Classic Noir: Two by Elisabeth Sanxay Holding K. A. Laity

People have been talking about Bookshop as an alternative to the ‘zon so I hopped over to set up my profile there and see what they have. Disappointingly, they have a very patchy collection. Ironically, as they sell themselves as a booster of independent bookstores, you’ll mostly find volumes from the not-so-indie presses. I tried to add…

Murder in My High School by K. A. Laity

This is not going to be a lurid tale; more of a puzzled one. A colleague share a link this morning about the need to compensate formerly incarcerated people for telling their stories—particularly for those events seeking to redress the criminal (literally) imbalances in the justice system. It got me thinking about a weird thing from…

Losing my Religion by K. A. Laity

“I could do it,” Tony said as I started the engine. “Believe me. Easy.” I backed the Subaru up then eased away from the kerb. An old lady in a Ford pulled into the spot almost before I got out. Life in the congestion zone. “Might better open up a car park. You’d get rich…

Confession by K. A. Laity

Confession K. A. Laity   I didn’t mean to kill him. Let me get that out there straight away. I know things have not been great between us and certainly there was some hostility—okay, a lot of hostility. But it wasn’t deliberate! I certainly didn’t mean to—   I mean—a butter knife! Would I have…

Punk Before Punk: The Party’s Over (1962/5/6) by K. A. Laity

Just as the word punk existed before the music did, the concept of the rebel outsiders breaking all the rules has existed as long as rules have (probably: I’d bet my PhD on it anyway). One of those iterations surely included the beatniks, at least in the popular imagination. The Party’s Over’s release was delayed for…

The Click of the Shutting by Graham Wynd

The Click of the Shutting Graham Wynd   She waited for the sound of it, the sound that meant safety, the sound that meant it was over for now. The time it was when his shouts might soften, sometimes even turn to tears and beg forgiveness, beg for comfort, remind her again how it was…

Detour(s) by K. A. Laity

God, it’s easy to kill a person!’ The noir classic Detour (1945) impressed most of my students with the wildest femme fatale they saw all semester. Ann Savage, to borrow a line from Peter and Dud, Savage by name plays a part completely Savage by nature. Her Vera completely terrifies the itinerant musician Al (played by Tom Neal) as…

Learn the Art of the Grift From Films by K A Laity

Crime Reads posted ‘10 of the Greatest Con Artist Films of All-Time’ which might better be called ’10 Con Artist Films I Have Seen’ – only joking (or am I?). Well, in any case as I am sad over Tim Brooke-Taylor dying let me distract myself by suggesting a few other films you might want…

Two by Hughes by K. A. Laity

It’s easy to focus on the very greatest books by Dorothy B. Hughes: after all, any one of them would be enough to make her name immortal. In A Lonely Place: possibly the first in-the-mind-of-serial-killer novel, a masterpiece of psychological insight and noir ambience from 1947. Or her New Mexican novel Ride the Pink Horse…

Art/Heist by K. A. Laity

When I’m not thinking about grifters, I’m probably thinking about heists. There’s a good bit of overlap in the miscreants involved in each, I’m sure. Are we talking fiction or non-fiction? I hesitate to call it reality. Does anything seem real right now?  With news that there’s was another big art theft this week, we…