Saturday, August 28, 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.

The new Dan Rhodes novel is Murder in the Air.

Recently I asked Crider what he was reading. His reply:
Every time I’m asked to write about what I’m reading, I’m tempted to begin by saying something like, “I’ve been re-reading Shakespeare’s comedies, as I do every third year. Ask me next year, and I’ll be reading the histories. And the tragedies the year after that.”

But that would be wrong. That would be A Lie. So I might as well admit that what I’ve been reading lately is Go, Mutants by Larry Doyle. It’s a tender coming-of-age story about a mutant teenager living on an alternate Earth where the ‘50s monster movies from our world are documentaries, not fiction. There’s a tip of the hat to just about every monster that ever stalked across the screen, with so many in-jokes that I’m sure I missed half of them. But the ones I got were very funny.

I also recently finished The Life and Times of Little Richard, the Quasar of Rock by Charles White. It’s an odd kind of biography, since the biographer lets Little Richard and his friends tell most of it. White contributes some transitional material and ties some of the comments together, but mostly he stays out of the way. After reading this book, all I can say is that the rock ‘n’ roll life is even wilder than I ever dreamed. I can’t believe the things that Little Richard admits he’s done. If I’d done them, I think I’d keep my mouth shout. The final section of the book is a long “sermon” complied from a lot of different sermons Little Richard has preached. When it comes to sinnin’, Richard sure knows what he’s talking about!

Last night I read a couple of short stories in The Big Brand, a collection of Elmer Kelton’s work, mostly (but not all) from Ranch Romances in the 1950s. Kelton is one of my favorite western writers, and he was an all-around nice guy. I particularly enjoyed the story “Coward” because it was set in Brownwood, Texas, where I lived for a number of years. The story was about the fence-cutting wars, which I heard a good bit about when I lived there.

So that’s it for my current reading. Tomorrow I’ll be starting those Shakespearean comedies.
Read the Page 69 Test entries for Crider's A Mammoth Murder, Murder Among the OWLS, Of All Sad Words, and Murder in Four Parts, as well as an excellent write-up about Dan Rhodes on the big screen at "My Book, The Movie."

Also see Steve Hockensmith's Q & A with Bill Crider.

Visit Bill Crider's website and blog.

--Marshal Zeringue