Sunday, 11 May 2008

Mystery Scene

My copy of the latest issue (#104) of ‘Mystery Scene’ magazine has just arrived. It includes my article about Benjamin Black (John Banville in criminal guise) and something I hadn’t expected, a kind review of Waterloo Sunset (‘Edwards handles a complex plot and a vivid cast of characters with a sure hand…[and] mixes humour and suspense to good effect’) by Barbara Fister.

The good things in this issue include a terrific article about the classic Max Carrados mysteries by Michael Mallory, a tribute to the late Ed Hoch by Jon L. Breen and a first-rate section about ‘small presses with passion’. The latter includes a wide-ranging article by Mary V. Welk, which covers British as well as American small presses, and features by Ed Gorman on Ramble House and Stark House Press.

Speaking of Ed, there’s a good piece by Linda Siebels about his recent novel Sleeping Dogs, which I haven’t previously come across, but which introduces political consultant Dev Conrad. It turns out that Ed himself has a background in politics, albeit quite some time ago. But as he says, ‘I didn’t want to write a political screed or a tract. I tried not to play favourites, and given the current situation it was easy.’

Ed founded ‘Mystery Scene’ and says ‘it dominated my life for 18 years’, but pays a warm tribute to Kate Stine and Brian Skupin, the current owners: ‘This is where the magazine needed to go and Kate and Brian were the ones to take it there.’

If you haven’t come across ‘Mystery Scene’, take a look at it. It covers a very broad range of mystery fiction, and I’ve never read an issue that didn’t contain something good, and a lot of information previously unfamiliar to me.

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