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Crime HQ
Showing posts by: Lisa Levy click to see Lisa Levy's profile
Apr 11 2016 4:00pm

Murder Ballads: Alex Segura and Lisa Levy Talk Music and His Pete Fernandez Series

Alex Segura might be the nicest guy in crime fiction. He cheers on his fellow writers and enthusiastically recommends books, comics, and music. In his entertaining newsletter, Stuff & Nonsense, he chats with all sorts from the crime fiction and comic worlds. By day, he is Senior Vice President of Publicity and Marketing at Archie Comics, responsible for those cool reboots you’ve been reading about, or maybe reading. By night, he has written two novels featuring dissolute Miami reporter Pete Fernandez: Silent City and the forthcoming Down the Darkest Street. And, as of February, he is a first-time father.

Given his busy-ness and sleep deprivation, I’m really pleased Alex was up for answering a few music-related questions.

[Read Lisa Levy's interview with Alex Segura here...]

Mar 24 2016 2:30pm

Murder Ballads: Adrian McKinty and Lisa Levy Talk Music and Detective Sean Duffy

Confession time: I had Adrian McKinty in mind when I conceived of doing this column. I basically harassed his publishers about it, when I found out he would be spending some time in New York City, where I live. Of course, when you are interviewing an Irish crime writer whose series is set during “The Troubles” and whose protagonist, detective Sean Duffy, is both a major music fan and a hard-living guy, you expect your author to jump at the chance of meeting at a pub.

But McKinty is not Duffy: he had childcare obligations and work to do, so we met at an airy restaurant and drank fancy coffee instead of pints. But otherwise, McKinty is just as I wanted him to be: smart and funny, with wide-ranging interests (so many that this Q&A is pieced together from a couple of hours of chatting).

So, get ready for an unexpected analysis of 1970s Fleetwood Mac, a couple of  avant-garde composers, nitpicking about U2, a requiem for bootleg culture, Adele versus Dusty Springfield, comparisons of Leonard Cohen covers, and a little Tom Waits. McKinty’s latest Duffy book is the excellent Rain Dogs.

[Read the exclusive interview with Adrian McKinty...]

Feb 9 2016 2:00pm

Murder Ballads: William Shaw and Lisa Levy Talk Music, Crime Fiction, and the 60s

The glory of the historical mystery is in recreating a time and place both familiar and new. Too often (for me, at least), I find the details in historical fiction maddening and anachronistic, a result of superficial research or the easy belief in old tropes about a period.

Happily, William Shaw has avoided these traps in his Breen and Tozer series, set in the much documented days of Swinging London. Shaw cannily makes his two detectives—Cathal “Paddy” Breen, a man bewildered by the social and political changes of the 1960s; and Helen Tozer, a rock and roll fan and a pioneering female police officer in the conservative Met—excellent foils for one another and keen observers of their time.

A former music journalist, Shaw integrates the uprising of British youth and the surging popularity of rock and roll into his trilogy: She’s Leaving Home, The Kings of London, and the recent A Song for the Brokenhearted. I asked Shaw about his research and his relationship to music, in his work and his life.

[Let's join them...]