Thursday, May 13, 2010

Bill Crider

Bill Crider is the author of more than fifty novels, including the Sheriff Dan Rhodes series. He is the winner of the Anthony Award and has been nominated for both the Shamus and Edgar Awards. His latest novel, co-written with Clyde Wilson, is Mississippi Vivian.

Recently I asked him what he was reading. His reply:

I’m currently reading a private-eye novel called Epitaph for a Loser by James T. Doyle. It was published by Walker Books in the late 1980s, and as far as I know it was Doyle’s second and last private-eye book. Why am I reading it? That’s a good question. Every Friday, a good many bloggers review a “forgotten” crime novel. I picked this one up in a thrift shop not long ago and read the first couple of paragraphs. It looked interesting, so I bought it specifically to read for one of my Friday reviews. I’m glad I did, because it turns out that it’s a very good novel in the hardboiled vein.

Shortly before picking up Epitaph for a Loser, I read something completely different, Charlie Williams’ Stairway to Hell. It’s almost impossible to describe, but let’s say that Jimmy Page (yes, the rock star) was a warlock in the ‘70s and transferred the soul of David Bowie into the body of a baby named Rick Sutton, who grows up to become a British club singer calling himself Rik Suntan. Suntan narrates his present-day adventures, and they’re quite funny since he’s one of those people who’s completely confident in his talent, sex-appeal, and superior intelligence, whereas it’s clear to the reader that he’s wrong about all those things. It’s hard to sustain a story based on such a zany premise (and it gets even zanier), but Williams manages it.

And speaking of being quite funny, I just wrote a review of Donna Moore’s Old Dogs, a screwball crime novel that also has a plot that’s almost impossible to describe. Two former hookers, now in their 70s, decide to steal a couple of valuable statues of dogs from a museum. Complications ensue. Lots of complications. The statues get around as fast as the pea in a shell game, and so do the fake statues of the same dogs. So does a corpse, for that matter. It’s all hilarious, and if Donna gets to cast the movie, I suggested Judy Dench and Helen Mirren as the leads.

Visit Bill Crider's website and blog, and read his My Book, The Movie entry for the Sheriff Dan Rhodes novels.

Author Interviews: Bill Crider.

My Book, The Movie: Mississippi Vivian.

--Marshal Zeringue