For anyone not familiar with Burke's novels, just allow your mind to contemplate these two words: screwball noir. Burke doesn't admit to it, but it's possible he's the literary love-child of Preston Sturges ('A pratfall is better than anything.') and James M. Cain ('I want to see that fin. That black fin. Cutting the water in the moonlight). With Tom Stoppard ('I think age is a very high price to pay for maturity.') as godfather. I'll be keeping tabs on a pub date. Who knows, maybe at that time we can lure DB over to The Drowning Machine and get his feet wet.
In the Mailman, Bring Me No More Blues department, the January issue of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine arrived yesterday. It appears the good folks at EQMM begin celebrating their 70th year in 2011. Hats off to them, that's a great run. And may it continue for another 70.
Of particular note in this latest issue, is a new story from Liza Cody, MR. BO. Cody only popped up on my reading radar this past summer, and I've since been tracking down copies of as many of her novels as I can find. I turned directly to this story and got sucked right into the world of a single mom struggling to make ends meet just as her long-lost affluent sister swans into her world and turns it upside down. This story should win many new fans for Ms. Cody, and I won't be surprised if it's listed among EQMM's reader favorites at the end of '11.
BURY ME DEEP, and the first chapter is ultra-humbling for us wannabe-a-writers. Here's a small sample:
Thrill parties every night over on Hussel Street. That tiny house, why, it's 600 square feet of percolating, Wurlitzering sin. Those girls with their young skin, tight and glamorous, their rimy lungs and scratchy voices, one cheek flush and c'mon boys and the other, so accommodating, even with lil' wrists and ankles stripped to pearly bone by sickness. They lay there on their daybed, men all standing over round, fingering pocket chains and hands curled about gin bottle necks. The girls lay there on plump pillows piled high with soft fringes twirling between delicate fingers, their lips wet with syrups, tonics, sticky with balms, their faces freshly powdered, arching up, waiting to be attended to by men, our men, the city's men. What do you do about girls like that?