Friday, August 18, 2017

Alan Hale Jr. "the Skipper"

Alan Hale Jr. "the Skipper" - Neatorama

Song of the Day

(23) Dear One by Larry Finnegan 1962 - YouTube:

I'm Sure You'll All Agree

Five H.P. Lovecraft Stories You Should Actually Read in 2017

Today's Vintage Ad

I Miss the Old Days

The Body Beautiful – 47 Glamorous Photos of Marie McDonald in the 1940s: Marie McDonald (1923-1965) was a leggy, voluptuous blonde starlet who pursued her career with a vengeance but found little reward in the end. Her parents divorced when Marie was just 6 years old. Marie's mother remarried and the new family moved to Yonkers, New York, where she attended Roosevelt High School and excelled in piano and wrote for the school newspaper.

PaperBack



Dorine B. Clark, Gutter Star, Intimate Novel, 1954

Dino Update

'Most bizarre dinosaur ever found' is missing evolutionary link

Piker

Shelf life: novelist Hanya Yanagihara on living with 12,000 books | Books

FFB: Turn on the Heat -- Erle Stanley Gardner

Now that Hard  Case Crime has issued the heretofore unpublished first novel in Erle Stanley Gardner's Cool and Lam series (The Knife Slipped), the next logical step was to reprint the second book in the series, Turn on the Heat.  I'd never read this one before, so it was as obscure to me as the unpublished novel (Turn on the Heat has been out of physical print for more than 50 years), and I'm grateful to Hard Case for releasing it and calling my attention it.  Cool and Lam are fun to read about, and Turn on the Heat has them in fine form.

The plot's almost impossible for me to lay out in simple form, but I can say that it begins with the disappearance of a woman twenty years before the action starts.  Now a lot of people want to find her, and one of them hires Cool and Lam to do the work for him.   The search takes Donald to the small town from which the woman disappeared, where he meets an attractive young woman, tangles with a crooked (and tough and mean) cop, gets mixed up in a lot of local politics, and generally stirs things up.  Murder ensues.

As usual, people and things are not always what they seem, and Lam put himself in and Cool in some tricky legal situations, or maybe I should say near-illegal situations, with Cool worrying about jail but liking the idea of a big payoff so much that the risks are worth it.

And the payoff does come, both figuratively and literally, as Lam ties everything together, and you see that Cool, who reminds us every twenty pages or so how smart he is, is right. 

I hope Hard Case plans to reissue more of the Cool and Lam books, as they've as much fun as ever.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

The Page 69 Test: "Dead, to Begin With"

The Page 69 Test: "Dead, to Begin With"

Fast Times at Ridgemont High at 35

Fast Times at Ridgemont High: Cameron Crowe on Film’s 35th Anniversary 

Song of the Day

(22) Bonnie Tyler - It's A Heartache (VIDEO) (Best Quality!) - YouTube:

I'm Sure You'll All Agree

The Scariest 25 Minutes on U.S. Television

Today's Vintage Ad


Yes, Dr Pepper Is Included

10 Snack Foods Originally Sold as Medicines 

PaperBack



Simms Albert, Pound of Flesh, Intimate Novel, 1953

I Miss the Old Days

1970s stock photos were even more awkward than today

I suspect the same goes for books

Millennials don’t really care about classic movies: A new study finds that less than a quarter of millennials have watched a film from start to finish that was made back in the 1940s or 50s and only a third have seen one from the 1960s.

How WWII Saved 'The Great Gatsby' From Obscurity

How WWII Saved 'The Great Gatsby' From Obscurity

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Top 10 Hidden Grave Sites Found With Satellite Images

Top 10 Hidden Grave Sites Found With Satellite Images

Song of the Day

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee

Man's widow, girlfriend have brawl at funeral home during viewing

Elvis Presley: 1977 Obituary

Elvis Presley: 1977 Obituary on Anniversary of Death

Today's Vintage Ad


I Miss the Old Days

25 Beautiful Photos of Women Who Defined Rock Music in the 1960s and 1970s

On Endings -- Janet Hutchings, Editor of EQMM

ON ENDINGS | SOMETHING IS GOING TO HAPPEN: Recently I was asked to serve on a short-story panel at the Bouchercon World Mystery Convention in Toronto (October 12-15) that will attempt to provide advice to new writers on various aspects of craft. The panel’s moderator, frequent EQMM and AHMM contributor James Lincoln Warren, asked each panelist to provide a list of topics for discussion. That got me thinking about endings.

PaperBack



Bruce Manning, Off Limits, Intimate Novel, 1951

A Sports Car is Born

A Sports Car is Born: One measure of the desirability of a sports car is whether or not it has teenagers drooling over it before they’re even old enough to drive. Here’s the story of one of the most drool-worthy cars in auto history. (See how long it takes you to guess which car we’re talking about.)  

When I was a kid, our next-door neighbor was a car salesman.  I got to ride in the first one of these cars ever to appear in Mexia, Texas.

Collecting Vintage Postcards

Collecting Vintage Postcards: Postcards (sometimes spelled out in two words as "post cards") became popular at the turn of the 20th century, especially for sending short messages to friends and relatives. They were collected right from the start, and are still sought after today by collectors of pop culture, photography, advertising, wartime memorabilia, local history, and many other categories.

Bonus FFB for Wednesday: Silence -- Thomas Perry

This is a little bit of a cheat, since I don't usually write about books I don't finish, but I thought I'd make an exception just this once.  It's rare for me not to finish a book once I've started, and I never thought I wouldn't finish one by Thomas Perry, who's entertained me many times.  Silence didn't work for me, though.

I should have known it was trouble when I saw that it was well over 400 pages long with fairly small print.  I'm not a fan of long books, but Perry's such an expert at pacing, I didn't think the length would be a problem.  I was wrong.

Here's why. Perry seems to have intended this to be a character-driven thriller, which is fine, although I think thrillers are generally plot driven.  I got bogged down in all the backstories for the characters in Silence.  There's so much backstory in the first 120 pages (which is as far as I got) that there's enough material for a couple of other books.  Maybe all this stuff will pay off later in the book, but not for me.  The thing that drove me to put the book down was the lengthy backstory (eight or nine pages) of one character, who's then killed only a few pages later.  I figured enough was enough.  I'll be reading other Thomas Perry books, no question about that, but this one was a disappointment.