A Hell of a Thing
Megan Abbott's recent book, A Hell of a Woman, which bills itself as an "anthology of female noir," is just the sort of book I'd love to sink my critical teeth into, and let rip.
But that devious Abbott dame (Queenpin, The Song Is You, Die a Little) is no patsy. She shows she has what it takes to make a great femme fatale -- she outsmarted me. She actually invited me to contribute, thereby puncturing any chance I'd ever really, honestly review it.
Granted, my paltry contributions -- two small "appreciations" of forgotten hard-boiled women writers -- pale in comparison to all-new new stories by the likes of Sara Gran, Vicki Hendricks, Alison Gaylin, Cornelia Read, Naomi Hirahara, Zoë Sharp, Sandra Scoppettone, Charlotte Carter, Lynne Barrett, Annette Meyers, Vin Packer and Libby Fischer Hellman.
Just to rub it in, Pat "Ma" Abbott (no small slouch of a writer herself) became not just a contributor to but an advertiser on the site.
And now, just to pour a little salt in the wounds, I'm invited to attend a couple of signings this Saturday (December 1) in the LA area -- not as a reader but as a writer. Talk about an offer I can't refuse. So there's no way in hell ow that I could ever be fair and balanced about this book.
So, uh, let's cut to the chase. it's the greatest book ever written, makes an ideal Christmas gift, and it's perfect for just about anyone who gives a damn about hard-boiled fiction, female noir or just quality writing. Hell, it's even got a few male authors in there (Ken Bruen, Al Guthrie, Charlie Huston, Eddie Muller and Daniel Woodrell) and an intro by Val McDermid, a fairly dangerous dame herself.
So, if you're in the LA area, I'll be at Mysteries to Die For in Thousand Oaks at 10:30 AM and over in Westwood at The Mystery Book Store around 2:30. I'll be joining Meagan, Christa Faust, Naomi Hirahara, Charlie Huston, Eddie Muller, Cornelia Read, Theresa Schweigel and Robert Ward to scrawl on your books.
In such august company, I'm sure I'm only there to cleanse the palate, or maybe to garner a few sympathy purchases, but it should still be fun.
Hope to see you there.
But watch that Abbott twist... I tell ya, she's up to something.