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Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time…

June 12, 2013

I’ve been gathering up various newspaper and magazine pieces of mine—and yes, there’ll be a book coming in due course. But my exploration of the New York Times Index now and then yields something like this, in John Maxwell Hamilton’s 1990 essay on novelists’ dedications and acknowledgements:

toplesstulipcaper“But for practicality, no one can beat Lawrence Block. He dedicated The Topless Tulip Caper (1975) to the Edgar Allan Poe Award selection committee of the Mystery Writers of America, and to three book reviewers – Barbara Bannon of Publishers Weekly, Newgate Callendar (who writes about thrillers in this publication) and John Dickson Carr, whose notices appeared in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine.”

I know, I know. Shameless beyond words. And did it even work? Well, I’d be hard put to tell you what books got Edgar nominations that year for Best Paperback Novel, but Topless Tulip was not among them. I don’t believe Barbara Bannon or John Dickson Carr reviewed the book. Harold Schoenberg, the music critic who became Newgate Callendar when reviewing crime fiction, did review the book, but he’d given just as generous a review to its predecessor, Make Out With Murder, so I don’t know that flattery got me anywhere.

On the other hand, fifteen years later I wound up in Mr. Hamilton’s essay, and another 23 years down the line I get to blog about it. You say no good deed goes unpunished? Well, no bad deed goes entirely unrewarded, either. So there.


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  1. Yeah, so there. HAHAHA! I cannot wait to see the book you’re doing.

  2. Cathy permalink

    You, Mr. Block, are a hoot!

  3. juliabarrett permalink

    I’ve heard interesting rumors about this upcoming expose….

  4. Years have a way of changing things – our view and others. Love your books now – didn’t know about them years ago.

  5. Maria Murad permalink

    When I publish my mystery, will you give me a favorable review if I dedicate it to you? Just sayin’ — a little chutzpah never hurts.

  6. Probably not, Maria—but years from now you can blog about it…

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