RARA-AVIS: Introduction and William Krasner

From: kerkhoc ( Claus_Kerkhoff@web.de)
Date: 23 Aug 2004

Hello all, I'm new to the group and the move to Yahoo seems like a good oppurtunity to jump in.

A brief introduction - My name is Claus, I'm from good old Germany, and my favorites are Donald E. Westlake, Lawrence Block, Charles Willeford, Robert B. Parker, Jean-Patrick Manchette, Sebastian Japrisot, Jean Claude Izzo, and many more. Actually, I discover some more classical novels, and I am disappointed that most of them are out-of-print (in Germany). Recent reads were Michael Collins, Howard Browne, J. W. Rider, Shane Stevens, Thomas Adcock, and William Krasner. Particularly, Krasner was a great discovery. I was deeply impressed by his novels about Sam Birge and Charley Hagen. Although not noir in their settings, the novels could be described as "film noir on a page". The first Birge/Hagen novel "Walk the Dark Street" (1949) was nominated for the Edgar Allan Poe Awards/Best First Novel in 1950. Although there were several positive criticism (listed to the Mystery Top 10 of the year 1949 by "Newsweek", mentioned in Raymond Chandler's Favorite Mysteries, and his protagonist Sam Birge was compared to Maigret by Anthony Boucher in "Ellery Queen´s Mystery Magazine") this novel as well as the second novel "The Stag Party" (1957) were not bestselling. Therefore, Krasner stopped his career as a mystery writer and continued his work as a free-lance or staff writer for various scientific and social science magazines and journals. In the eighties he wrote the third Sam Birge novel "Death of a Minor Poet" (1984). Charles Willeford characterized this novel as novelization of 24hrs-investigation day with high literarily impact. Due to the positive criticism Krasner wrote the fourth novel "Resort to Murder" (1985). However, these novels were again not bestselling. As a consequence, Krasner found no American publisher for his fifth novel "Death, the Dancer" (1990) which was only published in Germany.

Has anyone else come across the novels about Sam Birge and Charley Hagen by William Krasner?


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