Carnival of the Criminal Minds, No. 32

February 16, 2009

This edition of the Carnival is the Ultimate Carnival. Not because the rides are scarier, the cotton candy fluffier, or the freak show freakier. No, it’s because it’s had its run and in Internet years it’s getting a bit creaky. It did what it set out to do – introduce crime fiction readers to a wide variety of bloggers who could point out some of the most interesting writing going on in our corner of the blogosphere. Every host put his or her own stamp on it, and those who followed it around the world a couple of times got to hear about interesting books and writers and be part of a worldwide conversation about the genre.

But never fear! There is an even better way to waste time discover fine blogging and discuss it with fellow crime fiction fanatics. A while back, one of the massive brains involved with Euro Crime set up a crime and mystery fiction room in FriendFeed – a social site for sharing links and blog feeds that is hard to describe but is a mini-Harrogate, a daily Bouchercon, a place where readers can swap links, information, opinions, and thoughts.Sign up for an account, fool around with the knobs and buttons, and join in.

Meanwhile – many thanks to all who contributed to this Carnival. It’s been a good ride.

photo courtesy of j.reed

Carnival of the Criminal Minds, No. 31

February 1, 2009

Surf’s up! Helen of It’s Criminal decided to host the Carnival on the beach this time, realizing that the three-score preceding carnivals had a shocking lack of something essential: buff Aussie blokes. She has taken up the challenge and made sure that her episode of this traveling celebration of crime fiction blogs is not lacking in the buff-Aussie-bloke category. She also notes that it’s uncommonly hot down under. No kidding.

But this carnival isn’t all about hoisting a Foster’s and throwing another shrimp on the barbie. For one thing, the Australians I know have better taste in beer, and shrimp is incredibly expensive down under. These things I know by being part of the very international crime fiction community that spans the globe, communicates via the Internet through multiple forums and, incidentally, has generously hosted the carnival.

Helen points out some new blogs by familiar names – Reg Keeland, translator of the phenomenon known as Stieg Larsson, and Sara Paretsky, for whom blogging seems the perfect blend of the political and the personal. Thanks to Mack, she also uncovered a trove of auido files for the crime fan. And there’s more, much more. Take a look, and then browse through Helen’s wonderful book reviews while you’re there. You won’t run out of things to read, either via blog or by the printed page.  Nor, for that matter, will you run short of buff Aussie blokes.

photo of the “surf carnival” (no kidding) courtesy of Roger Oz.

Carnival of the Criminal Minds, No. 30

January 17, 2009

Julia Buckley is hosting the carnival once more at her blog, Mysterious Musings. In this installment she highlights sites that are bound to warm your spirits even if the weather outside is frightful.

She ranges from blogs that serve as the armchair traveler’s guidebooks to Chandler, to Dorothy Sayers – all in aid of pulling out out of our winter doldrums. And there’s a hint at the end of the post that a sequel might be in the works, so stand by . . .

Next up: We’re heading south again, to the country so famously founded by criminals (the ones that were left over after the future United States got its share) where Helen of It’s Criminal will set up the tents among her many exemplary crime fiction book reviews. She could murder a good mystery right now, or so she says.

Photo courtesy of DCSL.

Carnival of the Criminal Minds, No. 29

January 1, 2009

Kerrie of Mysteries in Paradise ushers in the new year with a “murder in the outback” carnival theme. She points out (with appropriate video accompaniment) that Australia may be uniquely suited to murder – having a harsh climate, hardy roots transported in convict ships, and heroes who range from sheep thieves to the bushranger who was hanged for murder and gave his name to the country’s highest mystery writing honor, the Ned Kelly Award.

The acts that follow constitute a veritable graduate seminar on Australian crime fiction, specifically away from the populated coasts and into the outback, from colonial days to the present, a particularly fertile and exciting time for Australian crime fiction. The recommended authors and books come from the Oz Mystery Readers group – one of the grassroots efforts by avid readers down under to promote and sustain the genre. Included in those efforts are the wonderful AustCrime website and Daniel Hatadi’s Crimespace. I doubt there is a more dedicated and tech-savvy community of crime fiction fans anywhere else in the world. Readers everywhere owe them a debt of gratitude.

Up next: The Carnival returns to Julia Buckley’s blog, Mysterious Musings around the middle of January.

photos courtesy of nickherber and anniemullinsuk.

Carnival of the Criminal Minds, No. 28

December 22, 2008

The Carnival returns to The Rap Sheet, where it was first hosted over a year ago, for it’s newest incarnation – the Solstice Edition, otherwise known as “where on earth did 2008 go?” Since the ringmaster of the multi-ring circus, The Rap Sheet, has been busy with editorial gigs and book deadlines, not to mention writing much of what might be the most essential blog for crime fiction readers,  he has every right to ask that question. But in the meantime, he has rounded up a number of entertaining acts such as a book cover too good to miss from a blog that judges books by their covers, news of the tempting San Francisco Noir Film Festival as well as soon-to-be-released DVD collections for crime fiction lovers, and news of books past and to come. The virtual concessions are being handled by John’s Grill, mentioned in The Maltese Falcon, now celebrating its 100th year.

Next up: A return egagement at Mysteries in Paradise to start off the new year.

Photo courtesy of ChrisB in SEA

Carnival of the Criminal Minds, No. 27

December 2, 2008

The Carnival heads north this time, to your humble archivist’s obsession Scandinavian Crime Fiction blog. This “enabler edition” urges readers to buy books, lots of books, and points out some thoughtful commentary on crime fiction around the world.

And if the “go ahead, you know you want to buy those books” argument hasn’t persuaded you on economic grounds, Ali Karim stands by with a stirring defense of the genre as the best place to encounter “life’s rich tapestry.”

Up next: the Carnival has a return engagement scheduled at The Rap Sheet. Look for it in a couple of weeks or so.

photo of fireworks in Iceland courtesy of iRon leSs.

Carnival of the Criminal Minds, No. 26

November 17, 2008

Nothing like a pleasant summer day for a carnival. And since there isn’t one on offer in the northern hemisphere, let’s head south to Karen’s place, pull up a hammock and see if she has some of her fine cider on hand. In a way, we’re coming full circle, since Karen hosted the very first carnival at her marvelous site, AustCrime.

This time, she points out lots of sites worth exploring. Some offer short fiction, and others a running commentary on crime fiction in Australia, New Zealand, or Africa.

And she has her fingers crossed for Peter Temple, whose brilliant book, The Broken Shore, is up for the Martin Beck award this year. (Uriah has the entire rundown at Crime Scraps.)

Which is a nice segue to where the carnival is going next. Pull on your boots and parkas, we’re headed to the archivist’s own Scandinavian Crime Fiction blog.

Photo of yet another slightly odd Australian carnival ride courtesy of robstephaustralia.

Carnival of the Criminal Minds, No. 25

November 1, 2008

The carnival returns to BV Lawson’s awesome blog, In Reference to Murder. Previously, she celebrated Valentine’s Day with a sweet selection of sites. This time around, it’s the Day of the Dead. Which somehow seems appropriate for a carnival that celebrates the best in crime fiction blogging. I mean, every day is the Day of the Dead – if you read crime fiction!

BV has selected some intriguing blog posts – ones that can aid the reader looking for a Halloween-themed read to those that celebrate E.A. Poe or the worst costumes ever.  (Note to librarians and avid readers: In Reference to Murder is a great tool for finding what to read next, aka “reader’s advisory” in librarian jargon.)

And the illustrations are great, from the jack-o-lantern regretting overindulgence to the various ghosties, ghoulies, and terrifying Pop Tarts.

Next Up: The carnival will next head down under for a repeat visit to Karen’s AustCrime blog.

photo courtesy of Saddarab.

Carnival of the Criminal Minds, No. 24

October 16, 2008

The carnival has been called to a crime scene in Northern Ireland – Crime Scene NI, to be precise, but instead of yellow tape, it’s velvet rope as Gerard Brenan, in the midst of writing a script, takes a look at crime films for a change of pace. All of them have an Irish connection, and all of them are some combination of funny, suspenseful, violent, hilarious and bleak (sometimes in the same film). So leave the candyfloss at the fairground, pick up some popcorn and take a wee trip to the movies.

photo courtesy of lludo.

Next up: BV Lawson will host the carnival again at In Reference to Murder.

Carnival of the Criminal Minds, No. 23

October 2, 2008

The Carnival has traveled to Mongolia, via Manchester, where at Michael Walters’ Shadow Walker blog, it has been transformed into a Wicked Wakes Fortnight. (And, while you’re there taking in the roundabouts and contests, take a look at what those dark Satanic mills look like these days – blimey!) Taking a leaf from Declan’s Big Book of Blogging, Waters considers the state of blogging and the strengths of the genre. In his view, “the best bloggers are doing an excellent job in giving credit to crime fiction. In turn, it seems to me, much crime fiction is doing a better job than its literary equivalent at writing about the world we live in.

He cites a tempting list of books, all of which have now been added to the tottering TBR pile. Then mentions several quality blogs, both by readers of discernment (Peter Rozovsky and others) as well as some by authors (you can’t beat Colin Cotterill‘s zany illustrations). But there’s certainly another fascinating blog to explore: before you head off to the next Carnival, be sure to explore our current host’s blog – you’ll learn a lot about a fascinating and little known part of the world.

Next up: We’re off to Norther Ireland, where the Carnival will be hosted by Gerard Brennan at Crime Scene NI.