Featured Site #7: "Independent Crime"

Nathan Cain's "Independent Crime" blogsite does some of what we expect from blogs: it takes jabs at the establishment and occasionally lapses into personal reflection.  But in the company of the insightful and well-written reviews of independent press crime novels that populate the blog, even the irreverent and the personal seem pertinent.  Nathan is that rare insider-outsider, a former journalist and an avid crime fiction reader whose professional training combines with his knee-jerk reactions to bring fresh insight to the tired book review world.  He gives small presses their due, but is not blindly reverential of all indy efforts.  He's willing to say that some smart novels become self-indulgent, and some literary icons have achieved a greater status than they deserve (why, he wonders in one post, did Spillane ever become popular?).  The spare style of his blog matches that of his prose, and both are like the deceptively smooth facade of the classic noir film Laura: they make us apt to forget that in our midst is lurking a man willing to blow the face right off the object of his affections.  Visit "Independent Crime" at http://indiecrime.blogspot.com


Featured Site #6: spinetinglermag.com

If you love mystery, you'll go head over round heels for the Spinetingler e-zine.  Established to help "promote and enhance the profile of talented emerging writers," each issue of Spinetingler includes superb short fiction by new and established writers, author interviews, website profiles, and special features that allow publisher Kevin Einarson and his staff to address all the latest happenings in the mystery world—from conferences to podcasts.  Because Spinetingler is free, it is blissfully devoid of advertisements; all you'll find inside is great writing.  The companion website is also a valuable resource, featuring excellent book reviews, and abundant links to information on particular authors, the business of writing, and writing forums.  It's no wonder Spinetingler generated over 50,000 issue downloads and 900,000 hits in 2006.  Sometimes, the best things in life are free.  Visit Spinetingler by clicking on the image above.


Featured Site #5: Noirfilm.com

"A dame with a rod is like a guy with a knitting needle."  Dark Marc Dolezal built his supernal noir website, and perhaps his very dark weltanschauung, around that line.  This is the most rarefied of film noir sites: "The Blackboard" is a discussion group of the highest order—where no topic is too obscure or too heady; the movie swap and purchase section of the site is video and 16mm manna for lean, mean noir disciples; "The Big Chat" is a revelation, featuring Dark Marc's interviews with some of the greatest living scholars of noir.  On top of it all, Marc does free screenings of well-known and obscure noir classics each Thursday, all around the Bay area.  That's right, free.  He may just be noir's dark angel.  Visit his "Danger and Despair Knitting Circle" by clicking on the image above.


Featured Site #4: sethharwood.com

Seth Harwood has an MFA from the prestigious Iowa Writers' Workshop, but his pedigree is likely to matter less to listeners of his podiobooks than the hook-a-minute hardboiled dialogue and relentless action.  If Chandler had been tapped to write the first DIE HARD, and somewhere along the way Tarantino had been called in for rewrites à la TRUE ROMANCE, the result would have been a JACK PALMS tale.  Jack—a movie-star one-hit-wonder and ex-drug-addict—ends up in more trouble every time he tries to straighten his life out, and listeners can't help but revel in his woes. 

JACK WAKES UP was an impressive debut, and the sequal promises to be bigger and better.  With a new webpage (http://sethharwood.com/MP3s/MP3s.html) and a new Yahoo group (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sethharwood), Harwood is ready to roll with JP II: THIS IS LIFE.  Be there when the shooting starts, Sunday June 3rd!

If you like what you hear (and we know you will), help Harwood advertise with the free html banner below (shown here as code, but it will post as an image and live link in any html-based site).

<a href="http://www.sethharwood.com/" target="NewWindow"><center><img src="http://www.sethharwood.com/Podcasts_files/SF-FLIPPED-JACKPALMS2-POSTER.jpg" width="256" height="309"  /></center></a>


Featured Site #3: Noiresque

"She's a siren of the shadows, a woman of the World in a dark city of violence and terror...Men want to have her; women want to be her."  She's Sandra Lawrence, and she embodies the diverse impulses that drove Clute and Edwards to start the "Noircast Special" podcast series.  Her passion for all things noir shades every one of her hardboiled endeavors: she's a graduate of the Film program at Reading University (where she fell in love with film noir), a freelance journalist and BBC reporter who has written on many noir subjects, a knockout femme fatale model, and a professional torch singer who has fronted some of Europe's greatest big bands. 

She wove these various threads into one dark canvas of noir, "Noiresque-the lonely fate of the femme fatale"--a hit stage show she wrote and performed.  In short, she's the kind of dame you can't resist.  So give in, give up, and give her a visit.  It's as easy as clicking on the banner above.


Featured Site #2: The Film Noir Foundation

Sure you big palooka!  You can put on a pair of brass knuckles and paste some patsy in the pan.  Or you can do the work of a real tough guy: roll up your sleeves, open your checkbook, and donate your time--like Eddie Muller and his posse at THE FILM NOIR FOUNDATION. They're doing the hard work of saving one of America's greatest contributions to the world--Film Noir--and they're making it look easy. 

Few are as passionate and lucid as Muller when writing and talking about noir.  Fewer still go beyond writing and talking, and actually do something to preserve these great films.  There may be no one who has done more to educate the public, rescue the films, and make them accessible than Muller has.  To learn more about the FILM NOIR FOUNDATION, and help in its efforts, click on the icon above.


Featured Site #1: Thrilling Detective

If you're a fan of all things PI, welcome to Nirvana.  But beware!  You'll give your soul over to this site.

Maybe the world is no longer full of tough gees and wily dames—maybe it never was.  But they live at THE THRILLING DETECTIVE WEB SITE.  Ever read a mystery you loved, but forgot who wrote it or who its starred before you could get your hands on another in the series?  No problem.  In the glossary of "Private Eyes" you're likely to track it down again, and if you don't, there are hundreds of other PI's you'll be just as excited about.  Saw a TV show once, but missed the credits?  You'll find a list of TV and Radio detective shows that stretches from Badstown to Heartbreakville.  Then there are hardboiled periodicals, essays, book and movie reviews, author interviews, anthologies, theory and criticism, fiction writing guides—and Trivia and a Hall of Fame it would be a crime to miss.

Once you're done being astonished by the volume of information, you're likely to be surprised by its quality.  Kevin Burton Smith, the creator and designer of Thrilling Detective, writes much of the text himself—and what text it is.  You sense he pens it all with a smile and a sneer—the prerequisite combination to all things hardboiled.  His contributions are a fine compliment to the wonderful original stories and novel excerpts published on the site—from established writers like Leigh Brackett, to new (at the time) voices like Duane Swierczynski's.

And did I mention this gargantuan pulp smorgasbord is free?  Brother, if you can spare a dime drop it on Kevin Burton Smith, 'cause this site's worth a million.  To visit the site, click on the banner above.