Tuesday, February 26, 2008

How To Make the List

I'm finishing proofreading an upcoming two-in-one edition of A Shot in the Dark and Shell Game for Stark House Press. The books were written by Richard Powell, whose book Say It With Bullets was reprinted last year by Hard Case Crime. Sadly, Mr. Powell passed away in 1999 and couldn't be around to see some of his works rediscovered.

Anyway, in the course of proofing the books, sometimes my brain gets so filled with things I feel the need to look up some fairly obvious things. Sometimes I use my Oxford Compact dictionary, and of course the internet. This morning I used Google to make sure that "boyfriend" is a legitimate compound word. Yes, of course it is, but you proofread a bunch of books and see what happens to you...

So I typed in "define: boyfriend" in Google's search bar and put my ruffled mind at ease. At the top of the page was a section titled "Related phrases" and lists, in this order: 'my boyfriend is type b,' 'helga's boyfriend,' and 'kill your boyfriend.'

Holy crap! People search for this? What happens when the FBI seizes their computers and check out their caches? And can't a girl figure out a good way to do the deed by herself? Even if she needs Google's help, you'd think she'd be more subtle about it and search for say, 'murders disguised as accidents' or that kind of thing.

But then again, if you're using the public internet and Googling ways to commit a capital crime, you just may not be the sharpest bulb in the tool chest.

Unaware of the specific boundaries of the Patriot Act, I steeled my nerves and clicked on the link. Yes, you guessed it, turns out that "Kill Your Boyfriend" is a comic book. So I was relieved, until I thought: a girl needs a comic book to figure out how to kill her lover?

I'm running around in circles here. I need to clear my head. I think I'll get back to the lighthearted, happy stories from Stark House and Hard Case Crime. Hardboiled and noir? Forget about it. Just don't leave them out for your girlfriend to find.


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