Help Us Spread the Word:




All Things Noir by Clute and Edwards:

Want more? Visit Noircast.net for the latest blogs, podcasts, and projects from Clute and Edwards!

Subscribe to Behind the Black Mask:

Click here to subscribe to this podcast through iTunes

Why We Have a PayPal Button:

Behind the Black Mask is a free podcast. However, it costs money every month to host the podcast and make it available for downloading. Donations go to the cost of hosting. Click on the PayPal button below to make a donation. Thanks for your support.

Search for a Specific Episode:

Or simply scroll down this page. All 28 author interviews are listed in reverse chronological order, starting with Paul Malmont (Episode 1) at the bottom of this page through Michael Connelly (Episode 28) just to the left here.

June

October
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January

December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January

December
November
October
September
August
July

August 2007
S M T W T F S
     
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31

Looking for Something?:

You can search this site by category
podcasts
general
Episode 18: Max Allan Collins Revealed 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: 1:58pm EDT
Comments[1]

Episode 17: Tim Maleeny Revealed 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: 5:19pm EDT
Comments[0]

Episode 16: Harry Hunsicker Revealed 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: 9:39pm EDT
Comments[0]

Episode 15: Chelsea Cain Revealed 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: 10:30pm EDT
Comments[0]

Episode 14: Jason Starr Revealed 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: 4:25am EDT
Comments[0]

Episode 13: Jane K. Cleland Revealed 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: 6:19pm EDT
Comments[0]

Episode 12: PJ Parrish Revealed 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: 6:25pm EDT
Comments[0]

Noircast Special 2: Alternative Noir Publications 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: 10:02pm EDT
Comments[0]

Episode 11: Carol Higgins Clark Revealed 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: 11:46pm EDT
Comments[0]

Episode 10: Reed Farrel Coleman Revealed "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: 10:10pm EDT
Comments[0]

Episode 9: Allan Guthrie Revealed 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: 4:26pm EDT
Comments[1]

Episode 8: Megan Abbott Revealed 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: 6:17pm EDT
Comments[4]

Noircast Special 1: Kill Me Like You Mean It 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: 6:13pm EDT
Comments[0]

Episode 7: Danuta Reah Revealed 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: 5:44pm EDT
Comments[0]