Saturday, March 21, 2015

Evan Strikes Again

     My old pal Dave "Evan" Lewis launched a new series in the current issue of Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine--May 2015-- with "The Continental Opposite," an inventive story that has Dashiell Hammett's portly little detective The Continental Op coming out of retirement to clean up corruption in 1953 Portland, Oregon.
     Peter Collins is an operative for the Continental Investigations, Inc. agency. When he learns his boss is in cahoots with the town's criminal kingpin he notifies the main office, who send the unnamed but obvious Continental Op to set things right.
     Inside jokes abound, starting with the protagonist's name. Peter Collins is underworld slang for a nobody, and also a take on Peter Collinson, a pseudonym of Hammett's early in his career. There's a Chinese joint called Hung Lo's. Lots of side-of-the-mouth patter spices up the dialogue and exposition.
     We also have a tong gang, crooked cops, an oily gangster who runs a nightclub, and Peter's mother, who is no June Cleaver, not by a long shot. It's a wild and wooly ride peppered with action, humor and a dash of pathos. I hope AHMM doesn't wait until its annual humor issue to present the next installment.

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Broadway Melody

I just checked the panel schedule for Left Coast Crime in Portland and it's a good thing I did. My panel--that is, the panel on which I'll be a panelist--is slated for 2:30 on Thursday in the Broadway Room. When I first agreed to be on the panel it was at 3:30 and I think the last time I checked it was going to be in a different room. But for now, and I hope this is permanent, 2:30 in the Broadway Room is official.

Be there or be square.

Friday, March 06, 2015

13 Days of Glory

     On this day in 1836 the Alamo fell to the forces of Santa Anna after a 13-day siege. Remember the Alamo.