Sunday, August 22, 2010

Easy Pickin’s

• This should be interesting: TV writer/producer William Link--the man responsible for such favorite shows as Columbo, Mannix, Ellery Queen, and Murder, She Wrote--will be one of the special guests on the next two-hour edition of TV Confidential, premiering tomorrow night, August 23, at 9 p.m ET/6 p.m. PT on Shokus Internet Radio. The episode will be rebroadcast this coming Friday, August 27, at 7 p.m. ET/PT on Share-a-Vision Radio, I’ve been advised that the Link interview will air during the second half of the program. The first half will focus on character actor Denny Miller, “who has appeared in just about every major television show of the last four decades, including Gunsmoke, Gilligan’s Island, The Fugitive, The Rockford Files, and Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.” Learn more here.

• How idiotic! NBC-TV is still trying to relaunch The Rockford Files. Hasn’t the network already learned that this is a really bad idea?

• Things are looking up for Hard Case Crime. Editor Charles Ardai reports that he’s talking with eight other houses about picking up his popular paperback line from troubled publisher Dorchester.

• This week’s new short story in Beat to a Pulp comes from Arizona writer Garnett Elliott. His tale is called “The Worms of Terpsichore.”

• Good for Governor Jennifer Granholm of Michigan, who is calling bullshit on a Republican scheme to “effectively dismantle” America’s Social Security and Medicare systems.

• I’ve added a brand-new link to The Rap Sheet’s ever-expanding blogroll, connecting you to Crime Time Preview. Writer Robin Jarossi, a London-based TV journalist and monthly contributor to Shots, says that his new blog will focus “on all crime/thrillers coming onto UK TV--from Marple to Boardwalk Empire.” He concedes, “It’s in its early stages, but with a lot of exciting programming coming in the autumn, I hope it will hit its stride soon. New progs getting a review later this week (when embargoes are lifted) will include U Be Dead and Law & Order: UK, both of which I enjoyed.” Check it out when you get a chance.

• I guess this is good news. Mystery Scene magazine will go full-color, beginning with its Fall 2010 issue, to go on sale in September.

• Although Laura Lippman has had to limit her personal appearances to promote I’d Know You Anywhere (Morrow), her new standalone thriller, she has set up an intriguing competition through which you can win a visit from her to your local library. “So here’s the deal,” she explains on her Web site. “Write an essay about your hometown library and why I should visit. It can be personal--an anecdote about how you learned to write your name in order to get your library card there, or how you curled up on the window seat in the children’s room to read a beloved book on a snowy day. It can be factual, with details about how many people use the library and why it’s central to the community. I’ll pick my favorite essay and will then visit, completely at my own expense, at a mutually agreeable date within the next year.” To participate, send your essay via e-mail (the eddress is posted at the link) by September 30, 2010.

• Who knew there were so many pulpy novels with “X” in the title? Or with gigantic floating heads on their covers? (Hat tip to Bill Crider.)

• Margot Kinberg focuses on partnerships in the writing of crime fiction for her latest post in Confessions of a Mystery Novelist ...

Another fine piece from The Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson.

• Interviews worth your reading time: J. Sydney Jones talks with Ann Cleeves about her Shetland Quartet and Vera Stanhope books; Richard Prosch of Meridian Bridge features a two-part discussion with Beat to a Pulp editor David Cranmer (Part I is here, Part II is here); Craig Sisterson hits crime writer and poet Sophie Hannah (A Room Swept White) with nine questions; Canadian novelist Gail Bowen (The Nesting Dolls) submits the answers to nine of her publisher’s queries; Tony Buchsbaum interviews Justin Cronin (The Passage) for January Magazine; and Hank Phillippi Ryan puts the screws to Lee Goldberg for a post in the Sisters-in-Crime blog.

• Sarah Weinman considers the legacy of the Charlie Chan novels.

• The USA Network turns thumbs up on a second season of Covert Affairs, the spy series starring Piper Perabo and Christopher Gorham.

• And journalist Ben Terrall, the son of longtime crime-genre star Robert Terrall (aka Robert Kyle), has a few things to say about the corruption exposed in editor Paco Ignacio Taibo II’s Mexico City Noir. Read his review in the San Francisco Bay Guardian.

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