Saturday, October 11, 2008

ED HARRIS ON APPOLOOSA!

ED HARRIS ON APPALOOSA!

A RECENT CINEMA RETRO POST POINTS TO AN CNN.COM ARTICLE IN WHICH ED HARRIS TALKS ABOUT THE MAKING OF APPOLOOSA…

Ed Harris took Old West self-sufficiency to heart with his latest film.

Ed Harris did a number of tasks in putting together his latest film, "Appaloosa."

First, Harris secured the rights to Robert B. Parker's Western novel "Appaloosa" and pitched it to buddy Viggo Mortensen, who agreed to co-star with him in the saga of two upright pals aiming to clean up a lawless town.

Then Harris co-wrote the screenplay, produced and directed the film and put in 10-hour days to help edit it.

Harris even followed the singing-cowboy trail, co-writing and crooning a rootsy song for the end credits.

Appropriately, Harris was on a horseback-riding trip with his family in Ireland in 2005 when he read Parker's book. Harris said he had read some of Parker's "Spenser" mysteries and picked up "Appaloosa" because it "had a cool cover and looked like a neat book.

"Then I just started reading this thing and was totally delighted with the relationship between these two guys," Harris said in an interview at the Toronto International Film Festival, where "Appaloosa" premiered.

"I read the first couple scenes, literally, probably read 35 pages of the book or less and called my agent and said, `Find out if this is available,' because it just tickled me."

TO READ THE COMPLETE ARTICLE CLICK HERE

BIZARRO: IF CATS HAD OPPOSABLE THUMBS!

'NUFF SAID!

MITZI GAYNOR: RAZZLE DAZZLE! THE SPECIAL YEARS!

MITZI GAYNOR: RAZZLE DAZZLE! THE SPECIAL YEARS!

I honor of the 50th anniversary of her blockbuster film, Rodgers and Hammerstein's SOUTH PACIFIC and the 40th anniversary of her first televised special, MITZI GAYNOR: RAZZLE DAZZLE! THE SPECIAL YEARS is an all new documentary that captures the creative excellence, the brilliant fusion of song and dance, the glamorous Bob Mackie costumes and the non-stop excitement that were the hallmark of her glittering annual television events.

Experience the groundbreaking Emmy-winning performances, unseen for three decades, choreographed by some of the most influenctial forces in the world of theatrical and motion picture dance: Peter Gennaro, Danny Daniels, Robert Sidney, and Tony Charmoli. Including newly taped interviews with Miss Gaynor, Bob Mackie, Kristin Chenoweth, Carl Reiner, Kelli O'Hara, Rex Reed and rare photos and footage from Gaynor's personal archive that illuminate the behind-the-scenes stories and impact of her landmark television events.
City Lights Home Entertainment in association with Green Isle, Inc. presents “Mitzi Gaynor – Razzle Dazzle! The Special Years,” a new documentary encompassing the ultimate collection of song and dance performances from Gaynor’s classic network TV specials unseen for three decades.

Available 11/18/08, “Mitzi Gaynor – Razzle Dazzle! The Special Years” (featuring new interviews with Mitzi, Bob Mackie, Kristin Chenoweth, Carl Reiner & more) provides an entertaining glimpse into TV variety at its zenith and takes a nostalgic trip thru Gaynor’s special TV years in a look at the groundbreaking performances, extraordinary costumes and triple threat talent of Mitzi Gaynor in a wealth of digitally remastered clips.

Friday, October 10, 2008

KILLER ICE BULLETS!

KILLER ICE BULLETS!

If your killer drink needs something a little extra, how about ice cubes shaped like frozen AK-47 bullets?

For $13.25 plus shipping you too can create ice cubes that look like AK-47 rounds.

TO ORDER FROM FIND ME A GIFT CLICK HERE

Props to BOING BOING GADGETS

77 SUNSET STRIP!

77 SUNSET STRIP!

THE RAP SHEET HAS A COOL PIECE ON THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF 77 SUNSET STRIP...

Today marks 50 years since the debut of ABC’s 77 Sunset Strip, heralded as the first hour-long private-eye show on American television. That 1958-1964 series was cooked up by Roy Huggins--who would later give us The Fugitive, The Rockford Files, and Baretta--and featured Stuart Bailey (played on the show by Efrem Zimbalist Jr.), a Chandleresque character in Los Angeles who’d appeared in one novel (1946’s The Double Take, later made into the 1948 film I Love Trouble), as well as several short stories by Huggins. Also integral to the series was P.I. Jeff Spencer (Roger Smith), a trained attorney and, like Bailey, a former government agent.

“They worked out of swank digs at 77 Sunset Strip, next door to Dino’s Restaurant, where French secretary Suzanne [Fabray, played by Jacqueline Beer] handled the phones,” explains Kevin Burton Smith in The Thrilling Detective Web Site. “Hanging around for comic relief were racetrack tout Roscoe [Louis Quinn], and hair-combing, Dino parking lot attendant and beatnik P.I. wanna-be Kookie [Edd Byrnes]. Comb sales soared. So much for Huggins’ hopes for a straight P.I. series. Hard-boiled drama was out and gimmicks were in.” So, too, was humor, often of the self-deprecating sort.

TO READ THE COMPLETE POST CLICK HERE
ROBERT E. HOWARD – FRIDAY QUOTE!

From The Blue Flame of Vengeance:

Silence lay like a white shroud over all. Kane wrenched his dirk clear and a trickle of seeping blood followed sluggishly, then ceased. The Puritan mechanically swished the blade through the air to shake off the red drops which clung to the steel, and as it flashed in the lanthorn light, it seemed to Jack Hollinster to glitter like a blue flame--a flame which had been quenched in scarlet.

REH wrote a story titled The Blue Flame of Vengeance featuring Solomon Kane, however, it was not sold during his lifetime. He later rewrote the story changing the hero's name to Malachi Grim and the title to Blades of the Brotherhood. This story was also not published during his lifetime.

There has been much confusion for REH purists caused by the redrafting of this story coupled with an unsold Conan story (The Black Stranger) redrafted as a pirate adventure (also unsold) featuring Black Terence Vulmea re-titled Swords of the Red Brotherhood.

PROPS TO HEMINGWAY'S LOUNGE!

PROPS TO HEMINGWAY’S LOUNGE!

One of my favorite blogs for news of the cool is Notes From Hemingway’s Loungein which a writer waxes poetic from his favorite room in the house, nicknamed Hemingway’s Lounge – hit its 500th post today!

Congratulations and keep up the cool work!

TO CHECK OUT THE COOLNESS CLICK HERE

THE SEVEN DEGREES OF BOND!

THE SEVEN DEGREES OF BOND!

VIDEO HOUND HAS A NICE PIECE TODAY ON ALL THE FILMS THE JAMES BOND FRANCHISE HAS INFLUENCED.

We realize that Bond, James Bond wasn't the first spy in the history of fiction - heck, James Fenimore Cooper's novel The Spy came out in 1821 - however, Commander Bond still remains at as the reigning alpha super-spy of the modern world. Yes, we're aware of the works of John le Carré and Robert Ludlum, but NONE of their creations have had the same pop culture impact as Ian Fleming's James Bond. And that impact is nowhere felt greater than in the world of movies. You won't see many people reading a Fleming Bond novel in an airport waiting lounge, but EVERYONE and their mother has seen a James Bond movie, and 99% of the world uses Bond as their go-to mental image of everything that a superspy should be.

With Quantum of Solace, the much-anticipated follow-up to Casino Royale, hitting theatres on November 14, it's gotten us thinking about how so, SO many spy movies have derived the majority of their style and premise from James Bond's iconic image. We've broken the bevy of Bond imitators into 7 categories (a good number for 007) to show much pervasive Bond's influence has been in the movie world, forever proving that nobody does it better.

TO READ THE COMPLETE ARTICLE CLICK HERE

A tip of the fedora to HEMINGWAY’S LOUNGE

FOREST WHITAKER TO TAKE ON LOUIS ARMSTRONG BIO!

FOREST WHITAKER TO TAKE ON LOUIS ARMSTRONG BIO!

HEMINGWAY'S LOUNGE tips us to a Varitey article breaking the news Forest Whitaker, who has already done the difinative portrayal of jazzman Charlie ‘Bird’ Parker, will direct and star in the Louis Armstrong biopic What a Wonderful World.

Scribe Ron Bass will write and executive produce the project alongside Oscar Cohen who is granting the filmmakers exclusive access to his personal accounts as Armstrong's road manager in the late '40s.

The flick, which is the first to be authorized by Armstrong’s estate, will take on the the musician's impoverished early years in New Orleans and primarily center on his career as a trumpet virtuoso and improvisational singer. Like our blog buddy at Hemingway’s Lounge, I’m stoked!

Shooting begins next summer in Louisiana.

FRIDAY BRITISH COMIC - SKID SOLO!





FRIDAY BRITISH COMIC - SKID SOLO!

HERE'S A STORY FROM THE JULY 4TH 1964 ISSUE OF THE BRITISH BOY'S COMIC HURRICANE!

CLICK ON EACH PICTURE TO ENLARGE.

JONNY BLU NEW CD – IN A GROOVE!

JONNY BLU NEW CD – IN A GROOVE!

IN A GROOVE AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD NOW ON ITUNES AND AT AMAZON.COM!

You asked for it and now you got it!

In A Groove, the second, long awaited release from Jonny Blu, includes his new swingin' tune Sweet Lovin’ In the Afternoon and Jonny's big band remake of the Burt Bacharach classic Always Something There.

The title track, In A Groove, is a chillin', bluesy JB original which features the legendary guitarist, John Chiodini. And in celebration of Jonny's recent release of his first full-length album In Just That Kind of a Mood in Eastern Europe, Jonny is including the re-edited, re-mastered Groove Versions of his soon-to-be classics, Smilin' Eyes and Ooh-Wee.

Also, featured are solos by Bob Malone on the piano and Doug Webb on the saxaphone!

TO VISIT JONNY'S WEBSITE CLICK HERE

FORGOTTEN BOOKS: HAZELL AND THE THREE-CARD TRICK BY P. B. YUILL!

FORGOTTEN BOOKS: HAZELL AND THE THREE-CARD TRICK BY P. B. YUILL!

P. B. Yuill was the joint pseudonym of Terry Venables and Gordon M. Williams. Venables was a top flight professional soccer player/manager who met freelance writer Williams when they collaborated on the soccer novel, They Used Play On Grass.

To avoid the same kind of quirky publicity their unlikely pairing garnered for that first novel (who knows why) they decided to use a pseudonym when writing a series of hardboiled private eye novels. They chose the moniker P.B. Yuill because they both had an uncle by that name.

The three books in the Hazell series (Hazell Plays Solomon, Hazell and the Three Card Trick, and Hazell and the Menacing Jester) feature wise-cracking Cockney private eye James Hazell who successfully picked himself up after being kicked off the police force for turning to drink when his marriage broke up.

The novels spawned the two season (1978–1980) Thames Television series ‘Hazell,’ noted mostly for Hazell’s portrayal by British actor Nicholas Ball – who played a younger version of Hazell than the books portrayed.

In Hazell and the Three Card Trick, Hazell, who introduces himself as ‘the biggest bastard who ever pushed your bell-button,’ is engaged by a widow to prove her late husband was a murder victim and not a suicide. This old plot chestnut is enlivened by Hazell’s discovering the solution to the mystery lies with a group of small-time con men who work the three card trick on the streets of London.

All three Hazell stories are lightweight, but enjoyable – as was the television series it spawned – with the character a slightly tarnished East End version of Raymond Chandler's immortal detective Philip Marlowe.

But while Hazell also spawned British comic strips and comic annuals, the most fascinating spin off from the series was a non-fiction book by Manuel Alvarado and Edward Buscombe – Hazell: The Making of a Television Series, which took a fascinating and early look at how a series of books gets translated to the television medium.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

LIFE ON MARS CHANNELS THE SPIRIT OF THE '70S!

LIFE ON MARS CHANNELS THE SPIRIT OF THE '70S (AND THE BBC ORIGINAL)!

ZAP2IT HAS A NICE REVIEW AND INTERVIEWS WITH THE CAST AND CREW OF THE AMERICAN VERSION OF LIFE ON MARS SET TO PREMIER THURSDAY NIGHT.

If you're going to remake a show that was a big hit in another country and has a cult following in this one, it probably helps to have fans of the original at the helm.

That's what ABC got when it hired the team of Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec and Scott Rosenberg to take the reins of its new show Life on Mars. Based on the BBC hit about a present-day cop named Sam Tyler (Jason O'Mara) who gets hit by a car and wakes up in 1973, the series premieres Thursday night after taking a long and winding road to the air.

Appelbaum, Nemec and Rosenberg -- who all worked together on ABC's October Road -- came aboard the show after David E. Kelley (Boston Legal), who owned rights to the show wrote a pilot script set in Los Angeles, agreed to step aside. The new showrunners then recast every regular role except O'Mara's and moved the show from L.A. to New York. But through all the changes, Appelbaum says, they kept the vision of the BBC show in mind.

"The only thing we set out to do was to honor the spirit of that show, which was really extraordinary," Appelbaum says. "... We're doing the U.S. version -- what speaks to the 1973 cop show? I don't know what's more evocative than 1973 New York."

TO READ THE FULL REVIEW CLICK HERE

LLOYD THAXTON, R.I.P.

LLOYD THAXTON, R.I.P.

I REMEMBER WATCHING LLOYD THAXTON’S HOP EVERY DAY AFTER SCHOOL FOR YEARS. BY ALL ACCOUNTS HE WAS A VERY COOL GUY. EMMY WINNING COMEDY WRITER KEN LEVIN, A FRIEND OF THAXTON’S, BLOGGED TODAY ABOUT HIS PASSING.

Lloyd Thaxton just passed away. He was 81. He was a dear friend. I know some of this is taken from a recent post but I wanted to expand on it and give you a better picture of this extraordinary man and creative visionary.


For every teenager growing up in Los Angeles in the 60s, THE LLOYD THAXTON SHOW was appointment television. Each afternoon from 5-6 Lloyd Thaxton hosted a live dance party show on KCOP, channel 13. If his budget was more than $4.95 a show I’d be shocked.

His set consisted of four panels (probably cardboard) with musical notes drawn on them. Kids from local high schools were invited to dance on a soundstage the size of an elevator. He won his time slot daily, trouncing the competing news broadcasts.What made the show special was Lloyd Thaxton.

Most shows like this were hosted by disc jockeys. They were content to just introduce the records and step aside while the kids did the Twist, Jerk, Fly, Popeye, Monkey, Frug, Mash Potato, Locomotion, and whatever other inane dance was the rage that minute. Lloyd was the first to realize “this was TELEVISION”, you had to do something VISUAL. So he would find ways to comically present the songs, even with his paltry budget. This elf-looking redhead would lip sync, mime playing instruments, use finger puppets, don wigs, do duets with rubber masks, cut out the lips on an album cover and substitute his own – anything to make the songs fun.

In many ways, Lloyd Thaxton was a local version of Ernie Kovacs, finding innovative new ways to use the new medium. For the most part he invented music videos. The only difference is music videos these days are all ambitious elaborate productions. Back then we were quite content to watch a guy sing into his hand.

TO READ THE REST OF LEVIN’S POST CLICK HERE

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

GASLIGHT GRIMOIRE: FANTASTIC TALES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES!

GASLIGHT GRIMOIRE: FANTASTIC TALES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES!

Edited by Jeff Campbell and Charles Prepolec

The fabled tin dispatch box of Dr. John H. Watson opens to reveal 11 all new tales of mystery and dark fantasy. Sherlock Holmes, master of deductive reasoning, confronts the irrational, the unexpected and the fantastic in the weird worlds of the Gaslight Grimoire.

Contributors include Barbara Hambly, Christopher Sequeira, Barbara Roden, M. J. Elliott, Martin Powell, Chico Kidd and Rick Kennett.


TO CHECK OUT THE AMAZON LISTING CLICK HERE

CHRISTMAS IS GONNA ROCK!

CHRISTMAS IS GONNA ROCK!

THE BRIAN SETZER ORCHESTRA – THE ULTIMATE CHRISTMAS COLLECTION!

Surfdog Records presents the Ultimate Brian Setzer Orchestra Holiday package. We've combined the brand new Best Of collection (featuring the previously unreleased "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town", AND the full length BSO Christmas Extravaganza! DVD filmed in December 2004 at L.A.s sold out Universal Amphitheatre. It's a full 1 hour 40 minute show, with added backstage footage and behind the scenes work with Brian and crew. This is the same concert film that was broadcast on PBS stations during the 2006 fundraising drive (in an edited form).

TO PURCHASE THE ULTIMATE CHRISTMAS COLLECTION DVD+CD
CLICK HERE

CHRISTMAS ROCKS! - THE BEST OF COLLECTION!

The Brian Setzer Orchestra has established a new standard by which holiday albums are judged. They struck a major chord with audiences everywhere and catapulted the super-charged 18 piece Big Band into a Christmas franchise via their annual sold out holiday tour.Surfdog Records is proud to announce the release of Christmas Rocks: The Best Of Collection, an amazing combination of the very best tracks from the two holiday releases, paired with the previously unreleased "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town", PLUS two seasonal selections from his 2007 masterpiece Wolfgang's Big Night Out.

TO PURCHASE CHRISTMAS ROCKS! - THE BEST OF COLLECTION CD
CLICK HERE

TO PURCHASE AT Itunes CLICK HERE

OUTRAGE!

OUTRAGED LEHMAN BROS.
EMPLOYEES STAGE
A PROTEST BY BLOCKADING
THE ENTRANCE TO THE
BANK'S HEADQUARTERS ....

NIGHT STORIES!

NIGHT STORIES!

Theatre 68 presents Night Stories, a comedy about the suspense radio serials of the 1950s. Set in an era when families would gather together to listen to chilling tales on the radio, the play takes viewers behind the scenes of three broadcasts, with hilarious results.

Theatre 68
October 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, 19, 2008
5419 Sunset Blvd
Suite D
Hollywood, CA 90027
323-467-6688

Another great half-price deal through Goldstar.

Full Price: $20.00 Goldstar Price: $10.00

Once upon a time before the days of endless channels and TIVO, families gathered around their radios to listen to the latest suspense plays. Each night they were thrilled and chilled as the events unfolded right in their living room. Now the 68 Cent Crew Theatre Company proudly presents a creepy crawly look inside the making of an actual 1950’s radio serial. In the spirit of Halloween, they invite you to join them for Night Stories.

About 68 Cent Crew:

The 68 Cent Crew theater company is a community dedicated to assisting actors, writers, directors and producers in the realization of their creative and professional identity through the interpretation of the written word.

About Theatre 68:

Located on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, Theatre 68 is a comfortable, intimate venue for viewing live entertainment. The theatre offers concessions in the lobby.

SITTING PRETTY!

SITTING PRETTY!

I COULDN’T RESIST THIS PICTURE OF A WHEELBARROW FULL OF ORANGUTANS – WHAT A HOOT!

The mode of transport could best be described as basic, But these eight young orangutans can hardly complain - as the purpose of their trip is to secure their survival.

Orphaned by Man's folly, they are unable to rely on their parents to teach them the ways of the animal world. So every day at the rescue centre which is their home, they are wheeled into the forest to learn.

FOR THE COMPLETE STORY CLICK HERE

A tip of the fedora to NEATORAMA
BOND ON SET: FILMING QUANTUM OF SOLACE!

Photographer Greg Williams’ new book, Bond on Set: Filming Quantum of Solace, will be released in the US on October 20th.

After 21 movies in 45 years, Bond just keeps getting better. Following in the footsteps of Bond on Set: Casino Royale, Filming Quantum of Solace features movie stills, photographs, and behind-the-scenes info from the 22nd Bond film featuring Daniel Craig.

This is another in the endless literary 007 releases of this year, but Bond fans seem to look forward to each new instalment to the Bond on Set series with much more anticipation.

Filming Quantum of Solace follows up similar releases by Williams for Casino Royale and Die Another Day.

MR. MONK AND THE DIRTY COP!

ART WORK FOR MY BUDDY LEE GOLDBERG'S NEW MONK NOVEL SET FOR RELEASE IN 2009!

JAMES BOND PLAYING CARDS!

JAMES BOND PLAYING CARDS!

CommanderBond.net’s David Zydel tells us Cartamundi has unveiled a new line of James Bond Playing Cards with Bond Movie Posters, Bond Girls, and 'Quantum of Solace' decks

Cartamundi, formerly known as Carta Mundi, has returned to the world of 007 with an all-new line of James Bond playing cards.

Timed for release throughout Europe to coincide with the release of Quantum of Solace, the company have announced three new decks for fans to collect:

JAMES BOND POSTER PLAYING CARDS

Deck of playing cards with exclusive images of the James Bond Posters from all around the world!


BOND GIRLS DECK OF CARDS

Collection of all the famous Bond Girls in one playing card deck!

BRAND NEW QUANTUM OF SOLACE PLAYING CARDS

Nicely illustrated playing cards deck with exclusive images of the new Bond movie Quantum of Solace!

These new James Bond card decks are scheduled for release this month.

These new decks follow up similar releases by Cartamundi for Casino Royale and Die Another Day in 2006 and 2002, respectively.

TO VISIT THE OFFICIAL WEBSITE CLICK HERE

Monday, October 6, 2008

FLETCH GONE!

FLETCH GONE!

FOR A GREAT OVERVIEW OF THE FLETCH SERIES AND IT'S RECENTLY LATE CREATOR GREGORY MCDONALD CHECK OUT THE RAP SHEET'S TRIBUTE HERE.

HOW AN ENGINEER FOLDS A T-SHIRT!



THIS ONES IS FOR MY SON -- THE ENGINEEER!

TAMA THE CAT!

TAMA THE CAT!

In the midst of the global banking crisis, a small Japanese city has a secret weapon to boost its economy: Tama the cat!

Tortoiseshell Tama is the "stationmaster" of the unmanned Kishi train station where she was born and raised on the provincial Kishigawa Line. But it is not her labours on the platform which have seen the cash rolling in.

It is rather Tama’s irresistible charm which has brought tourists flocking in their thousands to the western city of Kinokawa to see the feline worker patrolling in the uniform of her office - a Wakayama Electric Railway cap.

With 55,000 more people having used the Kishigawa Line than would normally be expected, Tama’s contribution to the local economy is calculated to have reached as much as Y1.1 billion ($A13.5 million).

TO READ THE COPLETE ARTICLE CLICK HERE

WORDS & PICTURES!



WELCOMING BUSTED FLUSH PRESS TO BLOGLAND!

WELCOMING BUSTED FLUSH PRESS TO BLOGLAND!

Busted Flush Press is one of the neatest small presses publishing crime fiction today. Take a look at their first blog post and welcome David aboard.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

THE THEME FROM “SHAFT” PERFORMED ON A UKULELE ORCHESTRA!



FROM A LIVE PERFORMANCE OF THE UKULELE ORCHESTRA OF GREAT BRITAIN. CAN YOU DIG IT?

A TIP OF THE FEDORA TO NEATORAMA

RACHAEL MCADAMS SET TO BE ‘THE WOMAN’!

RACHAEL MCADAMS SET TO BE ‘THE WOMAN’!

Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson now have their Irene Adler – or, as she was known to Holmes, The Woman.

Rachel McAdams will be joining Robert Downey Jr. (Holmes) and Jude Law (Watson) on the Guy Ritchie helmed project.

The concept, as has been previously reported here, is for a more physical Holmes. A Holmes that shows off his boxing and fencing skills as much as his powers of deduction.

While I enjoyed Ritchie’s films Lock, Stock, And Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch, His latest, Roc-N-Rolla is a travesty. I can only hope his take on Sherlock is more positive.

UNDER THE HAMMER!

UNDER THE HAMMER!

IF YOU’RE A MIKE HAMMER FAN GET OVER TO THE RAP SHEET RIGHT NOW AND CHECK OUT THE GREAT INDEPTH REVIEW OF THE GOLIATH BONE, THE FIRST NEW SPILLANE/HAMMER NOVEL IN 12 YEARS.

When crime novelist Mickey Spillane died in July 2006, at age 88, it might have spelled the end, too, for his hardest of hard-boiled private eyes, Mike Hammer. But Spillane was conscious of his legacy and concerned about the novels he had in progress at the time of his demise. So he left both in the hands of Iowa writer Max Allan Collins, his longtime friend and occasional collaborator, and the creator of another distinctive fictional detective, Nate Heller (last seen in the 2002 novel Chicago Confidential). As Collins told me late last year, he had inherited at least three incomplete Hammer novels from Spillane and was preparing them for print--a posthumous partnership he said was “thrilling to me beyond words.”

The first of those books, and the first new Hammer adventure to appear in 12 years--The Goliath Bone--has finally reached American bookstores. Chronologically, it’s supposed to be the last Hammer, bringing the aging New York City gumshoe’s career to a fitting (and fittingly violent) close, and finally hooking him up in matrimony to his extraordinarily patient secretary-associate, Velda Sterling.

While Hammer stories are often timeless, this one is tied firmly to the post-September 11 world. The action begins on a chilly Manhattan night, when Hammer spots a young couple exiting a Chinese restaurant, the male of the pair clutching “a tubular brown-paper-wrapped package that was three feet long or more and a good six inches thick.” When a “bronze-faced figure” in a hooded sweatshirt steps out of a cab and follows that pair toward the nearest subway station, Hammer senses that “something was going to happen.” Drawing his Colt .45, he gives chase, only to wind up in a confrontation that causes the sweatshirted guy to fall to his death.

TO READ THE COMPLETE REVIEW CLICK HERE