Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Following the Detectives is in my hands!

I can't review a book to which I contributed, but I can say that Following the Detectives: Real Locations in Crime Fiction manages the neat trick of offering information beyond the ostensible range of its subjects.

The book's core is twenty-one essays, each about a single fictional detective and the real city, country or region where he or she works. One of my assignments was Arnaldur Indriðason's Iceland, for instance, but a full-page insert tells the reader about Arnaldur's fellow Icelandic crime writer Yrsa Sigurðardóttir as well. That sort of efficient conveyance of information is a good idea for a book whose other crime-fiction destinations include London, Paris, New York and Los Angeles. Pretty hard to squeeze all the fictional detectives who call any of those cities home into a single essay.

The extras include maps, graphics, information boxes, guides to television and movie adaptations, walking tours, useful Web sites and, as an accompaniment to my essay on Andrea Camilleri, remarks on the history of Sicilian cuisine with explanations of some of Salvo Montalbano's favorite dishes. Pappanozza. Just the sound of it makes me hungry.

Here's a list of contributors and their fictional destinations:

Boston: Michael Carlson
Brighton: Barry Forshaw
Chicago: Dick Adler and Maxim Jakubowski
Dublin: Declan Burke
Edinburgh: Barry Forshaw
Florida: Oline Cogdill
Iceland: Your humble blogkeeper
London: David Stuart Davies
Los Angeles: Maxim Jakubowski
New Orleans: Maxim Jakubowski
New York City: Sarah Weinman
Nottingham: John Harvey
Oxford: Martin Edwards
Paris: Barry Forshaw
San Francisco: J. Kingston Pierce
Shropshire: Martin Edwards
Sicily: Your humble blogkeeper
Southern California: Michael Carlson
Sweden: Barry Forshaw
Venice: Barry Forshaw
Washington, D.C.: Sarah Weinman
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Order Following the Detectives here (free shipping!), from the publisher, here, here, or from an independent bookseller in the UK or Canada.

© Peter Rozovsky 2010

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35 Comments:

Blogger Simona said...

I have been patiently waiting for the book to become available and now it is. It really sounds like a nicely written and nicely put together book. Congratulations again! We just concluded another edition of Novel Food. No Montalbano novel was featured this time, but Sicily got mentioned twice nonetheless thanks to a post on Vittorini's Conversazione in Sicilia and to David Fulmer's Chasing the Devil's Tail.

September 22, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Thanks, and I'll take a peek at Novel Food.

I thought of you when I saw that the book contained a bit on Sicialian cuisine.

September 22, 2010  
Blogger seana said...

I just ordered it from Book Depository. Can't wait.


v word=zyvalent, which is probably related to ambivalent, but in a really opposite sort of way.

September 22, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Doesn't zyvalent sound like something an old-style corporation would chance its name to when it wants to disguise what it really does, like Accenture or USX?

Many thanks for the order!

September 22, 2010  
Blogger seana said...

More like one of the drugs it manufactures.

I'm sure the book will be an excellent reference.

September 22, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

You're right. Zyvalent. Use only as prescribed. Do not exceed recommended dosage. Side effects may include accelerated heart rate, palitations, increased appetite, decreased appetite, dimming of the eyes, hallucinations, euphoria, depression, the giggles, the blues, feeling of inadequacy, delusions of grandeur. If you experience more than five of these symptoms, call your insurance company and your health-care provider.

New Holland Publishers has an extensive line of travel books, and that shows in this book. It's almost like a multimedia presentation on paper.

September 22, 2010  
Blogger Linkmeister said...

C'mon. Zyvalent has to do with the chemical bonding of the element Zy, of which the world as yet knows too little. This may be because no element has yet received that abbreviation.

September 23, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I had intended to reveal my discovery to the world in good time, but since you blew the whistle, I'll have to lower you into a vat of the stuff.

September 23, 2010  
Blogger seana said...

Sorry to break it to you guys, but zyvalent obviously has to do with the slow unbonding of the world, which has now officially begun.

Just hope I get my copy of Following the Detectives before the process is completely finished.

September 23, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I don't know about that, Seana. An unbonded world may create great opportunities for crime and, hence, crime fiction.

September 23, 2010  
Blogger seana said...

I'd expect that an unbonded world is actually something of an oxymoron, but I take your point.

September 23, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Down these unbonded streets a man must walk who is not himself unbonded.

September 23, 2010  
Blogger seana said...

Can't happen.

September 23, 2010  
Blogger Linkmeister said...

Careful. Those bonds are surly buggers.

September 23, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Seana, I bet the Italo Calvino who wrote T-Zero could have made it happen.

September 23, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Careful. Those bonds are surly buggers.

But they're dependable.

September 23, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so looking forward to seeing a copy. I wonder if any booksellers will have them at Bouchercon?
Oline Cogdill

September 23, 2010  
Blogger Stan Trollip (of Michael Stanley) said...

I hope Maxim does one on the writers outside Europe and the States!

September 23, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Stan, someone complained, either on this blog or another, that the destinations in Following the Detectives were Euro- and America-centric. I replied, and Maxim bore me out on this, that the book's focus was established rather than up-and-coming crime fiction sites. I think Maxim left open the possibility of a book that would range further afield.

Cape Town, Johannesburg, Istanbul and Bangkok (along with their countries and regions) would be my first nominees for such a book.

September 23, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Oline, I'm not sure copies will be available at Bouchercon, though the convention certainly presents a splendid opportunity. Apparently there are legal restrictions to selling imported books that may be in line for U.S. publication. There also appear to be no British booksellers in the book room.

So for now you may have to do what I do and rely on your contributor copy for bragging rights. (The publisher must be sending out copies in reverse alphabetical order.)

September 23, 2010  
Blogger Solea Stuzzicadenti said...

Congrats Peter...I can't wait to read it! I too am anxiously waiting for my book. I ate some delicious cassata semi-freddo affogato style recently! Who knew, close to Griffith Park, and so delicious after a hike.

September 23, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Ay, caramba, I'm hungry now!

Thanks!

September 23, 2010  
Anonymous kathy d. said...

Sounds like an exciting book.

Agree on your list of cities to be covered in a future volume of crime fiction locations. I would also suggest including Rio de Janeiro, and a city in Australia, perhaps New Zealand, China and perhaps Japan--and even more countries which are the scenes of crime fiction.

September 24, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I thought of Rio de Janeiro after I made the post, though I don't think all that much crime fiction has been written in Brazil. Melbourne has a long crime-fiction tradition, and how could I have forgotten Tokyo?

I know of just one crime-fiction series set in Shanghai, but that city would probbaly make a good setting, too. (I'm about to read another crime novel set in China for one of my Bouchercon panels.)

September 24, 2010  
Blogger seana said...

I don't know about many, but Luiz Alfredo Garcia-Roza is at least one Brazilian who writes a crime series set in Rio. I've read several books in the series and enjoyed them a lot.

September 24, 2010  
Anonymous kathy d. said...

Petrona listed some Brazilian mystery authors after I asked the question. Seana's author above was one of them.
Leighton Gage was another, although his isn't translated, but in English obviously.
I bet Latin America has lots of mystery authors, worth checking on, those translated anyway.

September 24, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I finally got my copy! I think it is quite lovely
Oline Cogdill

September 24, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Oline, it looks good, doesn't it? New Holland also publishes travel guides, and it shows. It must take lots of work so assemble all those maps, inserts and other extras.

It would be nice if someone sneaked some copies into Bouchercon. Even if they can't be sold, it would be nice to get a few copies circulating. Maybe one of the English attendees could bring some over.

September 24, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Seana and Kathy:

There are Garcia-Roza and Leighton Gage and also Rubem Fonseca, who is regarded as a literary writer but who nonetheless writes crime fiction.

Here are some names that Leighton Gage mentioned in a DBB interview:

Patrica Melo, Marcello Rubens Paiva, Silvio Lancellotti, Rubens Costa, Augusto Boal, Ruy Castro, Dalton Trevisan.

I'm no sure how many of that group have been translated into Engolish. Gage did mention that Brazilian readers don't read much crime fiction, and he offered some interesting speculation about the reason for this state of affairs.

September 24, 2010  
Anonymous Ciaron Manning said...

Shocking omission of Australia and Melbourne in particular. where one of the world's first crime novels is set. To say that Finland and Dublin are 'established' fiction sites is rubbish, Peter.

September 24, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Do you mean Iceland rather than Finland? In any case, perhaps the choice was an effort to capitalize on the current popularity of Nordic crime fiction.

But that's just a guess; I had nothing to do with the choice of cities. Melbourne, in the person of Fergus Hume, is one of the world's very oldest crime-fiction settings, and the city remains a hub of Australian crime writing. The editor would not have gone amiss to include it -- and I should have included it atop my list of suggestions for any sequel.

September 24, 2010  
Anonymous kathy d. said...

Okay, so it sounds like "Following the Detectives," Book II is a good idea.

And on this blog are some locations to include, among others.

I do wonder why certain cities/countries were chosen and not others. But the best way to remedy the situation is a sequel.

I'm sure this is only one place, among many, where other crime fiction locales will be raised.

But it's good to start planning now.

September 24, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

My guess would be that a second volume depends in large extent on how well this book sells, whether the rights to it are sold to other countries outside the UK, and so on.

As for the destinations chosen for this book, there was a bias in favor of England and the UK, and that's fine; the book is an English project, and the publisher and editor naturally have to think of what would appeal to English crime-fiction fans.

But Maxim Jakubowski is a pretty internationally minded guy, and I'm sure he'll be open to the cities and countries suggested here.

September 24, 2010  
Anonymous kathy d. said...

Just read the linked interview with Leighton Gage and found it fascinating. (Did not have a chance yet to read part one.)

Brazil is a very interesting country which I wish I had more time to read about.

I will read some Brazilian mystery fiction though.

Met a woman once from San Paolo who told me it's like New York City, only with 10 million people and a forest in the middle of the city.

Thanks for the link to the Gage interview.

September 28, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

You're welcome. Leighton Gage may be another case of the Caryl Ferey phenomenon: a crime writer who can write things that a native of the country might find it uncomfortable or impossible to get away with.

September 28, 2010  

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