Charlie Byrne is dead. Put away anyhow. For now. I take this retirement announcement a bit more seriously than Ozzy Osbourne's. That's right, Kieran Shea's hapless former life-guard has saved the last wrong person, been bit by his last dog, pissed off his last client and can hopefully find a little peace in the inky blackness of his creator's subconscious. Shea, another contributor to Beat to a Pulp: Round One, (that'll be the fifth time I've been honored to share story space with him), is putting away his go-to character. Takes guts. K's invested a lot into Charlie, but I'm hoping he can find a new muse/kick in the pants to serve up some more righteous crime fictions. Kieran let me share his hotel room at Bouchercon last year and I got to spend several very special hours with him, (that would make him Demi Moore to my Robert Redford and would consequently make Greg Bardsley Woody Harrelson). On top of being a writer I really enjoy, he's a big-hearted, generous dude and I expect great things from his post-Byrne output. Sorry, Charlie.
And how about that Night of the Hunter poster, huh? N@B graduate, Matt Kindt did that one for a Criterion film festival or somethin. Bad Ass. Bad Ass movie. Bad Ass poster. Bad Ass talent, sir. Apparently his choice was between that one and Roman Polanski's Repulsion. I'd love to see his vision of the other, but I think he made the right choice. Jon, Ruth & David, y'all Bouchercon 2011 planners might wanna look into St. Louis talent like Kindt and Tim Lane or Brian Hurtt for that matter if'n ya need graphic work done. I'm just sayin.
And speaking of David Thompson, have you heard the news about Tyrus Books absorbing Busted Flush Press? Holy crap. That means two of the most kick ass small publishers of crime fiction have combined. Speaking of Tyrus, I'm reviewing Lynn Kostoff's Late Rain at Ransom Notes. Go check that out.