Wednesday, November 19, 2008

God Bless Detroit

As I've revealed on this blog many times before, I was a die hard mystery reading gal prior to discovering the romance genre. Mystery/suspense for me is like eating comfort food. It tastes good, makes me feel better, and is as easy as putting on that ratty old pair of sneakers I refuse to throw away.

In my opinion, there are four great American locales for mystery novels - New York City, Los Angeles, Miami and Detroit. The Big Four. Detroit might seem like the odd choice here, unless you happen to know anything about the city. The more things change, the more things seem to stay the same for Detroit. Heck, just recently we've had Kwame Kilpatrick and the Big Three CEOs flying on corporate jets to beg the federal government for bailout money.

Seriously. You can't make this shit up.

Corruption has a way of jump starting many a writers' imagination and Detroit is like going over the rainbow and discovering Oz.

In other news, I returned to work yesterday to discover two ARCs from Hard Case Crime on my desk. Now, I'm the first to admit that my brain is still recovering from this past weekend, but this cover induced a fit of inappropriate giggles.

Romance novel covers aren't this phallic.

And because I know someone will ask...

Once an art smuggler, now a respectable art dealer, Ovid Wiley awoke to find his former partner stabbed to death on his gallery floor. That was strange enough—but when a CIA agent showed up to spring him from NYPD custody, things got a lot stranger.

Now the CIA is offering to clear up the murder charge, but only in return for a favor: They want Ovid to fly to Vatican City and trace the trail of a renegade priest who has gone missing with millions in church funds. What’s the connection? The priest’s lover, a woman Ovid knew in his smuggling days...

Interesting factoid about this book. Roger Zelazny, who made his name writing science fiction, wrote this book in the 1970s only to stuff it in a drawer after his agent advised him to "focus on his science fiction and fantasy career." Zelazny passed away in 1995, and this manuscript was unearthed. For you Neil Gaiman geeks out there - he calls this book "classic wonderful Roger Zelazny all the way." Me? The plot intrigues. To the TBR pile it goes!


angeleque said...

I love Detroit.

Most of my stories are set in Detroit or in the "Metro Detroit" area. I've lived here all my life. Though I am working on one set in NYC right now.

And as my friend says it's like a soap opera "As Detroit Turns". And as you said - you can't make this stuff up.

Katiebabs a.k.a KB said...

Wow, that is some knife on the cover!

Kati said...


Really? Wow.

His knife is certainly large. And shiny. And...erect.

Sorry. I'm a romance reader.

Stephanie Feagan said...

Hey, SWendy! How's it hangin'? I've missed you! I have this self-imposed exile going on right now, and I've sworn off blogs and writing/reading related websites. Sadly, that includes yours. But I heard through the Grapevine - which is the old Paperback Reader Gang - that you had a close call with the fire situation. Just wanted to pop over and say how glad and relieved I am that you and yours and all your lovely books are okay, if a little smoky smelly, maybe.
Take care now, and yeah, I gotta go with Kati - that is one bitchin' knife.

joykenn said...

Wow, what a cover, but you can tell it is a mystery/adventure cause the guy isn't handsome or ripped, is losing his hair and the girl is obviously about to fall out of her pants and is going commando. Its obvious audience is male.

Kristie said...

Can you believe it? Detroit and all of its antics never cease to amaze. I am jsut so angry about the CEOs of the Big Three flying their private planes for a 2 hour flight to beg for money. Right now I am watching a new conference with UAW leader and some of the things he is saying gets me so angry. As someone who lives in a city that has plants with two of the big three in our city limits, I am so upset about this. The unions are doing a lot of harm right now, and it saddens me. As a teacher, if I ever get a job, I will be expected to join a union that protects horrible teachers. My husband is a Teamster and I hear about losers who keep their jobs because of the union when hard workers are getting laid off. I so want to leave the area, but really feel held hostage to the area. I can't sell my house 5 years after buying it for what I owe on it... and I put 25% down on it when I bought it. I can't get a full time job and my husband and I are slowly but surely eating up our savings. But don't worry, Kwame Kilpatrick and all of his cromies were living high doing nothing. I heard yesterday that the Superintendent of Detroit Public Schools has a full time driver and two full time bodyguards! A district that doesn't even have books for it students pays for this crap. Now I know it happens everywhere, but Detroit has more than its fair share.

Sorry for monoplizing your blog... things are just really really bad here.

Wendy said...

Kati: Well, Ovid is no worse than some of the names romance authors have subjected me to over the years. I really need to start keeping a list.

Joy: I'm a total sucker for pulp cover art, but that big shiny knife....Oy Vey! LOL - yeah that chick is seriously going commando.

Kristie: Seriously, a driver and two bodyguards?!?! WTF?

Angeleque: Is it any wonder why crime writers find Detroit so fascinating? There is inspiration lurking on every street corner.

Stephanie: Alison follows me on Twitter, so I figured she'd keep y'all in the loop. We're fine now and the smoke situation is getting marginally better. Maintenance changed our AC filter yesterday, and that helped A LOT! Also having two air purifiers running on high since Sunday night hasn't hurt matters either.

Katie: Hey girlie! Didn't want to leave you out of my responding LOL.

Victoria Janssen said...

Oh, wow, the Zelazny is out!

I've been curious about that for a long time--REALLY curious about how it compares to his sf/f.

Wendy said...

Victoria: Not quite yet. Laydown date is listed as January 27.

Silly Wendy - I forgot to link the cover to Amazon. Will do that right now. Duh.