RARA-AVIS: Re: Wade Miller recommendations?

From: JIM DOHERTY (jimdohertyjr@yahoo.com)
Date: 20 Apr 2009

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    Brian,

    Re your message below:

    "It's high time I weighed in on this. Doherty, you're wrong."

    About what? Since you reproduced my entire message responding to Tom's question about Wade Miller, are you suggesting that the entire post is wrong in every single respect?

    Taking it point by point (yeah, that's right; point by point; that'll teach you to call ME wrong):

    > Tom,

    I suppose I could be wrong about that, but he signed "Tom Armstrong" to his original message so I just took him at his word.

    > Re your question below:
    >
    > "I recently read the Wade Miller reprints done by Hard Case and Stark
    > House and enjoyed all three of them. What are some of the highlight Wade > Miller books I should read next?"

    Well, that IS what he asked.

    > Aside from the excellent private eye series featuring Max Thursday written
    > as "Wade Miller," . . .

    That, I grant you, is an opinion. But I think you'll find most agree on that. If you don't like the Max Thursday series, you are, of course, free to disagree. However it is a fact that the series was written as by "Wade Miller."

    > which I'll leave to others to sing the praises of, . . .

    Well, I didn't go into a lot of detail about the Thursday series, so I think I really was, for the most part, leaving it to others to sing the praises of that series. Unless you were criticizing my ending a sentence with a prepostion? If you are, that's just a grammatical custom, one that does not rise to the level of an actual rule, and it's a silly, pettifogging custom at that, up with which I shall not put.

    > Bob Wade and Bill Miller also collaborated on several excellent cop
    > novels as "Whit Masterson." One of them, BADGE OF EVIL, became a minor
    > film noir you've probably never heard of called, IIRC, TOUCH OF EVIL.
    > Starred a guy named Orson something-or-other. He also wrote and > directed the film.

    Well, all of that is verifiable fact. Wade and Miller DID collaborate as Whit Masterson. BADGE OF EVIL really WAS one of their cop novels. It really WAS made into a film noir. And someone named Orson something-or-other really DID write, direct, and star in it. I suppose you could kvetch about whether or not it's minor, but it was a production of Albert Zugsmith, Universal's "King of B's."

    Although I suspect most here, including you, probably recognized that I was being ironic.

    > Another good 'un is A HAMMER IN HIS HAND, one of the first procedurals to
    > feature a policewoman as the protagonist. It's about the search for a
    > serial killer, years before either Dorothy Uhnak's THE BAIT or Thomas
    > Harris's THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS would explore the similar theme of a
    > lady cop on the trail of a multiple murderer.

    While my calling A HAMMER IN HIS HAND a "good 'un" is, again, an opinion, one with which you are free to disagree, all the rest is verifiable fact. It WAS one of the first procedurals to feature a policewoman as the protagonist, and it DID explore the theme of a female cop on the trail of a serial killer years before THE BAIT or THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS.

    > After Miller's death, Wade carried on alone as Masterson. 711 - OFFICER
    > NEEDS HELP, about a cop who killed a man in a controversial shooting, and
    > PLAY LIKE YOU'RE DEAD, an early look at custodial abductions years
    > before it became a hot topic, are both highly recommended.

    Again, most of this is verifiable fact. Wade really DID carry on alone as Masterson. One of Wade's solo Masterson novels, 711-OFFICER NEEDS HELP (published as WARNING SHOT in some editions, to tie in with the release of the 1967 film version starring David Janssen) really DID depict a cop caught in a trick bag over a controversial shooting. Another, PLAY LIKE YOU'RE DEAD, really DID deal with custodial abductions. I grant you, though, that my recommendations of same were yet another expression of opinion. And, if you wish, you may disagree.

    > Last I heard, Wade was still active as a mystery critic for one of the
    > San Diego papers.

    In fact, Wade was on the staff of the San Diego UNION-TRIBUNE as its mystery critic, and was writing a monthly crime fiction review column for the paper as recently as 2005. Another verifiable fact.

    Now, since it's been established, time and again, that I'm even more infallible than the Pope (who, to refresh your memory, is only infallible on matters of faith and morals, and only when speaking EX CATHEDRA, whereas I'm ALWAYS infallible about absolutely everything all the time), it stands to reason that you're wrong to disagree with any opinion I choose to express about anything whatsoever. Nevertheless, I grant that you have the God-given right to be wrong by disagreeing with me.

    But, opinions aside, I'll stand by my factual statements.

    JIM DOHERTY

          



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