Sunday, February 27, 2011

Piece by Piece

• Yowza! The ever-lovely Ashley Judd is supposedly “close to a deal” that would have her starring as a “highly skilled former CIA agent who heads off to Europe in order to find her missing teenage son” in a possible ABC-TV spy series called Missing. Double O Section offers a bit more information on this subject.

• Critic and Rap Sheet contributor Dick Adler sent me the photo on the left, accompanied by a note reading, “If you remember this, you’re an oldie.” I guess I don’t qualify, because I have absolutely no memory of the Book-O-Mat. I did, though, find a piece in Bill Crider’s Pop Culture Magazine that supplies details about that odd paperback-vending machine, which debuted after World War II. Click on the photograph to fully appreciate the Book-O-Mat. (Hat tip to Boing Boing.)

• By the way, there’s another new installment of Adler’s serial novel, Forget About It: The First Al Zymer Senile Detective Mystery, available here. To catch up with the complete story so far, click here.

• The seventh Jesse Stone TV mystery, Innocents Lost, is scheduled for broadcast on May 22 on CBS. Omnimystery News explains that this teleflick is “not adapted from any of [Robert B.] Parker’s novels, but is an original screenplay co-written by Tom Selleck, who plays Jesse Stone.”

• Classic Film and TV Café celebrates the “timeless dramady” Remington Steele (1982-1987), which starred Stephanie Zimbalist and Pierce Brosnan as mismatched private eyes. You’ll find that post here.

• Another celebration is taking place at Adam Graham’s Great Detectives of Old Time Radio site, only it’s the 1959-1960 series Johnny Staccato receiving all the applause.

• A couple of interviews worth reading: J. Sydney Jones chats up Stuart Pawson, British author of the D.I. Charlie Priest mysteries (Very Private Murder), while Cullen Gallagher talks with Wallace Stroby, who wrote the rewarding recent thriller, Cold Shot to the Heart. (There’s another interview with Stroby at the Violent World of Parker site, in which he talks about Donald E. Westlake, Richard Stark, and his influences.)

• Stroby contributes a piece of his own to the Mulholland Books blog, writing about how he uses organized crime in his fiction.

• Another Mulholland Books post worth checking out: Michael A. Gonzales’ tribute to Ernest Tidyman, who wrote the John Shaft detective novels but isn’t as well remembered these days as he ought to be. “Although he was not on a par with Hammett and Chandler,” author Woody Haut tells Gonzales, “he wasn’t far behind.”

• Gonzales is also the author of this week’s new short story in Beat to a Pulp, “A Different Kind of Blue.”

• And I, for one, can never have too much of Lauren Bacall, so it was with pleasure that I found the actress profiled this month in Vanity Fair. “She’s one of the last of Hollywood’s golden-age stars--the girl who stole Humphrey Bogart’s heart at age 19 and has been grappling with their dual legend ever since,” the magazine teases. “Now 86, Lauren Bacall looks back on a lucky, if often difficult, life as she gives it straight to Matt Tyrnauer, talking about the effect of Bogey’s fame on her and their kids; her very brief engagement to Frank Sinatra; her stormy second union, to Jason Robards; and why she hates the Oscar she received, in 2009.”


Bill Crider said...

The B&W photo that Dick sent is on my blog in color here: I think there's a different one in B&W on the blog if I can find it.

Bill Crider said...

Oh. It's under the article. Of course.

Anonymous said...

Anyone looking to hear more of Lauren Bacall can find her with Bogie on a classic OT radio show, Bold Venture. I think there are around 50 shows on the web (MP3), which sees the two of them operating out of Havana in all kinds of shenanigans involving their boat, the Bold Venture. Her sassy backchat throughout is classic Bacall.