Friday, June 10, 2022

A Few End-of-the-Week Links

• The Sisters in Crime organization has announced that Shizuka Otake, a resident of Jackson Heights, New York, has won the 2022 Eleanor Taylor Bland Crime Fiction Writers of Color Award. According to a news release, “Her submission, Murder in Tokyo, is a story of a Japanese American teen’s life which is shattered when her boyfriend is arrested as the prime suspect in a classmate’s murder. ‘I lived in Tokyo as an adult and found it painful to be viewed as different,’ said Otake. ‘I expected to fit in and wondered how much harder that experience would have been if I was a vulnerable teen.’” Otake’s victory brings her a $2,000 grant, which she can apply toward “workshops, seminars, conferences, retreats, online courses and research activities to assist in completion of their work.” Five runners-up in this contest, which is named for police-procedural author Bland (who died in 2010), will receive a one-year membership to Sisters in Crime. They are Danielle Arceneaux (Brooklyn, N.Y.), Amber Boothe (Crowthorne, England), Jennifer K. Morita (Sacramento, Calif.), Valerie Kemp (Ann Arbor, Mich.), and Kathy A. Norris (Los Angeles, Calif.).

• It’s been so long since I last heard about third-series plans for the genial ITV-TV crime drama McDonald & Dodds, that I’d stopped checking for them. But The Killing Times brings news now that four fresh 90-minute episodes of the ofttimes humorous whodunit are due for transmission in the UK, beginning on Sunday, June 19. You’ll remember that Tala Gouveia and Jason Watkins play Detective Chief Inspector Lauren McDonald and Detective Sergeant Dodds, respectively, in this program set in modern-day Bath, England. The Killing Times tells us what they’ll be up to right out of the gate:
In episode one, a young woman dies in a busy park in broad daylight and the mismatched McDonald and Dodds are called in to untangle the mysterious circumstances of her death. Who is she? How did she die surrounded by witnesses? And how is it possible that she is … smiling? All roads seem to lead to Professor George Gillan [Alan Davies], a linguistic anthropologist who lives in a rambling mansion with his eccentric mother, Agnes, whose 100th birthday is days away. DS Dodds is sure that the house has something to do with the murder, but in uncovering Belvedere’s history, Dodds also unearths secrets in his own past.
Radio Times shares the basic plot lines of subsequent installments. There’s no word yet on when this latest set of McDonald & Dodds stories will become available to Amazon Prime subscribers, but as one who’s enjoyed the previous seasons, I hope it will be soon!

• Did you know that Shutter Island author Dennis Lehane was working on Black Bird, a psychological thriller for the Apple TV+ streaming service, and that it’s scheduled to debut on July 8? Deadline reports that the six-episode drama features Taron Egerton, Paul Walter Hauser, Greg Kinnear, Sepideh Moafi, and Ray Liotta—in his last screen role (he died in May)—“and was adapted from the true-crime memoir In With the Devil: A Fallen Hero, a Serial Killer, and a Dangerous Bargain for Redemption by James Keene and Hillel Levin.” The plot is said to follow “high school football hero and Big Jim Keene’s son Jimmy Keene (Egerton), who is sentenced to 10 years in a minimum security prison. He is given a choice: enter a maximum-security prison for the criminally insane and befriend suspected serial killer Larry Hall (Hauser), or stay where he is and serve his full sentence with no possibility of parole. Keene’s only way out is to elicit a confession and find out where the bodies of several young girls are buried before Hall’s appeal goes through. But is this suspected killer telling the truth?” Deadline’s story includes a trailer for the show.

• Last but not least, Sunshine State journalist Craig Pittman points me toward his recent story about how a Florida Panhandle town became the site of “enough grisly discoveries to fuel a couple of seasons of Forensic Files,” thanks to a Tennessee fiction writer.

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