Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Bullet Points: No “Alternative Facts” Edition*

• Good news for David Fulmer fans! The Atlanta, Georgia, creator of the Shamus Award-winning Valentin St. Cyr/Storyville historical mystery series e-mailed me recently to say, “I just signed a contract for a new round of releases for the Storyville mysteries. The owner of Crescent City Books in New Orleans [Louisiana] is creating a new publishing imprint, and the first release will be a new edition of Chasing the Devil’s Tail in April, followed by the other four—Jass, Rampart Street, Lost River, and The Iron Angel—each month thereafter, followed by the in-progress Eclipse Alley, probably in October. Then the whole set for the holidays. Followed by the yet-untitled seventh—and last—installment in January 2018.” Fulmer adds: “The deal was, by the way, the handiwork of Michael Zell, a fine noir author out of [New Orleans].”

• More than 13 years after the demise of his creator, Manuel Vázquez Montalbán (shown at right), Spanish gumshoe and gourmand Pepe Carvalho “is to rise again to walk the mean streets of Barcelona at the fingertips of another renowned writer,” according to The Guardian. Responsibility for continuing Carvalho’s career has been passed to Catalan poet-novelist Carlos Zanón, who is said to be “working on a new novel set to appear next year.”

• Last week brought the debut of Writer Types, a podcast that focuses on crime and mystery fiction, hosted by Eric Beetner and S.W. Lauden. In Episode 1, you’ll hear “interviews with authors Megan Abbott, Lou Berney, and Steph Post; check in with Down & Out Books publisher Eric Campbell; hear about the best of 2016 and what to look forward to in 2017 from our reviewers, Kate Malmon and Dan Malmon; enjoy a live reading of the short story ‘Whoops’ by Nick Kolakowski, and have a little bookstore fun with S.G. Redling, Gary Phillips, and Jay Stringer.” The hosts hope to launch fresh episodes every month through the remainder of 2017, at least.

• Mystery Fanfare alerts us all to a new convention coming to star-spangled Las Vegas, Nevada: the Miss Fisher Con (May 4-7, 2017), celebrating Australian author Kerry Greenwood’s fictional aristocrat turned private eye. To register, click here.

• Congratulations to Tipping My Fedora for six blogging years.

• And I’m pleased to see that Only Detect has returned after a two-year-long hiatus. Blogger “Mike” says he aims at “posting something every week or so.”

• I should also mention that last Thursday brought the eighth anniversary of the launching of my other blog, Killer Covers. For the occasion, I posted “eight lovely book fronts … by artists whose identities seem to have been forgotten.”

• I once owned both of these Corgi cars, before my younger brother suddenly sold the entire collection of vintage automobiles we’d amassed during our childhood. Grrr!

• Since I’ve been rather lax lately in compiling these news wrap-up posts, I should probably mention—a tad belatedly—the death of American actor Dick Gautier, who passed away in an assisted living facility on January 13. He was 85 years old. Although Gautier is remembered best for his comedic work (he played humanoid robot agent Hymie on Get Smart and starred in the awful 1975 Robin Hood TV parody series, When Things Were Rotten), he also won guest roles on Banacek, The Rockford Files, Jimmy Stewart’s Hawkins, Raymond Burr’s Kingston: Confidential, The Eddie Capra Mysteries, Quincy, M.E., and a variety of other crime dramas. Steve Thompson shares more memories of Gautier in his Booksteve’s Library blog.

• Following his less-than-stellar appraisal of the new Ben Affleck film, Live by Night (based on Dennis Lehane’s 2012 novel of the same name), author Max Allan Collins reports in his blog: “I am working on a Quarry graphic novel, which Titan will publish in four issues and then collect. Don’t know the artist yet, though I approved several based on samples. It’s very, very hard. I have been away from this format for a while, and the story takes place partly in Vietnam in 1969 and then back in the America of 1972. Providing visual reference for the artist has been a dizzying, daunting task. A 22-page script runs to 60 pages with panel descriptions and links to reference photos. I doubt I will do many more such projects. Prose is far less taxing.”

• Meanwhile, Naomi Hirahara announced on her Facebook page recently that “the seventh and final book in the Edgar-winning Mas Arai mystery series,” tentatively titled Hiroshima Boy, should be published in March 2018 by Prospect Park Books. The plot has Hirahara’s protagonist, a Japanese atomic bomb survivor, “returning to Hiroshima in his old age, only to find himself embroiled in the mysterious death of a teenage boy.”

Kristen Lepionka’s “driving tour of Midwestern mysteries.”

• Just what we neededa CHiPS revival. Only dumber.

And L.A. Law, too? At least writers Steven Bochco and Billy Finkelstein don’t look intent on turning the Emmy Award-winning 1980s legal drama into a lame comedy.

• Rap Sheet contributor Ali Karim previews Cast Iron, the sixth and concluding entry in Peter May’s France-set series featuring a half-Italian, half-Scottish former forensic scientist named Enzo Macleod. The novel went on sale this month in Britain, thanks to publisher Riverrun, but does not yet have an American release date, as far as I can tell. Read an excerpt from Cast Iron here.

• For the books-oriented Signature, Andrew Grant (False Friend) identifies “Five Must-Haves for a Great Detective in Fiction.”

• Keeping with the lists theme, check out Brian Boone’s “Five Great Novels That Will Probably Never Be Made Into Movies” (among them Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian); Crime Fiction Lover’s “10 of the Best Golden Age Crime Novels”; Lee Horsley’s choices of “five of the best missing-persons novels”; Bob Rivers’ picks, at the Strand Magazine Web site, of “The Top Ten Sherlock Holmes Films” (thank goodness he included 1971’s They Might Be Giants); Janie Chang’s choices (also from The Strand) of “The Top Eight Mysteries Set in China”; “Five Favorite Lawyers in Crime Fiction,” by Peter Manus (Fickle) for Crimespree Magazine; and, from Miriam C. Davis—author of the forthcoming non-fiction book The Axeman of New Orleans: The True Story—a rundown of the “Top Five Fictional Stories Inspired by [the] Real-Life Axeman of New Orleans.”

Submissions are currently being accepted for the 2017 Shamus Awards, which will be given out by the Private Eye Writers of America next October, during Bouchercon in Toronto, Canada. The deadline for submissions is March 31.

• Really, Anton Chekhov wrote psychological suspense tales?

From In Reference to Murder:
Four days after TNT’s drama Good Behavior ended its 10-episode first-season run, the show has been picked up for a fall 2017 second season. The series, based on a series of books by Blake Crouch, tells the story of Letty Raines (Michelle Dockery), a thief and con artist whose life is always one wrong turn or one bad decision from implosion. Fresh out of prison, Letty tries to stay afloat but gets sucked back into the criminal world when she overhears a hit man being hired to kill a man’s wife and decides to derail the job, with the help of her parole officer (Terry Kinney).
• The BookBub Blog’s list of “19 Anticipated Breakthrough Novels of 2017” features a small handful of crime and thriller yarns.

• A rather late entry in the “best crime-fiction reads of 2016” category: Irresistible Targets blogger Michael Carlson names several works he enjoyed, but says his “favorite crime novel of the year was Sara Gran’s Dope,” published in 2006.

• And in Hardboiled Wonderland, Jedidiah Ayres touts his “favorite crime flicks of 2016” as well as his “2016 honorable mentions.”

• Being less widely read than I should be in the plentiful works of John Dickson Carr (1906-1977), I appreciate this list by Puzzle Doctor, at In Search of the Classic Mystery Novel, of his 10 favorite Carr novels. Sadly, I own none of the books mentioned.

• I do, however, have this 1956 Perry Mason novel, by Erle Stanley Gardner, and it sounds as if it’s one I should crack open soon.

• Wow, what a gorgeous time-travel tour down Route 66!

• A few interviews worth checking out: Ali Karim talks with Simon Kernick about the latter’s fresh UK thriller release, The Bone Field; MysteryPeople’s Meike Alana quizzes Terry Shames about her latest novel, An Unsettling Crime for Samuel Craddock; Ingrid Thoft chats with Crimespree Magazine about the new Duplicity; Scott Montgomery questions Tim Bryant about Old Mother Curridge; and Shotsmag Confidential’s Ayo Onatade chats up Ragnar Jónasson on the subject of his fourth Detective Ari Thor novel, Rupture.

• Finally, there’s a nice reminder, in Peter Hanson’s Every ’70s Movie blog, of the 1971 NBC-TV flick Ransom for a Dead Man, which guest-starred the abundantly talented Lee Grant and served as a second formal pilot for Peter Falk’s Columbo series. Grant went on two years later to star (with Lou Antonio) in another Richard Levinson/William Link television production, Partners in Crime, which was a pilot film reworked from their earlier Bette Davis/Doug McClure picture, The Judge and Jake Wyler.

* “With ‘Alternative Facts,’ Trump World Swimming in a Sea of Dishonesty,” by Steve Benen (The Maddow Blog).

1 comment:

Art Taylor said...

A couple of weeks back, my son Dash and I were killing time while my wife was in a meeting, and we wandered into an antique store. About halfway through the store, Dash pointed up toward the middle of a glass case busy with an assortment of... well, everything, and he said, "It's the James Bond car." Sure enough, there was the Lotus Esprit from The Spy Who Loved Me, including a 007 on the hood that he couldn't see because he was looking at it from below and at an angle. It was an old Corgi, like the ones you linked to above. The price wasn't cheap, but given his good eye, I couldn't help but buy it for him (and, admittedly, for me).