Sunday, February 26, 2012

Of Fests, Ferraris, and Film Fare

• In Reference to Murder’s B.V. Lawson reminds us that this week “the popular Sleuthfest opens in Orlando, Florida, and runs March 1-4. The guests of honor include Charlaine Harris (Sookie Stackhouse novels), Jeffery Deaver (Lincoln Rhyme series) and Chris Grabenstein (John Ceepak books), but many other authors will be on hand for panels and signings. Plus, this year the event features its first-ever dinner mystery theater.” To stir up interest, the Orlando Sentinel conducts a pre-festival interview with author Harris.

• The Winter 2011-2012 edition of Mysterical-E has been posted here. Among the contents are short stories by John M. Floyd, Rosemary Mild, and Richard Hart; Gerald So’s post-Christmas gift-buying suggestions; and Jim Doherty’s rundown of what he says are the “10 best private eyes created especially for TV” (including Peter Gunn, Miles C. Banyon, Harry Orwell, and Man in a Suitcase’s McGill).

• Eric Beetner laments the loss of “cool cars” from TV crime dramas. “With the rise of pure procedural,” he writes in Criminal Element, “the cars have become unnecessary. When much, if not most, of your action takes place in a lab, why bother with a snazzy car?”

• OK, so it isn’t a mystery or thriller novel. But how can you not love the front and back cover art on this 1967 edition of Tom O’Brien’s “adults only novel,” Hippie Harlot?

• As a tie-in to tonight’s Oscars presentations, Mystery Fanfare’s Janet Rudolph looks back fondly on the decades-long list of “Academy Award-winning and -nominated crime movies,” including In the Heat of the Night (1967), The French Connection (1971), The Godfather (1972), Chinatown (1974), and Fargo (1996).

• Speaking of crime-focused movie fare, The Mysterious Press’ blog has been slowly “recounting the films chosen by Otto Penzler for his now out-of-print 2000 collection, 101 Great Films of Mystery & Suspense.” The latest write-up--No. 45--covering Dirty Harry (1971) follows entries about Little Caesar (1930), The Big Heat (1953), And Then There Were None (1945), Detective Story (1951), and more.

• Crime Watch’s Craig Sisterson notes that “New Zealand actor Marton Csokas has been tapped to play Spanish chief inspector Javier Falcón in a [British] television adaptation of the novels by Robert Wilson.” The first book in Wilson’s series was The Blind Man of Seville, which I chose as one of January Magazine’s favorite books of 2003. Let’s hope this series someday makes it to America.

• Lenny Picker of Publishers Weekly interviews Paul Grossman, author of the World War I-era detective thriller Children of Wrath (a sequel to The Sleepwalkers), due out later this week.

• Meanwhile, Walter Mosley talks with the Chicago Sun-Times about his wide range of novels and his resurrection of series sleuth Easy Rawlins, whose first new adventure since Blonde Faith (2007) should be released by Doubleday next year.

• And Downton Abbey fans, in particular, should be pleased to receive this news: The writer of that popular British historical drama, Julian Fellowes, has a new miniseries about the 1912 sinking of the Titanic prepared for broadcasting this coming April--the 100th anniversary of the luxury liner’s destruction in the north Atlantic. The potentially bad news is that U.S. viewers may not be allowed to see Fellowes’ new project until May.

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