Friday, November 28, 2014

Book Review: Don Tracy, Last Year's Snow (1937)

Last Year’s Snow
 is the third of four novels published by unsung noirboiled pioneer Don Tracy in the 1930s. This everyman noir complètement enneigé tells of a love quadrangle—femme fatale, current husband, ex-husband, new paramour—trapped together in a hunting camp. Not brilliant, but worth reading to see Tracy working out tropes of the genre. Notable as well for being the second American novel (and fifth overall) published in Gallimard’s Série Noire. Grade: B-

Monday, November 24, 2014

Pulp Poem of the Week

If it hadn’t been
what it was,
it would’ve been

          Megan Abbott
          Dare Me

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

My apologies . . .

My apologies to anyone who has left a comment recently only to have me ignore it. I have just discovered that my comments notifications have been going to a defunct email address. Again, my apologies. The problem has been corrected.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Pulp Poem of the Week

Never break a law
you don’t intend to break.

          Donald E. Westlake
          “Ask a Silly Question”

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Book Review: Donald E. Westlake, The Mercenaries [a.k.a. The Smashers, a.k.a. The Cutie] (1960)

This mob whodunit would probably not have warranted a reprint by Hard Case Crime were it not Donald E. Westlake’s debut (or, more accurately, his debut under his own name). Narrated by George Clayton—known to his associates simply as Clay—The Mercenaries (reprinted by HCC as The Cutie, complete with cover art that has nothing whatsoever to do with the book) finds Westlake inching his way toward the world of Richard Stark and Parker with Clay’s recurring commentary about the necessity of good criminals behaving without emotion. In sum, a competent but not memorable novel of high academic interest to fans of Westlake/Stark. Grade: C

Monday, November 10, 2014

Pulp Poem of the Week

all life is
six to five

          Damon Runyon
          “A Nice Price”

Monday, November 3, 2014

Pulp Poem of the Week


     Elliott Chaze
     Black Wings Has My Angel