Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Bullet Points: Post-Veterans Day Edition

Romantic Times Book Reviews has announced the contenders for its 2013 Reviewers’ Choice Awards. There are five categories of mystery and thriller works. Among the challengers are Louise Penny’s How the Light Gets In, Jeri Westerson’s Shadow of the Alchemist, Lauren Beukes’ The Shining Girls, and Emma Chapman’s How to Be a Good Wife. Click here to find the full run of RT’s nominees.

• Author Reed Farrel Coleman chooses his seven favorite noirish novels of the last decade, for the Mulholland Books blog. Included on that list: Red Cat, by Peter Spiegelman; The Shanghai Moon, by S.J. Rozan; and Closing Time, by Jim Fusilli.

• Meanwhile, The Book Haven presents its list of the “Top 10 Spy Novels of All Time.” I’m very pleased to see G.K. Chesterton and Alistair MacLean both represented.

• This was before my time, but back in the fall of 1954, a syndicated TV series debuted. It was titled Sherlock Holmes and starred Ronald Howard (son of the more famous Leslie Howard) as Arthur Conan Doyle’s brilliant sleuth, with Howard Marion Crawford appearing as Dr. John H. Watson. Thirty-nine episodes of that series (which Wikipedia observes was the only American-made Holmes TV drama made before 2012’s Elementary) were shot--at least most of which have suddenly become available on YouTube. Check out the pilot here. Links will lead you to later episodes. I haven’t had a chance to yet to watch all of those half-hour shows, but I look forward to doing so soon.

• The 12th of edition of Crimewave, subtitled “Hurt,” has just been released. Its contents include stories by Christopher Priest, Melanie Tem, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, and Stephen Volk. Order a copy here.

• Jim Napier has a fine review, in January Magazine, of Ian Rankin’s new John Rebus novel, Saints of the Shadow Bible. Read it here.

• UK author John Harvey has just signed a contract to produce his 11th and final novel about Detective Inspector Charlie Resnick, the Nottingham cop introduced in 1989’s Lonely Hearts. “The novel, Darkness, Darkness ...,” explains the Euro Crime blog, “sees Resnick revisiting a cold case focused around the 1984 miner’s strike.” The 10th Resnick outing, Cold in Hand, was published in 2008.

• Former Murder, She Wrote star Angela Lansbury is not happy with CBS-TV’s plans to reboot her 1984-1996 mystery series, this time with The Help’s Octavia Spencer starring as a self-published mystery novelist fascinated by true crimes. “I think it’s a mistake to call it Murder, She Wrote,” Lansbury tells The Guardian, “because Murder, She Wrote will always be about Cabot Cove and this wonderful little group of people who told those lovely stories and enjoyed a piece of that place, and also enjoyed Jessica Fletcher, who is a rare and very individual kind of person ... So I’m sorry that they have to use the title--even though they have access to it and it’s their right.”

• Here’s your chance to collaborate with British novelist Ann Cleeves on a short story. “The winning work,” explains Crime Fiction Lover, “will be published in an anthology Cleeves is putting together--a great opportunity for new crime writing talents out there. ... The finished piece can be up to 1,000 words, and the closing date for entries is 29 November 2013.” Check out the link above for more info.

• Novelists Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip, who--under the pseudonym Michael Stanley--compose the African Detective Kubu mysteries (Deadly Harvest), provide an interesting overview here of today’s South African crime-fiction scene.

• Insane as this notion sounds, evidence suggests that George W. Bush was really trying to bring about the end of the world.

• As blogger Crime Fiction Girl notes, “Entries are now open for the 2014 [Crime Writers’ Association] Debut Dagger competition. The competition is open to unpublished writers with entries judged by a panel of top crime editors and agents, and the shortlist sent to publishers and agents. First prize is £700, sponsored by Orion, and all shortlisted entries receive a professional assessment of their work. The entry fee is £25 and you’ll need to send the first 3,000 words (or fewer) of your novel along with a 500-1,000-word synopsis of the rest of the novel.” This entry period ends on January 31, 2014.

• And this comes from In Reference to Murder: “Early bird registration for the Malice Domestic 26 conference is the end of the year, after which rates will go up on January 1st. Everyone who registers before the end of the year will receive an Agatha Nomination Ballot in the beginning of 2014. Malice Domestic is also participating in Maryland Public Television’s Holiday Gift Auction which helps support programming, outreach and education. Two comprehensive registration passes for Malice 26 (and other great items) are up for auction.”

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