New York Crimes


I look rather the dork in this photo–we don’t have the professional pictures back yet, so we are having to suffice with whatever guests took on their camera phones–but no matter how well I photographed, I was never going to shine in comparison, was I?

After the craziest year and half of my life, which saw me go from unemployed and single to working a great job and married to a wonderful woman, I believe I finally have a chance to take a deep breath and relax, and, more important for your purposes, do some reading and writing, and put some work into the site. Thank you all for your patience, and thanks as always to Nick for his contributions during this exhausting and exhilarating period.

Now that the wedding and honeymoon are over, I should be back to regular posting of Westlakeiana, coverage of crime fiction and related genres, and occasional asides soon enough. Allow me one of those asides right now, to tell you a little about my honeymoon. (Not too much!)

We went to New York City. Although I’ve traveled extensively in this great country, I had somehow never been there before. Being new to it, I wanted to hit up the things that every tourist does (the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, Central Park, Greenwich Village, a museum or two, &c.), but I did manage to squeeze in a couple of genre-related things along the way.

We made it to the Empire State Building, where King Kong briefly reigned and where I got to go to the 86th floor where Doc Savage’s headquarters used to be. From there, you can see the Chrysler Building, where Doc’s headquarters were in that bad 1975 movie. We went late at night, which is the way to do it as the crowds were minimal and the view of the city at night is spectacular. We also bought top deck tickets, which were worth the extra money.

Coverage (I hope) coming soon

Coverage coming soon (I hope)

We also made it to Otto Penzler’s Mysterious Bookshop, where Mysterious Press, publisher of many books by Donald Westlake and his friends, is also headquartered. I did not get to meet Mr. Penzler, although I did see him exiting at the end of the business day from my perch at the bar across the street, he being completely unaware that he was being watched. (I wasn’t actually stalking him–the window seat was where the electrical outlet was for a badly needed phone charge.)


Lack of money on my part (weddings are expensive!) and lack of interest on my bride’s part (crime is not her genre) kept me from staying at the Mysterious Bookshop for too long, although I did stay long enough to pick up my first inscribed Donald Westlake book.

Inscribed Backflash title page
I chose Backflash both because its price was modest relative to many of the inscribed Richard Stark and Parker volumes, and because it is a personal favorite.

The following day, we had the pleasure of breakfasting with Mr. Levi Stahl. Levi is the fellow at the University of Chicago Press responsible for getting the Richard Stark novels back into print. He also blogs at I’ve Been Reading Lately, and, speaking of lately (as in, “What have you done for me…”), is the editor of the forthcoming anthology of Donald Westlake’s nonfiction, The Getaway Car.

We only had a short visit together, as he was in NYC on business and his first appointment of the day was coming up on him quickly, but what time we did have was very enjoyable. I look forward to seeing him again when we have more of it at our disposal.

We did not talk much about his new book and the making thereof, as our time was so limited and I wanted to save those questions for a more extensive interview to be presented here closer to publication date. I have not yet finished reading my advance copy of the book, as I’m savoring it bit by bit, but I’ve read enough to be able to tell you that you need it. In fact, I could have told you that before I read any of it, and you probably knew that without my having to tell you. We’ll have a full review when the time comes.

The Getaway Car: A Donald Westlake Nonfiction Miscellany is scheduled for release on September 24.

So now that I’m out of excuses, what do we have coming up? Planned for the near term, I’ve got a couple of books I’d like to tell you about, a musical aside that will be of interest to at least some of our readers, and a Parker artifact I’ve rescued from obscurity. I will also be getting caught up on correspondence (if you’ve written, I’m sorry!), as well as reviving the Twitter account and weekly news roundups. And that’s in addition to whatever great stuff Nick has for us.

Thank you all for your patience and continued patronage. It’s good to be back.