Friday, October 19, 2012

Working the Web

• Later this morning, The Rap Sheet will post a new entry in the Web-wide “forgotten books” series. But this Friday has already brought many such recommendations. Herewith, some of the crime- and thriller-related works: The Deadly Truth, by Helen McCloy; Silent and the Dead, by George Harmon Coxe; A Caribbean Mystery, by Agatha Christie; Les Magiciennes, by Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narcejac; Raven Black, by Ann Cleeves; Veronica’s Room, by Ira Levin; A Time for Pirates, by Gavin Black; and The Janson Directive, by Robert Ludlum. Click here for a list of all of today’s participating bloggers.

• The recent 50th anniversary of the debut of the very first James Bond film, Dr. No, coupled with the imminent release of Skyfall, has certainly focused new attention on Agent 007. Not only the movies, but also the books. I recently put together a selection of Dr. No covers, but the blog Retronaut weighs in with its look at a wider assortment of Bond novel fronts from 1950 to 1975.

• And with only a few more days to go before Skyfall’s London premiere, another new trailer for the picture has surfaced.

• Wow! This is incredible. Ninety-five-year old Maryland resident Samuel J. Seymour, who witnessed John Wilkes Booth flee Ford’s Theatre after shooting President Abraham Lincoln in 1865, appears on the CBS-TV quiz show I’ve Got a Secret in 1956.

• There’s part of me that’s sorry to see the disappearance of Newsweek as a print publication. But really, that almost 80-year-old weekly news magazine seemed doomed ever since The Washington Post Company sold it in 2010, and it has recently been all over the map as far as maintaining an individual identity. Editor Tina Brown (formerly of The New Yorker) has announced that Newsweek will cease to be printed with the December 31, 2012, issue. After that, it will become an all-digital publication retitled Newsweek Global. The Huffington Post’s Howard Fineman, who worked for Newsweek from 1980 to 2010, ruminates on the mag’s electronic transition here.

• Master escapologist Harry Houdini performed in Seattle, Washington, 97 years ago this week. It’s only too bad that I was neither alive nor residing in this city at the time. I would most certainly have nabbed a ticket to one of his shows!

• After an eight-month search, Kate Griffin has been named as England’s “newest, hottest” crime-fiction writer. The 49-year-old resident of St. Albans, Hertfordshire, was chosen through a competition sponsored by the UK’s Stylist magazine and publisher Faber and Faber. Each contestant (364 of them!) produced up to 6,000 words of a new crime novel featuring a female protagonist. You can read an excerpt from Griffin’s yet-to-be-published book, Kitty Peck and the Music Hall Murders, here.

• Hungarian-American film director Frank Darabont, the creator of AMC-TV’s The Walking Dead, has reached an agreement with U.S. network TNT to produce an initial six episodes of a new period crime drama inspired by John Buntin’s 2009 non-fiction book, L.A. Noir: The Struggle for the Soul of America's Most Seductive City. This series, “which focuses on the intense power struggle between the LAPD and the mob back in the 1940s and ’50s,” according to Flavorwire, will reunite Darabont with two Walking Dead stars, “Jon Bernthal (as its lead, an ex-Marine turned cop) and Jeffrey DeMunn (as the detective heading up the new mob squad). The ensemble cast also includes Heroes’ Milo Ventimiglia, playing a lawyer who has mob ties, and Justified’s Neal McDonough as Capt. William Parker of the LAPD, a man determined to fight the greed and corruption.” Hmm. It sounds like a show that’s right up my alley.

• Meanwhile, ABC-TV has another Los Angeles-set show in the works. Titled The Defectives, it will focus on “a female internal affairs investigator, who is tasked with rebuilding the LAPD’s special detective unit after she spearheads the probe into a corruption scandal that ultimately brings the department to its knees,” reports Omnimystery News. “She assembles a team of misfit cops, each of whom brings to the table a unique set of talents.”

• Sometime Rap Sheet contributor Seamus Scanlon has a new guest post in the blog Book Reviews by Elizabeth A. White about “how growing up in Galway, Ireland, set the tone for the noir perspective that infuses his recently released short-story collection, As Close As You’ll Ever Be (Cairn Press).”

• And who first satirized Arthur Conan Doyle’s popular Sherlock Holmes stories? Apparently it was Peter Pan author J.M. Barrie, whose 1891 story “My Evening with Sherlock” has been posted on Mystery Scene magazine’s Web site.

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