Monday, February 2, 2009

Carnival of the Criminal Minds #31

I have the pleasure of hosting this episode of the Carnival. The brainchild of the esteemed Barbara Fister, the Carnival has travelled to many corners of the world. After it's recent return season at Julia Buckley's Mysterious Musings, it's setting up here at It's Criminal for the first time.

As I'm sitting here sweltering in the middle of a hot hot hot Australian summer, and especially as I'm in Newcastle, where fab beaches abound, I thought I'd have a surf carnival theme. This also gives me the opportunity to rectify what appears to be a shocking oversight in previous Carnivals - a distinct lack of buff Aussie blokes!

If you are thinking that this means the following will be a tour of bright summery crime fiction, then you'd be wrong. Maybe it's to counter all that sunshiny cheeriness, but my taste in crime fiction veers to the dark and dreary, much of which seems to take place in the colder regions of the Northern hemisphere. So I find myself looking at blogs like International Noir Fiction where Glenn Harper talks about and reviews mostly translated crime fiction. In his latest posting he talks about a forgotten pioneer of Swedish crime fiction, Kerstin Ekman. He places her in the context of the more well known Sjowall and Wahloo, and the later Swedish writers.

At the wonderful Euro Crime, a survey of their reviewers favourite books of 2008 found Stieg Larsson's The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo came out at number 1, and I learned that the DVD of Jar City based on the book by Arnaldur Indridason has just been released in the UK. (Amazon here I come!) Apart from the blog, the Euro Crime site includes reviews, bibliographies, awards and one of my favourite parts, the Future Releases, where I can add to my wishlist well into the future. At least it gives me time to save up!

Peter Rozovsky of Detectives Beyond Borders always seems to have something interesting to say about crime fiction set in foreign climes. This week he had an interview with Mehmet Murat Somer; discussed Matt Rees' views on the difference between fiction and reality and on the difficulties of being a journalist in the Middle East; and linked to an interview with Stephen Sartarelli, Andrea Camilleri's translator.

A new entrant into the blogosphere is Reg Keeland, Stieg Larsson's translator. Reg welcomes comment on Larsson's books, but also provides insight into translating, and how he got started. He notes that generally, he forgets a book as soon as he's finished with the translation, but the Larsson books stuck in his head. He calls this "the mark of a genius writer".

A fairly recent blog discovery for me is DJs Krimiblog, where Danish blogger Dorte H writes bilingual posts and reviews (as a monolinguist, I'm seriously in awe!). Here I found out that an old favourite of mine, Sara Paretsky now has a blog and has been publishing chapters of a new VI Warshawsky story. So far she is up to chapter 3.

Another of my newish finds is Mack Captures Crime. In a recent post Mack brings one of his favourite podcasts to our attention at the site, where podcasts of authors reading their own short stories are available for download. I'm definitely planning on spending a bit of time over there.

Of course, this is just a smattering of posts that have caught my eye this week, but I can't pack away the surf skis, reels and flags, and shake the sand out of my cossies without mentioning my favourite site for all things relating to Australian crime fiction - Karen's wonderful AustCrime. The latest news there is about the filming of author Leah Giarratano's new 8-part true crime television series due to screen here around March. Another recent post is an interesting summary of early Australian women crime fiction writers. Apart from the blog, the whole AustCrime site is a treasure trove of information about Australian crime fiction and true crime.

The Carnival next moves on to Barbara Fister's own blog.

Photos courtesy of rodc and Roger OZ


  1. Great round-up post, Helen. I especially like the pictures;-)

  2. Thank you for your kind words.
    If you - or any of your visitors - want to follow Sara Paretsky´s online crime story, you can find chapter 1 via my page during the month of February.

  3. Buff Aussie blokes ..... I ask you. What's wrong with the skinny weedy ones as well (or maybe I'm just biased).

    Well done on your first post Helen and thank you for pointing me towards those podcasts - guess who got her hands on himself's old mp3 player recently and is having a lovely time (probably could be having more of a good time if I could remember to charge it)

  4. Thanks, Maxine and Kerrie!

    Dorte H: I noticed that chapter 1 didn't seem to be on Sara's site anywhere that I could find, so thanks for providing it for us all.

    Karen: Skinny and weedy is ok in its own way, but when it comes to eye candy ... :)
    And those podcasts do look good - a great way to be introduced to the work of authors you might not normally pick up to read.

  5. Chapter one IS not on Sara´s post any more. She is afraid people might ´steal´ her manuscript if she does not remove the chapters after a while - and her fear may not be exaggerated, I think. It is so easy to copy people´s work today.

  6. Great post Helen. I especially like finding the interviews with authors

  7. Thanks for the fine round of links. I especially enjoyed one that led me to Scott Phillips reading a story of his that made me laugh out loud in a place where I don't normally laugh.
    Detectives Beyond Borders
    “Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home”

  8. Thanks, Bernadette and Peter!

    That audio site is a great find isn't it? I'll have to go find the Scott Phillips story. I've been downloading a few to take with me on the flight to Hawaii for LCC.

  9. Hi Helen, Thanks for the great PR for my new blog. It's a lot of fun, and a great way to procrastinate and avoid working! Actually I do it around 1 a.m. after the workday is through. I'm picking up hits from all over Oz thanks to you. Check out my wife Tiina's new translations on the blog too.

    Reg in sunny but springlike New Mexico

  10. I'm glad I've been able to help bump up your hit rate, Reg! I often find it hard to fit everything into my day, and the blog often falls off the end. :)
    I've had a quick look at Tina's list of translations, and find there are several I've either already read or have in my to-be-read pile - namely Karin Fossum and Mari Jungstedt.