18 January 2012 0 Comments

Podcast: Crime Fiction Openings

As an award-winning crime writer, I’ve studied the greats of the genre and lectured about how they do what they do. Here I take my three favorite openings to crime novels — “Red Harvest” by Dashiell Hammett, “The Little Sister” by Raymond Chandler, and “The Saint-Fiacre Affair” by Georges Simenon — and examine what makes […]

29 December 2011 0 Comments

Crime Fiction’s Best First Paragraphs: 3

Georges Simenon wrote “L’Affaire Saint Fiacre” (“Maigret Goes Home”) in 1932. It’s one of the first of the 103 novels involved Inspector Jules Maigret. You can tell from books like this that the writer was a bit of a bastard. And we ought to be grateful for that. The opening of “Saint Fiacre” (I’m going […]

12 February 2010 0 Comments

Why’s a Palestinian sleuth in Brooklyn?

I’ve been called the Dashiell Hammett of Palestine, the John Le Carre of the Middle East, the James Ellroy of…Palestine, the Graham Greene of Jerusalem, and the Georges Simenon of the Palestinian refugee camps. Depends which review you happen to have read. I’ve published three previous novels about Omar Yussef, my Palestinian schoolteacher/sleuth. Omar has […]

7 February 2010 0 Comments

The (Forgotten) Book You Have to Read: Simenon’s ‘Saint-Fiacre Affair’

Crime fiction blog The Rap Sheet runs a weekly feature asking authors to write about a “forgotten” book that merits new attention. This last week the blog’s editor asked me to suggest a book. I wrote about Georges Simenon’s “The Saint-Fiacre Affair” (aka “Maigret Goes Home”). It’s a very early Maigret novel (1932) and not […]