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~ The Crew
June is FULL of special days.
- The 5th (today as we send this) is National Donut Day
- The 11th is King Kamehameha Day
- The 16th is Bloomsday
- The 17th is the beginning of Ramadan
- The 19th is Junteenth
- And Sunday the 21st is Father’s Day
Any and all of these are perfect occasions to make a present of one of our -
They’re available in Whatever Denomination You Want.
They Don’t Expire.
You can Order Them by Phone, e-mail or through the Website, and we can Mail them directly to the recipient if you’d like.
The Private Eye Writers of America
They have released their nominees for the 2015 Shamus Awards. You can look them over here. Congratulations to all!
Not Mystery or Crime but We Can’t Pass This Up:
A cache of cards recovered from the New York Public library’s archive is being published online, revealing the many roles the librarian was expected to play in the days before the internet
There’s a new book on Sherlock from a Portland writer: Zach Dundas’s The Great Detective:The Amazing Rise and Immortal Life of Sherlock Holmes (HMH hc, $26). The Oregonian interviewed the author about his life-long involvement in the gaslit world of Baker Street.
For you scribes out there – here’s a contest for Mystery and Thriller writers
Links of Interest:
John Banville: Simenon’s Island of Bad Dreams
Novelist, filmmaker and TV producer Nelson George on his literary idol, Chester Himes
David McCullough: By the Book (who is his favorite fictional character? Inspector Wexford!)
First Edition of The Lord of the Rings – signed with an inscription in Elvish – sold at auction (£137,000 = $210,468.99)
More from The Guardian
The artists' artist: Five crime writers nominate their favourite living author in their field
The queen of crime: When Maj Sjöwall and her partner Per Wahlöö started writing the Martin Beck detective series in Sweden in the 60s, they little realised that it would change the way we think about policemen forever
While we specialize in mystery and crime books, we can order virtually any new book that you might want, no matter what its topic.
Signed Copies to Reserve (the authors will not be here for a formal signing or we’ll be getting the copies from other sources):
Late notice with apologies to folks who already have theirs – we’re getting a very few signed copies of Kate Atkinson’s A God In Ruins (Hachette, $28.00). We didn’t know about this until yesterday, but we did want to let you know that we’ll have a few available.
[Quantities of signed copies for these books will be very limited. Reserving ahead of time – such as in next few days – is HIGHLY recommended. For the most part, we’ll be ordering only enough for those who reserve. You don’t have to pay until you pick it up or we mail it. Ask us to hold a copy for you!]
See the calendar of all currently-scheduled events on our website. The website calendar contains plot synopses. At the bottom of it is the updated, complete list of signed copies that we’ll be getting from other sources. Click Here.
Ron Lovell, June 6
Jon Talton, June 17
Craig Johnson, June 20
Carola Dunn, June 27
Ingrid Thoft, June 30
Roger Hobbs, July 7
Don Winslow, July 9
Yasmine Galenorn, July 11 Drop-by!
Mike Lawson, July 11
Christine Carbo, July 18
Jenny Milchman, July 30
Kevin O’Brien, Aug 1
Richard Kadrey, Aug 25
J.A. Jance, Sept 8
Yasmine Galenorn, Oct 31
And there are always more on the way!
Remember, too, that while it is always fun to come in and meet the author in person, that isn’t always possible. So reserve a signed copy to be mailed to you or for you to pick up later. Those who reserve in advance get the copies in the best condition!
Word of the Week:
rat (n.) late Old English ræt "rat," of uncertain origin. Similar words are found in Celtic (Gaelic radan), Romanic (Italian ratto, Spanish rata, French rat) and Germanic (Old Saxon ratta; Dutch rat; German Ratte, dialectal Ratz; Swedish råtta, Danish rotte) languages, but connection is uncertain and origin unknown. In all this it is very much like cat.
Perhaps from Vulgar Latin *rattus, but Weekley thinks this is of Germanic origin, "the animal having come from the East with the race-migrations" and the word passing thence to the Romanic languages. American Heritage and Tucker connect Old English ræt to Latin rodere and thus PIE *red- "to scrape, scratch, gnaw," source of rodent (q.v.). Klein says there is no such connection and suggests a possible cognate in Greek rhine "file, rasp." Weekley connects them with a question mark and Barnhart writes, "the relationship to each other of the Germanic, Romance, and Celtic words for rat is uncertain." OED says "probable" the rat word spread from Germanic to Romanic, but takes no position on ultimate origin.
RATS. Of these there are the following kinds: a black rat and a grey rat, a py-rat and a cu-rat. ["Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue," Grose, 1788]
Middle English common form was ratton, from augmented Old French form raton. Sense of "one who abandons his associates" (1620s) is from belief that rats leave a ship about to sink or a house about to fall and led to meaning "traitor, informant" (1902; verb 1910).
Interjection rats is American English, 1886. To smell a rat is 1540s; "to be put on the watch by suspicion as the cat by the scent of a rat; to suspect danger" [Johnson]. _____-rat, "person who frequents _____" (in earliest reference dock-rat) is from 1864. (thanks to etymonline.com)
You can browse our collectable and hard-to-find books, as well as signed copies from earlier author events, on Biblio.com. You do not have to place an order through them, especially if you’re a long-time customer and we have your ordering info. Just email us to order.
What We’ve Been Reading:
Flight From Death (Berkley pbo, $7.99, signed copies available on July 11th - drop-by signing) is a spin-off series set in the Otherworld universe, but with no pesky demon hordes or seals to recover. Shimmer is a blue dragon who has been exiled from the Dragon Reaches for theft. She got off lightly, actually. As a dragon with no clan - basically an orphan - she has no standing, and her punishment should have been much worse. But she lucked out and is now sentenced to live in our world for five years, working for Alex Radcliffe, vampire owner of Fly By Night Magical Investigations Agency. Shimmer's only been here for a few months, but she's getting the hang of life on Earth, sort of.
Then the Agency gets a case, a haunting at the High Tide Bed and Breakfast in Port Townsend, WA. This is the first big case Shimmer's ever worked on, and it's a doozy. Add to the ghostly terror, the owner of the B&B has a past with Alex, and that might make everything even more tense. But it still seems like a good idea to take it and get away from the explosions that are going on within the Agency itself, so Shimmer, Alex, and werewolf assistant, Ralph, head out to the picturesque port town with a dark secret.
If you haven't read any of Yasmine Galenorn's work, this is a good place to begin. The characters are fun and quirky and complex, and the ghosts they're up against aren't always as evil as they seem. If you're already a fan of the Otherworld series, then there are some references to people you already know, and it's fun knowing things that Alex and Shimmer don't about what's going on elsewhere in the City.
Flight From Death introduces Shimmer and Alex, and they're wonderful, but the true jewels are her secondary characters. I don't want to say too much; I want you to get to know them for yourself. I'm positive, though, that you're going to be as charmed by Patrick, Tonya, Stacy and Bette as I am. And the mysterious Chai? Trust him or not? It's far too soon to say, and I can't wait to see what adventures this crew gets up to next!
Montana-born James Grady has been writing about the abuses of govenmental power for a long time. Graduating college with a degree in journalism, he witnessed how DC worked as a young staffer in a Montana Senator’s office in the post-Watergate era. He went on to work with columnist and investigating journalist Jack Anderson.
In 1974 he published the political and espionage thriller Six Days of the Condor, which became a bestseller and then a movie (Three Days of the Condor, directed by Sydney Pollack.) It was the story of a CIA analyst who worked in a secret department that read everything – novels, articles, newspapers, domestic and foreign – and wrote reports about stories and plots that might conceivably be releasing important intel. One of the workers writes a report that exposes an illegal, covert op and those involved murder everyone in the unit while the guy who wrote it is out getting lunch. You only know him by his code name within the agency: Condor. I think for many people who had not yet been enlightened by congressional investigations like the Church Committee, the idea that there would be off-the-books and illegal operations by the CIA was just what it was in this novel – fiction.
Grady’s second book, Shadow of the Condor, followed the agent as he goes from office drone to in-the-field agent. That was 1975. His original thought was to trace Condor in five books, from novice to burned-out veteran agent. But then he decided to not get pigeon-holed.
In 2006 came Mad Dogs, the story of a secret “hospital” (read prison) where old/retired/burned-out agents are kept drugged and passified. It was a fun book, but I don’t recall Condor being specifically named as one of them.
Now comes Last Days of the Condor (Forge hc, $25.99). Turns out he was held in that Maine “hospital” for a time, is still heavily medicated, and is living a quiet and haunted life in DC. Between the new book and the first, he had been an active agent, as well as a spymaster, running agents underneath him. His actions have taken a great toll and while he may be fried emotionally and spiritually, there’s still a great deal of spycraft in the silver-haired Condor. And there are still things he believes in, even if no one else does. “You are the line you stand on.” Condor will do what he can to hold that line.
The heart of the book is, as with Six Days, he and his running mates – two very strong and interesting women – trying to figure out who to trust and who wants them dead. The answers are entirely chilling: a security system… well, don’t want to ruin the surprise.
Let’s put it this way: “The V uses people and sytems to get things done and they never realize it. Soldiers or cops or office managers or guys on the street never know who put them there. They do the job they’re supposed to do. No extra pay, no full knowledge, no big picture the V doesn’t control. The best puppets don’t know they have strings.”
It’s an ominous resolution to the story. Grady leaves you thinking he is not just giving you an warning about the security state run amok – which we all know it has – to the feeling that he’s telling you what is really going on, not just warning about a possibility. He’s done that, time and again, since Six Days of the Condor.
He’s done it expertly and entertainingly – even while he’s scaring the bejesus out of you.
We have two Tumblr blogs, in addition to our regular shop blog:
Hardboiled, maintained by JB – pulp covers, film noir and other images of crime and mystery
Reviews and Events – just what it sounds like!
On This Date:
June 7 -1866 – E. W. Hornung was born in Middlesbrough, England. He’d gained immortality by creating the first popular hero in crime and mystery fiction to be a thief and a rogue, A.J. Raffles, in 1898. He was also married to the sister of one of his friends – Constance Doyle
June 7, 1883 – “The New York Detective Library” begins its 15-year run of popular dime novels
June 7 -1879 – Freeman Wills Crofts was born in Dublin. Considered one of the Big Four Authors of the Golden Age of Crime Fiction, he was also a founding member of the Detection Club with Christie and Sayers
June 7 – births of Dean Martin (1917, Steubenville, OH), Tom Jones (1930, Wales - we have to include him for his singing of Thunderball), and Liam Neeson (1950, Ireland)
June 7, 1957 – French mystery writer Fred Vargas was born
June 7, 1971 – The Day of the Jackal published and would be awarded the 1972 Edgar Award for Best Novel
June 8 – novelists of note: Elizabeth Sanxay Holding in Brooklyn (1889), Robert Wade (1920 – co-author with Bill Miller of the Wade Miller and Whit Masterson books: see May 11), David Williams in Glamorganshire (1926) John Buxton Hilton (1921, Buxton, England), Kate Wilhelm (1928, Toledo, OH), Peter Corris (1942, Stawell, Australia), Sara Paretsky (1947, Ames, IA), Earl Emerson was born in Tacoma (1948), Karin Alvtegen (1965, Huskvarna, Sweden)
June 8 -1950 – The Asphalt Jungle premiered
June 9, 1870 – Charles Dickens died after completing only 6 chapters of The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Damn the man!
June 9, 1891 – pulp illustrator Charles DeFeo was born in New Castle, DE
June 9 – two from Hollywood: Robert Cummings (1910, Joplin, MO) and Johnny Depp (1963, Owensboro, TN)
June 9, 1927 - Robert Campbell was born in Newark
June 9, 1950 – premiere of the film noir classic Night and the City
June 9, 1956 – Edgar-winner Patricia Cornwell was born in Miami
June 10, 1840 - Edward Oxford became the first person to try to assassinate Queen Victoria. Both shots missed though he claimed to have not put balls in the weapons and shot, essentially, blanks at Her Majesty
June 10 - three more from Hollywood – actress and musician Gina Gershon (1962, LA), actress and model Elizabeth Hurley (1965, Basingstoke, England) and crime movie actor and man with a huge smile Frankie Fason (1949, Newport News)
June 10, 1933 – celebrity attorney F. Lee Bailey was born in Waltham, MA, and John Dillinger robbed his first bank (got $10,600 out of the National Bank in New Carlisle, OH)
June 10, 1936 – British spy writer and creator of Charlie Muffin, Brian Freemantle was born in Southampton, Marion Chesney was born in Glasgow (aka M.C. Beaton), and Leonard Tourney was born in Long Beach, CA (1942)
June 10, 1994 – Speed premiered
June 11, 1911 - Victor Canning was born in Plymouth, England (1911), Cyril Henry Coles (half of the team of Manning Coles) was born in Hampshire (1899), George Baxt was born (1923, he created perhaps the first gay detective in Pharoah Love in 1966), author, blues musician and actor Hugh Laurie was born (1959, Oxford, England)
June 11, 1930 – master of the ‘nature-vs-man’ thriller Duncan Kyle was born John Franklin Broxholme in Yorkshire
June 11, 1962 – Escape from Alcatraz: three inmates make it off the prison island and are never seen again. We will probably never know if it was a successful escape
June 12, 1924 – former CIA head, George H. W. Bush, was born. Oh yeah, he was president, too
June 12, 1927 – Henry Slesar was born in Brooklyn. He would win the 1959 Edgar Award for Best First Novel for The Grey Flannel Shroud – the first ever awarded
June 12, 1931 – Robert William Arthur Cook was born in London. As Derek Raymond he’d write a series of noir novels that are uniquely his own
June 12, 1932 – writer of satirical international crime novels James Powell was born in Toronto
June 12, 1945 - Rodney Whittaker was born in Granville, NY. As Trevanian, we revere him for creating Nicholai Hel and Jonathan Hemlock
June 12, 1953 – physician and novelist Tess Gerritsen was born in San Diego
June 12, 1963 – Medgar Evers murdered in an act of domestic terrorism
June 12, 1967 – You Only Live Twice world premier in London
June 12, 1994 – the savage Simpson/Goldman murders
June 12, 2012 – Henry Hill, mob ‘mechanic’ turned FBI informant, died. In 1986, he was the central ‘character’ in Nicholas Pileggi’s Wiseguy: Life in the Mafia Family, which Scorsese adapted in 1990 into his masterfully entertaining Goodfellas, with Ray Liotta and Mr. Hill
And Have a Relaxing and Book