Saturday, October 05, 2013

Bullet Points: Shutdown Showdown Edition

• AMC-TV’s Detroit-set cop drama, Low Winter Sun, will wrap up its freshman-season run tomorrow, Sunday, with a two-hour finale presentation, beginning at 9 p.m. ET/PT. My good friend Allan Lengel, editor and co-founder of the news site Deadline Detroit, is scheduled to be one of three people live-blogging this finale. Check out Deadline Detroit on Sunday night to find the proper link.

• One thing you won’t be watching on Sunday is a new episode of Breaking Bad, since that well-regarded crime series ended last month, after five years on the air. However, articles about Breaking Bad will probably continue to appear for some while yet. Here’s one from the Los Angeles Times, in which series creator Vince Gilligan offers alternative endings to the show. And here’s a tribute to the program from novelist and graphic-novel author Gary Phillips.

• Mike Ripley’s “Getting Away with Murder” column for October includes notes about coincidences in fiction, rumors of a future crime-fiction convention being held in Prague, the death of Robert Barnard, and new novels by the likes of Mick Scully, Jim Kelly, and John Lawton. You’ll find all that, and more, here.

• William Boyd, whose new James Bond novel, Solo, will reach U.S. bookshops on Tuesday of this coming week, gave a fine interview this morning to National Public Radio in which he talked about Bond-tale templates, the connection between novelists and spies, and how he’s tried to make the most of Agent 007’s half-Scottish, half-Swiss background. Listen to the interview here.

• Baltimore’s Edgar Allan Poe house, where the author-poet lived in his youth, has been closed to the public since September of last year, and there were concerns that it would remain shuttered for an extended period of time. But as the Baltimore Sun’s Dave Rosenthal reports, people can now visit there over the weekends, at least during the month of October. Its current management organization, Poe Baltimore, “plans to reopen the brick rowhouse at 203 N. Amity St. for good in the spring. Hours this month are noon-4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. And admission is free!”

• UK publisher Head of Zeus has announced its plans to release, in early January 2014, an English-translated anthology of 17 Swedish crime stories authors. Titled A Darker Shade, it will be edited by John-Henri Holmberg and feature “unpublished fiction from international phenomenon Stieg Larsson and his long-term partner Eva Gabrielson as well as bestsellers Henning Mankell, Per Wahlöö, Maj Sjöwall, and more.” The same collection will be released in the States in late February by Grove Press as A Darker Shade of Sweden.

• If, like me, you loved Robert Ryan’s 2012 novel, Dead Man’s Land--which employed Dr. John H. Watson as a detective on the French battlefront during World War I--then you’ll be pleased to learn that a sequel to that novel, The Dead Can Wait, is due out in the UK from Simon & Schuster on January 2, 2014. Unfortunately, I don’t yet see a U.S. publication date for either this book or Dead Man’s Land.

• The elegant British period drama Downton Abbey won’t return to PBS-TV’s Masterpiece Theatre umbrella series until January 5. But you can already watch a preview of the new Season 4 here.

• I’m afraid I lost interest in USA Network’s Covert Affairs after its sophomore year. But that spy drama, now in its fourth season, is already headed for a fifth, according to Omnimystery News.

• Ever wondered what Jo Nesbø reads in the way of crime fiction? He shares six of his favorite novels with Barnes & Noble.

• Good news for (and from) Max Allan Collins. Publishing imprint Forge has commissioned him to write two more novels about Chicago-based private investigator Nate Heller (whose 15th adventure, Ask Not, is just due out later this month). “The first book,” Collins explains in his own blog, “currently titled Red Scare (although I’m also considering Better Dead--any thoughts?), will deal with the McCarthy era. Regular followers of the series will note that we have moved backward for this one, to the early 1950s. Right now the book rather ambitiously deals with the Rosenbergs, Dashiell Hammett, McCarthy, and CIA LSD murder.”

• The fall 2013 edition of Mysterical-E has been released. Included among its contents are short stories by Liz Milliron, John M. Floyd, Pamela Turner, and Lawrence Starr.

• Meanwhile, look for issue number three of Noir Nation.

• Seattle crime writer/film critic Vince Keenan is out with a new e-book devoted to the tippling life. It’s called Down the Hatch: One Man’s One Year Odyssey Through Classic Cocktail Recipes and Lore and has been praised by David J. Montgomery (“Professor Cocktail”) as a “fun, informative, and very useful read. Be warned, however: just flipping through it is liable to make you thirsty. If you’re settling in for the long haul--and you definitely should--you might make sure you have a drink close at hand.”

• And it was 40 years ago today--on October 4, 1973--that the cop series Toma, starring Tony Musante and Susan Strasberg, debuted on ABC-TV. Based on the story of a real-life New Jersey police detective (who had a penchant for disguises and an almost legendary history of arresting drug dealers), Toma was broadcast for only a single season--22 episodes--before Musante called it quits. The show was subsequently retooled as Baretta, starring Robert Blake. Click here to watch Toma’s main title sequence.

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