• Cocktails,  Crime Fiction,  Theology

    Crime, Cocktails, Fiction and Scripture: blogs, links and sources on white-collar crime, cocktails, crime fiction and theology

    We have recently updated and supplemented our “Blogs | Links | Sources” page here.  It might be the most useful page on the site, with multiple links to writers and journalists dealing with White Collar Wire’s primary afflictions: white collar crime, cocktails, crime fiction and theology. Blogs|Links|Sources White Collar Generally Walt Pavlo  — excellent source of daily news and commentary.  Also, see his articles in Forbes. PonziTracker — by Jordan Maglich.  The source for all things Ponzi. DealBook — New York Times blog led by Andrew Ross Sorkin. White Collar Crime Prof Blog — thoughtful source edited by Ellen Podgor, with contributions by Solomon Wisenberg. White Collar Watch — by Peter…

  • Cocktails,  Crime Fiction,  Poetry,  Style and Grammar

    Okay, So It’s A Lurid Book Cover: Summer Weekend Cocktails, Dylan Thomas on YouTube, Good Writing and Great Music

    Our notes for Friday, beginning with cocktails; moving through literature; ending with music. Brown Whisky Is Not Just For Winter.  From the New York Times, some summer drinks using brown booze. And Old-Fashioneds Aren’t Always Dark.  From Gastronomista, a tequila old-fashioned that actually sounds good. Go Scandinavian.  As long as we’re discussing traditional cocktails with non-traditional spirits, I might try an aquavit Manhattan (if I can find some aquavit) (from Saveur.com). Movie Booze.  For movie buffs, from Liquor.com, a list of The 6 Most Influential Drink Orders of All Time. There’s Always Time For Good Writing.  Some superior prose passages from “After Deadline.” Welsh Poetry Is Good For You.  From the…

  • Cocktails,  Crime Fiction

    Cocktails and Crime: Martini Quiz, Vermouth Ratios, Posner v. Holmes, New Gins and Crime Conventioneers

    As is customary on Friday, a few White Collar Wire notes on cocktails and crime fiction. June 19 was “World Martini Day.”  Seriously.  The London Telegraph posted a martini quiz.  How deep is your see-through knowledge?  Here is the first question: Q.1 The martini, a mix of gin and vermouth with a lemon twist or olive, is one of our most famous cocktails, but its history is cloudy. Which one of these is not a legend about its origin? It is a descendent of an earlier drink called the Martinez, which was invented in the Californian town of the same name in the 19th century It was a created in a…

  • Crime Fiction

    The Rap Sheet, True Crime and White Collar Wire

    We are honored to be added as a “True Crime” blog by The Rap Sheet, one of the world’s leading crime-fiction blogs: Since it spun off from January Magazine to become a separate blog in May 2006, The Rap Sheet has earned its reputation as an essential resource for readers seeking information about what’s new and interesting in the world of crime fiction. It covers crime, mystery, and thriller fiction both recent and vintage, appearing in all media–print as well as broadcast. Edited and written mostly by J. Kingston Pierce, the site has been nominated twice for Anthony Awards, and in 2009 it won the Spinetingler Award for Special Services to…

  • Crime Fiction,  Poetry

    A Poem Fit For White-Collar Crime: In the City of Night

    A poem, In the City of Night, by John Gould Fletcher, that’s fit for white-collar crime: In the City of Night by John Gould Fletcher (To the Memory of Edgar Allan Poe) City of night, Wrap me in your folds of shadow. City of twilight, City that projects into the west, City whose columns rest upon the sunset, city of square, threatening masses blocking out the light: City of twilight, Wrap me in your folds of shadow. City of midnight, city that the full moon overflows, city where the cats prowl and the closed iron dust-carts go rattling through the shadows: City of midnight, Wrap me in your folds of…

  • Cocktails,  Crime Fiction,  Theology

    Red Harvest: Crime Fiction and Gospel Conviction

    Pop culture and theology mix fruitfully in pulp-crime fiction. Here’s a four-part course from 2012: Red Harvest: Crime Fiction and Gospel Conviction          . Here’s the blurb that went with the class: Crime fiction, in its varied forms, both illuminates and counterpoints the Gospel.  Crime fiction correctly presents and analyzes the sinful human condition, even where its conclusions are horribly wrong.  And, in crime fiction as nowhere else, the law is most definitely the Law: God did not get after Cain for shoplifting. So: four classes’ worth of dark human hearts and blazing Gospel light, interspersed with mayhem, Augustine, detectives, 1930s pulp novels and the overlooked theological punch from the opening line of The Postman Always Rings…

  • Compliance,  Crime Fiction,  Theology

    Criminals In Ties: Contract Law and Reservoir Dogs

    The interplay between law — especially criminal law — and theology is more subterranean and nuanced than many give it credit for.  The same is true of civil law, as here:  Contract Law and Reservoir Dogs A contract is an exchange of promises: “I promise to do x if you promise to do y.”  Each party must undertake an obligation—called “consideration”—for the contract to be binding.  A simple unilateral promise with no consideration (“I will give you my car on Monday”) is not usually binding.  These law-rules about obligations in our daily lives provide a contrast to the covenant that the Lord makes with David and to the way that…

  • Cocktails,  Crime Fiction,  Organized Crime

    St. Valentine’s Day Massacre and the Cocktails That Go With It

    We avoid sentimentality, but the culture is awash in it on Valentine’s Day.  This “holiday” is not traditionally associated with business crime, but we will do our best.  The day is sometimes associated with alcohol, and this year happens to fall on a Friday.  We acquit ourselves well in this latter regard. Here’s a story about the February 14, 1929 slaughter from the Chicago Tribune:  the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre: On this frigid morning, in an unheated brick garage at 2122 N. Clark St., seven men were lined up against a whitewashed wall and pumped with 90 bullets from submachine guns, shotguns and a revolver. It was the most infamous…

  • Crime Fiction,  Theology

    John D. MacDonald and King Saul

    We worked John D. MacDonald’s private eye, Travis McGee, into this discussion of King Saul and the young David:  Spare the King and Seize the Spareribs.  I most recently read The Quick Red Fox, which I was thinking about for the Saul and David post. MacDonald had fine PI prose: “We were about to give up and call it a night when somebody threw the girl off the bridge” (Darker Than Amber (1966)).  

  • Crime Fiction,  Theology

    George V. Higgins and the Archeology of White-Collar Crime

    In popular culture, business-crime is presented cartoon-fashion. In movies, on television or in novels, businesspeople who are corporate targets of government investigations come across as Snidely Whiplashes with French cuffs.  This practice is predictable, its results boring.  Not so with the work of the late Boston-based novelist and one-time Assistant United States Attorney George V. Higgins (1939 – 1999).   From the George V. Higgins Collection at the University of South Carolina: George V. Higgins (1939-1999) succeeded in nine distinct careers, all of which are documented in his archive.  Armed with two English degrees and a law degree, Higgins became a journalist for the Associated Press, The Boston Globe and The Wall Street Journal,…