William Link, co-creator of Columbo, the television series that starred Falk, last year published a book of short stories featuring the character, titled The Columbo Collection; four of these stories will be selected and presented as Live Broadcast Theatre productions, presented in the style of old-fashioned radio shows.• Meanwhile, The HMSS Weblog recalls a couple of Columbo episodes in which Falk’s famous police protagonist encounters spies.
The character was featured at the inaugural mystery festival in 2007 in Link's play “Columbo Takes the Rap,” about a rapper who is murdered. Norm Boucher, who played the character then, will reprise his role in the new productions.
• The July 2011 edition of Mike Ripley’s “Getting Away with Murder” column in Shots includes notes on the 25th anniversary of Britain’s Headline Publishing Group, the launch of an “ambitious” new series by Nicci French, the 40th anniversary of the release of Frederick Forsyth’s The Day of the Jackal, and thrillers referencing the 1934 shooting, in Marseilles, of King Alexander of Yugoslavia (“the first political assassination to be filmed by the news-reels, or so I’m told”). You’ll find Ripley’s latest column here.
• Final arrangements are being made for PulpFest 2011, which is scheduled to take place from Friday, July 29, to Sunday, July 31, in Columbus, Ohio. You’ll find all necessary registration and program details, as well as information about this year’s Munsey Award nominees, at the PulpFest Web site (click here).
• A programming note from author Eric Beetner:
The inaugural gathering of Noir at the Bar, L.A. edition, hits town on Sunday, July 17th with our special guest Duane Swierczynski. We’ll be mingling and knocking them back at Mandrake bar at 2692 S. La Cienega Blvd in Culver City. Also featuring readings by Josh Stallings (Beautiful, Naked & Dead, Out There Bad), Holly O’Neill West (Diary of Bedlam), Stephen Blackmoore (City of the Lost), and Eric Beetner (One Too Many Blows to the Head, Borrowed Trouble). It’s free and open to anyone, writers or not. The response has already been overwhelming. Special thanks to the Noir at the Bar crew from St. Louis for help and encouragement in getting the L.A. boys going.For more information about this event, check with the Noir at the Bar: L.A. Edition Facebook page.
• A new Webzine worth watching: White Cat Publications.
• The Rap Sheet wasn’t able to participate in this last Friday’s blog coverage of “forgotten books,” but there were plenty of fine works mentioned, including these crime novels: Lullaby Town, by Robert Crais; Hunt the Killer, by Day Keene; Murder in Mesopotamia, by Agatha Christie; Poison in the Parish, by Millward Kennedy; The Adventure of the Ecotoplasmic Man, by Daniel Stashower; Last Respects, by Catherine Aird; and The Conch Shell Murder, by Dorothy Francis. Also recommended were the short-story collections The Sorceress of the Strand, by L.T. Meade and Robert Eustace, and Victorian Tales of Mystery and Detection, edited by Michael Cox. Series organizer Patti Abbott offers a full list of last week’s participating bloggers here.
• Summer reading suggestions from Megan Abbott and Joseph Finder.
• At least a couple of crime writers will be celebrating their birthdays later this week: Martin Edwards on Thursday, July 7; and Christopher G. Moore on Friday, July 8.
• Republicans seem to firmly reject Reagan’s legacy.
• And anyone who’s read Raymond Chandler’s Farewell, My Lovely knows about rumrunner Tony Cornero’s luxury casinos of the 1930s and ’40s, the ones that used to be anchored off the coasts of Santa Monica and San Pedro, three miles out in international waters, where he thought them safe from interfering government authorities. Now the Los Angeles Times’ Jacket Copy blog alerts us to the existence of book about that “fascinating chapter” in America’s criminal history, Noir Afloat: Tony Cornero and the Notorious Gambling Ships of Southern California, by Ernest Marquez (Angel City Press). (Hat tip to Mark Coggins.)