Posts

Virtual Reality

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  Say, do you have plans on Sunday, September 13th at 8PM Eastern? Trick question. Of course you don't! It's 2020! Now that we've established you're not busy, howsabout you join me and a kickass lineup of fellow readers for a Virtual Noir at the Bar? There'll be cocktails, music, stories, and almost certainly not pants! Best of all, it's safe as houses—specifically, yours—and doesn't cost a dime. All you've gotta do is pour a drink and  click the link . Hope to see ya then.

An Overdue Update

Hey, guys! It's been a while. Seven months since my last post, to be exact—but, to be fair, it's been a nutty seven months. You may notice I've updated my site since you last visited, with an eye toward greater compatibility and ease of navigation on a variety of devices. If you're wondering where the sidebar (which features news, contact information, and links to social media, among other things) went, give the icon at the top-left of the home page a click. My archives date back fifteen years, and as such, were plagued with link rot . If you happen across an old post that seems like it's missing a link, I probably excised it because it was nonfunctional. "But Chris," you might be thinking, "that sounds like a preposterous waste of time! Shouldn't you be writing?" To which I reply, "Oh, did I fail to mention? THE INSANELY AMBITIOUS SCIENTIFIC THRILLER THAT HAS CONSUMED MY EVERY WAKING HOUR FOR NEARLY FOUR YEARS IS FINALLY, GLORIOUSLY DO

BOLO's Best of Decade

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THE KILLING KIND has made BOLO Books' list of favorite books, by year, for the past decade ! BOLO Books is the  Raven Award winning blog of Kristopher Zgorski , whose list includes so many novels I utterly adored—from the likes of Megan Abbott, Steph Cha, Laura Lippman, and Attica Locke, to name but a few—I feel compelled to pick up all the ones I haven't yet read. If you know what's good for you, you'll do the same. Many thanks, Kristopher!

On Civility and Cowardice

By now, many within the mystery community have heard about Max Allan Collins’ turn as a presenter at last weekend's Shamus Awards, during which he complained that this year’s nominees would be difficult to pronounce, on account of all the “foreigners” on the list. Maybe he was joking. Maybe not. I wasn’t there, and I don’t know the guy, so I couldn’t say. Truth is, it doesn’t matter. His words served to alienate, demean, and diminish the very writers breathing new life into a subgenre that—as recently as a few years ago—seemed destined for ossification, and he deserves to be called out for that. Collins’ transgressions, however, aren’t the ones at the fore of my mind; I’ve been too busy pondering my own. Although I didn’t attend the Shamus Awards, I was in Dallas this weekend too, for Bouchercon. It was, by and large, a blast. I ate my weight in tacos and brisket. Cheered my wife on as she moderated one of the most kickass panels I’ve ever seen. Stayed up way too late, and la

GO ALL THE WAY Available for Preorder!

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I've been obsessed with music for as long as I can remember. My childhood was filled with the pop and crackle of my parents' vinyl. My adolescence, chock-a-block with mixtapes and hardcore punk matinees. In college, my best friend and I had a radio show that was on so late, nobody listened, but we didn't care; we were too busy dancing around the booth like idiots. And my wife and I have road-tripped to see amazing bands play lousy venues more times than I can count. So imagine my delight when ace author, editor, podcaster, and drummer Steve Lauden invited me to contribute an essay about one of my favorite artists—Allan Carl Newman of Zumpano and The New Pornographers—for a power pop collection he was co-editing with Paul Myers. Now imagine my delight when I discovered that my essay would sit alongside pieces by such wildly talented people as Michael Chabon, Ira Elliott, Heather Havrilesky, and the late, great, sorely missed Tom Petty, to name but a few. The collection, G