Friday, January 26, 2007

Bookseller Sees the Bright Side of Publishing Noir

Bookselling This Week: Bookseller Sees the Bright Side of Publishing Noir

For 18 years, David Thompson has sold the best in mystery, crime, and thrillers to customers at one of the most celebrated mystery bookstores in the nation, Murder By the Book, in Houston, Texas. Now, Thompson, the store's assistant manager and the founder of Busted Flush Press, is the publisher of an anthology featuring a 2007 Edgar Award nominee in the Best Short Story category.

"Cranked" is written by Bill Crider and is one of 27 original stories in Damn Near Dead: An Anthology of Geezer Noir, edited by crime writer Duane Swierczynski and published by Thompson. Damn Near Dead is the first anthology of original work to be published by Busted Flush, which Thompson founded in 2005 with the intention of reissuing out-of-print favorites.

The anthology grew from an idea hatched at a Murder by the Book signing for Swierczynski. "We came up with a great idea. Most mystery anthologies have a theme," Thompson told BTW. "Some are based on a setting, like Brooklyn, or an activity like basketball or cooking. We wanted something dark, and what is darker than getting old? One of us came up with the term Geezer Noir.

"Every short story [in the anthology] had to have protagonists who were elderly men or women -- active people -- no knitters or people with cats," he noted. In addition, each was never published before. (To be considered for this year's Edgar Awards, all work must have been published initially in 2006.)

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