Friday, April 15, 2011

Bullet Points: Tax Day Edition

• In his blog, Squeezegut Alley, Nicolas Pillai offers up a pleasant remembrance of the film scores from two classic private-eye pictures: Harper (1966), starring Paul Newman in a story based on Ross Macdonald’s first novel; and The Long Goodbye (1973), featuring Elliott Gould as Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe.

• Among today’s offerings of “forgotten books” posts are mentioned these works of crime and espionage fiction: Nice Weekend for a Murder, by Max Allan Collins; The Baby Game, by Randall Hicks; Night Judgment at Sinos, by Jack Higgins; The Hog’s Back Mystery, by Freeman Wills Crofts; Blue Octavo and Broken Boy, both by John Blackburn; and Double in Trouble, by Richard S. Prather and Stephen Marlowe. A full list of this week’s participating bloggers is available here.

• I’m sure I have never once seen the 1957-1958 TV series, Decoy. But since it was apparently “the first American TV series to feature, as its main character, a policewoman”--played by Beverly Garland--I really ought to try and get my hands on the show sometime.

• The USA Network announces its Summer 2011 broadcast schedule.

• Which reminds me, USA’s two-hour Burn Notice prequel film, The Fall of Sam Axe, starring Bruce Campbell, will air this coming Sunday, beginning at 9 p.m. ET/PST. Click here to watch a preview.

• Meanwhile, TV Squad offers a peek at Sunday’s episode of The Killing, the AMC series that has won fans among Rap Sheet writers.

• If you’re planning to be in California’s central coast region in mid-June, and are interested in learning more about independent e-book publishing, here’s the ideal “five-day intensive” for you. This workshop will be taught by January Magazine editor Linda L. Richards and the mag’s exceptional art director, David Middleton. For more information, e-mail here or call 250-539-9845.

• Nearly every Congressional Republican voted today in favor of a budget plan that “eliminates Medicare, guts Medicaid, slashes funding for key domestic priorities, and lavishes another massive tax break on millionaires and billionaires,” explains The Washington Monthly’s Steve Benen. “The whole initiative is sold as a deficit reduction plan, but it doesn’t actually reduce the deficit--it just shrinks government and transfers wealth from the bottom up, imposing cruelty on elderly, disabled, and working families.” Salon’s Steve Kornacki notes that “Democrats are already promising to use this vote as the basis for their effort to win back the House in 2012.” With good reason: Medicare’s an extremely popular program, even within the GOP. Maybe somebody should remind would-be presidential candidate Rick Santorum of that, too. More on the potential consequences of todays vote here.

R.I.P., Walter Bruening, the world’s oldest man, who died this last Thursday at age 114. Yes, you read that right: 114.

• Also gone to that great reading room in the sky is Gerald Perry Finnerman, described as “the primary director of photography for Star Trek and then, two decades later, MoonlightingIn between came Night Gallery, The Bold Ones, Kojak, Police Woman, and a number of TV movies (he won an Emmy for 1978′s Ziegfeld: The Man and His Women).” Finnerman passed away on April 6 at age 79.

McMillan & Wife fans, take note: The Web site TV Shows on DVD has the release schedule for seasons 2 through 6 of that NBC Mystery Movie series, plus box art for seasons 4 and 5. As a formerly huge fan of McMillan & Wife, which starred Rock Hudson and Susan Saint James, I anticipate these sets will soon be appearing on my gift wish lists. (Hat tip to Thrilling Days of Yesteryear.)

Author-signing technology for the e-book era.

• In anticipation of Passover, which evidently begins on Monday of next week, Janet Rudolph has updated her rundown of mystery fiction appropriate to the holiday.

• Peter Andrew Leonard of The Man Eating Bookworm has devoted this week to championing Blake Crouch, author of the recent thriller Run.

• Speaking of fan tributes, Existential Ennui has spent the last few days gushing over books by American author Ross Thomas (1926-1995).

Arizona builds on its reputation for nuttiness.

• Allan Guthrie interviews Steve Mosby (Black Flowers), while Jen Forbus interrogates Alafair Burke, author of the forthcoming Long Gone.

• Lee Goldberg has compiled all four of his Jury novels, featuring Brett Macklin (“a one-man judge, jury, and executioner, fighting a war on terror on the streets of Los Angeles in the mid-1980s”), into a single volume. The Jury Series comes in a print edition or as an e-book. Goldberg originally published this series under the pseudonym Ian Ludlow.

• Independent publishers Severn House, Canongate Books, and Granta Publications will now be digitally distributed by Ingram’s CoreSource.

• And a year after it was relegated to back-burner status, Spinetingler Magazine’s Brian Lindenmuth seems to have reinvigorated his series, “Conversations with the Bookless.” His latest subjects include Matthew Funk, Chris Holm, and Matthew McBride.


michael said...

If you get a chance to watch DECOY, I recommend "The Come Back". Watching Peter Falk play a "punk" who falls for Garland's Casey Jones is a treat.

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

Gushing?! How very dare you! I'll have you know my blog is to be archived by the British Library, my good man.

Thanks for the link!

Brian Lindenmuth said...

This will be the third year that I've done a new round in the Conversations series. Each year, around this time, I run a new batch of them.

Winifred said...

Got an email from a fellow Harry O fan to say that Warner Archive's Facebook page on Monday indicated a release of Season 1 of Harry O. I can't find the posting but I hope he's right. Could be the reason they pulled the plug on all the Harry O full programmes on You Tube a couple of months ago.

If it's correct, although it's not a full DVD release it's better than having to resort to the bootleg versions and scams.

Adam Graham said...

The review didn't link to the episodes. But here's where 20 of them (of the 39) are hosted online:

michael said...

Adam, thank you for the link. You are right, I should have added that to my review.

Michael Shonk