Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Bullet Points: Post-nuptials Edition

The concentration of activity around my only nephew’s wedding has finally abated. He and his bride are currently off on their honeymoon, and the rest of us await the opportunity to scrutinize the zillions of shots taken during the ceremony by the cute and particularly active photographer hired to capture the occasion’s highlights. Life is settling back to normal here at Rap Sheet headquarter, leaving me time to finally unload some of the links I’ve been gathering over the last several days.

• Congratulations to New Zealander Craig Sisterson on the first birthday of his blog, Crime Watch. I wish I still possessed his level of blogging enthusiasm and energy.

• Author Jeffery Deaver, who has been hired to produce the next original James Bond novel, drops some clues to Scotland’s Daily Record about the story he has in mind:
“Because I am under threat of torture and all sorts of vile things, I can’t say too much. But I can reveal that he is going to exotic locations, including London,” Jeffery, 60, explains with a wry smile.

“What I’m doing is taking the Bond character that Ian Fleming created--the complex, dark, somewhat cynical yet curiously optimistic and patriotic man who lived a very fast life yet was devoted to his mission--and updating him. Set in 2011, he will be around 30 years old.

“The Fleming novels were brilliant literary mechanisms to get this fascinating character into a number of situations and lead him up to the big conflict with the villain. ...

“My books are cinematic and fast-paced. If you’ve seen the Daniel Craig film version of Casino Royale--it moved very quickly with lots of twists, turns and surprises. In the same sense, I think [the new book will] please everybody.”
(Hat tip to In Reference to Murder.)

• Actor Richard Schiff’s character on The West Wing, White House Communications Director Toby Ziegler, was always one of my favorites. So I’m very pleased to hear that Schiff has taken a role in the forthcoming Criminal Minds spin-off for CBS-TV, Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior. Crimespree Cinema explains that Schiff “will be joining the CM spin-off as FBI director Jack Fickler. The role is described as recurring.” Forrest Whitaker and Janeane Garofalo (who also did a stint with The West Wing in its final year) are already attached to the project.

• Who knew there were so many nurse novels? (Hat tip to Bill Crider.)

• Pulp International has amassed some terrific “pulp art with terror” book covers. Three of them I’ve used already in my Killer Covers blog, but the remainder I’ll add to my already voluminous stock of cover illustrations. Believe me, I can never have enough.

R.I.P., Kim Malo. Known for her work on the blog Hey, There’s a Dead Guy in the Living Room, she died last week at the young age of 52.

• I haven’t yet picked up a copy of the latest Hard Case Crime title, Murder Is My Business, a Mike Shayne novel by Brett Halliday, originally published in 1945. But this review in the blog His Futile Occupations ... leaves me hungry to start reading it.

Another novel I wouldn’t mind reading sometime.

• August West of Vintage Hard-boiled Reads isn’t helping one damn bit to whittle down my to-be-read book stacks. His latest recommendation from the publishing past: Murder Doll (1952), by Milton K. Ozaki.

• Last month I picked up on a challenge from Spinetingler Magazine’s Brian Lindenmuth to select five works that I think represent what’s best about crime fiction. Now Lindenmuth has compiled my book choices, along with those of many other bloggers and authors, into one post that might be extremely helpful to readers hoping to get a solid grounding in the genre or expand their knowledge of its reach.

• Attention all you Joe Pike fans: Robert Crais’ next novel, The Sentry, has a January publication date.

What to love about The Big Sleep’s bookstore scene.

• What’s with the rise of Tudor-era crime fiction, anyway?

• Permission to Kill’s David Foster talks at welcome length with the authors of three new spy novels due out this month--J.J. Cooper, Jeremy Duns, and Adrian Magson.

• Other new interviews worth reading: Blogger Jen Forbus has posted her conversation with Marcus Sakey, author of the new short-story collection Scar Tissue, in two parts-- here and here; J. Sydney Jones talks with Christopher G. Moore, author of the Vincent Calvino private-eye series (Asia Hand), set in Bangkok; The Independent fires off questions to Ruth Rendell for a short Q&A segment; and Doug Krentzlin from the online writers’ magazine Often Inspired (yeah, I’d never heard of it before, either) quizzes Steve Scott about his John D. MacDonald-devoted blog, The Trap of Solid Gold.

• Meanwhile, here are a couple of interviews worth listening to, when you have a chance: Jeff Rutherford chats up Lisa Lutz, author of the Isabel “Izzy” Spellman mystery series, for his Reading and Writing podcast; and Bookdagger features a 30-minute interview with P.D. James in which she “recalls the years spent developing her craft and the evolution of Adam Dalgliesh, the writers that inspired her, and the role of detective fiction in today’s society.”

• Who considers a CHiPs revival to be good news?

• Richard Price will take on the pen name “Jay Morris” in order to write a series of detective novels for publisher Henry Holt.

More bad news about the next James Bond film.

• There’s trouble on the set of CBS-TV’s forthcoming police drama, Blue Bloods. From TV Squad: “Executive producer Ken Sanzel has exited the show due to creative differences with star Tom Selleck, according to a report on Deadline. Selleck, who plays the New York City police chief (or commissioner--more on that later), had been rejecting scripts produced by Sanzel. The report suggests that Sanzel’s intent was to have the show go in a more procedural direction when Selleck wanted it to focus more on character development.”

• National Public Radio’s Linda Holmes has selected six new American TV series she thinks are worth tuning in for this fall. Half of her picks are crime-fiction related.

• Sarah Weinman gives a big thumbs up to Don Winslow’s new Southern California thriller, Savages (a “marvelous, adrenaline-juiced roller coaster of a novel [that] is a rookie reader's best introduction to his work”), while Bookgasm’s Alan Cranis touts the new Jack Liffey novel from John Shannon, On the Nickel (“Thanks in equal parts to its unfashionable locale and the unusual struggle of its protagonist, this latest title is one of the strongest and most memorable of the series.”).

• The coming Melbourne Writers Festival (August 27-September 5) will offer plenty of programming directed at crime-fiction enthusiasts.

Just how many books are there in the world?

• U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul looks nuttier by the day.

• And I am late in announcing this, as PulpFest 2010 ended in Columbus, Ohio, on August 1, but I didn’t want to completely forget about it. In any case, the winner of this year’s Munsey Award (presented to “a deserving person who has given of himself or herself for the betterment of the pulp community, be it through disseminating knowledge about the pulps or through publishing or other efforts to preserve and to foster interest in the pulp magazines we all love and enjoy”) is Mike Chomko, a PulpFest promoter and former editor of the pulp fanzine Purple Prose. In a note to The Rap Sheet, Chomko said, “I was truly honored to win the award and owe many thanks to those who have helped me in the world of pulps throughout my years of involvement in the hobby. In particular, I have to thank Jack Cullers and Barry Traylor, two of the three gentlemen with whom I helped to organize the first PulpFest.”

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