Got a note from John Hocking, reporting: “I’m reading The Big Drop, a collection of detective stories by the recently deceased Australian author Peter Corris.
“It had been a while since I’d read any of his stuff, so it felt appropriate to dip into some as a salute to one of the last guys whose writing could still sound clear echoes of old school hard-boiled detective fiction.
“The last story in the book is called ‘Maltese Falcon.’ In it our Aussie detective protagonist Cliff Hardy finds himself in San Francisco trying to figure out who’s sabotaging the Sam Spade Walking Tour. The fellow that conducts this tour is named Dan Swan.
“I really can’t imagine that you wouldn’t know about this, but searching ‘Corris’ on your web site produces nothing, so I couldn’t take the chance you’d missed it.”
I assured John that I knew about it (I blurb the whole “Dan Swan” deal on p.178 of the most recent Hammett Tour book, mentioning that Peter Corris came out on the walk twice). But then, you don’t know what you just don’t know, so I appreciate John keeping an eye out for me.
I think I’ve never blurbed Corris on the blog because he made it into the tour book, although if I’d really been racking my brain I could have mentioned him in a quick roster of writers who have walked the walk that I did back in 2012.
Very nice guy. I hadn’t heard he’d died, since it was in August last year when my attention was otherwise distracted after I’d eased past The Big Drop — for the moment.
(Oh, who am I kidding — I hadn’t even heard about a couple of The Famous Don Herrons dying! Most times, someone has to tell me this stuff.)
So, a memorial toast to Peter Corris. John says, “The story is pretty good fun and paints an agreeable picture of ‘Dan Swan’.”
(And by the way, if you want a recent sample of John’s writing, hop over to a piece he did about the second published Conan story in a little series Bob Byrne has going this year. John’s pastiche novel Conan and the Emerald Lotus has some collectors’ dollars being thrown at it.)