Crime Fiction and Film in the Sunshine State:  Florida Noir


Crime Fiction and Film in the Sunshine State: Florida Noir was published by Bowling Green State Universityís Popular Press in 1997.  Editing this book with Maurice OíSullivan was a seminal event in my life.


 The idea for the book was Mauriceís, who I will henceforth refer to as Socky, as he is known by just about everyone.  He came to me and asked me if Iíd like to coedit this project.  His thesis was that Florida had the hottest crime writing in the country and that something needed to written about it on a critical level.  I was skeptical about the project initially.  But Socky knew I was an inveterate reader of detective fiction, that I appreciated the literary elements in much of (but by no means all) crime writing, and that I rarely said no to any project that might have a book in it.  Shortly I was won over--for many of the wrong reasons.  However, we hadnít gotten far into the project when the richness and depth of Florida crime writing and the genre in general became apparent to me in a way that I never before let myself admit.  In short, I was getting the first glimmers of something that has become more apparent in subsequent years, namely there is a career in crime writing.

The book to the surprise of all of us was nominated for an Edgar.  The flurry of attention that came our way because of the nomination definitely had something to do with my realization that crime-fiction writing was serious business.  A significant amount of the work I have done since Florida Noir has been in crime fiction and I expect this trend to continue in the foreseeable future. 

The reviews of this book came mostly from Florida naturally, but the book was also reviewed around the country--and even around the world.  My favorite review was one in Swedish.  I still wonder why anyone in Sweden would bother with a book about Florida crime fiction--but Iím glad s/he did.  Bowling Green State University Popular Press books are not the easiest to obtain, but the bookstores on the links page frequently have it in stock.  Below find a snap by Larry Humes of the PR department of Rollins of Socky (right) and me hamming it up as gumshoes.  Itís apparent that this endeavor, book as well as photo, was enjoyable.

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