Behind the Black Mask: Mystery Writers RevealedAuthor: Clute and Edwards
21 Feb 2019

Behind the Black Mask: Mystery Writers Revealed

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Writers of hard-boiled, pulp, mystery, and suspense reveal secrets about their fiction, and the writing life. All interviews are conducted by Clute and Edwards of

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    Welcome to "Behind the Black Mask"

    Thanks for visiting Behind the Black Mask: Mystery Writers Revealed. From 2006-2008, Clute and Edwards conducted 28 interviews with today's best crime writers—discussing the author's most recent novel in detail, and the writing life in general.

    All 28 episodes are still available for free download. Scroll down this page to download podcasts featuring your favorite writers.

    Though no longer conducting new author interviews for Behind the Black Mask, Clute and Edwards have been hard at work on several new hard-boiled projects. Just below this post you'll find information on their new book, The Maltese Touch of Evil: Film Noir and Potential Criticism, and a link to visit their revised and enhanced main portal site,, which includes information on their other podcasts on film noir and hard-boiled media. 

    Please take a moment to share this website via Facebook and Twitter by clicking the buttons just to the right. 

    Nearly all the authors interviewed by Clute and Edwards have released new books since their appearance on Behind the Black Mask. Please visit their author websites or your local bookseller, and grab copies of their latest works. This is one group of writers that will not disappoint you!

    Thanks again for your interest in Behind the Black Mask: Mystery Writers Revealed.

    --Shannon Clute and Richard Edwards

  • Posted on 03 Jun 2011

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    Clute and Edwards Publish New Noir Book!

    Reserve a copy of Clute and Edwards' new noir book today at

    In December 2011, Dartmouth College Press (University Press of New England) will release Clute and Edwards' new study of film noir, The Maltese Touch of Evil: Film Noir and Potential Criticism.  This exciting book builds on crucial insights from the Out of the Past: Investigating Film Noir podcasts, and draws on the work of the experimental literary group Oulipo (an acronym for "Ouvroir de Littérature Potentielle," or "Workshop of Potential Literature") to investigate the extreme self-consciousness and high degree of visual punning exhibited by noir.  In the process, the book proposes—and serves as a sustained demonstration of—an OuFiNoPo, or Workshop of Potential Film Noir.  Part thinking-man’s fan crush, part crazily inspired remix of the most beloved of film genres, this study will help scholars and film fans alike to view film noir afresh, and achieve new insights into even the best known movies.  

    Clute and Edwards have never solicited donations for their podcasts, for like all good things these podcasts are a labor of love.  But they would ask you to…

    PLEASE GRAB A COPY of The Maltese Touch of Evil: Film Noir and Potential Criticism, and consider picking up other copies for all your movie-loving friends.

  • Posted on 03 Jun 2011

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    Episode 28: Michael Connelly Revealed

    THE BRASS VERDICT, the nineteenth novel from #1 New York Times Bestselling author Michael Connelly, gives definitive proof that Connelly is the most gifted crime writer since Raymond Chandler. Those with a debt to Chandler typically lack either the research skills, the knowledge of Los Angeles, or the soul for the job. Connelly has it all. Utilizing his skills as a former journalist, he not only nails the facts of legal and police business, he captures the complex psychology of his characters. Defense lawyer Mickey Haller and detective Harry Bosch are not pure heroes, they are men: they are not lovable, but they are competent and often admirable. To paraphrase Chandler, they have a range of awareness that startles you, but it belongs to them by right, because it belongs to the world they live in. It is above all in this melding of characters and setting that Connelly excels. Los Angeles is not a scenic backdrop, it is the master force that shapes all else, and we could not imagine Haller or Bosch being a part of any other world. But what is most remarkable about THE BRASS VERDICT is the way Connelly is able to recompose these sonorous echoes of Chandler into his own composition, settle them into his own score—with this world. This podcast is brought to you by Clute and Edwards of To leave a comment on this episode, or make a donation to the podcast, please visit "Behind the Black Mask: Mystery Writers Revealed" at

  • Posted on 15 Oct 2008

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    Episode 27: Scott Phillips Revealed

    It is hard to imagine a sequel that is any more tightly intertwined with, or distinct from, its predecessor than Scott Phillips's 2002 THE WALKAWAY. His 2000 debut novel THE ICE HARVEST was a tight tale of one day in the tragicomic life of small-time Wichita mobster Charlie Arglist. THE WALKAWAY is an ambitious prequel-sequel to that bestseller, a complex narrative that alternates between first and third person points of view, and three different time frames. It opens in the immediate aftermath of the fateful accident that ended the first book, then traces the life of Gunther Fahnstiel, from his morally ambiguous young adulthood the prepared him for that fateful accident, to his current advanced age as he tries to remember how he became the man he is—and how he might still profit by it. If the first novel was the portrait of a man in his boudoir, THE WALKAWAY is like one of those vast tapestries you see on castle walls: caught in the weft and warp of fragile memory are entire genealogies of morally deficiently but somehow noble middle-America hoodlums. It is the Comédie humaine of Kansas, and establishes Phillips as a writer of vast talent and ambition who refuses to write the same type of story twice. This podcast is brought to you by Clute and Edwards of To leave a comment on this episode, or make a donation to the podcast, please visit "Behind the Black Mask: Mystery Writers Revealed" at

  • Posted on 13 Oct 2008

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    Episode 26: George Pelecanos Revealed

    THE TURNAROUND, George Pelecanos's fifteenth novel, is the work of a mature writer at the top of his game. It is a thoughtful examination of one event that permanently alters the lives of six young men—three black, three white. The story is both as straightforward and as complex as the characters it involves, and pulls the reader in through their palpable suffering. By creating such intimacy with this ensemble cast, Pelecanos is able to explore some of the most pressing issues facing America today—race, class, and the foreign war that districts us from these domestic battles—with depth and nuance, and without any trace of artificiality or authorial tampering. A less experienced or less gifted writer would have been tempted, in handling such material, to deliver a message, and so would have ruined a story that is infinitely more rich because it stays focused on the people it involves. Pelecanos reveals how his youthful aspirations to be a filmmaker, his experience writing for HBO's THE WIRE, and his work on the Derek Strange and Terry Quinn books all prepared him to write this understated masterpiece that is THE TURNAROUND. This podcast is brought to you by Clute and Edwards of To leave a comment on this episode, or make a donation to the podcast, please visit Behind the Black Mask: Mystery Writers Revealed at

  • Posted on 16 Aug 2008


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