Monday, October 31, 2011

Bullet Points: More Treats Than Tricks Edition

• Mystery and thriller writers often hold contests for readers who are interested in having their names used in upcoming novels. But this marks the first time I have heard of a competition among crime writers to have a new morgue named in their honor, this one to be established at Scotland’s University of Dundee. BBC News reports that
Crime-fiction fans can vote for their favorite author online--with each vote contributing £1 to the appeal.

Dundee University has committed £1m to the project, but another £1m needs to be raised.

The new morgue will adopt a “revolutionary” way of embalming--called the Thiel method--which keeps bodies flexible for longer.

This gives medics and researchers a more realistic way of testing techniques and practicing procedures, as well as developing new equipment and approaches.

Authors taking part in the “Million for a Morgue” campaign are: Tess Gerritsen, Kathy Reichs, Lee Child, Harlan Coben, Mark Billingham, Jeffrey Deaver, Jeff Lindsay, Stuart MacBride, Peter James and Val McDermid.
There’s more information about this morgue-building campaign here. And you can cast your vote and make a contribution to the new facility by clicking here. (Hat tip to James Gracie.)

• Anyone want to buy Erle Stanley Gardner’s old suitcase?

• The November edition of Mike Ripley’s “Getting Away with Murder” column for Shots has just been posted. Included in it are notes about Britain’s upcoming Reading Festival of Crime Writing, old works by Victor Canning and C.S. Forester, new works by Q.R. Markham and Elizabeth Wilson, and the end--“after 18 years of solid entertainment”--of Veronica Stallwood’s Kate Ivory series.

• The HMSS Weblog compiles the many rumors spread about the next James Bond movie, along with their original sources.

• Anyone lucky enough to be in New York City in mid-November should consider participating in the 8th annual Festival of New Literature from Europe. According to its Web site, the festival will feature “a series of readings and discussions in Manhattan and Brooklyn from November 15-17, 2011, with writers Caryl Férey (France), Zygmunt Miłoszewski (Poland), Ana Maria Sandu (Romania), Stefan Slupetzky (Austria), José Carlos Somoza (Spain), and Jan Costin Wagner (Germany), joined by U.S. guest author Dan Fesperman.” A concurrent film series will offer “both adaptations of crime novels and new approaches to the genre that play with the conventions of film noir.” The literary events are free and open to the public, but you’ll need tickets to the film screenings, available here.

• Meanwhile, crime-fiction fans in the Chicago area can look forward to two “Love Is Murder” mini-conferences scheduled to take place at their local libraries in November.

• “Free Mercury” is the title of Jodi MacArthur’s new short-story offering in Beat to a Pulp.

• Yvette Banek celebrates Halloween with a fine selection of classic book and magazine covers.

• There continues to be talk about how Republicans are destroying the U.S. economy for their own political gain.

• Damn, another Ellery Queen novel I have neglected to read. And this one is even a locked-room mystery, though the Puzzle Doctor says, “I can’t bring myself to recommend it except for a completist.” Hmm. I think I’ll have to find a copy, nonetheless.

• By the way, Ellery Queen is still big in Japan.

• Since I’ve become a fan of the new ABC-TV series Pan Am, my eye was caught this morning by an interview, in The Huffington Post, with Michael Mosley, who plays first officer Ted Vanderway on that show set amid the Jet Age of the 1960s.

• Wow, I didn’t know that Herbert Asbury ever wrote fiction.

• Virginia will soon have its first national monument.

• And given that Halloween is all about costumes (well, that and candy both), it seems appropriate today to highlight Scott D. Parker’s post, from Criminal Element, examining the evolution of Batman’s costume. He notes that, with his latest DC Universe incarnation, “Batman, with his beginnings in the dark days of the Great Depression, is now again the grim avenger of the night. And he’s got the costume and tools to do whatever it takes to bring criminals to justice.”

4 comments:

Ed Gorman said...

In the 80s an entry level editor at a big NYC house asked me if I'd consider carrying on the Lew Archer novels. I laughed for two reasons. First because she was way too far down the food chain to even float the idea--and because Margaret Millar was then still alive and I knew her well enough to know she'd never go for it. And second I said that would be like asking Carroll John Daly to carry on the Richard Stark novels. She'd never heard of Daly OR Stark if that tells you anything. She named a few other writers she was thinking of contacting and asked for my opinion. I said they were good writers but that none of them came close to the level of artistry found in the Archer novels. I said Archer was one of a kind. I'm not sure she had a clue as to what I was saying but at least the idea went nowhere. And, as far as I know, neither did she. I feel the same way about Joel Silver doing Archer. I'm imagining car chases and explosions and the kind of neo-noir tough guy patter Archer would never utter. I think I'll write Tom Nolan, fine writer and Macdonald's award-winning biographer, and see what he has to say about Silver-Archer. I suppose If nothing else it'll sell some of his books.

John said...

Jeff-

I always appreciate the increased traffic to my blog when you post a link to one of my articles. Thanks again!

Yvette said...

While I appreciate the plug, guys. My name is Yvette Banek, not Vivian.

Not that there's anything wrong with that name. :)

J. Kingston Pierce said...

Wow, I must have been pretty tired when I wrote "Vivian." Sorry for that error, Yvette. It has now been corrected.

Cheers,
Jeff