Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Bullet Points: Fourth of July Edition

• Given today’s holiday here in the States, let me start out by pointing you toward Janet Rudolph’s list of Fourth of July-related crime fiction. Just in case you need something to read while you’re waiting for burgers to finish barbecuing this afternoon.

• And how would Nero Wolfe celebrate Independence Day? Classic Mysteries blogger Les Blatt offers up at least one clue.

• Can we expect more shower scenes? Fifty-two years after director Alfred Hitchcock brought Psycho to the silver screen, U.S. TV network A&E has commissioned a prequel series to that infamous thriller film. “[T]he contemporary series will explore the relationship between Norman Bates and his mother before he became a serial killer,” reports Omnimystery News. “Though no pilot per se will be filmed, Anthony Cipriano wrote the screenplay that would have served as one--and will presumably be the first of the series’ 10 episodes.” Bates Motel is scheduled to debut on A&E in 2013.

• A scheduling change has been announced in the month-long rolling blog tribute to British novelist Reginald Hill (who passed away in January). After a brief recent break, the schedule will resume this coming Friday, July 6, with these entries to come. Check back here for new posts through mid-July.

• New additions to Ostara Publishing’s print-on-demand line of Top Notch Thrillers include The Pass Beyond Kashmir (1960), by Berkely Mather, and Big Bear, Little Bear (1981), by David Brierley.

• Meanwhile, The Feminist Press has added American entertainer Gypsy Rose Lee’s 1942 “wild murder mystery,” Mother Finds a Body, to its Femmes Fatales classic pulp series. Erik Preminger, “the secret love child of [film director] Otto Preminger and the burlesque legend,” supplies a foreword to this edition. I hadn’t heard of the Femmes Fatales series before this month, yet it already includes such gems as Dorothy B. Hughes’ In a Lonely Place, Vera Caspary’s Laura, and Women’s Barracks, by Tereska Torres.

• Following up on the death yesterday of Andy Griffith, The HMSS Weblog recalls his impressive 1972 appearance on the original Hawaii Five-O, a guest shot “that had connections to James Bond movies as well as Griffith’s 1960-68 television series.” Read more here.

• As this year’s U.S. election season heats up, we see President Barack Obama’s campaign hitting hard at Republican challenger Willard Mitt Romney for his history as a corporate pioneer in outsourcing American jobs. Although some of Obama’s fellow Democrats were chary of such attacks, economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman says they’re totally appropriate. “After all,” Krugman writes, “what is Romney’s case--that is, why does he want us to think he should be president? It’s not about ideology: Romney offers nothing but warmed-over right-wing platitudes, with an extra helping of fraudulent arithmetic, and it’s fairly obvious that even he himself doesn’t believe anything he’s saying. Instead, his thing is competence: supposedly, his record as a successful businessman should tell us that he knows how to create jobs. And this in turn means that we have every right to ask exactly what kind of a businessman he was.”

• Up to now, BBC America has been rather stingy with its video trailers for the new historical crime series, Copper, set to premiere on August 19. But Omnimystery News has posted a two-minute, behind-the-scenes look at this show focusing on “an intense, rugged Irish-immigrant cop working [New York City’s] notorious Five Points neighborhood” in 1864. You can watch it here.

• I selected Gerald Elias’ new book, Death and Transfiguration--his fourth to star blind musician-turned-amateur sleuth Daniel Jacobus--as my crime novel of the week in mid-June. Now the blog Author Interviews offers an exchange with Elias in which he provides some background on that work.

• Another interview worth reading: Crime Fiction Lover’s conversation with Tony Black, the Scottish author of a short new novel called The Storm Without.

• Although it’s not crime fiction, my guess is that most readers of this blog will also like the new HBO-TV series The Newsroom, created and written primarily by The West Wing’s Aaron Sorkin. The Crimespree Blog reports that The Newsroom--which stars Jeff Daniels and is all about the tumultuous process of assembling a better-than-average cable-TV news show--is so popular, it has already been green-lighted for a second season. If you haven’t yet watched the program, you can enjoy the whole first episode here.


michael gregorio said...

"Psycho" certainly doesn't need a pre-quel series. It simply amounts to tv trying to cash in on a theme which needs no elaboration.

Barbara said...

From what I've seen so far, Romney does know how to create jobs - in China!

Winifred said...

Copper sounds interesting. Wonder if we'll get it in the UK.

Well none of them prevent the outsourcing of jobs whatever party they're from in the UK. I notice the prices of products such as Dyson vacuums have not decreased either so it's not that the cost of producing here is too high, it's just more profits for the businesses.

I also notice that they don't put on the product labels "Made in Cnina", my latest Hoover says "Made in P.R.C.". Well pardon me but is that not the People's Republic of China? Who are they trying to kid!