• American actor Craig Stevens would today be celebrating his 95th birthday, had he not perished from cancer in 2000. Most Rap Sheet readers will likely remember Stevens (born Gail Shikles Jr.) best for his starring role in the 1958-1961 private-eye TV series Peter Gunn. However, his résumé is long and includes an appearance in the film Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1953) as well as guest shots on such small-screen dramas as The Name of the Game, Alias Smith and Jones, The Snoop Sisters, Harry O, Ellery Queen, Police Woman, and Quincy, M.E. Stevens also starred in the TV series Man of the World (1962-1963) and Mr. Broadway (1964), and co-starred with David McCallum in The Invisible Man (1975-1976). In 1967, he reprised his best-known role in the big-screen release Gunn.
• Lest I forget it, let me note today that tomorrow will bring the 71st birthday of Richard Roundtree, who starred in both the film and TV series Shaft. You’ll learn more about his famous character here.
• I was pleased last night to see, on PBS-TV’s Masterpiece Mystery!, the first regular episode of Endeavour, ITV’s prequel to John Thaw’s long-running Inspector Morse series. I am still, however, mourning the loss of Inspector Lewis, the sequel to Morse, which concluded its seven-season run with last Sunday’s episode, “Intelligent Design.” Fortunately, Lewis lead Kevin Whately says that he and co-star Laurence Fox would be “quite happy” to feature in the occasional televised Lewis investigation, “just not great big blocks of them. And I think ITV are keen to do some more ...” I definitely look forward to seeing those future Lewis movies.
• Howard Shrier’s latest Jonah Geller novel, Miss Montreal, wins a thumbs-up from January Magazine critic Jim Napier.
• Mike Ripley is a little late with his latest “Getting Away with Murder” column for Shots, but that hardly lessens its value. Included among Ripley’s wide-ranging topics this month: Goldsboro Books’ annual Crime in the Court event; new novels by Charles McCarry, Michael Gregorio, Craig Robertson, and Ian Sansom; a look back at the work of Victor Canning, and a glance ahead at the next book by David Downing. You’ll find all of that and more here.
• Pornokitsch contributor Jared Shurin continues his semi-monumental task of reviewing “each and every Hard Case Crime publication” with this write-up about Seymour Shubin’s Witness to Myself (2006). You can find Shurin’s full series at this link.
• A couple of congratulations are in order: One to the blog Battered, Tattered, Yellowed & Creased, which today marks
its second anniversary; and the other to Nick Cardillo’s The Consulting
Detective, which has filed its 100th post.
• Still more applause, this time for Peter Robinson. As the author reports,
the British TV series DCI Banks, based on his long-running succession of Inspector Alan Banks novels, “has won the Royal Television Society (Yorkshire Branch) Award for Drama.”
• A trio of interviews worth your reading: Paul D. Brazill talks with Jim Winter about the latter’s new Cleveland-based, Nick Kepler private-eye
novel, Bad Religion; Dutch blogger Jochem van der Steen interviews
Sam Hawken on the subject of his new novel, Camaro Run; and BOLO Books’ Kristopher Zgorski chats up Helen Smith, the author of Invitation to Die.
• Back in 2004, Mystery Scene magazine published a good-size piece by editor, anthologist, and crime-fiction scholar Allen J. Hubin, in which he recalled the many challenges involved in producing “the mammoth and definitive bibliography Crime Fiction, which lists and cross-references every mystery novel and writer from 1749 until the year 2000.” That article is now available on the mag’s Web site.