Monday, March 15, 2010

Bullet Points: Daylight Savings Time Edition

• You can now vote in Round Two of blogger Jen Forbus’ “World’s Favorite Detective” tournament. There are a few uncomfortable pairings among the 16 on offer (how does one choose between Philip Marlowe and Travis McGee, for instance, or Tom Thorne and Alan Banks?), but decisions must be made. Cast your ballots here.

• The latest short-story in Beat to a Pulp comes from Pennsylvania woodworker Joshua Andra. His yarn is called “My Best Pal.”

• Hamilton Burger, how could you? Larry Harnish, author of the Los Angeles Times’ excellent history blog, The Daily Mirror, takes us back to 1960 and Perry Mason actor William Tallman’s arrest at a nude pot party in West Hollywood.

Here’s a book cover that will instill fear in the hearts of all those narrow-minded, right-wing American Christianists.

• Other than a brief mention last year in Mystery*File, I don’t think I had heard anything about writer Cleve F. Adams until blogger Evan Lewis started writing about his literary output in Davy Crockett’s Almanack. After first recommending Adams’ Sabotage as a “forgotten book” worth reading, Lewis has now posted a complete Adams novelette, “Jigsaw,” which first appeared in the June 11, 1938, edition of Detective Fiction Weekly. More on Adams’ series protagonists can be found here.

The Guardian’s Claire Armitstead talks with Sara Paretsky about her latest V.I. Warshaswki novel, Hardball. Listen here.

Is this the key to changing the world’s sexual balance of power?

• TV Squad has posted a frustratingly brief preview of the March 31, third-season return of USA Network’s In Plain Sight, which stars Mary McCormack as a deputy U.S. marshal attached to the Federal Witness Protection Program.

• Could detective fictionist Raymond Chandler and his wife, Cissy, finally be reunited in a San Diego cemetery?

• Casting news on TV remakes that don’t need remaking: Alan Tudyk has signed up to play Detective Dennis Becker on NBC’s new The Rockford Files, while Designing Women’s Jean Smart is slated to take state governor’s duties in Hawaii Five-O.

• Who remembers Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law?

• Interviews worth reading: J. Sydney Jones chats with Timothy Hallinan, author of the Bangkok-set Poke Rafferty series, and also with Shamus Award winner I.J. Parker. Meanwhile, Lesa Holstine goes one-on-one with Thomas Kaufman, author of the recent release, Drink the Tea. Dan Wagner has his own interview with Kaufman in The Hungry Detective.

• Max Allan Collins writes in Mystery Fanfare about collaborating with his author wife, Barbara (Antiques Bizarre), as well as with fellow novelist Matt Clemens and the late Mickey Spillane.

• Today is the 25th birthday of Computer geeks rejoice!

• Sarah Weinman has gone and done it now. She has finally convinced me to try reading one of David Carkeet’s novels. UPDATE: Les Blatt has more to say about Carkeet here.

• John McFetridge offers up a few ideas for producers who might be looking to cast a film or TV movie from his latest novel, Let It Ride. More on that subject here.

• Another blog worth checking out: Chalk Outlines in Snow, composed by Deegan Stubbs.

• And Salon’s Gabriel Winant wades into the continuing scandal surrounding the Texas State Board of Education’s determination to distort American and world history in favor of narrow-minded, right-wing viewpoints--distortions that are, unfortunately, destined to affect students living even outside of the Lone Star State. “What the board voted for on Friday,” Winant writes, “is more or less what you’d guess: less Franklin Roosevelt, more Ronald Reagan [in history textbooks]. The board will require students to learn about the key actors and moments in the rise of the New Right: the Moral Majority, Phyllis Schlafly, the Heritage Foundation and the Contract With America. Even the Tea Parties may make their way in.” Read all of Winant’s piece here.

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