The cover of the 2006 anthology Damn Near Dead: Old, Bold and Uncontrolled featured a silver-haired, balding hero shielding a buxom young blond from something sinister. Its sequel, Damn Near Dead 2: Live Noir or Die Trying, shows a gun-wielding senior citizen in a slouchy green cardigan, his arm around a frightened lass in a spotted dress. Who knew that "geezer noir" would catch on? It has, and to explain the phenomenon, Damn Near Dead 2 editor Bill Crider will appear today at Murder by the Book, presenting the collection of original stories by such well-known authors as Ace Atkins, Neal Barrett Jr., Christa Faust, Carolyn Haines, David Handler, Jennifer Jordan and others. Crider is a remarkably prolific writer himself: His books include the Sheriff Dan Rhodes series, a private-eye series set on Galveston Island, a few children's books and a couple of Westerns, but today is all about some spry senior citizens saving the day, solving mysteries and, yes, sometimes snagging a younger gal. 6:30 p.m. 2342 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-524-8597 or visit www.murderbooks.com. Free.
Thu., Dec. 16, 6:30 p.m., 2010