Saturday, September 28, 2019

Caught on the Web

• There’s finally a trailer out to promote The Rhythm Section, the Blake Lively-led film due out in theaters come January 2020. “While an adaptation of Mark Burnell’s 1999 spy novel would be something for spy fans to be seriously excited about anyway,” says the blog Double O Section, “it’s even more exciting because it hails from Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson’s EON Productions, the producers behind the James Bond movies. While EON has been venturing outside the realm of 007 lately, this marks their first new foray into the genre that defined them—and that they defined, under the auspices of first-generation Bond producers Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman. And it’s not only a new EON spy movie; it’s potentially the start of a new, female-fronted EON spy series!” Watch the trailer here.

The New York Times reported this week: “Sol Stein, a prolific novelist and playwright, savvy publisher and visionary editor who helped fashion a collection of trenchant essays by James Baldwin, a former high school classmate, into a literary classic, Notes of a Native Son, died on Thursday at his home in Tarrytown, N.Y. He was 92.” The Gumshoe Site subsequently connected Stein to crime fiction. It explained that “He was a co-founder of the publishing house Stein and Day with his then-wife Patricia Day, publisher, editor-in-chief, playwright, and novelist. He worked as the editor of Elia Kazan, David Frost, Budd Shulberg, Marilyn Monroe, F. Lee Bailey and Jack Higgins among others, and wrote nine novels including the defense lawyer George Thomassy trilogy: The Magician (Delacorte, 1971); Other People (Harcourt Brace, 1979); and The Touch of Treason (St. Martin’s, 1985).” We offer our condolences to Stein’s family.

• Also passing recently was Los Angeles-born film, television, and theater performer Jack Donner. Shroud of Thoughts recalls that Donner’s face was familiar from an extensive variety of productions, including Have Gun—Will Travel, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Mission: Impossible, Judd for the Defense, The Name of the Game, The Manhunter, Police Story, Kojak, and The Streets of San Francisco. Many people, though, remember him best for his role as Romulan Subcommander Tal in a third-season episode of the original Star Trek TV series. Donner was 90 years old.

• A couple of novels often categorized with crime and thriller fiction, Julia Phillips’ Disappearing Earth and Lauren Wilkinson’s American Spy, are among the shortlisted nominees for this year’s Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. The winner will be announced on December 10 during a Center for Fiction benefit and awards dinner in New York City.

• Meanwhile, Bonnie “B.V.” Lawson, who writes the distinguished blog In Reference to Murder, is one of three winners of the 2019 Golden Fedora Prize. As she notes, this commendation—given to Lawson specifically for her short tale “Alien Nation”—is sponsored by the periodical Noir Nation. The Golden Fedora “reward[s] noir crime writing short forms, with the inaugural award in 2018 for poetry and this year’s prize for short stories (the prize will alternate each form every other year).” In addition to Lawson, Erika Nichols-Frazer and Anne Swardson are recipients of the 2019 prize. Honorable Mentions went to James Chesky, Jennifer Giacalone, A.M. Gregori, Mark Moran, Tyler Real, Gita Smith, and J.M.P. Zute.

• As rabid Trump supporters rush to identify and somehow discredit the whistleblower whose complaint against the amateur, paranoid U.S. prez has saddled the White House with yet another scandal and initiated a formal congressional investigation that may lead to Trump’s impeachment, The Washington Post recalls how the identity of “Deep Throat,” that paper’s essential source during Richard Nixon’s Watergate scandal, was not as secret as it may be remembered. It seems author-screenwriter Nora Ephron knew his identity early on.

• Finally, a few author interviews worth your attention: Attica Locke talks with National Public Radio about Heaven, My Home, her new, second Darren Matthews novel; for CrimeReads, Scott Montgomery goes mano-a-mano with Craig Johnson (Land of Wolves); Lesa Holstine fires off some questions to Ann Cleeves, who’s debuted a new protagonist in The Long Call; Tom Liens interrogates Rob Pierce on the subject of the latter’s latest release, Tommy Shakes; Cross-Examining Crime blogger Kate Jackson has a few questions for John Curran, the writer behind the much-anticipated non-fiction work, The Hooded Gunman: An Illustrated History of Collins Crime Club; Speaking of Mysteries host Nancie Clare chats with Paddy Hirsch about his second Justy Flanagan historical thriller, Hudson’s Kill; Crimespree Magazine’s Elise Cooper draws a few details from Kyle Mills on the matter of his fifth Mitch Rapp yarn, Lethal Agent; and journalist-turned-TV writer David Simon, creator of Homicide: Life on the Street and The Wire, is the focus of a four-part discussion posted in Crime Story.

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