Friday, October 29, 2010

Panic in Philly

Next Saturday (11/6) at 4:40 p.m. I'll be joining David Corbett for a panel discussion on "Reality & Noir: The Everyday Quality of Evil" as part of NoirCon 2010 at Philadelphia's Society Hill Playhouse. Other attendees include George Pelecanos, Laura Lippman, Daniel Woodrell, Megan Abbott, Reed Farrel Coleman and many, many others.

(extra points to anyone who gets the allusion in this post title)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Wednesday night in New Brunswick

For all MWA members: I'll be guesting at the NJ-NY Chapter meeting this Wed. - Oct. 27 - at 6 p.m. at Tumulty's, 361 George St., in New Brunswick, talking about books, newspapers and other dying art forms. Dinner included. Cash bar. (732) 890-3581 or for details. I'll also be giving away books, including a brand new ARC of COLD SHOT TO THE HEART. All of this just blocks from my alma mater (or one of them anyway, I had a checkered college career).

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Alias Simon Quinn

In addition to being one of the great (and best-selling) thriller writers of the last 30 years, Martin Cruz Smith, as it turns out, is also a good sport.

I moderated a panel he was on at the BoucherCon World Mystery Convention in San Francisco last week (along with fellow panelists Andrew Klavan and Joseph Finder), and though we talked at length about his classic GORKY PARK and many other books (the most recent being THREE STATIONS), I also asked Smith about a paperback men's adventure series he had pseudonymously written in the early '70s.

Titled THE INQUISITOR, and written under the pen name "Simon Quinn," it followed the exploits of Francis Xavier Killy, a spy/assassin who works for the Vatican, the twist being that he's required to do penance every time he kills someone. Though obviously written quickly while Smith worked on other projects, the books were fun, and very well done, head and shoulders above most of the similar series of the time. They also had some great titles: THE LAST TIME I SAW HELL; HIS EMINENCE, DEATH; THE MIDAS COFFIN.

Smith seemed slightly surprised - and amused - at the end of the panel, when I actually produced my battered, somewhat dog-eared copy of the first book in the series, 1974's THE DEVIL IN KANSAS. However, he graciously signed it (below), though preferring to stay with his nom de plume.

Charles Ardai of Hard Case Crime has been after Smith for years to let him republish THE MIDAS COFFIN, one of the best of the series (so far, he's declined). After the panel, I went as far as to jokingly suggest he should write a new one, tied to the recent scandals in the Catholic Church. He just laughed.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Almost a book

Out from St. Martin's/Minotaur Jan. 18.

Friday, October 08, 2010

It took a while ...

... but yes, finally, I'm tweeting.