Day: December 22, 2014

A Phantom Library

British paperback publisher Sphere Books, founded  in London in 1961 ambitiously undertook in 1968 the publication of the San-Antonio series. By that time, 70 novels pertaining to this Series had already been published in their original French.  Their titles are listed, together with an English translation in the frontmatter pages of the Sphere books. The reader’s curiosity was triggered, but never satisfied.   Only a few of the corresponding texts were to be translated.  Titles such as San-Antonio in the groove or Action all the way and Swim or sink, San-Antonio never were. Sphere only published seven San-Antonio, and gave up on the project by the end of 1969. What remains are titles without books, a library left incomplete. A vacant lot of titles, a literary ghost estate.

aphoto (1) Continue reading

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Irish Noir in 75 Dates

Bruen index

Banville, Vincent Death by design Wolfhound Press 1994
McEldowney, Eugene  A Kind of Homecoming   Heinemann 1994
McNamee, Eoin Resurrection Man Picador 1994
Banville, Vincent Death the Pale Rider   Poolbeg 1995
Bateman, Colin Divorcing Jack  Harper Collins 1995  Betty Trask Prize

There are countless examples of Irish Crime Fiction troughout the 20th Century. Admittedly, in some cases the links between  a given  Crime  author and Ireland might be missed, or are by now forgotten. The prolific George A. Birmingham, for example  (James Owen Hannay, 1865 – 1950) was a Belfast born Church of Ireland clergyman. Some Irish authors rank amongst the most celebrated representatives of the Golden Age of Detective Fiction, like the Dublin born Freeman Wills Crofts (1879-1957). Nicholas Blake (Cecil Day-Lewis, 1904-1972) is another famous Ireland born  author of Britsh Mystery novels.The “noir” genre however starts in Ireland much later. For the most part it only began 20 years ago. Continue reading