John Harvey and his Nottingham policeman, Charlie Resnick, have been a much-admired duo in the world of mystery for the past decade. Recently, however, those same fans have been in mourning, as Harvey announced his decision to end the series with the 10th title, Last Rites. Unlike Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who contrived the demise of his popular Sherlock Holmes at the Reichenbach Falls, only to be forced by a clamoring public to resurrect him, Harvey appears to have made up his mind to stick to his guns because he no longer lives in Nottingham and doesn't feel that he can use the city in the same intimate way he always had. However, a small British press is creating excitement and gratifying those of us who love the Resnick character with the first book publication of the 11 stories featuring jazz-loving Resnick in one volume. (The tales have appeared in such venues as Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine and a variety of mystery anthologies.) |
The Times of London once described John Harvey as the contemporary "King of Crime." He has also been vociferously admired by such peers as Elmore Leonard, Andrew Vachss, Sue Grafton, Philip Kerr, and Jim Harrison. The stories offer Resnick in the way they, and all his loyal readers, want to remember him: cooking up gourmet omelets and sandwiches, keeping his four cats well fed, and applying his scrupulous intelligence and sensitivity to the problems of Midlands criminal activity. Charlie Resnick's cats are named for his favorite jazz musicians--Pepper, Dizzy, Miles, and Bud--and this short story collection features, at the end, a "partial soundtrack" for armchair detection and accompaniment.