John Hocking adds — in re: his discovery of the Peter Corris detective story where I cameo as “Dan Swan” — “Yeah, I figured there was almost no way you could have missed the story, but the idea that you might be unaware of it was intolerable.”
He tells me he learned about the death of Corris on J. Kingston Pierce’s estimable blog The Rap Sheet. JKP has walked the mean streets on the Hammett Tour.
John says that he “added my own sincere, if hastily composed, eulogy in the comments section.
“Corris was good. Seems to me that his work had more of the flavor of the better detective fiction writers of the 1950’s (I’m thinking of Wade Miller and Talmage Powell in particular) than his contemporaries who also got started in the 1980’s.
“I mention it in my comments on the Rap Sheet blog post, but where the guy really shone was in his seemingly effortless creation of character. Your detective narrator has to spend plenty of time meeting people and trying to learn things from them, and Corris could make people who showed up for a paragraph seem alive.
“This nifty shorthand with character is a fairly common virtue of both fiction and film in the first half of the 20th century and in sad decline in recent decades. Sometimes I think a character actor in a Thin Man movie who speaks three lines comes across as more memorable and alive than the leading man of many modern movies.”