Saturday, April 16, 2011

Keep off His Lawn!

Northwest Florida Daily News: "81-year-old man clobbers robbery suspect upside the head with frying pan"

New Story at BEAT to a PULP

BEAT to a PULP :: For Keepsies :: Terrie Farley Moran

Forgotten Writers -- Highly Recommended Reading

Does anyone want to be "well-read?" - Roger Ebert's Journal

Nicolas Cage Update

Nicolas Cage arrested on domestic abuse charges in New Orleans and taunted cops: reports

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

PimPage: An Occasional Feature in Which I Call Interesting Books to Your Attention

Nigel Bird's Dirty Old Town is a collection of nine dark crime stories. You might have read some of them on the web, but now you can have all nine in one convenient e-book. My favorite, if only because of the title, is "Drinking Wine (Spo-Dee-Oh-Dee)." And the price makes it a real bargain. Only 99 cents. You really can't go wrong. Trust me.

And look in on Bird's blog if you haven't already. It's Sea Minor, which also happens to be the title of one of the stories.

Buy My Book!

Help feed an old retired schoolteacher. Buy it here.

Today's Vintage Ad

Another Giveaway

Criminal Brief: The Mystery Short Story Web Log Project: "PAGES of STORIES, Part I
Weekend Giveaway


Edward Anderson, Hungry Men, Lion, 1950

Top 10 Highest-Grossing Horror Franchises

Top 10 Highest-Grossing Horror Franchises

Getting Down to Earth "A Swedish company promoting 'green' burials says it will turn frozen corpses into compost, bringing new meaning to 'ashes to ashes, dust to dust.'"

Along with Some Fava Beans and a Nice Chianti

National - 3 News: "A New Zealand man amputated, cooked and ate his own finger with vegetables in an apparent attempt to get doctors to take him more seriously, a report in Australian Psychiatry says."

Today's Western Movie Poster

She Was So Right, Pookies

Wife stripped of settlement money when ex-husband sees belly-dancing blog that proves she can work: "'Gotta be careful what goes on line pookies,' she answered. 'The ex would love to fry me with that.'"

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.


Victoria Advocate | Source of Ohio scare thought to be kid's project: "Sgt. Randal Koubeck with the Lorain County Bomb Squad tells the Sandusky Register it was 2-liter soft drink bottle that had been cut in half and was then sealed up with black tape with an egg inside. Foam surrounded the egg, apparently to keep it from breaking if the bottle was dropped.

No one was hurt."

Croc Update (The First Time Ever Edition) "Workers at the Alligator Farm were unaware of the...activity....that had been going on with their crocodiles until one worker discovered eggs...a lot of eggs.

Apparently two Indian Gharial Crocodiles have been mating, as evidenced by the 41 eggs discovered in the water Thursday morning.

It's unusual because, according to the Alligator Farm, these are the first such eggs ever laid in the United States."

Yes, Ace Doubles Are Included

AbeBooks: Dos-a-dos & Tete-beche Bindings: "The book collecting term ‘dos-a-dos’ refers to a style of binding where two separate books have been bound together so they share the lower board, which serves as the back cover to both books. Dos-a-dos originates from the French for back-to-back."

Hearts Divided

Friday, April 15, 2011

No Comment Department

Postal worker caught defecating in yard: "One neighbor started taking pictures because he could not believe what he saw."

Buy Early and Often

Get it here. Help me become a Kindle millionaire.

That Is News

Man Bites Police Dog, Sues Arizona Cops for Violating His Rights

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way "A series of strange events that started with a domestic disturbance call ended with a bucket of water and a bomb squad Friday morning in northwest Harris County."


Statue of Liberty Stamp Shows Wrong Lady Liberty: "Due to a United States Postal Service gaffe, a stamp intended to commemorate New York City's Statue of Liberty features a picture of a Las Vegas replica instead."

PimPage: An Occasional Feature in Which I Call Interesting Books to Your Attention

It's been my pleasure to have known Dean James for many years. I'm sure I must have met him the first year I moved to the Houston area (1983) because one of the first places I visited in Houston was Murder by the Book, where he was working at the time.

So I've known Dean since before he ever published a novel, and I remember well when he was working on his first one. He quoted me the opening lines one day at the bookstore, and I knew immediately that he had a marketable book. Since then, he's written and published a lot of books in several series under several names. Now, as Miranda James, he's hit the big time: the NYTBR bestseller list. This is the first book in the series. The second is due in about a month. Get in on the ground floor!

Today's Vintage Ad

"Writer" Didn't Make the List

Deadliest Jobs


Donald E. Westlake, Two Much, Fawcett Crest, 1976

Deep Sea Reading

AbeBooks: Deep Sea Reading: "Some say that the depths of the oceans are the last frontiers to be explored. Luckily there have been numerous books written on the subject. From page-turning fiction, to historical accounts and scientific discovery, the selection of literature written about life under water is fathoms deep."

Hot Stuff

Man catches fire while watching porn at San Francisco sex shop

Hat tip to Art Scott & Jeff Segal.

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

TREASURES ONCE LOST - Texas Thunderboxes: "Chances are you've never used one, but all this month some of the prettiest outhouses in Texas are on display in downtown San Antonio .

The ' Thunderbox Road ' art exhibit is going on at the Menger Hotel. There are 12 full-sized 'Thunderboxes' or outhouses painted and decorated in true Texas style."

Great photos at the link.
Hat tip to Wayne Dundee.

How Book Publishing Has Changed Since 1984

How Book Publishing Has Changed Since 1984

Link via SF Signal.

Today's Western Movie Poster

Criminal Genius of the Day

CBS Sacramento: "Modesto police are searching for a woman who robbed a gas station dressed as a man, complete with a fake beard she had drawn on her face."

The Shirley Jackson Awards Nominees Announced

Complete list at the link.

The Shirley Jackson Awards Website: "In recognition of the legacy of Shirley Jackson’s writing, and with permission of the author’s estate, the Shirley Jackson Awards have been established for outstanding achievement in the literature of psychological suspense, horror, and the dark fantastic.

The Shirley Jackson Awards are voted upon by a jury of professional writers, editors, critics, and academics, with input from a Board of Advisors. The awards are given for the best work published in the preceding calendar year in the following categories: Novel, Novella, Novelette, Short Story, Single-Author Collection, and Edited Anthology."

Hat tip to Todd Mason.

6 Unique College Degrees

MSN Careers: "6 unique college degrees, and what you can do with them"

This Time #3 Is One I Like

10 Worst Nicknames for World Rulers

Wonderful Essay on Two Nearly Forgotten Writers

Fantasy and Science Fiction: Book Reviews by James Sallis: "At the time, I was thinking again about an intuition I've had for years, that science fiction seems to need a periodic return to its origins to regather strength. I recalled how so many of my students who write fantasy and science fiction know little or nothing of the genre's history."

Forgotten Books: Spectra: A Galaxy of Bestsellers

Again, a book that some would claim isn't a book at all. However, I checked Abebooks, and someone's offering a copy for sale ($25, if you're interested). So I figure that makes it a book. Like The Elmore Leonard Reader, this is one I picked up off the counter at a Waldenbooks. This one came out in 1991, and it persuaded me to buy the Tom De Haven book excerpted therein. That book was Walker of Worlds: Chronicles of the King's Tramp. I liked it enough to read the other two books in the trilogy, but I suspect that they qualify as forgotten books themselves now.

The Hunters

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Orrin Tucker, R. I. P.

Orrin Tucker - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: "Orrin Tucker (born February 17, 1911, died April 9, 2011) was an American former bandleader, born in St. Louis, Missouri, whose theme song was Drifting and Dreaming. Tucker's biggest hit was 1939's Oh Johnny, Oh Johnny, Oh!, sung by vocalist 'Wee' Bonnie Baker."

Arthur Marx, R. I. P.

Groucho Marx's son, Arthur, dies in Los Angeles - "Writer and nationally ranked tennis player Arthur Marx, a son of comedian Groucho Marx , . . has died of natural causes at his home in Los Angeles, reports The Wrap. He was 89.

Marx wrote 12 books. Some were fiction. Others were biographies of Hollywood figures. Among his works are Goldwyn: A Biography of the Man Behind the Myth (1976), Red Skelton (1979), The Nine Lives of Mickey Rooney (1988) and the murder mystery Set to Kill (both 1993).

He also addressed his relationship with his famous father in a series of memoirs including Son of Groucho (1972) and My Life With Groucho (1992)."

Dino Update

Night-vision let dinosaurs stalk prey by dark: study - Yahoo! News: "Ferocious, meat-eating dinosaurs were equipped with night vision that helped them stalk their prey in the dark, according to a study published Thursday in the journal Science.

Plant-eating dinosaurs could also see a fair bit at night, because they likely had to eat round the clock to keep their bellies satisfied, while flying dinosaurs, like birds, were active only during the day, said the study."

No Comment Department

I Sat on a $6,400 Toilet and It Changed My Life

Video at the link.
Hat tip to Art Scott.

And Keep Off Her Lawn!

Zsa Zsa Gabor, 94, to have baby via surrogate, claims husband Frederic Prinz von Anhalt

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Texas is #5

CU-Boulder is Playboy's 'Top Party School' for 2011

Criminal Genius of the Day

Cooper's computer shows where body found

PimPage: An Occasional Feature in Which I Call Interesting Books to Your Attention

Leann Sweeny lives just up the road from me in Friendswood, Texas. I blurbed her first mystery in the entertaining Yellow Rose series, and she's gone on to have two bestselling series, that one and the Cats in Trouble series, of which this is the third book.

Jillian Harris is a cat quilter, and she encounters lots of cats in the course of the books (she also has cats of her own, of course). This time things are kicked off by a stray cat that happens to belong to a very rich, very eccentric woman named Ritaestelle, who believes that someone is drugging her to keep her and her cat separated.

Then a body turns up in the lake, and the situation gets much more serious. Cats, humor, and a cozy mystery. Check it out.

I Don't Watch the Soaps, but This Still Makes Me Sad

ABC cancels 'All My Children' and 'One Life to Live,' replaces soaps with lifestyle shows: "The Chew will be produced by Gordon Elliot (Paula Deen’s Home Cooking) and is a one-hour series that enables viewers to “get the dish” on anything and everything related to the world of food and beyond. Hosts will include Mario Batali (Iron Chef America); entertaining expert Clinton Kelly (What Not to Wear); Carla Hall (Top Chef); Michael Symon (Iron Chef America), and nutrition expert Daphne Oz."

No Comment Department

Authors Sign eBooks Electronically - "Here’s how an Autography eBook “signing” will work: a reader poses with the author for a photograph, which can be taken with an iPad camera or an external camera. The image immediately appears on the author’s iPad (if it’s shot with an external camera, it’s sent to the iPad via Bluetooth). Then the author uses a stylus to scrawl a digital message below the photo. When finished, the author taps a button on the iPad that sends the fan an e-mail with a link to the image, which can then be downloaded into the eBook.

Wait time? About two and a half minutes. Bragging potential? Endless: Readers can post the personalized photo to their Facebook and Twitter accounts."

Hat tip to Steve Stilwell.

Gotta See This One!

20 Worst Foods in America

The 20 Worst Foods in America: "Another year, another 20 catastrophic dishes. You'd think by now restaurants would start to get the message, but that just doesn't seem to be the case. Sure, some of last year's worst offenders have vanished, but the abundance of possible replacements is frightening."

The slideshow of delights is at the link.

Today's Vintage Ad

Life Imitates "Art"

Wild Hogs Invade Fort Worth: "Feral hogs are on a rampage in a Fort Worth neighborhood, leaving a path of destruction behind."

And Now, Because It's Thursday, We Present . . .

. . . Alfred Hitchcock’s head in a refrigerator

Link via Neatorama.


Aston Marlowe (Bill Pronzini), Rajah, Liverpool Library

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Top 10 Cities to Find a Job After the Military

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Ummmmmmmm! Nacho Cheese Doritos!

Foodbeast: "According to several reports, it appears that Taco Bell has begun testing Doritos Locos Tacos, a new menu item that places the familiar Taco Bell ingredients into a shell made entirely of Nacho Cheese Doritos."

Link via Neatorama.

Soon to be a Nicolas Cage Movie "A real-life ‘evil hypnotist’ is being hunted down after sending at least eight elderly bank customers into trances and stealing their money."

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Texas is #6

10 Most Violent States In The U.S

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Gator Update (Arkansas Edition)

Nine-foot alligator loose in Arkansas | Reuters: "Maybe it was spring fever that made a 9-foot, 20-year-old alligator make its getaway in south Arkansas.

The male American alligator was found missing on Tuesday afternoon at the Gov. Mike Huckabee Delta Rivers Nature Center in Pine Bluff, about 45 miles south of Little Rock.

'We think he crawled up on a chain link fence, got his weight on it and pushed it down enough to get over it,' Arkansas Game and Fish Commission spokesman Keith Stephens said in an interview. 'He got to the next fence and was able to get under a gate.'"

I Really Don't Like to think about #3

10 Weirdest Ways that People Manage Stress

Today's Western Movie Poster

The First Review is In

Idle Thoughts: Book Review: The Girl Who Wanted to be Sherlock Holmes: "Hey, it's a Bill Crider novel on Kindle for $2.99. That's all I really needed to know. Besides, I didn't really want to spend all day working on my taxes."

Henry revealed to me via e-mail that I'd put chapter 15 into the book twice. Well, that was extra value, I guess, but I've now removed the repetition. The thing is that the book might not be available for awhile. I hope that when it is, there won't be two chapter 15s.

9 World Record Attempts That Ended in Death

9 World Record Attempts That Ended in Death

Randy Wood, R. I. P.

Obituary: Randy Wood dies at 94; Dot Records founder was a music industry innovator - "Dot Records founder Randy Wood was looking for a song for a young Pat Boone to record in 1955 and found it in the Fats Domino hit 'Ain't That a Shame?' Except Boone, then an English major, wanted to sing 'Isn't That a Shame?' After a few run-throughs, Wood insisted, 'It's got to be 'ain't',' and Boone soon had his first No. 1 single.

Wood's practice of having white singers such as Boone cover rhythm and blues hits by black artists is credited by some with helping black musicians — and early rock music — break into the commercial mainstream. Pop stations that had limited airplay mainly to white artists found room for the remakes, which helped introduce the black R&B sound to a white audience.

Wood died Saturday at his La Jolla home of complications from injuries suffered in a fall down stairs in his house, said his son John Wood. He was 94."

The Fight Card

A new series of tough crime tales will soon appear from the guys at the FIGHT CARD. Check it out.

15 Most Famous Cafes in the Literary World

15 Most Famous Cafes in the Literary World

Keep off Their Lawns!

Language at risk of dying out: "There are just two people left who can speak it fluently – but they refuse to talk to each other."

Cry Danger

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

ITW Award Nominees

THE BIG THRILL: "2011 Thriller Awards Nominees"

2011 Thriller Awards Nominees

ITW is proud to announce the finalists for the 2011 Thriller Awards!

Best Hard Cover Novel:

Michael Connelly – THE REVERSAL (Little Brown)
Jeffery Deaver – EDGE: A NOVEL (Simon & Schuster)
Brian Freeman – THE BURYING PLACE (Minatour)
Mo Hayder – SKIN (Grove)
John Sanford – BAD BLOOD (Putnam)

Best Paperback Original:

Robert Gregory Browne – DOWN AMONG THE DEAD MEN (St. Martin’s)
Max Allan Collins and Matthew Clemens – YOU CAN’T STOP ME (Pinnacle)
J.T. Ellison – THE COLD ROOM (Mira)
Shane Gericke – TORN APART (Pinnacle)
John Trace – THE VENICE CONSPIRACY (Hachette Digital)

Best First Novel:

Carla Buckley – THE THINGS THAT KEEP US HERE (Random House)
Paul Doiron – THE POACHER’S SON (Minatour)
Reece Hirsch – THE INSIDER (Berkley)
Thomas Kaufman – DRINK THE TEA (Minatour)
Chevy Stevens – STILL MISSING (St. Martin’s)

Best Short Story:

Mike Carey – “Second Wind” (THE NEW DEAD, St. Martin’s)
Michael Connelly – “Blue on Black” (Strand Magazine)
Richard Helms – “The God for Vengeance Cry” (Dell Magazine)
Harley Jane Kozak – “Madeeda” (Crimes By Midnight)
Nicolas Kaufman – “Chasing the Dragon” (ChiZine Magazine)
Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins – Long Time Dead (Strand Magazine)

Congratulations to all the finalists!

Peter Howard, R. I. P.

Peter Howard, owner of Serendipity Books, dies | Berkeleyside: "Peter Howard, the eccentric and brilliant owner of Serendipity Books, and a towering figure in the world of rare books, died at home on March 31.

A Giants season ticket-holder for more than 40 years, Howard died with the opening game of the season blaring on television – while the Giants were still beating the Dodgers."

Hat tip to Art Scott.

Happy Birthday, Bill Pronzini

It's the birthday of a mystery-writing Grandmaster, and the tributes are rolling in. Here's one from Ed Gorman. And one from the Rap Sheet. And the Bunburyist. I've been enjoying Pronzini's books for so long that I don't even like to think about it, and I was even lucky enough long ago to get him to contribute to Mass Market American Publishing a book on paperback history that I edited 30 years ago. A terrific guy, a great collector, a man who knows more about pulps and paperback history than just about anybody, an MWA Grandmaster, and one of the best crime writers around. Happy birthday!

(I would have used a scan of a Peter Jensen book, but I don't have one.)

Finland Leads the Way

Education Success: Finland vs. Tiger Mother, Asia Model - TIME: "The Finns are as surprised as much as anyone else that they have recently emerged as the new rock stars of global education. It surprises them because they do as little measuring and testing as they can get away with. They just don't believe it does much good."

Lacy Gibson, R. I. P.

Spinner: "Lacy Gibson, a renowned blues guitarist and singer from Chicago, died Monday, April 11, after suffering a heart attack. According to Reuters, he was 74.

Born in North Carolina in 1936, Gibson's mother taught him, as Alligator Records puts it, a unique 'hillbilly' style of guitar and gospel singing. He moved to Chicago at age 13 and eventually cut his teeth with such guitarists as Lefty Bates, Matt 'Guitar' Murphy and T-Bone Walker. Unlike many of the city's famous bluesmen, Gibson also incorporated jazz and pop influences into his guitar playing, a unique style that kept him in demand throughout his career."

Carly Simon Update

Yahoo! News: "Baseball is more than a pastime for singer Carly Simon. Her version of 'Take Me Out to the Ball Game' is included on a three-song CD that accompanies a new picture book of the same name.

Simon told The Associated Press on Tuesday that her family was friendly with Jackie Robinson's family when she was a girl and that the Brooklyn Dodgers star used to bring her to games and call her his 'lucky charm.'"

Buy My Books! Help Keep Us #1!

10 Countries With The Most Billionaires

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

PimPage: An Occasional Feature in Which I Call Interesting Books to Your Attention

This is the first book in a new series by James Reasoner, one of the best dad-blamed western writers around. I read this book in manuscript so I could give it a blurb, which you can see on the back cover if not the front.

The book's one of those that's going to be about a whole town, and James has done that kind of thing before in the Abilene series (writing as Justin Ladd) and the Wind River Series under his own name, but this one's different. How? Mainly in its protagonist, who's not the usual western hero. His name's Bill Harvey, and he's a young guy just starting out in life. Through a series of circumstances that he's not in control of, he finds himself put into a position of big responsibility. It's going to be fun to watch him change and grow as the series goes along. Highly recommended reading.

Today's Vintage Ad

A Worthy Cause

Oklahoma's Michael Koehler wants to build working AT-AT from 'Star Wars' - and he needs your help!: "An Oklahoma City man wants to give people a new hope in these dark times.

How does he plan to do it? By building a massive, earth-crushing Imperial Walker from 'Star Wars.'

The self-professed geek is aiming to raise funds to create a fully functional, life-sized version of an AT-AT (All Terrain Armored Transport)."

Hat tip to Art Scott.

Buy My Book!

Some years ago, never mind how many, I wrote a YA novel called The Girl Who Wanted to Be Sherlock Holmes. Well, thatwasn't the original title, but Joan Nixon read the manuscript and suggested the title. I never turned down advice from Joan.

I sent the manuscript to my agent. I thought he was sending it out, but it turned out that he was secretly retired and hadn't told me. My current agent doesn't handle YA books, so the manuscript has languished in my files for a long time.

The other day, I read through it and decided that I still liked it. With today's technology, it would be easy to make it available on Kindle, so why not go for it? Why should Joe Konrath and Lee Goldberg be the only Kindle millionaires?

So go to Amazon and buy a copy for a mere $2.99. Set me on the path to riches.


Peter Cheney, I'll Bring Her Back, Eton, 1952

20 Common Box Office Misconceptions

You're Wrong: 20 Common Box Office Misconceptions

Walt Whitman Update

NU prof finds Whitman papers - "The discovery will “revolutionize our understanding of Whitman during the explosive Reconstruction years, since we will be able to track, on a virtually daily basis, just what social and political issues he was thinking about and working on,” Folsom said."

Today's Western Movie Poster

1001 Before You Die

1001 Series has bucket lists (long ones) of books, movies, albums, and so on. Check it out.

10 Best Movies About Suburban Life

"10 Best Movies About Suburban Life"

I'm Shocked -- Shocked!

FBI's UFO Doc From 'The Vault' Most Likely a Hoax


Source Material For "They Live" Getting a Remake, But Don't Call It A Remake: "Ray Nelson is a writer who claims to have invented the propeller beanie while in the 10th grade, gave LSD to Philip K. Dick twice, and smuggled banned Henry Miller books out of France during the 1950s. In other words, he’s fun at parties. He also wrote the 1963 short story “Eight O’Clock in the Morning” (full text at link). Universal later bought the story and adapted it for John Carpenter’s They Live (1988). Now Universal is making another movie based on the story, but don’t call it a remake or a reboot. They’re calling these “a return to the source material” now."

Susan Slept Here

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Submissions Opening

The Education of a Pulp Writer: Submissions Opening: "Submissions will be opening up again at BEAT to a PULP beginning May 1st and will remain open for one month. Stories accepted during this time will fill our August and September 2011 schedule."

Law & Order : The 10 Most Memorable Cast Departures

Law & Order : The 10 Most Memorable Cast Departures -

Hat tip to Toby O'Brien.


Texas - Personal Data Posted Accidentally - "Social Security numbers, birthdates and other information of about 3.5 million residents have been accidentally posted on computer servers, the state comptroller, Susan Combs, said Monday. Most of the information, including some driver’s license numbers, was available for more than a year. Ms. Combs said the information included data transferred by the Teacher Retirement System of Texas, the Texas Workforce Commission and the Employees Retirement System of Texas."

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . .

Brawl at City High over prom date

PimPage: An Occasional Feature in Which I Call Interesting Books to Your Attention

You know me. I can't resist mysteries set in small-town Texas, and Susan Wittig Albert's China Bayles series is one of the best. This time China's dealing with a killer who uses arson to conceal the crime. A young reporter disappears while investigating the story, and China has to find her as well as the killer. As usual, there are some family obligations, too, plus the requisite herbal lore (psychoactive plants). And lots of recipes.

How to Rip-Off a Movie Poster . . .

. . . using the Asylum method.

Hat tip to Stephen Blotner.

First It Was the Penis Museum, . . .

Well-Endowed Apollo Statue to Be Re-Erected in France: "A statue of a naked Apollo, banned here for 22 years because it was thought to be too well-endowed, is coming back in June to mark the first day of summer."

Texas Doesn't Lead the Way

Houston, we have a problem: Space City snubbed in bid to land retired shuttle

Lauren's run--giving readers a chance to catch up

Top Suspense Group: Lauren's run--giving readers a chance to catch up

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way "Twin brothers were charged with murder Tuesday after police said they were found living with the decomposing body of their 89-year-old mother.

Edward Larry Berndt and Edwin Christian Berndt, both 48, were arrested Monday afternoon at the home they shared with their mother in the 8400 block of Glenscot."

No Comment Department

Iceland's penis museum finally gets human specimen - Yahoo! News: "In life, Pall Arason sought attention. In death, he is getting it: The 95-year-old Icelander's pickled penis will be the main attraction in one of his country's most bizarre museums."

Why Didn't they Offer this Course when I Was in College?

University professor 'charged $150 admission fee for class on Platonic ethics (featuring lap dancing strippers)'

Nicolas Cage Update

BBC News: "A 1938 comic featuring Superman's debut that has been recovered in a storage locker in the US appears to be the copy stolen from Nicolas Cage, police say.

The 47-year-old actor, who accepted an insurance payout after the 2000 theft, said last week's find, in Los Angeles, was 'divine providence'."

Hat tip to Richard Prosch.

Today's Vintage Ad

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

West Texas becomes ever more lonely as population drops


Mack Reynolds, Episode on the Riviera, Monarch, 1962

It's National Grilled Cheese Month! "It's National Grilled Cheese Month! What does that mean? Golden toasted bread. Tangy melted cheese. Subtle buttery undertones. There is almost no downside to this childhood favorite, and the flavor possibilities range as far and wide as your culinary imagination will take you! Try one of our recipes below or create your own masterpiece!"

The Bronx Leads the Way

Resolution would rename Bronx street in honor of 'Sh-Boom' group The Chords

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

History’s 10 Most Bloodthirsty Rulers

History’s 10 Most Bloodthirsty Rulers

Why Didn't I Think of This?

10 Best Study Abroad Cities for English Majors

Oh, well. Austin wasn't so bad.

Today's Western Movie Poster

50 Great Ways to Celebrate on Library Appreciation Day

50 Great Ways to Celebrate on Library Appreciation Day


3-2-1... And Liftoff: Manned Space Flights Mark 50th Anniversary: "On this date 20 years apart, two milestones were reached that set the tone for human space exploration.

The Soviet Union took the first leap, surprising the world on April 12, 1961, launching air force pilot Yuri Gagarin into orbit -- a single 108-minute loop around Earth -- making him the first human to fly in space. And 20 years later, America launched the era of the workhorse, reusable space shuttle as Columbia flew its first mission with just two astronauts, John Young and Robert Crippen."

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . . "Police say an 18-year-old Detroit-area woman threw knives at her fiance during an argument about their wedding plans."

Forgotten Films: You Never Can Tell

This is another one I saw when I was ten years old and thought was purely wonderful. Obviously my taste for fantasy was already well developed.

King, a German shepherd, is heir to a fortune, and Ellen (Peggy Dow) administers his inheritance. Then King is murdered (poison). Ellen is judged to be responsible.

Then things get fantastic. The scene is Beastatory, an animal heaven, where King asks an animal jury to allow him to return to earth, investigate the crime, and expose the real killer. He gets what he asks for, and he's reincarnated as Rex Shepard, private-eye (Dick Powell). Rex is accompanied by Goldie (Joyce Holden), formerly a palomino and now Rex's secretary. If you think Rex solves the mystery, you're right, but that's all I have to say. The rest you should discover for yourself, assuming you can ever find a copy or catch it on TV.

Well, I can't resist a remark about the costuming. It's just great, particularly Goldie's hat and shoes. I'd love to see this one again, but I don't think it's available on DVD.

Okay, one more thing. That last scene. Gets me every time, even thinking about it.

One Foot in Heaven

Monday, April 11, 2011

Sinbad Update

SINBAD: ROGUE OF MARS Movie Due in 2012: "Morningside Entertainment has optioned the comic book Sinbad: Rogue of Mars for a film adaptation, targeting a 2012 release. Morningside produced the Ray Harryhausen Sinbad films of yesteryear — The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958), The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1974), and Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977). Bluewater Productions actually launched Rogue of Mars as a continuation of Harryhausen’s Sinbad trilogy, so there’s more than a hint of Ouroboros in this adaptation."

Judy Is Going to Live Forever

Frequent shopping prolongs life, study suggests

Paging Art Scott

World's hottest chilli grown at Lake Macquarie farm: "A FARM in Lake Macquarie is growing what may be the world's hottest strain of chillies, but preparing them for the public is a task akin to chemical warfare.

The variety, bright red and about the size of a dollar coin, is called the Trinidad Scorpion Butch T.

Its grower, Marcel de Wit, of the Chilli Factory in Morisett, sent samples for chemical analysis to ascertain just how it measured up.

The answer was stratospheric, reported EML Chem in Melbourne, where normal duties can include working with explosives.

Chilli potency is measured on the Scoville scale. A jalapeno, as used in Tabasco sauce, contains about 5000 Scoville heat units; a bird's eye chilli packs between 50,000 and 100,000.

The Trinidad Scorpion Butch T sample topped 1.46 million."

Feral Chickens WBAGNFARB

Feral chickens have proliferated in New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina

The Decline of Western Civilization Continues Apace

Jersey Shore cast will make over $100,000 per episode each next season

PimPage: An Occasional Feature in Which I Call Interesting Books to Your Attention

Today's feature is the first Wildside Double. That's right. Just like the old Ace Doubles, except it's in trade format. Read one book, flip it over, read another. Here's the full scoop:

In the tradition of the old "Ace Doubles" two-in-one books (flip one over to read the second title)--here is the first Wildside Mystery Double, featuring two new novels of the 1930s private eye, Joe Scintilla:

CONSPIRACY OF SILENCE, by S. T. Joshi. When the lovely Lizbeth Crawford walks into Scintilla's office, she tells him that her father, wealthy industrialist James Crawford, did not kill his brother Frank, even though he confessed and is now serving a prison sentence. Is Crawford shielding someone? Why are both his mother and wife happy to have him imprisoned? And why did Frank's fiancée commit suicide shortly after his death?

TRAGEDY AT SARSFIELD MANOR, by S. T. Joshi. Members of the Sarsfield clan have gathered at the palatial family estate under terms of the will of John Sarsfield, who created a riddle they must solve to inherit the family fortune. Scintilla is summoned by his friend (and heir), Charles Jameson, who was found holding a dagger that had been plunged into the back of his aunt, another potential legatee. But the crime is only the final act of a tragedy reaching back centuries. Can Scintilla discover the truth before his friend is convicted?

Lauren's Run -- Part 7

Top Suspense Group: Lauren's Run -- Part 7

But He Didn't Use the Shotgun "Sparks police arrested a man who allegedly aimed a shotgun at two people at a party Saturday night after he demanded they turn down the music."

Mystery Scene Update from Kate Stine

Springtime Greetings

Donna Leon on The White War, New Authors Breakfast at Malice Domestic, Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Killing on AMC, and Contest Winners.
Hi everyone,

We hope that you are seeing signs of spring wherever this newsletter finds you. We're just back from Santa Fe where Left Coast Crime was held this year. What a beautiful part of the world! And what a great way to spend a weekend, surrounded by mystery readers, writers, and books.
continental breakfast
The Mystery Scene
New Authors Breakfast,
Saturday, April 30th,
Malice Domestic,
Bethesda, MD

Our next convention will be Malice Domestic in Bethesda, Maryland, where on April 30th Mystery Scene is once again hosting The New Authors Breakfast. Come grab a bagel and meet the future of mystery fiction!

Later this year, we'll be traveling to theBouchercon World Mystery Convention, held this year in St. Louis. Brian and I are particularly looking forward to it since we'll be the 2011 Fan Guests of Honor.

In the office we're working away on the Spring Issue which will take a look at Jasper Fford's literary detective Thursday Next. We'll talk toKelli Stanley who is juggling two historical series, one set in Roman Britain and the other in WWII-era San Francisco, to much acclaim. We'll also raise the curtain on Mystery in the Theater and examine Louis Bayard's rich blend of historical fact, literary gamesmanship, and highly imaginative fancy in books such as The Pale Blue Eye and the just-released The School of Night.

Kate Stine


Tough without a Gun -- Stefan Kanfer

I'm a Bogart fan, so naturally I wanted to have a look at this new biography. It was fun, and I enjoyed the discussions of Bogart's movies and personal life, but I didn't learn anything new.

It was the little things about the book that bothered me. Why would someone like Kanfer, who's written a number of movie star bios, spell Joel McCrea's name wrong? Doesn't he know who McCrea is?

Why does he consistently call The Maltese Falcon a "novella." Hasn't he ever seen a copy?

Perhaps you think I'm being picky because Kanfer doesn't mention We'll Always Have Murder in his bibliography in the "novels featuring or about Humphrey Bogart" section. You could be right.

Shut Up and Pass Me the Broyhill

Mail Online: "A mother-of-five has been diagnosed with a rare disorder called Pica after seeking medical help for her addiction... to eating sofas.

Adele Edwards, of Bradenton, Florida, has been eating the foam inside couch cushions for 21 years."

Today's Vintage Ad


Robert Faherty, Big Old Sun, Perma Books, 1952

Feeling Old?

Mason Resse Turns 46 Today"

The Top 10 Charity Scams of All Time

The Top 10 Charity Scams of All Time

Collins, Alexie make list of challenged books

iWon News - Collins, Alexie make list of challenged books

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way "Space shuttle pilot Doug Hurley will take a piece of Texas Motor Speedway into space.

Hurley was presented a TMS flag Saturday, which he plans to carry with him on the final space shuttle mission this summer. Shuttle Atlantis is scheduled to close out the 30-year shuttle program."

Top 10 Mileage Cars

Top 10 Mileage Cars

Today's Western Movie Poster

Another Strike Against Me

The Key to a Long Life: Conscientious Habits - Yahoo! News: "'The best childhood personality predictor of longevity was conscientiousness--the qualities of a prudent, persistent, well organized person,' according to the two professors (he at the University of California--Riverside, and she at La Sierra University). 'Conscientiousness . . . also turned out to be the best personality predictor of long life when measured in adulthood.'"

And Keep Off His Lawn!

Federal judge, 103, still hearing cases: "In a courtroom in Wichita, the day begins much as it has for the past 49 years: Court is in session, U.S. District Judge Wesley Brown presiding. But what happens next is no longer routine; it's a testament to one man's sheer determination.

As lawyers and litigants wait in respectful silence, Brown, who is 103, carefully steers his power wheelchair behind the bench, his stooped frame almost disappearing behind its wooden bulk. He adjusts under his nose the plastic tubes from the oxygen tank lying next to the day's case documents. Then his voice rings out loud and firm to his law clerk, 'Call your case.'"

Could You Pass?

The Dick Test

Happy National Eight Track Tape Day!

Happy National Eight Track Tape Day!: "Today, April 11, is National Eight Track Tape Day, a holiday dedicated to bring back the fond memories of the sixties and seventies.

The 8-track tape, originally called the Stereo 8, was created in 1964 by a consortium led by Bill Lear of Lear Jet Corporation, along with Ampex, Ford, Motorola and RCA Victor Records, and was made popular by the inclusion of 8-track players in Ford automobiles in 1965. 8-tracks were being phased out in the US by 1982, but were still available through record clubs as late as 1988."

Ride the Wild Surf

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Lauren's Run -- Part 6

Top Suspense Group: Lauren's Run -- Part 6

PimPage: An Occasional Feature in Which I Call Interesting Books to Your Attention

Like Regency romances? Like crime novels with intriguing protagonists? Then check out Where Shadows Dance, the latest in C. J. Harris's series about Sebastian St. Cyr. It has body snatchers, not to mention intriguing premise: how can you solve a murder that you can't tell anyone about?

Here's more: "July of 1812 is a tense time for England, with Napoleon having invaded Russia and America threatening to declare war against Britain. In the high echelons that Sebastian St. Cyr inhabits, a dangerous world of intrigue and diplomacy, he has access to the colorful players of this international game—including a British under-secretary with a frightening lack of a moral compass, a dashing Russian colonel, and a Turkish ambassador and his seductive wife. Meanwhile, Sebastian’s good friend Dr. Paul Gibson asks for his help. A cadaver he has illegally obtained for medical research reveals that the man was murdered by a stiletto to the base of his skull, yet Paul can’t go to the authorities without placing himself in jeopardy. As Sebastian makes discreet inquiries about the victim, Alexander Ross, a rising star in the foreign office, he also faces a new challenge in his personal life—Hero Jarvis, daughter of Sebastian’s powerful nemesis Lord Jarvis, has finally agreed to marry him. Theirs is a match based not on love but on the need to provide for the future of the child Sebastian and Hero conceived in a moment of weakness when they believed they both faced certain death. About to be married quickly and quietly, the two must learn to negotiate their new life as husband and wife, which inevitably means investigating together when a second victim is found, also killed by stiletto, a mysterious American with whom Ross met on the day of his death. As Hero and Sebastian circle closer to the truth, unmasking a sordid diplomatic game of cross and double cross, Hero is kidnapped...and Sebastian embarks on a desperate chase to catch a killer and save his new bride."

The Decline of Western Civilization Continues Apace

Mob Wives. "It makes 'Jersey Shore' -- also heavily populated by Staten Islanders -- seem like high tea at Buckingham Palace."

Hat tip to Art Scott.