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Links 1 through 10 of 13 by Chad Orzel tagged mystery

"Donald E. Westlake was a twentieth-century master of crime fiction. Under the name Richard Stark, one of his many pseudonyms, he penned the legendary Parker novels, including three just brought back into print by the University of Chicago Press this week: Butcher's Moon (1974), Comeback (1997), and Backflash (1998), each with a new foreword by Westlake's friend and writing partner Lawrence Block. To celebrate their release, Press publicity manager and Parker masterfan Levi Stahl sat down with Brian Garfield, novelist (author of the cult classics Death Wish and Hopscotch), screenwriter, and an old friend of Westlake's. What's in store? Behind-the-scenes snapshots of a legendary poker game, insight into the film adaptations spawned by the Parker series, a look into Westlake's writing process, and more:"

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"Whenever I told Donald E. Westake I wanted to interview him about his complete canon, he just shrugged, not really interested.  He loved to talk about anything but his own work (at least with me; maybe with other professionals he talked shop). 

So I didn’t get to interview him, but there are 92 emails from Don saved on my hard drive.  Perhaps I should have conducted my interview as a written questionnaire!  He wrote as easily as most of us speak.

What follows is hardly everything Westlake published. Diehards should investigate the Wikipedia entry and Giovanni Resta's website to discover what's not here.  However, this list annotates all of Donald E. Westlake's major fiction, his lone book of reportage, and three important essays.  For fun, I have starred (****) my favorites."

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"It all started innocently enough.  We were having a call with the publicist to discuss a few ideas, and I made an innocuous comment about the first hundred copies sold being the easiest, due to the friends/family effect.  That's when she said to me, "I don't tell my friends and family about my books any more. It hurts too much when they don't congratulate me, don't buy them, and don't read them."

You know, this is not the first time I have heard this. So, I must therefore ask anyone who has had a friend or relative who has a book published, and who has not bought a copy of that person's book:  WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU?"

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Cool video in which Sir Arthur Conan Doyle talks about his fan mail and his paranormal experiences.

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"For some of us there may be no such thing as a bad detective novel, but there are none as good as Raymond Chandler’s. Even if you are unfamiliar with Chandler and have not read his Philip Marlowe novels, such is the shadow he cast that you will recognise his universe: a dark corrupt world where men are weak-hearted tough guys, women are available vixens and Hollywood dreams are dashed by ugly reality, while a wisecracking, chain-smoking detective hero stands up for what’s right. ‘I needed a drink, I needed a lot of life insurance, I needed a vacation, I needed a home in the country’, says Marlowe in a crisis: ‘What I had was a coat, a hat and a gun. I put them on and left the room.’"

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"I’m writing a mystery novel I’m calling “The Attraction of Darkness.” The central thread of it is that there are four physicists, two men and two women, who collaborate and discover what dark matter is. For this, they ought to get the Nobel Prize. But the rules are that at most three people can share it. One of the four dies, supposedly a suicide, but then, maybe not. I’m hanging a lot of sex and music and philosophy on it."

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"There couldn’t really be a conclusion to these books -- what could it possibly be? The gang will just keep on forever looking for one more job to keep them going. The regulars in OJs will keep on having their senseless conversations. Dortmunder hasn’t aged and now he will never die, because the one person who could have killed him chose to spare him. Dortmunder is immortal now, and in this last adventure, he smiles twice in one day."

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Crimes that may not necessarily have paid, but that were amusingly clever. Vote for your favorite.

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