Saturday, June 18, 2011

Clarence Clemons, R. I. P.

Clarence Clemons dies of complications from stroke | "Clarence Clemons — the Big Man with the big horn — died today of complications from a stroke he suffered last weekend, said Bruce Springsteen's spokeswoman. He was 69 years old.

He was the spirit of the E Street Band, and the oaken staff that Bruce Springsteen leaned on. There have been many charismatic figures in the band, but none had the personal gravity of Clarence Clemons, the group’s Bunyanesque saxophonist."

PimPage: An Occasional Feature in Which I Call Interesting Books to Your Attention Night of the Living Dandelion: A Flower Shop Mystery (9780451233011): Kate Collins: Books: "Flower shop owner Abby Knight does not believe rumors that Vlad Serban, friend and employee of Abby's fiance Marco, is a vampire. But how to explain that Vlad is from Romania, has prominent canines, likes bizarre plants such as bloodwort and Dracula orchid, and dresses entirely in black?

When a local woman is found dead, her body drained of blood, the stakes become life and death. With Vlad the #1 suspect, Abby and Marco race to find the real killer, before Vlad's life really starts to suck."

Livermore Leads the Way

World's Oldest Light Bulb Still Burning After 110 Years - "A frame from the Livermore-Pleasanton fire Department's bulbcam shows the oldest lightbulb in the world, still glowing after all these years.

It may not glow brightly, but it sure glows consistently."

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

I have a feeling that most of you order the Stark House books automatically, but just in case you don't, here's one you really need. It's coming in August, and, as is so often the case with these editions, David Laurence Wilson's introduction is invaluable. This is a must-have.

Top Notch Thrillers Update


from Ostara Publishing

In July 2011, Top Notch Thrillers is proud to reissue two great British thrillers from the early 1980’s, both of which are fine examples of ‘flight and pursuit’ novels in the John Buchan tradition.

Geoffrey Household (1900-88), often seen as the natural successor to John Buchan, is rightly famous for his 1939 classic Rogue Male about an aristocratic English big game hunter’s failed attempt to assassinate Hitler and his subsequent fight for survival as the hunter becomes the hunted.

More than 40 years after that ground-breaking thriller, Geoffrey Household gave us the sequel, Rogue Justice, where the background to the previously anonymous ‘Rogue Male’ is revealed as he declares his own private war on Nazi Germany, blazing a blood-stained trail from Poland to Greece to dispense his own type of justice on the brutal ideology which has destroyed the Europe – and the woman – that he loved.

Not only is Rogue Justice a sustained, fast-moving action thriller, told with all Household’s usual skill when it comes to a pursuit over wild terrain and his self-depreciating humour, it is at heart a dark, nobly romantic but fatalistic love story. For the rogue hero this time, it is not a question of whether he will survive, but how he will choose to meet his death....


Jessica Mann is well-known as a broadcaster, journalist and crime-writer and is currently the crime fiction critic for the Literary Review.

Her 1981 novel Funeral Sites is nothing less than an updated, feminist take on John Buchan’s famous tale of flight and pursuit, The 39 Steps, as the main character finds herself on the run from her politically ambitious (and murderous) brother-in-law. In a frenzied escape from a Swiss alp via London’s club land to a Cambridge hospital, she finds a lone ally in feisty archaeologist Tamara Hoyland, who was to become Jessica Mann’s series heroine, and the chase comes full circle in a dramatic showdown back in the Swiss mountains.

Funeral Sites is a frantic, breathlessly-paced chase thriller which puts a female stamp on what had seemed until then a very male preserve and whilst staying true to the form, the novel cheekily references the work of John Buchan – and indeed Geoffrey Household, another master of the genre.

Jessica Mann is the first woman to join the ranks of British authors reissued under the Top Notch Thriller imprint, who include: John Gardner, Victor Canning, Brian Callison, Duncan Kyle, Francis Clifford and Adam Hall.

Rogue Justice ISBN 9781906288549

Funeral Sites ISBN 9781906288600*

(*also available as an eBook)


Top Notch Thrillers is a specialist imprint of Ostara Publishing which was established in 2009 to revive Great British thrillers “which do not deserve to be forgotten” using the latest print-on-demand technology and offering many titles as eBooks for the first time. The series editor is Mike Ripley, who currently writes the ‘Getting Away With Murder’ column on

By September 2011, there will be 20 Top Notch Thrillers available in print and (in many cases) electronic formats. They can be purchased through good bookshops or Amazon and via the Ostara website ( which contains much additional information of TNT books and authors.

This Is the House I Need

shelf-pod | Kazuya Morita Architecture Studio

Link via Neatorama.

Today's Vintage Ad

Well, Duh

Watching 'Jersey Shore' might make you dumber, study suggests

I Would Feel Remiss . . .

. . . if I didn't direct your attention to these mugshots, nearly 300 of them, each one better than the one before.


William Ard, Babe in the Woods, Monarch, 1960 (Ard died after starting this series, and the books were written by others. This one, I believe, was actually done by Lawrence Block.)

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Houston Chronicle: "Gov. Rick Perry vetoed legislation on Friday that would have banned texting while driving because he views it as 'a government effort to micromanage the behavior of adults.'"

J.K. Rowling Update

J.K. Rowling's 'mysterious' new website: 7 theories - The Week: "The Harry Potter author has fans eagerly speculating about her new site. Will Harry and his wizarding friends find a new life online?"

Worst Literary Marriages

Worst Literary Marriages

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Today's Western Movie Poster

Or Maybe You Did

9 Surprising Things You Didn't Know About Edgar Rice Burroughs

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . .

Man arrested after throwing shoes at wife after she refuses to sleep with him

Wild Man Fischer, R. I. P. "Wild Man Fischer, a mentally ill street musician who became a darling of the pop music industry in the 1960s and as a result enjoyed four decades of strange, intermittent and often ill-fitting celebrity, died on Thursday in Los Angeles. He was 66."

10 Peanuts Characters You’ve Probably Forgotten

10 Peanuts Characters You’ve Probably Forgotten


Friday, June 17, 2011

PimPage: An Occasional Feature in Which I Call Interesting Books to Your Attention A Hard Day's Fright (A Pepper Martin Mystery) (9780425240564): Casey Daniels: Books: "What happened to a teenager named Lucy one night in 1966 after a Beatles concert? She rushed the stage, kissed Paul, started home with her friends, and was never seen again-until cemetery guide and unintentional PI to the dead Pepper Martin sees her as a ghost. Lucy's spirit can't rest in peace until her body is found and buried. But how will Pepper track down a missing corpse after forty-five years?"

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way "Aaron Franklin opened a food trailer on a vacant lot in Austin in 2009. Today, his bricks-and-mortar restaurant serves what we're calling the best BBQ in Texas, if not America. Let the debates begin"

I Found a Penny in the Street Last Week

The Raw Story: "A $70-million haul of Ming Dynasty porcelain has been found in a 16th-century shipwreck off the Indonesian island of Java, a Portugal-based salvage company said Friday.

Arqueonautas Worldwide (AWW) and its Indonesia-based partner RM Discovery Inc. said an 'archaeological reconnaissance operation' had confirmed the discovery of the 'biggest shipwreck cargo of Ming porcelain ever found'."

5 worst superhero movies

5 worst superhero movies

NoirCon Update

NoirCon 2012

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

November 8th through the 11th

Guests of Honor:

Lawrence Block
Winner of the David Loeb Goodis Award

Otto Penzler
Winner of the Jay and Deen Kogan Award for Literary Excellence

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

Some years ago, Judy and I read a terrific book called The Man with the Iron-on Badge by Lee Goldberg. We loved it. The publisher was Five Star, and we both thought the book would be a big hit. We were wrong. It got great reviews. It was nominated for a Shamus. It sold well for a Five Star book, but there was never a paperback edition, and the book more or less disappeared from the public consciousness. Now, however, Goldberg's making a big push for the book on Kindle and Nook under this new title. If you haven't read it, you might want to give it a try. You just might find yourself making the best discovery of the year.

Darwin Award Candidate "An Ocean County man learned today that a rattlesnake on the road best be left in peace.

The 24-year-old man was reported in stable condition last night after being bitten by a timber rattlesnake he had tried to grab by its head, said Larry Ragonese, a spokesman for the state Department of Environmental Protection."

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

New Pulp Press has established itself in a very short time as a fearless publisher of books that are different. Really different. You never know what to expect, and that's a good thing.

Jesus Angel Garcia's badbadbad features a narrator with the same name as the author. His wife leaves him, and he gets involved with hellfire preaching, webmastering, and lots of sex. Satire and some wild and crazy stuff. Not exactly a crime novel, and not like anything else you're likely to read this year.

Here Comes Mr. Trouble -- Brett Battles

If you're a teenager who's having more than the usual troubles (you do your homework, but it disappears; your mother's disappeared, too; bullies are after you more than usual, etc.), who you gonna call? Mr. Trouble, of course.

The problem with Mr. Trouble is that you don't get just him. You get his whole semi-functional family, so things are likely to get even more complicated than you thought. That's what Eric finds out in this action-packed YA from Brett Battles. Eric also finds out that creatures called the Makers are after him. He's not the first they've tried to get, and they've often been successful. Just exactly why they want him and what happens if they get him isn't entirely explained. That's because there's probably going to be a sequel. If you like fast and funny YA with, as I said, lots of action, you'll get a kick out of Here Comes Mr. Trouble. Check it out.

Just as I Suspected "Hugh Hefner's former fiance Crystal Harris broke down in tears during her first TV interview since the split, revealing she called off the wedding because she was 'not the only woman in Hef's life.'"

TV Update

I've just been watching the new TV. In 3-D!

Nine Lives?

Cat Survives High Rise Plunge: "A nine year old cat survived a 14-story plunge from an Upper West Side apartment building.
[. . . .]
The family rushed Copper to an emergency vet on West 55th St. She ended up only needing to be treated for a fractured foot and is doing well at home."

Now on Kobo!

A Vampire Named Fred By Bill Crider - eBook - Kobo: "When someone finally moves into the old dark musty house next door two boys make an unusual friend. 'I always thought that vampires had to have names like Dracula or Vlad or Lestat but that was before Fred moved into the house next door. In fact I had a lot of wrong ideas about vampires but Fred set me straight about most of them.' In a funny lively story the boys set out to help Fred lead a 'normal' life."

Today's Vintage Ad


Cyril Judd (C. M. Kornbluth & Judith Merril, Sin in Space (Outpost Mars), Galaxy/Beacon, 1961

10 Most Poisonous Spiders on Earth

10 Most Poisonous Spiders on Earth

Link via Neatorama.

Today's Western Movie Poster

Send a Kid to Camp

Alligator Farm Announces Summer Camp

New York Leads the Way

Snakeskin manicures are a crazy new beauty trend sweeping NYC - "Right now, just four Manhattan salons offer the scaly spa service, in which hand-cut swatches of snakeskin are applied to the nail bed and sealed between a coat of instant-drying Bio Sculpture Gel base color and a clear top layer."

Hat tip to Jeff Segal.

Bigfoot Update

Bigfoot Investigators Hope DNA Test Will Confirm Existence Of Two Man-Beasts: "California Bigfoot investigators were shocked over Memorial Day weekend when they found strange markings and hair on their pickup truck windows.

Now, they're hoping DNA tests will prove once and for all the existence of the legendary man-beast."

Forgotten Books: Galaxy Volume 2 -- Edited by Frederik Pohl, Martin H. Greenberg, and Joseph D. Olander

For some reason I don't have Volume 1 of this anthology, and that's something I need to remedy because this one's terrific. It's sadly lacking an introduction (maybe that's on Volume 1), but it does have a complete index of Galaxy magazine from the first issue of October 1950 to May 1979.

The stories, as you could probably guess from looking at the contributors' names on the cover, are great. What's even better is the "memoirs" provided by most of the authors. (The explanation for why John Varley refused to provide one for "Overdrawn at the Memory Bank" is as interesting as the memoirs.) Reading Philip K. Dick's memoir that introduces "Oh, to Be a Blobel!" is chilling. I sure wish he were around to comment on the current wars we're waging. Alfred Bester, whose name is on the cover, doesn't have a story in the book, but he does have a brief memoir about Horace Gold and Galaxy. There's no story by Algis Budrys, either, but there's one of his book review columns in which he doesn't actually review any books.

If you like good science-fiction short stories, or just plain good fiction, you should take a look at this one, and don't miss those memoirs. As for me, I'm going over to Abebooks and get Volume 1.

Demetrius and the Gladiators

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way Houston: "The manhunt for a suspect who escaped from custody in northwest Harris County Thursday was called off due to the extreme heat, authorities said."

Yes, Indeed. Times Have Changed. "Big Bear High school students are being ordered to return their yearbooks after an inappropriate 'child pornography' photograph somehow managed to be published."

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

When you're looking for the Good Old Stuff, you can count on Black Dog Books to provide it. As the cover tells you, this well-designed volume contains 13 rare Sax Rohmer stories, 4 of which haven't been previously published in the U. S. That should be enough encouragement right there. Most of the stories appeared before the creation of Fu Manchu, so they give you a good look at the author's beginnings.

Times Have Changed Since I Was in Junior High School. . . "A 56-year-old Valley Center Middle School teacher was arrested early Sunday morning following a wild, drunken party held at her home attended by at least 100, mostly inebriated, teenagers, officials said.

Sheriff’s Sgt. Bob Bishop said empty hard liquor and beer bottles were strewed about the house on Puma Trail. Teenagers were passed out on couches in their own vomit, and there was even a strip poker game going on in one bedroom involving four girls being photographed by boys."

Gator Update

Gator takes a dip in swimming pool

Hallowed Ground -- Steven Savile & David Naill Wilson

The weird western is a special category, and it's always a treat to run across a new one, especially one this good. David Nial Wilson and Steven Savile give everything you could ask for: signs, portents, mysteries, and wonders; blazing guns; snakes; life and death and returns from the dead; deals with the devil; love that goes beyond life; ancient forces doing battle outside a small western town; hidden identities; and more. It's all finely detailed, with lots of atmospheric description interspersed among the action scenes. If you're looking for something different, here's a book that delivers.

Passengers on the Ground

Baggy Pants Cause Plane's Evacuation, Jail Time

The Ridge -- Michael Koryta

This supernatural thriller has a lot going on, including a cop in love with a woman who shot him (and whom he regularly visits in prison), a lighthouse in the woods, a woman who's establishing a sanctuary for big cats (lions, cougars, leopards, tigers, a panther), and lots of mysterious deaths. There's so much going on, in fact, that you might wonder if Koryta can integrate it all and bring off a satisfactory conclusion. He almost manages it.

If you're looking for a conventional thriller, this one isn't it. The strong supernatural element takes it in another direction. Tight suspense, and some good scares along the way, with Koryta's usual good writing. Check it out.

Titus Update

AbeBooks: Titus Groan Awakes: Mervyn Peake & The Lost Gormenghast Novel: "Mervyn Peake’s epic Gormenghast fantasy trilogy is a trilogy no more. Rumors of a fourth novel circulated for years but were always just rumors. In January 2010 the granddaughter of Peake’s widow found a complete manuscript that her mother, Maeve Gilmore, had written in the 1970s based on notes Mervyn Peake had written before dying at the age of 57 from Parkinson's Disease. The results of Gilmore’s labor have since been edited and will now appear, just in time for the centenary of the author’s birth, as Titus Awakes."

Today's Vintage Ad

Thanks to Art Scott for this one.

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

CBS Dallas / Fort Worth: "A new video making the rounds of the Internet shows two guys goofing around after hours at DFW International Airport."

The video is at the link.


Olaf Stapledon, Odd John, Galaxy/Beacon, 1959

New York Leads the Way

New York, New Jersey and California come bottom of individual freedoms study

I'm a Winner

Every year I buy ten tickets in the annual Lion's Club raffle. I never expect to win anything, but this year I got a prize. A 42-inch Vizio 3-D TV set. So the question is, what do I do with it? There's no place for it here. I suppose this is a good problem to have, and now I can stop saying I never won anything.

Today's Western Movie Poster

Maybe It's Jesse James

Sandra Bullock: Ghost Hunting In London: "Sandra Bullock is currently in London filming a Sci-Fi thriller called 'Gravity' with George Clooney, but the Sun, a British tabloid, reports her offscreen activities are more focused on the paranormal.

The Oscar-winning actress is staying in a converted church, but sources say she is asking her producers to investigate the dwelling because she fears it's haunted."

Father's Day Gifts We Can Do Without

This one.

Uncorrected Proofs

Uncorrected Proofs on AbeBooks

The Lusty Men

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . .

The Star Online : The Newspaper of Cleveland County: "A long-running neighborhood dispute between two Shelby women turned into a food fight last week when police say a woman threw spaghetti into her neighbor’s driveway."

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

PimPage: An Occasional Feature in Which I Call Interesting Books to Your Attention SHAKEN: Stories for Japan eBook: I.J. Parker, Gary Phillips, C.J. West, Dale Furutani, Wendy Hornsby, Naomi Hirahara, Debbi Mack, Cara Black, Brett Battles, Timothy Hallinan: Kindle Store: "One hundred percent of the royalties from this new collection of original stories will go directly to the 2011 JAPAN RELIEF FUND administered by the Japan America Society of Southern California. The 2011 Japan Relief Fund was created on March 11, 2011 to aid victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake and resulting tsunami waves. With the funds that have been raised so far, $750,000 has been committed to nonprofit organizations that are on the front lines of relief and recovery work in northeastern Japan.

This collection was born out of the writers' concern for the people in the disaster zone. SHAKEN: STORIES FOR JAPAN is an attempt by writers to pool their talents to help people in need, as musicians and actors so often do.

The book contains original stories by Brett Battles, Cara Black, Vicki Doudera, Dianne Emley, Dale Furutani, Timothy Hallinan, Stefan Hammond, Rosemary Harris, Naomi Hirahara, Wendy Hornsby, Ken Kuhlken, Debbi Mack, Adrian McKinty, I.J. Parker, Gary Phillips, Hank Phillippi Ryan, Jeffrey Siger, Kelli Stanley, C.J. West, and Jeri Westerson. As a group, these authors have won every mystery award there is and sold hundreds of thousand of copies. They're all working at the top of their games in this volume. SHAKEN; STORIES FROM JAPAN is art for heart's sake, and the purchase price will help those who are struggling to repair, or at least soothe, these terrible losses.

I Await Seepy's Comment

The Raw Story: "Scientists at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine claim to have determined the proper dose levels needed to create positive changes in attitudes, mood, life satisfaction, and behavior that persist for more than a year with the psychoactive substance in so-called 'magic mushrooms.'"

Live Near Friendswood?

I'll be speaking at the public library tonight at 7:00 P.M.

Meet Award-Winning Mystery Author Bill Crider

PimPage: An Occasional Feature in Which I Call Interesting Books to Your Attention Night Medicine (Lieutenant Joe Sonntag Mysteries) eBook: Axel Brand: Kindle Store: "It's summer, 1948, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The body of a lovely, well-dressed young woman is discovered at the Washington Park Zoo, near the lion cages. She is lying in a bed of ferns, her arms folded over her breast, her skirts smoothed and her legs straight. Nearby a lioness prowls her cage. Clearly, someone cared about this unknown young woman, and laid her out as if she were in a funeral home. Why she was placed there, in that fashion, is a riddle that Detective Joe Sonntag and his gifted staff try to solve.His quest leads him into strange dark corners, where compassion and death intersect."

6 Insane Discoveries That Science Can't Explain

6 Insane Discoveries That Science Can't Explain

Link via Neatorama.

Today's Vintage Ad

New Story by Rich Prosch

Rock and Roll Woman

Over Halfway There!

Cornell Hurd Band CD Opportunity

Still plenty of time to pitch in and help get the CD made. For a mere $25 you get a copy of the CD, an MP3, and Undying Gratitude.


Fredric Brown, Madball, Gold Medal, 1962
(One of the rare Gold Medal reprints.)

The Galaxy Project

The Galaxy Project: "The Galaxy Project is both a celebration - through new editions in widely distributed electronic form - of the great 1950's Galaxy Magazine, edited by H. L. Gold and a means through these new electronic editions of classic longer works and through its new novella contest to carry forth that tradition in the new millennium."

Hat tip to Randy Johnson.

Haven't We All Done this from Time to Time?

Mother Nature Network: "J.K. Rowling, author of the 'Harry Potter' series, has been given planning permission to knock down a $1.6 million home outside of Edinburgh, Scotland, for the sole purpose of expanding her personal garden."

Now on Kindle! A Vampire Named Fred eBook: Bill Crider: Kindle Store: "When someone finally moves into the old, dark, musty house next door, two boys make an unusual friend.

'I always thought that vampires had to have names like Dracula or Vlad or Lestat, but that was before Fred moved into the house next door. In fact, I had a lot of wrong ideas about vampires, but Fred set me straight about most of them.'

In a funny, lively story the boys set out to help Fred lead a 'normal' life."

Today's Western Movie Poster

Criminal Genius of the Day

Trail Of Corn Dogs Leads To Burglary Arrest - Oklahoma City News Story - KOCO Oklahoma City: "According to a police report, Lasley told officers he, 'Could have blacked out from drinking and done something stupid.'

During the investigation, officers said they found a trail of food from the Sonic to the home where Lasley was arrested, including foot-long hotdogs, hotdog buns, chicken breasts and corn dogs."

Death In Tudor England

BBC News - 10 strange ways Tudors died

6 People Who Had No Clue Their Faces Were World-Famous

6 People Who Had No Clue Their Faces Were World-Famous

11 Conspiracy Theories That Just Won’t Die

11 Conspiracy Theories That Just Won’t Die

Second Chance

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Star-Spangled Banner Update

Star-Spangled Banner Back on Display | History & Archaeology | Smithsonian Magazine

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

Kindle Store: "Michael Connelly recommends Motion To Kill!

When two of his partners are killed, corruption, sex and murder fill trial lawyer Lou Mason's docket as he tracks the killer. Will Lou be the next victim? Find out in Motion to Kill."

Choke on Your Lies -- Anthony Neil Smith

You know when you read anything by Anthony Neil Smith that you're in for a wild ride, so here we go again. Mike Thooft is a poet and college teacher. His wife is unfaithful. Boy, is she ever. In fact, the first half of this book could have been a 1960s Bedside Book titled Faculty Orgy Club. There's some funny academic satire throughout, and Smith could write an amusing mainstream academic novel if he wanted to, I'm sure. But I digress. Throoft gets plenty of proof of his wife's flings from his friend Octavia VanderPlatts, a rather large genius. Like Nero Wolfe, she has a greenhouse, but she doesn't grow orchids.

In the second half of the book, the crime novel kicks in. One of the faculty orgy participants is murdered. Throoft is accused of the crime, and it's up to him and VanderPlatts to find the real killer. This is complicated by the fact that someone has just about destroyed VanderPlatts' life.

You won't find any likable characters here (well, I didn't like any of them), but they're real enough, and their problems make for compulsive reading. As I said at the beginning, it's a wild ride, and it's only 99 cents for Kindle. Check it out.

On Display Until July 30

Society of Illustrators: Pulp Art: "Robert Lesser began collecting pulp paintings, comic books, and comic-character toys in the 1950s. As a student at the University of Chicago, Lesser’s literature studies combined with his fascination with popular culture kindled his interest in studying and collecting pulp art and comic memorabilia.

In 1975 he wrote A Celebration of Comic Art and Memorabilia, an informational collectors guide; in 1997 he published Pulp Art: Original Cover Paintings for the Great American Pulp Magazines
, a full-color collection of pulp paintings and history that includes expert interpretation."

The exhibit is here for those of you in NYC.
Link via Beth Foxwell.

Here's Some Good News

Heller of a Week Friends/Family/Fans of Max Allan Collins: "Every one of the previous Heller novels (from TRUE DETECTIVE through CHICAGO CONFIDENTIAL) will be reprinted in handsome, uniform trade paperback editions as well as e-books. CHICAGO LIGHTNING and the forthcoming TRIPLE PLAY are two new collections that take the place of (and expand upon) the previous Heller collections, DYING IN THE POSTWAR WORLD and KISSES OF DEATH. CHICAGO LIGHTNING is all the short stories thus far (including several never before collected) and TRIPLE PLAY will include the three Heller novellas-to-date (“Dying in the Postwar World,” “Kisses of Death,” and “Strike Zone”)."

Swimsuits, 1952

Link via Neatorama.

Today's Vintage Ad

I Just Gotta Have another Cigarette

Standoff with man on cellphone tower in northwest Ark. when man drops his cigarette lighter: "The desire for a cigarette apparently led a Huntsville man to end a standoff with Benton County law officers after he dropped his cigarette lighter from the top of a cellphone tower.

Ronald Jeff Grigg was arrested for felony aggravated assault and first-degree terroristic threatening and misdemeanor drunken, insane and disorderly conduct.
[. . . .]
Sheriff Keith Ferguson told the Rogers Morning News that negotiators were called — but that Grigg surrendered after apparently accidentally dropping his lighter and deciding he wanted a cigarette."

Hat tip to John Duke.

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . .

Houston Chronicle: "A Fort Bend County man has been convicted of a felony charge for damaging his neighbor's vehicles with lawn chemicals because of a running dispute over parking."

Texas is #2

The 11 Most Innovative Cities in the U.S.


Fredric Brown, Madball, Dell, 1953

Houston is #10

America's Dirtiest Cities

Famous People and their Vinyl

Some of the photos might not be safe for work.

Link via Boing Boing.

Another List Nobody Will Complain About

Top 10 Quotable Movies

Today's Western Movie Poster

Before the Thin Mints Melee There Was This "Don't get between an opera singer and her frozen, vegan pad Thai with tofu.

A fight between amateur mezzo soprano Marcella Caprario and fellow shopper Dr. Cathleen London in the frozen-food aisle of the Trader Joe's on the Upper West Side is set to hit Manhattan Criminal Court today."

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Texas Woman JoAnn Parks Talks To Crystal Skull (And Sometimes, She Says, It Talks Back)

Forgotten Films: Born to be Bad

How can you resist a movie with a title like this one? Not to mention a cast like this one. Great stuff, and it's a very grown-up film for 1950. Joan Fontaine's fiance is Zachary Scott (a guy I always liked because he's from Texas), but she's hot for Robert Ryan, a tough-guy writer. Too bad that Scott has the dough while all Ryan has is sex appeal.

If you watched the trailer, you saw that this is a different role for Fontaine, who was usually more demure. Here, she's a scheming femme fatale who'd be just fine in an even darker movie. Joan Leslie's the good girl, and she's dandy, too.

Mel Ferrer plays a painter who gets all the good lines, and it seems pretty obvious that he's gay, though in 1950 nobody would've admitted that.

The movie's directed by Nicolas Ray, and while it's not as well known as some of his films, it's definitely worth a look if it turns up on TV.

Born to be Bad

Monday, June 13, 2011

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

Steve Brewer: Kindle Store: "'Calabama' is hillbilly noir in the vein of TV's 'Justified' or Daniel Woodrell's 'Winter's Bone,' but it's set in the wilds of far Northern California.

It's the story of Eric Newlin, a slacker who works for his father-in-law in the remote town of Redding. A Corvette flies over Eric's head in a freak accident, and he walks away without a scratch. Eric decides it's an omen: His life is about to change. And he's right. His life goes right down the toilet. Within days, he's fallen so far that he finds himself mixed up in a kidnapping scheme with a local crimelord named Rydell Vance.

Leavened with dark humor, 'Calabama' takes a wry look at California's rural, redneck interior, a place full of backwoods bitterness, a precarious place where it's easy for an outsider's life to spiral out of control."

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

Kabbalah Class eBook: Christopher Benton: Kindle Store: "An introduction to non-Hassidic, Jewish Kabbalah for the serious student. Topics include rabbinic literature, work of the chariot, work of creation, Sefer Yetzirah, Bahir, Zohar, the cube of space, the tree of life, gematria, and more. Ancient themes are integrated with modern science as well as several personal examples."

PimPage: An Occasional Feature in Which I Call Interesting Books to Your Attention Collateral Damage: A Do Some Damage Collection eBook: Dave White, Russel McLean, Steve Weddle, Joelle Charbonneau, Scott Parker, Jay Stringer, Sandra Ruttan, John McFetridge: Books: "Once again the eight authors of bring together eight stories of murder and mayhem in these linked stories.

TERMINAL DAMAGE, a Spinetingler Magazine nominee for best anthology, featured stories linked together by one awful day in an airport.

The brand new COLLATERAL DAMAGE builds on the success of the earlier collection, this time focusing on Father's Day.

This collection boasts stories from Joelle Charbonneau (SKATING AROUND THE LAW, SKATING OVER THE LINE, the Paige Marshall mysteries), John McFetridge (LET IT RIDE, DIRTY SWEET), Dave White (WHEN ONE MAN DIES, WITNESS TO DEATH), Russel D. McLean (THE LOST SISTER, THE GOOD SON), Sandra Ruttan (THE FRAILTY OF FLESH, SUSPICIOUS CIRCUMSTANCES), Scott D. Parker (HANFORD: A Harry Truman Mystery, ROUND ONE), Jay Stringer (OLD GOLD, SCORCHED EARTH), and Steve Weddle (NEEDLE Magazine)."

The End of Brooklyn -- Robert J. Randisi

I met Bob Randisi at a Bouchercon about 30 years ago, so I started reading his books about as soon as the first ones were published. I have copies of the first Henry Po book (The Disappearance of Penny) and the first Miles Jacoby book (Eye in the Ring) on my shelves, and both those private-eyes make brief appearances in Randisi's latest private-eye novel, The End of Brooklyn. There's also a nice little joke about them.

The End of Brooklyn is the third and supposedly the final Nick Delvecchio novel, though I'm pretty sure Randisi would never say never. This one picks up about 15 years after the previous book, and Nick's living in hiding the midwest as a result of his last case. It's a frame story, and in the prologue the guys he's been hiding from come to his house. Nick proceeds to tell them the story that follows, about his investigation into the supposed suicide of one of his high-school classmates with becomes entangled with the murder of his father. Lots of death and dying here, and plenty of good reasons not to return to Brooklyn.

Fast-paced storytelling, some nice twists, and a satisfactory conclusion. When you're in the mood for a private-eye story, this would be a fine choice. Check it out.

Comic Strip of the Day

Life Imitates "Art"

Pa. school district turns lawn care over to sheep

Today's Vintage Ad

Snubnose Press Update

Do Some Damage: Speedloader: "ANNOUNCEMENT: Spinetingler Magazine is pleased to announce the launch of Snubnose Press, an e-publisher of crime fiction."

Want a Great Western Swing CD?

All you have to do is help get it made. $25 gets you a CD, an MP3, and Undying Gratitude. Pitch in.

And Keep Off Her Lawn!

Elderly woman uses AIDS threat to rob Colorado bank

Feeling Safer Now? "A special unit of airport screeners, charged with detecting suspicious behavior, engaged in racial profiling so frequently at Newark Liberty International Airport that their resentful colleagues called them 'Mexican hunters,' according to an internal federal report."

Carl Gardner, R. I. P.

Showbiz411: "The great rock and roll and R&B singer Carl Gardner, Sr., leader of the Coasters, died yesterday at age 83. “Carl was one of the great lead voices of the early rock and roll era,” says Sam Moore, his Atlantic Records labelmate."


Hubert Creekmore, Cotton Country (The Fingers of Night), Bantam, 1950

I Know, I Know. Donovan's Brain Should be on the List

25 Fascinating Brain Books Anyone Can Enjoy

Needle: The Spring Issue

Needle: A Magazine of Noir | A Magazine of Noir

Another Visit to the House of Scott

Last week I posted about my visit to Art Scott's house and mentioned that I'd visited Art once before, during the 1982 Bouchercon. As it turns out, Art has photos of that earlier visit, although in looking at them I find it hard to believe that the photos of that skinny guy with the black hair are of me. There are some other familiar faces in the pictures, however, and I can't resist posting a few of the photos here.

Here, for example, is Steve Stilwell, who occasionally comments here, in a typical pose. Note hippie headband.

And here I am, ready to grab all the books I can and make a run for it.

Here's blogger Dave (Evan) Lewis with a great moustache. The guy on his left is the late great Hal Rice, and on his right is his wife at that time, Sandi.

This one is of blogger Cap'n Bob Napier, giving me the bunny ears.

Here we have the Cap'n making a muscle to impress Steve.

I think that in this one I'm looking at one of the same books I admired last week, 29 years later.

Here, I'm pointing out some key paperback info to Steve as the Cap'n looks on. I'm always trying to educate people.