• Online voting has finally begun in the competition to select this year’s Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award winner. As I pointed out earlier this week, there are six contenders for the title, including Peter May’s The Chessmen and Denise Mina’s The Red Road. Interested readers have until Tuesday, July 15, to click here and register their favorite work among those six. The victor will be announced on July 17 during the 12th annual Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, to be held in Harrogate, England.
• Polish crime fiction is a thing now? The New York Times writes:
While Poland currently has one of the lower crime rates in the European Union, the country appears to be in the midst of a crime obsession--at least of the fictional variety.• According to The Gumshoe Site’s Jiro Kimura, Boston author Dennis Lehane has won the 2014 Falcon Award for his historical gangster thriller, Live by Night. The Falcon (literally, a wooden falcon sculpture) is presented by Japan’s Maltese Falcon Society to “the best hard-boiled/private eye novel published in Japan in the previous year.”
According to the crime writer Irek Grin--who is the director of Wroclaw’s International Festival of Crime Fiction (Miedzynarodowy Festiwal Kryminalu)--in 2003, only four Polish thrillers were released, while last year 112 crime novels were published.
• Having been very fond of New Zealander Paul Thomas’ 2013 U.S. release, Death on Demand--to which I helped give the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel--I’m pleased to hear that Fallout, another new tale starring his “anarchic knight errant,” Tito Ihaka, is being prepared for publication later this summer. Unfortunately, it’s coming from NZ-based Upstart Press, which means it’s unlikely to reach the States. But Crime Watch blogger Craig Sisterson tells me, via Facebook, that Upstart is currently “negotiating overseas rights,” with hopes of bringing Fallout to American readers sometime in 2015.
• I don’t think anyone was really in doubt of Sherlock’s return to BBC One. Nonetheless, the UK broadcaster has made it official that the popular Benedict Cumberbatch/Martin Freeman crime drama will be back for a fourth season. Filming on a special Christmas episode will begin in January 2015, for showing later that year; and the three-episode fourth season of Sherlock will debut in the UK in 2016. No word yet on when these episodes will reach the States.
• And Mystery*File’s Francis M. Nevins looks back appreciatively at Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer, the 1958-1960 syndicated small-screen series starring Darren McGavin as Spillane’s New York City gumshoe. (See the show’s opening title sequence here.) Nevins is particularly interested in some once-prominent detective novelists and directors who had a part in shaping that first Hammer show.