Wednesday, February 26, 2014

News Breaking Out All Over

• Just the other day on this page, I was wondering about the future of Ripper Street, the excellent BBC-TV historical crime series starring Matthew Macfadyen, which was cancelled late last year after two broadcast seasons. Now Omnimystery News brings word that “a third season of 8 episodes will be produced with the same cast, courtesy of Amazon, which also acquired the rights to the first two seasons. It will stream exclusively on Amazon Prime several months before it airs on BBC One and BBC America.” It’s expected that filming will commence soon on this next season of Ripper Street, with at least the first episodes to hit Amazon Prime by the close of 2014.

• Ian Fleming’s 1962 James Bond adventure, The Spy Who Loved Me, finds a prominent position on Kelly Robinson’s list, in Book Dirt, of “Literary Embarrassments: 8 Books the Authors Wish They Never Wrote.” Robinson explains:
If you’ve ever wondered why the movie version of this Bond novel is not just somewhat different from the book, but actually has nothing in common with it whatsoever, it’s because Ian Fleming wouldn’t allow it to be filmed. He sold the rights to the title only, after the book proved to be sort of a bomb. He refused a paperback reprint of the book in the UK, effectively trying to bury it completely.

What’s wrong with it? To start with, a lot of Bond fans don’t like that he doesn’t even show up until about 2/3 of the way through the novel, which is told from the point of view of a young Canadian woman. Critics fell over themselves to pan it. “His ability to invent a plot has deserted him almost entirely,” wrote the
Glasgow Herald. The Observer went one better: “I hope this doesn’t spell the total eclipse of Bond in a blaze of cornography.”
• After 15 years of wanting to shoot this film, actor Edward Norton has finally found funding for a big-screen adaptation of Jonathan Lethem’s extraordinary 1999 novel, Motherless Brooklyn. The Los Angeles Times reports that Norton himself will star as Lionel Essrog, a small-time detective afflicted with Tourette’s Syndrome.

• In Reference to Murder offers this note: “The International Exhibition of Sherlock Holmes has landed at the COSI Center of Science and Technology in Columbus, Ohio, with a run through September 8. The show brings the world of Sherlock Holmes to life with interactive exhibits that allow visitors to become Holmes’ eyes and ears as he tackles a new case, using investigative tools and techniques from Holmes himself. Other exhibits include original manuscripts, publications, period artifacts, film and television props and costumes and other interactive crime-solving opportunities.”

• In announcing the DVD release, by Warner Archive, of The F.B.I.: The Complete Seventh Season, The HMSS Weblog looks back at that TV drama’s relationship with FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, who died during the show’s year-seven production. (The F.B.I. would continue on ABC for two more seasons.)

Harriet the Spy celebrates its 50th anniversary.

• Buyer beware: “Readers fancying a journey into the world of the bestselling thriller author Jack Higgins may be getting a different kind of thrill,” explains The Guardian, “courtesy of another writer selling erotic novels under the same name.”

• Two interviews worth reading: Eve Dolan (Long Way Home) talks with Pulp Curry’s Andrew Nette, while Laura Lippman (After I’m Gone) has a bit of a chat with The Miami Herald’s Connie Ogle.

• Dr. Seuss’ editorial-cartooning history remains hidden.

• And if you’re in the vicinity of Huntington Beach, California, later this month, you might want to take part in what’s being touted as the “First Annual Ladies of Intrigue Event Featuring Remarkable Women Mystery Writers.” It’s being organized by the Orange County chapter of Sisters in Crime, and will take place on Saturday, March 29. Authors Carolyn Hart and Rhys Bowen are to headline the gathering.

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