Thursday, May 13, 2010

Cancellations, Confrontations, and Debuts

• Can this be true? NBC-TV has cancelled the classic Law & Order. The network has so far declined to comment on the matter. But if confirmed, writes TV Squad’s Andrew Scott, “Law & Order would end after 20 seasons on NBC, thus preventing it from breaking Gunsmoke’s record as the longest-running drama in television history.”

• British spy novelist Jeremy Duns (Free Agent, Free Country) has done the unthinkable: He’s finally launched his own blog. So has crime writer Mark Timlin (Stay Another Day), who once proclaimed that he’d start a blog only “when hell freezes over.” The appropriately named Mark Timlin’s Blog can be found here.

• New Zealand’s Craig Sisterson has pinned Irish writer and Rap Sheet contributor Declan Burke down for one of his signature 9mm (9 Murder Mystery questions) interviews. I particularly like his answer to the question, “If your life was a movie, which actor could you see playing you?” Burke’s response: “If my life was a movie, it’d be stuck in development hell. Who would I like to see play me? George Clooney, one of the very few interesting movie stars with real screen presence. Who would be likely to play me? Steve Buscemi.” Their whole exchange is here.

• If you happen to be in England at the end of August, then critic, author, and Shots columnist Mike Ripley just might have the perfect academic experience for you. You’ll find more about that here.

An ideal gift for American gangster history buffs?

ThugLit’s third short-story anthology, cleverly titled Blood, Guts, and Whiskey (as if we might expect anything else from editor Todd Robinson and his crew), is due for release in less than two weeks by Kensington.

• Arizona’s draconian new racial-profiling legislation, ostensibly designed to curb illegal immigration, is proving a disaster for tourism in a state that was just barely climbing back from declines in that industry. Meanwhile, the governor has doubled-down on dumb. The Associated Press reports that “Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has signed a bill targeting a school district’s ethnic studies program, hours after a report by United Nations human rights experts condemned the measure. State schools chief Tom Horne, who has pushed the bill for years, said he believes the Tucson school district’s Mexican-American studies program teaches Latino students that they are oppressed by white people.”

• Fortunately, there still seem to be a few sane people living in the Grand Canyon State. Spinetingler Award-winning reviewer Lesa Holstine is “showing [her] true political colors” by hosting a Latino Book Month Giveaway in her blog. Seven books are on offer. The deadline to enter this contest is next Wednesday, May 19.

And this is hilarious!

Thirty photographs that changed the world. Really.

• I realized today that I never said a ding-dang word about the latest edition of Mystery Scene magazine (No. 114). Among the issue’s highlights: a profile of author Lisa Lutz (The Spellmans Strike Again); Tom Nolan’s look at Cara Black’s Franco-American fiction; Lawrence Block’s glance back at the career of Donald E. Westlake; Vicky Delany’s report on the Klondike Gold Rush backdrop of her latest novel, Gold Fever; and Kevin Burton Smith’s recollections of the short-lived and offbeat, 1980 TV mystery series, Tenspeed and Brown Shoe.

• Finally, though you won’t find most of that content at the newly redesigned Mystery Scene Web site, you will find some older stories--such as Judith Sears’ retrospective on the Trixie Belden children’s mystery series--being offered for the first time to Web browsers.

1 comment:

Lesa said...

Thank you! I showed this article to one of my staff members who said he always thought I was one of the few sane people, and it's nice that he's been proven right.