Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Bullet Points: First Day of Spring Edition

• Scottish crime writer Denise Mina (Gods and Beasts), who penned the Vertigo graphic-novel version of Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, has also signed up to adapt the other two books in Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy. Mina says she already “halfway through the script for The Girl Who Played with Fire and moving on to The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest. I’m loving it.” I don’t see any release date yet for that latter couple of works.

• Did you know that Boston, Massachusetts, will be hosting a Nancy Drew Sleuths Convention, May 28-June 2? Included in the events schedule is a walk amongst locations mentioned in The Secret of the Wooden Lady (1967) and The Case of the Vanishing Veil (1988). If you would like to attend, note that registration ends this coming Monday, March 25. (Hat tip to Criminal Intent.)

• Wow, that’s quite a project! Pornokitsch bloggers have taken on the task of reviewing all 77 (so far) releases from publisher Hard Case Crime, “one every week.” The latest entry focuses on David Dodge’s Plunder of the Sun (1949). You can keep up with this series here.

• Sigh ... Another Stanley Ellin novel I haven’t yet read.

• One of my favorite Ross Macdonald novels, The Zebra-Striped Hearse (1962), receives favorable notice from Tipping My Fedora.

• There’s still more about Macdonald: In MysteryPeople’s interview with Hilary Davidson, author of the new novel Evil in All Its Disguises--her third book featuring trouble-attracting travel writer Lily Moore--she has this to say about Macdonald’s 1951 Lew Archer private-eye tale, The Way Some People Die:
The Way Some People Die is a masterpiece, and I wish more people would read it. One of the ways that Macdonald’s work influences mine is the understanding that the main character is carrying around wounds from the past that could split open at any time. Don’t get me wrong: Lew Archer is a cipher compared to Lily Moore, and you have to read several books in Macdonald’s series to get a strong sense of him. But once you do, you realize that Lew Archer has been damaged, and there are hints at physical abuse in his past and a dark cloud of depression that follows him. It’s something that evolves over the course of many books, and Macdonald handles it beautifully. Archer, for all of his world-weariness, cares deeply about people. There’s a lot of pain in him, and a surprising amount of empathy. If Lew Archer met up with Detective Bruxton, I think they’d have a lot of common ground.

There’s also an intensity to MacDonald’s best work that I love. Many of his novels are set over the course of two days. That was something I did with
Evil: most of the book is compressed into a 36-hour period.
My, that is one dog-ugly book cover.

• Speaking of covers, the London literary mag Libro asked me to pick my 12 favorite vintage crime-novel fronts. Those selections are now posted here, with another eight runner-ups to be found here.

• Writer Vince Keenan and his wife, Rosemarie, have won the 2013 William F. Deeck-Malice Domestic Grant for Unpublished Writers. The award, given annually by the organizers of the Malice Domestic conference to new novelists, is for their comic mystery, Design for Dying. The pair will pick up their prize during the Malice Domestic convention to be held in Bethesda, Maryland, from May 3 to 5.

• Mystery*File’s Michael Shonk finishes his series of posts about the 1972-1973 high-tech detective/adventure series Search with a look back at co-star Doug McClure’s role.

Really, must Tom Cruise ruin everything ...?

• Two deaths in need of reporting: Henry Bromell, a TV writer and producer who served as an executive producer on Showtime’s CIA drama, Homeland, and before that worked on Homicide: Life on the Street, I’ll Fly Away, and other programs, died this week at age 66; and Harry Reems, notorious for his starring role in the 1972 porno flick Deep Throat, succumbed to cancer yesterday at 65 years of age.

• Oh, and I forgot to mention earlier that character actor Malachi Throne, who was so memorably featured in such classic small-screen series as It Takes a Thief, Star Trek, and Batman, died last week--on March 13, to be exact--at age 84. An extensive rundown of his professional roles can be found here.

• Today would have been the 107th birthday of Ozzie Nelson, had the radio and TV star not passed away back in 1975. This also marks what would have been the 100th birthday of Ned Buntline, né Edward Zane Carroll Judson, an early author of “dime novel” adventure yarns.

Hill Street Blues--a show well worth revisiting.

I’ve never heard of Tightrope magazine before.

• The program schedule for CrimeFest 2013, set to take place in Bristol, England, from May 30 through June 2, has been released. (Hat tip to Omnimystery News.)

Rolling Stone has published a very fine (and sometimes frightening) article about the Republican Party’s “real agenda.” It seems we can forget about anything such as political moderation or honest appeals to minority voters from the GOP.

• Jake Hinkson does his best to reinvigorate interest in Elisabeth Sanxay, who he proclaims is the “godmother of noir.”

• And among the nominees for this year’s Dr. Tony Ryan Book Award, designed to showcase “the best of [horse] racing literature,” is Sasscer Hill’s 2012 “Nikki Latrelle Racing Mystery,” Racing from Death. See all of the contenders here.


Todd Mason said...

And after the TIGHTROPE! magazine, (as I faintly remembered, but didn't doublecheck till now) Great American tried again, for only one issue, with 77 SUNSET STRIP magazine...snap, snap, and it was folded.

Sergio (Tipping My Fedora) said...

Thanks very much for the favourable mentions Jeff - much appreciated.

Benjamin Thomas said...

Does Hardcase Case Crime actually have 111 books so far? I see the attached list skips a large section (from #66 to #101) and I seem to recall the publisher started to renumber at #100 after re-organizing...or something like that. So actually a few less than 111 books (but still a lot)

J. Kingston Pierce said...

Good catch, Benjamin! You're right: There is a wide gap in the middle of Hard Case's book numbering; I hadn't noticed that when I looked quickly at Pornokitsch's list. So HCC has actually published 77 novels thus far. I've corrected my text accordingly.