Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Bullet Points: Carnivals, Crooks, and Cavemen

First off, I would like to thank Jason Starr for his fine turn yesterday as The Rap Sheet’s latest guest blogger. I hope that all of you enjoyed his comments and recollections as much as I did. And I want to add something I forgot to mention in my introduction of Starr: In addition to his next new novel, Panic Attack (due in bookstores come August 2009), Hard Case Crime will finally issue an American edition of his novel Fake I.D., which has been available in Europe since 2000. Hard Case’s edition is due out in June.

Now, on with the show ...

• Carnival of the Criminal Minds creator Barbara Fister hosts the latest (can it really be 27th?) appearance of that criminally creative compilation of blog hits and idiosyncratic observations about this genre. She covers a gamut of goodies, from economic issues involving publishing, to forgotten books, to South African crime fiction, to the ubiquitous Ali Karim’s thoughts on “The Importance of Crime and Thriller Fiction.” You can enjoy all of Fister’s remarks here. Oh, and apparently, the carnival heads for our patch next, so I’d better start getting things in order.

• Even though I once had the hots for Lindsay Wagner (yeah, I admit it), this is a video clip from the 1970s that I probably could have gone my whole life without seeing again.

• A note in Elizabeth Foxwell’s blog about pulp-fiction posters created by students at the University of Buffalo led me to a couple of marvelous resources, which I’ll have to bookmark for reference later. The first is the University of Buffalo Libraries’ selection of great pulp-fiction cover art. The second is the George Kelley Paperback and Pulp Fiction Collection, which “provides an in-depth look at 185 detective and mystery novels originally published during the period 1930-1960.” What great ways to wile away free hours, combing through those databases.

Author, blogger, and Rap Sheet poster Declan Burke has narrowed down the list of his 10 favorite crime novels from 2008--but comes out a mite heavy with John McFetridge titles.

• Continuing with the “best of” theme, Christopher Valen picks his “Top Ten Crimes of 2008” at Probable Cause.

From the blog Double O Section: “Hurrah! TVShowsOnDVD reports that Paramount will release the 1983 CBS TV movie The Return of the Man From U.N.C.L.E. (aka “The 15 Years Later Affair”) on DVD March 3, 2009. Being made for television, the 97-minute feature will naturally be presented in full-screen. Not only should this news thrill U.N.C.L.E. fans (many of whom lamented its omission from Warner’s otherwise thoroughly impressive Complete Series box set), but Bond and Avengers fans as well. The movie fittingly co-starred other former spies Patrick Macnee (stepping in as a replacement for U.N.C.L.E. boss Mr. Waverly, owing to Leo G. Carroll’s death in 1972) and George Lazenby (as a tuxedoed, Aston Martin-driving secret agent identified only as “JB”). No word at this point on any extras or cover art.” UPDATE: More here.

• While we’re on the subject of DVD news, I hear that the second-season collection of Don Johnson’s second-best-known TV series, Nash Bridges, is due out in March.

• Wow! Free reading material from Bleak House Books. Not that my to-be-read pile can legally climb an inch higher ... (Hat tip to Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind.)

• Is there a Veronica Mars movie in the offing? Cast member Enrico Colantoni says “yes.”

• “Flintstone, Fred Flintsone.” OK, let me get a show of hands on this. How many of you remember that there was a full-length Flinstones movie made back in 1966, in which “caveman Fred Flintstone step[s] in for his injured döppelganger, a Stone Age James Bond named Rock Slagg”? Yeah, me neither. But apparently, that film is just out in DVD format.

• With mistletoe, tree-trimming, and present-opening time fast approaching, Scott D. Parker suggests re-reading the only Christmas-themed Sherlock Holmes story known to exist, “The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle.”

• For your next trip to Manhattan, a discriminating guide to New York bookstores, courtesy of New York Magazine. As author Jason Pinter notes, however, this compilation is shockingly bereft of mystery bookstores.

• And editor Steve-O’s latest viewing pick over at Noir of the Week is one of my favorite old films, The Lost Weekend (1945), starring Ray Milland and the first Mrs. Ronald Reagan, Jane Wyman.

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