All of our thoughts have been focused on Texas and Louisiana in the last few weeks as those states slowly start to emerge from the disastrous floods of Hurricane Harvey. Our cover author, Attica Locke, was born and raised in Houston, with family strung along the small towns of Highway 59 in East Texas. Read her work to get a sense of the complexity, strength, and resilience of a singular part of our country.
You probably don’t think of Mark Twain as a mystery writer but the literary giant dabbled in the genre—in humorous parodies to be sure, but also in a serious novel. In fact, the first use of fingerprints as a crime-solving device in fiction came in Pudd’nhead Wilson in 1894. Michael Mallory takes a look at the criminal career of this American icon, in-cluding the raucous A Double-Barrelled Detective Story and Tom Sawyer, Detective.
Speaking of older mysteries, there’s been a striking renaissance of Golden Age crime classics over the past few years. Martin Edwards discusses some of the obscure treasures that have recently come back into the limelight in this issue.
It’s been 70 years since Robert Mitchum and Jane Greer burned up the silver screen in Out of the Past. Jake Hinkson takes a look at the legacy of what some consider the great-est noir film ever made.
James R. Benn’s canvas is a whole world at war in his Billy Boyle WWII novels. In his acclaimed 12 book series his goal is to create “characters who are true to their time and yet speak to us today.” John B. Valeri interviews Benn in this issue.
Kwei Quartey was born in Ghana, although he left there as a teenager for a life in the United States and a career as a doctor. Now he has returned to Ghana with a series of vividly written novels starring Inspector Darko Dawson. Oline Cogdill talks to Quartey about the two worlds he inhabits.
Separately and together, Bill Pronzini and Marcia Muller are at the forefront of the mystery genre. We’re delighted to welcome them as our newest columnists in Double Takes, a column devoted to book collecting, overlooked movies, ephemera, and any other topic that strikes their fancy.