Posts Tagged ‘Crime writer’

Hetty NCIS

Behold: the Crime writers demographic personified

Crimezines Compadres at the London based Crimewriters Association. Have been checking you out Crimeziners. And their research is showing them that you are a woman sixty–plus, with no children living at home. News to us too, but bear with us.

The research carried out on behalf of the CWA by Bowker market research, focused exclusively on the English market for Crime fiction. No research was carried out in much larger American Market, an oversight maybe, but the research has clear implications for crime writers everywhere.

The CWA found that Crime fiction showed a year-on-year increase from 2010 to 2011 with £112.9m spent on books and 75% of that on paperbacks. The criteria which most prompts readers to buy a book is having read the author before (48%), while  25% decide whilst browsing. One imagines the other 27 percent wandered home for a warm milky drink, but couldn’t remember where they lived.

70% cent of crime books are bought by people over the age of 45. Which is no surprise to Crimezine, as large thumbed youngsters are often too busy twitterbooking to involve themselves with traditional media, and most  novels break the 140 character twitterbook limit by a considerable margin.

41% of the overall crime readership work full-time and 28% are retired buyers. Which leaves an astonishing 31% of the population who need to either smarten their ideas up, or get working on that new crime novel.

In addition the research showed that 60% of the burgeoning ebook crime market is made up of women buyers.

So there you go Crimeziners, if you want to be a best selling Crimewriter, you ignore the silver-haired oldsters at your peril. Especially if they are sixty plus women with an e-book

The CWA  will be awarding Crime legend Fredrick Forsythe the CWA Diamond Dagger on July 5th for a life time of good chapdom. Crimezine congratulates.

Crimezine- the-classic Crime-zine-Blog

Joseph Wambaugh-Hollwood Station-Crimezine

Joseph Wambaugh Hollywood Station: a Crimezine crime classic

Chances are you will have heard of Joe Wambaugh and his all pervasive influence on the Police procedural. Crimezines favorite Floridian Michael Connelly claims Wambaugh invented the modern Police novel. High praise indeed. But Conners is quite right. When it comes to cops especially the LAPD, Wambaugh is the man.

Joe Wambaugh is the writer behind Police Story, which ran from 1973 to 1977 and influenced every police series that followed including such classics as Hill Street Blues. A former police detective himself, Wambaugh, now in his seventies, has been writing a long time.

His first published novel The New Centurions appeared in 1971, it was quickly followed by a number of classic police novels including The Onion Field, a work of such magnitude, it was compared to Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood.

The fictional novel The Choirboys,(1973) was influenced closely by Joseph Heller’s classic Catch 22. Wambaugh has adhered to this Helleristic voice ever since. Though Crimezine feels that there is also a debt of gratitude to such fine American authors as Charles Bukowski and Theodore Dreiser.

There were other novels of course, but none received the critical acclaim of his early ’70’s works based on the LAPD. Prior to the 2006 novel Hollywood Station Wambaugh’s novel The Delta Star was the last novel he wrote featuring LA’s finest.

Hollywood Station is rich with Wambaugh’s unique blend of black humor. It is a novel that deals with the lives of the officers who work at Hollywood Station with great sympathy and humanity. It also covers the crazy and sordid lives of the myriad small time crooks, who inhabit Hollywood Division, from the craziest vagrants to the most hopeless meth-heads who float through Hollywood’s criminal underworld.

It is a rich and engrossing world, that draws the reader in, and just as you think there is no methodology, you suddenly find that the characters stories connect. Hollywood Station also describes the crazed level of bureaucracy preventing working cops from doing their job effectively, a subject that Wambaugh tackles with great style and wit.

Hollywood Station is an awesome book. A true Crimezine classic and an essential introduction to the works that have now become Wambaugh’s Hollywood Quadrilogy: Hollywood Station, Hollywood Crows, Hollywood Moon & Holly

Crimezine Numbreone for Crime,Crimezine #1

Edward Bunker career criminal and crime writer, starred as Mr Blue in Quentin Tarantino’s breakout 1992 film


Edward Bunker

Reservoir Dogs, hence the title of this astounding true life crime memoir.

Product of a broken home, Bunker became the youngest inmate of San Quentin prison, age seventeen, where he penned his supercharged  first novel No Beast so Fierce.

Bunker was always a smart guy, with an IQ of 152 he was smarter than most in the US prison system, but he was never a very successful criminal and he was convicted on a wide raft of charges, including bank robbery, drug dealing, extortion, armed robbery and forgery.

Befriended in jail by Mrs Louise Wallis, wife of movie mogul, Hal Wallis he was introduced into her circle of friends including, Tennesse Williams, Aldous Huxley and William Randolph Hearst.

When it comes to hardboiled crime writing, bunker is the man. This book is probably the best written and most wildly entertaining crime memoir Crimeziners will ever read. Check out also, the aforementioned No Beast so Fierce,  described by Quentin Tarantino as The finest crime novel ever written. Follow this by reading Bunker’s 1995 book Dog Eat Dog. James Ellroy called this: The best armed robbery novel ever written. High praise indeed.

For Ed Bunker the stories ended July, 19 2005  aged 71 but the legend continues RIP

No Beast so fierce (1973)

The Animal Factory (1977)

Little Boy Blue (1981)

Dog Eat Dog (1995)

Mr Blue: Memoirs of a Renegade, issued in US as Education of a Felon (2000)

Stark (2006)

Death row Breakout and Other Stories (2010) Published posthumously

The new Michel Connelly novel is called The Drop, featuring LAPD favorite Harry Bosch. Our hero has been given three years until retirement, so Harry is hottter to trot than usual.  The thrills come double time, when Bosch is asked to handle two cases at once.

First off, there is a seemingly implauseable rape case where crime lab reports show the perp to have been eight years old at the time of the crime. As Harry puzzles the details, longtime nemesis, Councilman Irving Irving’s son takes a plunge from a window at Chateau Marmont. Did he jump or was he pushed? Either way Harry is thrown in to a cauldron of internal politics and tasked with finding the answers.

As the case unfolds, Bosch makes chilling discoveries, an unseen killer stalking the streets for decades and a political conspiracy that runs deep into the very heart of the Los Angeles Police Department and former Bosch partner, the marvelously named Kiz Rider is in deep.

As Harry unravels these twin cases, he has the advancing prospect of retirement hanging over him, Will he won’t he? The LAPD deferred retirement option or DROP, where by our hero might be forced to hang up his badge and let the City of Angels be over run by sicko killers, is introduced as a threat at a very early stage in this novel—and Harry is questioning his ability to do the job through out. Thankfully he is as tenacious as usual, but one suspects that Conners has been contemplating the very real possibility that Harry Bosch has finally had his day.

Poor Harry. He is dogged by High Jingo from the office of the chief of Police (OCP) Has to suffer his sullen and treacherous partner Chu and his love life—the less said of that the better. Luckily Bosch sproglet Maddie is at her self sufficient best, making her meals for one and polishing her Glock while pops catches perps. The taco munching teen suck up has even started listening to Chet Baker, as she reads Stephen King novel The Stand. Little Angel, where do you get children like this?

The Drop will be available in Australia and New Zealand on October 26, 2011, in the UK and Ireland on October 27, 2011, and in the USA and Canada on November 28, 2011. It will also be available as an eBook, an audiobook, and in large print format.

Patricia Cornwell

Patricia sells her SuperAmerica

Crimezine loves Patricia Cornwell, has done ever since  the Postmortem days. But not only is the great lady the best living writer about dead people (and how they got that way); her tenacity and strength of belief in her personal life are to be admired too. Her antics are always newsworthy. Take her latest act of generosity for example. The world’s most pulchritudinous mystery writer has auctioned off her favorite Ferrari and donated the proceeds to Veterans Village of San Diego a non profit organization that specializes in the care of military veterans. Cornwell sees the organization as a model for how America can help service men and women returning from conflicts overseas, many of whom suffer from post traumatic stress syndrome and other  issues, such as substance abuse and homelessness. The rare Ferrari made $220,000 at auction. Crimezine notes that the model was a V12 Super America. But of course it was. Patricia’s 18th Scarpetta novel Port Mortuary is available now.

Michael Connolly In Los Angeles

Michael Connolly In Los Angeles

Michael Connolly has a painting by spooky 15th century religious painter Hieronymous Bosch over his writing desk. The painting ‘Hell’ is of a landscape populated by bizarre demons, torturing sinners in an unspeakably gruesome fashion.  Connolly says he figured out the metaphoric possibilities of juxtaposing contemporary Los Angeles with the  the world of Bosch and his demons some time ago, a dark gag that has developed into one of America’s most successful crime writing franchises, namely detective Harry Bosch of the LAPD.

Connolly freely admits that the character is also based on an amalgam of several police detectives he has known in his years as a crime beat journalist, working for newspapers such as the Los Angeles Times.

Bosch is also influenced by Raymond Chandler’s character Philip Marlowe, as well as Lew Archer, Frank Bullit, and seventies super cop Dirty Harry Callahan. Although Connolly admits that as the years go by he and his fictional hero are developing a more closely aligned world view with each passing year.

Since Harry Bosch first appeared in the Edgar Award winning novel Black Echo back in 1992 Connolly has moved back to his native Florida, but he still travels to LA regularly carrying out scrupulous research for his novels. Check out his photo gallery to see some of the locations in Los Angeles that he has used in his novels.

Robert Crais

Robert Crais The Sentry

Joe Pike is the terminator. The Yang to PI Elvis Cole’s wise cracking Yin. Though dear old Elvis has been running out of quickfire cheeriness in recent Crais novels, so  once again Joe Pike takes centre stage as the protagonist. Question is can big Joe cut the muster without appearing to be just another generic tough guy? It is a tough call, but loving Crais, you just want it to work no matter what your spidey senses tell you.

So what’s up in the world of Pike? Well he saves the day at an early stage naturally. This time out he is muscling gang-bangers, to protect a cute sandwich shop girl and her uncle. Then surprise, cute girl becomes a love interest, then suddenly the cute girl is not who she first appears to be then… well you get the picture and if you have ever read any of the Pike and Cole novels you can guess what comes next: cuts and bruises and a soupcon of emotional badinage

Crais is a self confessed Chandler fan, but in recent years he has been breaking free of the Chandler template into new and uncharted territory. This is to be commended. However the cardinal rule of Chandler is veracity to the street, and no matter how tough or teary eyed things get this has to be remembered.

Venice Beach, where the story is set is on the surface a sleepy surf city, where the stoner crowd, street crazies and beach front affluence meld seamlessly. It is also where a teen gangbanger recently shot a ‘concerned citizen’ dead, after being told to stop spray painting a wall. So if Pike is going to mix it up with gang-bangers and have us believe he is the man, he is going to need more than his trademark mirror shades and buff biceps to make us believe he is real.

But wait a minute, here comes a creepy twist. Confirmation if confirmation were needed, that no matter what Joe Pike’s failings, Robert Crais is still the man in the world of crime fiction.

Crais talks about The Sentry:

Los Angeles is the birthplace of noir crime fiction. It is home such crime legends as Mickey Cohen king of the West coast, gangsters and Bill Parker godfather of the LAPD. Home to Dragnet, the Postman Always RingsTwice, and the righteous cop show forerunner to just about every movie and televisual cop series you can think of. CSI Miami? They film that in the Universal studios backlot in Hollywood, just like all those episodes of Starsky and Hutch you loved so much. New York City? Nah, that was Hollywood dude, pure Hollywood. Then there are the writers. From Raymond Chandler to James Ellroy the best crime writers in the world have lived, worked and based their fiction on the mean streets of Los Angeles. It is there fore no surprise that Crimezine should be based in the Hollywood hills looking out over Mulholland drive on a city where crime never sleeps.