• I was very sorry to read at The Gumshoe Site that onetime Edgar, Agatha, and Anthony awards finalist Margaret Lawrence (aka Lorrain “Margaret” Keilstrup) “died on January 15 at her home in Fremont, Nebraska,” at age 66. Gumshoe editor Jiro Kimura writes further:
Ex-playwright Margaret Keilstrup started writing, under the M. K. Lorens pseudonym, the mystery novels featuring Winston Marlowe Sherman, mystery-writing Shakespeare professor, beginning with Sweet Narcissus (Bantam, 1990) and ending with Sorrowheart (Doubleday, 1993). After the fifth and last Sherman novel, she wrote three midwife Hannah Trevor historical novels, starting with Hearts and Bones (Avon, 1996) and ending with The Burning Bride (Avon, 1998) under the Margaret Lawrence name. ... Her last novel was Roanoke (Random House, 2009).• Further bad news, this time from pseudonymous blogger Mercurie in A Shroud of Thoughts: “Film and television writer Robert Dozier passed on 6 January 2012 at the age of 81.” His many credits included episodes of Have Gun--Will Travel, Dan August, Batman, Harry O, and The Devlin Connection. Mercurie notes that “Throughout his career Robert Dozier wrote many fine scripts which upheld the underdog. It’s for that he will be remembered as a television and movie writer.”
• More opportunities to take up a 2012 reading challenge.
• One more challenge, this one coming from a Canadian broadcaster: “CBC Radio’s Day 6 is asking listeners to write a single sentence that breaks as many of Elmore Leonard’s famous Ten Rules for Writing Fiction as possible,” reports Shotsmag Confidential. “The five finalists will be featured on Day 6, and have their sentences published in The National Post. They will also win a three-book set of Elmore Leonard’s ‘Raylan Givens’ novels: Riding the Rap, Pronto, and the brand-new Raylan.” Entries will be accepted until midnight on Wednesday, February 1. Full submission details here.
• No wonder the Republican Party is freaking out at the prospect of disgraced former House Speaker Newt Gingrich becoming its 2012 presidential candidate. “Establishment Republicans,” writes one pundit, “[are] now saying things like, ‘Newt means losing 45 states.’”
• I used to own one of these James Bond Aston Martin Corgi cars, but lost it when my brother cleaned out our late parents’ home. Shoot!
• Speaking of Agent 007, The HMSS Weblog muses on the unlikely similarities between the James Bond of film and the comic book protagonist Batman.
• And bad typos appear even in New York Times photo captions.