• I reported last month that the British television series DCI Banks, adapted from Peter Robinson’s best-selling Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks books, was due to start running this month on PBS-TV stations in the States. But at the time, the start date appeared uncertain. Now I see that the debut is, indeed, inconsistent across the nation; it starts on KQED-TV in San Francisco tonight, for instance, but won’t begin on KCTS in Seattle until this coming Thursday, January 10. If you’re hoping to watch the seven episodes slated for broadcast, check your local PBS schedule right away.
• January’s “Getting Away with Murder” column in Shots finds clever critic Mike Ripley remarking on the Publishers’
Publicity Circle Christmas party; new works of fiction by Sam Eastland, Robert Ryan, Deryn Lake, and
Andrew Taylor; and his discovery of CIA operative-turned-novelist William Hood
• Fans of Icelandic crime fiction might want to partake of the
Reykjavík City Library’s summer tours of local sites familiar from novels by Arnaldur Indriðason, Yrsa Sigurdardóttir, and others.
• Really? A forgotten Bram Stoker story?
• Last week I published a list of people, all of whom had contributed in some way to crime fiction as we know it, who passed away in 2012. One of those was American movie and TV performer Cliff Osmond. Unaware that Osmond “was dying of pancreatic cancer,” film historian Stephen Bowie interviewed the actor last fall, and has now posted Part I of their exchange. (Part II can be enjoyed here.)
• Oh, no. My friend, British thriller writer R.J. “Roger” Ellory, who got in a spot of trouble last fall for publishing some highly favorable reviews of his own works under fraudulent monikers, has become
a source of controversy again--this time for allegedly “attempting on more than a dozen occasions to remove negative stories” from his Wikipedia page “using pseudonyms.”
• Chicagoan Sean Chercover (The Trinity Game) is the subject of Jeff Rutherford’s newest edition of the Reading and Writing Podcast.
• This is very cool: 82-year-old actor and author James McEachin, who starred in the 1973-1974 NBC Wednesday Mystery Movie series Tenafly, was one
of only six Korean War veterans aboard the U.S. Defense Department’s first-ever
float in Pasadena, California’s Tournament of Roses parade on January 1. “The $247,000 flower-covered float [was] a replica of the Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.,” reported the Associated Press. (Hat tip to Gary Phillips.)
• And Americans who tuned in last night for the first episode of Downton Abbey, Season 3, on PBS’ Masterpiece Theatre might have found one line of dialogue rather anachronistic. When, in this episode set in 1920, a vexed Lord
Grantham informs his wife, Cora, that he has lost most of her inherited fortune in a bad investment in Canadian railroads, she offers this extraordinarily tranquil response: “I’m American; have gun will travel.” Toby O’Brien tries to explain away this oddity in his blog, Inner Toob. Meanwwhile, another fan of the show notes that it’s the “second time [creator and writer] Julian Fellowes alluded to American cowboys on Downton Abbey.”