• This could be pretty interesting: Among the “scripted development projects” for American TV network TNT announced this week is a series based on Ross Macdonald’s string of Lew Archer private-eye novels. Less hopeful is a “re-imagining” of Peter Gunn, Blake Edwards’ iconic 1958-1961 series starring Craig Stevens. Really, does anyone believe that the original Gunn can be outdone?
• And this in indisputably good news: The Michael Kitchen-led historical mystery series Foyle’s War will return to PBS-TV’s Masterpiece Mystery! this coming September. Three new episodes, all of which are set in the post-World War II years of 1946-47 (and have already been broadcast in the UK), will be shown.
• Organizers of the 2013 Tony Hillerman Writers Conference, scheduled to take place in Santa Fe, New Mexico, from November 7 to 9, put out the word this week that the faculty for this year’s event will feature authors Margaret Coel, Craig Johnson, and David Morrell, along with Kirk Ellis, Emmy-award winning writer of the HBO mini-series John Adams, James McGrath Morris, the recipient of two New Mexico Book Awards, and Hillerman’s author daughter, Anne.
• The next James Bond film won’t be out until 2015. At least.
• Among the latest “Top Notch Thriller” releases from Ostara Publishing is Tightrope,
Antony Melville-Ross’ 1981 novel set in Britain and the United States. For added interest, sometime Rap Sheet contributor and Top Notch editor Mike Ripley notes that
Melville-Ross had “a pretty thrilling family history (originally American) back
to Moby Dick via Pancho Villa and a possible inspiration for Indiana Jones. I
couldn’t make this up!”
• Ace Atkins’ second Spenser novel, Robert B. Parker’s Wonderland, was only just published by Putnam, but already there’s word that Boston’s best-fed gumshoe will make an encore appearance this year in Silent Night, a holiday-theme work apparently left
unfinished at the time of Parker’s death in early 2010. The book was completed by Helen Brann, Parker’s longtime literary agent. It’s due out in late October.
• Stephen King’s latest novel, Joyland, is being readied for paperback release by Hard Case
Crime in early June. But “special limited editions” of the book, including one
featuring “nine gorgeous illustrations from master artist Robert McGinnis and a
map of the Joyland amusement park,” are also being made available. Presumably at a steeper price than the regular $12.95 edition.
• A few months back I wrote on this page about the failed 1972 TV pilot film A Very Missing Person, which sought to bring author Stuart Palmer’s “meddlesome old battleaxe” of an amateur sleuth, Hildegarde
Withers, to small-screen audiences. Now comes word that publisher
Mysterious Press/Open Road Media is releasing e-book versions of 17 Palmer
novels, including such Withers outings as The Penguin Pool Murder (1931), Murder on Wheels (1932), and 1969’s Hildegarde Withers Makes the Scene
(from which A Very Missing Person was derived). Blogger Les Blatt, who has reviewed nine of Palmer’s novels within the last few years,
the Withers books as “well-plotted and told with some nice humorous touches.” If you’d like to check out Open Road’s Palmer re-releases, click here.
• The Mystery Writers of America announced the winners
of its 2013 Edgar Awards earlier this month. But now I see that it’s made
videos of the individual prize presentations available on YouTube.