Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Bullet Points: Summer at Last Edition

Yes, that’s me (in the lower right-hand corner) seated outside Minneapolis’ Target Field, waiting to see the Minnesota Twins beat the Chicago White Sox, 1-0. (Photo by Byron Rice.)

I spent last week in Minneapolis, Minnesota, visiting my best friend from college. Although the days were rather hot (thanks to high humidity), we found enough energy to drop in on the Raven Award-winning Once Upon a Crime bookshop, dig up some long-out-of-print works at Uncle Edgar’s Mystery Bookstore, sample--more than once--the ice-cream offerings at Sebastian Joe’s, get tickets to a Twins game in the city’s still new outdoor ballpark, and rack up some serious back-patio reading time at my friend’s house. I tried not to think about blogging at all. But now that I’ve returned, I find the need to catch up with what’s been happening the crime-fiction world. Here are some links of interest:

• The USA Network crime drama Burn Notice will commence its fifth-season run tomorrow night at 9 p.m. ET/PT. AOL TV (formerly TV Squad) catches viewers up on the series thus far, while Omnimystery News offers a preview of the fifth-season opener.

This is good news: “ announced today that its publishing division, more specifically its mystery and suspense imprint Thomas & Mercer, has acquired the publication rights to the 35 titles in the 87th Precinct series by Ed McBain, a pen name used by Evan Hunter. ... The first books will be published this fall in print, digital, and audio formats. In addition, 12 titles from the author’s Matthew Hope series will also be published, starting next year.”

• More Thomas & Mercer news, this time from Max Allan Collins:
Award-winning author Max Allan Collins’ Chicago Lightning: The Collected Nathan Heller Short Stories, to be published by Thomas & Mercer on October 4, features Chicago P.I. Nathan Heller as the narrator of thirteen crime stories based on real cases from the 1930s and 1940s. Known for his graphic novel, Road to Perdition, the basis of the Academy Award-winning film starring Tom Hanks and Paul Newman, Max Allan Collins is a recipient of the Private Eye Writers of America lifetime achievement award, the Eye, and is the writer and director of five feature films and two documentaries. Leading up to the publication of Chicago Lightning, AmazonEncore will re-release twelve other Nathan Heller books in August.
• John Lutz’s early Alo Nudger private-eye novels are finally being brought back into print. They’re also available as e-books.

• An addition to our blogroll: Weekly Lizard, a news and features site produced by publisher Vintage Crime/Black Lizard. More here.

• Talk about forgotten books, how many readers remember 1936’s President Fu Manchu, by Sax Rohmer? (Hat tip to Elizabeth Foxwell.)

Alfred Hitchcock on the difference between mystery and suspense. (Hat tip to Harry Shannon via Facebook.)

• Congratulations to Spinetingler Magazine for launching Snubnose Press, an independent publisher of crime-fiction e-books. Its debut release is an anthology, Speed Loader, now available via Smashwords.

• A couple more top-notch British thrillers being brought back into print by Ostara Publishing: Rogue Male, by Geoffrey Household, and Funeral Sites, by Jessica Man.

• After California novelist Keith Raffel wrote, in The Rap Sheet, about his new e-book thriller, Drop By Drop, he was interviewed on the same subject by the San Jose Mercury-News. You’ll find that piece here.

• Writer, director, and producer Robert Foster, whose TV credits included Knight Rider, Chicago Story, Kojak, The Mod Squad, and Run for Your Life, died on May 30 at his home in Sherman Oaks, California. Cause of death was brain cancer. Foster was 72 years old. (Hat tip to The Gumshoe Site.)

• Classic Film and TV Café celebrates Kolchak: The Night Stalker ... and 77 Sunset Strip ... and, by the way, Murder, She Wrote.

• For Criminal Intent, Jake Hinkson names his five favorite classic heist films. One of them is The Asphalt Jungle (1950).

• Crime Watch’s Craig Sisterson reports that “the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel, and by extension, New Zealand crime fiction in general, now has an official Facebook presence.” Just so you know ...

• Everybody seems to agree that the non-conclusive finale to AMC-TV’s much-heralded police drama, The Killing, was a major disappointment. It might be harder for AMC to draw viewers in for a second season.

• After an extremely extended hiatus, Shannon Clute and Richard Edwards have re-launched their Web site, “In addition to the site features you’ve always loved,” they explain, “you’ll now find simple, hyperlinked lists to all past episodes of our podcasts ... We’ve also captured and archived lots of press and testimonials about our podcasts, and have created an expanded list of our many friends in the blogosphere that provides a handy reference for all who love film noir and hard-boiled literature.” Welcome back, guys!

• Barbara Fister recaps (in some detail) the recent Stieg Larsson and Scandinavian Crime Fiction symposium held at the University of California, Los Angeles. Part I can be enjoyed here. Part II is here.

• And keep an eye out this coming Friday for “A Man Couldn’t Breathe,” a much-forgotten short story written by David Goodis (under the pseudonym David Crewe) and published originally in the April 6, 1935, issue of Detective Fiction Weekly. Evan Lewis of Davy Crockett’s Almanack will post scans of the story here on Friday morning.

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