Spook Racket: Psychic Mafia

Oddly enough in the seemingly endless line of grifters and con artists in and around the spook racket, I had not read this volume. I first ran across the BBC radio series on it — part of their ongoing fascination with grifters like Anna Delvey. Lamar tells his story (with Spraggett’s help) with relish, albeit…

Got Gothic? Turney’s The Other One (1952)

The Dell paper back edition: ‘Black magic — and a modern sorceress!’ That ghastly green: I love it. Last week’s film Back from the Dead was based on this mid-century Gothic thriller and scripted by the author, who certainly streamlined the narrative — perhaps a little too much. By coincidence (or due to us both…

Highsmith @ 100: Ripley

TOM RIPLEY: MASTER CRIMINAL? I know I have forgotten to keep up with posting the assignments for my students, but if you want to read along, here’s the intro text for this week: I’m always amazed at the back cover copy of different editions of this book. I’ve got this edition with me. It refers…

Highsmith @ 100: The Course

The fall semester begins today. My courses are still all online. I have changed the Crime Fiction course to be all Highsmith, because obviously being busy already means nothing. I’m resisting overloading them with biographical information at the start, instead planning to parcel it out as they make their own discoveries, though I gave them…

Recorded Live: Fur Baby

I will be busy grading today — probably all day — so if you need entertainment, here’s a live recording from yesterday’s 2nd Sunday Open Mic at the Arts Center in Troy, NY. Yes, I really read this story on Mother’s Day. A bit on the dark and creepy side, so if you don’t like…

New Video: The Rook

See what happens when I have a little extra time? I get colorful. Here’s ‘The Rook’ from Unquiet Dreams. I wrote it the morning of the first day of Alt.Fiction to read at the open mic that day. I recorded this for a future BroadPod (like the December one I’m in, too), but then had the…

Keeping Abreast of the Fabulous

All right, even I am having difficulty at times keeping up with all the news, so if I repeat something here, it just means you’re paying attention, well done, here’s a cookie! Soon I have to leave the glories of Alba for the um, gories? of Albany. Alas. Which means I have to figure out…

Drabble: Goin’ to the Chapel

Patti Abbott has made another challenge to her pals: a drabble — a story of exactly one hundred words —  inspired by one of three pictures. Succinct, yeah? Here’s mine. “Goin’ to the chapel…” The parson looked nervous. Bart smiled to reassure him, then nudged him along with the Berretta. Now it was his wedding…

BitchBuzz: Why the Blackout Mattered

An unusual day: me away from the net. Be honest — you didn’t really notice I was gone, did you? It’s all right. I know occasionally I should take a break from yammering across all media. Besides, I took some more lovely photographs over in Salthill. Nothing jazzes up a photo like a happy, bouncing…