Thursday, February 24, 2011

Bullet Points: Too Much on My Plate Edition

Sorry for the shortage of posts in recent days, but in addition to my usual editorial responsibilities, I’ve been trying to complete work on parts of a crime-fiction encyclopedia. I am looking forward to things settling down--at least a bit--within the next couple of weeks. For now, here’s a round-up of news items that don’t necessarily justify posts of their own, but are nonetheless of interest:

• If, like me, you’ve been enjoying episodes of Law & Order: UK (which, with the British accents and everything, seems so much more sophisticated than its U.S. predecessor), then you’ll want to read Robin Jarossi’s preview of series four, which begins its run in March.

• Wednesday brought Part VI of Black Lens, the Ken Bruen and Russell Ackerman story being serialized in the Mulholland Books blog.

• Robert J. Randisi, whose latest Rat Pack Mystery, I’m a Fool to Kill You, just came out in January, is one of several contributors to At the Bijou’s “Rat Pack Revue.” His first post can be found here, but he’s supposed to offer more in the near future. You should be able to find all parts of this miniseries here.

• Meanwhile, Nick Jones--aka Louis XIV, “The Sun King”--is spending this week recalling the five Philip St. Ives novels author Ross Thomas penned under the pseudonym Oliver Bleeck. His posts so far in Existential Ennui can be found here, here, here, and here. Stay tuned for the final installment tomorrow (here).

• Was Richard Diamond the best old-time radio private eye?

• Now, this is a terrific James Bond book cover. To see more, check out Illustrated 007’s file of Bond fronts from UK publisher Pan.

• Thriller writer Daniel O’Shea contributes the latest story to the podcast Listen here to O’Shea reading “Thin Mints.”

• Day Labor, the Crimefactory blog, has dug out a 1996 interview with James Crumley, who died in 2008. Read it here.

Arthur Conan Doyle--arctic adventurer?

• Here’s a question I don’t often hear, but that Slate contributor Joe Keohane raises: Whatever happened to pickpocketing? “Pickpocketing in America,” Keohane writes, “was once a proud criminal tradition, rich with drama, celebrated in the culture, singular enough that its practitioners developed a whole lexicon to describe its intricacies. Those days appear to be over. ‘Pickpocketing is more or less dead in this country,’ says Harvard economist Edward Glaeser, whose new book, Triumph of the City, deals at length with urban crime trends. ‘I think these skills have been tragically lost. You’ve got to respect the skill of some pickpocket relative to some thug coming up to you with a knife. A knife takes no skill whatsoever. But to lift someone’s wallet without them knowing ...’”

• While Cara Black recounts the back-story to her new, 11th Aimée Leduc mystery, Murder in Passy, Kelli Stanley looks ahead to a potential film version of her second Roman noir novel, The Curse-Maker.

• I want to acquire this book for its title alone!

• Did Victorian London serial killer Jack the Ripper once live in Rockhampton, Queensland? Or was he another person entirely, who was buried in Brisbane, Queensland? Either way, Australia could lay claim to history’s most notorious murderer.

• New Jersey freelance illustrator Rob Kelly, who I’ve mentioned at least a couple of times in the past, and who I knew was looking to move into book-cover design, has finally started down that path. He’s illustrated the front of an e-book crime thriller called Strip Till Dead, by Mike Gerrard. Read more about the project here.

• L.A. novelist/Rap Sheet contributor Gary Phillips and artist Manoel Magalhães have posted, at FourStory, another episode in their long-running “Bicycle Cop Dave” Webcomic. Catch up on the series here.

• I bid a sad farewell this week to Seattle’s Fremont Place Books.

• A new Web site worth watching: The National Night Stick, which promises to gather together lots of fascinating features about “Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th-century America.” (Hat tip to Murder by Gaslight.)

• I can’t forget to mention this week’s addition to Beat to a Pulp. It’s a hard-boiled yarn called “The Death Fantastique,” by John Hornor Jacobs.

• Peter Temple’s novel Truth is set for a film adaptation.

• It’s probably time I saw this movie again.

• And I fondly (but only vaguely) remember seeing the 1973 TV pilot, The Norliss Tapes, which starred Roy Thinnes as an investigative reporter specializing in the supernatural--kind of an early stab at ground soon to be trod by Kolchak: The Night Stalker. However, I’ve never been able to watch Norliss again. Until now. While trolling the contents of YouTube, I happened across that 72-minute picture, broken up into seven parts. Part I (here) should lead you to the rest. Happy viewing!


Randal Brandt said...

"Deliver Me From Eva" by Paul Bailey is just out in a new edition from Bruin Books. Find it on Amazon.

Louis XIV, 'The Sun King' (Nick Jones) said...

Many thanks for the links, sir. That final Oliver Bleeck post is up right now.

Anonymous said...

"Pat Novak for Hire" (on The Great Detectives of Old Time Radio podcasts) has a place up there with classic radio's best detective shows. Jack Webb plays the lead. He and sidekick Joko Madigan deliver Richard Breen's surreal dialogues like sublime jazz riffs...