Friday, November 19, 2010

Seeing the Sites

• Among the crime novels included in today’s Web-wide selection of “forgotten books” are: Let Them Eat Bullets, by Howard Schoenfeld; The Jade Figurine, by Bill Pronzini; Laidlaw, by William McIlvanney; Scandal on the Sand, by John Trinian; The Mandeville Talent, by George V. Higgins; Mr. Fortune Objects, by H.C. Bailey; I, the Jury, by Mickey Spillane; Murder at the Savoy, by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö; The Hanging Doll Murder, by Roger Ormerod; The Wandering Ghost, by Martin Limón; Affirmative Reaction, by Aileen Schumacher; Dealing, or The Berkeley-to-Boston Forty-Brick Lost-Bag Blues, by Michael Douglas; and Supernatural Sleuths, edited by Charles G. Waugh and Martin H. Greenberg. Click over to Patti Abbott’s blog for a full list of this week’s participating bloggers.

Daniel Woodrell (Winter’s Bone), who I was fortunate enough to meet last month at Bouchercon in San Francisco, is one of the “innovators” featured in Esquire’s December issue. “Woodrell’s characters are unmarred, elemental, not of our world,” remarks contributor Taylor Cabot. “In them we can see our essential selves. Woodrell does not write about lowlifes and meth heads in the Ozarks. He writes about us.” Click on the image shown at right to read the whole piece.

• As if James Ellroy doesn’t get enough exposure, now he’s going to host a Discovery Channel series that “will look at notorious L.A. crimes.”

This sounds like a worthwhile e-book venture.

• As a follow-up to our post from earlier this week having to do the 15th anniversary of the movie GoldenEye’s release, the following news from Deadline Hollywood is intriguing. “Pierce Brosnan is returning to television with an investigative thriller from veteran ER writer-producer Jack Orman and Sony Pictures Television that will likely go straight to series,” the site reports. “Orman has written a pilot script for the ex-007’s project, which Sony is shopping to international broadcasters with the goal to land pre-sales elsewhere before taking it to U.S. networks. The untitled drama centers on a ‘fixer,’ [a] private investigator specializing in international crisis intervention who is called in to help solve homicides, abductions, financial schemes, and other crimes anywhere in the world. It is largely based on the real-life experiences of international P.I. Logan Clarke, head of the Los Angeles-based Clarke International Investigations.”

• Mike Shayne and Robert McGinnis--what a pair!

Another short-story-writing challenge.

• David Dodge’s 1952 novel, To Catch a Thief--which Alfred Hitchcock turned into a much more famous movie of the same name--is finally back in print after half a century, reissued by Bruin Books. And the man who wrote that new edition’s introduction, librarian Randal S. Brandt, has contributed a fine essay about To Catch a Thief’s history and its author to the blog Mystery Fanfare.

• This has definitely not been the best season for new crime and legal dramas. I’m continuing to enjoy Detroit 1-8-7, The Defenders, and Martin Scorsese’s Boardwalk Empire, but I finally had to turn off Hawaii Five-O, after it failed to deliver much beyond trite plots, bikinis, and buddy humor. And although the midseason promises the return of Vincent D’Onofrio to Law & Order: Criminal Intent, I wasn’t hoping for much more. Lately, though, I’ve been seeing promotional spots for something called Fairly Legal, with eye-catching ex-Life co-star Sarah Shahi playing a San Francisco attorney turned mediator with (of course) an unconventional style. I make no promises that this USA Network series, to be introduced in January, will become a regular fixture on my TV-watching schedule, but it looks like it’s at least worth a shot.

• Meanwhile, and to nobody’s surprise, TNT has cancelled Dark Blue.

• If you’ve ever wanted to hear suspense and thriller novelist Ridley Pearson speak about his work, now’s your chance. Blogger Jen Forbus apparently interviewed Pearson during the Murder and Mayhem in Muskego convention earlier this month, and has now posted video of that exchange here, in six parts.

• In an interview with J. Sydney Jones, British author Leigh Russell talks about the importance of place in her Detective Inspector Geraldine Steel novels (Road Closed).

60 Years of Television’s Most Memorable Catch Phrases in 146 Seconds.” Several come from crime series. (Hat tip to Bill Crider.)

• Publisher Mulholland Books has joined forces with, “the brilliant genre fiction short-story showcase created by screenwriter Derek Haas.” More here.

• Double O Section reports that director Steven Soderbergh is “in early talks to take over directing duties on the long-in-development film The Man from U.N.C.L.E. at Warner Bros.” At the same time, The HMSS Weblog tries to clear up credit misconceptions about Ian Fleming’s influence on that 1964-1968 NBC-TV series.

• Does George Clooney really want a part in The Man from U.N.C.L.E.?

• Editor, author, and critic Maxim Jakubowski offers his top-10 list of crime-fiction locations and examples of novels in which he things those places are best represented. (Hat tip to Crime Watch.)

• One more list of note:20 Great Vintage Sleaze Reads,” which includes old works by both Lawrence Block and Donald E. Westlake.

Michael Dibdin’s Italian detective, Aurelio Zen, is due to appear in three feature-length dramas on BBC-TV early next year. More here.

• Finally, from In Reference to Murder: “The Washington Academy of Sciences and the bookstore Mystery Loves Company are sponsoring the 2nd Annual Science Is Murder Event featuring authors Louis Bayard, Dana Cameron, Ellen Crosby, [and] Lawrence Goldstone in a reception, panel and book-signing at the Washington Academy of Sciences, 1200 New York Avenue, Washington, D.C., December 21st from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.” If you’re in D.C., don’t miss it.


Randy Johnson said...

It's hard to disagree with your assessment of the new Hawaii Five-O after the latest installment. I knew McGarrett's old Navy seal buddy was going to be the villain about five seconds after he walked on scene.

Jared said...

I, for one, am greatly enjoying TERRIERS on FX and am eagerly awaiting Shawn Ryan's new series, THE CHICAGO CODE, which premieres on FOX in February.