Saturday, August 06, 2016

And the Links Keep Coming

I don’t usually compile posts filled with crime-fiction-related links in such close succession, but since yesterday’s lengthy wrap-up, I have run across enough of what I think are interesting items around the Web that they justify this follow-up. So here goes …

• Mike Ripley’s August “Getting Away with Murder” column for Shots includes notes about the recent Heffers of Cambridge crime-fiction summer party, classic works by Fergus Hume and Anna K. Green, Ostara Publishing’s reprints of Frank McAuliffe novels, and forthcoming books from Rod Reynolds, Ray Celestin, Steven Price, Paul Doherty, and numerous others. Oh, and Ripley brings the most welcome news, that The Callan File, by Robert Fairclough and Mike Kenwood—“the long-awaited definitive guide” to the 1967-1972 UK TV series Callan, starring Edward Woodward—will become available in September courtesy of Quoit Media.

• Having mentioned Ray Celestin, I should also note that his excellent first novel, The Axeman’s Jazz (published last year in the States as simply The Axeman), “has been optioned for television by independent film production company See-Saw Films,” according to The Bookseller. Celestin’s sequel, Dead Man’s Blues (Mantle), is scheduled for release in Great Britain on August 11. So far, though, I don’t see any U.S. publication date for that second book.

• In other TV production news, Deadline Hollywood reports that L.A. Law co-creator Steven Bochco has finally agreed to try rebooting that 1986-1994 NBC-TV series for FOX. Bochco says he “probably will have a script ready in October, in time for next pilot season.”

• Actor Richard Boone is better remembered for his lead roles in the television series Have Gun—Will Travel and Hec Ramsey. But in 1972 he starred with Michael Dunn (who had played Dr. Miguelito Loveless in The Wild Wild West) and Barbara Bain (from Mission: Impossible) in an ABC-TV movie titled Goodnight, My Love. Set in 1946 Los Angeles, that drama found Boone and Dunn playing gumshoe partners Frank Hogan and Arthur Boyle, and Bain filling the elegant heels of a femme fatale. The Thrilling Detective Web Site describes the picture as “a well-done little private-eye flick …, not quite the Maltese Falcon spoof it claims, but still great fun,” while author (and former president of the Private Eye Writers of America) Dick Lochte includes Hogan and Boyle on his list of the top 20 TV private eyes. Chuck Rothman’s recent post in Great but Forgotten praises Goodnight, My Love’s dialogue as having “just the right amount of cynicism and the same worldview as [Raymond] Chandler,” and its cast as “perfect.” I didn’t see the teleflick when it was originally broadcast, but I did catch up with it years later. I recall it as being slow-paced at times, but still amusing and rife with period color. Watch Goodnight, My Love for yourself, beginning here. Below, I’ve posted the film’s opening segment.

• With the 2016 Summer Olympics having kicked off yesterday in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, it’s worth revisiting this list of Olympics-related crime novels from Janet Rudolph’s Mystery Fanfare blog.

• Meanwhile, Bouchercon 2016 is gearing up for its September 15-18 run in New Orleans. So Jon Jordan, the co-editor of Crimespree Magazine, decided to ask a bunch of authors and critics who’ve attended Bouchercons in the past why they “love” this annual gathering of crime, mystery, and thriller fiction enthusiasts.

• Since Bouchercon attendees will be asked to select the winner of this year’s Macavity Award for short fiction, it was a good idea to posts links to spots on the Web where people can read that the nominated yarns in advance of the conference’s start.

• As part of the Third Annual British Invaders Blogathon, orchestrated by Terence Towles Canote of A Shroud of Thoughts, a new-to-me blog called The Flapper Dame extols the virtues of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1935 film, The 39 Steps.

Why reading might make you carsick

• … but can also help you live longer!

• Blogger Kate Jackson asked some of her fellow Golden Age of Crime enthusiasts to respond to the question of which classic author they most wish could have “written one more book.” The answers range from Dorothy L Sayers and Clayton Rawson to Ianthe Jerrold and Hugh Wheeler. Strangely, nobody suggested Raymond Chandler, who would have been my No. 1 choice. Dashiell Hammett, Rex Stout, Ellery Queen, and James M. Cain go equally unmentioned.

• Although he’s disappointed in some production values, Steve Aldous, author of The World of Shaft, is pleased to see Ernest Tidyman’s John Shaft stories being reissued by Dynamite Entertainment. The recent republication of Shaft, he observes, is “the first time the novel [which introduced Tidyman’s series] has been available in a new print [version] in the U.S. since the 1970s.”

• Back in 2000, author Tom Nolan reviewed Hugh Merrill’s The Red Hot Typewriter: The Life and Times of John D. MacDonald for January Magazine, declaring that an “interesting, dimensional, and focused portrait of [MacDonald] fails to emerge” from its pages. Fortunately, Steve Scott, who writes the MacDonald-obsessed blog The Trap of Solid Gold, says that a new version of that biography, from Stark House Press, “represents a significant improvement over Merrill’s original work, with additional material added and many of the author’s original errors corrected. I know this because I was involved with the editing of the new edition and made many of the corrections myself, in addition to editing and amending the book’s bibliography. I came late to the project but, thanks to the miracle of this age of computers, was able to get my contributions included just under the wire. This will be a book that everyone interested in the life and works of John D MacDonald should own.” Hmm. That means I’ll have to pair a copy of this Stark House edition with the original one I already own. So much for efforts to clear some space on my crime-fiction shelves …

Mike Nevins writes about Georges Simenon’s early novels.

Here’s a preview of the cover of The Day I Died, Lori Rader-Day’s third novel, following Little Pretty Things. It’s due out next April.

• “You cannot help liking [Ian] Fleming,” reads a 1969 diary entry by actor Richard Burton, who was once considered for the film role of British spy James Bond. “He is so obviously enjoying the creation of his extroverted, Hemingway-esque, sadistic, sexually-maniacal boy-scout that in the end he becomes likable.”

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