Sunday, April 08, 2012

Bullet Points: Easter Edition

• English thriller novelist Duncan Kyle (aka John Broxholme, 1930-2001) isn’t somebody whose work I have read much, but it appears I’ll soon have the chance to remedy that deficiency. In a press release, Mike Ripley--a Shots columnist and sometime Rap Sheet contributor, who also edits Ostara Publishing’s Top Notch Thriller series--says that Ostara is reissuing Kyle’s A Cage of Ice (1970) and Terror’s Cradle (1974) as both print-on-demand trade paperbacks and as e-books. “Kyle’s classic World War II thriller Black Camelot [1978] was published by Top Notch in 2010,” Ripley adds. To reacquaint readers, like me, with this author’s fiction, Ripley has put together an excellent backgrounder titled “The Guile of Duncan Kyle.”

• This week’s new short story in Beat to a Pulp comes from writer, blogger, and Grift Magazine editor John Kenyon. His tale is called “Sinking in the Sea of Love.”

• Crass commercialism reigns as British spy James Bond switches from martinis to Heineken beer in his 23rd film adventure, Skyfall.

• Speaking of beer, Danish brewing company Carlsberg has produced a pretty clever new commercial. (Hat tip to Byron Rice.)

• In case you haven’t heard, longtime 60 Minutes co-host Mike Wallace died on Saturday night at age 93. CBS News has announced that 60 Minutes will feature a special presentation in Wallace’s memory next Sunday, April 15. More here, here, and here.

• Killer Charles Manson sure has aged--and not well.

• Here’s an anniversary I’ll bet slipped your mind: It was 109 years ago yesterday that George Chapman, a Polish serial killer (born Seweryn Antonowicz Kłosowski) who was once suspected by Scotland Yard of being the notorious Jack the Ripper, was hanged for murder at Great Britain’s Wandsworth Prison.

• Edgar Award-winning author Naomi Hirahara offers some final thoughts on last weekend’s Left Coast Crime convention in Sacramento, an event that produced five proud prize winners.

• What did I do yesterday to celebrate James Garner’s birthday? I watched his first two Rockford Files movies, I Still Love L.A. (1994) and Blessing in Disguise (1995). I’d forgotten how fun those are!

• I don’t find the new Web site Curated Mystery Books all that innovative in concept or novel in scope, but if you’re looking to sift through lists of crime, mystery, and thriller works in search of something new to read, you might check it out.

• I’ll definitely have to stop by here on my next swing through San Francisco. As the blog UrbanDaddy explains, the onetime printing room of that city’s Examiner newspaper has been turned into a “subterranean, 1950s-era cocktail lounge ...” I suspect the old journos of William Randolph Hearst’s time would approve.

• Not surprisingly, Isaac Hayes’ theme from Shaft and singer B.J. Thomas’ equally memorable “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head,” from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, rank among Paste Magazine’s “20 Best Songs Written for Movies.”

• Why didnt I hear about this before? Aaron Sorkin, creator of television’s The West Wing, has a new program debuting on HBO on Sunday, June 24. Titled The Newsroom, it stars Jeff Daniels as a cable news anchor “who, together with his staff, set[s] out to put on a news show ‘in the face of corporate and commercial obstacles and their own personal entanglements.’” Sam Waterston, Emily Mortimer, and Olivia Munn number among the cast. The Reaction has a preview here.

For the blog My Book, the Movie, American-born writer James Thompson imagines who might star in future films based on his three (so far) novels featuring Finnish policeman Kari Vaara, the most recent of which is 2012’s Helsinki White.

This post makes me want to read Moonraker all over again.

• And a holiday just wouldn’t be a holiday anymore without Janet Rudolph posting a list of mystery novels appropriate to the occasion. Here she offers a rundown of Easter-oriented crime fiction.

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