I have always been partial to journalists as protagonists
because they (unlike most amateurs) have a logical reason for
investigating situations and asking questions. They also have
access to sources of information other non-detectives would
not have. Also, I spent years as a reporter both print and
broadcast and know the background well. This inside knowledge
also means some novels depicting reporters make my skin crawl
Fred Brown worked on a newspaper but not as a reporter. He
worked in the backshop with the linotype machines and
printing press back when newspaper type was set in lead in
the old "hot type" process. It was a highly professional,
often unionized, area of the newspaper that has disappeared
with "cold type" offset presses and computers. Fred did a lot
of copyediting and through that worked closely with reporters
and editors but his specialized knowledge of the back shop
comes into play in some of his stories. THE SCREAMING MIMI is
one of my favorites but there are other Brown novels that
feature reporters/newspapers. Another favorite of mine is
NIGHT OF THE JABBERWOCK (1951) and his THE DEEP END (1952) is
another good novel. The later was reprinted in Otto Penzler's
Quill Mysterious Classic series of paperbacks.
A couple of years ago I had qualified praise for a novel that
was a very good picture of the old "hot type" newspaper Edwin
Lanham's SLUG IT SLAY (1946) that was later reprinted by
Bantam as HEADLINED FOR MURDER. It had the great line:
"Arthur finished shaving and then, although it was early in
the morning for a drink, he poured a Scotch."
Michael Connelly's THE POET has already been mentioned.
Connelly spent years working for the Los Angeles Times and
before that newspapers in Florida. I also very much liked THE
NOTHING MAN by Jim Thompson, who spent some time on
newspapers in both New York and Los Angeles.
I'm sure I will think of others later or be reminded of
additional great ones as others post in response.
> It's really good to be back, and thanks for the welcome. I
already have a question...
> I'm re-reading Fredric Brown's Screaming Mimi's right now, and
it's still my favorite
> hardboiled novel with a journalist hero. I know reporters used to
be pulp fiction favorites,
> but I'm looking for a few more books to read in the sub-genre.
> What are your favorite novels or movies that feature hardboiled
> Thanks for the help,
> Jason Boog
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