Most definitely not forgotten

There are often reasons to be grim in this sad old world, especially for natural pessimists like myself. But even I can’t help but be buoyed by the myriad ways that the crime fiction community of writers, readers, bloggers and sundry other lovers of the genre is honouring the memory of Maxine Clarke, a passionate supporter of the genre who died in December 2012. What I love most is that oodles of goodwill and enthusiasm from people across the globe has generated several projects: all different, all positive, all practical, all inclusive. Just like Maxine was.

Perhaps you can write a short story?

Crime writer and genius blogger Margot Kinberg is putting together a crime fiction short story anthology. Authors and aspiring authors are invited to submit a previously unpublished story that

  • focuses on crime in the world of editing, publishing, writing and/or reviewing. Feel free to explore that theme in your own way. Stories about fiction writing, non-fiction writing, research or academic writing are all fair game

This focus is perfectly fitting for a project honouring Maxine who was, away from her crime reading life, a senior editor for science journal Nature.

For more information about this project head over to Margot’s blog

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Or how about reading a prize shortlist?

The Petrona Award for the Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year has been established to celebrate Maxine’s work as one of the first online reviewers and promoters of translated crime fiction, particularly that set in Scandinavia. The 2013 shortlist, based on Maxine’s reviews and ratings, is as follows:

  • PIERCED by Thomas Enger, tr. Charlotte Barslund (Faber and Faber)
  • BLACK SKIES by Arnaldur Indridason, tr. Victoria Cribb (Harvill Secker)
  • LAST WILL by Liza Marklund, tr. Neil Smith (Corgi)
  • ANOTHER TIME, ANOTHER LIFE by Leif GW Persson tr. Paul Norlen (Doubleday)

You’ve got until the end of May to read them all…a reasonably surmountable feat don’t you think?

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Or do you have a favourite crime novel you want the world to know about?

Petrona Remembered is devoted to continuing the work that Maxine began and is asking people who love crime fiction to share their thoughts about a book they love. You can write a review, make a video, record a poem or choreograph an interpretive dance as long as it celebrates a book you love. What I hope will be the first of dozens of weekly celebrations began last week with the reproduction of one of Maxine’s own early reviews of Icelandic writer Arnaldur Indriðason’s VOICES. This week’s feature is a great review of a Welsh book I’d never heard of before called THE EARTH HUMS IN B FLAT by Mari Strachan. It’s a terrific review by Laura Root and perfectly embodies what the group who started this project were hoping for: a place to highlight great books that may, or may not, have received the attention they deserve. I hope you’ll all consider submitting something for sharing with fellow crime fiction lovers whether you’re a reader, blogger, writer, publisher or supporter. Everyone’s got a favourite crime novel. Right?

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I’m looking forward to watching each one of these projects come to fruition and develop over time and I hope every person who loves crime fiction, now or in the future, will some day participate in or contribute to one or more of them. Maxine was instrumental in nurturing the beginning of a passionate crime fiction loving community from across the globe, it’s comforting to think that her influence will live on in so many ways.

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5 Responses to Most definitely not forgotten

  1. Thanks, Bernadette, for the link and the kind words. Like you, I’m delighted to see such support for remembering Maxine coming from all over the world. Her memory deserves no less.


  2. JoV says:

    I am most shocked to hear this news Bernadette. Maxine has inspired me to read some of the crime fictions I wouldn’t have discovered myself. I have no idea…. The blogosphere definitely lost a great blogger.


  3. Kathy D. says:

    A lot to ponder here. I have to apologize for not having submitted anything yet. I have had piles of tasks and can’t think yet about writing anything except blog comments for awhile.
    Talking of good books, I’m so glad you positively reviewed The Sea Detective. Although it took me awhile to get into the book, once I did I couldn’t stop reading. I loved the feeling of the islands, the isolation, the sea, the story line dealing with the protagonist’s grandfather. I hope someone writes up this book for Petrona Remembered.


  4. TracyK says:

    I also have not heard of The Earth Hums in B Flat and (having read the review) it sounds very interesting. Petrona Remembered is going to be a wonderful resource, and a great tribute to Maxine.


  5. Pingback: Books of the Month – March 2013 | Reactions to Reading

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