Saturday, September 26, 2015

Free for Kindle for a Limited Time

Daughters, Nathan Walpow - Amazon.com   He looks for crimes that fall through the cracks, criminals who do horrible things to those who can't defend themselves and get away with it. His ex-wife was murdered years ago, but until a mys He looks for crimes that fall through the cracks, criminals who do horrible things to those who can't defend themselves and get away with it. His ex-wife was murdered years ago, but until a mysterious young woman magically appears at his apartment, he had no reason to find out who did it or why. Soon the two of them are traveling up and down the length of California in order to bring a killer - and maybe a couple of others who deserve it - to justice.   

(This is a short story, not a novel.)

Voynich Manuscript Update

This Medieval Manuscript Has Stumped Codebreakers for More Than a Century

First It was the Thin Mints Melee . . .

. . . and once again Texas leads the way! 

Brawl erupts as cheerleader dance-off turns nasty: A brawl erupted between two high school cheerleading teams after a impromptu dance-off turned nasty. 

The fight between Wilmer Hutchins Blue Bells and James Madison Trojanettes drill teams in Dallas happened after the football game ended last Friday.

Once Again Texas Leads the Way

Texas police force adds $80,000 Chevy Corvette to car pool   

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Song of the Day

Tobacco Road-The Nashville Teens-1964 - YouTube:

Archaeology Update

Found: 9,000-year-old case of ritualistic beheading that may be oldest in Americas

Today's Vintage Ad


Forgotten Hits: The Top 70 Hits of the '70's ... #25 - #11

Forgotten Hits: The Top 70 Hits of the '70's ... #25 - #11

Want to Win a Copy of One of My Books?

Lesa's Book Critiques: Winners and Those Texas Lawmen

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ViƱa Delmar, Bad Girl, Avon, 1950

I'm Sure You'll All Agree

37 Books Every YA Fan Needs To Read Before They Die

One of These Things Is More Painful Than the Other

Man shoots self in penis, lies to police

‘The Warriors’ Reunited to Recreate Their Subway Ride to Coney Island

‘The Warriors’ Reunited to Recreate Their Subway Ride to Coney Island

The Ladder at the Center of a Centuries-Old Religious Tussle

The Ladder at the Center of a Centuries-Old Religious Tussle: The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem is a holy pilgrimage spot for Christians because it is regarded as the crucifixion and burial site of Jesus Christ. The church is also home to an object that's been inciting tension and hostility since the 18th century: a ladder.

Friday, September 25, 2015

In That Case, Sir, You Are Free to Go

Man Is Facing Felony Rap For Spoon Theft: SEPTEMBER 25--A man arrested last night for stealing a spoon from a Walmart told Florida cops that he swiped the utensil because he “needed one to eat his Captain Crunch with.”

Once Again Texas Leads the Way

And keep off his lawn! 67-year-old man shot New Braunfels high school kids at band practice with pellet gun

Six Classic Western Novels, Only 99 Cents!

Six-Guns: Six Classic Western Novels, James Reasoner, Frank Roderus, Jory Sherman, Clay More, Karl Lassiter, James J. Griffin - Amazon.com  Six classic Western novels. The good old shoot-'em-up westerns are still around, and this collection has six by the masters of the genre. 

Elementary, My Dear APA

Elementary, My Dear APA -- Paul Bishop: In 1973, DAPA-EM (which stood for Elementary, My Dear APA - don't ask, because I don't know the origin of the name) became the first and only APA (Amateur Press Association) devoted to the mystery genre.

Florida Man!

Man with waaaay more than one sausage in pants busted in Fort Pierce: Investigators pulled out a load of 19 cans of Vienna sausages, five cans of Spam, four bags of peanuts and a couple of bottles of Smirnoff alcohol with a total value of $68.10.

9 Celebrity #TBT Photos You May Have Missed This Week

9 Celebrity #TBT Photos You May Have Missed This Week

Song of the Day

Elvis Presley - One Night w/lyrics - YouTube:

Forgotten Hits: The Countdown Continues ... #50 - #26

Forgotten Hits: The Countdown Continues ... #50 - #26

Today's Vintage Ad


I Miss the Old Days

The 1980s Book Series That Literally Claimed It Had To Be Read To Be Believed: Turn on just about any channel of American TV between 1987 and 1991, and there was a pretty good chance you would be treated to strange tales of spontaneous psychic connections that were “DISMISSED AS COINCIDENCE." Or a normal-looking guy talking about a magician’s honeymoon in the Great Pyramid, before harping on his friend to “Read the book!” You might even see a young Julianne Moore telling a story about an out-of-body experience. 

These were all commercials for Time-Life’s Mysteries of the Unknown series, a mail order book series that not only blanketed the airwaves with unforgettable commercials, but captured the zeitgeist of a burgeoning New Age explosion.

Once Again Texas Leads the Way

‘Get up, Grayson, get up and fight': Texas day care accused of filming fight club for 4-year-olds

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Donald Henderson Clarke, The Chastity of  Gloria Boyd, Avon, 1950



Country Musicians Whose Lives Had the Makings of a Tragic Country Ballad

Country Musicians Whose Lives Had the Makings of a Tragic Country Ballad 

‘Strunk & White: Grammar Police’

The Millions : Scenes From Our Unproduced Screenplay: ‘Strunk & White: Grammar Police’

Edward Gorey's Books of Eerie Glory

The Recently Deflowered Girl by Edward GoreyEdward Gorey's Books of Eerie Glory: Edward Gorey (1925-2000) was an American illustrator and writer, chiefly remembered for his illustrated books. Once you've seen a bit of Gorey's work, it becomes instantly recognizable. His books are full of rich, strange characters. Pipe-thin men and women in fancy dress, cats in clothing, fantastical, mythical creatures (including one that looks like a cheerful leech with butterfly wings), treacherous villains and much, much more. One of his earliest and strangest creatures was The Doubtful Guest, a moody and stubborn creature that resembled a furry penguin in high-top sneakers and a striped scarf.

FFB: The Boys from Grover Avenue -- George N. Dove

I'm jumping the gun on Ed McBain week, but I'm going to have a reprint then.  So I thought I'd talk about this book a week early. 

Back in the Olden Days before the Internet, we couldn't just click a few keys and find a ton of information on just about anything.  Luckily for us, however, the Bowling Green University Popular Press did a lot of good work and published books like The Boys from Grover Avenue.  This book was published in 1985, and it gives you an idea of how important Ed McBain's 87th Precinct novels were.  There were a lot of them, even then, thirty-five of them by 1983.  


The table of contents gives you a good idea of what's in the book, but it doesn't mention that there are maps.  Which there are.  And I'll add a few words about the appendices since there's some good stuff there, including a timeline worked out from details mentioned in the books, crime stats for the 87, a necrology, a list of motives, a list of murder weapons, a discussion of the station house, and a few other items of interest.  

George N. Dove was a familiar name back in the early days of scholarship devoted to crime fiction, and I'm sure some of you remember him.  His work was always solid and meticulous, or seemed to be to me.  

In looking around the Internet, I discovered that The Boys from Grover Avenue appears to be still in print, so it's easily available if there are any fans out there who'd like to get a copy.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Indiana Wants Him (He Can't Go Back There)

Police searching for bank robber disguised as Rick James: The alleged incident took place in Indiana on Saturday (September 19)

12 Stripped-Down Facts About ‘Showgirls’

12 Stripped-Down Facts About ‘Showgirls’

Song of the Day

Alabama - Jukebox in My Mind - YouTube:

Dino Update

Scientists discover ‘Lost World’ of cold-weather dinosaurs who roamed the Arctic

Today's Vintage Ad


Who Says Hollywood Is Out of Ideas?

New Line Nabs ‘The Virginian’ About Founding Father George Washington 

I'm Sure You'll All Agree

He’s the Boss: The Screen’s Greatest Crime Lords

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Donald Henderson Clarke, Kelly, Avon, 1946

80 great movie posters with the annoying text removed

80 great movie posters with the annoying text removed   

Yes, it's a slideshow, but there's a link to the original page if you want to see the images that way.

10 Creepy Unsolved Rest Stop Mysteries

10 Creepy Unsolved Rest Stop Mysteries 

Forgotten Hits: The Top 70 Hits of the '70's

Forgotten Hits: The Top 70 Hits of the '70's

Celebrate Responsibly!

National Punctuation Day: National Punctuation Day will celebrate its 11th anniversary on September 24 with an homage to one of America's greatest comedians and talk-show hosts.

Forgotten Music: The Monkees Are The Motown Of Rock

The Monkees Aren’t The Fake Beatles, They’re The Motown Of Rock 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Free for Kindle for a Limited Time

The Junkyard Dog (Jimmy Flannery Mysteries Book 1), Robert Campbell - Amazon.com ***Edgar Award Winner*** - The Junkyard Dog -- Chicago is Jimmy Flannery's kind of town. A tough Irishman with street smarts, he's part of a political machine that runs on favors and friendships. Flannery's particular piece of the patronage is the 27th Ward, and anything that happens there is his business.  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.  I'm a fan of this whole series.

Human-Poop Dumpers Menace Brooklyn Block

Human-Poop Dumpers Menace Brooklyn Block   

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson, who saw them open for Iron Butterfly.

8 Supposedly Cursed Gems

8 Supposedly Cursed Gems 

Bay City Rollers announce reunion

Bay City Rollers announce reunion 

Song of the Day

Bay City Rollers - Shang-A-Lang - YouTube:

19 Gloriously Surprising Photos Of Celebrities From When They Were Younger

19 Gloriously Surprising Photos Of Celebrities From When They Were Younger

Today's Vintage Ad


The Cocoanuts: The Marx Brothers' First Film

The Cocoanuts: The Marx Brothers' First Film 

Celebrate Responsibly!

Everyone can now sing ‘Happy Birthday to You’ free of charge: A federal judge ruled Tuesday that the sing-a-long party classic “Happy Birthday to You” is not protected by copyright. 

After millions in royalties had been paid to a music-publishing company, Los Angeles US District Judge George King ruled that the copyright originally filed in 1935 granted only the rights to specific arrangements of the tune and not to the song itself.  

Hat tip to Art Scott.

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Carter Brown (Alan Yates), The Hellcat, Signet, 1962

The Public Life of Sherlock Holmes: The MX Book of New SH Stories

The Public Life of Sherlock Holmes: The MX Book of New SH Stories

Dispatches From the Future’s Past

Dispatches From the Future’s Past: How a collection of sci-fi fanzines helps us understand the prehistory of the Internet.

Giving Random Stupid Intelligence On TV’s Get Smart

Giving Random Stupid Intelligence On TV’s Get Smart

Yogi Berra, R. I. P.

Yahoo Sports: New York Yankees icon, and Hall of Fame catcher, Yogi Berra has died at the age of 90 late Tuesday night. The Yogi Berra Museum was first to break the news, which was confirmed by MLB.  

On the field, Berra was regarded as one of the greatest catchers of all time. Over his 19-year playing career, Berra hit .285/.348/.482, with 358 home runs. He made 15 straight All-Star games and won three MVP awards during his 18 seasons with the Yankees.


Vintage Treasures: The Damiano Trilogy, by R.A. MacAvoy

Vintage Treasures: The Damiano Trilogy, by R.A. MacAvoy

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

First It was the Thin Mints Melee . . .

. . .  and now it's the Cousins' Facebook feud!

I Miss the Old Days

This Is What Los Angeles Looked Like In Its Glory Days

MysteryPeople Q&A with Bill Crider

MysteryPeople Q&A with Bill Crider  

Hat tip to Kevin Tipple.

I'm Shocked -- Shocked! -- To Hear This

Daily Mail Online: Wannabe TV reporter becomes a huge hit in Albania after wearing an open blouse for her screen test... and immediately gets the job

Bouchercon David S. Thompson Award Recipients: Bill & Toby Gottfried

Bouchercon David S. Thompson Award Recipients: Bill & Toby Gottfried

Travis McGee as Traditional Hero

The Trap of Solid Gold: Travis McGee as Traditional Hero

Song of the Day

nJimmy Webb - P. F. Sloan - YouTube:

Irish Fairy Folk

Irish Fairy Folk: You’ve probably heard of leprechauns and banshees, but how about the other “little people” of the Emerald Isle?

Today's Vintage Ad


I Want to Believe!

The Concorde will fly again! (maybe) 

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Edwin Lanhan, Double Jeopardy, Pocket Books, 1961

Six of the Ugliest Famous Electric Guitars Ever

Six of the Ugliest Famous Electric Guitars Ever

Cursive Update

The Argument For Cursive Handwriting and Clearer Thinking

Archaeology Update

Perfect pre-Roman era tomb discovered at Pompeii

In his house at R'lyeh, dead Cthulhu waits dreaming.

You Can Now Rent a Room in H.P. Lovecraft's Former Home

Overlooked Movies -- The Man in the Iron Mask

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you know I can't resist a movie about the Three Musketeers.  So naturally I like The Man in the Iron Mask.  Don't worry, Leonardo DiCaprio isn't one of the Musketeers.  They're played by Jeremy Irons (Aramis), Gerard Depardieu (Porthos), and John Malkovich (Athos).  They're all older now, not serving as Musketeers, but their friend D'Artagnan (Gabriel Byrne) is and has become the Captain.  Now if I'd been casting a movie about this group, one of the last people I'd have thought of would've been John Malkovich, but he's excellent, as are the others.  Leo is King Louis XIV, and [SPOILER ALERT] he's also Louis' twin brother, Phillipe.  [END OF SPOILER ALERT]

I suspect that most of you know the plot of this story already, but maybe not from having read the book.  I haven't read the book, either, but I did read the Classics Illustrated comic book long ago.  From what I've been told about the book and from what I remember about the comic book, the movie's not exactly true to its source.   That doesn't matter.  It has swordfights and derring-do, and that's what counts.

The plot is pretty complicated in the telling, although it simple enough to watch it play out in the movie.  Raoul, Athos' son and new Musketeer, is in love with a woman whom Louis falls for.  He always gets what he wants, even if it means pulling a King David and sending a new Musketeer off to the front lines to be killed.  When that happens Athos vows revenge.  He tries to go it alone, but that doesn't work out well.  Porthos and Athos decide to help, so they dust off their old uniforms and decide to replace the king with someone else.  There's this rumor, see, about a prisoner in an iron mask . . . .

I won't say anything else about the plot, in case there's someone reading this who doesn't know how things play out.  Okay, I will say that several people die, and they're not always the right ones (or the ones I wanted to see die, at any rate).  This isn't a great movie, but it's a good bit of fun.  It's worth watching just for the cast and costumes.  Check it out. 

The Man in the Iron Mask

The Man in the Iron Mask Official Trailer #2 - Gerard Depardieu Movie (1998) HD - YouTube:

Monday, September 21, 2015

First It was the Thin Mints Melee

Costco shopper, 78, punched in fight over free Nutella waffle sample 

I Want to Believe!

Doris Day (91) lured out of retirement by Clint Eastwood, report says

Publicity Push: The Robert Payne Novels

Gravetapping: Publicity Push: The Robert Payne Novels: Ed Gorman is the definition of a professional writer. He has written dozens of novels in several genres—mystery, western, science fiction. His work has earned him The Eye for lifetime achievement from the Private Eye Writer’s Association, an Anthony, a Spur, and the International Writers Award.
The Palace Built By a Postman, Using Stones From His Route

Song of the Day

She's a Rainbow - Rolling Stones - YouTube:

Forgotten Hits: 50 Year Flashback - September 21st, 1965

Forgotten Hits: 50 Year Flashback - September 21st, 1965

Today's Vintage Ad


14 Weird But Wonderful Antique Girls' Books

14 Weird But Wonderful Antique Girls' Books

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Edwin Lanham, Murder on My Street, Pocket Books, 1960

Sir Arthur and the Fairies

Sir Arthur and the Fairies 

10 Old-Timey Murders With Twists Worthy Of Sherlock Holmes

10 Old-Timey Murders With Twists Worthy Of Sherlock Holmes

Jack Larson, R. I. P.

Deadline: Jack Larson, an actor, playwright, producer and screenwriter best known from the classic 1950s comic book series The Adventures of Superman, died Sunday in his Brentwood home. He was 87 years old.

First It was the Thin Mints Melee . . .

. . . . and now it's the Testicle Attack!

Here Are All The Winners At The 2015 Emmys

Here Are All The Winners At The 2015 Emmys

I Miss the Old Days

Amazing 1968 photo of Jimi Hendrix getting his hair done, reading MAD 

Sunday, September 20, 2015

A Brief Q & A with Garnett Elliott

The Education of a Pulp Writer: A Brief Q & A with Garnett Elliott, author of Dragon by the Bay

The Books That Helped Edgar Rice Burroughs write Tarzan of the Apes

“Africa of the Mind” in 1912: The Books That Helped Edgar Rice Burroughs write Tarzan of the Apes  

Link via SF Signal.

Song of the Day

Brook Benton. Shadrack. - YouTube:

Ken Wishnia: Putting on The Editor’s Hat

Ken Wishnia: Putting on The Editor’s Hat 

Today's Vintage Ad


This Man Could Be the Earliest-Born Person to Have Had His Picture Taken

This Man Could Be the Earliest-Born Person to Have Had His Picture Taken 

How Two 18th-Century Lady Pirates Became BFFs on the High Seas

How Two 18th-Century Lady Pirates Became BFFs on the High Seas: The fact that Anne Bonny and Mary Read ever crossed paths at all is almost unbelievable. Of the thousands of pirates active in the Caribbean during the 17th and 18th centuries, we know the names of just two female marauders. In 1719, the pair would forge an improbable friendship that would start on the high seas and end less than two years later in a damp, dark jail in Spanish Town, Jamaica.

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Max White, Anna Becker, Bantam, 1950

Writers’ Favorite TV Shows

Writers’ Favorite TV Shows 

Cult Books: Obsession with the Obscure

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig
Cult Books: Obsession with the Obscure: Defining a cult book is not easy. Let's start with the more obvious aspects of cult lit. To begin, a cult book should have a passionate following. Buckets of books fall into this category, including classics like J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye and On the Road by Jack Kerouac. But even mega sellers Harry Potter and 50 Shades of Grey can be considered cult lit by that definition. A cult book should have the ability to alter a reader's life or influence great change, and for the purpose of this list, it should also be a bit odd and a tad obscure.

Bram Stoker: 10 facts about Dracula author

Bram Stoker: 10 facts about Dracula author  

Hat tip to Fred Zackel.