Sunday, June 10, 2012

Bullet Points: Little Bit of Everything Edition

These last couple of weeks have been extremely hectic here at Rap Sheet headquarters. We’ve celebrate the blog’s sixth anniversary, looked back at Darren McGavin’s The Outsider, posted interviews with J. Robert Janes and Lee Child, offered a rundown of 175 crime and thriller novels worth reading this summer, recalled the short-lived NBC Wednesday Mystery Movie series Madigan, and listed nominees for the 2012 Dagger Awards, the winners of several CrimeFest commendations, and recipients of the 2012 Arthur Ellis Awards. After all of that, we decided that a few days away from the computer were in order. Before this new week begins in earnest, though, we want to point out some recent Web offerings that deserve your notice.

• The month-long rolling blog tribute to author Reginald Hill (who passed away in January) continues with Bill Kitson’s review of Hill’s 2005 standalone, The Stranger House. “Genius is an overworked word these days,” Kitson writes, “but when I read the final word of the epilogue, I gasped aloud. The revelation contained in that final word pulled all the intricately woven threads of the plot together and provided added motive and credibility to everything that had taken place throughout the narrative. To construct a book that is 640 pages long and to leave the denouement until the very last word--that to me is genius, or something very close to it.” More tributes are here.

• Speaking of Hill, The Little Professor laments that his “final Dalziel and Pascoe novel (still untitled)” might never see print.

• This may be your ticket to novel writing: “Now’s your chance to win a $500 advance, a $500 Amazon gift card, and a publishing contract to write your own tale in the hugely popular Dead Man saga ... to be published in early 2013 by Amazon’s 47North imprint,” explains Lee Goldberg, who (with William Rabkin) created the Dead Man series of original horror novels. Details for entering (by August 1) are here.

Happy third anniversary to Guns, Gams, and Gumshoes.

• A belated happy birthday as well to Terence Towles Canote’s blog, A Shroud of Thoughts, which turned eight years old on June 4.

• And we can’t forget to mention that Brooklyn-born actor Joe Santos, who played Jim Rockford’s cop friend, Dennis Becker, on The Rockford Files and Lieutenant Frank Harper on Hardcastle and McCormick, celebrated his 81st birthday yesterday.

• Winners of the 2012 Next Generation Indie Book Awards--including several works of fiction plucked from the crime, mystery, and thriller shelves--have been announced. To find the complete list of nominees and lucky recipients, just click here.

• I’ve never seen the 1955 film Pete Kelly’s Blues, based on Jack Webb’s radio serial of the same name. But that’s no longer true of Adam Graham at the Great Detectives of Old Time Radio site, who pronounces the movie “a minor noirish classic.”

• A new blog worth sampling: Radio Spirits, composed by friend of The Rap Sheet Ivan G. Shreve Jr., who’s best known for writing Thrilling Days of Yesteryear. In addition to exploring topics from the Golden Age of Radio, Shreve is expected to write more about television and movies. Interestingly, among his earliest posts is one looking back at Jack Webb’s introduction to radio drama programs.

• By the way, Shreve is also in the midst of recapping--at some length, it should be mentioned--the old Green Hornet film serials. Check out his write-ups so far: here, here, and here.

• I was sorry to hear that English author, archaeologist and journalist Paul Sussman died suddenly after suffering a ruptured aneurysm on May 31. As The Gumshoe Site notes, Sussman wrote his “first novel, The Lost Army of Cabyses (Transworld, 2002), featuring Inspector Yusuf Khalifa of the Luxor police in Egypt, in 2002, and Khalifa returns in The Last Secret of the Temple (Transworld, 2005). The third novel was a one-off (or standalone in [the] U.S.), The Hidden Oasis (Bantam Press, 2009). His last one is a Khalifa novel, The Labyrinth of Osiris, to be out in July from Bantam Press.” The Guardian, which calls Sussman’s books “the intelligent reader’s answer to The Da Vinci Code,” offers more about the author’s career here.

• This comes as something of a surprise: The Webzine ThugLit, which I feared might have disappeared for good, is suddenly soliciting new short stories again. And even offering to pay for them! More information about submissions can be found here.

• Part I of Wallace Stroby’s conversation with fellow author George Pelecanos (The Cut) can be found on the Mulholland Books site. I assume Part II is due for posting any day now.

• This week’s new story in Beat to a Pulp comes from Derringer Award-winner Anita Page. It’s titled “Kiss It Goodbye.”

• The latest issue of the online literary magazine Lowestoft Chronicle features an interview with Randal S. Brandt, a librarian at The Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley, who also happens to be an expert on author David Dodge. An e-note from the mag’s editor explains that the piece “covers Randal’s research trip in April to meet David Dodge’s granddaughter, where he turned up some interesting facts about the last few years in David Dodge’s life. There are also some never-before-seen photos of Dodge.”

Here’s a book worth adding to my library.

Oh no, say this isn’t so: “Tom and Ray Magliozzi, aka Click and Clack the Tappet Brothers, the famous comedian mechanics who host NPR’s Car Talk, told their listeners this afternoon that as of this fall, they’ll no longer record new programs ...”

• And I bid a sad good-bye to Kathryn Joosten. The 72-year-old actress played presidential secretary Delores Landingham on The West Wing. According to The Huffington Post, she died on June 2 “after a long battle with lung cancer.”

1 comment:

J F Norris said...

Thanks Jeff, for the link to my blog publicizing Curt Evan's book. It may be pricey but it's well worth the buy.