Friday, December 14, 2007

Mystery history

The other night Martin Edwards posted a particularly thoughtful piece on British writer W.J. Burley : "Although Burley wrote in popular genres, his work is quiet and generally eschews melodrama, but he excelled at the evocation of place and mood. He may not belong in the Premier League of crime writers, but his was a career of solid and lasting achievement."

I agree about Burley. He worked in watercolors rather than the violent hues popular the last four decades. Martin compares him to Simenon and I think that's both fair and accurate. You can probably find a title or two of Burleys at your local library. He's well worth trying.

Which leads my to the Mystery File blog

Here's a site that covers virtually every aspect of mystery history. Hard-boiled, cozies, popular authors, forgotten authors. And great cover reproductions. For me the covers of the Forties were particulary stylish (not all of them God knows) and memorable. Editor Steve Lewis publishes substantial pieces by writers such as Bill Pronzini and Francis Nevins on writers who deserve to be rediscovered or at least briefly remembered.

It's always interesting to see where we came from.

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