Thursday, March 29, 2018

Tidbits Both Meaty and Minor

• As CrimeReads’ Dwyer Murphy notes, there have been “hundreds of editions” of Raymond Chandler’s The Long Goodbye produced since that novel first appeared in 1953. “Some are beautiful, some bizarre; often they’re both,” he writes. Click here to see what Murphy says are “47 of the best covers of The Long Goodbye from around the world. They’re organized by language (almost certainly some are placed in the wrong section—my apologies), and chit-chat has been favored over rigorous analysis of aesthetics. Better, I think, to embrace the chaos. This is, after all, The Long Goodbye.” By the way, Murphy says, “My own personal favorite from the English language paperbacks is the 1962 Pocket edition, with cover art by the great Harry Bennett.”

• I was not previously familiar with arts supporter Deen Kogan, who passed away on March 28 at age 87, but Janet Rudolph’s obituary of her in Mystery Fanfare provides a bit of background:
She and her husband, Jay Kogan, founded Society Hill Playhouse, a staple of Philadelphia theatre for over 60 years. The theatre’s mission was to serve the community, and over the years it did just that with the first integrated cast in Philadelphia in the ’60s, a summer theatre ‘camp’ for kids, and free tickets to Philadelphia high school classes. She was a theatre legend.

In terms of mystery, Dean Kogan put on several mystery conventions, including Bouchercon in Philadelphia in 1998 and in Las Vegas in 2003 and stepped in to co-chair the Chicago [Bouchercon] in 2005 when Hal Rice passed away. … She also put on a Mid-Atlantic Mystery convention in Philadelphia for several years. More recently she was active in the organizing of NoirCon, also held in Philadelphia. She served for many years as a reader for the International Association of Crime Writers’ Hammett Awards.
The Gumshoe Site adds that Kogan died “at her home in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, while recovering from a recent back injury.”

• Also in Mystery Fanfare: Dozens of crime and mystery novels that would be appropriate to tackle this coming Easter weekend.

• British books critic Barry Forshaw—author of the new-in-the-UK work Historical Noir (Pocket Essentials)—selects “10 of the best historical crime novels” for Crime Fiction Lover. His choices, arranged by era, include Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose (representing the Middle Ages), Antonia Hodgson’s The Devil in the Marshalsea (the 18th century), Philip Kerr’s A Man Without Breath (World War II), and David Peace’s The Red Riding Quartet (the 1970s).

• Are you feeling at something of a loss now that TNT-TV’s The Alienist has ended? For more murder and mystery in the New York City of old, turn to The Bowery Boys. That history blog has gathered together five of its foremost podcasts having to do with real-life crime of the 19th and early 20th centuries, stories ranging from journalist Nellie Bly’s infiltration of an insane asylum to the never-solved disappearance of wealthy young socialite Dorothy Arnold.

• Meanwhile, Simon Baatz—an associate professor of history at Manhattan’s John Jay College and the author of The Girl on the Velvet Swing: Sex, Murder, and Madness at the Dawn of the Twentieth Century (Mulholland)—picks works by seven authors that illuminate New York during the Gilded Age and Progressive Era. Click here.

• In Reference to Murder brings this news:
Former Major Crimes star Kearran Giovanni has landed a lead role opposite Derek Luke, Jeri Ryan, and Paula Newsome in NBC’s drama pilot, Suspicion.

Based on the book by Joseph Finder and directed by Brad Anderson,
Suspicion is described as a Hitchcockian thriller about how far one man will go to save the people he loves. After Danny Goldman (Luke) accepts a handshake loan from his new friend and millionaire neighbor, he gets a visit from the FBI and learns that the decision is one he will regret for the rest of his life. Coerced to work as an informant for the FBI to earn back his freedom, Danny is forced to infiltrate a world of violence and corruption while trying to protect his family. Giovanni will play Lucy Fletcher, a psychotherapist.
• Also worth investigating: Kate Jackson names more than a dozen of her favorite country house mysteries in Cross-Examining Crime.

• Finally, did you know that Steve Hockensmith was working on a new “Holmes on the Range” mystery starring cowpokes-turned-gumshoes Big Red and Old Red Amlingmeyer? Yeah, neither did I. But his Web site says he’s completed more than half of a sixth novel in that series, to be titled The Double-A Western Detective Agency. I look forward to reading the finished product sometime soon.

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