Category Archives: Stephen J Cannell

K is for … Stuart Kaminsky

The prolific mystery writer and academic Stuart Melvin Kaminsky was born in Chicago in 1934 and spent most of his career as a professor of film. Eventually he would spend 16 years teaching at Northwestern University before becoming a Professor … Continue reading

Posted in 2012 Alphabet of Crime, Alfred Hitchcock, Crime Fiction Alphabet, Friday's Forgotten Book, George Baxt, Los Angeles, Private Eye, Raymond Chandler, Scene of the crime, Stephen J Cannell, Stuart Kaminsky | 17 Comments

V is for … THE VIKING FUNERAL (2002) by Stephen J. Cannell

The Alphabet of Crime community meme over at the Mysteries in Paradise blog is nearing its end as it reaches the letter V – and my first nomination this week is …

THE VIKING FUNERAL by Stephen J. Cannell

“What happened next made no sense at all”

Graham Greene’s The Third Man is combined with a James Ellroy-style exposé involving corrupt politicians and rogue cops in the second of Stephen J. Cannell’s series featuring 20-year LA Homicide Squad veteran Shane Scully. Following directly from The Tin Collectors (2001), masterfully reviewed by Margot Kinberg over at her Confessions of a Mystery Novelist blog, we find Scully undergoing mandatory psychiatric evaluation after he took some highly ‘unorthodox’ methods to unravel a giant conspiracy to cover up a land grab involving a Hollywood mogul, the LA Mayor and his Chief of Police. He also fell in love with Alexa Hamilton, rising star of Internal Affairs (the eponymous ‘tin collectors’) and discovered he was the father of Charles ‘Chooch’ Sandoval. Continue reading

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In praise of … Stuart Kaminsky (1934-2009)

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In some ways, Stuart M. Kaminsky’s place here is absolutely essential – he was a prolific writer of all kinds of crime novels (psychological, suspense, thrillers, spy fiction as well as the hard-boiled mysteries he is best known for), and won the Edgar for best Mystery novel for A Cold Red Sunrise, a police procedural set in Siberia. But, he also had a long career as professor of film; and his best novels are the series featuring shambolic shamus Toby Peters (the names of his two sons) which ably combine excellent plots with vivid descriptions of California in the 1930s and 40s and a firm knowledge of film (which, as we know, holds the secrets to all life’s mysteries). Continue reading

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