Sunday, April 03, 2011

Of Surveys, Squids, and Super Spies

• Jen Forbus’ “World’s Favorite Amateur Sleuth Tournament” has been narrowed to just two finalists: Agatha Christie’s Miss Jane Marple and Brad Parks’ Carter Ross, neither of whom I expected would make it this far. Especially when their detecting competition included Lisbeth Salander, Flavia de Luce, the Amlingmeyer Brothers, and Lord Peter Wimsey. It is now up to you to pick between Marple and Ross. Vote here. Polling with continue through this coming Friday, April 8, with a winner to be named the next day.

• That competition, by the way, kicks off the coming “Moonlighting for Murder” theme week, during which a bevy of bloggers will celebrate part-time crime-solvers. A list of participants can be found over here.

• Congratulations to Kevin Burton Smith on the 13th anniversary (a lucky one, I hope) of his excellent crime-fiction database, The Thrilling Detective Web Site. As part of the festivities, he surveyed readers to discover their 13 favorite private eyes, and then posted the results here. No surprises, really, but still fun.

• In February, Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine announced its nominees for the 2011 Barry Awards, including half a dozen in the Best Short Story category. Only recently, though, did DP editor George Easter manage to post all six of those stories on his Web site. Click here for the links.

• The latest short-story entry in Beat to a Pulp is “Oedipus Shrugged,” by Minneapolis writer and audio producer Cooper Smith.

• Double O Section features a nice post about author Gary Phillips’ latest project. Together with artist Kevin Jones, he’s working on a comic-book series for Moonstone called That Man Flint, which introduces Derek Flint, the “super spy and Jack-of-all-trades originated by James Coburn in the movies Our Man Flint and In Like Flint,” to today’s generation of comic readers.

• Book translator Reg Keeland points me to an article in Solidarity that addresses author Stieg Larsson’s “political background, as told by his friend Håkan Blomqvist. Including some eye-opening views on Stieg’s relation to Grenada, the conservatives in power in Sweden, and the rise of racism there.” Read the article here.

In an essay for the Mulholland Books blog, Eric Beetner (Borrowed Trouble) applauds authors--including Cornell Woolrich and Mickey Spillane--who mastered the art of creating memorable book titles.

Never challenge James Bond to a drinking contest.

Making Jane Marple sexy just seems wrong on so many levels.

• Sure, every science-fiction story could benefit from the presence of a giant, menacing squid. But Pornokitsch’s list of their appearances misses mention of the monstrous cephalopod from Irwin Allen’s 1961 film, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.

• Expect the debut soon of a new flash-fiction site called Shotgun Honey. Edited by Kent Gowran, it’ll be a non-paying market for “stories maxing out at 700 words. Crime, hard-boiled, noir, whatever you want to call it is the name of the game.” More on what the site might offer can be found here. (Hat tip to My Little Corner.)

• In honor of the new baseball season, New Jersey photographer Mark V. Krajnak offers up his own interpretation of “baseball noir.”

• “Bookbitch” Stacy Alesi clues us in to what attendees can expect to see and do at this year’s ThrillerFest, taking place at the Grand Hyatt in New York City from July 6 through 9.

• Congratulations to Washington, D.C.’s Politics and Prose!

Demolition Magazine is being resurrected.

One of the all-time-great movie themes!

• Oline Cogdill profiles Forest Park, Illinois’ Centuries & Sleuths Bookstore, which, along with Minneapolis’ Once Upon a Crime, will share this year’s Raven Award, given out by the Mystery Writers of America.

Gil Brewer fans should take note of Virginia blogger David Rachels’ efforts to compile a complete tally of Brewer’s short fiction. Click here to see the rundown so far. (Hat tip to Pulpetti.)

• Two poll results that I don’t find surprising in the least: 84 percent of Americans find President Barack Obama “likeable,” while the count of people who hold unfavorable views of the angry, mostly white, and right-wing “tea party movement” is 47 percent, and climbing. (A measly 32 percent have favorable opinions of the tea party.)

• Ian Rankin picks his five favorite literary crime novels.

• Interviews worth reading: Cullen Gallagher goes one-on-one with Heath Lowrance, author of the new novel, The Bastard Hand; The Guardian’s Jon Henley quizzes Henning Mankell about what he says is his last Kurt Wallander book, The Troubled Man; Lesa Holstine talks with Heather Graham (Phantom Evil); James Reasoner speaks with The Writer magazine; and Scottish novelist and literary agent Allan Guthrie has plenty of great exchanges to offer in his new blog, Criminal-E, including chats with Declan Burke (Eightball Boogie), Anthony Neil Smith (Choke on Your Lies), and Tom Piccirilli (Nightjack).

• The still-untitled, 23rd James Bond film will begin shooting in November of this year, says one of its stars, for a planned release during the winter of 2012.

• And I hadn’t noticed this before, but Georgia student and blogger Nathanael Booth is in the midst of reviewing every episode from the one season of Ellery Queen, a 1975-1976 NBC-TV mystery series developed by Columbo creators William Link and Richard Levinson. You will find Booth’s posts in More Man than Philosopher.


Bryon Quertermous said...

Thanks for the note J. You were always one of our biggest supporters. It's good to be back.

Nathanael Booth said...

Thanks for linking. I'm enjoying the experience of combing back through the "Ellery Queen" series. I hope readers find it as much fun as I do.

Great 'blog, by the way; I'm definitely going to have to add it to my regular reading.

Winifred said...

Good grief, Jennifer Garner as Miss Marple! The whole point was she was an older lady. Are they completely barking? Yes.