Sunday, January 31, 2010

Of Spats, Staats, and Spinoffs

Sorry to have been a bit quiet over these last few days, but I’m busily editing/rewriting somebody else’s book about one of America’s Founding Fathers. The project is educational, but it’s also taking a great deal of time to translate this academic prose into popular-history-style English. So for today, just a few quick hits:

• I hope that the juvenile pissing match now in progress between Amazon and mega-publisher Macmillan, concerning the pricing of e-books, will be over soon, and everybody can go back to buying and enjoying the works they want most. But the confrontation has certainly generated some interesting and heated responses. More on the matter here, here, here, here, here, and here.

• I was sorry to hear about the death on Friday, at age 80, of religious scholar and novelist Ralph McInerny. Among his numerous books were the Father Dowling mysteries, which became the basis for a 1987-1992 TV series starring Tom Bosley and Tracy Nelson.

• Was The Girl from U.N.C.L.E. (1966-1967), starring a young Stefanie Powers, really one of the 15 worst spinoff TV series of all time? Entertainment Weekly says so.

• We’re a little bit more than a month away from the screen debut in Philadelphia of Larry Withers’ documentary about American noir master David Goodis. Lou Boxer’s NoirCon blog has all the viewing details for March 5.

• While I’ve been hearing this same thing for, oh, the last five years, it seems that Cosmopolitan magazine has finally declared the death of the thong. Being a male with two appreciative eyes, I hope that Cosmo’s taste mavens are wrong.

Beat to a Pulp’s latest short-story offering is called “Angel of Mercy.” The author is David Price, “an ex-college jock and retired probation officer residing in California.”

• Evan Lewis is holding a mini-celebration of George Harmon Coxe’s fast-talking crime photographer, Flash (or Flashgun) Casey, in his blog, Davy Crockett’s Almanack. On Friday, he wrote about the 1946 short-story collection Flash Casey: Hard-boiled Detective. Yesterday, he featured an episode from the 1943-1950 radio drama series, Casey: Crime Photographer, starring Staats Cotsworth. (Listen to that here.) And today, he’s put up some pages from the four-issue run of the Casey, Crime Photogapher comic book.

• Still more on Flash Casey here.

• I might as well just quote this from Mystery Fanfare:Jedediah Berry has been named the winner of this year’s William L. Crawford Award for his first novel, The Manual of Detection. The award, presented annually at the International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts, is designated for a new fantasy writer whose first book appeared the previous year. This year’s conference will be March 17-21 in Orlando, Fla.”

• Among the contents of Mike Ripley’s February “Getting Away with Murder” column for Shots: the DVD release of Whiteout, the 2009 Antarctica thriller starring “the pneumatic Kate Beckinsale”; new books by Henning Mankell, Sean Cregan, and Belinda Bauer; the mostly forgotten crime writer, John Milne (Daddy’s Girl); and a fond remembrance of Desmond Bagley. Read it all here.

• Laura Lippman’s best-known protagonist, Baltimore private investigator Tess Monaghan, may soon be headed for a TV screen near you. Meanwhile, according to the same report, written by Mystery Scene blogger Oline H. Cogdill, Charlie Huston “currently is working with HBO to develop a TV show based on Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death. Alan Ball is the executive producer and that is good news as he’s the name behind True Blood.”

• Finally, I usually shy away from reading lists made by film stars and other celebrities. But I was curious to read about the six books Honor Blackman likes best. Blackman, of course, played John Steeds’s partner, Cathy Gale, in The Avengers, and Pussy Galore in the James Bond movie, Goldfinger.

1 comment:

MysterLynch said...

Laura, along with James Lee Burke (The Billy Bob Holland titles), signed a tv deal with Moviebooks a couple of years ago.

I think Laura's stuff could work well on cable.