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John Knoerle's Blog

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Dec.04.2013
A Pure Double Cross
  Best words of wisdom: “The secret of life is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill Runner-up: “You can’t ride two horses with one behind.” – Woody Allen Honorable mention: “Only by ignoring the obvious can true happiness be achieved...
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Nov.20.2013
Sunset Blvd.
I have always been a movie nut, especially Golden Age of Hollywood stuff. Back before DVDs and Turner Classic Movies the only way to get copies of the classics was to videotape them off the Midnight Matinee on Channel 13. I painstakingly acquired an enormous collection but made a crucial mistake. I...
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Jun.15.2013
"Murder My Sweet"
“Murder My Sweet” – 1944. Directed by Edward Dmytryk, script by John Paxton, based on the novel “Farewell My Lovely” by Raymond Chandler. Stars Dick Powell, Claire Trevor and Anne Shirley. Not sure why I love this flick so much. It doesn’t have the emotional depth of “Out of the Past”, and “Double...
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Jun.10.2013
The author at work
The Kindness of Strangers   As a hard-charging author of masculine fiction it pains me to admit that I share the fate of that frail flower of Southern womanhood, Blanche DuBois. Yes, “I have always relied on the kindness of strangers.” That can be a thin reed to lean on, as Blanche would tell...
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May.29.2013
Walter and Phyllis
10- “They threw me off the hay truck about noon.” - opening line of James M. Cain’s novel “The Postman Always Rings Twice” 9 – “You’ll always be a two-bit cannon, and when they pick you up in the gutter, dead, your hand’ll be in a drunk’s pocket.” - Murvyn Vye, in the film “Pickup on South Street...
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May.16.2013
Raymond Chandler
Eight great lines from the Poet Laureate of hardboiled fiction, Raymond Chandler.     I’m an occasional drinker, the kind of guy who goes out for a beer and wakes up in Singapore with a full beard. - The King in Yellow I felt lousy. I felt like an amputated leg. - Trouble is My Business...
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May.01.2013
"The Proxy Assassin"
Here are my five fave passages from “The Proxy Assassin,” Book Three of the American Spy Trilogy. Former OSS spy Hal Schroeder has been recruited by CIA covert ops chief Frank Wisner to parachute into Transylvania and liaise with anti-Communist insurgents… It’s November 1948 and I have somehow...
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Apr.26.2013
"The He-Man Woman Hater's Club"
  The first time I visited Hollywood was 1965. I was sixteen and my parents were keen to show me and my three younger sibs ‘The Beckoning El Dorado.’  I had been weaned on my mother’s stories of her maiden voyage down the palm-lined streets in the early 40s – lunch at the Brown Derby, a...
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Apr.17.2013
"A Despicable Profession"
My five fave passages from “A Despicable Profession,” Book Two of the American Spy Trilogy. It’s 1946 and former OSS agent Hal Schroeder has been lured to Berlin by his former boss, General Wild Bill Donovan, to work for something called Global Commerce LTD…   I had never flown on a commercial...
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Apr.12.2013
"A Pure Double Cross"
My three fave passages from “A Pure Double Cross,” Book One of the American Spy Trilogy. Cynical OSS agent Hal Schroeder returns from behind-German-lines WWII service to be recruited for a sting operation by the FBI…   I thought all G-men were jut-jawed tough guys who ate nails and pissed...
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Apr.08.2013
"The Violin Player" is the story of a wealthy Chicago trader, Walt Sumner, whose idyllic family life is shattered by a phantom stalker. It is my one-and-only attempt to write a mainstream best seller. The book won the Mayhaven Award for Fiction ten years ago.   Let’s not mince words, shall we...
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Apr.05.2013
"Crytsal Meth Cowboys"
I’ve had fun compiling favorite lines from hardboiled fiction and the films noir. People seem to enjoy the effort. So I says to myself, hey, do some compiling of yer own stuff, dumbo. I’ll throw together three fave lines or brief scenes from each of my first two books, then conclude next week with...
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Apr.02.2013
"Nightmare Alley"
I would like to add one final flick to my week-long list of lesser known noir gems… “Nightmare Alley” – (1947) Starring Tyrone Power and Joan Blondell. I can think of no finer example of film noir’s undergirding premise – fate has got you in the crosshairs – than this tale of a young carny huckster...
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Apr.01.2013
"The Big Combo"
Just about every film buff and mystery fan knows the classic films noir - “The Big Sleep”, “Murder My Sweet”, “Out of the Past”, “Sunset Boulevard”, “The Postman Always Rings Twice” and “Double Indemnity.” But here are a few not-quite-so-famous noirs that are also worth a look. (I’ll be posting one...
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Mar.30.2013
"I Wake Up Screaming"
Just about every film buff and mystery fan knows the classic films noir - “The Big Sleep”, “Murder My Sweet”, “Out of the Past”, “Sunset Boulevard”, “The Postman Always Rings Twice” and “Double Indemnity.” But here are a few not-quite-so-famous noirs that are also worth a look. (I’ll be posting one...
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