by Bill Crider
As you’re all well aware, EQMM has been celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, but there’s been another anniversary celebration going on as well: Sarasota, Florida, has been celebrating the centenary of the birth of one of the best U.S. crime writers, John D. MacDonald. With that in mind, I’d like to direct your attention to some of the material about MacDonald available on the Web. I’ve mentioned these sites before, but a reminder never hurts.
The place to begin is Cal Branche’s JDM Homepage (jdmhomepage.org), which, as I mentioned back in the February column, has so much material that I can’t list it all. There are audio and video files of MacDonald speaking and reading, links to articles about him, letters from fans, photos of the special JDM collection at the University of Florida, and much, much more.
Another stellar JDM blog is Steve Scott’s The Trap of Solid Gold (thetrapofsolidgold.blogspot.com). The blog was idle for a while, but it was reactivated last year, and recently Scott has been examining some of MacDonald’s lesser-known and seldom (or never) reprinted short stories from places like This Week magazine. Scott’s work is always thorough and interesting, and he’s been posting on a weekly basis for quite a while. Highly recommended.
Travis McGee and Me (drmar120.wordpress.com) is maintained by D.R. Martin, and it of course has discussions of all the books in the McGee series, but there are other posts as well, including one that brings news of Charles Knief, whose John Caine books were greatly influenced by the McGee series.
A Web site devoted to another all-time top crime writer is The Raymond Chandler Website (palmettonewmedia.com/chandler/index.php). There’s a lot of wonderful stuff here, including a comprehensive list of Chandler’s novels, a good many “Chandlerisms” (favorite quotations), and a section showing how Chandler incorporated real places, people, and events into his work.
Moving away from single-author Web sites, who could resist one with a title like Rogue Women (roguewomenwriters.com)? This is a group blog by women who write about “Spies, lies, & suspense with global outreach. Secrets divulged.” The writers are Gayle Lynds, KJ Howe, Francine Mathews, Karna Small Bodman, Chris Goff, Jamie Freveletti, Sonja Stone, and S. Lee Manning. If you’re looking for something about “The Sex Life (or Not) of a Real Romeo Spy” or “Telling Lies: Your How-To Guide,” this is the blog for you.