I've just finished reading the spectacular new issue of Mystery Scene. Of particular note is Lawrence Block's new column which he devotes to his memories of the people and places of his literary past. He writes here of the late short story genius Stanley Ellin. A fascinating portrait of Ellin's working methods. Larry is the last of the giants (we lost Don Westlake, Mickey Spillane and Evan Hunter all too soon) and his Proustian take on the decades of his career will be the first thing I read when MS arrives.
I don't think I've ever seen a finer finale--and Mary Tyler Moore me no Mary Tyler Moores etc--than the two-part Monk that concluded last night. The writing and the acting were superb and both dug deep. I haven't seen Carol cry like that in front of the tube in a long time. I used to think that Rockford was my all-time favorite crime show. Now I'd have to have a two-way winner for first place. Monk was done with enormous talent and enormous love. It is a true classic and one I'd put up with any crime show that's ever been on television.
I'v just read the manuscript of Dave Zeltserman's new novel, Vampire Crimes. This is one of the few fresh takes on vampirism I've read in years. It's as if Charles Bukowski sat down and said, OK, Bram Stoker, how about this? Here's a piece from it:
"That day started off worse than most of the others. He had hooked up
the night before with another addict, a deathly thin blonde woman about
twenty years older than him. He didn't remember much about her other
than how damn hollow her eyes looked, how her lips were so unnaturally
pale with this hint of blue tingeing them and hard it was for her to
find a vein to tap. When he woke up the next morning she was gone along
with his roll of over three grand and his stash. There was nothing in
her apartment worth any money. She wasn't coming back. His cash and
junk were long gone. He was just lucky she didn't take his clothes, and
even luckier she didn't take his army-issued boots. He sat on the floor
for a long time holding his head, needing a fix as badly as he ever
did. Eventually the stench of garbage got to him and he staggered out
of the apartment.
Most of what happened that day was lost to him, but he remembered that
night ending up in a diner. He tried to palm a couple of bucks from the
counter and that was when a burly tattooed arm went around his
shoulder, corralling him."
Tom Piccirilli was generous enough to interview about my new Sam McCain novel TICKET TO RIDE
on his website The Big Adios. You can read it here: http://thebigadios.yuku.com/topic/995?page=-1