• The espionage-fiction-oriented blog Double O Section has recently been celebrating the 10th anniversary of its founding back in 2006 (five months after The Rap Sheet debuted). Matthew Bradford—aka Tanner—has already posted lists of “the best spy movies of the last decade,” the “top seven spy movie set pieces of the last decade,” and the “top seven spy scores of the last decade” (by scores, he means musical themes, not fem-spy conquests).
• My latest Kirkus Reviews column features reviewlets of eight crime and mystery novels I have enjoyed in the past, and would like the chance to re-read. Among those is Eddie Muller’s 2001 work, The Distance, which introduced 1940s San Francisco boxing columnist Billy Nichols. (He followed up in 2003 with a second Nichols outing, Shadow Boxer.) That mention prompted Muller to drop me a quick note, via Facebook, saying he’s currently trying to “finish the third Billy Nichols book, which is about halfway home. I own the rights to all of them now and I’ll probably republish them all when #3 is done.” There’s no release date yet for that next series installment.
• In the second of two crime-fiction reviews Ben Terrall has had posted recently in January Magazine, he opines on Sin Soracco’s Come to Me. He commented previously on John Goins’ second novel, The Coptic Cross. Terrall, of course, is the son of author Robert Terrall, who—during the 1950s and ’60s, under the pseudonym Robert Kyle—produced a succession of novels featuring Manhattan private detective Ben Gates, as well as other crime-fiction works.
• Was the tale of Oedipus “the first classic murder case”?
• I’m not a big reader in this subgenre, so I cannot argue competently with Mary Daheim’s picks of the “top 10 cozy mysteries.” Also from the Strand Magazine Web site comes Rebecca Tope’s “A Cozy Author Goes Dark: Ten Dark Mystery Favorites.”
• Speaking of lists, here are “15 mysterious facts about the Hardy Boys,” including: “In 2005, the boys became secret agents for the government.” Because they had to do something cool ...
• From B.V. Lawson’s In Reference to Murder:
The crime and noir independent publisher, No Exit Press, has launched a new classics imprint noeXit2. The new imprint plans for around four new titles a year featuring Ace Double editions (two books in one volume) from iconic authors in an upside down and back to front style known as tête-bêche. The new imprint will give titles "a new lease of life" in this format, according to No Exit Press, hoping to introduce its authors to new audiences while attracting authors to the list. It will launch this series with the Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Robert Olen Butler’s Severance/Intercourse on December 5.• And then there’s this:
The CW is developing Marlowe, a drama series that’s not based on the famous Raymond Chandler character Philip Marlowe but on the real-life African-American private investigator—a Jamaican immigrant and World War I veteran—who allegedly inspired him. Marlowe is a character-based procedural with a modern feel and contemporary soundtrack and “follows Samuel Marlowe from the mansions and red carpets of Beverly Hills to the jazz clubs and back alleys of Little Harlem, where he navigates crimes, mysteries and social issues ripped from today’s headlines through the prism of 1937 Los Angeles.”• Here’s a mystery writer I have never heard of before: James W. Morrison, who was also a silent-film performer during the opening two decades of the 20th century, and later a drama teacher. As Elizabeth Foxwell explains, Morrison composed novels under the pseudonym Woods Morrison, the first of which was Road End (1927), which she says “focuses on murder, the theft of a pearl necklace, strange wailing, and other mysterious occurrences at an elegant Long Island house, with a down-on-his-luck young man taking on the roles of chauffeur and sleuth.” Helpfully, for those of us who have not read Road End, Foxwell provides links to a 1934 serialization of that book in the Philadelphia Inquirer. Click here to find out more.
• In the 100th installment of her “Speaking of Mysteries” podcast, Nancie Clare interviews Michael Connelly, whose new Harry Bosch novel is The Wrong Side of Goodbye (Little, Brown). Clare has also spoken recently with Melodie Johnson Howe (Hold a Scorpion), Tana French (The Trespasser), and James R. Benn (Blue Madonna).
• Other interviews worth your time: S.W. Lauden talks with Lori Rader-Day about the March 2017 conference, Murder and Mayhem in Chicago, which she co-founded with Dana Kaye of Kaye Publicity; Writer’s Bone quizzes Phoef Sutton, the author of Heart Attack and Vine; MysteryPeople chats with Allen Eskens about his latest release, The Heavens May Fall; Ben H. Winters interviews Joe Ide about his new, much-buzzed-about novel, IQ; Steph Post goes one-on-one with Eric Beetner (Rumrunners); Slate has a conversation with John Grisham (The Whistler) about “the issues in our justice system that he continues to wrestle with 25 years later”; and Omnimystery News catches up with Michael Mayo (Jimmy and Faye).
• With David Morrell’s Ruler of the Night (Mulholland)—the final entry in his much-lauded trilogy starring 19th-century writer and notorious “opium eater” Thomas De Quincey—due out next week, the New Republic’s Colin Dickey critiques “a new biography [that] reveals how the drug-addled essayist legitimized our excitement for murder.” You’ll find that piece right here.
• Max Allan Collins evaluates the Quarry TV series.
• New Yorker editor David Remnick offers a thought-provoking recap of this week’s disastrous U.S. presidential election. It begins:
The election of Donald Trump to the Presidency is nothing less than a tragedy for the American republic, a tragedy for the Constitution, and a triumph for the forces, at home and abroad, of nativism, authoritarianism, misogyny, and racism. Trump’s shocking victory, his ascension to the Presidency, is a sickening event in the history of the United States and liberal democracy. On January 20, 2017, we will bid farewell to the first African-American President—a man of integrity, dignity, and generous spirit—and witness the inauguration of a con who did little to spurn endorsement by forces of xenophobia and white supremacy. It is impossible to react to this moment with anything less than revulsion and profound anxiety.• Also from The New Yorker: “How Jack Reacher Was Built.”
• TV Week reported recently that the 1999-2007 HBO crime drama The Sopranos will be the first television series ever inducted into the Cable Hall of Fame. The ceremony making that official is scheduled for April 26, 2017, in Washington D.C.
• A Web site called The Awl recounts how London’s still-unsolved 1888 Jack the Ripper slayings have become a fertile source of inspiration for works of both fiction and non-fiction.
• Some light housekeeping: In the wake of Ed Gorman’s death, I have relocated The Rap Sheet’s link to his long-running blog from the right-hand column of this page to our Archive Sites folder. I think there are posts of his still worth referring to, so I don’t want to drop Gorman’s blog altogether. Also being moved to Archives are the once-excellent Only Detect and Zachary Klein’s Just Sayin’. Meanwhile, I am removing these long-inactive blogs from the roll: Donna Moore’s Big Beat from Badsville; Kapuki Headhunter Searching for That Next Great Novel; and CrimeSpot, which used to be a go-to aggregator site run by Graham Powell, but which has now failed to be updated for 45 weeks. Powell told me in April that CrimeSpot “really hasn’t been a high priority.” I guess he’s decided finally to throw in the towel.