Thursday, May 03, 2012

From Here and There

• We’re now just two days away from the celebration known as Cinco de Mayo, so Janet Rudolph of Mystery Fanfare is re-posting her list from last year of Cinco de Mayo and Mexican crime fiction.

• I haven’t been a big reader of Craig Johnson’s Walt Longmire novels. But this trailer for the A&E-TV series based on those books makes me think the show--set to debut on June 3 at 10 p.m. ET/PT--might finally turn me into a fan of Johnson’s Wyoming sheriff.

TNT-TV has renewed Southland for a fifth season.

• Winners of the 2012 Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPYs) were announced yesterday. Among the 74 categories were two of particular interest to crime- and thriller-fiction followers. Omnimystery News has the wrap-up.

• Although I have enjoyed a great number of Max Allan Collins’ novels over the years, I confess to being relatively unread in his early series featuring Nolan, a professional thief and killer who’s longing for retirement. So it’s good news that Perfect Crime Books is reissuing six of those eight stories in trade paperback editions, with new introductions by Collins and handsome matching covers by Christopher Mills. (The other two entries in the Nolan series, Bait Money and Blood Money--both originally released in 1981--were reprinted in a 2004 omnibus edition by Hard Case Crime.)

• Fig Newtons have been around since 1891. Yet giant cookie producer Nabisco has suddenly decided to drop “fig” from the name of its chewy snack. “[T]he New York Times reports that the name change is a part of the brand’s attempt to appear more trendy after years of declining sales,” says Time magazine. “On the Richter scale of hip fruits, from goji berries to antioxidant-filled pomegranates, figs fall somewhere near laxative-y prunes. The new advertising plan features commercials intended to highlight Newtons’ other fruit flavors. Aimed at baby boomers, the commercials are also intended to be more cerebral.” Oh, pleeeeaaassse ... Fig Newtons are Fig Newtons, no matter what the advertising department at Nabisco might want to call them, and I’ve been eating those treats ever since I was a kid, back when ads like this one were popular.

Another commercial you won’t be seeing again soon.

• Author and editor Ed Gorman reviewed Don’t Cry for Me, William Campbell Gault’s 1952 debut novel, as part of The Rap Sheet’s series about forgotten books back in 2008. At that time, it was pretty difficult to dig up copies of Gault’s standalone work. But Prologue Books is making Don’t Cry for Me available once more, now in e-book format. And until this coming Saturday, May 5, you can download it for free. To learn more about novelist Gault, click here.

• As former campaign rivals Newt Gingrich and Michele Bachmann finally endorse Willard “Mitt” Romney as this year’s Republican presidential candidate, their denunciations of Romney come back to haunt the “severely conservative” and flip-flopping quondam one-term governor. See Gingrich question Romney’s offshore bank accounts and declare him a “liar” here, and click here for a list of Bachmann’s “10 best hits on Mitt Romney.”

• Finally, Kristin Centorcelli lists, in Criminal Element, the top five fictional detectives “you wouldn’t want on your tail.” Topping that rundown: John Connolly’s Charlie Parker.

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