Friday, June 03, 2022

Of Pride, Premieres, and Peggy Fair

• Concurrent with President Joe Biden declaring June to be LGBTQ Pride Month in the United States, Sisters in Crime has opened the submissions process for its second annual Pride Award for Emerging LGBTQIA+ Crime Writers. Up for grabs is a $2,000 grant for an unpublished piece of fiction. Entries of 2,500 to 5,000 words in length will be accepted between now and July 31, with this year’s winner to be announced in the fall. “Established in 2021 as part of the legacy project by former Sisters in Crime president Sherry Harris,” a news release explains, “the grant aims to raise visibility of diverse voices in the genre and is intended for a crime writer beginning their career, and will support activities related to career development including workshops, seminars, conferences, retreats, online courses, and research activities required for completion of his, her or their work. One winner and five runners-up will also be awarded a one-year Sisters in Crime membership, as well as a critique from an established Sisters in Crime member.” West Orange, New Jersey, writer C.J. Prince captured last year’s Pride Award. To find further information and the application, simply click here.

• I haven’t yet watched Slow Horses, the Apple+ TV spy series based on Mick Herron’s Slough House novels, and starring Gary Oldman. Nonetheless, The Hollywood Reporter says it has already been greenlit for two more seasons. “The renewal,” it explains, “will take the show through its fourth season … Season two of Slow Horses is set to premiere later this year. The first two seasons were shot at the same time (though only the first was announced), and Apple TV+ teased the next installment at the end of the six-episode first season. Season two is based on Dead Lions, … and follows Jackson Lamb (Oldman) and his team as they seek to prove a Cold War-era colleague of Lamb’s was murdered. Seasons three and four will be based on the corresponding books in Herron’s series, Real Tigers and Spook Street.”

• Slowly but surely, the good folks behind PBS-TV’s Sunday Masterpiece series are spreading news about when their popular shows will return to the screen—or, in one case, debut. Here’s the complete lineup: Endeavour, Season 8, will premiere on June 19; Grantchester, Season 7, on July 10; Guilt, Season 2, on August 28; Van Der Valk, Season 2, on September 25; Miss Scarlet and the Duke, Season 2, on October 16; Magpie Murders, on October 16; and Annika, Season 1, on October 16 (though it’s already available via PBS Passport and the PBS Masterpiece streaming service). A trailer highlighting these shows can be enjoyed here.

• TV critic Stephen Taylor takes a fond look back at Gail Fisher, who played secretary Peggy Fair on the 1967-1975 CBS series Mannix.

According to In Reference to Murder, “The shortlist was announced for the 2022 Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize, culled from a panel of UK librarians and library staff. These six titles are now with a judging panel and over the summer months, readers will be invited to participate in the Reader's Vote, which equates to one seat on the judge's panel. The finalists include The Apollo Murders by Chris Hadfield; Where Blood Runs Cold by Giles Kristian; The Vacation by John Marrs; The Plant Hunter by T.L. Mogford; Sankofa by Chibundu Onuzo; and Moonlight and the Pearler's Daughter by Lizzie Pook.” This year’s winner is to be revealed on September 21.

• R.I.P., Bo Hopkins, the South Carolina-born actor whose face was so familiar in TV productions of the 1970s and ’80s, among them The Rockford Files, Charlie’s Angels, The Manhunter, Doc Elliott, and Dynasty. Hopkins featured as well in big-screen films such as The Wild Bunch and American Graffiti, and in the boob-tube flicks The Kansas City Massacre and The Invasion of Johnson County, the latter of which was an unsuccessful 1976 pilot also starring Bill Bixby. The actor was 84 years old, and died from a heart attack.

• Finally, here are a couple of lists you might enjoy: The Columbophile Blog gathers together what it suggests are the 12 funniest scenes from the vintage Peter Falk crime drama, Columbo—one of them featuring Jamie Lee Curtis in an early acting role; and Great Detectives of Old Time Radio host Adam Graham identifies what he claims are the “Top Five Forgotten OId Time Radio Detective Programs.” The Airmail Mystery, from 1932? I, for one, have no memory at all of that series of 13 fifteen-minute episodes.

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