Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Just a Few Things on Our Radar

• Although there’s no word yet on when the 10-episode second season of Netflix’s The Lincoln Lawyer will debut, we do now know—thanks to Deadline—about three actors who’ve won recurring roles. Lana Parrilla (Why Women Kill, Once Upon a Time) will play “a beloved chef and community advocate struggling to keep her restaurant afloat as a predatory real estate developer threatens the neighborhood around her.” Yaya DaCosta (Chicago Med, Our Kind of People) “will portray Andrea Freemann, a cut-throat prosecutor and Mickey Haller’s (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo) undefeated courtroom rival, who is also a friend of his ex-wife Maggie (Neve Campbell).” And Matt Angel (Dave) is set to play Henry Dahl, “a cosmopolitan erudite with a hipster haircut and clothes. He is the host of a successful true crime podcast that acts the role of a good Samaritan. Distrustful of Henry’s motives, Mickey … warns him not to interfere with an ongoing case.” The sophomore season of The Lincoln Lawyer is said to be based on Michael Connelly’s 2011 novel The Fifth Witness.

• Mystery Fanfare draws our attention to a couple of British crime dramas set to debut soon in the United States. Season 12 of Vera, the series starring Brenda Blethyn and based on Ann Cleeves’ Vera Stanhope mysteries, will show up this coming Sunday, January 29, on the BritBox streaming channel. Meanwhile, watch for the freshman season of DI Ray, a procedural starring Parminder Nagar as Detective Inspector Rachita Ray of the fictitious Birmingham, England, police force. (Birmingham actually falls under the purview of the West Midlands Police.) DI Ray’s four episodes will be available to those who subscribe to the PBS Passport on-demand service beginning on February 20, with the series’ PBS Masterpiece broadcast premiere coming on July 9. The Killing Times reports that DI Ray has already been renewed for a second season in the UK.

• Shots’ Mike Stotter charts the 20 most popular British TV detective shows, starting with Line of Duty and Unforgotten.

• Max Allan Collins’ latest blog post contains a fine half-hour interview he did with Titan editor Andrew Sumner about his 18th Nate Heller novel, The Big Bundle (Hard Case Crime), released this week.

• Peter May gives us the background on his own brand-new novel, a standalone titled A Winter’s Grave, in this piece for Shots.

• Moscow-born author Katja Ivar chats with Crime Fiction Lover’s Garrick Webster on the subject of her writing career and her third Cold War-era-set Hella Mauzer thriller, Trouble (Bitter Lemon Press), now on sale in Great Britain and due out in the States on February 21.

• And one more superior exchange to mention: Speaking of Mysteries host Nancie Clare’s discussion with debut crime novelist Iris Yamashita about the latter’s City Under One Roof (Berkley), a claustrophobic, Alaska-backdropped tale that Publishers Weekly says “heralds the arrival of a major new talent.”

• We’re going to be seeing less of Sarah Weinman in The New York Times. The January edition of her newsletter, The Crime Lady, includes mention of her “Crime & Mystery” column (which she took over from longtime critic Marilyn Stasio in early 2021) shifting from twice-a-month appearance to only monthly publication. “There are many reasons for this change,” she explains, “including scheduling and print space and making sure all the genre columns get equal play. But from my standpoint, it turns out reviewing eight books a month is hard! And having experienced column burnout in the past, I did not want it to repeat itself. A more sustainable schedule also means more time for other projects, some of which are already in the works.”

• What relationship is there between author John le Carré and serial-lying Republican U.S. congressman George Santos? From Vox:
Sean Wilentz, a Bancroft Prize-winning historian at Princeton University, told Vox that Santos was more a character out of American literature than American history, citing Herman Melville’s The Confidence-Man. “This is nothing that a historian can be much help on,” he said. “There is no example like it.” It’s not that Santos was an entirely foreign object—the huckster is an American archetype, and nothing is more clichéd than a dishonest politician. As Wilentz put it, he’s “made of materials that one can identify.” But that such a shadowy figure and compulsive liar wound up on Capitol Hill is still remarkable. “Embellishing happens a fair amount that a lot of people get away with,” Wilentz said. “This is a different order because this is a made-up life.”

He noted that “it’s one thing to be Marjorie Taylor Greene and making up all of this crazy stuff, and here you just have a cipher.” Using another literary reference, Wilentz compared Santos to the “kind of nothing man that drips all through the novels” of John le Carré.
• There were plenty of “Best Crime Fiction of 2022” lists pouring in at the end of last year, but that doesn’t mean everyone had their say. Kevin Tipple, of Kevin’s Corner fame, today delivered a rundown of his 10 favorites in the blog Lesa’s Book Critiques. They include Rick Helms’ A Kind and Savage Place, Claire Booth’s Dangerous Consequences, Lee Goldberg’s Movieland, Terry Shames’s Murder at the Jubilee Rally, and Laurie Loewenstein’s Funeral Train.

If only I could be in Britain on March 4 for Mystery Fest

• There was an intriguing, if passing, mention in The New York Timesobituary of veteran TV news correspondent Bernard Kalb earlier this month, having to do with his early journalism experience: “After graduating from the City College of New York in 1942, Mr. Kalb spent two years in the Army, mostly working on a newspaper published out of a Quonset hut in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska. His editor was Sgt. Dashiell Hammett, the author of the detective novels ‘The Maltese Falcon’ and ‘The Thin Man.’” More on The Adakian, that daily mimeographed paper Hammett created for the Adak Army Air Base, can be found here. (Hat tip to Mark Coggins.)

• For CrimeReads, Zack Budryk looks back at how the “rampant corruption and incompetency” of U.S. president Warren G. Harding’s 1920s administration “pave[d] the way for a new century of politics.”

• Other recent CrimeReads pieces I’ve enjoyed include this one by Mark Ellis (Dead in the Water), asking whether historical accuracy actually matters in historical fiction; this other one, by Janice Hallett (The Twyford Code), focused on crime yarns featuring “recently released or escaped prisoners”; Samuel Martin’s exploration of what he calls “North Atlantic noir”; and Elizabeth Held’s contemplation of why teenage detectives remain so appealing.

• Devoted Rockford Files fan Jim Suza tells the story of how “several hundred film images” from the photo shoot for that 1970s series’ memorable opening title sequence were lost, almost trashed, and eventually found their way into his possession.

• Finally, if the new Netflix historical film The Pale Blue Eye has left you curious to learn the facts about Edgar Allan Poe’s short, self-sabotaged career at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York, click over to this piece from The Washington Post.


Mark Coggins said...

Check it out... pictures of Hammett with Kalb here:

Kevin R. Tipple said...

Thank you for the mention, sir.