Saturday, January 22, 2011

Coming Soon to ESPN?

What's a Bigger Draw Than a Camel Fight? A Camel Beauty Contest, of Course - "Chariot, a 1,500-pound, single-humped camel with spittle hanging from his lips and pompoms in his tail, just won the first-ever beauty contest at Turkey's annual camel fighting competition.

According to the pageant's four stony-faced judges, Chariot had better muscle tone, prettier adornments and a more elegant tail wag as he strutted along a catwalk of rugs to the sound of Turkish pipes and drums last weekend. Plus, they said, he had exceptionally good teeth."

Hat tip to Art Scott.

The Damned Interviews

The Damned Interviews - Bringing you the best interviews and latest news

Interviews with horror, SF, fantasy writers and illustrators. Check it out.

I'll Let Seepy Benton Handle These

Nick's Mathematical Puzzles


Donn O'Hara, The Wild Years, Popular Library, 1955

A Contest

I'm participating in a promotion for Michael Connelly's The Lincoln Lawyer. I can give away five copies of the poster for the movie version of The Lincoln Lawyer and five copies of the mass-market paperback movie edition of the novel. I'll just draw the names of the winners from a hat or a bushel basket or what-have-you. Just drop me an e-mail if you'd like to get in on the drawing. The address is right up there at the top of the blog. Include your address in the e-mail in case you're one of the lucky winners. The contest will close in one week, and I'll be reposting this as a reminder.

Gator Update (Lawsuit Edition)

Golf course sued for resident alligator biting off man's arm

Today's Western Movie Poster

Fore-edge Paintings

Fore-edge Paintings: Beauty on the Edge on AbeBooks

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Grilled Mac & Cheese Sandwich at Ziggy's - Houston Restaurants and Dining

Johnny Staccato

Skeletons in the Tube: Johnny Staccato

No Comment Department

New Zealand Woman Partially Paralyzed by Hickey - "A New Zealand woman was temporarily partially paralyzed by a hickey on her neck from her amorous partner, AFP reported Friday."

Kasey Lansdale Update

Kasey Lansdale has a YouTube channel. Nice rendition of "Walkin' after Midnight" for this week's video.

Sinbad of the Seven Seas

Friday, January 21, 2011

New Story at BEAT to a PULP

BEAT to a PULP :: A Rip through Time: Battles, Broadswords, and Bad Girls :: Charles A. Gramlich

No Comment Department

Technolog - Facebook calls Roger Ebert's blog 'abusive content': "Roger Ebert, movie critic, cancer survivor and undeniable king of the Twitter bon mot, publically debuted his new prosthetic jaw on a blog post Facebook blocked as 'abusive content.'"

The Decline of Western Civilization Continues Apace

Snooki and Jwoww Get Spin-off Pilot from 'Jersey Shore' Shot in Long Island | "Snooki and Jwoww from 'Jersey Shore' fame are shooting a pilot this weekend for a 'Jersey Shore' spin-off show ."

Keeping Our Country Safe

Suspicious briefcase blown up outside Brooksville business - St. Petersburg Times: "Several agencies, including the state Fire Marshal's Office in Tampa and the Tampa Bay regional bomb squad, responded. Using a camera-equipped, six-wheeled robotic device nicknamed 'Boots,' officials exploded the briefcase when they were unable to open it.

'When they finally blasted it, and they did blast it,' Fitzgerald said, 'they just found briefcase stuff inside it.'"

And Stay off Her Damn Lawn!

Widow Doris Thiele, 84, batters raider | The Sun |News: "A FRAIL elderly widow turned into superwoman to send a burglar screaming from her home by battering him with a walking stick."

Superb photo at the link.

Here's the Plot for Your Next Historical Mystery

The JFK Ambulance Is A Fake: "This Saturday's auction of the ambulance that carried President John F. Kennedy's body has garnered worldwide attention. The only problem? It's a near-perfect fake. Here's how a group of historians discovered the truth about what happened to the real ambulance."

Hat tip to Art Scott.

The Evolution of Nicolas Cage's Hair

Link via Neatorama.

A Contest

I'm participating in a promotion for Michael Connelly's The Lincoln Lawyer. I can give away five copies of the poster for the movie version of The Lincoln Lawyer and five copies of the mass-market paperback movie edition of the novel. I'll just draw the names of the winners from a hat or a bushel basket or what-have-you. Just drop me an e-mail if you'd like to get in on the drawing. The address is right up there at the top of the blog. Include your address in the e-mail in case you're one of the lucky winners. The contest will close in one week, and I'll be reposting this as a reminder.

Croc Update (Captain Hook Edition)

Phone keeps ringing in Ukrainian crocodile's tummy: "The crocodile in 'Peter Pan' happily went 'tick-tock' after swallowing an alarm clock but a crocodile in Ukraine has been a little less fortunate.

Gena, a 14-year-old crocodile at the Dnipropetrovsk Oceanarium, has been refusing food and acting listless after eating a cell phone dropped by a woman trying to photograph him last month."

Hat tip to Art Scott.

I'm Ordering Mine Today

Padded Underwear for Men Gives Booty More Bounce: "For the many men who suffer from severe 'flat butt,' here's some uplifting news: One line of padded underwear specifically for guys is meant to give the illusion of a little more junk in the trunk.

Are you sitting down? Good.

The padded underpants in the spotlight are manufactured by a Canadian company appropriately dubbed BottomsUp, which operates under the motto: 'Building a Better Bottom.'"

No Comment Department

College student files suit for $1.8M saying Las Vegas hooker didn't spend enough time with him

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson and Art Scott.

Joe Lansdale Update

The Day Before The Day After | Mulholland Books

Book Giveaway

Jen's Book Thoughts: Top Suspense Group Giveaway


Dale Kramer & Madeline Carr, Teenage Gangs, Popular Library, 1954

Hard Case Crime Update from Charles Ardai


Bit by bit, we're getting closer to the re-launch of Hard Case Crime with our new publisher, Titan Books. Our backlist titles are already available for pre-order from bookstores and online booksellers such as and; copies will start shipping in February. And we've got new books on the way, too -- if you go to our Web site,, you'll find cover art and sample chapters for four upcoming titles, all of them brand new:

* GETTING OFF: A Novel of Sex and Violence by Lawrence Block (writing as Jill Emerson) -- The story of a beautiful young woman who sets off on a mission to kill every man she's ever slept with (and she's slept with quite a few). For this book, Lawrence Block is reviving a pseudonym he hasn't used in almost 40 years, under which he wrote seven particularly sexy books back in the day. When he saw how sexy this new one was coming out, he thought...that's the Jill Emerson in me coming out again...

* THE CONSUMMATA by Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins -- In the late 1960s, Mickey Spillane announced he was writing a new novel featuring the star of his bestseller THE DELTA FACTOR, but after writing half the book, he set he manuscript aside. Twenty years later, he handed the unfinished manuscript to his friend Max Allan Collins, suggesting that Max might finish it someday. And twenty-some years after's finally done. It's the story of one thief going after another against the backdrop of Miami's Cuban-American community, and it's classic Spillane. Anyone who misses the Good Old Stuff will find plenty to love here.

* QUARRY'S EX by Max Allan Collins -- This is one I know you've been waiting for a long time, the next story in the saga of the hit man known as Quarry (star of THE LAST QUARRY, THE FIRST QUARRY, and QUARRY IN THE MIDDLE). This time, Quarry sets out to protect a movie director who's been marked for murder...only to discover that the director is married to Quarry's ex-wife, the woman whose infidelity pushed him into a life of crime in the first place.

* CHOKE HOLD by Christa Faust -- Another long-awaited title, this is the follow-up to Christa's Edgar Award-nominated MONEY SHOT. Ex-porn star Angel Dare is back; when a old co-star is gunned down in front of her, it's up to her to get his 18-year-old son, a hotheaded MMA fighter, to Las Vegas in one piece while two separate groups of killers are gunning for them.

Lots to look forward to! Do check out the covers -- and if you're hungry for some great reading now, you can prepare for the new books coming out (which doesn't happen till September/October) by ordering any of the old ones you've missed. If you haven't met Quarry or Angel Dare yet, you're in for a treat -- grab yourself a copy of MONEY SHOT or the earlier Quarry books. For Spillane fans, there's DEAD STREET, Mickey's last novel. And we have five other books by Lawrence Block you can enjoy while waiting for GETTING OFF to come out: GRIFTER'S GAME, THE GIRL WITH THE LONG GREEN HEART, LUCKY AT CARDS, A DIET OF TREACLE, and KILLING CASTRO.

Other news...

Things are moving forward on the film adaptation of LITTLE GIRL LOST -- I spent an afternoon with the screenwriter who's penning the adaptation, showing him around some of the real-world locations where scenes from the book take place. (And scenes from its sequel, SONGS OF INNOCENCE. We checked out the tunnels under Columbia University, and the all-night tempura joint on Broadway, and FAO Schwarz...) No guarantee the movie will go before the cameras, but...every step we take makes it that much more likely.

And HAVEN, the TV series based (loosely) on our 13th book, Stephen King's THE COLORADO KID, is gearing up for its second season on SyFy. The writers are working in a white-hot storytelling heat, with filming scheduled to begin in a few months. I'm biased, but I think the show really hit its stride in the second half of the season last year, and there are some great stories coming up. We don't have a premiere date yet for the second season, but I'll let you know as soon as we do.

One final bit of news (if you'll forgive a bit of boasting by a proud father): the Ardai/Novik clan saw an addition in December, a baby girl named Evidence ("Evi" for short).

We'll add a photo of her to the Web site just as soon as she's old enough to wear a fedora.

Charles Ardai
Editor, Hard Case Crime

Top Suspense

Here's the press release announcing TopSuspense, which just went out to media outlets this week.

Navigating the Sea of E-Books

Nine top suspense authors join forces to promote quality

The e-book market is exploding. With over 700,000 e-books currently available and hundreds more added every week, it’s growing increasingly difficult to distinguish quality books from those that are unedited and written by inexperienced authors.

That’s why nine established, professional authors have formed Top Suspense Group, a site where readers are guaranteed to find top-notch, award-winning authors in multiple genres who deliver a great e-reading experience in their dozens of highly-acclaimed books.

"Readers can count on us," acclaimed author Max Allan Collins explains. "Every member of our group has already made his or her mark on genre fiction, whether it's noir, crime, mystery, thriller, horror or Westerns, and in some cases, several of these genres."

Top Suspense authors have each:

  • Published multiple novels with traditional publishers
  • Won or have been nominated for major literary awards
  • Been internationally published
  • Received critical acclaim from national publications

Many of the authors have graced the national bestseller lists and have had their work produced or optioned for film (the Oscar winning “Road to Perdition”) and television (the Emmy winning “Monk”). Our authors include:

Max Allan Collins · Bill Crider · Lee Goldberg · Joel Goldman · Ed Gorman · Vicki Hendricks

Paul Levine · Harry Shannon · Dave Zeltserman

This unique site provides a one-stop-shop of quality suspense fiction. As the e-book market continues to flood and overwhelm readers, Top Suspense will remain a succinct guide to quality, professional e-books written by today’s leading authors.

I Grow Old, I Grow Old

8 technology revolutions that are now relics

Today's Western Movie Poster

I Missed this Announcement Last Summer

"Next generation Tarzan" re-imagines the Greystoke legacy - Books, Arts & Entertainment - The Independent: "A new children's book series featuring a 'next generation Tarzan' is set to be published beginning in 2011, announced UK trade resource The Bookseller on June 29. Supported by the estate of Edgar Rice Burroughs, creator of Tarzan, the series will be an updated version of the classic story aimed at kids aged 11 and up.

Set in modern Africa and written by children's action/adventure author Andy Briggs, Tarzan: The Greystoke Legacy follows a re-imagined Tarzan who is, according to UK publisher Faber,'edgier, untamed and feral while remaining the iconic hero, raised by apes and protector of the wild.'

Among the 21st-century difficulties the new Tarzan will face: warring guerrillas, poaching of endangered animals, illegal logging and the decline of the environment.

The story's original characters will appear in slightly different form: Jane is a 14-year-old gir accustomed to technology, Robert Canler is a runaway with a mysterious past, and cannibal tribes are replaced by rebel guerrillas."

Here's the Plot for Your Toolbox Killer Thriller

Human Remains Found in Toolbox in Pinal County: "Detectives with the Pinal County Sheriff's Office are investigating after a hunter found a dead body inside a toolbox near the juncture of E Florence-Kelvin Hwy and State Route 177."

No Comment Department

Police search for Moron

Hat tip to Mark R. Harris.

The 20 Best Nicknames in the Big Mafia Bust

The 20 Best Nicknames in the Big Mafia Bust

Paul Picerni, R. I. P.

Paul Picerni, Actor in ‘Untouchables,’ Dies at 88 - "Paul Picerni, a prolific television and screen actor best known as Agent Eliot Ness’s right-hand man in the hit 1960s series “The Untouchables,” died on Jan. 12 at his home in Llano, Calif. He was 88."

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Forgotten Books: Cases --Joe Gores

When Joe Gores passed away, I looked on my shelves to see what unread books I had by him, and there was Cases. It's the story of Pierce Duncan, called Dunc, who graduates from Notre Dame in the early '50s. He wants to be a writer, so he sets out to get some experiences to write about. And he certainly haves them. A Georgia chain gang, fixed boxing in Las Vegas, a southern California religious cult, and finally a job working for Drinker Cope, a San Francisco private-eye whose morals are his own. All along the way, Dunc, who wants to be a writer, is putting things into his notebooks.

The book is obviously based to a certain extent on Gores' own life. He says in the preface, "In Cases I have tried to mix fact and fiction so thoroughly that nobody -- not even myself -- can now untangle them." I think it's pretty easy to untangle them in some instances, but if I say too much about that it might spoil some of the fun of the book, which is a wonderful depiction of the time and the places (especially San Francisco) that Dunc describes.

This is a fix-up book, and a lot of it was published as separate stories in various places, but don't let that fool you. Everything is connected, even a lot of things you might not expect, and it all pays off with a series of little explosions in the final chapters that are hardboiled to the core. Great stuff, and it proves again, as if any proof were needed, how much we lost when Joe Gores died.

The Pirate

Thursday, January 20, 2011

San Francisco Leads the Way

Stranded Muni riders can now battle each other at bus stops | Will Reisman | Transportation | San Francisco Examiner: "Billing its new advertising initiative as a “Bus Stop Derby,” tech giant Yahoo has installed digital video screens at 20 bus shelters in San Francisco, mostly in the downtown area. As part of the promotion, transit passengers from 20 specified neighborhoods will get the chance to compete against each other in different video games — and the community that wins the two-month contest will host a block party featuring the rock band OK Go."

Reynolds Price, R. I. P.

Reynolds Price, a Literary Voice of the South, Dies at 77 - "Reynolds Price, whose novels and stories about ordinary people in rural North Carolina struggling to find their place in the world established him as one of the most important voices in modern Southern fiction, died on Thursday in Durham, N.C. He was 77."

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Bob Dylan Update

Bob Dylan Signs Six-Book Publishing Deal - Spinner: "He's one of the most famous lyricists in rock history - now Bob Dylan has signed a deal to write six more books for his publisher Simon And Schuster, including two autobiographical follow-ups to 2004's 'Chronicles: Volume One,' the highly-praised memoir of the star's early years.

Although there's no hint yet as to when anything will hit the shops, fans are hoping a tome isn't far off, as the publishers revealed in 2008 that Dylan had begun work on the next book."

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

No Comment Department

EXCLUSIVE: Clint Eastwood To Direct Beyonce In Musical Of ‘A Star Is Born’

It Was 50 Years Ago Today

Fifty years ago, I watched the inauguration of John F. Kennedy on a small black-and-white TV set. I was an English major with a love of poetry, and the only thing I remember about what I saw is that Robert Frost read a poem that he'd written for the occasion, or he was supposed to. The sunlight and the wind made it too hard from him to see the paper, so instead of reading that poem, he recited "The Gift Outright," one he'd written many years before. My memory being what it is, I don't know if this really happened, but that's the way it is in my head.

Update: Since everything's on the Internet, I did a Google search. By golly, my memory was pretty much on the money.

Will the Persecution Never End?

The Associated Press: Paris Hilton boyfriend faces felony in Las Vegas: "Paris Hilton's boyfriend is facing criminal charges stemming from his arrest with the celebrity socialite last summer on the Las Vegas Strip."

Hat tip to John Duke.

Open House

BBC News - The French house untouched for 100 years: "A late 19th Century town-house in central France that was sealed up for more than 100 years has finally been opened to the public in accordance with its owner's last wishes.

Louis Mantin was an aesthete and gentleman of leisure who bequeathed his opulent home to the town of Moulins on condition that a century later it be a museum.

After he died in 1905, the mansion was closed up and fell into dilapidation. Now thanks to a 3.5m euro ($4.7m; £2.9m) refit funded by local authorities, it has been returned to its original pristine state.

The result is a remarkable time-capsule, combining rich fin-de-siecle furnishings, archaeological curios, skulls and other Masonic paraphernalia, a collection of stuffed birds, as well as the latest domestic gadgets such as electricity and a flushing loo."

Video at the link.

Texas Doesn't Lead the Way

But we do have some contenders.

America's Rudest Cities

How Could it Miss?

Angry Birds Television Show On The Way? - Contactmusic News: "ANGRY BIRDS, the smartphone game phenomenon that been downloaded over 50 million times making it one of the most successful games across any platform, could be adapted into a television series and a possible feature film after the game's developers confirmed they are currently researching the 'Hollywood market'. The game sees players use a slingshot to launch a series of birds at pigs arranged on structures."


Warner Bros Sets ‘Gangster Squad’ Scribe For ‘Lethal Weapon’ Franchise Reboot – "Warner Bros and producer Joel Silver have set Will Beall to write Lethal Weapon, with a take that will relaunch the buddy cop series with a new cast."


Peter Packer, Bitter Fruit, Popular Library, 1959

Book of the Day

Top Suspense Group: Book of the Day: Goodnight Moom by Jack Maclane (Bill Crider)

I'll Stick with Taco Bell

Boca, gaining a rep for exotic tacos, plans lion-meat offering: "In the six months since it launched Exotic Taco Wednesdays, Boca Tacos y Tequila has served up python, alligator, elk, kangaroo and rattlesnake.

Frog legs, turtle, duck and Rocky Mountain oysters have also made appearances.
[. . . .]
Last week he announced on Boca's Facebook page that the UA-area taco shop was accepting prepaid orders for African lion, . . ."

15 Most Bizarre Laws That Are Still on the Books

15 Most Bizarre Laws That Are Still on the Books

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Texas town most affluent U.S. neighborhood - Yahoo! News: "A Dallas suburb home to teen pop group Jonas Brothers and the Texas Rangers baseball team owner Chuck Greenberg is the most affluent neighborhood in the United States, according to

The town of Westlake, Texas, has an estimated annual median household income of $250,000, five times more than the median for the U.S. overall."

Today's Western Movie Poster

You Can Hardly Contain Your Excitement, Right?

It's time to remake all of Jerry Lewis' movies | Film | Newswire | The A.V. Club: "The Bellboy, Cinderfella, and The Family Jewels are now each in development as a “stand-alone comedy franchise” (because every movie is a franchise now), with each being handed over to a different “major comedy star” to make their own, and their success potentially setting up subsequent remake-cum-franchises for The Patsy, Who’s Minding The Store?, and The Errand Boy."

20 Acclaimed Authors and Their Unique Writing Rituals

20 Acclaimed Authors and Their Unique Writing Rituals

Croc Update (Luggage Edition)

Polish customs confiscate crocodile from passenger's luggage |

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Faecal Transplant

Scientists fight bugs with poo | Reuters: "Feces, including important bowel flora, is transferred from a volunteer donor -- screened to limit possible other infections -- into the colon of the infected patient. The treatment can be administered by a colonoscope or an enema, or by the mouth or the nose."

Hat tip to David Cranmer.

That'll Teach 'Em

Musicians killed in Mexico after refusing to play more songs for audience

Hat tip to Mark R. Harris.

I'm Getting My Ticket Today!

NFL to charge people $200 to stand outside Super Bowl stadium - NFL - Yahoo! Sports: "For one-third the price of a regular ticket, NFL fans will be able to stand outside Cowboys Stadium and act like they are attending the Super Bowl XLV. The league announced on Wednesday that tickets to watch the game on large HD video screens on the east side of the stadium will cost $200."

Science Marches On

Giant Pepper For Stuffed Jalapeno Poppers Bred Specifically For Increased Cheese Payload | Popular Science: "In a breakthrough with vast implications for both chiles and Chili’s, the New Mexico State University chile pepper breeding program has bred a wholly new, extra large, medium-hot jalapeno pepper precisely optimized for jalapeno poppers—jalapenos stuffed with cheese and deep fried."

Dangers of the Canadian Mounted

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Doll Shows Where Babies Come From - Houston News Story - KPRC Houston: "Ana Trevino-Godfrey is a child development expert at The Motherhood Center in southwest Houston.

She told KPRC Local 2, 'The best thing to focus on when a new child is expected in the household is relationships, truly, in preparing the family to introduce a new person.'

That's why certified doula and mother of three Adriana Guerra created the MamAmour birthing and breast-feeding doll."

Paging Keith Richards

Burglars snort man's ashes, thought it was cocaine | Reuters: "Burglars snorted the cremated remains of a man and two dogs in the mistaken belief that they had stolen illegal drugs, Florida sheriff's deputies said on Wednesday."

Edgar Allan Poe Update

Edgar Allan Poe Mystery Grave Visitor A No-Show: "Telltale hearts beat with anticipation during a rainy, midnight dreary and beyond, hoping the mysterious visitor to Edgar Allan Poe's grave would return after a one-year absence.

But once again, the unknown person who for decades has left three roses and a half-empty bottle of cognac at Poe's grave on the anniversary of the writer's birth failed to appear Wednesday, fueling speculation that he may have died."

First It Was French Fries . . .

Police: Philadelphia Man Shoots Friend for Eating His Cake: "A Philadelphia man shot one of his friends after discovering the friend was eating his cake, The Philadelphia Daily News reported.

The men were driving in the east of the city in the early hours of Monday morning when the driver spotted his passenger chowing down on some cake.

The men argued, culminating in their getting out of the car and the driver shooting his passenger in the chest, police said."

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Police: man dressed as clown threatens to kill liquor store clerk, burn down store | The Blotter: "A man dressed as a clown threatened to burn down a liquor store in downtown Austin on Friday, according to an arrest affidavit."

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Wilfrid Sheed, R. I. P.

Wilfrid Sheed, Writer of Gentle Wit, Dies at 80 - "Wilfrid Sheed, the wittily satirical man of letters who drew upon his Anglo-American background to write bittersweet essays, criticism, memoirs and fiction about cultural life on both sides of the Atlantic, died early Wednesday in Great Barrington, Mass. He was 80."

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

The Smell of Money

Microsoft VP Thinks Money-Scented Perfume Can Make You Stinking Rich: "Patrick McCarthy, a vice president of sales at Microsoft, took a break from his day job to create His Money Cologne and Her Money Eau de Parfum, a line of his-and-hers fragrances that are designed to make the wearer smell like a million bucks -- or more, depending on how much you put on."

Maybe Instead of Those Bandages, I Should Get This

Hipster Mustache


Mike Avallone, Sex Kitten, Midwood, 1962

Max Brooks: Original Zombie Story

Max Brooks: Original Zombie Story from World War Z Author - The Daily Beast: "The Extinction Parade: An Original Zombie Story by Max Brooks"

No Comment Department

Bristol: Derision Over Flatulence Listed As Motive For Fatal Attack

No Comment Department

Student tracking finds limited learning in college - Yahoo! News: "A study of more than 2,300 undergraduates found 45 percent of students show no significant improvement in the key measures of critical thinking, complex reasoning and writing by the end of their sophomore years.

Not much is asked of students, either. Half did not take a single course requiring 20 pages of writing during their prior semester, and one-third did not take a single course requiring even 40 pages of reading per week."

Easy Quiz

Americans Who Won the Nobel Prize in Literature

Edgar Nominations

And the Nominees are...

ImageMystery Writers of America is proud to announce on the 202nd anniversary of the birth of Edgar Allan Poe, its Nominees for the 2011 Edgar Allan Poe Awards, honoring the best in mystery fiction, non-fiction and television published or produced in 2010. The Edgar® Awards will be presented to the winners at our 65th Gala Banquet, April 28, 2011 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, New York City.


Caught by Harlan Coben (Penguin Group USA - Dutton)
Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin (HarperCollins – William Morrow)
Faithful Place by Tana French (Penguin Group USA - Viking)
The Queen of Patpong by Timothy Hallinan (HarperCollins – William Morrow)
The Lock Artist by Steve Hamilton (Minotaur/Thomas Dunne Books)
I’d Know You Anywhere by Laura Lippman (HarperCollins – William Morrow)


Rogue Island by Bruce DeSilva (Tom Doherty Associates – Forge Books)
The Poacher’s Son by Paul Doiron (Minotaur Books)
The Serialist: A Novel by David Gordon (Simon & Schuster)
Galveston by Nic Pizzolatto (Simon & Schuster - Scribner)
Snow Angels by James Thompson (Penguin Group USA – G.P. Putnam’s Sons)


Long Time Coming by Robert Goddard (Random House - Bantam)
The News Where You Are by Catherine O’Flynn (Henry Holt)
Expiration Date by Duane Swierczynski (Minotaur Books)
Vienna Secrets by Frank Tallis (Random House Trade Paperbacks)
Ten Little Herrings by L.C. Tyler (Felony & Mayhem Press)


Scoreboard, Baby: A Story of College Football, Crime and Complicity
by Ken Armstrong and Nick Perry (University of Nebraska Press – Bison Original)
The Eyes of Willie McGee: A Tragedy of Race, Sex, and Secrets in Jim Crow South by Alex Heard (HarperCollins)
Finding Chandra: A True Washington Murder Mystery by Scott Higham and Sari Horwitz (Simon & Schuster - Scribner)
Hellhound on his Trail: The Stalking of Martin Luther King, Jr and the International Hunt for his Assassin by Hampton Sides (Random House - Doubleday)
The Killer of Little Shepherds: A True Crime Story and the Birth of Forensic Science by Douglas Starr (Alfred A. Knopf)


The Wire: Truth Be Told by Rafael Alvarez (Grove Atlantic – Grove Press)
Agatha Christie's Secret Notebooks: Fifty Years of Mysteries in the Making by John Curran (HarperCollins)
Sherlock Holmes for Dummies by Steven Doyle and David A. Crowder (Wiley)
Charlie Chan: The Untold Story of the Honorable Detective and his Rendevouz with American History by Yunte Huang (W.W. Norton)
Thrillers: 100 Must Reads edited by David Morrell and Hank Wagner (Oceanview Publishing)


"The Scent of Lilacs" – Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine by Doug Allyn (Dell Magazines)
"The Plot" – First Thrills by Jeffery Deaver (Tom Doherty – Forge Books)
"A Good Safe Place” – Thin Ice by Judith Green (Level Best Books)
"Monsieur Alice is Absent" – Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine
by Stephen Ross (Dell Magazines)
"The Creative Writing Murders" – Dark End of the Street by Edmund White (Bloomsbury)


Zora and Me by Victoria Bond and T.R. Simon (Candlewick Press)
The Buddy Files: The Case of the Lost Boy by Dori Hillestad Butler (Albert Whitman & Co.)
The Haunting of Charles Dickens by Lewis Buzbee (Feiwel & Friends)
Griff Carver: Hallway Patrol by Jim Krieg (Penguin Young Readers Group - Razorbill)
The Secret Life of Ms. Finkleman by Ben H. Winters (HarperCollins Children’s Books)


The River by Mary Jane Beaufrand (Little Brown Books for Young Readers)
Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King (Random House Children’s Books – Alfred A. Knopf)
7 Souls by Barnabas Miller and Jordan Orlando (Random House Children’s Books – Delacorte Press)
The Interrogation of Gabriel James by Charlie Price (Farrar, Straus, Giroux Books for Young Readers)
Dust City by Robert Paul Weston (Penguin Young Readers Group - Razorbill)


The Psychic by Sam Bobrick (Falcon Theatre – Burbank, CA)
The Tangled Skirt by Steve Braunstein (New Jersey Repertory Company)
The Fall of the House by Robert Ford (Alabama Shakespeare Festival)


“Episode 1” - Luther, Teleplay by Neil Cross (BBC America)
“Episode 4” – Luther, Teleplay by Neil Cross (BBC America)
“Full Measure” – Breaking Bad, Teleplay by Vince Gilligan (AMC/Sony)
“No Mas” – Breaking Bad, Teleplay by Vince Gilligan (AMC/Sony)
“The Next One’s Gonna Go In Your Throat” – Damages, Teleplay by Todd A. Kessler, Glenn Kessler & Daniel Zelman (FX Networks)


"Skyler Hobbs and the Rabbit Man" – Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine by Evan Lewis (Dell Magazines)


Sara Paretsky


Centuries & Sleuths Bookstore, Forest Park, Illinois
Once Upon A Crime Bookstore, Minneapolis, Minnesota

(Presented at MWA’s Agents & Editors Party on Wednesday, April 27, 2010)

Wild Penance by Sandi Ault (Penguin Group – Berkley Prime Crime)
Blood Harvest by S.J. Bolton (Minotaur Books)
Down River by Karen Harper (MIRA Books)
The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Live to Tell by Wendy Corsi Staub (HarperCollins - Avon)

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Today's Western Movie Poster

Ten 80s Movies that Will Remind You of Your Geek Roots

Ten 80s Movies that Will Remind You of Your Geek Roots

Link via Neatorama.

Wonder Boy

Robert Nay, 14, video game iPhone app Bubble Boy downloaded 2m times

Black Lens by Ken Bruen Starts Today!

Black Lens | Mulholland Books

But Where's Sheriff Rhodes?

Top 10 Fictional Detectives

No Comment Department

Can't Understand Rap? Experts Offer Free Translations: "'Most rap listeners, like most rock listeners, are more interested in a hot beat and a catchy hook than deep, meaningful lyrics,' said Tom Lehman, one of the founders of the Internet rap interpretation site Rap Genius. 'The difference between rock and rap though is that with rap there's actually meaning to uncover.'"

The Vigilantes are Coming

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Don Kirshner, R. I. P.

Don Kirshner, Rock Producer and Promoter, Dies at 76 - "Don Kirshner, who guided the course of Brill Building and bubblegum pop in the 1950s and ’60s as a music publisher and promoter, and later served as an Ed Sullivan for 1970s artists like Bruce Springsteen, Pink Floyd, Kiss and the Ramones with his weekly program “Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert” on television, died on Monday in Boca Raton, Fla. He was 76. The cause was heart failure."

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.


Hey People,

In an effort to better understand the growing emarket that's out there, I'm offering copies of my newest enovella to interested reviewers. I'm planning on taking 10 from each site that contacts me.

To get ecopies of THE AFFAIR OF THE WOODEN BOY (a Victorian fantasy/steampunk tale), contact Mel Odom at mel at mel odom dot net and let him know which blog you saw the offer on. Ten ebooks will be given away on site with hopes of honest reviews.



He Could've Been Surfing the internet

Lego hobbyist spent 2 years building model of stadium | The Columbus Dispatch: "In near-exact detail, Paul Janssen created all the curves of Ohio Stadium using 1 million Legos - which, if you remember, are mostly rectangular.

The building is 'not square at all, so it was a big challenge,' he said. 'But it's so much more satisfying if you can accomplish something that's hard.'

Janssen recently finished his 8-foot-by-6-foot masterpiece, having spent 1,000 hours over nearly two years building it in his Dublin basement. No cutting, gluing or painting was involved in making the replica, the scale of which is about 1/100."

Hat tip to Art Scott.

Collected Stories -- Lewis Shiner

When I noticed that Subterranean Press was selling this book for $20, I ordered a copy immediately. Over 450 pages of great stuff. Gotta be the bargain of the month. Even at that, not all Shiner's short stories are included. Still, it's a great sampler. The stories from Twilight Zone were some of favorites from that magazine, and I also liked the work he did in the crime field, though there's not a lot of that. The stories here cover a wide range, so there's something for everybody to enjoy. I read "Lizard Men of Los Angeles" when it appeared in F&SF some years ago, and it concludes the collection. Shiner says it's his favorite, and it's a lot of fun.

One thing I like about collections like this is reading what the authors have to say about the stories, and Shiner says he likes that, too. So he includes notes about each one at the end of the book.

I haven't seen Lew in years, but I met him long ago at an AggieCon, and I remember sitting in the usual spot in the Memorial Student Center one night when he was talking about writing "Steam Engine Time." I like to think that I made a small contribution to that one. But don't let that stop you. Get this book while it's still available.


Mike Avallone, And Sex Walks In, Beacon, 1962

What the World Has Been Waiting For

Waterproof Notepad Helps You Record Ideas in the Shower

Amazing Stories

Voyager 1 at edge of solar system - "You probably have more computing power in your pocket than what NASA's venerable Voyager spacecraft are carrying to the edge of the solar system.

They have working memories a million times smaller than your home computer. They record their scientific data on 8-track tape machines. And they communicate with their aging human inventors back home with a 23-watt whisper.

Even so, the twin explorers, now 33 years into their mission, continue to explore new territory as far as 11 billion miles from Earth. And they still make global news. Scientists announced last month that Voyager 1 had outrun the solar wind, the first manmade object to reach the doorstep to interstellar space."

Today's Western Movie Poster

Here's the Plot for Your Next Archaeological Thriller

Caligula's tomb found after police arrest man trying to smuggle statue | World news | The Guardian: "Caligula's tomb found after police arrest man trying to smuggle statue"

Whisky in a Can

Scottish whisky the way South Americans like it... | Mail Online: "Chief executive Manish Panshal said: ‘We are really thrilled with the idea – it’s going to be a part of every lifestyle and occasion."

Back to the Future, Indeed

Airplane! returns to theaters for limited, limited run | Film | Newswire | The A.V. Club: "In a move that signals the cinema chain’s desire to become the nation’s neighborhood repertory theater, AMC Theatres has announced that it will follow last fall’s one-day-only Back To The Future re-release with a two-showtime engagement for the Zucker/Abrahams/Zucker classic, Airplane!"

Overlooked Films -- Condemned

Todd Mason's kicking off "Overlooked Films" as a weekly feature on his blog today. Or maybe it's "Neglected Films." At any rate, I'll be participating now and then. Including today, which gives me an opportunity to say something about films that a lot of people don't know much about -- short films that appear on the Internet.

So let's talk about one of my favorite genres: Women in Prison. We all know the classics like Chained Heat and Caged Heat and Born Innocent, but here's one you might not have heard of. It's called Condemned, and it's brand new. It was inspired by the cover of a paperback novel, Female Convict, a Maguire cover in case you're wondering. And a cool paperback also plays a part in the film. It was written and directed by Oren Shai. Since it's only about 14 minutes long, you can easily watch the whole thing if you click on the link I provided. If enough of you watch, it won't be overlooked any longer, so give it a shot. I think you'll find there's a lot to like.

No Comment Department

Theft Suspect Takes Sam's Club Picture - Houston News Story - KPRC Houston: "Harris County deputies said they have a great picture of a suspect who stole a woman's identity and went on a shopping spree because she posed for a photo at Sam's Club in order to get a membership."

Darkest Africa

Monday, January 17, 2011

Will the Persecution Never End?

Golden Globes: Weinstein-Relativity Media party draws Nicole Kidman, Michael Douglas, Paris Hilton and everyone else in town | Ministry of Gossip | Los Angeles Times: "Before mingling and posing graciously with fan after fan after fan, Paris Hilton was perched on a sofa in the corner, far from the action. Attending with sister Nicky Hilton and beau Cy Waits, she was heard complaining about her seating: 'It's insulting.'"

Hat tip to John Duke.

No Comment Department

John Cleese - Cleese Turned Down $300,000 For Reality Show - Contactmusic News: "I would never agree to one of those shows. That would mean the collapse of western civilisation.'"

The Decline of Western Civilization Continues Apace

"Pac-man Live Action TV Show Planned"

Paging Mongo

Florida woman accused of slapping a police horse - "After spending nearly 12 hours behind bars, accused of slapping a police horse, a Florida woman is out of jail Monday facing misdemeanor charges in the incident."

Hat tip to Gar Anthony Haywood.

Sherlock Holmes Update

Horowitz to write Holmes mystery for Orion | "Orion is to publish a new full-length Sherlock Holmes novel, written by Alex Rider author Anthony Horowitz, after he was selected by the Conan Doyle Estate.

Jon Wood, deputy group publisher, acquired world rights to the as-yet-unnamed title through Robert Kirby of United Agents.

Further details about the title, to be published in September, are still to be revealed, though it will be 'a brilliant mystery novel, stripped back to the original style of Conan Doyle', according to the

I Had a Feeling Texas Wouldn't Lead the Way

Ranking the Most Tolerant and Least Tolerant States - The Daily Beast: "As the country commemorates Martin Luther King Day and reflects on Tucson, The Daily Beast crunches the numbers to rank the tolerances of every state across America. How did yours stack up?"

Just What I Need!

10 flamethrowing contraptions that'll keep those dang kids off your lawn


Mike Avallone, Flight Hostess Rogers, Midwood, 1962

Life Is So Unfair

Beautiful men, women are more likely to be smarter with high IQs, too

Philly Leads the Way

Police Say Man Shot Over French Fry Argument CBS Philly – News, Sports, Weather, Traffic and the Best of Philadelphia: "Police say the man was shot over an argument over french fries. Witnesses tell investigators the shooter drove off in a silver Mercedes and Police are still hunting for him.

The victim’s been taken to Hahnemann University Hospital where he’s in critical condition. There is no word on why the men were arguing over the fries but police say the fries were still in the car when they arrived."

Nice Review of Some Old-Time SF

Before the Golden Age -- a review

Today's Western Movie Poster

Spam Comment of the Day

Got a great spam comment today. I deleted it from beneath the post where it appeared, but I couldn't resist putting it here for everyone to see. How could you not want to hire these people to write an essay for you after this demonstration of their amazing writing skills?

Nice story. Writing ability is crucial to anybody success and your future success. There are many organizations which offer their services online at less amount of time by hiring the professional writers who specialized in creating and delivering assignments varied in nature and content free from plagiarism. A well written article is necessary to grow a website in leaf and bounds.

10 Impressive Heists that Shocked the World

10 Impressive Heists that Shocked the World

Will the Persecution Never End?

Carrie Fisher: Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton and Every Other Troubled Star Gets Dissed by Carrie Fisher! | Showbiz Spy - celebrity news, rumors & gossip: "CARRIE Fisher is calling out young Hollywood stars like Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton — urging them to “stop for a minute to appreciate where you could be.”

The Star Wars actress says today’s tabloid favorites should clean up and stop throwing away amazing opportunities they’re given."

That Sucks

Wis. woman finds $280,000 worth of drugs hidden inside vacuum Daily Record: "On the first day of Christmas, my children gave to me ... a vacuum cleaner packaged with $280,000 worth of drugs.

Investigators say a Green Bay woman got quite a surprise Dec. 25 when she opened the refurbished vacuum cleaner she'd been given, and discovered two pounds of crystal methamphetamine and 2.2 pounds of cocaine packaged inside the box."

Terminator 4

Sunday, January 16, 2011

I Don't Know Why This Makes Me Think of Christa Faust

Santo and Blue Demon Vs Datajunkie!

Nice Essay on Amazing Stories Quarterly

Robert Silverberg's Reflections

Introducing Joel Goldman

Top Suspense Group: Introducing Joel Goldman


Mike Avallone, Women in Prison, Midwood, 1962

Ghost City of China

Ordos, China: A Modern Ghost Town - Photo Essays

Hat tip to Mark R. Harris.

Today's Western Movie Poster

Alabama Leads the Way

Cycles Gladiator Wine Banned: Alabama Bans Nude Nymph Wine Label, Increases Its Sales: "Alabama's ban on a wine that features a nude nymph on the label became a business opportunity for a California vintner who is preparing a marketing campaign to capitalize on being 'Banned in Bama.'

The Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board recently told stores and restaurants to quit serving Cycles Gladiator wine because of the label. Board attorney Bob Martin said the stylized, art-nouveau rendition of a nude female with a flying bicycle violated Alabama rules against displaying 'a person posed in an immoral or sensuous manner.'"

Mega Python vs. Gatoroid Update

‘Mega Python vs. Gatoroid’ Will Premiere on Syfy - "TAKE two former pop princesses — Debbie Gibson and Tiffany — and cast them in a television movie involving illegally imported snakes and alligators on steroids. Stir in gobs of gooey cheese — a “Dynasty”-style cat fight here, a trio of fisherman eaten alive there. Most important, make liberal use of computer-generated creatures and effects. Pythons blown up with dynamite! Thousands of hatching reptile eggs! Alligators the size of skyscrapers!"

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Adult club waitress gets $60K in Houston age bias case | Ultimate Cy-Fair: "Two Houston adult entertainment clubs this week agreed to settle a federal age discrimination case with a former waitress who alleged younger, male managers called her 'old' and said she showed symptoms of memory loss.

The owners of Centerfolds and Cover Girls agreed to pay $60,000 to Mary Bassi. She was 56 when she was fired in 2006 'without provocation or explanation,' according to a lawsuit the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed on Bassi's behalf."

I Wasn't Going to Link to This Slide Show, . .

. . . but when I saw #10, I knew I had to.

How to make a brilliant comic book movie | Slide Show -

Terminator 3