Saturday, June 22, 2013

Searching the Sites

• The Wolfe Pack, the New York City-based Nero Wolfe fan group, has begun soliciting entries to its eighth annual Black Orchid Novella Award competition. As a Pack news release explains, “Entries must be 15,000 to 20,000 words in length, and must be postmarked by May 31, 2014. The winner will be announced at The Wolfe Pack’s Annual Black Orchid Banquet in New York City, December 6, 2014.” You can find more details about how to enter your work here.

• A never-collected Dashiell Hammett story? It’s not impossible, says blogger Evan Lewis, who has posted “The Diamond Wager,” which originally appeared in the October 19, 1929, issue of Detective Fiction Weekly under the byline “Samuel Dashiell. “If this was truly written by Hammett,” Lewis opines, “it’s far from his best work. But the diamond angle is interesting, because in 1926 and 1927 he worked for Samuels Jewelers of San Francisco writing advertising copy.”

• The BBC America historical drama Copper will make its Season 2 debut tomorrow, June 23, at 10 p.m. ET/PT. See a preview here.

• Thirteen people have been nominated for the 2013 Munsey Award, which is presented “to a deserving person who has given of himself or herself for the betterment of the pulp community, be it through disseminating knowledge about the pulps or through publishing or other efforts to preserve and to foster interest in the pulp magazines we all love and enjoy.” Among this year’s nominees: Laurie Powers, granddaughter of pulp author Paul S. Powers; Dan Zimmer of Illustration Magazine; and Charles Ardai, the editor at publisher Hard Case Crime. The winner will be announced in Columbus, Ohio, on Saturday, July 27, during the 2013 PulpFest.

• Nineteen-century daredevil journalist Nellie Bly (aka Elizabeth Cochran) is recognized best for stunts such as having herself locked into an insane asylum and racing around the globe in fewer than 80 days, both on behalf of the New York World. But in 1889 she published her one and only novel, The Mystery of Central Park. It’s long been hard to find, and as Clues editor Elizabeth Foxwell notes, “There are only three copies in U.S. libraries ...” But recently, the Library of Congress digitized its copy and has made it available through its Internet archive. Click here to read Bly’s Mystery for yourself.

• When he’s not recalling old TV crime dramas for Mystery*File, Michael Shonk contributes pieces along that same line to the blog Criminal Element. In this recent post, for instance, Shonk looks back at small-screen series featuring private-eye agencies, including Checkmate, Eyes, and (yuck!) Baywatch Nights.

This is certainly an unusual opening to The Saint.

• A piece last week in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel examined the fast-rising field of culinary whodunits. Among the authors cited were Sandra Balzo, Diane Mott Davidson, and Julie Hyzy.

• This note comes from Rap Sheet reader Gary Akers:
I’ve greatly enjoyed your site for a while, especially all the articles about The NBC Mystery Movie.

Thought you might like to know, and pass on, that while the
McCloud releases in the U.S. stalled out at Seasons 1/2 a few years back, they have continued to be released by Madman Entertainment in Australia (which even released the first season with the original unedited six hour-long episodes, while Universal in the U.S. released the cut-and-paste “movie” versions).

Just today I received the final two DVD sets of
McCloud Seasons 6 and 7 (season 7 even includes the ’89 telefilm The Return of Sam McCloud), so if you or any of your blog readers would like to get the entire McCloud series (you’ll need a region-free DVD player, as the discs are Region 4), go to
• Nowadays, British author-politician Edward Bulwer-Lytton is known--when he’s known at all--for having concocted that oft-maligned opening line, “It was a dark and stormy night,” which inspired an annual bad fiction-writing contest. However, as the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) points out, a number of his works of fiction have been adapted as films. The 1947 motion picture The Ghost of Rashmon Hall, for instance, was based on Bulwer-Lytton’s 1859 horror story, “The Haunted and the Haunters.” If you’ve never watched that flick, as I never had before today, you can now see it here.

• And if you missed last month’s notice, here’s a special-event reminder: Patti Abbott, founder of the Web-wide “forgotten books” post series, has scheduled this coming Friday, June 28, as Elmore Leonard Day. Series contributors are encouraged to write about one of Leonard’s numerous works, whether it be a crime novel, a western, or something else. To let Abbott know that you’ll be participating in this themed event, drop her an e-note at

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