Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Six Shots

• After the unexpected death last month of Palm Springs author Arthur Lyons, the creator of once-noteworthy Los Angeles gumshoe Jacob Asch, I contacted his stepdaughter and wife with the intention of writing a feature-length look back at his life and work. I also decided to dig up a copy of Slow Burn, the 1986 TV movie made from Lyons’ 1979 Asch novel, Castles Burning. As I wrote before, that film starring Eric Roberts was the pilot for a prospective TV series, but it wasn’t picked up. Only recently did I receive a second-hand VHS tape copy of Slow Burn, and was preparing to watch it soon. But Steve Lewis of Mystery*File got out ahead of me. He not only has his own evaluation of that movie posted here, but has tracked down an online trailer for Slow Burn. At least initially, I have some trouble with Roberts in the Asch role (having met Lyons himself, I still imagine him playing the part), but since Lewis says he liked the teleflick “a lot,” I’ll have to give it a shot. Even if I can’t be the first to comment on it.

• Euro Crime’s Karen Meek compares the video trailer for Andrew Taylor’s forthcoming historical mystery, Bleeding Heart Square, with the Amazon synopsis for that book. You’ll find them both here.

Shots revisits the often-overlooked work of Edgar Wallace, thriller writer. Read the essay here.

• After responding to the Page 123 meme, I’ve tried to keep track of that online chain letter’s progression. Linda L. Richards, Mark Coggins, and Danny Wagner of The Hungry Detective all responded quickly to my tagging them. I’m still waiting for Anthony Rainone and Nathan Cain of Independent Crime to answer the same call. But meanwhile, I see that Richards’ passing the baton to Marshal Zeringue at Campaign for the American Reader has produced results, and sometime January Magazine contributor Karen G. Anderson has tried her hand at this exercise, as well. Oh, and Wagner’s tagging novelist Duane Swierczynski has brought this response, plus this one from A Case of Murder blogger Jared Case. Further, Zeringue nominating author Steve Hockensmith (The Black Dove) to carry on this meme has led to this post. It’s interesting to see how quickly these things get around.

• The top 10 great scenes from movie robberies gone wrong, via Bill Crider. Included in this rundown are Reservoir Dogs, Dog Day Afternoon, Pulp Fiction, and Raising Arizona. Clearly, crime doesn’t pay enough to go through such disasters.

• And I have just four words for you: Get Smart movie wallpapers.

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