• Cocktails,  Crime Fiction,  Music

    Cocktail Codex, Summertime Crime

    Readers, writers, and drinkers are irretrievably linked. “I’m an occasional drinker, the kind of guy who goes out for a beer and wakes up in Singapore with a full beard.” ―Raymond Chandler Barry Day, ed., The World of Raymond Chandler: In His Own Words (2015) Books about cocktails, on the other hand, are often unhelpful. Where they are practical, they lack insight. The best I have come across in a long time is The Cocktail Codex, by the folks at Death and Company: “‘There are only six cocktails.’ So say Alex Day, Nick Fauchald, and David Kaplan, the visionaries behind the seminal craft cocktail bar Death & Co. In Cocktail…

  • Cocktails,  Crime Fiction,  Music

    Spring Break Meditation

    It is the end of Spring Break, at least where I write. The end of the week always puts one in mind of the spring-breaker classic “Where The Boys Are” (1960). Here, after everyone else has left the beach and gone back to school, Merritt (Delores Hart) ponders love with Brown senior Ryder (George Hamilton): Crime Fiction To keep you current, here is a “Revue of Reviewers” from Rap Sheet, as well as recent reviews from the Irish Times, the Guardian and Crime Fiction Lover. Music An updated “White Collar Wire” is out on Spotify. New this week are Liily, The White Buffalo, Johannes Brahms, The Allman Brothers, Black Sabbath,…

  • Christmas,  Cocktails,  Crime Fiction

    2018 Crime Fiction, Booze and Music

    A Christmas roundup of crime fiction, booze and music. BOOKS.  A little late for Christmas, but why give them away?  Read them yourself. From The Rap Sheet, edited and written mostly by J. Kingston Pierce, some 2018 favorites: Part I here  and Part II here.  And even a few more lists here. From Vulture, here are The 10 Best Crime Books of 2018 Opium smugglers, mad scientists, Instagram socialites, and serial killers fictional and real. Then, Crimereads gives us . . . From across the water, the Telegraph lays out The best thrillers and crime fiction of 2018, and the Irish Times lists The best crime fiction of 2018. A few of…

  • Books,  Cocktails,  Crime Fiction,  jazz

    Southern Comfort, Niall Ferguson and Peter Gunn

    Cocktails, books, jazz, and crime. COCKTAILS Crude and low-fi, one’s early-life alcohol memories resonate, but they do so uneasily in our era of craft beers and hyper-precious cocktails. I spent the first semester of my junior year in high school at a lycee in Clermont-Ferrand, France, a city in Auvergne known primarily as the global headquarters of Michelin.  A classmate and I broke into his father’s liquor cabinet and downed half a bottle of a dreadful eau-de-vie.  I barely made it back to the home of my host family, doubtless thinking I was some combination of Albert Camus and Jacques Brel. But one flavor from those early years, once I…

  • Cocktails,  Crime Fiction,  Music

    New Year’s Day: Reflection, Not Resolution

    Reflection without discipline can be self-indulgent, especially as the year draws to a close and a new one opens before us. So, let us impose discipline; avoid white-collar crime (there will be plenty in 2018); and focus on music, booze and books. First, music is especially appropriate at this season, whether for reflection or not.  Here is the Miles Black Quintet, Jazz For The New Year: As jazz critic for the Wall Street Journal (and JazzWax blogger) Marc Myers notes: Sixty-three years ago, on New Year’s Day in 1955, pianist Teddy Wilson, bassist Milt Hinton and drummer Jo Jones went into a studio for Norgran Records and recorded The Creative…

  • Cocktails,  Crime Fiction

    Lauren Bacall and The Big Sleep: Film Noir Cool, White Collar Crime, Cocktail Cold

    To the extent that it reflected crime, Lauren Bacall’s work was noir, not white-collar; black, not white; guns, not accounting fraud.  Yet, there was an elegance and a fierceness about her films – especially those with Humphrey Bogart – that are familiar to those who work in a white-collar crime landscape. David Brooks, writing in the New York Times, reflects on The Bacall Standard.  In particular: [Raymond] Chandler was not particularly kind to women, though. It was up to the director Howard Hawks and his star, Lauren Bacall — who died this week — to give that era a counterpart female ideal, a hero both tough and tender, urbane and fast-talking,…

  • Crime Fiction,  Film,  Privilege,  Trials, Judges and Jurors

    White-Collar Motive, Gun Crazy Movie

    In 1950, producers Frank and Maurice King released Gun Crazy, a sometimes surreal Bonnie-and-Clyde story with an introverted, pacifist gun lover (Barton Tare, played by John Dall) and an English femme fatale sharpshooter  (Annie Laurie Starr, played by Peggy Cummins).  Carried forward by his lust for and fascination with Annie, the non-violent Bart — without thinking or planning — becomes a robber and, eventually, an accessory to murder. A classic American film noir, Gun Crazy has merited a book (Eddie Mueller’s Gun Crazy: The Origin of American Outlaw Cinema) and much commentary by film buffs.  It also gives us insight into a common question in white-collar cases: “Why did he [or she, but usually…

  • Crime Fiction,  Deferred Prosecution Agreements,  Grand Jury,  Lawyers,  Poetry,  SEC,  Style and Grammar

    The Freedom of Little Joe Cartwright: Tax Crime, Edgar Allan Poe, Noir Film and Lacrosse

    Notes for the week. Prosecuting Individuals Federal criminal tax lawyer Jack Townsend blogs at Federal Tax Crimes.  Here is his note on Prosecuting Corporate Employees, particularly in the tax context: I have previously blogged on Professor Brandon Garrett (UVA Law) who have carved out an academic niche on how the Government deals with corporate crime, particularly large corporate crime (the too big to jail group). See e.g., Judge Jed Rakoff Reviews Brandon Garrett’s Book on Too Big to Jail: How Prosecutors Compromise with Corporations (Federal Tax Crimes Blog 2/10/15), here. At the risk of oversimplifying his arguments, I summarize them in part relevant to this blog entry: When the Government goes…

  • Cocktails,  Crime Fiction,  Theology

    White (Collar) Christmas: Gin, Crime, Theology and the Rat Pack

      The hour is upon us, so herewith a few Christmas items. Cocktails Here from the archives is a recipe (via Garden & Gun magazine) for Milk Punch for Christmas Morning and a new recipe for An Old Old-Fashioned   . From our friends at the Gin Monkey blog, a gin drinker’s gift list and from Gastronomista, a recipe for Jagermeister and Rye.  Yikes.       Crime From J. Kingston Pierce of The Rap Sheet, here are 10 of The Most Arresting Crime Novels of 2015. Marilyn Stasio, crime fiction reviewer for the New York Times, sets out her 2015 favorites in Death Takes No Holiday   . Theology From David Zahl at Mockingbird, Consuming 2015:…

  • Crime Fiction,  Social Media

    White Collar Wire Now on Facebook and Tumblr

      With some trepidation, we finally took the plunge and established a White Collar Wire page on Facebook. Please go over there and “like” it, “friend” it and otherwise approve us.  I promise it will contain no vacation photos, nor my childrens’ witticisms nor Vine renditions of athletic events.           Even better, visually, is that White Collar Wire is now on Tumblr as well.           Finally, for sound business-crime weekend reading on either platform, you cannot do better than Smash Detective-Cases: