Saturday, August 8, 2009
AFTER READING AND ENJOYING WESTERN FICTION REVIEW’S INTERVIEW WITH JOSEPH A. WEST ~ WHO WRITES A NUMBER OF BOOKS CARRYING ON THE LEGACY OF WESTERN WRITER RALPH COMPTON ~ I PICKED UP AND THOROUGHLY ENJOYED TWO OF THE BELOW TITLES AND WILL BE DIVING INTO THE THIRD TONIGHT.
ANYONE OUT THERE KNOW IF THERE ARE ANY OTHER COMPTON/WEST TITLES TO FEATURE THE CHARACTER OF DETECTIVE SERGEANT JOHN MCBRIDE?
WEST OF THE LAW
Ordered to head west when a New York gangster puts a price on his head for killing his son, Detective Sergeant John McBride ends up in High Hopes, Colorado-a lawless boomtown where McBride quickly runs afoul of corrupt saloon owner Gamble Trask and his vicious hired guns.
When beautiful card dealer Shannon Roark asks for his protection, it's high time for one of New York's finest to dole out some frontier justice of his own.
SHADOW OF THE GUN
John McBride purchased a restaurant in the town of Suicide, hoping to put his past behind him. But with marauding Apaches, vicious outlaws, and rising tensions amongst the townsfolk, Suicide is a powder keg waiting to explode-and McBride's presence just may be enough to light the fuse...
BLOOD ON THE GALLOWS
His gun speaks for the oppressed…
Former big city detective John McBride is an easygoing man— until a cold-blooded town sheriff warns him to mind his own business, or face a lynching.
Driven by his sense of justice, McBride takes on the sheriff, an evil mayor and his cruel psychotic son, and a small army of hired gunmen.
Helped by a mysterious white-haired, quick-drawing preacher, McBride shoulders a task most men would flee from. But John McBride isn’t most men…
THIS IS TRADITIONAL ACTION PULP WRITING, BUT THAT’S A GOOD (ACTUALLY GREAT) THING. THE ACTION STARTS EARLY AND OCCURS OFTEN. THE BAD GUYS WEAR BLACK HATS AND THE GOOD GUYS ARE SQUARE JAWED. PERFECT ESCAPIST READING.
NEWA DROM HARD CASE CRIME:
Gabriel Hunt's second adventure, HUNT THROUGH THE CRADLE OF FEAR, is now in bookstores everywhere (except those bookstores where all the copies have been snapped up -- if yours is one of those, you can always get a copy directly from Dorchester Publishing by calling 1-800-481-9191). Reviewers have called it "the literary equivalent of a summer blockbuster," a "must read," "pulp fiction at its best," and "a perfect popcorn book." If you haven't read it yet, now's the perfect time to hunt down a copy.
Why? Well, Gabriel's third adventure -- HUNT AT WORLD'S END, which takes Gabriel from New York to Borneo before depositing him in the Kalahari Desert -- won't be in stores until the end of October...but it's wending its way through the publishing process, and I managed to snag an early electronic copy. "Early" means there are still a handful of typos in it that hadn't been caught and corrected yet (never fear, they will be)...but for anyone who hates the idea of waiting three more months to find out what happens next to Gabriel, getting an early electronic copy will be like finding one of those lost treasures Gabriel's always after.
And what do you have to do to get this treasure? Very simple: Read HUNT THROUGH THE CRADLE OF FEAR, post a review of the book somewhere online (for instance, Amazon.com, or your own blog if you have one, or a mailing list you participate in), and e-mail a link to the review or a copy of it to HuntReview@hardcasecrime.com. I'll reply by e-mail with a copy of HUNT AT WORLD'S END attached to my message (in pdf format, 1mb in size, for those of you interested in such technical matters).
Needless to say, the file I send you is for your reading pleasure alone -- not to be forwarded by e-mail to friends or posted online anywhere. But I know I can trust you to keep Gabriel's secrets. HE trusts you, after all...
Friday, August 7, 2009
THIS WEEK ON THE SUMMER SEASON, JEFF INTRODUCES 'ROCKY FORTUNE' - AN OLD TIME RADIO SERIES STARRING FRANK SINATRA. WHY, HE'S REALLY NOT SURE. PLUS, A WARM WELCOME TO ALL OUR FRIENDS WHO DISCOVERED THE IBRT FROM THE DECODER RING THEATRE. THANKS AGAIN, GREGG!
TO DOWNLOAD CLICK HERE
NEW FROM DECODER RING THEATRE!
FROM TIM PRASIL, AUTHOR OF "MAGIC OF THE MOVIES" AND "THE CRASHER", OUR SHOWCASE PRESENTS THIS THOUGHTFUL AND ENGAGING TALE. WHAT MAKES A MIND? IS IT THE ABILITY TO CALCULATE? TO LEARN? OR WITHOUT THE POWER OF THE IMAGINATION IS THERE SOMETHING MISSING ESSENTIAL TO LIFE ITSELF? AND IF WE SUDDENLY FOUND OURSELVES ABLE TO CREATE SUCH A LIFE.... WHAT WOULD WE SAY TO IT? WE PRESENT FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION... THINKING IN TERNARY!
TO DOWNLOAD CLICK HERE
BY NORVELL PAGE ~ NEW FROM AGE OF ACES!
They said it couldn’t happen here. Then they said one man couldn’t stop it! Richard Wentworth spent his vigilante career as The Spider always in the shadows. Now evil acted in broad daylight. The Party of Justice swept into office, rewriting the laws of New York state overnight to benefit their criminal backers and make slaves of its people.
This American Reichstag gave itself sweeping powers and raised a private army to exert its malevolent will. How could The Spider hope to stop a criminal conspiracy as big as the state itself? This time The Master of Men would go beyond taking the lives of evildoers… by bringing Hope to the tyrannized citizens of the Empire State! The “Black Police Trilogy” is author Norvell Page’s classic pulp fiction Nazi allegory from 1938. Originally published in three consecutive months of The Spider Magazine, the novels are collected in book form for the first time!
“The City That Paid To Die” – The Spider, August 1938
“The Spider at Bay” – The Spider, September 1938
“Scourge of the Black Legions” – The Spider, October 1938
A new foreword by Thomas Krabacher
A unique book design by Chris Kalb
6″x9″ trade paperback
FOR MORE INFO CLICK HERE
AGE OF ACES, THE COOLEST SITE ON THE INTERNET FOR AIR WAR PULPS AND REPRINTS HAS A NEW AND IMPROVED WEB SITE. IT’S PACKED IT WITH CONTENT ABOUT THE AIR WAR PULPS ~ NOT JUST THE FREE STORY DOWNLOADS, BUT LOTS OF ART AND INFO ON THE PEOPLE WHO CONTRIBUTED TO THESE LOST TREASURES.
AGE OF ACES HAVE ALSO JUST RELEASED THEIR LATEST BOOK, THE SPIDER VS. THE EMPIRE STATE: THE COMPLETE BLACK POLICE TRILOGY BY NORVELL PAGE.
TO CHECK OUT THE NEW SITE CLICK HERE
Attention James Bond fans: 007 Magazine #51 is now available!
This latest issue comes after the news in mid-June that the popular Bond magazine would be returning to print to mark its 30th anniversary after three years as an internet-only publication.
As stated on the official 007 Magazine website, 007 Magazine #51 will showcase exclusive new articles, features and many never-before-published images.
Cubby Broccoli Centenary Tribute
Quantum of Craig
Breakfest with Largo – John McLaughlin Interview
From Russia, With Class!
Never say never again… probably!
And much more…
Bond fans can purchase 007 Magazine #51 at the official 007 Magazine website for the following costs: £9.99 (UK) $15.99 (US) €11.99 (EU) £9.99 (Worldwide). Please be aware that prices do not include shipping.
FOR FURTHER DETAILS AND INQUIRIES CLICK HERE
Thursday, August 6, 2009
While maybe not forgotten as a series, I’ve only just rediscovered the joys of Rhys Bowen’s original foray into crime fiction in 1996. If M.C. Beaton’s Constable Hamish Macbeth were to ever leave the Highland Scottish village of Lochdubh, you would be able to find him recreated in Bowen’s creation of Constable Evan Evans who walks his gentle beat through the Welsh village of Llanfair.
While the two characters do share many similarities, it is not to imply Evan Evans is any kind of a pale imitation. The Evans series, which has expanded to ten books now, is a genuine delight in its own right.
Evan Evans is a young police constable who has traded in the violence of city life for idyllic Llanfair, a Welsh village tucked far away from trouble. Nestled among the Snowdonian mountain range, Llanfair looks to Evans like a town forgotten by time, but he quickly learns that even the bucolic countryside has its share of eccentric – and deadly – characters.
Evans’ new neighbors include two competitive ministers vying for the souls of their flock, one lascivious barmaid, and three other Evanses: Evans-the-Meat, Evans-the-Milk, and Evans-the-Post (whose favorite hobby is to read the mail before he delivers it).
Before Evans has time to sort out the complicated relationships and rivalries of his new home, he’s called to the scene of a crime as brutal and fearsome as any he encountered in the big city. Tow hikers have been murdered on the trails of the local mountain, and Evans must hunt down the vicious killer – who may or may not be linked to the mysterious destruction of Mrs. Powell-Jones prize-winning tomatoes.
As in the best of cozy style mysteries, this is all good gentle fun – the enjoyment coming from spending time with characters who quickly become friends in a landscape to which we would like to escape.
BLOG BUDDY LEE GOLDBERG TIPPED ME TO THIS EXCELLENT INTERVIEW OF WESTERN WRITER JOSEPH A. WEST OVER AT THE WESTERN FICTION REVIEW BLOG:
You’re originally from Scotland, how did you end up in America and becoming a writer?
I was working on Fleet Street as a reporter for the Daily Mirror and was recruited to work in the United States for an up-and-coming supermarket tabloid named The National Enquirer. My plan was to spend a year in the U.S., see the country then return to Britain. But two things happened: I fell in love with America and, around the same time, my wife. Emily is a stern, 23rd generation Michigan Yankee, but without her I’d never get a novel published. She’s my inspiration and a wonderful, if heartless, copy editor.
FOR THE FULL INTERVIEW CLICK HERE
GOOD COP, BAD COP
SIBLING RIVALRY IS TAKEN TO NEW HEIGHTS WHEN AN ESTRANGED BROTHER AND SISTER ARE PAIRED UP AS COPS IN THEIR SMALL HOMETOWN.
A SOCCER MOM TEAMS UP WITH A GAY STAY-AT-HOME DAD TO SOLVE MYSTERIES IN THE SUBURBS.
UNTITLED STEPHEN J. CANNELL / SCOTT KAUFER PROJECT
AN EX-CON CAR MECHANIC GOES UNDERCOVER.
AN OLD SCHOOL HOTEL DETECTIVE IS BROUGHT BACK TO WORK AT A MODERN HOTEL.
A FOOD DETECTIVE TRAVELS THE WORLD AND STUMBLES ACROSS MYSTERIES OF THE PALATE … AND MURDER.
Hughes died of a heart attack during a morning walk in Manhattan, Michelle Bega said. He was in New York to visit family.
Jake Bloom, Hughes' longtime attorney, said he was "deeply saddened and in shock" to learn of the director's death.
A native of Lansing, Mich., who later moved to suburban Chicago and set much of his work there, Hughes rose from ad writer to comedy writer to silver screen champ with his affectionate and idealized portraits of teens, whether the romantic and sexual insecurity of "Sixteen Candles," or the J.D. Salinger-esque rebellion against conformity in "The Breakfast Club."
Hughes' ensemble comedies helped make stars out of Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall, Ally Sheedy and many other young performers. He also scripted the phenomenally popular "Home Alone," which made little-known Macaulay Culkin a sensation as the 8-year-old accidentally abandoned by his vacationing family, and wrote or directed such hits as "National Lampoon's Vacation," "Pretty in Pink," "Planes, Trains & Automobiles" and "Uncle Buck."
19th century justice has finally caught up to grave robbers Arthur Blake and Willie Grimes. With the specter of the guillotine looming over him, young Blake confides in visiting clergyman Father Duffy, recounting fifteen years of adventure in the resurrection trade.
His tale leads from humble beginnings as a young boy stealing trinkets from corpses, to a partnership with seasoned ghoul Willie Grimes as they hunt creatures unwilling to accept their place in the ground.
The colorful and peculiar history of Grimes and Blake is one filled with adventure, horror, and vicious rivalries that threaten to put all involved in the very graves they're trying to pilfer.
THERE IS A LOT OF SUBTLE BUZZ ABOUT THIS FILM. IT OPENS THIS WEEKEND AND PROMISES TO BE A HIDDEN GEM ~ NOT NECESSARILY A PRETTY TALE, BUT INTRIGUING.
THANK YOU FOR HELPING US KEEP THE MUSIC PLAYING
NOW WATCH US SLIM DOWN!
Thank you to everyone who became an official, card-carrying member of our Lounge Lizards in Exile group during our 2009 Membership Campaign. As more people who love OUR MUSIC discover MARTINIINTHEMORNING.COM, we'll reach a point where investors and advertisers will fuel our operations. But for now, just as our staff continues to work sans paychecks (we call ourselves Unintentional Volunteers), we depend on our Lounge Lizards in Exile to help us keep the music playing. In these difficult times, we're grateful for the amazing support.
That having been said, like many businesses, we are forced to re-examine some of our operations and look for ways to operate more efficiently so we can survive and keep The Greatest Songs Ever Written on the air. Please visit our website MARTINIINTHEMORNING.COM where you'll see new ways to listen, and new ways to help us keep the music playing!
The most important thing you can do now is LISTEN! Oh... and tell all your friends, family, and even total strangers about MARTINIINTHEMORNING.COM. Every day we hear from someone saying they had no idea this music, OUR MUSIC was available on the radio...anywhere! Without a marketing budget, the only way we can let them know and grow is when YOU invite others who love music, to tune in. So thank you for spreading the word! YOU are our marketing department. We MUST double the size of our audience and with your help, we will.
MartiniInTheMorning.com welcomes new streaming partner Live365.com. In the late 90's, they started the Radio Revolution, reducing big business control over radio broadcasting, offering individual "DJs" a chance to showcase their own musical tastes and style to listeners across the Internet. Now, MartiniInTheMorning.com becomes part of the revolution, joining thousands of Live365.com stations programmed and designed by music lovers just like us with a belief that the formats, songs and artists chosen by big radio companies aren't the only ones worth exposure. OUR MUSIC has been largely abandoned by the big radio companies. Now with the help of Live365.com, we can reach even more music lovers across the USA and around the world, reintroducing this timeless music to people who thought it had vanished for good.
Listen to MartiniInTheMorning.com's new Live365.com stream by visiting our website. You can also link to MartiniInTheMorning.com directly from Live365.com. Also, as part of our belt tightening, we had anticipated elimination of the 128 kbps CD quality stream. But Live365.com is now offering MartiniInTheMorning.com at 128 kbps as part of their VIP subscription, along with THOUSANDS of Live365.com stations. Click Here for information on Live365.com's VIP subscription including CD Quality 128 kbps MartiniInTheMorning.com.
In addition to our new partnership with Live365.com, MartiniVision is still available for listening and viewing on PCs, Macs and with most browsers. Connect from our website or from http://MITM.tv.
MartiniInTheMorning.com is also available from iTunes, and we have an emergency Windows Media connection when all else fails. For your mobile devices, FlyTunes.fm is still your best option with software for iPhone, Blackberry and G-Phones (Google/T-Mobile). See our website for links for mobile devices/phones using Windows Media Player.
ON THE TOWN
The neon sign just inside the front door of
Lucy's 51 in Toluca Lake, CA, says it all...COCKTAILS! MartiniInTheMorning.com moves the broadcast to Lucy's 51 restaurant, our Lounge Away From Home Wednesdays from Noon-?? for an extended 2 Martini Lunch, featuring your favorite artists times 2. Next Wednesday, August 12th, we'll also broadcast live from Lucy's 51 during happy hour, 5-7 pm. Join us for music, prizes, great food and...COCKTAILS!
10149 Riverside Drive
Toluca Lake, CA 91602
FOR LUCY'S WEBSITE CLICK HERE
ON THE WATER
Time is running out to join your fellow Lounge Lizards in Exile for a New Year's 2010 Celebration for all the pageantry of the 121st Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, plus a 7-day cruise aboard Holland America's MS Oosterdam. Join Brad "Martini" Chambers, his wife Karen, and Lounge Lizards in Exile from across the country (and around the world) for this great New Year's get together from YMT Vacations.
FOR MORE INFORMATION OR CALL YMT TODAY AT (800) 922-9000
OR CLICK HERE
ON THE CITY WALK
Join MartiniInTheMorning.com for Summer Swing Nights, every Tuesday through August, featuring free swing dance lessons with legendary Hollywood dance instructor Roscoe Farnsworth, and dancing to some of the swinginest swing bands in Southern California. 7:30-10:00 pm Tuesdays, under the stars, Universal CityWalk (Universal Studios Hollywood)
LIVING THE LIFESTYLE
MartiniInTheMorning.com is The Soundtrack for Your Lifestyle. Our lifestyle is made up of many things, from the way we relax and have fun, to the things we do so we CAN relax and have fun.
MartiniInTheMorning.com Lifestyle Minutes provide information on how we can maintain the lifestyle we enjoy, even in these difficult economic times. From our daily visit with The Mortgage Minute Guy Roger Schlesinger to our Insurance Guru John Shafer.
MartiniInTheMorning.com has great information from other Lounge Lizards in Exile, experts in their particular field, to help you keep what you've built over a lifetime of work, and help you build for an even better tomorrow.
Click Here to learn more about our Lifestyle Experts, and listen for their daily reports on MartiniInTheMorning.com.It's your lifestyle, we'll help you live it!
SoCal Entertainment News
The Laguna Playhouse Presents
My Way: A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra
Through Aug 23
West Coast Jazz Party & Brunch Cruise
See Debby Boone's tribute to Rosemary Clooney
Find Out Where Many of Your Favorite Martini in the Morning artists are performing! Click Here for Lizard Life!
The Manhattan Transfer
Friday Sept 11, 2009
El Portal Theater
5269 Lankershim Blvd
North Hollywood, CA
Tickets: (818) 995-7100
Live, Love, Lounge!
Brad "Martini" Chambers
10999 Riverside Drive
North Hollywood, CA 91602
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
HERE’S A COOL LOUNGE/SOUNDTRACK DOWNLOAD YOU DON’T SEE EVERYDAY FEATURING FRANCK POURCEL.
02 The River (Le Colline Sono In Fiore)
03 Mister Lonely
04 Theme From 'Zorba The Greek'
05 I Wanna Know
06 What's New Pussycat
10 My Captive Heart
12 The Sky, The Sun, & The Sea
TO DOWNLOAD CLICK HERE
ODDBALL PARANORMAL INVESTIGATOR DYLAN DOG WILL BE IN CINEMAS SOONISH, AND I CAN'T WAIT.
CHECK OUT THE OFFICIAL WEBSITE HERE
AND IF YOU'VE NEVER HEARD OF DYLAN DOG BEFORE YOU CAN FIND OUT MORE HERE
TIP OF THE FEDORA TO NEW BLOG BUDDY PIMPERNEL
Have you ever wondered if the person next to you was really part of your world? They might look ALMOST similar to you; act ALMOST similar to you, but you feel that something isn't quite right with them and you can't put your finger on it. They take the third-shift jobs, the warehouse jobs, the jobs that keep them in the shadows and out of the glare of daylight.
They are the creatures of the night who live and work next to us and for the most part — leave us alone. Vampires, werewolves, and zombies: they hide in plain sight all around us, living and working, by their own rules but avoiding attention of humankind whenever possible. And yes, occasionally, breaking their own laws as well as society's, including killing each other and unwary or unlucky "civilians."
Dylan Dog is the world's only private investigator of the undead with his business card clearly reading "investigator of the paranormal: no pulse, no problem". While he knows all of their underworld secrets and intercine rivalries, Dylan is also increasingly convinced that, like any normal person, the less he has to do with the undead and their myriad problems, the better. However, a missing artifact, a beautiful heiress and a brutal murder conspire to drag him back into the dark world of the undead.
"Dead of Night" is a gothic thriller based upon one of the world's bestselling series of graphic novels, "Dylan Dog," and is set in the European-feel backstreets of New Orleans, a city with a long and storied history with regards to the supernatural.
AND THAT’S WHERE DYLAN COMES IN
He has the bravado of Indiana Jones and the brainpower of Ben Cates — Dylan will go where the living dare not — facing down friend and foe alike, until justice is done. But in this new case, Dylan may have bit off more than he can handle. An ancient artifact has surfaced, one with the power to destroy both the living and the undead forever, and it sets off a war between factions of the dead that has been brewing for eons. Can Dylan find the artifact, uncover the killer among the dead, and at the same time keep his out-of-the-loop assistant Marcus from discovering the true nature of his job? Wait and see.
Based on the beloved Italian comic book series, Dylan Dog created in 1986 by Tiziano Sclavi and published by Sergio Bonelli Editore (SBE) which has sold over 60 million units in over seventeen countries around the world. Dylan's adventures have always tipped their hat to traditional horror elements with numerous "tributes" to the classic monsters (i.e. Frankenstein, The Werewolf, Dracula and many others), but they also deal with questioning the human condition: often putting Dylan in situations that point at the real monster — mankind itself.
The collective major studio talent that brought you "Men in Black," "Superman Returns," "Premonition" and "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT - 2007)," have taken the world of Dylan Dog out of its comic book European setting and have given Dylan and the story a rich New Orleans flavor and three-time Academy Award-winning make-up effects company, DRAC Studios ("The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, "Mrs. Doubtfire" and "Bram Stokers' Dracula") will make you believe it.
FIFTY YEARS OF MYSTERIES IN THE MAKING - INCLUDES TWO UNPUBLISHED POIROT STORIES.
A fascinating exploration of the contents of Agatha Christie's 73 recently discovered notebooks, including illustrations, deleted extracts, and two unpublished Poirot stories. When Agatha Christie died in 1976, aged 85, she had become the world's most popular author. With sales of more than two billion copies worldwide in more than 100 countries, she had achieved the impossible - more than one book every year since the 1920s, every one a bestseller.
So prolific was Agatha Christie's output - 66 crime novels, 20 plays, 6 romance books under a pseudonym and over 150 short stories - it was often claimed that she had a photographic memory. Was this true? Or did she resort over those 55 years to more mundane methods of working out her ingenious crimes? Following the death of Agatha's daughter, Rosalind, at the end of 2004, a remarkable secret was revealed. Unearthed among her affairs at the family home of Greenway were Agatha Christie's private notebooks, 73 handwritten volumes of notes, lists and drafts outlining all her plans for her many books, plays and stories. Buried in this treasure trove, all in her unmistakable handwriting, are revelations about her famous books that will fascinate anyone who has ever read or watched an Agatha Christie story.
What is the 'deleted scene' in her first book, The Mysterious Affair at Styles? How did the infamous twist in The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, really come about? Which very famous Poirot novel started life as an adventure for Miss Marple? Which books were designed to have completely different endings, and what were they? What were her unused ideas, and what was the highly unusual novel Dame Agatha planned to write after Postern of Fate (her final published novel)? Full of details she was too modest to reveal in her own Autobiography, this remarkable new book includes a wealth of extracts and pages reproduced directly from the notebooks and her letters, plus for the first time two newly discovered complete Hercule Poirot short stories never before published.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
John Curran is the world's foremost expert on Agatha Christie and long-time literary advisor to her estate, often giving talks and appearing on documentaries about her life. He has spent the last few years unpicking the notebooks and deciphering Agatha Christie's handwriting for this, his first book.
HERE’S WHAT CURRAN HAS TO SAY FROM THE AGATHA CHRISTIE WEBSITE:
As some of you may already know, my silence of late on the Website is due to my commitments to things Christiean elsewhere. In short, I am writing a book about Agatha Christie, specifically Agatha Christie and her plotting Notebooks. This is probably the last aspect of Agatha Christie that has not already been discussed in a book. We have had books on her life, her literary output, her husband, her disappearance; we have bought quiz books, travel books, film books, Mousetrap books; books about her poisons, her characters, her cover designs, her garden; biographies of Poirot and Miss Marple. My contribution to Christie scholarship has been undertaken with not just the blessing of her grandson, Mathew Prichard, but his active encouragement and practical help. I have been a guest in his home so often of late, that I now have my own room! I am very grateful to him and his wife, Lucy. And I am delighted that Harper Collins, Agatha Christie’s publishers for most of her working life, showed such instant interest in the book when I first suggested it. They plan to publish it in September 2009.
Over the next year I intend writing an occasional blog (when time allows!) to keep readers of this website informed of progress. As the months pass I will give you a few sneak previews into a work-in-progress and a peek into the incomparable literary legacy that is The Notebooks of Agatha Christie.
Die-hard fans have known of the existence of the Agatha Christie Notebooks for some years. Both Janet Morgan and Laura Thompson mentioned them in their biographies. And at the time of the publication of the Morgan volume, in 1984, I well remember a book programme on BBC2 where she discussed the Notebooks; and there were brief shots of them as she spoke outside Greenway House.
Agatha Christie herself mentions them in her Autobiography where she explains that she often had a few of Notebooks at any given time and would write randomly in them; this presented her with the problem of making sense of them at a later stage when she eventually returned to them looking for her bright idea. They were carefully stored by Rosalind Hicks since her mother’s death and now form part of the Christie Archive. Few people, apart from Janet Morgan and Laura Thompson, both official biographers, have been granted access to them. When I first saw them in November 2005, at the invitation of Mathew Prichard, they were in a cardboard box in a room resembling Aladdin’s Cave upstairs in Greenway House, a room packed with Dame Agatha’s papers, manuscripts, letters, contracts, fan-mail, first editions – and Notebooks. In the course of one weekend I spent 23 hours poring over them. And have spent 100s of further hours with them ever since. They still fascinate me, and I hope that, through my book, they will fascinate you, too!
Since my last blog, people have asked me to explain a little more about Agatha Christie’s Notebooks, which I have been deciphering for my new book, published in September. The most common question has been, How many Notebooks are there?
There are over 70 Notebooks of all sizes, descriptions, colours and number of pages. For what they contain they are remarkably unimpressive…until you open and begin to read. Considering their uniqueness, I was reluctant to work straight from them and decided that photocopying the pages was the better option. This had to be undertaken carefully due to the age and fragility of some of the earlier Notebooks. In fact, 2 of the earliest, containing notes for, among others, Peril at End House and the stage version of Chimneys, could not be copied, as they were considered too delicate. Four trips across the Irish Sea and four visits to the photocopying shop were necessary, copying about 15/20 Notebooks on each visit. And I ended up with over 4,000 photocopied pages. Then the real work began.
The first job was to convert them into a readable format. This has taken almost 6 months, as Dame Agatha’s handwriting was, especially during her hugely prolific years, very difficult to read. But I discovered that if I left a page and returned to it a few days later, I could often make sense of a sentence that had earlier baffled me. But even at this late stage there are some passages that still defy me and I will probably be reduced to an educated guess. A detailed knowledge of all of Dame Agatha’s output is not just an enormous help but also a vital necessity. It helps to know, for instance, that a reference to ‘apomorphine’ is not a misprint or a mis-spelling but a vital part of the plot of Sad Cypress. But it does not help in the case of notes for an unpublished title or for ideas for a published work that she later discarded. As the weeks progressed I was surprised how used to her handwriting I became and I found converting the last batch considerably quicker than the first.
After creating readable files for each Notebook it was then necessary to extract the information about individual titles from these records in order to assemble a file on each title. This took longer than anticipated as most titles are scattered through many Notebooks; very few titles are plotted completely within the covers of just one. As many as a dozen Notebooks, for instance, are involved in the cases of e.g. Sparkling Cyanide and Sleeping Murder. By the end, I had files on all but half-a-dozen books, over 60 short stories, all of the plays and most of the Westmacotts and the Autobiography. The files vary in length from a few pages to over 100. But they are all fascinating.
THIS NEW NOVEL BY SOPHIE LITTLEFIELD SOUND ‘FUN’ IN A NOIRISH KIND OF WAY AND I LOVE THE COVER:
STELLA HARDESTY DISPATCHED HER ABUSIVE HUSBAND WITH A WRENCH SHORTLY BEFORE HER 50TH BIRTHDAY. A FEW YEARS LATER, SHE’S SO BUSY DELIVERING HOMESTYLE JUSTICE ON HER DAYS OFF, HELPING OTHER WOMEN DEAL WITH THEIR OWN ABUSIVE HUSBANDS AND BOYFRIENDS, THAT SHE BARELY HAS TIME TO RUN HER SEWING SHOP IN HER RURAL MISSOURI HOMETOWN.
BOOKGASM HAS A COOL REVIEW OF THIS INTERESTING GEM:
My introduction to Henry Kuttner’s world of screwball science fiction and fantasy came when I was a kid and came across a story called “The Misguided Halo.” It was about a novice angel who delivers a halo to a man living somewhere in middle America. He didn’t deserve the damn thing. It was a heavenly screw-up. You can imagine how wearing a halo might disrupt your daily activities, but in the story, the only way to lose it would be to do something unspeakably awful, which the poor sap couldn’t do because, well, he was wearing a halo.
Kuttner wrote serious SF as well, but I suspect his heart was always with the goofy stuff. The five stories in ROBOTS HAVE NO TAILS have respectable SF premises, but the characters … eh, not so much. Our hero is Galloway Gallegher, an untrained scientific genius who can create a machine for doing just about anything you can think of. His problem is that he can do it only when he’s smashed out of his gourd and Gallegher+, his subconscious, takes over. When he sobers up again, he has no idea what the problem is the machine is supposed to address, who he built it for, or how it works.
TO READ THE FULL REVIEW CLICK HERE
THE GREEN HORNET MAY HAVE ONLY LASTED ONE SEASON ON ABC-TV IN 1966, BUT IT SPAWNED A LEGACY THAT STILL LIVES ON. IN ADDITION TO MAKING BRUCE LEE A STAR, THE SHOW ALSO INTRODUCED THE BLACK BEAUTY, THE CLASSIC, GADGET-FILLED PERSONAL VEHICLE OF THE HORNET AND KATO.
TO CHECK OUT THE ULTIMATE WEB SITE DEDICATED TO THE CAR CLICK HERE
A SUPERHERO SALUTE TO CINEMA RETRO
The Agatha Christie Week celebrations kick off in the UK on the 13th September. To coincide with the Queen of Crime's birthday we have a week of events planned. Highlights include new radio productions; unpublished short stories; plays and debates. And of course we'll be reading and discussing Murder on the Orient Express and Dead Man's Folly in the book club. If you aren't able to join us in the UK, then why not keep up with the events we have planned through the website or why not plan your own with other fans?
Read more about the events on offer.
HAVE YOU JOINED THE BOOK CLUB?
In keeping with Christie Week, why not try reading Dead Man's Folly? It's based down at Torquay where the annual Christie Week festival takes place. Or prepare for The Southbank's Book Club on Christie and read Murder on the Orient Express. Go to The Royal Festival Hall in London on the 14th September to discuss her most famous novel or debate with other fans on the website. It's free to attend!
DID YOU KNOW...
...that the new Miss Marple series which debuted on PBS was one of Masterpiece Mysteries most successful broadcasts? We hope you enjoyed the films - and thank you for making them such a success!As always, the films have caused debate in the forum - why not have your say?
We've been inspired by one of our contributors this month. Join in the debate about the best Christie holiday reading.
EXERCISING THE LITTLE GREY CELLS!
1 - Which detective appears in the short story Death on the Nile?
2 - Who directed the second film to be based on a Christie novel?
3 - In which year did Joan Hickson make her West End stage debut?
LAST TIMES ANSWERS WERE:
1 - A Christmas Tragedy; 2 - 118 Haleham Street; 3 - David Horne
If you fancy a break from reading there are four Christie games you can download and take on holiday with you.
Monday, August 3, 2009
A NEW CLIENT (EXTRACT)
It was another slow day in the office. Actually, it had been a slow week in the office. No, if truth be known, it had been a lousy month for the Third Pig Detective Agency. That's me by the way: Harry Pigg, the Third Pig.
Where did the name come from? Well, I was the pig that built the house out of bricks while my idiot brothers took the easy route and went for cowboy builders and cheap materials. Let me tell you, wood and straw ain't much use when Mr Wolf comes calling. Those guys were pork-chops as soon as he drew in his first breath and filled those giant lungs of his. Blow your house down, indeed.
The Third Pig Detective Agency by Bob Burke can be found shelved in both adult and teenage sections of all good bookshops but you can also try and win a copy via the competition being run this month over at the Euro Crime blog.
TO ENTER CLICK HERE
THE FALL ISSUE IS A "MUST HAVE" FOR ALL RETRO MOVIE LOVERS. HERE ARE SOME OF THE HIGHLIGHTS:
Extensive tribute to Lee Marvin including Steve Mori's never-before-published interview from 1974 in which he extensively reflects on his long career.
Plus: Steve also recalls a fascinating look at his visit to the set of The Klansman starring Marvin and Richard Burton- and presents unpublished candid photos from behind the scenes. As if that wasn't enough, we have Steve Saragossi's tribute to Marvin's arse-kicking 1972 crime classic Prime Cut.
John Exshaw provides a major article on the history of the Fu Manchu films - with exclusive comments from Sir Christopher Lee.
Mark Mawston interviews British actress Shirley Anne Field about working on the kinky cult classic Peeping Tom and co-starring with Steve McQueen in The War Lover.
Bruce R. Marshall interviews Escape From Alcatraz screenwriter Richard Tuggle about the making of the Clint Eastwood/Don Siegel classic.
Steve Saragossi continues his extensive interviews with James Caan in which the legendary actor recalls co-starring with Harrison Ford (betcha can't remember the film title!) and, of course, his greatest role - as Sonny Corleone in The Godfather.
Dean Brierly provides the third and final installment of The Espionage Films of Alistair MacLean.
The Films from U.N.C.L.E. continues with Craig Henderson's analysis of The Helicopter Spies.
Tony Earnshaw presents fascinating insights into the making of the British cult classic Billy Liar.
Raymond Benson provides with his choices for the best films of 1974
Plus the usual extensive news about movie soundtracks, film-related books and hard-to-find DVDs.
CAN YOU REALLY WAIT ANY LONGER TO SUBSCRIBE ~ CLICK HERE
"BROADSWORD CALLING DANNY BOY... THE EAGLES SPECIAL EDITION HAS LANDED IN AMERICA! "
The Cinema Retro Movie Classics special edition tribute to Where Eagles Dare is now shipping worldwide. If you have pre-paid for the copy you reserved, you don't need to do anything - the magazine is en route to you right now. (If you paid by check, we will process the check this week. It's our policy not to cash checks until the item is ready to ship.)
If you have not paid for your reserved copy, please do so today. The demand for this issue exceeds our wildest expectations, so make sure you get your copy right away. Remember, this is a full 80 pages - 16 pages longer than the standard Cinema Retro issue - and it's packed with the rarest imaginable photos, international movie posters, collectibles and exclusive interviews. This is the definitive story behind the making of this classic WWII epic.
UK AND EUROPEAN CUSTOMERS:
The fee (which includes postage costs) is as follows:
Payment by cheque:
PO Box 1570
Or by Pay Pal (our UK/European recipient address is: firstname.lastname@example.org)
NORTH AMERICA AND ALL OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD:
For USA and Canadian orders: Price is $14 (includes postage)
ALL OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD
(EXCEPT FOR UK AND EUROPE):
Price is $20 (includes postage)
Please send check (US funds only, please) to:
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CREDIT CARD SALES Regardless of where you live, credit cards will be processed by our American office. Please send details to the address above or by E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org (Please split your card # into two separate E mails for security purposes.)
Thanks again for your continued support of Cinema Retro!
LEE PFEIFFER & DAVE WORRALL
CINEMA RETRO MAGAZINE
NOW, ONLY 97 BUCKS THRU AUG. 31 (plus shipping)
7,712 pages of articles, comprehehsnive jazz interviews with leading artists, CD and product reviews, PLUS 21 CDs featuring 300 tracks by leading and emerging artists, and 10 E-books including 1,700 pages of music & instruction
Value: Over 500 dollars for these volumes individually.
Summer Special - Only 97 dollars (plus shipping).
Good thru August 31, 2009.
Go here for complete information and to ORDER:
None of these will be reprinted. After this sale, when they're gone, that's it for these back issues & CDs. We've sold 25% of available stock at these prices in the first day on Friday. You can also get the entire 49 issue set of Jazz Improv NY Magazine - 3,112 more pages of jazz - ONLY 37 dollars (plus shipping)
TO ORDER Securely (Pay Pal, credit cards) CALL: 215-887-8808
Reserve now for Jazz Bakery relocation funding event to be held at the 200 seat state-of-the-art GRAMMY Museum Sound Stage!
Saturday Aug 29th 7:30pm
Ernie Andrews - legendary singer
Llew Matthews - piano
Richard Simon - bass
Roy McCurdy - drums
Host: KJAZZ's LeRoy Downs
Dori Caymmi - guitar / vocals
Bill Cantos - piano / keys / vocals
Jerry Watts - bass
Michael Shapiro - drums
Scott Mayo -sax / vocals
Host: KPFK's Sergio Mielniczenko
Tickets: $40 (Museum Members: $35)
Call the Museum Box Office:
Hours: 11:30 AM - 7:30 PM
Tickets can also be purchased in-person at the Museum Box Office as available. Tickets held at will-call - valid id required.
For more info call the JB: 310 271-9039
Show: 7:30 pm Sat. Aug 29th
Doors open: 7:00 pm.
Location: on the corner of Olympic Bl and Figueroa St.
Downtown Los Angeles, on the campus of L.A. LIVE. Museum
Entrance: on Figueroa.
Parking: available in the East Garage off Olympic.
The Jazz Bakery
Sunday, August 2, 2009
RELEASED JUNE 23, 2009
1. Among My Souvenirs
2. Strange Music
3. Dear Little Boy Of Mine
4. My Blue Heaven
5. Come Back To Sorrento (Torna A Surriento)
6. My Melancholy Baby
7. Deep Night
8. Cradle Song
9. If You Are But A Dream
10. Full Moon And Empty Arms
1. A Lovely Way To Spend An Evening
2. Embraceable You
3. All The Things You Are
4. They Say It's Wonderful
5. How Deep Is The Ocean
6. Time After Time
8. But Beautiful
9. The Song Is You
10. Fools Rush In (Where Angels Fear To Tread)
11. I've Got A Crush On You
12. I'm Glad There Is You
13. Love Me
14. Why Try To Change Me Now
1. A Fella With An Umbrella
2. Hush-A-Bye Island
3. Life Is So Peculiar
4. The Brooklyn Bridge
5. But Beautiful
6. If I Steal A Kiss
7. The Music Stopped
8. I Begged Her
9. The Right Girl For Me
10. Over The Rainbow
FOR MORE INFO CLICK HERE
WHEN THE ISLAND’S RAILWAYS ARE THREATENED, THOMAS AND HIS FRIENDS UNITE TO FORM A DEVASTATING WEAPON. I DON’T KNOW WHO MAKES THIS TOY, BUT IT’S ON SALE AT EBAY IN SINGAPOREAN CURRENCY.
A TIP OF THE FEDORA TO NEATORAMA
ESTHER MEANEY BY PATRICIA ABBOTT
Patti Abbott helped put BEAT to a PULP on the radar with The Instrument of Their Desire, which has been picked by Ed Gorman for an upcoming anthology. This week she returns to our pages with another equally riveting story. Make way for Esther Meaney.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Patricia Abbott has published more than fifty short stories in various literary and crime fiction publications including Murdaland, Plots with Guns, Pulp Pusher, The Thrilling Detective, Hardluck Stories, and Thuglit. Her story My Hero won a 2008 Derringer Award and her story A Saving Grace (The Thrilling Detective) was included in PRISONER OF MEMORY, an anthology of 2007's crime fiction. She lives and works in Detroit, Michigan. Visit her at http://pattinase.blogspot.com
Next week: Best-selling author, Nik Morton, with I Celebrate Myself.
Coming soon: David Fleming has Another Carrot to share.
TO DOWNLOAD CLICK HERE
WHO: SWANK PACK ~ DOUGLAS ROEGIERS, DAVE COX AND SPECIAL GUEST BONNIE GORDON
WHAT: THE SWANK PACK SHOW
Back for another round of music, magic and mayhem, Douglas Roegiers and Dave Cox return to the stage at the J.I. Lounge to perform their classic variety of Rat Pack-inspired, Las Vegas-style
entertainment. And, back by popular demand, up-and-coming vocalist, Bonnie Gordon, joins the boys to sing her renditions of Great American Songbook standards.
SLAM! Magazine says it’s “unlike anything seen in this town in quite some time.” Come be a part of the most swingin’ and ring-a-ding-dingin’ show in LA.
WHEN: THURSDAY, AUGUST 6, 2009
8:30 P.M. TO 11:00 P.M.
WHERE: J.I. LOUNGE AT PASADENA JAZZ INSTITUTE
260 East Colorado Blvd. Suite 206, Pasadena CA 91101
626 398 3344 / www.pasjazz.org
The Pasadena Jazz Institute is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, comprised of music educators, musicians and jazz music lovers, dedicated to promoting jazz education, preservation and participation. The Institute was founded in 2000 by Paul M. Lines, who serves as the Institute’s executive director.
Whether people think he’s channeling Bing, sounding like Sinatra or swingin’ like Dino, all who have experienced him sing agree that Douglas Roegiers is a quintessential, modern American crooner. A graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy of New York (AMDA), Roegiers can be seen performing at various nightspots throughout Southern California and on the first Thursday of every month at the Pasadena Jazz Institute as part of the Swank Pack show.
For more information, visit his web site at www.douglasroegiers.com.
Dave Cox has been performing his Mischievous Magical Mayhem professionally for 20 plus years, starting as a wee lad in a teeny tiny top hat. He is a frequent act at the Magic Castle in Hollywood; in 2007, he sailed for 132 days on the Princess and NCL cruise lines; and he recently was featured on the Masters of Illusion television program. His clients have included companies like Apple, Universal, IBM and RJR Nabisco, and celebrity clients who count him as their favorite magician are as varied as Pink, Dick Van Patten and Tom Cruise. Please visit him on the web at www.thedavecoxshow.com.