Sunday, January 30, 2011

Making My Rounds

• In Reference to Murder reminds us that tomorrow, January 31, will be the final day of business for Los Angeles’ justly respected Mystery Bookstore, which opened in 1987 and earlier this month announced its decision to close its doors.
They’ll be open all day with bargains throughout the store, but at 6:00 p.m., it’s the official farewell party. You can enjoy what they’re billing as “one last evening with us--and with the many authors who have promised to drop in to join us in celebrating the fun we’ve had and perhaps to shed a tear or two. Food, libation, good company, and great books--new, back stock, and collectibles--on sale.” For every $25 that you spend, you’ll be given a ticket for a drawing to win one of nine gift bags, which include hand-picked books by owners Kirk Pasich and Pamela Woods and other staff, Robert Crais collectibles, and Michael Connelly limited editions.
• This week’s episode of the PBS-TV documentary series Pioneers of Television will focus on classic small-screen crimes dramas, including Mannix, Police Woman, Dragnet, Mission: Impossible, and I Spy. The late Robert Culp and Stephen J. Cannell are both interviewed for this episode, which airs on Tuesday, February 1, at 8 p.m. ET/PT. (Hat tip to Ivan G. Shreve Jr. at Thrilling Days of Yesteryear.)

• Completely ignoring my recent casting advice, producers of the forthcoming Charlie’s Angels “reboot” have finally signed on all three of their new female private eyes: Annie Ilonzeh (from General Hospital), Rachel Taylor (Transformers), and Esquire magazine’s most recent “Sexiest Woman Alive,” Minka Kelly (Friday Night Lights). Robert Wagner is still said to be on tap to portray their never-seen boss, Charlie Townsend. Production on this fall 2011 series, which will be set in Miami rather than Los Angeles, is expected to begin late this spring.

• I’m sorry to see that Sarah Weinman has put her once must-read blog, Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind, on hiatus as she deals with other editorial responsibilities. Fortunately, she’s continuing to blog (though less regularly) in Off on a Tangent.

• And Weinman has a fine new piece in The Wall Street Journal. Her subject is crime writer Margery Allingham (1904-1966), the English creator of “gentleman sleuth” Albert Campion. It’s Weinman’s opinion that, “of the ‘Four Queens of Crime,’ as [Agatha] Christie, [Dorothy L.] Sayers, [Ngaio] Marsh and Allingham were designated back in the day, Margery has the most distinctive voice--which may or may not explain why, even though her books have never gone out of print, she’s never entered the crime-fiction canon in quite the same way.” Read more here.

• I’ve added another worthy new blog to The Rap Sheet’s right-hand column. It’s Little Known Gems, the work of Kentucky writer-reviewer Richard L. Pangburn, who not long ago contributed a “forgotten books” piece to this page about Money, Money, Money (2001), by Ed McBain. Among Pangburn’s recent posts is this one looking back at Ross Macdonald’s 1948 standalone mystery, The Three Roads (which served as the basis for the 1980 film Deadly Companion).

• R.I.P., The UntouchablesBruce Gordon.

Whatever became of the Republicans’ promise to focus on jobs?

• This week’s new short story in Beat to a Pulp is “Massacre Canyon,” by Wayne D. Dundee, featuring his series sleuth, Joe Hannibal.

• I learned from Lee Goldberg’s blog that Zachary Klein, who published a trio of mystery novels back in the 1990s featuring Boston private eye Matt Jacob, recently began writing his own blog. There’s not much there yet, but maybe a little reader encouragement will help.

• Interviews worth your notice: Paul D. Brazill chats up NoirCon organizer Lou Boxer; David Cranmer fires seven questions at Fred Zackel, including some about his most generous teacher, Ross Macdonald; Stephen Jay Schwartz talks with Kelli Stanley about her new novels The Curse Maker and City of Secrets, the latter a sequel to last year’s terrific City of Dragons; J. Sydney Jones goes one-on-one with cozy writer Lorraine Bartlett; and Tina Hall of The Damned Interviews quizzes author and screenwriter William Hjortsberg.

• Speaking of Hjortsberg, the blogs Scientist Gone Wordy and Lazy Thoughts from a Boomer offer parallel reviews of that author’s 1978 novel, Falling Angel, and its 1987 film adaptation, Angel Heart.

• The latest installment of Dick Adler’s online serial novel, Forget About It: The First Al Zymer Senile Detective Mystery, has been posted here earlier this week. A complete archive of the chapters can be found here.

• Word is that Kyra Sedgwick’s The Closer, the TNT-TV show that had been scheduled to go off the air after its forthcoming seventh season (due to begin production this coming spring), will now be extended by half a dozen episodes in order to “introduce both new characters and a new storyline for a spin-off.”

1 comment:

michael said...

The new CHARLIE'S ANGELS is still just a pilot. We won't know if it gets picked up as a series until May when the networks announce the fall schedule. Think in terms of the attempts to bring back THE ROCKFORD FILES.

Oh, and the Republicans are hard at work focusing on jobs...theirs.