Sunday, January 02, 2011

New Year, Fresh Tidbits

• Only one more week remains until the 2011 David Goodis memorial, to be held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on Sunday, January 9. According to the Noir Con blog, participants will congregate first at the Goodis mausoleum in Roosevelt Memorial Park (2701 Old Lincoln Highway), and then take a “brief tour” of Goodis-related sites in the city. Address questions to

• The 18th installment of Dick Adler’s serial novel, Forget About It: The First Al Zymer Senile Detective Mystery, has now been posted here. If, for some odd reason, you haven’t been keeping up with that story and need a refresher, you will find a full archive of the chapters here.

• Good news for Robert Wagner fans: The word from TV Shows on DVD is that home-video producer eOne will bring the debut season of It Takes a Thief (1968-1970), Wagner’s first series, to stores this coming summer. The site reports, “we’ve also heard rumors that [Wagner’s] 1975 series with Eddie Albert, Switch, is also coming to DVD in the future (albeit from a different studio than Thief).”

• Anyone interested in buying The Girl from U.N.C.L.E. on DVD?

• It seems President Obama has set aside a bit of time for fiction reading while vacationing with his family in Hawaii this holiday season. The White House reports that the president has packed along copies of both David Mitchell’s The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet and John le Carré’s latest spy novel, Our Kind of Traitor, in addition to a biography of Ronald Reagan. As The New York Times notes, “The president’s wife makes a brief guest appearance in the Le Carré book; in one passage, characters cannot visit the gardens of [Paris’] Champs-Elysees because ‘Michelle Obama and her children are in town.’”

• It’s taking a while, but the blog Where Danger Lives has been counting down the “100 Greatest Posters of Film Noir.” The latest batch covers numbers 60 to 51, including the placards for Ride the Pink Horse, Pickup on South Street, and I Died a Thousand Times. Look here for numbers 70-61; here for 80-71; here for 90-81; and here for 100-91.

• Those Sexy Vintage Sleaze Books celebrates the “handful of titles” Donald E. Westlake wrote in the mid-20th century under the pseudonym Edwin West. They were published by Monarch Books and carried “lesbian, collegiate, and incest themes.” Learn more here and here.

In the blog Two-Fisted Tales of True-Life Weird Romance, Joe Ackerman recalls the excellent work of pulp illustrator Hugh Joseph Ward. (Hat tip to Bish’s Beat.)

Shots contributor Michael Carlson and Bob Cornwell of Crime Time offer contrasting views on the TV movie adaptations of Henning Mankell’s Kurt Wallander stories. Read their comments here, here, and here.

• Check out these last “best books of 2010” lists from John Kenyon, Vince Keenan, Dan Fleming, Donna Moore, Jochem van der Steen, Spinetingler Magazine, Rob Kitchin, and Bookgasm.

• The seventh series of the BBC One’s Hustle will premiere this coming Friday. Robin Jarossi provides an overview in Crime Time Preview.

• I’ve never once thought to screen the 1968 British-French film Girl on a Motorcycle, but seeing the promotional poster leaves me craving an immediate viewing.

• The new year brings more U.S. health care reforms.

• R.I.P., Agathe von Trapp, Geraldine Doyle, and Kodachrome film.

• The group blog Do Some Damage continues its eminently readable Christmas Noir series of short stories with a tale from British author Col Bury. Click here to read his yarn, “Snakes ’N’ Ladders.”

• This last Friday, New Year’s Eve, was supposed to mark a rare week off for Patti Abbott’s “forgotten books” series. But several regular contributors made reading suggestions, anyway. Among the titles suggested were Epitaph for a Tramp, by David Markson; Enemy’s Enemy, by Jan Guillou; Summer of Sin, by Orrie Hitt; and Bragg’s Hunch, by Jack Lynch. The very popular, Web-wide forgotten books series should recommence this coming Friday.

• And even though it wasn’t mentioned as part of Abbott’s series, Merry Christmas, Murdock (1989)--reviewed by Ben Boulden in Dark City Underground--certainly counts as a long-neglected work of crime fiction. It was one in Robert J. Ray’s five-book series featuring Orange County, California, gumshoe Matt Murdock.


Col Bury said...

Hey, Jeff.
Thanks very much for the mention. I'm honoured. But it's called Snakes n Ladders, not 'Sticks'. LOL

J. Kingston Pierce said...

I appreciate your pointing out the typo, Col. It's fixed now.