“Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “A sheer pleasure.” – Tana French. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville. “The effortless cool of Elmore Leonard at his peak.” – Ray Banks. “A fine writer at the top of his game.” – Lee Child.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Simple Art Of Murder One, Deceased

Bad news and good news, folks. Twenty Major gets in touch to let us know that Murder One, helmed by the legendary Maxim Jabukowski (right), is closing down, which is little short of a disaster, in terms of what it suggests for the immediate future of publishing, and particularly crime writing. Like, if London can’t even sustain one outlet offering the simple art of specialized books, what chance does anyone who isn’t a chainstore-friendly marquee name have of making any kind of splash?
  Hmmmm, he murmured, clenching his mental buttocks, it’s going to be a tough couple of years.
  On the plus side, Ken Bruen has blurbed Adrian McKinty’s forthcoming opus according to the 11th Commandment, or ‘Thou shalt not damn with faint praise’. To wit:
“Adrian McKinty has been blowing us out of the mystery water for quite some time now. THE BLOOMSDAY DEAD—superb, DEAD I WELL MAY BE, phew-oh, but he has totally taken over the whole field with FIFTY GRAND. Think Don Winslow’s masterly POWER OF THE DOG combined with José Latour and the sheer narrative drive of Joe Lansdale and you'll have some idea of this amazing novel. It has riveting mystery, politics of just about every shade, thrills on almost every page and the most compelling heroine in a Havana female detective named Mercado. I've rarely read a novel that had it all—human and drug trafficking, Hollywood excesses, illegals, ferocious vengeance—but what I found most compulsive was the wondrous compassion of the book. It moved me in ways I never anticipated. This is going to be the BIG BOOK of 2009.”—Ken Bruen, author of THE GUARDS
  Lovely, lovely, lovely. As I’ve said elsewhere in these pages, and on numerous occasions, McKinty’s a superb writer, in the top rank of his generation. I read FIFTY GRAND last April and thought it was his best novel since DEAD I WELL MAY BE, which was so good that I did what I almost never do and pulled the old Holden Caulfield bit and contacted McKinty and told him it was brilliant. Which it is.
  Anyway, if FIFTY GRAND doesn’t go gangbusters for McKinty this year, I’m buying a fedora so I can throw my hat at it. Because if writers like Adrian McKinty can’t make the whole writing thing work, even in the kind of climate that has Murder One closing down, then there’s something seriously and perversely wrong with the industry, and I don’t have a whole lot of interest in making it according to its warped values. Peace, out.

4 comments:

Colin said...

What about the Dublin mystery book shop? There never seems to be anyone in it when I'm there. Plus they don't stock my books. That might be a clue. I know they're nearly entirely American imports, but still. I did go in and try to justify my existence once but they didn't seem very interested. They don't seem to do anything over the internet either and I'm not sure if Murder One did either.

bookwitch said...

What do you mean?

I'm always telling authors what I think of them and their books. Should I stop? Poor Colin (see above) was my latest target, and it's all your fault, Declan.

Declan Burke said...

Ms Witch, you may well be a jinx ...

Colin, I don't know what the score is with Murder Ink, except to say that Michael Gallagher has always been terrifically supportive of me, and virtually ever other Irish crime writer. Is it 'cos you're a Left-Footer?

I'd love to get Murder Ink up and running on the web; I'd imagine it'll be vital for specialised outlets in the near future, if it isn't already, as I suspect it is. And Murder Ink must be paying big rents, being in such a prime spot ... unless it's on a long-standing lease, of course. But fair play to Michael, he's sticking it out despite the fact that Waterstones and Hodges & Figgis are both down the street ...

Cheers, Dec

crimeficreader said...

Dec, sad that I am to see Murder One closing, I think your remark "...which is little short of a disaster, in terms of what it suggests for the immediate future of publishing, and particularly crime writing" is perhaps a bit OTT. Independents are struggling and have been for ages, but to have a shop in an area of high rent is surely adding risk? I am surprised that M One has survived this long.

I say "OTT" as most readers of crimefic get their books elsewhere and online shopping certainly proved "the thing" over the festive period. Unfortunately, the now very successful Amazon seems to be becoming a bit of a monopoly. This has resulted in readers expecting discounts on their books and Amazon is a hard negotiator with the publishers, hence the dispute with Hachette Livre.