• Mark your calendars: PBS-TV’s Masterpiece Mystery! series will present a new, 90-minute version of The Lady Vanishes--adapted from Ethel White’s The Wheel Spins (just like Alfred Hitchcock’s 1938 comedy thriller of the same name)--this coming Sunday, August 18, beginning at 9 p.m. ET/PT. One week later, Series I of the British legal drama Silk will have its Mystery! debut, with each of its three episodes running two hours in length. This will be followed, on Sunday, September 15, by the Series VII premiere of Foyle’s War. There will be three episodes shown of that Michael Kitchen historical mystery series, concluding on September 29. For more information about these programs, see the Masterpiece Mystery! schedule page.
• Blogger Sandra Seamens reminds us that “The Minotaur Books and Mystery Writers of America’s First Crime Novel Competition for 2014 has opened for submissions.” Details of that contest--which in the recent past has led to publishing contracts for Douglas Corleone, Stefanie Pintoff, and others--are available here. The winner of this competition will be announced during next year’s Edgar Awards banquet, to be held on May 1.
• G.K. Chesterton, author and ... saint?
• I’ve introduced a new series in my Killer Covers blog, this one focusing twice monthly on a pair of book fronts “that just seem to go together.” Check out entry No. 1.
• Andrew Graham’s tribute to sleuth Nick Carter is now well underway in the Great Detectives of Old Time Radio blog. You should be able to find his posts here.
• Editor Charles Ardai has announced that Hard Case Crime will publish, in paperback, all eight of the novels Michael Crichton penned under the pseudonym John Lange, beginning with the release of Odds On and three other books this coming October. These eight titles, by the way, will include the re-releases of two--Zero Cool
and Grave Descend--that Hard Case previously brought out in mass-market-size format. “The books are terrific reads,” Ardai opines, “really delicious examples of Michael
experimenting with the genres he would become famous for in later life--you’ll
find sinister consequences of bioengineering (on a secret island vacation resort, no less!), you’ll find a race-against-the-clock political thriller penned long before the TV series 24, you’ll find an archaeology professor hunting for a lost tomb in the Egyptian desert decades before Harrison Ford ever donned a fedora ... plus a heist of a luxury hotel planned with the aid of a computer, a case of mistaken identity that pits an innocent man against a league of assassins, and more, all presented behind the gorgeous painted cover art of Greg Manchess and Glen Orbik.” Look for these and other upcoming Hard Case releases here.
• R.I.P., magazine illustrator Bruce Minney.
• Buzzfeed has compiled a list of “16 Bookstores You Have to See Before You Die.” I’ve only visited two of them. So far.
• I have mentioned before on this page that in 1976, I won a couple of free tickets to the Portland, Oregon, opening of Nicolas Meyer’s The Seven-Per-Cent Solution,
a movie adapted from his 1974 Sherlock Holmes novel of the same name. But I
haven’t sat through that picture again in the last 20 years. So I was pleased to discover that the whole thing is now available on YouTube.
• Speaking of London’s most famous consulting detective, blogger Nick Cardillo has posted a fine remembrance of the 1970 Billy Wilder film, The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, which starred Robert Stephens as Holmes and Colin Blakely as Dr. John H. Watson. Again, a film I’ve not watched in many a coon’s age. Perhaps it’s time to check Netflix to see if Private Life is still rentable.
• This spelling error is all too common.
• Shotsmag Confidential reports that British wordsmith Philip Kerr’s next novel--which goes on sale in the UK at the end of next month--will be a standalone work of “supernatural suspense” called Prayer. It’s set in Texas, of all places.
• A belated “happy birthday” to Rizzoli & Isles co-star Angie Harmon, who turned 41 years old this last Sunday.
• Although it wasn’t a perfect work, I very much enjoyed the 2011 English-language translation of author Jussi Adler-Olsen’s The Keeper of
Lost Causes, the opening entry in his series about reluctant Danish
homicide cop Carl Mørck. So I’m happy to learn that a movie based on the novel
will be released in Danish theaters on October 3. As Omnimystery News explains, the film “does not yet have a U.S. distributor or release date.” But we can hope that both will be found soon. Click that same Omnimystery News link to watch an English-translated trailer for this picture.
• Yes, that’s John le Carré on To Tell the Truth in 1964.
• And this is interesting news. Publicist Emma Pulitzer tells me that Open Road Integrated Media will “be re-issuing [Black Mask] magazine in e-book format, beginning August 27th ... Paying homage to the original magazine, stories will be released monthly, commencing with works by Black Mask masters Norbert Davis, Steve Fisher, and Paul Cain, as well as an omnibus of stories by Theodore A. Tinsley, Jerry
Tracy, Celebrity Reporter. All works feature new cover art, as well as brand-new introductions.” I don’t yet see an Open Road Web page devoted exclusively to these re-releases, but for now they can be found by going to the Open Road homepage and searching
for “Black Mask.”