• While most print and online editors (myself included) are still planning out their Best Books of 2015 coverage, Publishers Weekly has released its favorites in a dozen categories, one of which is Mystery/Thriller. Among PW’s top-10 choices: Dark Rooms, by Lili Anolik (Morrow); House of the Rising Sun, by James Lee Burke (Simon & Schuster); The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins (Riverhead); and The Cartel, by Don Winslow (Knopf). You’ll find the full list here.
• Meanwhile, Goodreads is asking its users to make their preferences known
among dozens of 2015 nominees in 20 “best” categories. Mystery & Thriller contenders include Daniel Silva’s The English Spy (Harper), C.J. Sansom’s Lamentation (Mulholland), Stephen King’s Finders Keepers (Scribner), and Karin Slaughter’s Pretty Girls (Morrow). Click here to take part in this opening round of voting.
• Max Allan Collins reports that he’s seen “the first cut of the final episode of the eight-episode run” of Quarry, the forthcoming Cinemax TV series based on his novels about a hired killer of that same name. “Frankly it’s great,” he writes. “For the first time you see Quarry in Vietnam, in an extended series of flashbacks. Again I warn hardcore
fans that the series is an extended look at the character’s back story, and often goes its own way, though always with underpinnings of my work. And I’m told if the series is picked up for a second season, the next batch of episodes
will draw heavily on Quarry’s Choice, which is among my personal favorites of the novels.”
• Double O Section has posted the first trailer for BBC Two’s London Spy, a
five-part espionage drama created and written by Tom Rob Smith (Child 44), and debuting in Britain on November 9 (and on BBC America at some still-to-be-decided date). Watch the trailer below.
• Click here to see Dame Diana Rigg being interviewed recently in association with the screening of a classic Avengers episode at the British Film Institute. “She is completely open, candidly discussing a number of aspects of The Avengers and her career at large,” writes blogger Matthew Bradford (aka Tanner).
• Speaking of The Avengers, is Hannibal creator Bryan Fuller serious about rebooting that 1961-1969 UK TV series? Talk is that he would like to see Eddie Izzard (really, that Eddie Izzard?) playing John Steed. Less outlandish, I think, would be to hire Jenna Coleman for the role of Mrs. Peel. We already know she looks great in leather!
• Yikes! I haven’t even gotten around to watching Season 4 of Longmire (which began streaming back in September),
but already Netflix has announced
that there will be a fifth season of that contemporary Western crime drama based on Craig Johnson’s books about Wyoming Sheriff Walt Longmire (Dry Bones).
• Two continuing projects worth following: The British blog Crime Fiction Lover has commenced rolling out its 2015 New Talent November features, including a look at Todd Moss’ new Minute Zero, Tom Callaghan’s A Killing Winter, and Saira Viola’s Jukebox; and Ellery Queen’s classic whodunits are much on the minds of several “bloggers who work in the general area of Golden Age Mysteries,” as they spend Tuesdays in November writing about Queen’s work. Noah’s Archives introduces the series here.
• Mike Ripley is up in Shots with his latest “Getting Away with Murder” column--and it turns out that yours truly makes an appearance there (thanks to my recent participation at Bouchercon). Also hitting Ripley’s radar: the sadly forgotten novels of Francis Clifford (The Naked Runner, Act of Mercy, etc.); Fergus Fleming’s new biography of his uncle, James Bond creator Ian Fleming, titled The Man with the Golden Typewriter; and new novels by Eva Dolan, Anthony Quinn, Phil Redmond, and Sophie Hannah.
• Robert Crais talks with Jon Jordan of Crimespree Magazine about his new Elvis Cole/Joe Pike novel, The Promise (Putnam).
• Congratulations to the blog Pulp International on its seventh anniversary. That’s seven
whole years of sexy, funny, and sometimes outrageous posts. Good job, folks!
• Steve Scott, who writes about author John D. MacDonald in his blog, The Trap of Solid Gold, has posted an excellent interview with MacDonald. It was conducted by Miami Herald reporter Mike Baxter back in 1969, at the time the “first-ever Travis McGee movie, Darker Than Amber” (with Rod Taylor), was being filmed in Florida.
• Spectre, the 24th James Bond film, is set to premiere this weekend in the States. Capitalizing on that fact, author Simon Wood (The One That Got Away) has ranked all of the preceding flicks in the 007 series according to his idiosyncratic tastes. Which, I have to say, do not swing far from my own tastes in this matter.
• Actor, lawyer, politician, and lobbyist Fred Thompson, who served as a Republican U.S. senator from
Tennessee before making a rather lackluster bid for the White House in 2008, and who appeared for several years on Law & Order (2002–2007) as the Manhattan district attorney, died in Nasvhille on October 1. He was 73 years old. The New York Times has more on his life and career here.
• Finally, Martin Dolan, who recently left the Arizona Republic newspaper editorial staff under an
early retirement buyout plan, wrote a long and wonderful letter to his colleagues heading out the door with him as well as the folks remaining at the daily broadsheet, recalling his more than three decades in journalism. It contains one line that expresses exactly why I got into journalism so many years ago: “In the old days, being a journalist was about as cool as you could get. You hung around smart people every day, you knew stuff most other people didn’t and you knew it before they did.”