June 4 was one of the hottest days on record in Oklahoma City and Norman. Despite that, for most of AIEP's meetings in the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Oklahoma, the delegates were crossing their arms against the cold. One thing for sure, the air conditioning in the new Gaylord College is incredibly efficient.
The first time I met Stuart Kaminsky was in Spain, about twenty years ago. I was new to the mystery game and basking in the warm greetings to my first novel when I was invited to attend the Semana Negra, that grand carnival held each year to celebrate the black or crime novel. Authors from around the world gathered in Madrid and got aboard the black train for the long ride to Gijon on the northern coast. The train was a special one, normally set aside for the king of Spain, with beautiful woodwork, linen-covered dining tables, and free-flowing wine.
Search the phrase Belgian crime writing on the Internet and thousands of references to Georges Simenon pop up, even though Simenon spent most of his life in France and a lengthy period in the United States. As with Agatha Christie's detective Hercule Poirot, most of us need to be reminded that Simenon was in fact born Belgian and not French. Because of the cultural connection between southern Belgium and France we also often overlook the rich culture of northern Belgium, or Flanders.
Although Iceland seems like it should be far, far away, it actually took me more time to get from Oklahoma City to Boston (my jumping off point), than from Boston to Reykjavik. A nation slightly smaller than Kentucky, but with only 306,694 people, Iceland most recently made the news for the horrific breakdown of the banking system there. The woman at the currency exchange in Logan airport said she hadn’t stocked the Icelandic kronur for many months, and high-rise construction projects along the shore in Reykjavik showed no sign of ongoing work, but other than that, life seemed to be continuing without too much distress. Most of the Americans on the plane with me were taking advantage of Icelandair’s low fares to connect on to London without leaving the airport at Keflavik. This was too bad. They were missing out on one of the most interesting places on the planet.
For anyone raised during the Cold War, the city of Berlin is a legendary place made even more legendary by the novels it inspired. The Spy Who Came in From the Cold, Funeral in Berlin, The Good German, and so many others have turned imaginary Berlin into as significant a place in crime writing as Chandlerian Los Angeles. This child of the Cold War certainly wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity to see it for himself when the annual meeting of AIEP was scheduled to be held there, knowing full well that time has not stood still since the Wall came down.
Die Geschichte des österreichischen Krimis ist nicht die Geschichte des alpenländischen Regionalkrimis, sondern erzählt die Entwicklung des Kriminalromans in Österreich. Nicht der Gendarmerieinspektor Simon Polt, Privatdetektiv Simon Brenner, Polizeimajor Adolf Kottan oder gar Kommissar Rex geben hier den Ton an, sondern die Autoren, die sich der Literaturgattung der Kriminalerzählung oder des Kriminalromans, kurz gesagt des Krimis, schon vor unserer heutigen Zeit gewidmet haben.
This is a written version of a presentation I made initially to the Scandinavian Crime Writers Association in Iceland during its annual conference in May, 2004. I would like here to thank once again Viktor Arnar Ingolfsson of the Icelandic Crime Fiction Society for his efforts enabling me to attend that conference; Linda Hartley of the United States Embassy in Reykjavik for her support in financially sponsoring me; and my colleagues at the conference from all the attending countries in welcoming me. However, as with my audience for that presentation, I expect a number of people reading this analysis will NOT have English as their first language. Accordingly, forgive some redundancy of phrasing toward my enhancing clarity for those readers.
Sellers go to marketplaces to make money by offering goods and services, and the same rules apply to marketplaces the world over. Make, harvest or extract something, price it accordingly and offer it for sale. It seems, though, as in the last one hundred years the ever-increasing role of promotion has profoundly changed the buyer-seller relationship.