regular list, say "unsubscribe rara-avis" to # majordomo@icomm.ca. This will not work for the digest version. # The web pages for the list are at http://www.miskatonic.org/rara-avis/ .

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