Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Worthy of Notice

Having just finished work on another piece for CrimeReads, I have time to highlight a few genre-related stories I’ve seen lately.

• There’s big news from U.S. publisher Soho Crime. In a press release, it declares it’ll release a brand-new novel by James Sallis this coming October: Sarah Jane, about “a good cop with a complicated past,” whose “life takes an unexpected turn when she is named the de facto sheriff of a rural town, investigating the mysterious disappearance of the sheriff whose shoes she’s filling—and the even more mysterious realities of the life he was hiding from his own colleagues and closest friends.” No less exciting is word that, beginning this fall, Soho will reissue Sallis’ six novels starring Lew Griffin, a sometime private eye in New Orleans with a particular interest in locating lost children. The first of those short books, The Long-Legged Fly (1992), should reach stores in mid-September, with the last, Ghost of a Flea, going on sale in early December.

• London’s Goldsboro Books has announced its 2019 longlist of nominees for the Glass Bell Award, given “annually to an outstanding work of contemporary fiction, rewarding quality storytelling in any genre.” The dozen contenders include several plucked from the crime/mystery shelf: Our House, by Louise Candlish; Memo from Turner, by Tim Willocks; The Puppet Show, by M.W. Craven; The Poison Bed, by Elizabeth Fremantle; Snap, by Belinda Bauer; and The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle. Shelf Awareness says, “The shortlist, judged by Goldsboro Books founder and managing director David Headley and his team, will be announced on August 1, and the winner named September 16.”

This comes from the Los Angeles Times:
Publisher Harper Collins will release a novel by filmmaker Michael Mann featuring the characters from his iconic 1995 film “Heat” next year, the director revealed on Twitter.

The novel, which has been in the works for years, is being co-written with Reed Farrel Coleman, the crime author best known for his series of novels featuring Moe Prager, an ex-police officer turned private eye.

“Heat,” written and directed by Mann, gained critical acclaim upon its release and remains one of the best-known films of the 1990s. The movie follows a Los Angeles police detective, played by Al Pacino, on the trail of a crew of robbers led by a longtime thief, played by Robert De Niro.
The Times goes on to explain that “Mann first indicated his interest in writing a novel inspired by ‘Heat’ in 2016, when Harper Collins announced that the director would be getting his own imprint with the publisher. Deadline reported that the planned novel would be a prequel, covering ‘the formative years of homicide detective Vincent Hanna (Al Pacino), Neil McCauley (Robert De Niro), Chris Shiherlis (Val Kilmer), McCauley’s accomplice Nate (Jon Voight), and other characters ...’” No title or release date has yet been set for Mann’s novel.

• In Reference to Murder reports that “The Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association has scheduled a July 21 walking tour of areas in South Berkeley, California, that are associated with mystery/sci fi author, editor, and critic Anthony Boucher (aka William Anthony Parker White). The walk will be guided by Randal Brandt, a librarian who curates the California Detective Fiction Collection at the University of Southern California at Berkeley’s Bancroft Library. The tour will also cover sites associated with Boucher’s fellow mystery writer Mary Collins, the California Writer’s Club, pioneering film critic Pauline Kael, and others.” If only I lived in the Bay Area …

• I have to admire Tom Simon’s ambition. Not only does he write the excellent Paperback Warrior blog, focused on 1950s-1990s soft-cover novels, but this week he launched a companion podcast. In the premiere episode, he and a colleague “discuss the goldmine of paperback treasure, the famed Chamblin’s Book Mine in Jacksonville, Florida, as well as two novels—Sins of the Fathers, by Lawrence Block, and Penetrator #14, by Chet Cunningham.” When I finally get around to adding a list of podcasts to The Rap Sheet’s already lengthy blogroll, I’ll definitely have to include this new one.

• With Season 4 of Grantchester set to debut this coming Sunday night, July 14, as part of PBS-TV’s Masterpiece Mystery! lineup, The Killing Times has posted a list of what it contends are “the most dangerous villages in British crime drama.” Grantchester, of course, makes the cut, as do Kembleford (Father Brown), Carsley (Agatha Raisin), and St. Mary Mead (Miss Marple).

• By the way, if you’ve forgotten, this season of Grantchester will be star James Norton’s last. His “charismatic, jazz-loving clergyman Sidney Chambers” will be eased out during the coming half-dozen episodes to make way for the Reverend Will Davenport, played by Tom Brittney. Click here to watch the official series trailer.

• Speaking of Masterpiece Mystery!, I was sorry to bid adieu last Sunday to Series 6 of Endeavour, the Inspector Morse prequel starring Shaun Evans and Roger Allam. This season comprised only four episodes—two fewer than last year. And as Chris Sullivan points out in his excellent Morse Universe blog, scenes were either eliminated or truncated in the U.S. broadcasts of those latest eps. Here are the links to Sullivan’s posts featuring the material cut from individual Season 6 installments of the series: “Pylon” (see here and here), “Apollo,” “Confection,” and “Degüello.” I have to say, “Degüello” would have been even more satisfying than it already was had the scene Sullivan embeds last in his post—showing Fred Thursday and Reginald Bright talking about how they met their wives—remained intact.

• Omnivoracious: The Amazon Book Review blog chooses what it claims are the five “best mysteries and thrillers of 2019 so far.” Interestingly, I’ve read only one of them. So far.

• I can’t tell you how many times I’ve spoken with people impressed by their own collections of electronic books on one device or another. But the Microsoft Store’s recent decision to close its books department—in the process “disappearing every single e-book from every one of its customers” —should cause them to consider the transient nature of such libraries. NPR has more on the story.

• Finally, keep in mind that Dead Good, the British crime-fiction Web site, is still asking for assistance in choosing the winners of its 2019 Reader Awards. Click here to take part in this competition. Polls will remain open through Wednesday, July 17, with winners set to be announced on Friday, July 19, at the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate, England.

No comments: