Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Covering All the Bases

• Take note, all you Rex Stout fans who are planning to attending this year’s Bouchercon in San Francisco: The Wolfe Pack has scheduled its second annual Rex Stout Dinner at that city’s historic Payne Mansion (1409 Sutter Street) on the evening of Friday, October 15, beginning at 7 p.m. The meal will include a keynote speech by novelist Gayle Lynds titled “Nero Wolfe, the Spy.” Click here for registration details.

• As we’ve mentioned before on this page (see here, here, here, and here), the 1897 redbrick home Sir Arthur Conan Doyle built for himself in the Surrey village of Hindhead--the same residence, known as Undershaw, where he wrote The Hound of the Baskervilles and other works--has been endangered for most of this decade. Now, reports The Venetian Vase, Conan Doyle historian John Gibson “is appealing to [Britain’s] High Court to overturn planning permission to divide it up.” That blog features an interesting video tour of the estate as well as a link to the Save Undershaw campaign Web site.

• Meanwhile, Sherlock, the BBC/PBS-TV rebooting of Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes legend, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Holmes and Martin Freeman, is scheduled to begin a three-episode run in Britain this coming Sunday. The blog Squeezegut Alley offers a video preview of the series, plus an interview with its stars. As TV Squad notes, Sherlock “is expected to air later in the U.S. as part of the PBS Masterpiece series, though the U.S. premiere date has yet to be announced.” There’s still more on this show here and here.

• I must add this movie to my Netflix list.

• R.I.P., James Gannon. The American character actor, who I remember best for his role as Don Johnson’s sometimes eccentric father in the 1996-2001 TV crime drama Nash Bridges, passed away this last weekend at age 70. Read more here and here.

• I forgot to mention this before, but Kiwi books blogger Craig Sisterson is currently involved in “establishing both a New Zealand Crime and Thriller Writing Association, and the [country’s] inaugural crime-fiction award.” As he notes, “Down this way we have a Romance Writers Association and a Sci-Fi/Fantasy Association who each do great things to support local writers in their ‘genres,’ and give awards, as well as general/literary fiction-focused awards--but there is something of a gaping hole when it comes to celebrating those who write crime and thriller novels.” More here.

• Even as positive changes are made in the way the U.S. government conducts business, there have also been some ugly developments that make me worry about the nation’s future.

• The covers of these books alone might get me to buy them.

• Author and former director-general of Britain’s MI5, Stella Rimington, has listed her six favorite secret-agent novels in The Week. (Hat tip to Campaign for the American Reader.)

• John Kenyon of Things I’d Rather Be Doing talks with Max Allan Collins about his posthumous publication of Mickey Spillane novels, his forthcoming Quarry novel, and his interest in writing short fiction.

Inspector Morse will make his stage debut next month.

• The critically acclaimed Glenn Close TV series Damages is finally abandoning the FX-TV network for a coming two-year run on DirectTV.

• The Library of Congress and others are working on plans to save the best of today’s digital media works for posterity. It’s about time.

• Philo Grubb? At least Bookgasm’s Doug Bentin remembers the otherwise long-forgotten “correspondence-school detective.”

• And let me send out belated happy birthday wishes to the fetching Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars) on the occasion of her turning 30 years old. Ah, what it would be like to be 30 again ...

1 comment:

squeezegutalley said...

'To Trap A Spy' is great fun, and probably one of the better UNCLE flicks. It's an expanded version of the pilot, 'The Vulcan Affair'. Unlike 'Vulcan', which had scenes re-shot with Leo G. Carroll, 'To Trap A Spy' retains Will Kuluva as the head of UNCLE, Mr. Allison. Unfortunately, McCallum only has a few scenes. Nice turn from Fritz Weaver though, and the break-in to UNCLE HQ which starts the movie is classic stuff.

I'm looking forward to seeing the new Morse play in September. I'll be sure to let you know how it turns out! And thanks for your interest in Squeezegut Alley, it's always a thrill to be mentioned in The Rap Sheet!