Friday, June 10, 2005

The Scarlet Pimpernel on the Air

While discussing Zorro with a friend the other day, I mentioned the Scarlet Pimpernel. And it occurred to me that I'd heard a Pimpernel radio show when I was a kid. "Nah," my friend said. "I don't think so." Naturally I had to check it out on the Internet. As it turns out, he was sort of right. There wasn't a radio show, as such, but was a serial version of the novel that was made in Britain and run in the U.S. by NBC in 1952-53. I'd have been eleven years old, and I'm sure that's what I heard. The question is, do I want to order the show now and listen to it again after all these years? Probably not.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Long, long ago

I'll be visiting my hometown this weekend, and I'll be meeting with some of my old (and that's the right word, believe me) friends from high school. The photo above is of the Mexia High School Slide Rule Club from many years back. I'm not telling you which one is me, but this was before I got the fabulous birth-control glasses that I was wearing in the wedding picture of a few posts back. Posted by Hello

Macavity Noms Announced

Macavity Award Nominations 2005
(for works published in 2004)
The Macavity Awards are nominated and voted on by members of Mystery Readers International. Winners will be announced at Bouchercon in September 2005.

Best Novel

The Killing of the Tinkers, by Ken Bruen (St. Martin's Minotaur)
Cold Case, by Robin Burcell (Avon)
Darkly Dreaming Dexter, by Jeff Lindsay (Doubleday)
High Country Fall, by Margaret Maron (Mysterious Press)
California Girl, by T. Jefferson Parker (HarperCollins)
Playing with Fire, by Peter Robinson (William Morrow)

Best First Novel
Uncommon Grounds, by Sandra Balzo (Five Star)
Summer of the Big Bachi, by Naomi Hirahara (Delta)
Whiskey Sour, by J A Konrath (Hyperion)
Dating Dead Men, by Harley Jane Kozak (Doubleday)
Misdemeanor Man, by Dylan Schaffer (Bloomsbury)

Best Nonfiction
Famous American Crimes & Trials, Vol. 1, by Frankie Y Bailey & Steven Chermak, (Praeger Publishers)
Just the Facts: True Tales of Cops & Criminals, by Jim Doherty (Deadly Serious Press)
The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Short Stories, edited by Leslie S. Klinger (W.W.Norton)
Latin American Mystery Writers: An A-to-Z Guide, by Darrell B. Lockhart (Greenwood Press)
Forensics for Dummies, by D.P. Lyle, MD (Wiley Publishing)

Best Short Story
"Viscery" by Sandra Balzo (EQMM, December 2004)
"The Widow of Slane" by Terence Faherty (EQMM, March/April 2004)
"The Lady's Not for Dying" by Alana White (Futures Mystery Anthology Magazine, Winter 2004)
Janet A. Rudolph, Editor, Mystery Readers Journal

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Today's Celebrity Lawsuit

CJ - Woman Claims She Inspired Stephen King's 'Misery': "Stephen King is the master of the macabre, and he often writes about scary women. One of his scariest was 'Annie Wilkes', the unforgettable sadistic nurse played by Kathy Bates in the 1990 movie, 'Misery.' Now in a federal lawsuit obtained by 'CJ', a freelance writer from New Jersey claims she's the real Annie."

This woman has a real thing about SK. Maybe she really is Annie.

All Right, Boots . . . Start Walkin'

I see in the paper than Nancy Sinatra is 65 today. Good grief. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

This Just in from Lynn Myers

Mickey Spillane had an accident at his home last Friday. He's home now after spending the weekend and most of yesterday in the hospital, and according to wife Jane Spillane, Mickey tripped over a cat and fell down the steps at his home in Murrells Inlet, SC. Prognosis is good, but he will be laid up indefinitely. If you would like to send Mickey a card (no flowers please) his address is:

Mickey Spillane
Box 265
Murrells Inlet, SC 29576

Who Is George Kelley?

University at Buffalo Libraries - Lockwood - Kelley Collection

Some of you might be wondering about the philanthropist mentioned in the previous post. George Kelley is a longtime member of DAPA-Em, and a collector of old paperback books. Being smarter than most of us, George donated a big chunk of his collection to a university library. Amazingly, the library was happy to get the books, and there's a cool website devoted to the collection. You can search the "Gumshoes, Sleuths, and Snoopers" database, you can check out some cool covers, or you an read the "Introduction," which includes a photo of George himself. Just click the link above and have a look.

Monday, June 06, 2005

God Help Us All

Over at Jaime Weinman's blog I learned that the four Dean Martin-as-Matt-Helm movies are going to be released on DVD. As all fans of Matt Helm know, these movies bear absolutely no resemblance to the novels they're supposedly based on. They are, in fact, pretty awful. It's frightening to think that they're about to be released to an unsuspecting public. (The suspecting public will be careful to avoid them.) Posted by Hello

Victor Gischler Needs this Book!

I’ve mentioned my affection for ABBA before. I’m a sucker for vocal harmony, and when you combine great harmonies with amazing pop-music hooks, I’m completely happy. So it was only right that I read (thanks to George Kelley) Bright Lights Dark Shadows: the Real Story of ABBA by Carl Magnus Palm. I thought the book might be just another puff piece, one of those celeb bios that doesn’t get down and dirty, but the “dark shadows” part of the title isn’t a misnomer. It’s not that the group was wild and crazy. No trashed hotels here, no mistreating of the roadies, no drunken orgies. (Dang. I was sorta hoping for drunken orgies.) But the book doesn’t play down the group’s problems and conflicts, and especially the problems some members had after the group broke up. It’s well written and easy to read (a good thing, considering its length), and it has a lot of b&w photos. I believe ABBA has been offered a billion dollars for a reunion tour. That’s right, a billion dollars. And they turned it down. Now that’s what I call integrity. Either that, or they’re completely nuts. One or the other. I report, you decide.

Sunday, June 05, 2005


Star-Telegram | 06/05/2005 | WARREN NORWOOD | 1945-2005: "WARREN NORWOOD | 1945-2005

Novelist was a teacher and a musician


WEATHERFORD - Warren Norwood, a writer, writing teacher and musician, died of liver disease Friday morning. He was 59.

Mr. Norwood, a longtime employee of Craig's Music in Weatherford, wrote novels, mostly science fiction/fantasy, including Shudderchild, The Windhover Tapes Trilogy and True Jaguar.

Mr. Norwood taught courses at Weatherford College and what is now Tarrant County College about writing and selling fiction.

'What I remember most about Warren was his love of learning,' said Shannon Story, a former student. 'He was always learning new things and was eager to share his wealth of knowledge with everyone he met.'

Another student, Viqui Litman, said: 'He was a great teacher. He focused on the nuts and bolts of writing. He was a good critic and gave a straightforward reading.'

Mr. Norwood was born Aug. 21, 1945, in Philadelphia. His family moved to Fort Worth when he was 12, and he graduated from Arlington Heights High School in 1963.

While serving in the Army in Vietnam, he earned a Purple Heart, a Bronze Star and an Army Commendation Medal.

He learned about Buddhism in Vietnam and continued to practice it, according to his family.

Mr. Norwood graduated from what is now the University of North Texas and was later named an Outstanding Alumnus by the philosophy and English departments."

This obit is posted on a registration-only site, so I'm excerpting a good bit of it here. I met Warren at the first AggieCon I ever attended, back in 1979. He was a great guy, always willing to help out other writers or others who wanted to be writers. For a while he stopped going to conventions, but I saw him again at ConDFW in 2004, and he was his usual jovial self and even remembered who I was, which sort of surprised me. He was at the convention again this year, but I was at LCC in El Paso and didn't go. I wish now, of course, that I could have seen him again.

I not only deny the allegation. . .

. . . I also deny the alle-gator. (To paraphrase an old Amos 'n' Andy routine.) You may be asking yourself, "What allegation?" Well, it's the one made by Harry Hunsicker, recent recipient of a highly favorable review here for his fine first novel, Still River. The allegation appears on Victor Gischler's blog in one of his "World's Worst Interviews," and Harry, in response to a legitimate question about ABBA, alleges something about me and a groupie for K. C. and the Sunshine Band. Totally false. (Though I'm quite grateful that Harry didn't bring up that sordid episode with the Village People.)