The plot for Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde came to Stevenson in a dream. He was yelling in his sleep, and so his wife shook him awake, and he immediately informed her that he wished she hadn't — he was dreaming part of a story. He wrote and rewrote it in several weeks while he was in bed with tuberculosis, and when it was published--just a few months after he had first dreamed it up--it was an immediate success.• This week’s debut short story in Beat to a Pulp is “In the Hard Nowhere,” written by Chris Rhatigan, the co-editor--with Nigel Bird--of the e-book crime-fiction anthology Pulp Ink.
• Surely, I can’t be the first person to have noticed an astonishing musical commonality between Gene Roddenberry’s unsold 1974 TV pilot film, The Questor Tapes, and Darren McGavin’s 1974-1975 TV series, Kolchak: The Night Stalker ... can I? Read more about it here.
• P.D. James (Death Comes to Pemberley) has agreed to join the guest-author lineup at next year’s CrimeFest, May 23-27.
• Anthony Horowitz, a British screenwriter (Foyle’s War) and the author of the new Sherlock Holmes novel, The House of Silk, gives a short but not uninformative interview to CNN.
• For what it’s worth, Amazon has released its list of what it says are the 10 best mysteries and thrillers from 2011:
Before I Go to Sleep, by S.J. Watson
Reamde, by Neal Stephenson
Feast Day of Fools, by James Lee Burke
11/22/63, by Stephen King
Sister, by Rosamund Lupton
A Trick of the Light, by Louise Penny
The Most Dangerous Thing, by Laura Lippman
The Night Strangers, by Chris Bohjalian
Turn of Mind, by Alice LaPlante
The Affair, by Lee Child
• Sandra Ruttan defends the new TV series Prime Suspect.
• “While many may think of [John D.] MacDonald as a ‘pulp’ writer--and indeed he was one, with the majority of his short fiction written for such periodicals,” notes Steve Scott in The Trap of Solid Gold--“he wrote an awful lot of general interest, non-crime fiction that appeared in magazines not normally associated with mystery fiction.” Scott has more to say on this matter here.
• The DVD set Mannix--The Sixth Season is due out on January 24 of next year, while the “complete second season” of Angie Dickinson’s Police Woman will reach stores on February 7.
• Just the thing for fans of The Incredible Hulk.
• More news about the Man from U.N.C.L.E. movie, this time from Double O Section: “If The Wrap is to be believed (via Dark Horizons), then Bradley Cooper has passed on Steven Soderbergh’s Sixties-set feature film remake of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. He had recently been rumored as a frontrunner for the role of Napoleon Solo, the part made famous by Robert Vaughn on the classic 1960s TV series.”
• And never say that James Bond film-scripters can’t be prescient.