S.W. Lauden of Bad Citizen Corporation & Crime Fiction Coordinator Scott Montgomery On The Origins of MysteryPeople, the Secrets of Bookselling, and Scott’s Top Ten Mysteries of All Time
Ever wanted to know more about MysteryPeople and what we do? Our crime fiction coordinator Scott Montgomery was interviewed by author and blogger, S.W. Lauden on his website Bad Citizen Corporation. Scott tells a little bit about what he does and shares a top 10 list. You can read all about it here.
“It’s very important to me that we have independent publishers. It makes us stand out since we’re often the only store in town to find the cool, funky crime fiction, and personally I think it’s a great way to serve the genre. We simply choose what to showcase by what we like or discover.” – Scott Montgomery
MysteryPeople’s very own Scott Montgomery has a new story up on Shotgun Honey. Below, you’ll find the link to 750 words of pure sleaze, inspired by a chance conversation between Scott and author Laura Lippman at Bouchercon one year, as the two speculated on how a not-so-dynamic duo might form. This story is seriously creepy, y’all – but on this site, and to our fine friends at Shotgun Honey, creepy is a compliment.
Hey Folks! Overwhelmed by the number of amazing panels at this year’s Texas Book Festival? Can’t see the forest through the trees? Never fear, MysteryPeople is here with a guide to mystery, thriller and true crime happenings at the fest. Here’s a link to the full schedule, but in the following schedule, you can see we’ve picked out some of the highlights for crime fiction fans.
We’ve posted just about every Top 20 list from the contributors of our Top 100 Crime & Suspense Fiction List. We’ve seen just as many takes on the genre as we’ve received lists. To paraphrase an old adage, it’s difficult to define a great detective novel, but you know it when you see it. Tomorrow morning, we’ll put up the link to the full list, but until then, it’s only fair to put up each of our lists. Scott Montgomery’s list is below.
Scott Montgomery’s Top 20 Mysteries
Scott Montgomery is BookPeople’s Crime Fiction Coordinator and the founder of MysteryPeople, Bookpeople’s mystery bookstore-within-a-bookstore. MysteryPeople includes author events, workshops, book clubs, online content, and skilled recommendations.
You may recognize the name of this week’s Crime Fiction Friday author. Scott Montgomery, as BookPeople’s Crime Fiction Coordinator and founder of MysteryPeople, BookPeople’s Mystery Bookstore-Within-A-Bookstore, has been Austin’s authority on all-things-mystery for years. Scott also writes, and below, you’ll find a good example of his humorous and gleefully bloodthirsty style.
Come by BookPeople on Tuesday, August 11, at 7 PM, for a celebration of the crime writing anthology Murder On Wheels, with authors Scott Montgomery, Reavis Wortham, and Kathy Waller in attendance. You can find copies of Murder on Wheels on our shelves. Part of the sales proceeds for Murder on Wheels will go to Meals on Wheels.
“You Just Might Get It” by Scott Montgomery
The girl came first.
It had been two hours since Vedder clocked in and counted the drawer. He cracked open his textbooks for American Lit, but there were always some customer interrupting him the first few hours to truly focus. Half of them wanted to tell him about their day, life stories, or, god forbid, how to improve business. All you could do was dip your toe in shallow thoughts and daydreams between transactions and stocking Skittles until around 3AM when foot traffic faded at the Grab N’ Go. There were two things Vedder always thought would break the monotony behind the counter, a hot girl or a robbery.
When the red head walked in, she woke everything up in him. Her shoulder length tresses didn’t fit the face. Somehow, the small mouth with the full lips did, at least when he pictured her giving him a blowjob. Her skin wasn’t that death pale a lot of reds had. No freckles either, which was kind of a disappointment. She wore pink, trendy glasses that didn’t go with the rest of her outfit. A cutoff denim skirt fit her ass tight enough to give him a clear picture of some x-rated scenarios. Two tattooed butterflies flew out of the waistband. A good mix of cute with just the right amount of trashy. Who wants the girl next door, if all she knows is the missionary position?
Her purse was larger than the usual pocket book on a g-string that the club tramps carried. The training video told him to watch for patrons with large bags. What would he do if he caught her lifting? What would she do for him not to call the cops? More scenarios. He had to quit reading the Penthouse Forum off the adult rack.
She bent down for some energy bars. Vedder thanked God he was behind the counter from the waist down. Her eyes caught him. “Do you have Vanilla Coke?”
Come by the store onTuesday, August 11, at 7 PM up on BookPeople’s second floor, for a great home-grown event. Presented by Austin Mystery Writers, and edited by Ramona DeFelice Long, Murder on Wheels: 11 Tales of Crime on the Movehas deliciously dangerous tales contributed by many of our favorite authors. Kathy Waller, Reavis Wortham, and MysteryPeople’s own crime fiction coordinator, Scott Montgomery, will all be present at BookPeople’s Murder on Wheels event to speak and sign this collection. A share of profits goes to Meals on Wheels.
Murder on Wheels contains many different settings, subgenres and approaches to its theme. Kaye George, in her forward, details the collection’s origin: “The genesis was a ride my husband took…on the Megabus…I started thinking that the bus would make a good setting for a murder…There was one problem – where to hide the body. So I asked the group, Austin Mystery Writers, for suggestions.” From this initial discussion, sprang enough ideas for a collection, and thus Murder on Wheels came to be on our shelves.
“A Nice Set of Wheels,” by Kathy Waller, delivers a Great Depression-era story of longing and wanderlust in a small Southern town. “Family Business,” by Reavis Wortham, relates the twists and turns of an unlucky family of bootleggers through the generations. V. P. Chandler’s “Rota Fortunae” gets mystical with a tattoo of a ship’s wheel and a story of transatlantic unrest, while Gale Albright’s “Mome Rath, My Sweet” sends a private eye down the rabbit hole in a hard-boiled retelling of Alice in Wonderland.
Kaye George and Earl Staggs shift the focus to public transportation with their respective stories, “The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round” and “Dead Man on a School Bus.” Laura Oles looks at how a “family business” deals with outsiders in “Buon Viaggio.” Gale Albright’s “Apokalypse Now” tackles the dangers of bicycle obsession, especially in a marriage. Scott Montgomery’s tale of generosity gone sour, “Red’s White F-150 Blues,” is a properly Texan tale of trucks, Conan the Barbarian obsession, and increasingly bad decisions. Each story fits with the theme of wheels in a different, unique, and often funny way.
You can find copies of Murder on Wheels on our shelves and via bookpeople.com. Come by the store Tuesday, August 11, for a speaking and signing event with several of the collection’s authors, including our very own Scott Montgomery!
Albany is a quaint city, with rolling hills (I swear I was always walking uphill, even on the way back), historic buildings and friendly people who say, “Absolutely,” when you ask them for a favor. Into this bucolic atmosphere descended thousands of crime fiction writers, publishers, booksellers, and fans like a plague of dark, drunken, philosophical rats from September 19th – 22nd. I can say this because I was one of the them attending this year’s Bouchercon, the world’s largest mystery conference.
Debate went into high gear during the New Noir panel. Moderator Reed Farrel Coleman introduced the idea that there are now two different kinds of noir fiction. One is traditional that relies more on mood and psychology. The newer form relies on violence and shock value. It was probably the most engaging discussion at the conference, with Duane Swierczynski defending the new form along with Jason Starr admitting that his works tend to fall into this category. The discussion wrapped up with a few jokes about Reed’s age and a quip from Hilary Davidson that would make any femme fatale proud.
Les Edgerton’s Pulp Fiction, Baby! panel also discussed playing on the dark and moody side of the street. As happened last year, Les had the best line of the year: “Paint your character black and the light will shine through.”
Josh Stalling talked about how he enjoyed hiding real ideas and social commentary in pulp fiction. He also cited James Crumley’s Dancing Bear and the original Winnie The Pooh as the books most influential in his process. When asked which Pooh character he relates the most with, he answered, “I’m always Eeyore.”
The Shameless Dead Cats & Bad Girls panel hosted by Laura Lippman dealt with taboos in crime fiction. Megan Abbott cited Gone Girlas proof that the mainstream has embraced the type of dark fiction that was more marginalized in the past.
Discussion of what is taboo in noir fiction was the theme amongst most panels at Bouchercon. Taking advantage of that, David Corbett turned his I Go To Extremes panel into a drinking game with the words, “noir,” “taboo,” “transgressive,” and “Tarantino.” Unfortunately for David, he forgot Todd Robinson, Glenn Gray, and I were in attendance. We’re three guys known for being loud and opinionated even when we’re sober.
The panels definitely covered a lot outside the question of what has become taboo.
I learned more about Austin author Mark Pryor at The Liar’s panel, where they played a game with the audience to guess when Mark was telling a lie, the truth, or a half-truth.
At the WW2 and Sons panel, Martin Limon spoke about how the culture clash he witnessed as a GI stationed in Korea between the locals and the US military lead to writing the Sueno & Bascome series.
In a discussion about writing unreliable narrators, Megan Abbott talked about how she believes noir protagonists will always be unreliable, since they are always attempting to justify their actions. Laura Lippman agreed, adding that the
y are also trying to convince the reader that they would have done the same.
You couldn’t let this group of dark, philosophical rats go without a night of revelry. On the first night of the con, authors Reed Farrell Coleman, Tom Schreck and Crimespree magazine’s Jon and Ruth Jordan threw a spectacular party. The Franklin Towers Bar was all shook up with classic rock n’ roll covers flowing from the stage, with Johnny Rebel And The Jail House Rockers at the helm. It was overwhelming to see such a who’s who in crime fiction. The place was so packed, even the sidewalk outside was crowded.
I would love to share more details, but it might be a little too risqué for the blogosphere.
I hung on until the bitter end, so I was able to see every dark nook and cranny of this year’s Buchercon. I went to the annual Dead Dog Dinner with those left over on Sunday night. Then, the next morning, it was breakfast and sightseeing with author RJ Ellory and bloggers Ali Karim and Peter Rozovsky before we had to catch our trains.
I don’t know if we attendees ever answered the question about whether or not we’ve gone too far in noir fiction. Maybe we have.