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by Bill Crider

It’s been a good many years since I mentioned The OTR Network Library (otr.net). OTR stands for Old Time Radio, and this site is a gold mine for people who like to discover what old radio shows were like or for people who’d like to indulge in a bit of nostalgia and hear what Sam Spade, Nero Wolfe, and Philip Marlowe sounded like to audiences in the 1940s and early 1950s. If you’re not in the mood for a mystery, you can hear a lot of comedy and variety shows, too: Our Miss Brooks, Ozzie and Harriet, The Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis Show. Western fans can listen to The Cisco Kid and Gunsmoke. Flash Gordon and Dimension X might appeal to SF fans. Two of my particular favorites are the florid Broadway Is my Beat and Damon Runyon Theater. It was from those two shows long ago that I first got an inkling of what “voice” in fiction was all about. The only drawback to this site is that to hear the shows, you might have to download RealPlayer to listen if you don’t have it already.

If you’re interested in British crime-fiction reviews, one excellent place to go is Crime Review (crimereview.co.uk). Here’s what the site is all about: “If you’re a crime fiction fan looking for well-written, thoughtful and honest reviews, you’re in the right place! Our manifesto is simple: we’re an independent site whose reviewers love the genre passionately and who have been given a free rein to review honestly and constructively. Crime Review is devoted to releases from UK publishers. We’ll be bringing you 16 new reviews . . . and an author interview every fortnight.”

Ladies of Mystery (ladiesofmystery.com) is a multiauthor blog, and the authors are Amber Foxx, Jane Gorman, Carol Sojka, Janis Patterson, JL Simpson, Marilyn Meredith, Paty Jager, and Sally Carpenter. They write about a multitude of things, including murders in the Bible, small-town sleuths, the importance of character names, and luck. Regular updates and variety make this a fun site to visit.

Black Guys Do Read (blackguysdoread.blogspot.com) is a single-author blog. Richard Vialet, the blogger, says, “This is primarily a blog of book reviews. I simply just love reading and I like to record my informal thoughts and reviews on books that I come across. I prefer books with very high stakes so I mostly read crime, noir, and horror/sci-fi, but I enjoy any great story. I’ll go for anything as long as it’s good!” He doesn’t mention graphic novels, but he reviews those, and grades everything. Always good reading here.

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