Sunday, April 01, 2012

Bullet Points: Another April Fool’s Edition

• Following closely on the news about a quintet of mystery-fiction prize winners at the 2012 Left Coast Crime convention comes an announcement, from the Short Mystery Fiction Society, of this year’s Derringer Award recipients:
Best Flash Story: “Lessons Learned,” by Al Leverone (Shotgun Honey, July 2011)

Best Short Story: “Touch of Death,” by B.V. Lawson, aka Bonnie Vanaman (Absent Willow Review, April 2011)

Best Long Story: tie -- “A Drowning at Snow’s Cut,” by Art Taylor (Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, May 2011), and “Brea’s Tale,” by Karen Pullen (EQMM, November 2011)

Best Novelette: Where Billy Died, by Earl Staggs (Untreed Reads)
A full list of nominees can be found here. The Derringers will be presented during Bouchercon in Cleveland, October 4-7.

• The April edition of Mike Ripley’s popular “Getting Away with Murder” column for Shots has just been posted. Among its contents are remarks on the latest round of releases from British thriller publisher Top Notch; Ripley’s recent lunch with historian-writer Len Deighton; a coming new book by African author Roger Smith; the death of Dorothy L. Sayers expert Christopher Dean; and a new competition (sponsored by Bloomsbury Publishing) for stories of 1,000 words or fewer. Oh, and there’s mention of a “tragic accident” befalling the elusive Scandinavian chef, model, and wordsmith Nisse Ektorp (The Blood Apple), about whom Ripley also wrote at this same time last year.

• Meanwhile, Shots editor Mike Stotter draws my attention to a marked resemblance between the covers of Owen Laukkanen’s new novel, The Professionals (Putnam), and the UK edition of Peter Speigelman’s Thick as Thieves (Quercus).

• Season 2 of The Killing, the U.S. TV adaptation of the Scandinavian noir series, Forbrydelsen (“The Crime”), is set to premiere tonight on AMC. Due to my disappointment with the first run of this show, I probably won’t be watching. But I expect there will be others still interested in learning who killed Rosie Larsen. More about The Killing’s sophomore season can be found here

• Mulholland Books’ wonderful Miriam Parker passed along this bit of movie news worth knowing:
Michael Koryta’s novel So Cold the River has been acquired by New Regency to be developed into a feature film. Koryta is adapting his own novel, a thriller with a supernatural twist, in which a filmmaker hired to document a wealthy man's hidden past unleashes the buried secrets of a Midwestern town that was once America’s most luxurious resort. Scott Silver (writer of The Fighter and 8 Mile) is producing along with Kevin Misher (Mirror, Mirror).
• As The HMSS Weblog notes, it was 45 years ago this month that the James Bond film spoof, Casino Royale, first reached theaters.

• Blogger Nick Jones of Existential Ennui has assembled a “permanent, ever-expanding ... gallery page of some of the most gorgeous British dust jackets ever to wrap around books in the 1950s and 1960s, especially crime and spy thrillers and science fiction.” Classic works by Patricia Highsmith, Nevil Shute, Donald E. Westlake, and Geoffrey Household are included. My favorite of the bunch, though, is artist Peter Probyn’s front for the 1962 edition of Time Is an Ambush, by Francis Clifford. Gorgeous!

• “The Poet of Skid Row,” David Goodis, is being immortalized by the Library of America with a volume collecting five of his novels. More about that collection can be found here.

• Elmore Leonard is interviewed by Megan Abbott for the Los Angeles Times Magazine. What a splendid pairing of subject and interrogator.

• Another interview worth reading: Paul D. Brazill asks Irish wordsmith Declan Burke about his favorite recent books, his research methods, and a collection of essays about crime and mystery fiction that he’s editing with John Connolly.

• With the centennial of the sinking of the RMS Titanic due on April 14 and 15, I recently watched the fine, 1958 big-screen film A Night to Remember, adapted from Walter Lord’s classic, 1955 novel of the same name and starring Kenneth More. What I’d forgotten until the credits started rolling, though, was that the picture was written by spy novelist Eric Ambler (whose books have been the focus of several “Books You Have to Read” essays in The Rap Sheet).

• A new USA Today/Gallup Poll finds Democratic President Barack Obama leading Republican challenger Willard “Mitt” Romney by nine points nationally, largely due to the president’s support from female voters. Gee, could this disparity have something to do with the Republicans’ “war on women”? D’ya think?

• Ed Lynskey (Lake Charles) chooses his six favorite mob crime novels, one of which is Peter Rabe’s War of the Dons (1972).

Mystery Scene magazine wants to hear about your favorite mysteries published during the 1950s and ’60s.

• I’m almost ashamed to have to admit this, but I have never read any novels by author J.J. Connington, aka UK chemist Alfred Walter Stewart. It seems, however, that I really should.

• And happy 60th anniversary to Singin’ in the Rain.

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