Thursday, February 06, 2014

Dashing Around the Web

• Today marks 75 years since the release of Raymond Chandler’s first Philip Marlowe novel, The Big Sleep. To celebrate, I’ve collected decades’ worth of jacket art from various editions of that book and installed them in my Killer Covers blog.

• I first read about this in the Television Obscurities blog, but now The HMSS Weblog confirms it: Warner Archive, Warner Bros.’ “manufactured on demand” division, has released a complete six-disc, 23-episode set of Search, the 1972-1973 NBC-TV high-tech spy/detective drama starring Hugh O’Brian, Doug McClure, and Tony Franciosa. The cost is $49.95. Look for the box art here.

• Evan Lewis, proprietor of the long-titled blog Davy Crockett’s Almanack of Mystery, Adventure and the Wild West (whew, let me catch my breath!) has spent this week looking back at Norbert Davis’ Doan and Carstairs private-eye series of the 1940s. You should be able to pull up all of the installments by clicking here. Tomorrow he promises to post “Cry Murder!,” “a complete--and never reprinted--Doan & Carstairs novelette …” Watch this space!

Dorothy Salisbury Davis is back! Open Road Integrated Media has just released 21 of Davis’ novels and one short-story collection in e-book format. The now 97-year-old crime-fictionist debuted in 1949 with a standalone titled The Judas Cat. She went on to produce three series of tales--one featuring Julie Hayes, an actress turned gossip columnist; another starring Scottish housekeeper and amateur sleuth Mrs. Norris; and the last built around Lieutenant Marks, a New York City detective. In 1985 she was presented with the Mystery Writers of America’s Grand Master award. I have read very little of Davis’ work (something that I shall change in short order now), but critic Sarah Weinman--who included one of Davis’ short yarns in her recent anthology, Troubled Daughters, Twisted Wives--recommends starting an exploration of her fiction with A Gentle Murderer (1951), “her third novel and her most successful.” In a Facebook note, she added that “I’m also very fond of The Little Brothers [1974], from mid-career, and the Julie Hayes mysteries (four in the series, starting with A Death in the Life [1976]), which closed out her novel-writing days.”

• This sounds like a good opportunity for aspiring authors planning to attend ThrillerFest 2014 in New York City, July 8-12. A news release posted here explains that
To celebrate our first year of Master CraftFest, a one-day intensive retreat on Tuesday, July 8, 2014, we are running a special event called the Best First Sentence Contest. All you need to do is send your VERY best first sentence (for a novel) along with your name, e-mail address, and phone number to for a chance to win a critique of 10 pages of your work.
Entries must be submitted “before midnight EST on May 31, 2014.”

• And just when I was positive that mystery novelist Donna Moore (Old Dogs) had given up completely on her once-lively blog, Big Beat from Badsville, she has suddenly returned. “I will be re-commencing posting news and reviews of Scottish crime fiction authors and events,” the author promises. “No doubt I will also be posting stuff and nonsense as it occurs to me (so I will apologise in advance for that--some things never change). If there is anything you would like to see on this blog (including requests to disappear back into the ether), then please let me know.” Welcome back, Donnna!


pattinase (abbott) said...

Yay, Donna!

John said...

I'd highly recommend anyone interested in Dorothy Salisbury Davis take a look at her first three books as well. For studies of small town corruption and small town pettiness they are excellent examples in the crime fiction world. Too few writers were doing anythign dealing with rural crime in American fiction in the 1950s. THE JUDAS CAT, A TOWN OF MASKS and THE CLAY HAND are very welcome reprints as far as I'm concerned.

Anonymous said...

I started reading The Big Sleep just a few days back. Looks like the timing couldn't have been better.