Saturday, June 03, 2023

Five noir novels at the corner of Hollywood and music

Daniel Weizmann is a writer and editor whose work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Billboard, the Guardian, AP Newswire, and more. Under the nom de plume, Shredder, Weizmann also wrote for the long running Flipside fanzine, as well as LA Weekly, which once called him “an incomparable punk stylist.”

His new novel is The Last Songbird.

At CrimeReads Weizmann tagged five noir titles that "feature mysteries, musicians, and mayhem against a Tinseltown backdrop." One entry on the list:
Cut to the 1990s: both the Strip and the record biz had inflated into revolting, bloated monsters, doling out million-dollar contracts to every slime-o with a shaggy haircut, leather pants, and a coke-laced snarl. Elmore Leonard’s Be Cool captures the atmosphere of glam excess and multi-platinum daydreams at a dozen wisecracks per page. Get Shorty’s loan shark Chili Palmer has returned, fresh from the movie biz, and he’s ready to cancel hip-hop debts with bare fists and take over rock star contracts faster than you can say “Walter Yetnikoff.” But Be Cool is more than hilarious, more than a caper. In its knuckle-cracking ferocity, it exposes, once and for all, the gangster heart that has always beat in the chest of the music biz.
Read about another title on Weizmann's list.

Be Cool is among Andrew Martin’s top ten examples of dialogue in crime fiction.

--Marshal Zeringue