Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Supplement Your Reading with Listening

I'm going to take a slight detour from my usual assault on the art of writing book reviews and mention several podcasts that might be of interest to readers of crime/mystery/thriller/suspense books.

Clute and Edwards
Both Shannon Clute and Richard Edwards have PhDs: Clute in Romance Studies and Edwards in Critical Studies. Clute is now a mystery novelist (The Mint Condition) and freelance writer. Edwards is an Assistant Professor of Media Arts and Sciences at Indiana University's School of Informatics in the Division of New Media. They have a love of noir and share that love on a website and two podcasts.

They have links to their podcasts on as well as news of their activities including appearances, other writings, and links to their favorite noir web sites. I am most familiar with their podcasts, Out of the Past, and Behind the Black Mask.

Out of the Past is a monthly podcast where they have a detailed discussion on a noir or neo-noir topic, mostly films. Neo-noir allows them to include films such as Blade Runner and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang as well as classic noir like the Maltese Falcon, The Postman Always Rings Twice, and Double Indemnity. Their discussions are interesting and insightful and inspire me to seek out the films. They are the primary reason why I purchased the recent four disc release of the Blade Runner director's cut and why I am considering a Netflix subscription.

On Behind the Black Mask: Mystery Writers Revealed, they interview writers of hard-boiled, pulp, mystery, and suspense. The interviews are excellent and you come away understanding how the author works to create characters and plots. You will also learn interesting tidbits such as Jason Starr can type 40 words a minute with two fingers. Lauri King will be interviewed in February.

This is an interesting website with the purpose to investigate crime with crime professionals. The podcasts include true crime topics such as the role of DNA evidence, dealing with a bomb threat, and why are prostitutes the victims of violent crime as well as author interviews. The true crime topics are often very short (under 3 minutes) while author interviews can run 15 minutes. The podcasts are not updated very often, the most recent being an interview with Ian Rankin.