Thursday, May 12, 2022

In Case You Haven’t Heard …

• I’m fairly certain I have never read any works by Anglo-American author Alice Campbell. But In Reference to Murder says we may all have access to her entire oeuvre.
Dean Street Press is republishing the works of golden age crime novelist, Alice Campbell, beginning June 6th. They’ll be reissuing the first ten of her mysteries initially, with the remainder to follow next year. As the publisher noted, the novels are “not merely excellent detective stories, but atmospheric works of suspense, many set in France.” This is [the] first time these novels have been in print for over seventy years, and are prefaced by an introduction from crime-fiction historian Curtis Evans.

Campbell (1887-1955) came originally from Atlanta, Georgia, where she was part of the socially prominent Ormond family, before she moved to New York City at the age of nineteen and quickly became a socialist and women’s suffragist. She later moved to Paris, marrying the American-born artist and writer, James Lawrence Campbell, and ultimately to England just before World War One. Campbell wrote crime fiction until 1950, though many of her novels continued to have French settings. She published her first work (
Juggernaut) in 1928 and published nineteen detective novels during her career.
The aforementioned Mr. Evans offers the covers from Dean Street’s first 10 Campbell reissues here, plus this look back at classic Campbell dust jackets. A decade ago, he also reviewed her sixth crime novel, Desire to Kill (1934), for Mystery*File. If you’d like to sample Campbell’s work yourself, Juggernaut is due for release on June 6.

• The May edition of Mike Ripley’s Shots column, “Getting Away with Murder,” carries news about fresh releases from Tom Bradby (Yesterday’s Spy), Anthony Horowitz (With a Mind to Kill), Jo Spain (The Last to Disappear), and William Shaw (Dead Rich, published under his pseudonym G.W. Shaw); a glance back at the crime novels Ripley touted a quarter-century ago; odd publisher’s freebies; and the results of a poll asking readers to name their favorite Harry Patterson/Jack Higgins novel (other than The Eagle Has Landed).

• In a piece for CrimeReads, Connie Berry, author of the new historical mystery The Shadow of Memory, offers “10 Reasons Why Victorian England Is the Perfect Setting for Murder.”

• The series Bosch: Legacy just debuted last Friday on Amazon-owned Freevee (formerly IMDb TV), but the show—a follow-up to Prime’s Boschhas already been renewed for a second season.

The Guardian compares Ian Fleming’s long-forgotten and “much more serious,” 1956 film treatment for his novel Moonraker to the “lightweight” Roger Moore picture brought to theaters in 1979.

• And here’s an unlikely result of global warming. The water level at Lake Mead, a reservoir created by the Hoover Dam and located not far east of Las Vegas, Nevada, “has dropped more than 170 feet since 1983,” says NBC News. As a result, the drinking water supplies of homes, casinos, and farms in the area are at risk—and some disappearances linked to Vegas’ underworld history may finally be solved. In early May, “boaters spotted the decomposed body of a man in a rusted barrel stuck in the mud of newly exposed shoreline. The corpse has not been identified, but Las Vegas police say he had been shot, probably between the mid-1970s and the early 1980s, according to the shoes found with him. The death is being investigated as a homicide. A few days later, a second barrel was found by a KLAS-TV news crew, not far from the first. It was empty.” NBC goes on to quote Michael Green, a history professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas as saying, “‘If the lake goes down much farther, it’s very possible we’re going to have some very interesting things surface. … I wouldn’t bet the mortgage that we’re going to solve who killed Bugsy Siegel,’ Green said, referring to the infamous gangster who opened the Flamingo in 1946 on what would become the Strip. Siegel was shot dead in 1947 in Beverly Hills, California. His assassin has never been identified. ‘But I would be willing to bet there are going to be a few more bodies,’ Green said.”

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