First of all, just a reminder that it's not to late to win my copy of RUT by the marvellous Scott Phillips.
I have just ordered my copy of the splendid Out Of The Gutter magazine, This edition is billed as US vs UK and not only has a story by the brilliant Tony Black (author of Edinburgh set Gus Dury series), but also my warped and lovely friend Jools, and is described thusly "That's right, the Americans are ready to kick some British ass again. It's gonna be drunken, drug-addled, overweight, semi-literate assholes fresh from the firing range pitted against mild mannered, tea sipping, jagged-toothed, sheep-shagging, disarmed blokes who like to dress in drag." There you go, how can you resist?
And more short story goodness - Needle Mag of Noir 2010 Winter issue is now available. There looks to be some brilliant stuff inside, including part one of a new Ray Banks novel called Wolf Tickets - worth buying for that alone, methinks. My copy is going to have to wait to be ordered until after Christmas as shipping to the UK is twice the price of the magazine (ouch!), but for those of you in the US, shipping is currently free with a special discount code.
A few reviews - first of all, a look at the not quite yet available SHATTER THE BONES by Stuart MacBride. Next, a review of THE COMPLETE SHERLOCK HOLMES, VOLUME 1. A policeman's view of Kate Atkinson's HUMAN CROQUET, while thestar.com thinks she deserves a Booker Prize for STARTED EARLY, TOOK MY DOG. Milo's Rambles reviews Ken McClure's DONOR and Notes For Novel Readers reviews Aly Monroe's WASHINGTON SHADOW. Spinetingler Magazine looks at Val McDermid's TRICK OF THE DARK,
A day in the life of Christopher Brookmyre. And Denise Mina on the Saturday Review. Both are on the BBC iPlayer, so I'm not sure how long they'll be there.
The lovely Crimeficreader is having a series of Books For Christmas posts. Excellent stuff.
The real life No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency.
Peter May on writing and wine.
And, finally, various writers and musicians share their musical obsessions, which made me think about my own. In the days when we had one of those combined wooden hi-fi stereo and cabinet things - you know, one of those things where you could keep the trimphone on the top. It was probably next to the cocktail cabinet where you stored your Cinzano and your Martini. You opened the top and inside there was a record player. There was a combined place for speakers and cupboard for keeping your records in. You could listen to them when you weren't watching It's A Knockout on the black and white telly.
There were several songs from my parents' record collection that I used to want played over and over. Dorothy Provine's Don't Bring Lulu (my Mum's collection), Hank Locklin's We're Gonna Go Fishing (my Dad's collection), Roger Miller's King of the Road (Dad again), and the wonderful Ottilie Patterson's Taint No Sin and I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate (Mum). I seem to recall that the first record I ever bought was T.Rex' Metal Guru but since I was only 10 when it came out, it was more likely to belong to my mother the rock chick (which would probably make my own first record purchase...ahem...The Bay City Rollers' Shang-A-Lang (before you ask - Eric. And yes, my mum turned up a pair of blue crimplene trousers for me and sewed some tartan down the sides). Anyway, between Mum and I there was a lot of T.Rex played around the house in the 1970s. Another record I remember playing to death was Althea and Donna's Uptown Top Ranking.
And then I discovered punk. From then on, my parents and I never shared a record collection (although I did teach my Mum how to do the chicken strut to The Cramps' I Ain't Nuthin' But A Gorehound (which she insisted on calling it 'the turkey trot') and she is quite partial to The Ramones. Two musical items which I miss - my bootleg cassette tape of a Siouxsie and the Banshees gig at the Brixton Academy (nicked out of my car), and my picture disc of Alien Sex Fiend's Ignore The Machine which got trampled on at a (very rowdy) party. Ah, watching those videos reminds me how much my little heart beat for Lux Interior and Nik Fiend...
So, dear reader, before I blow the dust of my LP collection and wallow in nostalgia for the rest of the evening, what were some of your musical obsessions?