Smokey the Cat
Dana King

Sixty seconds with Dana King...

Dana King has been nominated twice for the Private Eye Writers of America Shamus Award, for A Small Sacrifice (2013) and again two years later for The Man in the Window. His novel Grind Joint was noted by Woody Haut in the L.A. Review of Books as one of the fifteen best noir reads of 2013.

Dana has worked as a musician, public school teacher, adult trainer, and information systems analyst. He lives in Maryland with The Beloved Spouse.

RTE: Describe yourself in a sentence?

King: As a friend once said when giving me a job reference: Good sense of humor, pays for his share of the drinks, does not gladly suffer fools.

RTE: What's the one record you'd take to a desert island?

King: Mahler Ninth Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Carlo Maria Giulini, conductor

RTE: What did you want to be when you were growing up?

King: Shortstop for the Pittsburgh Pirates

Rich Zahradnik

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D.A. Mishani

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November 4 2017

Tonight marks what I think is the darkest day of the year - when the clocks go back and where I live night will fall around 5:00 pm, heading rapidly toward 4:00. But there is some consolation - darkness outside means more time inside, and more time inside means more time to read. If that's your view, then here are some suggestions to comfort you through the deepening gloom.

In his 16th appearance, William Kent Krueger's Cork O'Connor leaves his familiar territory on the northern Minnesota border and travels to Arizona in SULFUR SPRINGS. Sharon Mensing writes that the move provides the opportunity for a fresh look at the Arizona/Mexico border and its problems.

Joe Ide's RIGHTEOUS is the second IQ (Isaiah Quintabe) novel. Susan Hoover enjoyed the first and likes the second just as much and is already looking forward to the third.

We have a couple of historical novels this time. Will Thomas continues his Barker & Llewellen series with OLD SCORES, set in London in the late 1890s, when Japan was seeking to expand its national presence and Barker's Asian experience comes in very handy. Tasha Alexander visits pre-Revolutionary Russia in DEATH IN ST. PETERSBURG in what Cathy Downs calls a "romp in the past." It's a glittering romp she enjoyed very much.

Ann Pearson was pleased to see that Barbara Fradkin is true to her promise to set each entry in her new series in a different Canadian province. THE TRICKSTER'S LULLABY takes place in the Laurentians, just north of Montreal, where Amanda Doucette and her service dog Kaylee are set to lead a winter camping experience for a disparate group of young people.

INHERIT THE BONES, by Emily Littlejohn, is the first in a projected new series starring detective Gemma Monroe. Caryn St Clair says its one of the most skilfully written books she's read recently. Diana Borse also admired BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE, by Sara Driscoll, in part because of its sensitive but unsentimental depiction of the relationship between the protagonist and her service dog.

Lourdes Venard thinks that William Shaw's THE BIRDWATCHER may be his breakout novel. In any event, she says it is an intelligent, compelling police procedural with a powerful ending. THE MAN WHO WASN'T THERE, by Hjorth & Rosenfeldt, is a Swedish police procedural that was new to me and one I thought moved at a slower pace than was absolutely desirable.

Margery Allingham died a long time ago, but Mike Ripley has been keeping her spirit and her character Albert Campion alive first by finishing some of her unfinished manuscripts and recently by inventing wholly new ones in her manner, a mode that Jim Napier says Ripley understands fully. MR CAMPION'S ABDICATION is a case in point. P.D. James died just a few years ago and is sorely missed. Happily editors have been combing the vaults for pieces of her shorter fiction that can be collected and brought back into the light of day. The most recent of these collections, SLEEP NO MORE, with a foreword by Peter Kemp, contains six stories, some Christmas-themed, that I thought were well worth resurrecting.

Another group of short stories, these set, as it happens, in my hometown, Montreal, appears as part of the ever-expanding Akashic Press City Noir collections. Jim Napier found MONTREAL NOIR, edited by John McFetridge and Jacques Filippi expertly crafted and shrewdly edited.

Diana Borse admits she rather lost patience with the characters in C.L. Taylor's THE MISSING, though she sympathized with their plight as they suffered the disappearance of their teen-aged son.

And finally, the cosy of the week is THE PERSIAN ALWAYS MEOWS TWICE, which Caryn St Clair thought was a promising start to the new Cat Groomer series. She also was intrigued by the discussion of how to train a cat, something she had not thought possible before.

Our guest in the "Sixty Seconds With..." spot is Dana King. You can find his answers to our questions in the box to your left.

If you want to find out more about what is going on across the ocean, the place to visit is CRIMEREVIEW.

So brace yourselves - winter is coming. But happily, there are books to read and warm drinks and perhaps a cookie or two, so all is not gloom. We'll be back in a few weeks with more books, some of which might make good presents if you're in a generous mood.

And please, don't hesitate to get in touch if you have something you'd like us to know.



P.S. If you wish to submit a book for review, please check here before contacting us. Please note that we do not review self-published books.

Our mascot and masthead is Smokey the Cat. Smokey the cat went to the great playground in the sky on April 29, 2008, at 3:30 p.m. He was about 13 years old, had diabetes and only 11 teeth left. He is much happier now. He will remain as our masthead and mascot.

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