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Thanks for visiting Behind the Black Mask: Mystery Writers Revealed. From 2006-2008, Clute and Edwards conducted 28 interviews with today's best crime writers—discussing the author's most recent novel in detail, and the writing life in general.

All 28 episodes are still available for free download. Scroll down this page to download podcasts featuring your favorite writers.

Though no longer conducting new author interviews for Behind the Black Mask, Clute and Edwards have been hard at work on several new hard-boiled projects. Just below this post you'll find information on their new book, The Maltese Touch of Evil: Film Noir and Potential Criticism, and a link to visit their revised and enhanced main portal site, www.noircast.net, which includes information on their other podcasts on film noir and hard-boiled media. 

Please take a moment to share this website via Facebook and Twitter by clicking the buttons just to the right. 

Nearly all the authors interviewed by Clute and Edwards have released new books since their appearance on Behind the Black Mask. Please visit their author websites or your local bookseller, and grab copies of their latest works. This is one group of writers that will not disappoint you!

Thanks again for your interest in Behind the Black Mask: Mystery Writers Revealed.

--Shannon Clute and Richard Edwards

Category:general -- posted at: 12:25 AM
Comments[0]

Reserve a copy of Clute and Edwards' new noir book today at Amazon.com: http://amzn.to/jCePwG

In December 2011, Dartmouth College Press (University Press of New England) will release Clute and Edwards' new study of film noir, The Maltese Touch of Evil: Film Noir and Potential Criticism.  This exciting book builds on crucial insights from the Out of the Past: Investigating Film Noir podcasts, and draws on the work of the experimental literary group Oulipo (an acronym for "Ouvroir de Littérature Potentielle," or "Workshop of Potential Literature") to investigate the extreme self-consciousness and high degree of visual punning exhibited by noir.  In the process, the book proposes—and serves as a sustained demonstration of—an OuFiNoPo, or Workshop of Potential Film Noir.  Part thinking-man’s fan crush, part crazily inspired remix of the most beloved of film genres, this study will help scholars and film fans alike to view film noir afresh, and achieve new insights into even the best known movies.  

Clute and Edwards have never solicited donations for their podcasts, for like all good things these podcasts are a labor of love.  But they would ask you to…

PLEASE GRAB A COPY of The Maltese Touch of Evil: Film Noir and Potential Criticism, and consider picking up other copies for all your movie-loving friends.

Category:general -- posted at: 11:31 PM
Comments[0]

THE BRASS VERDICT, the nineteenth novel from #1 New York Times Bestselling author Michael Connelly, gives definitive proof that Connelly is the most gifted crime writer since Raymond Chandler. Those with a debt to Chandler typically lack either the research skills, the knowledge of Los Angeles, or the soul for the job. Connelly has it all. Utilizing his skills as a former journalist, he not only nails the facts of legal and police business, he captures the complex psychology of his characters. Defense lawyer Mickey Haller and detective Harry Bosch are not pure heroes, they are men: they are not lovable, but they are competent and often admirable. To paraphrase Chandler, they have a range of awareness that startles you, but it belongs to them by right, because it belongs to the world they live in. It is above all in this melding of characters and setting that Connelly excels. Los Angeles is not a scenic backdrop, it is the master force that shapes all else, and we could not imagine Haller or Bosch being a part of any other world. But what is most remarkable about THE BRASS VERDICT is the way Connelly is able to recompose these sonorous echoes of Chandler into his own composition, settle them into his own score—with this world. This podcast is brought to you by Clute and Edwards of www.noircast.net. To leave a comment on this episode, or make a donation to the podcast, please visit "Behind the Black Mask: Mystery Writers Revealed" at http://btbm.libsyn.com.

Direct download: BTBM_2008_10_14_MC.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:11 PM
Comments[1]

It is hard to imagine a sequel that is any more tightly intertwined with, or distinct from, its predecessor than Scott Phillips's 2002 THE WALKAWAY. His 2000 debut novel THE ICE HARVEST was a tight tale of one day in the tragicomic life of small-time Wichita mobster Charlie Arglist. THE WALKAWAY is an ambitious prequel-sequel to that bestseller, a complex narrative that alternates between first and third person points of view, and three different time frames. It opens in the immediate aftermath of the fateful accident that ended the first book, then traces the life of Gunther Fahnstiel, from his morally ambiguous young adulthood the prepared him for that fateful accident, to his current advanced age as he tries to remember how he became the man he is—and how he might still profit by it. If the first novel was the portrait of a man in his boudoir, THE WALKAWAY is like one of those vast tapestries you see on castle walls: caught in the weft and warp of fragile memory are entire genealogies of morally deficiently but somehow noble middle-America hoodlums. It is the Comédie humaine of Kansas, and establishes Phillips as a writer of vast talent and ambition who refuses to write the same type of story twice. This podcast is brought to you by Clute and Edwards of www.noircast.net. To leave a comment on this episode, or make a donation to the podcast, please visit "Behind the Black Mask: Mystery Writers Revealed" at http://btbm.libsyn.com.

Direct download: BTBM_2008_09_15_SP.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:04 AM
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THE TURNAROUND, George Pelecanos's fifteenth novel, is the work of a mature writer at the top of his game. It is a thoughtful examination of one event that permanently alters the lives of six young men—three black, three white. The story is both as straightforward and as complex as the characters it involves, and pulls the reader in through their palpable suffering. By creating such intimacy with this ensemble cast, Pelecanos is able to explore some of the most pressing issues facing America today—race, class, and the foreign war that districts us from these domestic battles—with depth and nuance, and without any trace of artificiality or authorial tampering. A less experienced or less gifted writer would have been tempted, in handling such material, to deliver a message, and so would have ruined a story that is infinitely more rich because it stays focused on the people it involves. Pelecanos reveals how his youthful aspirations to be a filmmaker, his experience writing for HBO's THE WIRE, and his work on the Derek Strange and Terry Quinn books all prepared him to write this understated masterpiece that is THE TURNAROUND. This podcast is brought to you by Clute and Edwards of www.noircast.net. To leave a comment on this episode, or make a donation to the podcast, please visit Behind the Black Mask: Mystery Writers Revealed at http://btbm.libsyn.com.
Direct download: BTBM_2008_08_15_GP.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:16 PM
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That Coggins is a disciple of Chandler and Hammett is abundantly clear in his most recent August Riordan novel, RUNOFF. Riordan is in many ways analogous to Chandler's iconic Philip Marlowe. He is a relatively poor man, or he would not be a detective at all. He is a common man, or he could not go among common people. He has a sense of character, or he would not know his job. Coggins turns his man loose in one of the most hard-boiled of towns—San Francisco. The setting is no mistake. It's Coggins's home, and thus a place he can write of with authority. It was also Hammett's city, and Sam Spade's. Most importantly, it's a place that lends itself perfectly to a plot that is at once classic-hardboiled and thoroughly modern, a tale of real estate moguls and political hopefuls in collusion to rig elections and reap the profits. In other words, Coggins has the literary savvy to revisit Chandler and Hammett in order to develop character, place, and plot in a timeless fashion, but also has the storytelling smarts to realize the limitations of a simple nostalgia piece. RUNOFF structures an elegant bridge between the war years and today, somehow soaring above the murky pitfalls such a blend of eras should create. This podcast is brought to you by Clute and Edwards of www.noircast.net. To leave a comment on this episode, or make a donation to the podcast, please visit "Behind the Black Mask: Mystery Writers Revealed" at http://btbm.libsyn.com.
Direct download: BTBM_2008_08_01_MC.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:14 AM
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Jonathan Santlofer is an artist and author of exceptional talent, a master of virtually any visual or linguistic medium. His work has been displayed in fine galleries around the world,and his art-themed crime fiction has drawn comparisons to the work of Michael Connelly. He is the author of five novels, three starring NYPD detective turned art historian Kate McKinnon (THE KILLING ART, COLOR BLIND, THE DEATH ARTIST) and two featuring NYPD sketch artist Nate Rodriquez (ANATOMY OF FEAR and THE MURDER NOTEBOOK). He joins Clute and Edwards in June to discuss this last title, a June release from William Marrow. For more information on his fiction, or to experience his stunning artwork (some of which is incorporated into his novels), visit Jonathan's elegant, flash-driven website: www.jonathansantlofer.com
Direct download: BTBM_2008_06_15_JF.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:28 PM
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Christa Faust's latest novel, MONEY SHOT, distills all the darkest and most addictive spirits of 1940's film noir and 1950's hard-boiled into a lethal elixir. Such a statement is necessarily contradictory, for Faust's unique blend of a noir atmosphere of inescapable doom with the campy, two-fisted action of Gold Medal-era pulp, gives us characters who die so that they might be reborn, and action that destroys in order to redeem. Protagonist Angel Dare, former porn star and savvy businesswoman, kind-hearted sucker and cold-hearted avenging angel, is the very embodiment of contradictions, yet makes so much sense she'll break your heart. She is the antidote to the uni-dimensionality of today's genre fiction, capable because of her flaws, vulnerable because of her toughness, and of a moral complexity few can touch and none can sully. Far from being anachronistic, MONEY SHOT is a thoroughly modern tale, the work of an author who brilliantly revisits the past in order to reinvigorate a literary tradition and create a new sort of femme fatale who can walk, or work, today's mean streets. No wonder Hard Case Crime chose it as the first title in the line by a female author. This podcast is brought to you by Clute and Edwards of www.noircast.net. To leave a comment on this episode, or make a donation to the podcast, please visit "Behind the Black Mask: Mystery Writers Revealed" at btbm.libsyn.com.
Direct download: BTBM_2008_06_01_CF.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:44 PM
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Long before Seth Harwood's JACK WAKES UP went to print with Breakneck Books it came roaring into our homes as a series of expertly-produced podcasts, a serialized publication in the tradition of classic pulps, but with a throaty growl and lightening agility like that of Jack Palms's one true love—his 1966 Mustang Fastback K-Code GT. And in this car we find a fitting metaphor for Harwood's project: retro, but fit for today and the future; fast, really fast, but not so fast it ceases to be user-friendly. For when it does allow us to catch our breath, we also catch sight of the craft Harwood honed while earning an MFA from the prestigious Iowa Writers Workshop. His prose has an immediacy befitting the action, and a poignancy that allows us to glimpse, however fleetingly, the backstory wounds that formed the characters who go flying past at breakneck speed. This podcast is brought to you by Clute and Edwards of www.noircast.net. To leave a comment on this episode, or make a donation to the podcast, please visit Behind the Black Mask: Mystery Writers Revealed at http://btbm.libsyn.com.
Direct download: BTBM_2008_04_15_SH.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:41 PM
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Shannon Clute, Seth Harwood, and Richard Edwards presented this Cybernoir panel on April 5th, 2008, as part of the Noircon Conference in Philadelphia. Clute and Edwards kick things off with a discussion of how noir style and pulp publishing models seem to provide the fundamental structuring logics of emerging digital media—from blogs to podcasts, mashups to video games. Seth Harwood then relates his own experience of podcasting his first novel, JACK WAKES UP—from producing the initial audio, to embracing various new media in order to cultivate an audience and tap their enthusiasm and skills to promote his work. Finally, all three panelists consider how pulp-logic productions in these various media are likely to change the ways books are published and marketed. This special edition podcast includes all Powerpoint slides from the panel, synchronized with the audio, for your viewing pleasure. Moreover, there are embedded links at the bottom of the images, which allow you to surf related links while listening. The podcast is optimized for iTunes, and will run on any machine that has iTunes installed. It is brought to you by Clute and Edwards of www.noircast.net, and Seth Harwood of www.sethharwood.com.
Direct download: Cybernoir.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:59 AM
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Wise guys and femmes fatale form the central focus of these next panel discussions from Noircon 2008. In the first half of the podcast, Clute and Edwards talk with authors George Anastasia and Anthony Bruno. Anastasia and Bruno are two seasoned mob-watchers who uncover life on the mean streets-Philly style. Based on their Noircon panel, Wise Guy Noir, they give us an inside look into the Godfathers and Goodfellas of Philadelphia. In the second half, Clute and Edwards lead a lively roundtable discussion on the femme fatale with four authors who have strong female characters at the center of their novels: Megan Abbott, Christa Faust, Vicki Hendricks, and Jonathan Santlofer. The discussion touches on many different aspects of the femme fatale and the homme fatale (fatal man). For more information about Noircon, visit the official conference website at www.noircon.com. For more information about the hard-boiled podcasts of Clute and Edwards, visit www.noircast.net
Direct download: Noircon_2008_04_05_Day3_1.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:10 AM
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Clute and Edwards discuss the editing and publishing of noir fiction with three members of this Day 2 Noircon panel: Charles Ardai, Stacia Decker, and Michael Langnas. Charles Ardai is the editor and publisher of the Hard Case Crime series. Stacia Decker is an editor who has worked with such writers as Ray Banks, Declan Burke, Allan Guthrie and John McFetridge. Michael Langnas is the editor-in-chief of Murdaland Magazine, a crime-fiction journal put out by Baltimore-based publisher Cortwright McMeel. The three guests offer us a behind-the-scenes look into the world of noir publishing. The panelists address violence in noir fiction, the complex appeal of noir, and the challenges and pleasures of editing and publishing noir writing. For more information about Noircon, visit the official conference website at www.noircon.com. For more information about the hard-boiled podcasts of Clute and Edwards, visit www.noircast.net
Direct download: Noircon_2008_04_04_Day2_2.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:11 AM
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Philadelphia noir is the focus of two panels at Noircon 2008. The first panel presents the historical moment, cultural milieu and writings of the 19th century Philly writer George Lippard. Ed Petit and Robert Polito make a compelling case to consider Lippard an important proto-noir author, an author whose writings look back towards 1798's gothic novel WIELAND and forward towards 20th century hardboiled. The second panel addresses the issue of Philly noir through a discussion among noir and crime writers currently living and working in Philadelphia. Clute and Edwards talk more with Philly authors William Lashner and Jon McGoran (D.H. Dublin) about what is Philadelphia noir and how does Philadelphia figure as one of the great American noir cities. For more information about  Noircon, visit the official conference website at www.noircon.com. For more information about the hard-boiled podcasts of Clute and Edwards, visit www.noircast.net
Direct download: Noircon_2008_04_04_Day2_1.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:59 PM
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Day One: Opening Night. Noircon 2008 opens at the Society Hill Playhouse in Philadelphia, PA. Clute and Edwards kick off this special podcast mini-series coverage with short interviews from the opening night reception. They talk with film critic Irv Slifkin, authors Gary Phillips, Seth Harwood, Ken Bruen, “The Czar of Noir? Eddie Muller, publisher Dennis McMillan, conference organizer Lou Boxer, and author Duane Swierczynski. We finish with an interview of the first presenter of Noircon, Professor David Schmid, who gave a talk entitled “Noir and Its Heretics.?
Direct download: Noircon_2008_04_03_Day1.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:44 AM
Comments[2]

Ken Bruen's PRIEST, the fifth entry in the award-winning Jack Taylor series, has been nominated for the 2008 Edgar for Best Novel, and that still may not be high enough praise. PRIEST is the story of Galway, Ireland, a city in transition from tradition to modernity, from impoverished but united community to cutthroat capitalistic individualism, from staunch Catholicism to a crisis of consciousness. When Jack Taylor is thrust back into his native city, he is in a similar state. He's a man in transition, a man who has lost his way and his faith, a man ravaged by alcohol and terrible secrets of a childhood cut short. The city and the man take the same evasive tact, trying to go numb, trying not to care. But when a priest is beheaded in the confessional, the public—hardened as it is by revelations of clerical abuse—is outraged. Reluctantly, former investigator Taylor agrees to look into the mystery he fears will take him "into the heart of the Irish soul." It does one better. It takes him into the heart of his own soul—the darkest and loneliest place a man can go. This podcast is brought to you by Clute and Edwards of www.noircast.net. To leave a comment on this episode, or make a donation to the podcast, please visit "Behind the Black Mask: Mystery Writers Revealed" at http://btbm.libsyn.com.
Direct download: BTBM_2008_03_15_KB.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:40 AM
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Laurie King's TOUCHSTONE is set in England, 1926, in the tense atmosphere of impending labor strikes that threaten to tear the nation apart. It is the story of a remarkable WWI-scarred veteran whose injuries have stripped him of sensory filters, allowing him to feel the slightest emotional turmoil in those he encounters. He finds himself at the mercy of myriad political players who seek to harness his talents to impose their vision of socio-political order. While this might seem an anachronistic tale in today's marketplace, the weft of the historical canvas sketched with such deft touch by King warps into our own time. When we see that all outside-of-center labor and political leanings of the era were dubbed threats to "national security"; threats that permitted the government to evoke powers that displaced democratic rights, a vortex opens before our eyes—spinning us through space and time before landing us again where we've always been. The novel is, indeed, a touchstone. This podcast is brought to you by Clute and Edwards of www.noircast.net. To leave a comment on this episode, or make a donation to the podcast, please visit "Behind the Black Mask: Mystery Writers Revealed" at btbm.libsyn.com.
Direct download: BTBM_2008_02_15_LK.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:34 AM
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The Czar of Noir joins Clute and Edwards to discuss the upcoming Noir City film festival, and the various fiction and film projects he has in the works.
Direct download: Eddie_Muller_Interview__Noir_City_6_and_More.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:00 PM
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David Fulmer's January 2008 Harcourt release, THE BLUE DOOR, will restore your faith in storytelling. In a digital world of slick production, inanely catchy and endlessly repeated refrains, and single tune download logic, Fulmer gives us a literary LP. THE BLUE DOOR recaptures the lost arts of letting the story unfold over time, of building it on fully composed characters rather than cheap hooks, and of playing it all over the steady background hiss of the racial and economic tensions that are America. Pick up a copy, slide into the groove, and settle in for the lyric prose tale of Philadelphia, 1962—the story of a washed-up fighter, an R&B diva who seems to lose everything she fights to love, a music mogul who thinks he holds rights to the people making the tunes, and the secrets and societal forces that threaten to break them all down. This podcast is brought to you by Clute and Edwards of www.noircast.net. To leave a comment on this episode, or make a donation to the podcast, please visit "Behind the Black Mask: Mystery Writers Revealed" at btbm.libsyn.com.
Direct download: BTBM_2008_01_15_DF.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:42 PM
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DEADLY BELOVED, released in December 2007 by Hard Case Crime, is the culmination of Max Allan Collins's eclectic and prolific career. Its tight pacing and razor-sharp scene cuts recall Max's talent as a filmmaker. Its visual prose speaks to his experience writing the Dick Tracy comic strip, the Ms. Tree comic book series, and the justly famous graphic novel THE ROAD TO PERDITION. The vivid evocation of the city of Chicago, and the subtle references to its mob past, remind us of Max's uncanny ability to build fiction on fact--as he has done so successfully with his Nate Heller historical thriller series. In short, DEADLY BELOVED could only have been written by Max Allan Collins. These are the topics addressed in the first half of this double-length holiday-bonus episode, while the second half allows Max to detail his current projects--as the inheritor of Mickey Spillane's unfinished manuscripts, the creative genius behind a series of graphic novels that investigate real-life crimes in the world of comics, and (perhaps) the feature film adapter of his own novels.This podcast is brought to you by Clute and Edwards of www.noircast.net. To leave a comment on this episode, or make a donation to the podcast, please visit "Behind the Black Mask: Mystery Writers Revealed" at btbm.libsyn.com.
Direct download: BTBM_2007_12_15_MAC.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:58 PM
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Tim Maleeny's second Cape Weathers mystery, BEATING THE BABUSHKA, is nearly impossible to pigeonhole. Its literary predecessors run the gamut form Walter Gibson and Dashiell Hammett to Robert Crais and Elmore Leonard, and it seems to draw in equal measure on movies the likes of THE THIN MAN and THE BIG LEBOWSKI. That this multifarious, madcap pulp romp works at all owes much to Maleeny's craft: he has a gift for re-mastering old tunes, an almost cinematic economy to his crafting of scenes, and a knack for piling up plot complications. That the novel manages to deliver characters of some depth and poignancy amidst such madness is nothing short of amazing. This podcast is brought to you by Clute and Edwards of www.noircast.net. To leave a comment on this episode, or make a donation to the podcast, please visit "Behind the Black Mask: Mystery Writers Revealed" at btbm.libsyn.com.


Direct download: BTBM_2007_11_15_TM.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:19 PM
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Harry Hunsicker's strong third installment to his Lee Henry Oswald series, CROSSHAIRS, is a hard book to categorize. Though set in the sprawling suburbs of modern Dallas, it often reads like throwback hard-boiled—in all the best ways. Oswald is a Chandler-esque creation, a reluctant but unflappable hero who tries to get out of the PI game but keeps being pulled back in by circumstances, and one unavoidable truth: he's simply too good at the game to leave it. Yet Oswald is also a very modern character who, when cornered, can kill with the same dispassionate ease as Parker's Spencer. The scope of the plot is likewise more typical of modern thrillers than throwback hard-boiled, involving international pharmaceutical conglomerates, FBI corruption, global pollution, and a band of Irish gypsies. Hunsicker's ability to weave these various styles and plots into a seamless yarn is a testament to his skill, and CROSSHAIRS is a hard-boiled mash-up you won't soon forget. This podcast is brought to you by Clute and Edwards of www.noircast.net. To leave a comment on this episode, or make a donation to the podcast, please visit "Behind the Black Mask: Mystery Writers Revealed" at btbm.libsyn.com.
Direct download: BTBM_2007_10_15_HH.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:39 AM
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Chelsea Cain's HEARTSICK is at once a recognizable and very original addition to the serial killer genre. While the principal plot twist (a detective working to stop a serial killer must consult with another killer already behind bars) reminds us of Thomas Harris's RED DRAGON, Chelsea Cain's detective Archie Sheridan has suffered at the hands of killer Gretchen Lowell in ways that create a terrible intimacy exceeding any penned by Harris. HEARTSICK is also atypical of serial killer books in its strong sense of place, and the fact that the investigation focuses almost entirely on insights into character. For these reasons the book often recalls the work of Raymond Chandler more than that of Harris or Bret Easton Ellis, and Gretchen Lowell is in many ways more typical of a film noir femme fatale than a literary serial killer. With its superbly crafted characters, taut pacing, and highly visual prose, HEARTSICK seems destined to become a pop culture phenomenon. This podcast is brought to you by Clute and Edwards of www.noircast.net. To leave a comment on this episode, or make a donation to the podcast, please visit "Behind the Black Mask: Mystery Writers Revealed" at btbm.libsyn.com.
Direct download: BTBM_2007_09_15_CC2.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:30 AM
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Jason Starr builds THE FOLLOWER on the seemingly shifty foundations of feeling and perception, but in his hands these are the cornerstones of substantial suspense. With a dazzling alternation of third person points of view and razor-sharp dialogue, Starr contrasts the interior thoughts with the exterior realities of several twenty-somethings struggling to find satisfaction in the impersonal Big Apple. To see how completely feelings cloud perception, and as a result how differently each character perceives events, is disarming and ultimately terrifying. The novel seems to be a meditation on the question of whether there is any truth beyond perception, and perhaps also a parable of how the rampant commercialism of our era confuses person and product, subject and object. It is a novel reminiscent of the works of Alfred Hitchcock, Patricia Highsmith, and George V. Higgins, and yet unlike anything you've read before. This podcast is brought to you by Clute and Edwards of www.noircast.net. To leave a comment on this episode, or make a donation to the podcast, please visit Behind the Black Mask: Mystery Writers Revealed at btbm.libsyn.com.
Direct download: BTBM_2007_08_15_JS.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:25 AM
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Most writers will tell you to write what you know; such advice places few constraints on author Jane Cleland, whose latest Josie Prescott antiques mystery DEADLY APPRAISAL is evidence of her vast experience and erudition.  Formerly a rare books dealer, Cleland uses her knowledge of the antiques world to vividly evoke Prescott's daily experience and demonstrate the fine line between antiquarian research and amateur sleuthing.  Currently a business communications specialist, Cleland discusses the marketing plan she elaborated to help her transition from aspiring writer to professional author.  A must-listen episode, for few are those who can successfully channel personal experience into the craft of writing and professional experience into the business of writing.  This podcast is brought to you Clute and Edwards of www.noircast.net. To leave a comment on this episode, or make a donation to the podcast, please visit
Direct download: BTBM_2007_07_15_JC.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:19 PM
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P.J. Parrish is the penname under which sisters Kristy Montee and Kelly Nichols work their magic. Together they have written seven Louis Kincaid mysteries, and garnered the same number of major literary award nominations. On June 15 they join Clute and Edwards to discuss their latest release A THOUSAND BONES, which focuses on the dark past of Kincaid's lover--female Homicide detective Joe Frye. While the novel is a superlative work of suspense, most notably in its taut pacing and creation of a truly terrifying villain, it is also a poignant character study and the story of a place--as reminiscent of novels by Thompson, or even Faulkner, as it is of other great psychological thrillers. Kristy and Kelly candidly discuss the challenges they faced while writing this book, but also such topics as the history of their writing partnership, the craft of writing, and the many steps aspiring authors can take to improve their prose and their chances of getting published.  This podcast is brought to you Clute and Edwards of www.noircast.net. To leave a comment on this episode, or make a donation to the podcast, please visit "Behind the Black Mask: Mystery Writers Revealed" at btbm.libsyn.com.
Direct download: BTBM_2007_06_15_PJP.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:25 PM
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This episode features interviews with the creators of three alternative noir publications: Tee Morris, founder of podiobooks (www.podiobooks.com) and author of the fantasy-hardboiled podiobook "Billibub Baddings and the Case of the Singing Sword;" Kevin Burton Smith, creator of the superlative "Thrilling Detective" website and ezine (www.thrillingdetective.com); and Seth Harwood, author of the podiobook "Jack Wakes Up" starring movie-star one-hit-wonder and ex-drug-addict Jack Palms. The "Noircast Special" podcasts allow Clute and Edwards to address topics of interest to listeners of "Out of the Past" and "Behind the Black Mask." Please visit www.noircast.net for more information.
Direct download: NS_2007_06_01_ANP.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:02 AM
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LACED is the tenth Regan Reilly mystery by New York Times bestselling author Carol Higgins Clark. Higgins Clark's training as an actress is everywhere apparent in this installment to the series: her visual prose allows us to see each scene, the action is blocked with precision, and the subplots involving the large ensemble cast are expertly laced to ensnare the reader. Moreover, her Irish heritage, and the many trips she has taken to the Emerald Isle, impart a strong sense of place--the romance of Ireland's castles, the warmth of it's pubs, and perhaps even the chill of it's ghosts. This podcast is brought to you by Clute and Edwards of www.noircast.net. To leave a comment on this episode, or make a donation to the podcast, please visit "Behind the Black Mask: Mystery Writers Revealed" at btbm.libsyn.com.
Direct download: BTBM_2007_05_15_CHC.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:46 AM
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"If you can't write hard-boiled fiction about Coney Island, you're in trouble: the decay; the disappointment of what something once was, and what it is now. It's symbolic of how people view their lives. They start out as the Empire State Building, but by the end--or middle age--they look around, and they're Coney Island." So says author Reed Farrel Coleman, discussing his latest Moe Prager mystery SOUL PATCH--comments that distill hard-boiled to its addictive but acid essence. Though his 2005 THE JAMES DEANS was a tough act to follow (it won the Anthony, Berry, and Shamus Awards), Coleman does an admirable job with the latest installment in the series. By narrowing the scope of the intrigue he increases its intensity, etching in painstaking detail the emotional profile of a man facing himself in middle age. This podcast is brought to you by Clute and Edwards of www.noircast.net. To leave a comment on this episode, or make a donation to the podcast, please visit "Behind the Black Mask: Mystery Writers Revealed" at btbm.libsyn.com.
Direct download: BTBM_2007_04_15_RFC.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:10 AM
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Like the haar rolling off the North Sea, Al Guthrie's HARD MAN will disorient and chill you. His Edinburgh is not the fairytale of High Street, but a nightmare of lower class hardship and indifference. It is populated by flawed characters desperately seeking a little creature comfort. For hope of a pittance they're willing to sow the seeds of destruction, but they reap only suffering--a red harvest. The prose befits the action. Artfully ambiguous dialogue makes you wonder why anyone would be so violent for so little, but also keeps you guessing how things will end. Numerous points of view allow Guthrie to explore victims' pain, but likewise build suspense by delaying resolution. HARD MAN is at once highly stylized and brutally realistic--the love-child of hardboiled fiction and crime reporting--and the experience of reading it is like none you've had. This podcast is brought to you by Clute and Edwards of www.noircast.net. To leave a comment on this episode, or make a donation to the podcast, please visit "Behind the Black Mask: Mystery Writers Revealed" at btbm.libsyn.com.
Direct download: BTBM_2007_03_15_HM_1.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:26 PM
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THE SONG IS YOU deftly blends fiction and fact, cinematic dream and post-war reality, to recreate the charged atmosphere of late-1940's Hollywood. It is a fictional account of events surrounding the real-life disappearance of actress Jean Spangler. In Gil "Hop" Hopkins, tabloid newshound and studio publicity spin-man, Abbott gives us one of the rarest and most rarefied protagonists in the hard-boiled firmament--a man at once entirely in control and savagely desperate, filled with endless hot air but sputtering on fumes. Like the town and era he inhabits, Hop totters on a gossamer thread between fantasy and truth, obsession and release. THE SONG IS YOU is Cain, Chandler, Hughes, and Ellroy, and none of these--something as elusive and ephemeral yet brilliant and timeless as the stars in Hollywood. This podcast is brought to you by Clute and Edwards of www.noircast.net. To leave a comment on this episode, or make a donation to the podcast, please visit "Behind the Black Mask: Mystery Writers Revealed" at btbm.libsyn.com.
Direct download: BTBM_2007_02_15_MA.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:17 PM
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The "Noircast Special" allows Clute and Edwards to address topics of interest to listeners of "Out Of The Past" and "Behind The Black Mask." This inaugural episode features a roundtable discussion with the director, playwright, and lead actors of The Stolen Chair Theatre Company's off-Broadway play "Kill Me Like You Mean It." Inspired by film noir and the theatre of the absurd, the play is an artful mash-up that demonstrates how dark is the heart of absurdist theatre, and how absurd are the conventions of noir. This podcast--part interview, part radio drama--should please fans of film noir and mystery fiction alike.
Direct download: NSF_2007_01_25_KMLYMI.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:13 PM
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English novelist Danuta Reah is a Forensic Linguistics lecturer specializing in the link between language disorders and criminal behavior, a creative writing instructor, the former chair of the British Crime Writers' Association, and winner of the prestigious Dagger Award. Remarkably, she cites none of these factors as being the primary influence on her writing. Rather, her understanding of un-happy endings (acquired by watching her father--a Polish soldier of Belarusian descent--live his life in exile in Britain) seems to be the primum movens of her fiction, and her appreciation for painting (acquired by watching her artist husband at work) has taught her to craft prose that is sensitive to "the spaces in between. From the confluence of these wellsprings of inspiration flows BLEAK WATER, the singular tale of the grief that seeps through lives shattered by a mad artist determined to bring Bruegel's "The Triumph of Death" into the modern world. This podcast is brought to you by Clute and Edwards of www.noircast.net. To leave a comment on this episode, or make a donation to the podcast, please visit "Behind the Black Mask: Mystery Writers Revealed" at btbm.libsyn.com.
Direct download: BTBM_2007_01_15_DR.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:44 PM
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Theresa Schwegel's training as a screenwriter is evident in her fiction. She is able to zoom from the setting of Chicago to vivid locales in a flash, to enter and exit scenes with cinematic efficiency, and to focus on just those details that flesh out characters with heartrending minimalism. This focus on character, and a keen eye for the distinctions between Law and Justice, earned OFFICER DOWN the Edgar for best first novel, and make Theresa's January 2007 release PROBABLE CAUSE equally compelling. This podcast is brought to you by Clute and Edwards of www.noircast.net. To leave a comment on this episode, or make a donation to the podcast, please visit "Behind the Black Mask: Mystery Writers Revealed" at btbm.libsyn.com.
Direct download: BTBM_2006_12_15_TS.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:40 AM
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Author and editor Charles Ardai is a double-feature unto himself. In the first half of this special hour-long episode Richard Aleas (Ardai's anagrammatical authorial alter ego) discusses his Edgar and Shamus Award nominated novel LITTLE GIRL LOST: its literary predecessors--from William Blake's poetry to period pulp, and its complex vision of justice. In the second half of the interview, Ardai the entrepreneur speaks of his imprint Hard Case Crime: the reasons for its creation, the decision to commission fresh artwork from some of the finest painters of the classic era of paperback originals, and the particular challenges of editing and publishing a line that mixes period reprints with new titles while maintaining a consistent noir worldview. Abundantly clear are the intelligence and vision that have made Ardai the reigning Pasha of Pulp publishing, and Hetman of Hard-Boiled writing. This podcast is brought to you by Clute and Edwards of www.noircast.net. To leave a comment on this episode, or make a donation to the podcast, please visit "Behind the Black Mask: Mystery Writers Revealed" at btbm.libsyn.com.
Direct download: BTBM_2006_11_15_CA.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:56 AM
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Ex Private Investigator, failed academic, frustrated musician, and inspired writer--David Corbett himself is perhaps the best illustration of his theory on character development: if the back-story wound is evident, the person will act in meaningful and poignant ways. Only an author who has done his share of living could pen so piercing a tale of the dedicated cops, oddly talented citizens, and self-interested criminals, developers, and politicians who struggle in the incendiary communities of California. DONE FOR A DIME may be the definitive California crime novel--a work as acute, eclectic, ambitious, heart-wrenching, and vast as the state itself. This podcast is brought to you by Clute and Edwards of www.noircast.net. To leave a comment on this episode, or make a donation to the podcast, please visit "Behind the Black Mask: Mystery Writers Revealed" at btbm.libsyn.com.
Direct download: BTBM_2006_10_15_DC.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:51 AM
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The tagline is "mystery writers revealed" and Duane Swierczynski's frankness makes for truth in advertising. He admits that behind his hard-boiled exterior, a soft spot for family fuels his writing. He acknowledges that his Catholic upbringing creates a particular brand of justice in his novels, and that his ambivalent relationship with his hometown of Philadelphia injects those novels with dark longing. He speaks of how the characters in THE WHEELMAN helped to plot its action, and even shares a personal maxim with aspiring authors: if it's not action, it may not be worth writing. This podcast is brought to you by Clute and Edwards of www.noircast.net. To leave a comment on this episode, or make a donation to the podcast, please visit "Behind the Black Mask: Mystery Writers Revealed" at btbm.libsyn.com.
Direct download: BTBM_2006_09_15.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:06 PM
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With his Sundance hit film BRICK, writer-director Rian Johnson attempted to convey his powerful reactions to the work of Dashiell Hammett. Thus, BRICK is a deeply personal film; though it may be evident that a Hammettesque script propels its action, its nuances can only be appreciated when a familiarity with Johnson is achieved. In this episode, Rian reveals how his personal experience, gourmand taste in movies, and willingness to heed his cast allowed him to leap-frog the conventions of film noir, and craft his eclectic hard-boiled debut. This podcast is brought to you by Clute and Edwards of www.noircast.net. To leave a comment on this episode, or make a donation to the podcast, please visit "Behind the Black Mask: Mystery Writers Revealed" at btbm.libsyn.com.
Direct download: BTBM_2006_08_15.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:36 AM
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Where does pulp end and the real begin? As Paul Malmont discuses the historical facts underpinning his fantastic and fantastical throwback pulp novel THE CHINATOWN DEATH CLOUD PERIL, he provides surprising answers to this question. THE SHADOW author Walter Gibson was a world-class magician, and married a woman who did a fortunetelling act with a chicken? Yes! The flesh-dripping zombies who chase DOC SAVAGE author Lester Dent through the pages of THE CHINATOWN DEATH CLOUD PERIL have a basis in historical fact? Well, you'd best hear the shocking answer to that one from Malmont himself. This podcast is brought to you by Clute and Edwards of www.noircast.net. To leave a comment on this episode, or make a donation to the podcast, please visit "Behind the Black Mask: Mystery Writers Revealed" at btbm.libsyn.com.
Direct download: BTBM_2006_07_15.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:01 AM
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