Saturday, September 24, 2011

Bob Dylan Update

Bob Dylan Assembles ‘The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams’ - With a new project titled “The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams,” Mr. Dylan is doing his part to keep the work of one of America’s greatest songwriters — the author of classics like “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” “Cold Cold Heart,” and “Hey Good Lookin’�” — in the spotlight. The album collects the lyrics for a dozen unrecorded songs by Williams, set to melodies and recorded by an array of rock and country stars, including Jack White, Norah Jones, Merle Haggard and Sheryl Crow. “The Lost Notebooks” is being released on Oct. 4 on Mr. Dylan’s imprint, Egyptian Records, in conjunction with the Country Music Hall of Fame and Columbia Records.

It Was Worth a Try

Fleeing driver calls police to tell them to stop chasing him | A Park City man accused of leading police on a 30-mile chase Thursday called dispatchers during the pursuit to tell them that deputies “needed to leave him alone.”

The Beach Boys FAQ -- John Stebbins

If you're a Beach Boys fan, or if you're at all interested in the history of popular music, you need this book. It's full of information on the group and the individual members, gossip, facts, trivia, you name it. No punches pulled. If you care about the addresses of the houses where the various group members lived, they're here. If you don't know who sang lead on every single, now you can find out. Film and TV appearances. Solo albums by group members. Concerts. Photos. I can't think of anything that's left out. Great stuff for browsing, and you'll hear the songs in your head as you read. Highly recommended.

100 Best Comedy Movies

100 Best Comedy Movies - The full list

Today's Vintage Ad

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . .

Dad attacks son over daughter's tattoo, deputies say

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . .

Naples Daily News: A San Carlos Park man is accused of duct taping his girlfriend during an altercation over their pet iguana.


Day Keene, Guns Along the Brazos, Signet, 1967

Ummmmmmmm! Deep-Fried Cookies!

Chocolate Covered Deep Fried Triple Double Oreos

Photo and instructions at the link, which comes via Neatorama.

They Had Me at the Very First One

10 things going wrong with action cinema

'Possum Hunting Update

Times Union: Police in suburban Detroit say they arrested a 42-year-old woman who repeatedly shot at an opossum in a shopping center parking lot.

The Oakland Press of Pontiac and the Detroit Free Press report the woman, who is homeless, was found early Tuesday with a gun in her pocket. Police in Troy say they found 11 spent shell casings on the ground and the woman told them she was aiming for the animal.

Police say it didn't appear that the animal was shot, and the woman had a permit to carry a concealed weapon. No injuries were reported.

Today's Western Movie Poster

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

CBS Dallas / Fort Worth: If the drought wasn’t enough for farmers and ranchers to struggle with, now they are facing a growing threat. Thieves are targeting pastures and barns for suddenly valuable hay bales.

The Decline of Western Civilization Continues Apace

ShortList Magazine: In a move which draws much attention to the fact that there are no original ideas left in the world, US TV network CW is developing a show called Extreme Musical Chairs.

5 Strange Things Named After Writers

Stoker’s Blood-Sucking Spider: 5 Strange Things Named After Writers

Link via SF Signal.

The 6 Most Ridiculous Superhero Weaknesses

The 6 Most Ridiculous Superhero Weaknesses

Gulliver's Travels

Friday, September 23, 2011

Maryland Leads the Way

The Best States for Your Brain

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Uh-Oh 20th Century Fox, which tapped into Isaac Asimov’s futuristic robot science fiction for I, Robot, is now working on a live-action adaptation of Asimov’s The Caves of Steel.

Joe Lansdale Update


Mark Twain Meets Stephen King with a Lansdale Twist

March 25, 2012-New York, NY- Mulholland Books an imprint of Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group brings you the latest crime novel from cult favorite, award winner Joe R. Lansdale.

Joe R. Lansdale is the author of over twenty novels, the Edgar Award winner THE BOTTOMS, and the ever popular Hap and Leonard series to name a few. He has penned countless short stories, chapbooks, graphic novels, screenplays, animated series work, and comic books. His work spanning western, horror, science fiction, suspense, and mystery has won him numerous awards including the British Fantasy Award, the American Mystery Award, the Grinzane Cavour Prize for Literature, and an impressive eight Bram Stoker Awards to name a few.

Iconic author and pioneer in transcending genre, Joe R. Lansdale blends lost dreams, death, thievery, and a trip down river on a raft with a Southern flair that only he can manage. With a plot that is reminiscent of the classic Mark Twain and Stephen King works combined – Edge of Dark Water is crime fiction at its best.

May Lynn was once a pretty girl who dreamed of becoming a Hollywood star. Now she’s dead, her body dredged up from the Sabine River. Sue Ellen, May Lynn’s strong-willed teenage friend, sets out to dig up May Lynn’s body, burn it to ash, and take those ashes to Hollywood to spread around. If May Lynn can’t become a star, then at least her ashes will end up in the land of her dreams. Along with her friends Terry and Jinx and her alcoholic mother, Sue Ellen steals a raft and heads downriver to carry May Lynn’s remains to Hollywood.

Only problem is, Sue Ellen has some stolen money that her enemies will do anything to get back. Including avoiding a strange and relentless hired assassin called Skunk. What looks like a prime opportunity to escape from a worthless life will instead lead to disastrous consequences. In the end, Sue Ellen will learn a harsh lesson on just how hard growing up can really be.

  • “Joe R. Lansdale has a folklorist’s eye for telling detail and a front-porch raconteur’s sense of pace.” (The New York Times Book Review )
  • “Lansdale has created a landscape of broken dreams, skewed personalities and hope still clinging to the inside of the Pandora’s box of problems they all share. . . . He has been called a folklorist, and Leather Maiden makes you want to sit on a porch listening to him spin a yarn that you know doesn’t contain a true sentence.” (Los Angeles Times)
  • “One of the greatest yarn spinners of his generation: fearless, earthy, original, manic and dreadfully funny.” (Dallas Morning News, on Vanilla Ride )
  • “A storyteller in the great American tradition of Ambrose Bierce and Mark Twain.” (Boston Globe)
  • “Joe Lansdale simply must be read.” (Robert Crais)
  • “One of the greatest yarn-spinners of his generation: fearless, earthy, original, manic, and dreadfully funny.”(Dallas Morning News)

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Jay T. Kimbrough, Texas A&M University Deputy Chancellor Gets Fired, Then Pulls Out A Knife: A longtime adviser to Gov. Rick Perry, upset over his abrupt firing at a Texas university, admitted Thursday he told staff he would surrender his office keys only if "anyone is man enough to take them" – all while brandishing a pocketknife in what police called a "nonthreatening" way.

Jay Kimbrough didn't deny the confrontation detailed in a Texas A&M University police report, which includes the 64-year-old telling a school attorney to "bring it on." He was escorted off campus and quoted an Army war hero – "I shall return!" – before riding off on his motorcycle.

Today's Vintage Ad

Here's the Plot for your Next Hitman Thriller A hitman faked the death of his intended victim after falling in love with her, staging a murder scene using two bottles of ketchup.

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

They Rarely Do It on Purpose

Sky News: A captive crocodile at a wildlife park in Australia has turned himself orange by mistake.


Wally Cox, My Life as a Small Boy, Avon, 1961

10 Former Stars Who Never Should Have Left Television

10 Former Stars Who Never Should Have Left Television

Hard Case Crime Update from Charles Ardai

First of all: We're back!  After more than a year, Hard Case Crime has new books in stores.  GETTING OFF by Lawrence Block is the story of a beautiful young woman who sets out to murder every man she's ever slept with, while QUARRY'S EX by Max Allan Collins is the latest installment in his popular series about the hit man known as Quarry.  In two weeks, two more new titles will arrive in stores: THE CONSUMMATA, begun in the 1960s by the legendary Mickey Spillane and completed after his death (at Mickey's request) by Max Allan Collins, and CHOKE HOLD by Christa Faust, the second story about Angel Dare, who first appeared in the Edgar Award-nominated MONEY SHOT.
 You can find out more about each of these books on our Web site,  While you're there, you can also get a taste of our first two 2012 titles: THE COMEDY IS FINISHED by Donald E. Westlake and BLOOD ON THE  MINK by Robert Silverberg.  (The Westlake has never been published before; the Silverberg hasn't been published in any form for 50 years!) You can order any of these books online or -- better yet -- by requesting them at your favorite local bookstore.  Whichever way you choose, we very much hope you will get yourself copies of these books. Heck, get extras for your friends -- they make great gifts for the crime fiction fans in your life.  
Later in 2012, we'll be bringing you Edgar Award finalist Joseph Koenig's first new book in 20 years, FALSE NEGATIVE, a tale of a true-crime writer investigating the death of beauty pageant contestants in 1950s Atlantic City; and a very unusual first novel called THE TWENTY-YEAR DEATH by Ariel S. Winter.  THE TWENTY-YEAR DEATH is three times the length of our usual books, and for an important reason: the story is told in the form of three separate pulp crime novels, each written in the style of a different famous mystery writer!  These two books aren't up on our Web site yet, but we'll be unveiling the cover of FALSE NEGATIVE (by the inimitable Glen Orbik) around October 7 -- so mark your calendar...  
And what's coming after those two?  We've got something very, very special to announce.  After hunting for more than 9 years, we have located and secured the rights to the final, never-before-published novel by noir master James M. Cain, author of MILDRED PIERCE, DOUBLE INDEMNITY, and THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE.  The new book is called THE COCKTAIL WAITRESS, and it may be the single most important discovery we've ever made.  It's the story of a beautiful young widow whose first husband died under suspicious circumstances and who finds herself pursued by two new men, each of whom has something she wants.  But she can't have both of them...or can she?  It's steamy, gritty, suspenseful, and altogther worthy of the legacy of this great writer. We can't wait to show it to you. 
Alas, we do have to wait for that one.  But happily you've got plenty of good books to read in the meantime.  This is a good time to be a Hard Case Crime fan, for the first time in quite a while, and I want to thank you sincerely for keeping the flame burning all these months while we were away.  If you get a chance, please tell a friend about our books.  If you read our new titles and like them, please post a review somewhere online to let people know.  The best thing you can do to ensure that Hard Case Crime books keep coming is not just to buy them yourself (though we're very grateful for your doing that) but to tell people about them and help us spread the word.  
Many thanks for that help, and for all your passion for what we do -- it's what keeps us doing it.  

Croc Update (Knowing the Difference Edition) "He said, 'No, ma'am, you have an alligator,' and I said, 'No, I know the difference,'" she said.

Yet Another List I'm Not On

10 of the Wealthiest Academics in the World

Today's Western Movie Poster

10 Movie Villains Whose Actions Were Totally Justified

10 Movie Villains Whose Actions Were Totally Justified

You Know You Want It! CONDIMENT GUN Picnic Party Great for BBQ sauce Ketchup or Mustard: Kitchen & Dining

Link via Neatorama.

Everybody's Gettin' into da Act

Your Houston News: With an estimated 2.6 million feral hogs causing millions of dollars in urban and rural property damage across the Lone Star State each year, Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples on Wednesday kicked off the annual statewide Hog Out Challenge. The challenge, which runs through Dec. 31, calls upon Texas counties to step up efforts to decrease the state’s feral hog population. The deadline for counties to enter the challenge is Sept. 30.

“Not only are feral hogs a costly nuisance to agricultural operations and wildlife habitats, but they are increasingly finding their way into urban areas and destroying residents’ yards, public parks, golf courses and more,” Commissioner Staples said. “On my ranch in East Texas, I have eliminated a number of hogs and I am asking Texans around the state to step up and join the Hog Out Challenge to learn about feral hogs and how best to legally hunt and trap them. These hogs are capable of breeding twice a year and besides wreaking havoc on property, they also can pose a health threat to humans through disease and automobile accidents.”

Check out Henry's Stories

Henry's Stories: Turkey Dinner - Part 1 of 1: I wrote this one before the Wild Boars became such a big problem in this part of Texas. But it makes me wonder....

Forgotten Books: Avon Giant Mystery Reader

Take a look at what you could get for a half buck back in 1951. I don't have to tell you what the book contains; it's all right there on the cover. What a deal!

You might be curious about the stories by the authors listed, so here are the titles: "Lida" by Charteris, "The Mystery of Hunter's Lodge" by Christie, "The Gutting of Couffignal" by Hammett, "Twenty-Dollar Debt" by Treat, "The Smiling People" by Bradbury, and "It Comes off Sometimes" by Cheyney.

No editor is credited, but this must be a Donald A. Wollheim project. Wollheim's the one who put together the Avon Science Fiction Reader and the Avon Fantasy Reader, too, along with The Girl with the Hungry Eyes, also from Avon and the first anthology of original SF stories. Wollheim later went on to work for Ace Books, where he came up with the great Ace Doubles line before founding his own DAW Books. It would be hard to overstate his influence in the SF field, but we shouldn't misunderestimate his work for us crime fiction readers.

Stagecoach Driver

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Gunsmith Returns

Western Fictioneers: Gunsmith #1


Speed of light 'broken' by scientists

A List I Wouldn't Expect to be On

So You Want a Career in Intelligence: The Real Reading List

Hat tip to George Kelley.

Well, If They Make it, I'll be There

Disney Hopes 'Swampy' Game Character Makes It To Big Screen: The Walt Disney Co. has used mobile games to promote its movies, but now it's trying something new: launching a cuddly character in a game in the hope he makes it to the big screen someday.

In a first effort at the new strategy, Disney is launching this week an animated alligator named "Swampy," whose bizarre quest in the 99-cent iPhone game "Where's My Water?" is to keep clean.

Photo of cuddly character at the link.
Hat tip to George Kelley.

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

a blog: Death-row inmates headed to their executions will no longer be able to pick what they’d like for their last meal.

No Comment Department

Amazon and OverDrive Roll Out Kindle Books to Libraries: Amazon and OverDrive, the Cleveland-based company that is the major distributor of ebooks to the library market, announced today that more than 11,000 U.S. public and school libraries in the OverDrive network should have compatibility with Amazon's Kindle ereader within days. The long-awaited rollout, first announced in April, will end the notable absence of the popular Kindle device from library ebook lending.

And Keep Off His Lawn! A 91-year-old Pennsylvania man is cited for throwing urine on the sidewalk to keep neighborhood kids off his property.

9 Fake SNL Products We’d Actually Buy

9 Fake SNL Products We’d Actually Buy

Today's Vintage Ad

8 Lines That Would Have Ended Star Wars Real Fast

8 Lines That Would Have Ended Star Wars Real Fast

Link via Neatorama.


William Francis, Don't Dig Deeper, Lion, 1953

I Guess He Missed all the Other Days, Too

No-show professor had excuse: University of Pennsylvania students who were puzzled by a no-show professor later found out why he missed the first day of class: He died months ago.

10 Reasons I Hate to go to a Movie Theater

10 Reasons I Hate to go to a Movie Theater

Yet Another List I'm Not On

Yahoo! News: Twenty-two Americans ranging from a radio journalist to a sports trainer received no-strings-attached "genius" grants worth $500,000 each, a charitable foundation announced on Tuesday.

Today's Western Movie Poster

America's most caffeinated cities

America's most caffeinated cities

Lettered Editions

AbeBooks: Lettered Editions: Alphabetical Book Collecting: A lettered edition is a specific variety of limited edition that is characterized by letters of the alphabet with each book assigned a letter.

Lettered editions are traditionally limited to 26 copies, one for each letter of the alphabet, but it is not uncommon for a lettered edition to be limited to 52 copies with books marked by upper and lower case letters or represented by A to Z followed by AA to ZZ.�

These tiny print runs - designed to be collectible from the word go - are a perfect chance for publishers to pull out all the stops. It’s common for these lettered books to be deluxe editions with author and/or illustrator signatures, slip cases, and special features not found in run-of-the-mill editions.� When only the rarest modern editions will do, look for a lettered edition.

Here's the Plot for Your Next Cruise Ship Thriller

Mail Online: The vanishing passengers: It's a mystery as bizarre as it is disturbing - why have 165 people gone missing from cruise ships in recent years?

No Comment Department

Mail Online: Research suggests that early risers are slimmer, happier and healthier than those who get up later in the day.

Worst off are night owls, with late nights seemingly taking their toll on health and happiness.

Lost City of the Jungle

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

R.E.M., R. I. P.

The Scoop: Fans of the long-running rock band R.E.M. got a bit of a shock Wednesday when the group announced on its website that they were calling it quits.

And So It Goes

Man wins dumpling eating contest, then dies

What the World Has Been Waiting For Universal Pictures is developing a new version of Scarface, the title first released in 1932 and then turned into the iconic 1983 film that starred Al Pacino as Cuban gangster Tony Montana.

PimPage: An Occasional Feature in Which I Call Interesting Books to Your Attention Crime Factory: The First Shift (9780982843642): Keith Rawson, Cameron Ashley, Jimmy Callaway: Books: They broke free from their work stations and ran giggling down the factory hallways, stopping only to write crude missives on the walls. Transcribed here for your amusement, the most original voices in crime fiction offer you 27 tales of revulsion, heartbreak, and violence. Welcome to The First Shift.

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . .

Man Threatened Taco Bell Employee with Shotgun after Forgetting Hot Sauce

McBain/Hunter Update

The Bunburyist: Preliminary info, McBain/Hunter companion (ed. Foxwell).: McFarland has posted some preliminary details on Ed McBain/ Evan Hunter: A Companion to the Mystery Fiction by Erin E. MacDonald, volume 3 in the series of reference works on mystery authors that I edit (volume 1 on John Buchan; volume 2 on E. X., aka Elizabeth, Ferrars). It is tentatively scheduled for publication in spring/summer 2012.

Crimefactory Update

pattinase: "HOW I CAME TO WRITE THE STORY" Scott Wolven: Keith Rawson asked me to write a story for the Crime Factory: The First Shift anthology. Really nice when an editor asks you to be involved in a project he’s working so hard on. And he had lined up New Pulp Press as a publisher. I told Rawson I’d do it.

I probably wrote six drafts of the story. Somewhere in the second draft, the title “Hundred Proof” stuck and seemed good to me. I knew what I wanted to deliver. The one-inch punch. Short, with a bleak internal force and darkness and a jolt at the end. Haunting the reader forever. I kept that in mind throughout the remaining drafts. I thought maybe I had hit it when I wrote the last sentence. “He was sitting in a lawn chair by the picnic table, drinking a glass full of booze with bullets and ice in it.” It seemed okay. I sent it off.

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

Amazon's Deal of the Day, only 99 cents. True Detective (Nate Heller) eBook: Max Allan Collins: Kindle Store: In the mob-choked Chicago of 1932, private detective Nathan Heller may be willing to risk his life to earn a Depression dollar, but he never sacrifices his slicing wit. That’s why mystery fans and critics alike rank the historical thriller True Detective at the top of their lists —and why the book swept up a Shamus Award for best novel from the Private Eye Writers of America.

Tom Wilson, R. I. P.

Tom Wilson, Cartoonist Behind ‘Ziggy,’ Dies at 80

Today's Vintage Ad

The Best and Worst Celebrity Endorsements -

The Best and Worst Celebrity Endorsements

Croc Update (DNA Edition)

Scientists confirm ancient Egyptian knowledge: Nile crocodile is two species: DNA has shown that the Nile crocodile is in fact two very different species: a bigger, more aggressive crocodile and a smaller, tamer species that today survives only in West Africa. While the taxonomy of the Nile crocodile has been controversial for over a century, the new study points out that the ancient Egyptians recognized the differences in the species and avoided the big crocodile for its rituals.

While it is not uncommon for DNA to overturn long-established taxonomy, in this case the DNA results of over a hundred living crocodiles across Africa and over fifty museum specimens—including mummified crocodiles from ancient Egypt—found that what has long been considered one species is two distantly related species. In fact the larger Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) is more closely related to Caribbean crocodiles than it is to the new cryptic species, dubbed Crocodylus suchus.


J. Morgan Cunningham (Donald E. Westlake), Comfort Station, Signet, 1973

This book was added to my accumulation at the recent Bouchercon, courtesy of the excellent George Kelley.

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Afro Prompts TSA Hair Pat-Down

8 Simple Questions You Won't Believe Science Can't Answer

8 Simple Questions You Won't Believe Science Can't Answer

10 Modern Corruptors of College Sports

10 Modern Corruptors of College Sports

Today's Western Movie Poster

Not That There's Anything Wrong with That

Toe sucker targeting women, police say: Police in central Arkansas are looking for a foot fetishist who alarmed two women by trying to suck their toes.

Hat tip to Scott Cupp.

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . .

San Antonio Express-News: A 19-year-old Maryland college student was charged Friday with fatally stabbing her roommate inside their dormitory-style apartment after the two women argued about music playing from an iPod, police said.

Hat tip to Scott Cupp.

Archaeology Update

Ancient Swedish Fishers Put Human Heads On Stakes : Aardvarchaeology: Archaeological excavations in 2009-2011 in Motala have unearthed a unique Mesolithic site with ceremonial depositions of human crania in a former lake. The skulls have been treated in a complex ceremony that involved the display of skulls on stakes and the deposition of skulls in water. The skulls have been radiocarbon-dated and are 8000 years old.

10 Big Brands That Stopped Being Cool

10 Big Brands That Stopped Being Cool

Tom Selleck's Moustache Improves Movies

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

PimPage: An Occasional Feature in Which I Call Interesting Books to Your Attention Hard Bite and Other Short Stories eBook: Anonymous-9: Kindle Store: In Hard Bite & Other Short Stories, meet a wheel-chair bound vigilante with a deadly helper-monkey assistant, a woman who murders the wives of men she wants for herself; and see what happens when cannibals overtake the California State Capitol. Anonymous-9 "came from no-where" in 2005 and gained critical acclaim for her hardboiled vision and darkly humorous take. Hard Bite & Other Short Stories collects her award-winning fiction for the first time.

The Most Miserable Cities In America

The Most Miserable Cities In America

Feeling Safer Now? One of the top federal Transportation Security Administration officials in the state of Mississippi has been arrested in connection with the killing of TSA worker Stacey Wright.

Crippen & Landru Update from Doug Greene

Dear Mystery Fan

For quite a few years, mystery readers have been asking us to publish a collection of Vincent Cornier’s extraordinary Barnabas Hildreth stories. Ellery Queen said that they constituted “one of the great series of modern detective stories,” but the actual stories, originally published in a British magazine in the 1930's, have been virtually unobtainable – until now.

The Extraordinary Cases of Barnabas Hildreth
By Vincent Cornier, edited by Mike Ashley

Barnabas Hildreth faced (and solved) some of most bizarre cases ever to confront a sleuth – a bullet fired three centuries earlier wounds a man; an ancient Egyptian curse strikes the members of an archeological expedition; a man is transformed into stone; an ancient Aztec cloak laughs; and other extraordinary tales.

The Duel of Shadows is the 33d in Crippen & Landru’s "Lost Classics" series. It is edited by the great British scholar and researcher, Mike Ashley, who his best known for his many Mammoth Book of anthologies.

Trade softcover, $18.00 (978-1-932009-98-9)

Cloth in dust jacket, $28.00 (978-1- 932009-97-2)

You can use the secure order form on our website,

Dead Man Update from Lee Goldberg

Amazon's Thomas & Mercer imprint has picked up THE DEAD MAN series in a unique and exclusive 12-book digital & print deal ... with an option for more. But that's not all. Brilliance Audio will be also be rolling out their own editions of the books.

The five books that we've already published -- FACE OF EVIL, RING OF KNIVES, HELL IN HEAVEN, THE DEAD WOMAN, and THE BLOOD MESA -- will be re-released in the days leading up to Halloween ... so keep your eyes peeled for great offers.

The sixth book in the series will be released in November and will be followed each month by another new adventure in the continuing saga of Matt Cahill, a man resurrected from the dead to battle evil among us that only he can see.

Amazon will also be releasing three-book compilations of THE DEAD MAN series in trade paperback (as well as in specially priced digital editions). The release dates of the first compilation, and the Brilliance Audio editions, have not been determined yet ... but we’re hoping they'll be ready for Christmas.

Bill Rabkin and I will continue to run the series, which we're writing with a terrific group of action, horror, mystery, SF and western authors, like James Daniels, David McAfee, James Reasoner, Harry Shannon, Joel Goldman, Mel Odom, Jude Hardin, Lisa Klink, Mark Ellis, Matthew Mayo, Joe Nassise, Bill Crider, Marcus Pelegrimas, Matt Witten, Marcus Pelegrimas, Burl Barer, and Phoef Sutton.

And we couldn't have hoped for a better partner than Amazon’s Thomas & Mercer. I just returned from meeting with the Thomas & Mercer team (including editors Terry Goodman and Andy Bartlett) in Seattle and was blown away by their creativity, enthusiasm, and eagerness to see THE DEAD MAN reach its full potential. They get exactly what Bill and I are trying to do with this series.

And what is that, you ask?

We want to capture the spirit of the “men’s action adventure” paperbacks of the 70s and 80s – short, tightly-written books full of hard-boiled heroes, outrageously sexy women, wild adventure, and gleefully over-the-top plots – and reboot the genre for a new generation that maximizes the potential of the Kindle.

And with Thomas & Mercer behind us, I don't see how we can fail.

PimPage: An Occasional Feature in Which I Call Interesting Books to Your Attention Revenge: A Mick Murphy Mystery (9781463578091): Michael Haskins: Books: Journalist Mick Murphy is walking across Harvard Yard when his name is called out. He turns and sees the woman of all his sexual fantasies. Under the spell of the pretty Filipina, Murphy is led into her search for the men that abused her brother while he was at Harvard. On the flight back to Los Angeles area, Murphy agrees to put her in contact with some of his old Harvard classmates and they soon begin showing up brutally murdered. His desire for his fantasy girls has him in jeopardy of losing close friends - including his on again/off again romantic interest. When he finally confronts his Filipina about the murders she admits her family is involved in the killings to revenge her brother's suicide. Before it's over Murphy's life is threatened and he learns that his fantasy is more of a nightmare. In the climatic ending Murphy faces the possibity of losing more than friends and a fantasy love.

The Times They Have a-Changéd

CBS St. Louis: Officials at a small northwest Missouri elementary school say they were stunned when a kindergarten student brought his mom’s crack pipe and some drugs for show-and-tell.


Charlie Sheen and Warner Bros. near settlement over his firing - The actor, ousted from his starring role on the CBS sitcom 'Two and a Half Men' in March, is reportedly expected to receive about $25 million from the Hollywood studio.

Win an E-Reader

Original crime stories, exclusive excerpts, blog posts, giveaways |

You have to register to enter.

Florida Leads the Way

Florida firm offers free AK-47s to new customers

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

And It's Only Getting Worse

The drought in Texas, that is.

And Who Can Blame Them?

Customs Tries to Take Aussie Diplomat's Vegemite

Today's Vintage Ad

Frances Bay, R. I. P. Frances Bay, a character actress who late in life became a mainstay of television — playing roles from Arthur Fonzarelli’s grandmother on “Happy Days” to the woman who scraps with Jerry Seinfeld over a loaf of marble rye — died on Thursday in Los Angeles. She was 92.

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Not That There's Anything Wrong with That

Report: N.Y. assistant prosecutor doubled as paid fetishist


Edward de Roo, The Young Wolves, Ace, 1959

New story by Martha Wells

Martha Wells -- Excerpts and Stories -- The Almost Last Voyage of the Wind-ship Escarpment by Martha Wells

The story is set in the same world as The Cloud Roads. Check it out.

Get a Rope!

Orange UK: Eight Amish men have been jailed in the US for refusing to attach orange safety triangles to their horse-drawn buggies.

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Another Bouchercon Photo

Tom Roberts, Bob Randisi, Larry Sweazy, and me at the Black Dog Books table.

Six Comics Perversely Cast as Terrifying Psychos

Six Comics Perversely Cast as Terrifying Psychos

Hat tip to Jeff Segal.

Today's Western Movie Poster

No Comment Department

Americans and Text Messaging | Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project: Young adults are the most avid texters by a wide margin. Cell owners between the ages of 18 and 24 exchange an average of 109.5 messages on a normal day—that works out to more than 3,200 texts per month—and the typical or median cell owner in this age group sends or receives 50 messages per day (or 1500 messages per month).

How to write a Dracula pastiche

The Little Professor: How to write a Dracula pastiche

Signed Collectible Comedy

Signed Collectible Comedy on AbeBooks: A man walks into a bar. The bartender says "Hey, why the long face?" The man replies "Because I am Tonight Show host Jay Leno."

...nothing? Is this thing on?

Okay, it's hard to be funny. Most of us probably shouldn't even try. But there are those blessed, beloved gems among us who have such a knack for timing, language and humor that they can live off it. From the quirky and observational Jerry Seinfeld and the caustic and cynical George Carlin, all the way to the ridiculous neuroses of Woody Allen and the uniquely brilliant Gilda Radner, every comedian is different, and that uniqueness, the ability to stand out and be memorable is a big part of what they strive for.

Forgotten Films: Fort Ti

Ed Gorman mentioned this movie in an e-mail a few weeks back and sent me into a veritable frenzy of nostalgia.

When I was a kid, my grandmother and aunt would sometimes take me and my brother and sister to Galveston for a few days in the summer. For my brother and sister, the attractions were the Gulf of Mexico, the waves, the beach, the seashells, and so on. I liked those things, too, but what I liked most was that there were first-run movies in the theaters. In my hometown, we had to wait weeks for films to reach us, and we got to see them long after the new had worn off. And as far as I know, there was never a 3-D movie shown in Mexia, Texas.

So instead of the beach and the waves and all that other stuff, the big attraction for me was getting to go to a movie. In 1953, that movie was Fort Ti. It might not be a great film, but in 3-D to a kid my age, it was a miracle. The story's about Rogers' Rangers in the French and Indian Wars, but I didn't care. All I cared about was the tomahawks and arrows flying around my ears, cannons firing in my face, and leering redskins stalking out into the audience.

My grandmother went to this movie with us, and it may well have been the last time she was in a theater, though she lived for twenty more years. She was a hilarious embarrassment to us all, screaming "Get away from me!" when the Indians seemed to pop out of the screen. Good times, good times.

When I was a kid, I had no idea who William Castle was, but he directed this movie before he went on to do the things for which he's better known. If there was anybody who knew how to work the 3-D for all it was worth, it was Castle. I'd love to see this film again in that format, but I'm sure I never will. There's not even a trailer for it on YouTube, much less a 3-D DVD, and the world is a poorer place for that.

Fort Massacre

Monday, September 19, 2011

Dolores Hope, R. I. P.

The Hollywood Reporter: Dolores DeFina Hope, a singer, philanthropist and the wife of the late, legendary comedian Bob Hope, died Monday of natural causes at her Toluca Lake home in Los Angeles. She was 102.

Zombie Update

Did Zombies Roam Medieval Ireland? : Discovery News: Two early medieval skeletons were unearthed recently in Ireland with large stones wedged into their mouths -- evidence, archaeologists say, that it was feared the individuals would rise from their graves like zombies.

The skeletons, which were featured in a British documentary last week, emerged during a series of digs carried out between 2005 and 2009 at Kilteasheen, near Loch Key in Ireland by a team of archaeologists led by Chris Read from the Institute of Technology in Sligo, Ireland and Thomas Finan from the University of St. Louis.

Link via Neatorama.


The Anthonys, the Shamuses, and the Macavitys.

Wilma Lee Cooper, R. I. P. Wilma Lee Cooper, a perennial favorite with the Grand Ole Opry and a member, with her husband, Stoney, of a popular tradition-steeped country singing duo, died on Tuesday at her home in Sweetwater, Tenn. She was 90.

PimPage: An Occasional Feature in Which I Call Interesting Books to Your Attention Dismal River (9781610090131): Wayne D. Dundee: Books: The Nebraska Sandhills of the 1880s are a vast, untamed expanse of treeless, rolling hills scoured by harsh wind and blistering sun. Into this rugged landscape former Indian scout Lone McGantry reluctantly agrees to lead an expedition of explorers and adventurers headed by an English lord. The hardships of the environ-ment soon become secondary, however, when other threats—both from within and without—overtake the expedition. Deceit, betrayal, stampeding buffalo, a raging grass fire, and a band of ruthless marauders all must be dealt with. The very survival of the expedition is at stake. Lives will be lost and the banks of the Dismal River will be scorched and stained by blood before the ordeal is finished.

Meanwhile, in Another Part of St. Louis . . . .

The Raw Story: An inmate in the St. Louis city jail escaped Friday after fighting off more than a dozen correctional officers using a self-made pair of nunchucks then climbing to his freedom over a barbed wire and razor fence, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

The prisoner, 31-year-old Lorenzo Pollard, was caught and back in the jail by Sunday night.

Hard Case Crime Update from Charles Ardai

Hard Case Crime Discovers Lost Novel by

Author of Double Indemnity, Mildred Pierce,
and The Postman Always Rings Twice

James M. Cain’s Final, Unpublished Crime Novel,
THE COCKTAIL WAITRESS, Scheduled for 2012 Release

New York, NY; London, UK (September 19, 2011) – Hard Case Crime, the award-winning line of mystery novels published by Titan Books, today announced the discovery of a lost crime novel written by James M. Cain, author of such classics as Double Indemnity, Mildred Pierce, and The Postman Always Rings Twice. The new novel, The Cocktail Waitress, has never before been published. Hard Case Crime will bring the book out in Fall 2012.

The Cocktail Waitress was the final book written by Cain, who died in 1977. He was working on revisions to the novel until close to the end of his life; handwritten notes and edits appear in the margins of numerous pages. Charles Ardai, founder and editor of Hard Case Crime, first learned of the book’s existence from Max Allan Collins, author of Road to Perdition, and has spent more than nine years tracking down the author’s original manuscript and arranging to get the rights to publish the book.

“Together with Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler, James M. Cain is universally considered one of the three greatest writers of noir crime fiction who ever lived, “ said Ardai, “and for fans of the genre, The Cocktail Waitress is the Holy Grail. It’s like finding a lost manuscript by Hemingway or a lost score by Gershwin – that’s how big a deal this is.”

Combining themes from Mildred Pierce and The Postman Always Rings Twice, The Cocktail Waitress tells the story of a beautiful young widow, Joan Medford, whose husband died under suspicious circumstances. Desperate to make ends meet after his death, she takes a job as a waitress in a cocktail lounge, where he meets two new men: a handsome young schemer she falls in love with, and a wealthy older man she marries.

“Why am I taping this?” Joan narrates. “It’s in the hope of getting it printed to clear my name of the charges made against me…of being a femme fatale who knew ways of killing a husband so slick they couldn’t be proved. Unfortunately, they cannot be disproved either… All I know to do is to tell it and tell it all, including some things no woman would willingly tell…”

“At his best, Cain was an astonishingly strong writer, not just of great crime novels but of great novels, period,” Ardai said. Cain’s work is taught in literature programs at numerous major universities and was also the basis of classic films such as Billy Wilder’s adaptation of Double Indemnity, which boasted a screenplay by Raymond Chandler and was nominated for seven Academy Awards including Best Picture. The Postman Always Rings Twice was adapted as a 1946 film starring Lana Turner and then again in 1981 with Jack Nicholson and Jessica Lange and a screenplay by David Mamet. Mildred Pierce was adapted earlier this year into a critically acclaimed miniseries on HBO for which stars Kate Winslet and Guy Pearce both won Emmy Awards.

The Cocktail Waitress will be released initially in hardcover and e-book editions, with a paperback edition to follow in 2013. Like all of Hard Case Crime’s titles, the book will feature a new cover painting in the classic pulp style.

Life Imitates "Art"

Victoria Advocate:: A wild hog - desperate for a path to freedom, and maybe a quick bite - smashed through a glass entrance at a Goliad Whataburger on Friday night and frightened customers.

Goliad County Sheriff Kirby Brumby said a man was transporting the 250-pound animal from the Schroeder area when it broke out of its trailer near the intersection of State Highway 183 and U.S. Highway 59.

The wayward hog ran toward the fast food burger joint, busting through one of its doors about 7:30 p.m.

Famous Quotes That Were Never Said - Photo Gallery - LIFE

Famous Quotes That Were Never Said - Photo Gallery - LIFE

Headline of the Day

'Proof Nicolas Cage is vampire' | The Sun |News

Today's Vintage Ad

Star Whackers Update

British Columbia: The already bizarre saga of Randy Quaid's Canadian vacation has taken another strange turn, as reality TV star "Dog" Chapman and his wife are vowing to "get ya no matter where you go."

Quaid and his wife Evi have been in Canada since October 2010, claiming that "Hollywood star whackers" south of the border are out to kill them. The pair faces charges of felony vandalism in Santa Barbara, California, and both are wanted on $500,000 bench warrants.

10 Amazing Facts About Dreams

10 Amazing Facts About Dreams | Online Degree Hub


We're getting ready to leave St. Louis, but I wanted to be sure to post the best news from Bouchercon, which is that Ed Gorman was given the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Private Eye Writers of America. Congratulations to Ed on a well-deserved honor.

12 TV School Shows

12 School TV Shows Where No One Seemed to Study | Online College Courses


P. A. Hoover, Scowtown Woman, Ace, 1960

James Lincoln Warren & Janet Hutchings, editor of EQMM

Today's Western Movie Poster

The Children’s Authors Who Broke the Rules

The Children’s Authors Who Broke the Rules - The stylistic eccentricities of Maurice Sendak, Shel Silverstein and Theodor Geisel, a k a Dr. Seuss, are so much a part of the childhood vernacular today that it’s hard to imagine their books were once considered by some to be wholly inappropriate for children.

10 Famous People Who Battled Alzheimer’s

10 Famous People Who Battled Alzheimer’s

Ahoy, Matey!

The Official site for International Talk Like A Pirate Day - September 19

Son of Zorro

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Dick Lochte & Bob Randisi

Today's Vintage Ad

5 Physical Details That Reveal Highly Personal Information

5 Physical Details That Reveal Highly Personal Information |

Headline of the Day

Teenage Lesbian Crime Spree Interrupted by Alleged Lion


Willene Shaw, Out for Kicks, Ace, 1959

10 Creepiest Abandoned Resorts on Earth

10 Creepiest Abandoned Resorts on Earth

Today's Western Movie Poster

15 Fictional Professors We Wish Were Real

15 Fictional Professors We Wish Were Real

Texas Is Nowhere to Be Found

10 Best Cities for Public Transportation

Belle of the Yukon