Monday, October 01, 2012

Bullet Points: Pre-Bouchercon Edition

• Yes, this is the week, folks: Bouchercon 2012 will open in Cleveland, Ohio, on Thursday, October 4, and continue through the first part of Sunday the 7th. Sadly, I won’t be attending this year’s event (after previously being on hand for the conventions in St. Louis, San Francisco, and before that, Baltimore). However, our faithful British correspondent, Ali Karim, is scheduled to descend on the so-called Forest City for all of the festivities (and visits to the nearest bar), and I’m hoping he will send back photographs. Meanwhile, if you are intending to participate in Bouchercon, but haven’t yet registered for that four-day gathering, you can still do so here. And should the $175-per-person tariff seem beyond your budget, organizers explain that “We will be offering a limited number of day passes on Friday, October 5th and Saturday, October 6th. To get your day pass, come to the [Cleveland] Marriott Renaissance hotel, 24 Public Square, and visit the registration table. The cost is $75 per day payable with cash or check. You CANNOT register for day passes online.” Click here for a list of people already slated to participate in Bouchercon.

• By the way, if you’d like to know more about this year’s Bouchercon host city before you arrive there, check out the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History online. It contains vintage photos, maps, and myriad small stories about the town’s more than two-century-long heritage. A quick timeline of Cleveland’s growth is available here.

• There will be plenty of awards given out during Bouchercon. (Most of the contenders can be found here, with the Shamus nominees listed here.) Before seeing who will win this time around, though, look back at Ronald Tierney’s record of earlier victors in prominent crime-fiction contests. Twentieth-century recipients are recorded here, while their 21st-century counterparts can be found here.

From the blog Double O Section: “Today the worst kept secret of the past year was finally officially confirmed: [British singer-songwriter] Adele will perform the theme song for the latest James Bond movie, Skyfall. Adele first hinted as much nearly a year ago and it’s been persistently rumored ever since, but for some reason EON has waited longer than ever to make the official announcement.” The theme will officially debut this coming Friday, October 5--which also happens to be Global James Bond Day. UPDATE: You can listen to a preview of Adele’s Skyfall theme song here.

• What does the future hold for Baltimore’s Edgar Allan Poe house? “As of three o’clock Friday,” reports the Baltimore Post-Examiner, “The Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum on Amity Street in Baltimore has officially closed. Control of the museum, which has been left somewhat in limbo since the city cut off its $85,000-a-year funding, is being transferred from the Department of Planning to a new non-profit group called Poe Baltimore. The city is also paying the B&O Railroad Museum $175,000 to reinterpret the house based on suggestions made by an outside consultant, CRMG.” Find out more here.

• R.I.P., Herbert Lom. The Czech-born actor who is probably best known for portraying Chief Inspector Charles Dreyfus, the much-beleaguered superior of Inspector Jacques Clouseau in a number Pink Panther films, died late last week. He was 95 years old.

Happy 30th birthday to the CD! As National Public Radio notes, “It’s been three decades since the first CD went on sale in Japan. The shiny discs came to dominate music industry sales, but their popularity has faded in the digital age they helped unleash.”

• Birthday greetings go out as well to The Continental Op, the series sleuth introduced by Dashiell Hammett (then writing as “Peter Collinson”). That nameless hero made his debut in “Arson Plus,” a short story published in the October 1, 1923, edition of Black Mask magazine. (Hat tip to Bill Crider’s Pop Culture Magazine.)

• Here’s a television crime drama title that will never, ever make it past the crucial focus-group stage: Murder Bitches. Omnimystery News reports that the series, which is being considered by CBS (and was not created by sexist right-winger Todd Akin, I swear), focuses on two female cops who “are complete opposites, their relationship complicated by the fact that one, aged 27, suffered a stroke two years ago. Their co-workers admire their success on the job while also giving them the titular nickname.”

• Unfortunately, this weekend saw the end of the New Orleans Times-Picayune as a daily newspaper. That broadsheet--which earned renown for its dogged coverage of Hurricane Katrina back in 2005--will now be published only three days a week (Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays), with its Web site supplementing that schedule.

• I, for one, didn’t know it was so easy to distinguish careful reporting about Los Angeles’ unsolved, 1947 Black Dahlia murder case from sloppier sorts of accounts.

• “I may never have been as wrong,” writes New York magazine political reporter Jonathan Chait, “as I was when I initially predicted that Mitt Romney’s heinous diatribe against 47 percent of America would have little direct impact on the election.”

• And I haven’t yet watched CBS-TV’s new, modern-day Sherlock Holmes drama, Elementary, but Jon Jordan of Crimespree Magazine is certainly not impressed with that small-screen effort. He voices particular antipathy toward actress Lucy Liu, who plays second fiddle to Jonny Lee Miller’s Holmes. “In this case they aren’t just Americanizing the UK show Sherlock, they did come up with a new premise, Holmes coming to the U.S. to go to rehab and partnering with Watson who will be played by Lucy Liu. I don’t have a big issue with a female Watson, but I really don’t like Lucy Liu. I think she always looks pissed off and I think she has little depth as her attitude seems to be very similar with every character she plays. Maybe it’s the stuck up look I saw on some girls in high school, I don’t know. All I know is I really don’t care for her at all, and in this role as a doctor observing Holmes I see endless chances for her to pull the look down the nose.” But what do you really think of the show, Jon?


Scott Parker said...

I liked Elementary quite a bit. I like the differences for what they are: different. I wrote my take at Do Some Damange this past Saturday.

Ali Karim said...

Will miss you Jeff at Cleveland, but will be making notes, taking photos, calling you with award results, talking about books, drinking Gin, and generally escaping reality for a few days with people who share the passion of the crime, mystery and thriller genre!