Standing mute before the master of dialogue, K.C. Constantine

June 28th, 2011 by Zirk van den Berg § 0 comments § permalink

Reading K.C. Constantine can make you wonder why you’d bother to write crime stories. Maybe musicians feel that way when they listen to Beethoven or Prince, artists when they look at Rembrandt or Kiefer.

Artists can inspire you to become creative yourself, or remove the incentive by being totally intimidating.

Joni Mitchell made this point obliquely » Read the rest of this entry «

Five American crime writers to read before someone bashes your head in

May 13th, 2011 by Zirk van den Berg § 1 comment § permalink

You can start with Edgar Allan Poe if you like, but for me the story of American crime writing starts with Dashiell Hammett, who laid the egg that became the hard-boiled detective. Also he has such a dashing name, was by all accounts a noble (though often drunk) man and partner to Lillian Hellman. All good things.

Despite his historical importance, Hammett doesn’t make this list, I’m afraid. We’ll start with his first great disciple instead, the man who put crime back on the streets where it belongs, » Read the rest of this entry «

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