RARA-AVIS: Denise Hamilton

From: Grimes ( redgrimes@sbcglobal.net)
Date: 13 May 2004

The L. A. Times published a rave profile today of L.A. mystery author Denise Hamilton.
( http://www.calendarlive.com/books/cl-et-lacher12may12,2,540239.story). The author of the profile and Hamilton herself explicitly place her in the lineage of Chandler and Ross Macdonald.

Hamilton's three novels feature Eve Diamond, a "tough-but-vulnerable" L.A. Times reporter and alter ego for Hamilton, herself a former Times reporter.
"I read Chandler and Macdonald, not because I wanted to write like middle-aged white guys in 1950s L.A.," Hamilton says. "My L.A. is a very multicultural place where fourth-generation Angelenos butt up against people who've just come off a boat from somewhere. This is very grandiose of me, I realize, but I wanted to update Chandler's tone and his noir feel for L.A. to a millennial, multicultural L.A. from a female perspective."

 I'm intrigued, but also wary: Hamilton's a former L.A. Times reporter, so maybe the Times isn't an unbiased source. And calling an L.A.-based mystery writer "the next Chandler" is a little too easy, like dubbing any scrawny kid with a gravelly voice, and a guitar "the next Dylan." Is anyone on the list familiar with Hamilton? I found nothing in the archives.

Also: do Chandler's novels - as opposed to the movies made from his novels - have a "noir feel" for L.A.?



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