Stuff & Nonsense 006: Clowntime is Over

I'm late in terms of The Jinx. I was deep into a first draft of the third Pete Fernandez book (just finished!), plus Day Job Stuff, Secret Comic Book Writing and Life. Still, we managed to mainline the six-episode HBO documentary shortly after the finale, which was preceded by the actual arrest of Robert Durst in New Orleans on first-degree murder charges stemming from the death of his friend Susan Berman.

Durst, as you would know from the show or previous coverage, was long suspected of being involved in the disappearance of his wife Kathie and later brought to trial for the murder of a neighbor while hiding out from police in Galveston, TX. It is believed that Durst went on the run after taking the life of Berman, who "knew his secrets" and served as his pseudo-spokesperson during the initial flurry of press coverage that surrounded his wife's disappearance. The early episodes of the show also spend a lot of time dissecting Durst's own childhood trauma, creating echoes of what was to come and trying to show how those things - including the mysterious death of his mother - influenced his current state of mind.

If you haven't watched, I'd scroll down or save this for when you're done. I'd also suggest you read this week's installment of Sarah Weinman's excellent The Crime Lady newsletter. Heck, read them all and subscribe. It's worth it.

Anyway - my scattered thoughts on the series:

A few links of note:

Bosch will return for a second season on Amazon. I liked the first season well enough, so this is good news. First learned of the pickup via this nice interview of Michael Connelly by Neely Tucker, whose great debut crime novel, The Ways of the Dead, is worth your time.

We'll be hosting a third "Noir at the Bar Queens" event next Thursday at Odradeks Coffeehouse. I'm very humbled by the lineup of authors participating. Please swing by if you can make it. Poster above.

Shocker: the lives of private detectives aren't as exciting in reality.

We're launching a horror-centric imprint at Archie, including a third title to join the existing Afterlife with Archie and Sabrina series. We also announced the fourth title under the Dark Circle Comics banner (which I'm editing): The Hangman.

I talk a little bit about daily word counts at Do Some Damage and my mixed feelings about the "Church of 1,000 Words" phrase (SPOILER: I don't like it. Sorry, Kristi!). I do like it in theory, though. That's enough, right?

Speaking of shows I'm late to: Broad City. Wow. Hilarious. Thanks, Andrea.

Just finished Rob Hart's New Yorked, which I enjoyed. I am biased, I know, being a fellow Polis Books author. But I'm still very impressed by the stable of crime writers Jason Pinter has collected. Not long before I dove into New Yorked, I finished Dave White's most recent Jackson Donne novel, Not Even Past - which I also really dug. White explores the P.I. genre in a fresh and unexpected way, which I can appreciate.

I've hopped back to Ghettoside by Jill Leovy. I put it down a few weeks ago because it was just depressing the hell out of me. Not because it was bad - it's a stunning work of nonfiction and manages to sustain a level of drama that is doubly hard to achieve when you're writing about real events. No, I was just bummed out by the subject matter. Ghettoside focuses on the murders of black men by black men - or "ghettoside" killings, which are routinely ignored by police and media. Here's one of the most jaw-dropping facts Leovy shares in the book: African-American males are "just 6 percent of the country’s population but nearly 40 percent of those murdered." Leovy smartly focuses on a few Los Angeles detectives to show how the facts play in the real world while still zooming out to paint a bigger picture for the reader. An important piece of reporting.

This newsletter is out a bit early, as I'll be in transit Saturday morning. See you next week!