Classic Caper: The Black Lizard (1934) – Edogawa Rampo by K. A. Laity

Caper like a classic

Punk Noir Magazine

71R8RysfPwLA while back Carol Borden of the Cultural Gutter hepped me to the 1962 film version of this novel which I absolutely raved over. I finally got around to reading the novel and I’m happy to say it’s great fun, too.


The 2006 Kurodahan Press edition, translated by Ian Hughes, includes The Black Lizard and Beast in the Shadows (1928). There’s an introduction by Mark Schreiber that offers a good overview of the author born Hirai Tar?, his works and his influence, including real life criminals writing sarcastic letters to the police and signing themselves as characters from his novels.


Is there a better tribute to a crime writer?


The Black Lizard is a jewel thief with an almost orgasmic desire for shiny stones. In the opening chapter on Christmas Eve, the criminal mastermind dances in her private club with ecstatic pleasure clad only in her…

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A Review of ‘Love Is A Grift’ by Graham Wynd

‘This is a collection of dark tales, with lust, manipulation and sexual obsessions –‘ Great review from Sonia Kilvington!

Sonia Kilvington

If you are looking for love; you have come to the wrong place! You certainly won’t find love, empathy and understanding in Graham Wynd’s short story collection, Love is a Grift and Other Stories of Desperation.
This is a collection of dark tales, with lust, manipulation and sexual obsessionsrecurring with frightening and exciting, regularity. The featured story has all the hallmarks of classic noir; seedy bars in Galway, a gullible man lead by his desire, a disposable wealthy husband, and a femme fatale who can literally charm the pants off any man she encounters. This beautiful grifter is a survivor, who is always at least one step ahead of her criminal companions, playing them for everything they are worth, before making her ultimate and timely discards. Is the lady a sociopath? Quite possibly, does she exploit her sexuality with vicious cunning; absolutely!

It was challenging to pick out individual…

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The Click of the Shutting by Graham Wynd

For the gulls of Dundee…my latest at Punk Noir Magazine.

Punk Noir Magazine

The Click of the Shutting

Graham Wynd


She waited for the sound of it, the sound that meant safety, the sound that meant it was over for now. The time it was when his shouts might soften, sometimes even turn to tears and beg forgiveness, beg for comfort, remind her again how it was all her fault.

If only she wasn’t like that. 

If only she didn’t get in the way of things. If only she should read his mind so she would know what he was thinking because he didn’t have time to tell her. He was in a hurry, always. Unless he was taking his time.

‘You know I don’t mean it, Georgie,’ he would say after the click, after he shut the blade safely away. After the cutting, after the tears – hers anyway. Then it was sorry, then it was I didn’t mean…

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The Roots of Ripley @NoirBristol

Highsmith, Ripley and Me… sort of.

K. A. Laity


Hop on over to Bristol Noir to read my latest musings on the mind behind Tom Ripley. I am working on a thing about Patricia Highsmith, with a little Burnt Orange Heresy in there as well. I was going to give a presentation at Captivating Criminality, but I think it will go to print instead. Possibly part of a bigger project, but I can’t think about that until a few more things get done.

Hey, did you read the Graham Wynd story at Bristol Noir, too? And Mr B has a tale there as well. Busy guy: got a new book out, too.


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Monday Cornucopia of #Crime

New stuff! Bristol Noir, Tiny Tales, Punk Noir Magazine!

K. A. Laity

Despite my dedicated devotion to idleness, I nevertheless manage to get some things done now and then (seldom what I am supposed to be getting done, of course). Today several spring into the ether at once and a few over the weekend.

At Punk Noir Magazine — which you should be reading it every day! — I’ve got a few things (click the image to read):

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And over at Tiny Tales I’ve got a short ‘Tell-Tale’ in the first episode:


And also I’ve got a brand new story up at Bristol Noir! ‘Pick Up’ is a Graham Wynd tale of twisted noir ambience.


You’d think that was enough to take the rest of the week off, but I also did a brief (very rough!) video for #BookTalk on Twitter, having been tagged a few times by Beau Johnson and finally getting around to it. I posted in on Instagram

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Tell-Tale is a Tiny Tale + #FNATB


My short ‘Tell-Tale’ which first appeared at Punk Noir Magazine is now a Tiny Tale, a new podcast that sees the return of Darren Sant reading stories for you — not soft bed time stories though, but dark crime fun! Check it out: it also includes a tale of Daz’s own as well as two by Frank Sonderborg and Andrew Briggs.

Check it out and spread the word.

Don’t forget: tonight is another round of #FahrenFriday #FNATB which features new video readings by Derek Farrell, A Den Bleyker and Cal Smyth. Subscribe to #FahrenNoirAtTheBar make sure you don’t miss a thing!

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Saturday Slice o’ Noir: Mini-Cab

From Peter Cook & Dudley Moore’s Behind the Fridge a sketch review from the 1970s . The title came from someone misunderstanding Beyond the Fringe, the revue that originally propelled these two, Jonathan Miller and Alan Bennett to stardom in the 1960s. I’ve always thought this little sketch encompassed all the menace of noir while remaining darkly hilarious.

#FahrenNoirAtTheBar Live!

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After a few technical hiccoughs #FahrenNoirAtTheBar is live with the first three videos. Check out Ian Ayris, Jo Perry, and Anthony Neil Smith reading from their Fahrenheit Press works. Favourite the channel so you won’t miss a thing!

THE GHOST IN YOU by Graham Wynd

Part 2 — with a link to Part 1.

Punk Noir Magazine

Read part 1 here.


It was their first ever encore. The others wouldn’t have paid attention but Frazer had been waiting for such a moment to come. Ego, yeah. So what? You had to have an ego to get out there every weekend and play to the punters who seldom care if you lived or died—actually, most of the time they’d preferred that you died so you would just shut up and they could fill the jukebox with coins and play Van Halen or Katy Perry over and over until their ears bled.

But not tonight. Tonight was magic and the crowd called for an encore. The crowd, the audience: not just Pam and Janet, the girl friends of Pike and Jones. The pair were always there, the gruesome twosome they called themselves. Sometimes more happy to chat to each other than to pay attention. Admittedly they heard…

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Out Soon: Man of the World – Paul D. Brazill

The latest boys from Brazill (I had to –)

K. A. Laity

Man of the WorldMAN OF THE WORLD
Paul D.Brazill

Out April 17 from All Due Respect Books but you can pre-order it now.

It’s always good news to hear that Mr B has a new book out. I even got my grubby mitts on an advanced copy so read ’em weep, folks — I already have! Read it, that is. The blurb:

Ageing hit-man Tommy Bennett left London and returned to his hometown of Seatown, hoping for respite from the ghosts of the violent past that haunted him. However, things don’t go to plan and trouble and violence soon follow Tommy to Seatown. Tommy is soon embroiled in Seatown’s underworld and his hopes of a peaceful retirement are dashed. Tommy deliberates whether or not to leave Seatown and return to London. Or even leave Great Britain altogether. So, he heads back to London where violence and mayhem await him.

I missed Seatown!…

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