Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Happy birthday, Jill Paton Walsh.

British mystery and children's author Jill Paton Walsh turns 71 today. Creator of nurse sleuth Imogen Quy, Paton Walsh may be best known for taking on the daunting task of completing Dorothy L. Sayers's last Lord Peter Wimsey novel Thrones, Dominations (1998) and following up with A Presumption of Death (2002).

Monday, April 28, 2008

Foxwell's "Fostering Mystery History: A Manifesto."

I've received several requests to post "Fostering Mystery History: A Manifesto," my speech as Fan Guest of Honor at Malice Domestic XX on April 26th. Click on the link below to read it.

Fostering Mystery History: A Manifesto by Elizabeth Foxwell (2008)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Happy birthday, Nicholas Blake.

Nicholas Blake, the creator of sleuth Nigel Strangeways, was born today in Ireland in 1904. Strangeways, who was inspired by W. H. Auden, appears in some 20 novels, including Thou Shell of Death (1936), The Beast Must Die (1938), Minute for Murder (1946), and A Penknife in My Heart (1958).

You might be more familiar with Blake under his real name: British poet laureate Cecil Day-Lewis, the father of Oscar-winning actor Daniel Day-Lewis.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Off to Malice.

The Bunburyist will take a break for a few days while I attend Malice Domestic (I am one of the fan guests of honor). Back next week.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Happy birthday, Sue Grafton.

Shamus, Anthony, and Macavity winner Sue Grafton, the creator of path-breaking PI Kinsey Millhone, was born today in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1940. Her first novel, Keziah Dane, was published in 1967, and Grafton also has several television scripts to her credit, such as an adaptation of Agatha Christie's Sparkling Cyanide (1983).

Millhone debuted in A Is for Alibi (1982), the same year of the first appearance of Sara Paretsky's V. I. Warshawski. Millhone's latest outing is T Is for Trespass (2007).

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy birthday, Ellen Glasgow; Janet Evanovich.

Richmond's own Ellen Glasgow was born today in 1873. A proponent of women's suffrage and a member of a literary circle that included Allen Tate and Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Glasgow won the Pulitzer Prize for In This Our Life (1941). She died in 1945.

And one-time Trentonian and Silver Dagger winner Janet Evanovich was born today in 1943. The creator of hapless bounty hunter Stephanie Plum, Evanovich--for this native Jersey girl--perfectly captures the bighaired, car-obsessed culture of South Jersey. Her upcoming Plum novel is Fearless Fourteen (out in June); another recent work is How I Write.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Happy birthday, Charlotte Brontë; Priscilla Masters; David Alexander.

Jane Eyre author Charlotte Brontë was born today in 1816; Priscilla Masters, fellow Yorkshire native and creator of Detective Inspector Joanna Piercy, was born today in 1952; and former horse racing columnist and mystery writer David Alexander was born today in Kentucky in 1907. Alexander's best-known creation is sporting newspaper columnist Bart Hardin, who appears in such novels as Murder Points a Finger (1953); Terror on Broadway (1954); Shoot a Sitting Duck (1955); and Dead, Man, Dead (1959). He died in 1973.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Happy birthday, Katherine V. Forrest.

Lambda Award-winning Katherine V. Forrest, the creator of LAPD detective Kate Delafield and supervising editor at Spinsters Ink, was born today in Windsor, Ontario, in 1939. Delafield debuted in Amateur City (1984); her latest appearance is in Hancock Park (2004).

Saturday, April 19, 2008

More help for the online researcher.

The ever-helpful OCLC WorldCat has rolled out a beta version of its Author Identities project. These entries provide a rundown of an author's life and works, the most frequently held works of the author by the world's libraries, links to related names and subjects in the author's life, and even cover art.

Take a look at these sample pages on Edgar Allan Poe, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Isaac Asimov.

Also from OCLC: The top 1000 titles held by the world's libraries (The top mystery work? The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, at #192).

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Thirty Years of Virago Paperbacks.

Rachel Cooke's interesting Guardian article features the 30th anniversary of Virago Modern Classics, an imprint that has showcased the work of many underappreciated female writers, such as Miles Franklin; Winifred Holtby; Rose Macaulay; Muriel Spark; Rebecca West; and the individual who introduced West to her future husband, Vera Brittain. (U.S. authors include Willa Cather, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Helene Hanff, Eudora Welty, and Dorothy West.)

Cooke points out that Virago's edition of Daphne du Maurier's Hungry Hill (orig. publ. 1943) "means, thrillingly, that every one of her books is back in print."

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

From the Dead Professors File.

PhiloBiblo's Jeremy Dibbell reports on how the preserved corpse of 19th-century professor Jeremy Bentham is occasionally wheeled out at University of London faculty meetings where, it is recorded, he is "present but not voting."

Perhaps former dean Bill Crider knows of similar undead faculty members...

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Assassin-Saint.

Regular readers of The Bunburyist may have noticed that postings have been sparse of late, due to various work-related commitments. In addition to serving as managing editor of Clues: A Journal of Detection, I am now the staff editor for The Catholic Historical Review, a quarterly scholarly journal on the history of the Catholic Church based at the Catholic University of America.

The January issue features the article "The Assassin-Saint," in which Donald S. Prudlo discusses how in the thirteenth century Carino of Balsamo was hired to murder St. Peter of Verona and his subsequent life of penitence. Further details on the issue here.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Happy birthday, Beverly Cleary; Scott Turow.

Oregon native and Newbury Medal winner Beverly Cleary, who created Klickitat Street's beloved Beezus Quimby, Ramona Quimby, and Henry Huggins in books such as Henry Huggins (1950), Henry and Ribsy (1954), and Beezus and Ramona (1955), turns 92 today.

And legal eagle Scott Turow was born today in Chicago in 1949. In addition to his thrillers, he is the author of an insightful look at the first year of law school, One L, which also discusses one of his professors--Alan Dershowitz.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Happy birthday, Robert Bloch.

H. P. Lovecraft fan Robert Bloch, probably best known for Psycho (1959) and the Star Trek episode "Wolf in the Fold" (1967), was born today in Chicago in 1917. His career spanned science fiction, horror, suspense, radio comedy and drama, and screenwriting. He died in 1994.

Read this interesting 1973 piece of his on Poe and Lovecraft.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Happy birthday, Washington Irving; Reginald Hill.

Best known for penning "Rip Van Winkle" and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and once captured by pirates, Washington Irving was born today in 1783 in New York City. Note to self: Do not adopt one Irving pseudonym— "Dietrich Knickerbocker." Distinctly uncatchy.

And Diamond Dagger recipient Reginald Hill, creator of Dalziel and Pascoe, turns 72 today. His latest works are Death Comes for the Fat Man and, coming in June, The Roar of the Butterflies (a Joe Sixsmith novel).