Saturday, January 3, 2009
Paramount has officially declassified the final packaging graphics for the DVD release of The Return of the Man From U.N.C.L.E. It’s going to be nice to have this as a companion to the four season U.N.C.L.E. box set (which I was delighted to get for Christmas), but fans will object to the removal of the subtitle, The Fifteen Years After Affair. Clearly, somebody who doesn’t remember the Man From U.N.C.L.E. goofed.
Hipster blog Sloshspot has a great idea: Motivational posters by/about the late, great Hunter S. Thompson!
Thompson inspired countless thousands of writers over the years, and I gotta think these examples are more inspiring than the insipid drivel they lampoon.
TO SEE MORE CLICK HERE
The United States Post Office continues to honor American pop culture with a series of 20 new stamps to be issued in 2009. Each will commemorate a classic B&W TV shows. Among the titles: I Love Lucy, You Bet Your Life with Groucho Marx, Dragnet, The Honeymooners, and Alfred Hitchcock Presents.
In the stamp commemorating the cop show Dragnet, star Jack Webb as detective Joe Friday gives his "just the facts, ma'am," stare. I have no doubt I'll be using this one often!
BILL CRIDER HAS A COOL REVIEW ON HIS BLOG TODAY OF THE NEW P.I. NOVEL THE LITTLE SLEEP, WHICH MADE ME WANT TO RUN RIGHT OUT AND PICK UP A COPY ~
Philip K. Dick and Ross Macdonald had collaborated on a mystery novel, they might have come up with something like The Little Sleep. Mark Genevich is a p. i. in south Boston. As a result of a serious car wreck, he's disfigured. And he's narcoleptic. You might think that would be enough of a handicap for a p. i., but one of the symptoms of narcolepsy is cataplexy, brought on by stress. So imagine yourself confronted by, say, a guy with a gun. You slide off your chair to the floor and lie there, conscious but unable to move. Not a good situation. But it gets worse. Another symptom is hypnagogic hallucinations, so you're never sure if things have actually happened or if you just imagined them. Makes it tough to solve a case.
TO READ THE FULL REVIEW CLICK HERE
ROBBIE MADDISON ~ NEW YEAR'S EVE, VEGAS!
The spirit of Evel Kneivel lives! Professional daredevil Robbie Maddison produced an amazing had an amazing performance on New Year's Eve in Las Vegas.
The Arc de Triomphe at the Paris casino is 120 feet high and he clears every inch of it and more!
Friday, January 2, 2009
In my last Forgotten Books posting (Head Of The Force by James Barnett), I spoke about the sub-genre within my library of novels written by current or former police officers. Ted Wood, whose debut novel Dead In The Water kicked off one of my favorite series, is another cop turned writer.
Wood was born in England and emigrated to Canada in 1954. He served on the Toronto police force for three years, and was later a copy writer and agency creative director for a Toronto advertising firm. He has written radio and stage plays, TV dramas and documentaries, magazine articles, and short stories. Dead In The Water, his first novel, was the winner of the Scribner Crime Novel Award.
Written in the first person, Dead In The Water kicked off a marvelous series featuring ex-Toronto cop turned small town police chief Reid Bennett. Assisting Bennett, and one of the major charms of the series, is Bennett’s German shepherd, Sam. Now, this is no cutesy dog lovers’ mystery – Sam is a hardcore police dog and Bennett uses him to great effect in that capacity. This doesn’t mean there isn’t affection between dog and handler – of course there is – but when it comes time to work, it’s all professional.
His life destroyed because of a bad rap he took for murdering two guys to prevent a rape, Reid Bennett relocated to Murphy's Harbor, a quaint little town in Canada. But was it really the quiet little place it seemed to be? A corpse and a scared woman, each found on a different side of the lake. Then another corpse. Reid, with his German shepherd Sam by his side, must go above and beyond the call of duty to get to the bottom of this mystery. The only way he can solve it and remain alive is to stretch the traditional definition of a police officer.
When Reid Bennett is offered a job as the one-man police force of tiny Murphy’s Harbour, it seems too good to pass up. The bad publicity following his off-duty, barehanded, killing of two men while trying to prevent a rape, has ruined his career with the Toronto police force and wrecked his marriage. In Murphy’s Harbour, a lakefront town in Muskoka cottage country, he hopes he can establish a normal life again in a calm setting.
But when a corpse turns up at one end of the lake, and a New York woman looking for protection arrives at the otherr end, Bennett’s investigations uncovers indications Murphy’s Harbour is perhaps not an idyllic haven. And within a day, the discovery of a second corpse and a cache of drugs, makes it clear the resort town has become the base of a professional crime operation.
The pleasure boats on the lake and the woodland surrounding it make a shifting and treacherous battleground. Before long, Bennett, assisted only by his German shepherd and a crippled World War II veteran, finds he must once again overstep the traditional bounds of a policeman’s role in order to survive.
Tough, fast paced, and original, Dead In The Water introduced Bennett and Sam as unique characters with a keen eye for action.
Thursday, January 1, 2009
Geoff Eighinger's new mystery e-zine, CROOKED, has landed. The first issue features stories from Sandra Seamans, Albert Tucher, and Sandra Ruttan among others, and also includes an interview with Hard Case Crimes editor Charles Adai.
TO CHECK IT OUT CLICK HERE
WHAT A TERRIBLE LOSS TO START OFF THE NEW YEAR! WESTLAKE’S PARKER CRIME NOVELS (WRITTEN AS RICHARD STARK) AND HIS DORTMUNDER CAPERS BOTH HAD STRONG INFLUENCES ON ME BOTH AS A READER AND A WRITER. HE WILL BE MISSED ~
Donald E. Westlake, a prolific, award-winning mystery novelist who pounded out more than 100 books and five screenplays on manual typewriters during his half-century career, died Wednesday night. He was 75.
Mr. Westlake collapsed, apparently from a heart attack, as he headed out to New Year’s Eve dinner while on vacation in San Tancho, Mexico, said his wife, Abigail Westlake.
Mr. Westlake, considered one of the most successful and versatile mystery writers in the United States, has earned three Edgar Awards, an Academy Award nomination for screenplay writing, and the elite title of Grand Master from the Mystery Writers of America in 1993.
Since his first novel, “The Mercenaries,” was published by Random House in 1960, Mr. Westlake has written under his own name and several pseudonyms, including Richard Stark, Tucker Coe, Samuel Holt and Edwin West. Despite the diversity of names, one shared feature was that almost all his books were set in New York City, where he was born.
FOR HIS FULL OBIT CLICK HERE
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
MICHAEL MILLS HAS A NICE ARTICLE ON FILM NOIR FEMME FATALS, WHICH IS PARTICULARLY APPROPRIATE WITH THE RECENT PASSING OF ANN SAVAGE ~ STAR OF DETOUR, ONE OF THE CLASSIC NOIR FILMS WITH SAVAGE PROTRAYING A CLASSIC FEMME FATAL . . .
MILES DAVIS / JOHN COLTRANE ~ SO WHAT!
THANKS TO DAVID CRANMER FOR FINDING THIS GEM!
This video clip is an amazing moment in music. I love the shot of Miles playing while John Coltrane looks on. Then Miles takes time out for a smoke while Trane is performing. Too cool. "So What" is from Kind of Blue considered by many to be the greatest jazz album. And it's perfect music to have playing in the background while writing.
The Casebook of Sexton Blake, edited by David Stuart-Davies, is to be published in England by Wordsworth Editions on March 7, 2009, as part of their cheap line of paperbacks—the retail price is £2.99 and it's already being offered cheaper by Amazon.UK.
Here's the publisher's blurb:
Welcome to the breathtaking adventures of Sexton Blake! For the greater part of the 20th century, the countless escapades of super sleuth Sexton Blake kept millions of readers on the edge of their seats. Together with his faithful sidekick, the youthful Tinker, and his intelligent bloodhound, Pedro, he stood firm against an onslaught of crime and villainy, defeating his enemies with his extraordinary powers of deduction, iron fists and unyielding determination.
This thrilling collection presents seven exploits from his 'golden age'.
"The Slave Market" by Cecil Hayter (1907)—In the dangerous depths of Africa, Blake races to the rescue of an old school friend!
"A Football Mystery" by W. J. Lomax (1907)—Blake and Tinker join the England team to beat the cheating opposition!
"The Man From Scotland Yard" by Ernest Sempill (1908)—Blake has his first encounter with the greatest super-villain he would ever meet!
"The Law of the Sea" by W. Murray Graydon (1912)—Blake goes down with the ship in his own version of the sinking of the Titanic!
"The Brotherhood of the Yellow Beetle" by G. H. Teed (1913)—Blake grapples with oriental cunning in the form of Prince Wu Ling!
"A Case of Arson" by Robert Murray Graydon (1917)—A master crook is at work but Blake is on his trail!
"The Black Eagle" by G. H. Teed (1923)—A wronged man is out for vengeance. Can Blake stop him before it's too late?
The book will have additional notes by Mark Hodder who runs the excellent Blakiana website.
The show is being produced by Perfectly Normal Productions and BBC Audiobooks and an audiobook version (ISBN 978-1408410547) has already been announced by BBC Audiobooks for release on May 7, 2009.
Here's the blurb from Perfectly Normal Productions:
SEXTON BLAKE! A name that spells thrilling adventure for fans across the world,many of whom are still alive.
SEXTON BLAKE! A name that spells certain doom for villainy, no matter how fiendish or dandied.
SEXTON BLAKE! A name that spells mild, lingering confusion for country vicars advertising for a general officer.
A baffling crime — a hapless victim — the cry goes up, “Call SEXTON BLAKE! also some kind of medical representative.”
Now, exactly thirty-eight years, four months and eleven days after his final broadcast,the world’s mightiest and most popular detective returns to the air in the all-new THE ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE.
Accompanied in his breakneck hurtle to justice by his assistant Tinker, Sexton Blake battles diabolical masterminds — beautiful jewel thieves — mechanical Stalins — in locations as exotic as a portable Congo — a second, secret London Underground — an uphill avalanche.
Encountering peril at every turn, only Blake can save the day and solve the case by outwitting his enemies in the head and outpunching them in the jaw.
FOR A LIMITED TIME, MYSTERY SCENE IS OFFERING A FREE ISSUE (NO OBLIGATION TO SUBSCRIBE) TO US RESIDENTS.
Monday, December 29, 2008
THE PAPERBACK FANATIC, JUSTIN MARRIOTT'S SUPERB FANZINE, KEEPS THE TORCH OF BRITISH PAPERBACK COVERS BURNING. ISSUE 8 (DECEMBER 2008) HAS JUST APPEARED, FILLED TO THE BRIM WITH FINE FEATURES AND AN INTERVIEW WITH TERRY HARKNETT AS A CENTRE-PIECE. THERE ARE ARTICLES ON VARIOUS NEW ENGLISH LIBRARY HORROR NOVELS, A LOOK AT JIM STERENKO'S BOOK COVERS, A FEATURE ON THE MEN'S ADVENTURE SERIES SAS MALKO BY GERARD DE VILLIERS AND A LOOK AT 1970S PAPERBACK EDITIONS OF EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS, AND A LIVELY LETTER'S COLUMN TO WRAP UP THE ISSUE.THE POPULARITY OF THE PAPERBACK FANATIC MEANS MOST OF THE EARLIER ISSUES ARE NOW SOLD OUT, ALTHOUGH IT LOOKS AS IF ISSUE 7 IS STILL AVAILABLE.
NICE CLEAR LAYOUTS AND GOOD COVER REPRODUCTIONS HAVE BEEN A FEATURE OF THE MAGAZINE SINCE ITS INCEPTION, AND THIS ISSUE IS NO DIFFERENT. IT'S A STEAL AT £3.99.
PAPERBACK FANATIC #8
Edgar Rice Burroughs in paperback- a checklist of his British pbs with piles of rare cover reproductions
Malko- a look at the long-running and controversial 'Men's Adventure' series
A Fist Full of Pulps- an in-depth interview with pulp fiction legend Terry Harknett
The Ivy League Vampire- a look back at the paperback art of the legendary Jim Steranko
Horror has Risen From the Grave- more classic pulps of the 1970s are examined
Letters, updates, illustrations and much more!
TO CHECK OUT THE PAPERBACK FANATIC WEBSITE CLICK HERE
Between Us Girls by Jan Christensen
Egyptian Eyes and Irish Lies by Frank Zafiro
Becalmed in Hell by I. Van Laningham
Broken Hearts/Broken Dreams by Artemis Candler
Dall'utero della Madre by Tom Rynard
Dirty Water by R2
Forever Girl (Part 1) by Chris O'Grady
Harper Avenue Blackout by Patrick Sims
Jack Best and the Promise of Tomorrow by Steve Olley
Chaos Theory (Parts 5 and 6) by Montiese Mckenzie
Love Hurts by Devon Greene
I Think He Was Murdered by Michael Gouda
No Place Like Home by Dee Stuart
Sweeper: Twisted Intentions by Lew Stowe
The Detective's Wife by B.J. Bourg
Southern Exposure by Charles P. Schaeffer
Egyptian Eyes and Irish Lies by Frank Zafiro
Jack Best and the Promise of Tomorrow by Steve Olley
COLUMNS & MORE
Mysterical-Eye on TV and Film by Gerald So
Author Snapshot by Christine Verstraete
Of the Moment by Nicholas Fuller
The Hell You Say by Byron McAllister
I Like 'Em Tough by Jim Doherty
Author Interview: Elaine Viets
Author Interview: Jack Getz
'40s femme fatale star Ann Savage, who earned a cult following as a femme fatale in such 1940s pulp-fiction movies as "Detour," has died at 87.
The actress died in her sleep at a nursing home on Christmas Day from complications following a series of strokes, said her manager, Kent Adamson.
Her Hollywood career had largely been over since the mid-1950s, but she had a resurgence over the past year with a starring role in Canadian cult filmmaker Guy Maddin's "My Winnipeg."
Starting with her 1943 debut in the crime story "One Dangerous Night," Savage made more than 30 films through the 1950s, including Westerns ("Saddles and Sagebrush,""Satan's Cradle"), musicals ("Dancing in Manhattan,""Ever Since Venus") and wartime tales ("Passport to Suez,""Two-Man Submarine").
Savage was best-known for director Edgar G. Ulmer's 1945 B-movie "Detour," in which she played a woman ruthlessly blackmailing a stranger, played by Tom Neal.
"It's actually a showcase role," Adamson said. "Neal and Savage really reversed the traditional male-female roles of the time. She's vicious and predatory. She's been called a harpy from hell, and in the film, too, she's very sexually aggressive, and he's very, very passive. It's very unusual for a '40s film to have a woman come on that strong."
Decades later, "Detour" and Savage gained a cult audience on television and home video.
FOR MORE CLICK HERE
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Chief Inspector Bozo of the Clowntown Homicide Squad stepped from his second-floor office wearing a fedora between his side-tufts of bright orange hair, hair which had, late in life, turned purple at the temples, giving him a distinguished look. But inside the large painted smile his mouth was grim. Someone had murdered Jumbo the Elephant.
When I first clocked this cover, I figured it had to be a Photoshop special, but nooooo – How to Profit From the Coming Rapture: Getting Ahead When You’re Left Behind is actually a real book.
Well, actually, a fake real book. It’s a made up, satirical how-to book by Steve and Evie Levy, who wrote:
Are the end times near? Is the Rapture really just around the corner? Could Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson possibly be right? About 1 billion people among us believe, yes, absolutely.
And that means one thing: investment opportunities!
For those who are not as expertly versed in the Book of Revelation, Ellis Weiner and Barbara Davilman, authors of the bestselling Yiddish with Dick and Jane, helpfully offer both illumination and advice: What exactly is the Rapture, anyway? How is it different from the Tribulation? Who are the Antichrist, the Four Horsemen, and the 144,000 male virgins, and what do they want? And, most important, how can I make money during the 7 years of societal breakdown before Armaggedon?
Taking the familiar form of a how-to investment guide, HOW TO PROFIT FROM THE COMING RAPTURE instructs those readers who will certainly be left behind (Jews, Catholics, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, less ardent Protestants, and many more) on how to exploit the inevitable demise of the world in order to make a tidy profit. Sure, the rivers and seas will run with blood, locusts will swarm, mountains will move all over the place, and famine will strike. But for the five billion of us left behind, the post-Rapture world will be a time of even more unique investment opportunities.
He's staring at me. There are seven of us standing in a semi-circle in front of a view box in Radiology; two interns, two third-year students and two residents.
And the Surgical Chief Resident.
Mrs. Jacobowitz's abdominal x-ray hangs backlit on the box, illuminated like a work of art.