Thursday, December 24, 2009

Interview with writer D.B. Grady and review of Red Planet Noir, his retro Sci-Fi detective novel

Mystery author Bonnie Kozek interviews writer D.B. Grady, whose debut novel Red Planet Noir (2009) was recently published as a paperback original by Brown Street Press of Lexington, Kentucky. A hard-boiled detective tale written in the pulp tradition of the 1930s, Red Planet Noir is “a Raymond Chandler mystery in a Robert Heinlein world.” If you're not familiar with the storyline, here's a detailed description:

Michael Sheppard was the best private eye in New Orleans, and then his wife left him. After finding solace in the bottle, he finds his career in the toilet. Nights at the casino pay the bills, until they don’t, and leg breakers start knocking at the door, and knocking out his teeth.

When a socialite on Mars offers him work, it’s a chance for a new start. Her name is Sofia Reed and her father is dead. The coroner says suicide, but Sofia suspects foul play. A leader of the Martian police state, her father had powerful enemies, and nobody on Mars will touch the case for fear of retribution. Michael Sheppard is her only hope.

Chased by cops and gangsters, his investigation takes him from stately mansions to smoke-filled speakeasies, from deserted ice colonies to mining towns on the asteroid belt.

All he wanted was a paycheck to clear some gambling debt. Now Michael is the key figure in a murder conspiracy that’s left a vacuum in the halls of power, with the labor union, mob and military vying for control of Mars.

Read Chapter 1 (PDF) of Red Planet Noir and check out mystery author Debbi Mack’s short but positive review.

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