Is the Midwest the Bermuda Triangle of Crime Novels?


How has this happened?  LA has Michael Connelly, Robert Crais, T. Jefferson Parker, and probably ten others that we haven’t even gotten to writing crime books that you hang around waiting for.  Name one crime writer writing about Chicago that you hang around waiting for.  In fact, name one.  Period.  OK, Sara Paretzky.  Except she writes as if she were tenured which may be the case, so it’s thin stuff.  Very thin.

Why is this so?  Huge city.  Crime all over the placeCorruption on demand Atmospheric neighborhoodsRacial and ethnic tensions.

Even Detroit has a great one:  Elmore Leonard.  And DC.  DC!  A fake city!  Not even a real place.  DC has George Pelecanos who’s completely fantastic.  Are we missing something or someone?   We don’t think so.

And speaking of Detroit, we were there this weekend and went to Eastern Market.  Remember in the eighties when Russian diplomats would come over here with their wives and they would go to a Giant or a Safeway and the wife would slap the bejeezus out of the commissar or general or whatever right there in the middle of the store because the workers’ paradise had been telling them that the crappy peoples’ groceries were state of the art?  We felt like slapping a commissar or maybe a city manager right there in the middle of Eastern Market which is the size of Over-the-Rhine and makes Findlay Market look like a Circle K.

-Nemo Wolfe

Published in: on August 24, 2009 at 11:42 am  Comments (2)  

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  1. You might want to check out The Outfit: A Collective of Chicago Crime Writers, The members (one of whom is Sara Paretsky) include nominees and winners of Edgar, Anthony, Barry, Dilys, and Crimespree Awards, not to mention several being best-selling authors. Chicago should be proud.

  2. Sorry to have misspelled Paretsky who, alas, remains unreadable. Thank you very much for the link. As it turns out, we have four of the listed authors, so now I have to find out how I missed them and if any of them are as good as the LA writers but unsung.

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