• Kevin Burton Smith has posted a new update of The Thrilling Detective Web Site, his long-running and incredibly useful resource. Included among the new offerings: a look back at Timothy Webster, Pinkerton detective and Civil War spy; a lost interview with Dashiell Hammett, from 1929; and a survey of gay detective fiction. Smith provides a full rundown of his site’s new offerings here.
• I’m very much enjoying “One Minute History,” California author Jeri Westerson’s new blog series,
each installment being “a brief paragraph or two about something in British history to whet your appetite.” Her latest entry is about London Bridge, but you should be able to access all of her write-ups here.
• Good news for Michael Connelly’s TV project, from Crimespree: “Amazon has ordered a ten-episode first season of Bosch. The series features Michael Connelly’s LAPD homicide detective Hieronymus “Harry” Bosch and stars Titus Welliver, Annie Wersching and Jamie Hector. The season will draw from three novels: The Concrete Blonde, City of Bones and Echo Park.”
• So that’s where the term “OK” originated.
• Paul Bishop has a good piece up about John Wayne’s late-life cop movies, 1974’s McQ (which I also wrote about here) and 1975’s Brannigan. Note, though, that Bishop isn’t gushing over these projects; he’d have preferred that Wayne stick with making Westerns--but that wasn’t an option at the time, since such productions were being “eclipsed off the big screen and the choice was to change genres or stop working. Bishop continues: “After his turns as a tough cop, Wayne would only make two more films--Rooster Cogburn and The Shootist. It would have been nice if the sports jackets, fast cars, and very large handguns of McQ and Brannigan could have been exchanged for ten-gallon hats, fast horses, and Winchesters. The plots could have stayed the same, and
both the viewers and Wayne would have been much happier with him up to his butt in horse manure.”
• Who knew that Robin, the Boy Wonder, uttered so many exclamations during the run of that 1960s action-TV series, Batman?
• The subhead over Diane Shipley’s piece in The Guardian about author Patricia Highsmith should catch some attention: “Film adaptations mean she’s not unknown, but her tense and unsettling thrillers deserve a much wider readership.” More here.
• And I don’t recall ever watching the 1969-1970 British small-screen series Department S, about “Interpol [agents] tasked with solving sensitive and difficult cases.” But pseudonymous Aussie blogger DforDoom clearly doesn’t suffer from that same gap in his education. Check out his tribute to the show in Cult TV Lounge.