Saturday, January 28, 2006

The Notorious Bettie Page

Here's the trailer for a must-see movie.

And Yet Paris Hilton Gets a Recording Contract

The Sun Online - Bizarre online: No action for star's boobs: "OSCAR-WINNING actress Charlize Theron has revealed she often gets turned down for action roles - because her boobs are too small.

The sexy star claims her small chest puts directors off casting her - because they cannot shoot the obligatory boob bouncing scenes."

Edgar Nominees

Congratulations to all. Glad to see Al Guthrie up for his Hard Case Crime book!

Mystery Writers of America is proud to announce its Nominees for the 2006 Edgar Allan Poe Awards, honoring the best in mystery fiction, non-fiction, television and film published or produced in 2005. The Edgar Awards will be presented to the winners at our 60th Gala Banquet, April 27, 2006 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, New York City.


The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly (Little, Brown)
Red Leaves by Thomas H. Cook (Harcourt)
Vanish by Tess Gerritsen (Ballantine Books)
Drama City by George Pelecanos (Little, Brown)
Citizen Vince by Jess Walter (Regan Books)


Die A Little by Megan Abbott (Simon & Schuster)
Immoral by Brian Freeman (St. Martin's Minotaur)
Run the Risk by Scott Frost (G.P. Putnam's Sons)
Hide Your Eyes by Alison Gaylin (Signet)
Officer Down by Theresa Schwegel (St. Martin's Minotaur)


Homicide My Own by Anne Argula (Pleasure Boat Studio)
The James Deans by Reed Farrel Coleman (Penguin - Plume)
Girl in the Glass by Jeffrey Ford (Dark Alley)
Kiss Her Goodbye by Allan Guthrie (Hard Case Crime)
Six Bad Things by Charlie Huston (Ballantine Books)


Rescue Artist: A True Story of Art, Thieves, and the Hunt for a Missing Masterpiece by Edward Dolnick (HarperCollins)
The Elements of Murder: The History of Poison by John Emsley (Oxford University Press)
Written in Blood by Diane Fanning (St. Martin's True Crime)
True Story: Murder, Memoir, Mea Culpa by Michael Finkel (HarperCollins)
Desire Street: A True Story of Death and Deliverance in New Orleans by Jed Horne (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)


Writing and Selling Your Mystery Novel: How to Knock 'em Dead with Style by Hallie Ephron (Writer's Digest Books)
Behind the Mystery: Top Mystery Writers Interviewed by Stuart Kaminsky, photos by Laurie Roberts (Hot House Press)
The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes: The Novels edited by Leslie S. Klinger (W.W. Norton)
Discovering the Maltese Falcon and Sam Spade: The Evolution of Dashiell Hammett's Masterpiece, Including John Huston's Movie with Humphrey Bogart edited by Richard Layman (Vince Emery Productions)
Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her by Melanie Rehak (Harcourt)


"Born Bad" – Dangerous Women by Jeffery Deaver (Mysterious Press)
"The Catch' – Greatest Hits by James W. Hall (Carroll & Graf)
"Her Lord and Master" – Dangerous Women by Andrew Klavan (Mysterious Press)
"Misdirection" – Greatest Hits by Barbara Seranella (Carroll & Graf)
"Welcome to Monroe" – A Kudzu Christmas by David Wallace (River City Publishing)


Shakespeare's Secret by Elise Broach (Henry Holt Books for Young Readers)
Wright & Wong: The Case of the Nana-Napper by Laura J. Burns and Melinda Metz (Penguin Young Readers – Sleuth/Razorbill)
The Missing Manatee by Cynthia DeFelice (Farrar, Straus & Giroux Books for Young Readers)
Flush by Carl Hiassen (Knopf Books for Young Readers)
The Boys of San Joaquin by D. James Smith (Simon & Schuster Children’s Books)


Down the Rabbit Hole by Peter Abrahams (HarperCollins – Laura Geringer Books)
Last Shot by John Feinstein (Knopf Books for Young Readers)
Quid Pro Quo by Vicki Grant (Orca Book Publishers)
Young Bond, Book One: Silverfin by Charlie Higson (Hyperion/Miramax Books)
Spy Goddess, Book One: Live & Let Shop by Michael Spradlin (HarperCollins Children’s Books)

River's End by Cheryl Coons (Book and Lyrics), Chuck Larkin (Music) (Marin Theatre Company)
Safe House by Paul Leeper (Tennessee Stage Company)
Matter of Intent by Gary Earl Ross (Theater Loft)
Mating Dance of the Werewolf by Mark Stein (Rubicon Theatre)


CSI – "A Bullet Runs Through It, Parts 1 and 2", Teleplay by Richard Catalani & Carol Mendelsohn
CSI – "Grave Danger", Teleplay by Anthony Zuiker, Carol Mendelsohn, Naren Shankar. Story by Quentin Tarantino
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit – "911", Teleplay by Patrick Harbinson
Sea of Souls – "Amulet", Teleplay by Ed Whitmore
Wire in the Blood – "Redemption", Teleplay by Guy Burt


Crash - Story by Paul Haggis; Screenplay by Paul Haggis and Bobby Moresco (Lions Gate Films)
A History of Violence - Screenplay by Josh Olson, based on the Graphic Novel by John Wagner & Vince Locke (New Line Productions)
The Ice Harvest - Screenplay by Richard Russo & Robert Benton, based on the Novel by Scott Phillips (Focus Features)
Match Point - Screenplay by Woody Allen (BBC)
Syriana – Screenplay by Stephen Gaghan, based on the book by Robert Baer (Warner Brothers)


Eddie Newton
"Home" – EQMM May 2005 (Dell Magazine)


Stuart Kaminsky


Brian Skupin and Kate Stine, Co-Publishers of Mystery Scene Magazine


Black Orchid Bookshop (Bonnie Claeson & Joe Gugliemelli, owners)
Men of Mystery Conference (Joan Hansen, creator)

Breaking Faith by Jo Bannister (Allison & Busby Ltd.)
Dark Angel by Karen Harper (MIRA Books)
Shadow Valley by Gwen Hunter (MIRA Books)

New Website for Kasey Lansdale

Kasey Lansdale and Daletones East Texas country music

You can listen to the music, and you can even look at the pictures, but don't get any ideas. Her daddy can kick your ass.

Friday, January 27, 2006

This Is Just, well, Wrong

Digital Spy: Paris Hilton signs recording contract:
Thursday, January 26 2006, 10:16 GMT -- by Fiona Edwards

"Paris Hilton has reportedly signed a recording contract with Hollywood's Warner Brothers Records.

Hilton was photographed by The Sun leaving the Warner Brothers Records studio after a meeting with executives where she has apparently signed a contract to record an album with the company.

Earlier this month The Sun’s Victoria Newton singled out Paris to be the new Britney Spears."

The Decline and Fall of Practically Everybody -- Will Cuppy

Back in 2004 I wrote about one of my favorite books, Never Trust a Naked Bus Driver. Yesterday someone commented on that post and mentioned another of my favorites, Will Cuppy's The Decline and Fall of Practically Everybody. I've had this little jewel on my shelves for about 43 years if the printing information is accurate, and I re-read parts of it all the time. To me it remains hilarious, no matter how many times I read it. Cuppy's sense of humor fits perfectly with mine. Even his footnotes are funny (if you're a person addicted to footnotes, this is the book for you). As far as I know, the history in the book is accurate, or as accurate as Cuppy could make it when the book was first published back in 1950. It's not the history that's funny; it's Cuppy's take on things. I was happy to be reminded of the book again, and I'll be browsing it with pleasure for a while. (For those of you looking for a mystery tie-in [not that I have one very often these days], Cuppy was a long-time reviewer of mystery novels for the old New York Herald-Tribune.)

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Pat Novak for Hire

Thrilling Days of Yesteryear : "Nostalgia isn't what it used to be." -- Peter DeVries: "I almost forgot—I received a great e-mail from Derek Steffen who alerted me that he has a web page devoted to Pat Novak for Hire and that he was inspired by a blog entry here at TDOY. (I won’t stop until I corrupt the minds of every single person on the Internet—bwhahahahahahahahaha!!!) Stop by and check it out—any Pat Novak fan is a friend of mine."

In Case You Were Wondering . . .

. . . Blogger appears to have gone totally nuts.

Update: Seems okay now.

Steve Lewis Reviews Detour (the Novel) at Mystery*File

FATAL KISS - Reviews by Steve Lewis: " The people behind O’Bryan House, and that includes Richard Doody who wrote the introduction, have done the fans of noir fiction a tremendous favor in reprinting this book. If you are thinking, “What book?” and I imagine many of you are, you are in exactly the same position I was when I first heard about it.
Now of course there is The Movie Version, which perhaps you have heard of. If there ever were a poll of noir film fans, the film that is based on this book would have to rank in the top two or three of all time. Forgive me, though, if I don’t review the movie, although I will have to admit that it was the rhinoceros in my head when I was reading the book. I’ll review the book, though, if you so allow, and whatever movie you’re thinking of, I never heard of it."

Croc News

Fossil Yields Surprise Kin of Crocodiles - New York Times: "Fossil Yields Surprise Kin of Crocodile

Published: January 26, 2006

Scientists at the American Museum of Natural History have discovered a fossil in New Mexico that looks like a six-foot-long, two-legged dinosaur along the lines of a tyrannosaur or a velociraptor. But it is actually an ancient relative of today's alligators and crocodiles."

Thanks to Jeff Meyerson, who knows I can't resist a good story about crocs and/or gators.

Ray Banks Scoops Me

The Saturday Boy: Pulp Art Documentary: "Pulp Fiction Art: Cheap Thrills And Painted Nightmares is a new documentary from Jamie McDonald, chronicling those artists whose oils made the front covers of countless pulp magazines including Norman Saunders, Ernest Chiriacka and Everett Raymond Kinstler, as well as the collectors who love 'em so. Currently waiting for a distributor, the documentary is more than likely going to appear on DVD at some point."

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Dope -- Sara Gran

I've already mentioned one thing about this book set in May 1950 that struck me as a false note. Here's another one. At one point the narrator mentions someone's 45 rpm records as if they're quite common. The fact is that RCA didn't introduce 45s until 1949, and it took quite a while for them to catch on. Folks in 1950 didn't latch onto new technology the way they do now. Things like that don't mean the novel's not good. They just mean that I'm jerked out of the story when I read them, but then I'm an old fart. Probably nobody else who reads the book will even notice.

As for the book itself, it's narrated by Josphine (Joe) Flannigan. She's supposedly hired to look for a missing daughter, and one way to look at the book is as a variation on the paperback p.i. novel of the '50s since Joe certainly functions pretty much as a p.i. in the story. But she's not. She's a former hooker and cleaned-up junkie who knows her way around the seamy side of New York. As it turns out, the missing daughter gig isn't what it seemed, so the p.i. aspect of the book is probably canceled out by that, I suppose.

What I liked most about the book is the unsentimental view of all the people in The Life, whores, pimps, thieves, junkies. I also liked the straighforward narrative and the idea of a noir novel being told by a woman instead of a man. If I knew where the story was headed long before Joe, maybe that's because I've read a lot of old Gold Medal books. It's still a good story, well told.

Paging Burke and Hare - Health - Patients Nationwide May Have Received Stolen Tissue: "Patricia Battisti had thought her back surgery in early 2005 was routine. A letter from her hospital nearly a year later made it clear she was wrong.

Battisti was informed that the cadaver bone that was implanted in her back may have been infected with various viruses -- the result of what investigators say was a large-scale scheme in which corpses were cut up and body parts illegally sold."

Isn't there a Scrooge McDuck Adventure about This?

BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | Whale 'vomit' sparks cash bonanza: An Australian couple who picked up an odd-looking fatty lump from a quiet beach are in line for a cash windfall.

Leon Wright and his wife took home a 14.75kg lump of ambergris, found in the innards of sperm whales and used in perfumes after it has been vomited up."

Mystery*File Update

Edward S. Aarons' Assignment Series, by Doug Bassett.: "An Introduction to Edward S. Aarons’ Assignment Series, by Doug Bassett"

Good commentary and some nice cover photos. Check it out.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Horror Times Ten -- Alden H. Norton, Editor

I was in a short-story reading mood a while back and picked up this little volume. It had some stories I wasn't familiar with, and I thought I'd enjoy the "chilling tales of horror." Maybe I'm old and jaded, but I didn't have as much fun with them as I'd hoped.

One that disappointed me was Arthur Conan Doyle's "The Captian of the 'Pole Star.'" I knew where this one was going long before the end, and it was far from chilling. The same goes for H. P. Lovecraft's "Cool Air." Maybe there was a time when these would have been shocking or surprising, but no longer.

Robert E. Howard's "The Dead Remember" was another "surprise ending" story that didn't work so well, but I liked it anyway, maybe because Howard wrote it.

I didn't know Max Brand wrote horror, but I should have suspected it. He wrote just about everything else. However, "His Receding Brow" isn't exactly a horror story. And once again, I didn't find a single surprising thing about it. Still, no story about apes can be all bad.

The most bizarre story in the book is "His Unconquerable Enemy" by W. C. Morrow. If you can overlook the fact that it's kind of ridiculous, this story of revenge by a legless and armless man is pretty effective.

No doubt that when I was a kid, I'd have enjoyed these stories more than I did now. I've read too much to be easily surprised, and some of the effects the writers are going for just don't work for me. Still, I'm not sorry I read the book, and I'm sure I'll try some similar anthologies in the future.

Monday, January 23, 2006

John Wesley Carr, R. I. P.

My sister just called to say that John Carr had committed suicide. You didn't know John, and I can't say that I did, either. I haven't seen him in nearly 40 years. But I remember when he was born because I was friends with his brother and sisters, and his mother as well. He was one of those babies who came along as a kind of surprise, I think, so his siblings were much older. I used to visit them, and when John was old enough, I'd play games with him: Cootie and jacks, mostly. I used to be pretty good at jacks. After he started reading, I let him borrow one of my Bomba the Jungle Boy books. That was about the time I was going away to college, and I didn't think about the book again until it arrived here in Alvin a few years ago with a short note from John, thanking me for letting him borrow it. I wonder if even then he was thinking about tying up some loose ends. He suffered from severe depression, and I believe that medication would have helped him, but he refused to take it. Now he's dead, and all I can think of is the little tow-headed boy I used to play jacks with. Damn.

The Ink Slinger Shuts it Down

Ink Slinger: "This is the last post of this weblog.

It was an experiment started last April, and while it has been fun at times, and I've learned a little, in the end it was just like most other weblogs - worthless."

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Maybe It's Just Me

Sara Gran's Dope has been getting great notices, so I thought I'd read the ARC that's been lying around here. But I was having problems by the time I got to page 12. Two of the problems are just copy-editing things. Doesn't anybody read the manuscripts before the ARCs go out? I'm sure those things will be fixed, or at least I hope so. The other problem is a little more serious from my point of view. The book is very specific about the date: May 14, 1950, and on page 12 the narrator says this: "And the paperback novels were full of them--kids who started off popping a benny and ended up on heroin, murdering a dozen of their neighbors with their bare hands. Kids from nice families who got lured in by evil pushers. On the book covers, the pushers always had mustaches."

Well, I don't think so. I have plenty of paperbacks, and I'd guess that the publishers didn't really discover the teen dope fiends until a few years later than May 1950. Maybe someone can come up with a few examples before that time, but I'd say 1953 was more like it. That's when Ace published Junkie, Harry Whittington published Rapture Alley, and John D. MacDonald came out with The Neon Jungle. Some of the digest publishers could have done dope books a little earlier.

Of couse it could be I'm all wrong about this, and if I am, I expect you to let me know.

The Latest from Mystery*File

MYSTERY*FILE ON-LINE: "Jan 22. FUNERAL HOMES & UNDERTAKERS. Prompted by my review of Stanton Forbes’ A Business of Bodies, I began a checklist of other mysteries taking place in and around funeral homes. Many new entries have been added in the last two or three days, including two of Robert Martin’s Jim Bennett PI novels, thanks to the suggestion of Jim Felton."

Okay, This is Really Scary - News - Woman Becomes Quadruple Amputee After Giving Birth:
POSTED: 5:59 pm EST January 19, 2006
UPDATED: 4:06 pm EST January 20, 2006

ORLANDO, Fla. -- A Sanford mother says she will never be able to hold her newborn because an Orlando hospital performed a life-altering surgery and, she claims, the hospital refuses to explain why they left her as a multiple amputee.

The woman filed a complaint against Orlando Regional Healthcare Systems, she said, because they won't tell her exactly what happened. The hospital maintains the woman wants to know information that would violate other patients' rights."

It's Alive!

Want to know what's going on with all your favorite blogs? Check out and find out. It's a great site. Check it out now.

Say It Ain't So!

Surely they wouldn't dare do this. (And thanks [I guess] to Ivan over at Thrilling Days of Yesteryear for the link.)

Happy Birthday, Robert E. Howard

It's the one hundredth anniversary of REH's birth. Read James Reasoner's account of one celebration here. And congratulations to James on his 500th blog post.