Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Bullet Points: Hump Day Edition

• Three crime-fiction-related birthdays of note today: Miss America-turned-actress Lee Meriwether, who took the part of Buddy Ebsen’s daughter-in-law on the private-eye series Barnaby Jones, turns 74 years old. Louis Gossett Jr., who you’ll remember--from among many other roles--playing restaurateur/detective Ray Alexander in a couple of 1990s teleflicks, an anthropologist/sleuth in the short-lived series Gideon Oliver, and The Rockford Files’ Marcus “Gabby” Hayes (a P.I. part he was hoping to continue playing in a spin-off series called Gabby & Gandy, co-starring Isaac Hayes), will be confronted with 73 candles on his birthday cake today. And Bruce Weitz, probably best-remembered as the scrubby, irascible Sergeant Michael “Mick” Belker on Hill Street Blues, celebrates his 66th year on the planet today. In addition, our best wishes go out to Richard Schiff, who starred as Toby Ziegler on the terrific series The West Wing; he’s 54 years old today.

• Permission to Kill has posted two parts of an article by lawyer Narayan Radhakrishnan that looks closely at Indian crime fiction translated into English. You’ll find Part I here, with Part II here.

• A reminder about Patti Abbott’s latest flash-fiction challenge, this one built around the idea of “a wedding cake in the middle of the road.” As she explained earlier this month, “The ‘wedding cake in the road’ can be the main idea or a sidebar--so long as it’s in there, like the gun in Plots with Guns.” The date for posting stories will be next Thursday, June 4. If you don’t have your own blog in which to post, Aldo Calcagno will host your story at Powder Burn Flash. Let Abbott, Calcagno, or Gerald So know in advance, if you want to participate in this challenge.

• Donald E. Westlake, science-fiction novelist?

• There are many reasons to be pleased with President Barack Obama’s choice of U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Sonia Sotomayor to replace the retiring David Souter on the U.S. Supreme Court. But one of particular note to this audience: She’s a big Nancy Drew fan. (Hat tip to Elizabeth Foxwell.

Some people seem just to have been born idiots.

• I was amused to discover, in Patrick Balestar’s still-developing list of “things to do before you die,” this assignment: “Read The Rap Sheet and then visit all of the links that J. Kingston Pierce lists on the sidebar ... all 656 of them.”

• There’s a nice piece about Georges Simenon’s The Rules of the Game (1988) on The Neglected Books Page.

Stephen J. Cannell will release seven of his less-well-recalled TV crime dramas on DVD this fall, including Booker, a 21 Jump Street spin-off. More information here.

• Tod Goldberg talks with BiblioBuffet about writing Burn Notice TV tie-in novels, the newest of which is The End Game.

• As reported by In Refernce to Murder, “the well-regarded mystery conference Hard-boiled Heroes and Cozy Cats, held annually in Dallas, Texas, has had to cancel their program this year. It was scheduled for June 19-20, and all those who had already registered will have their money refunded. Hopefully, if the economy picks back up, the conference will return in 2010.”

• With brothers Joel and Ethan Coen preparing to turn Michael Chabon’s 2007 novel, The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, into a feature film (look for it in 2010), Irish author Adrian McKinty (Fifty Grand) reposts a review of that wonderful book that appeared originally in Declan Burke’s Crime Always Pays.

• Author Beth Groundwater reviews last weekend’s Mayhem in the Midlands conference.

• Usually, when somebody mentions an American TV program from the 1960s, ’70s or ’80s, I can at least remember it, though I may never have watched the thing. But Fitz and Bones? No memory of it whatsoever. Which is funny, since it was produced by Glen A. Larson and starred the Smothers Brothers. As Wikipedia explains, “In 1981 Tom and Dick Smothers played non-brothers in a light drama, set in San Francisco, titled Fitz and Bones. Both characters worked at a Bay Area television station; Tom played cameraman Bones Howard and Dick played Ryan Fitzpatrick, an investigative reporter. The show was canceled after five episodes.” Hmm. Still nothing.

No comments: