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CrimeSpree: A Perfect 10

Monday, January 30, 2006
The latest issue of CrimeSpree Magazine is out (issue 10, thus explaining the title of this post), with Alafair Burke gracing the cover*. Apparently her sister Jan Burke** had to beg off at the last minute to deal with a looming deadline, so she'll be next issue's cover girl ("CrimeSpree: This One Goes To 11").

If you're not familiar with CrimeSpree, it has a bunch of regular features - news, reviews, restrospectives, fiction, etc. - but it's really built around the author profile. In fact it reads a lot like People Magazine for the murder-and-mayhem set. Jon, Ruth, and company apparently know ever single mystery author in America, and their overseas spies know the rest.

My favorite feature in this issue is the photo spread for the Dagger awards, featuring 13-year-old John Rickards in his Serious Author outfit (dark jacket, white shirt), with a beer bottle surgically attached to his hand (natch), and, apparently, the picture of a beautiful woman tattooed to his chest. So, who is she, John?

And now a brief word from our sponsors. Speaking of Friggin' John Rickards (his actual name, by the way), I thought I'd clarify the censorship policy: as long as a blog is listed, its content will not be censored. If I decide that a blog is objectionable I'll remove it, but if you're in, it's all good. And even if I tried a dirty-word filter, I'm sure that FJR and others would just come up with some new ones.


* Kevin Burton Smith is the centerfold.

** No, not really.

posted by Graham Powell at 9:59 AM


Wednesday, January 25, 2006
Steve Lewis of Mystery*File wrote to me earlier and asked if I could add his site to the index, but since his site doesn't generate RSS or Atom, I can't do it, which is really too bad, because it's laid out much like a blog.

By coincidence Ed Gorman mentions it on his blog today, and even refers to the article on Edward S. Aarons and his ASSIGNMENT series. I've only read the first one, ASSIGNMENT TO DISASTER, and I wasn't impressed.Sam Durrell is a secret agent from Louisiana (though in this book he operates more like an FBI man, in the beginning at least) who is assigned to investigate the sister of a missing scientist.

The book has a hard-boiled narrative style, but it's matched up with such overheated histrionics that the whole thing seems pretty ridiculous. Durrell trutsts the girl despite all evidence to the contrary, defies his bosses, and still comes out smelling like a rose. The villain is straight out of a 30s pulp story... after reading spy stories by the likes of Donald Hamilton and Len Deighton this just seems like a pale imitation (though it actually came first).

Mystery*File has been around for a while in one form or another, and has a lot of good information. Give it a look, and tell Steve I sent you.

posted by Graham Powell at 5:56 PM

It's A Date

Tuesday, January 24, 2006
The calendar page is now working, and I've populated it with a few events, mostly so you can see what it looks like. I didn't realize until I'd put them in that the location wouldn't show up unless you clicked the event, so I'll have to go back and put a dateline at the front of each description. No rest for the weary, and all that.

If you've got an event leave me a message at the usual number and I'll make sure to post it. After all, we can't let Neil, Sean, and Lee get all the attention.

The Current Wait Time Is: 36 Hours. I'm running a little behind on the email right now, so if you've sent me a message I'll get back to you soon. Promise! And yes, I know it's a bit strange to post this right after asking for more email. We Appreciate Your Patience.

posted by Graham Powell at 7:57 PM

Another One Bites The Dust

Monday, January 23, 2006
I was planning on running a post this morning covering the results of Paul Guyot's "Armo(u)red Car Kiddie Clothes Caper Contest", but instead it's my sad duty to inform you that after one year of blogging, the Inkslinger has hung up his quill.

Paul has tried to walk away before, so let's hope he has another Michael Corleone moment ("Just when I think I'm out, they PULL ME BACK IN!") and returns to blogging, and sanity.

Tech note: HTML elements are now working, so Tribe can use curly quotes. Tags are still seized at the border, however.

posted by Graham Powell at 10:35 AM

Line Forms Here

Saturday, January 21, 2006
Well it seems that certain impatient people couldn't wait until the official CrimeSpot launch, so they've gone ahead and spilled the beans. And I'm OK with that! As it happens I've just spent the last seven hours wrapping up most of the programming (although the Calendar page is still MIA), so CrimeSpot is unofficially open for business.

So you should ask yourself these questions:

1) Do I have a mystery-related blog?
2) Does my blog support RSS or Atom syndication?*
3) Do I want to be cool?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, drop me a line at and let me know. I promise never to spam you or sell your address**, trust me.

UPDATE: Please ignore some of the site descriptions, they were just supposed to be dummies until I could put in the real ones.


* Blogger=yes, Typepad=yes, JournalScape=yes, Wordpress=yes, Xanga=yes. Otherwise I'll have to check.

** Unless I get a REEEEALLY good offer.

posted by Graham Powell at 5:53 PM

It's Alive!!!!

Friday, January 20, 2006
After months of procrastination interrupted by brief bouts of hard work, is finally here. This site will round up crime and mystery fiction blogs from all over the Internet and summarize them in an easy-to-read format.

The idea for this site was born from two impulses: the desire to waste less time checking sites that hadn't changed, coupled with the desire to find cool new sites I'd never heard of. A newsreader would have solved the first problem, but not the second. So I created as a sort of public, on-line newsreader that gathers information from the four corners of Mysterydom.

I'm going to use this SPOTTED blog to let you know about links that won't show up in the index, whether it's a new web 'zine, an interview or article, or whatever else I can think of.

If you have a blog that would be at home here, or if you know someone who does, please drop me a line at, and I'll look into adding them to the index. In the meantime, please enjoy the fruits of my labor.

posted by Graham Powell at 3:08 PM