Quick ‘n Dirty: All Due Respect #1

Quick ‘n Dirty is a term used for that first quick search you perform when starting a new research project. It doesn’t have to be exhaustive and all encompassing; it’s just an exploratory search to see what is out there and to collect more search terms before starting a true literature review. I thought it would be a good description for reviews of shorter works, such as short stories or novellas or for less comprehensive reviews of longer works. They may not be as in-depth as I usually try to write my reviews, but hopefully they’ll be a good introduction and indication whether you’d like the stories or books reviewed.

allduerespectIssue 1 of All Due Respect has the best of crime fiction today, including an original story and interview with featured author Chris F. Holm. The rest of the lineup: a brutal story from Thuglit editor Todd Robinson; the deeply disturbing “Amanda Will Be Fine” by Renee Asher Pickup; a revenge tale by the King of Brit Grit, Paul D. Brazill; the strangely satisfying combination of yoga and organized crime from Travis Richardson; a still-beating heart ripped straight out of the Amazon River basin by Mike Miner; and Walter Conley kicks a couple of clueless Connecticut thugs to the curb. Plus reviews of Steve Weddle’s Country Hardball and Holm’s Collector series—and an entire section devoted to the books of legendary paperback publisher, Hard Case Crime. All Due Respect and your eyes: a combination even better than doughnuts and coffee.

When editor Chris Rhatigan approached me about reviewing the first issue of his crime fiction magazine it wasn’t a difficult sell, seeing as the issue’s featured author was Chris F. Holm whose The Collector series I’ve adored from the get go. Plus, while I’ve become better read in SFF and Horror short fiction, crime short fiction was unexplored country to me and I was curious to see how it would work. I wondered whether the short story format would work in a genre where plot is key and tension is often built through whodunit. And I have to say, based on the seven stories included in this inaugural issue of All Due Respect, it certainly does. All of these stories were interesting and kept my attention from the first to the last sentence. Of course I did have some favourites. I loved Chris F. Holm’s A Dying Art about a barber out for revenge. I loved the old-school feel of the barber shop and the main characters and the reason for Lucas’ grudge. And Renee Asher Pickup’s Amanda Will Be Fine broke me into pieces and left me chilled with its raw horror. It describes the choice a mother makes when confronted with her son committing a horrible and unforgivable crime and what she does to keep both her children safe.

Beyond short fiction, All Due Respect also contained non-fiction in the form of an interview with Chris F. Holm and several reviews, most of which are part of a series reviewing all of the Hard Case Crime books. I enjoyed this section. The interview with Chris was interesting and the reviews were short and informative, without being spoilerific. Plus it’s interesting to see different takes on reviewing crime, as I find writing reviews for crime novels the most difficult reviews to write since it is so easy to unintentionally include spoilers.

If you enjoy crime fiction, especially the darker, hard-boiled kind, then this first issue of All Due Respect is a fun, bite-sized way to get your fix. The second issue has just been released. So if you like this first one, you won’t have to wait long for another hit.

This magazine issue was provided for review by the editor.