Thursday, May 30, 2013

25 years of Malice.

There's a new 25-year history of the Malice Domestic convention, Not Everyone's Cup of Tea, available from Wildside Press. I was a cofounder of the convention and wrote a piece on the Malice anthologies. There are photos and plenty of other goodies included, written by distinguished authors such as Rhys Bowen, Charlaine Harris, Carolyn Hart, Peter Lovesey, and Peter Robinson.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Chesterton, Sayers articles of interest.

Illustration of Chesterton from
Hearst's International (Nov 1921)
Appropriate for today (the birthday of G. K. Chesterton), VII: An Anglo-American Literary Review has posted the following articles online:

• "Two Essays on George MacDonald by G. K. Chesterton" introd. Daniel Gabelman (Scottish novelist MacDonald, best known for At the Back of the North Wind [1871], was the grandfather of mystery author-screenwriter Philip MacDonald). In one essay, Chesterton calls George MacDonald "one of the most remarkable men of our time."

 • "Dorothy L. Sayers's Writings about Work, the Economy and Social Conditions: An Annotated Bibliography" by Christine M. Fletcher

Caroline Barta's "'That Precarious Balance': Harmonizing Temperance in Dorothy L. Sayers's Gaudy Night" is not yet posted from the 2012 issue.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

"Dark Stranger" (1955).

In "Dark Stranger" (the first episode of the TV anthology series The Star and the Story), writer Edmond O'Brien finds that the murder plot in his novel has come to life. Costarring are Joanne Woodward, Evelyn Ankers, and Dan Tobin.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

It came from the archives: G. K. Chesterton.

G. K. Chesterton, NYPL
Displaying distinctive penmanship, G. K. Chesterton wrote this gracious letter to the Barcelona club Ateneu Barcelones in May 1926 (found in the Manuscrits de la Bibloteca de l'Ateneu Barcelones). Ian Ker's biography of Chesterton indicates that PEN's Catalan branch had invited Chesterton to Barcelona; his engagements included a speech on "England Seen from the Outside" at Barcelona University.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Long Arm (aka The Third Key, 1956).

In The Long Arm, Jack Hawkins stars as Scotland Yard superintendent Tom Halliday, who is on the trail of a safecracker and murderer. The film is directed by The Cruel Sea's Charles Frend, with story and screenplay by journalist-producer Robert Barr.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Product of the Day: Clues T-shirt.

Show your support for the study of mystery/detective fiction with this stylish Clues T-shirt. A portion of the proceeds goes to Bowling Green State University's Ray and Pat Browne Popular Culture Library to assist the library in buying mystery materials and maintaining its collections (Pat was the founding editor of Clues). The T-shirt and other Clues items are available at Zazzle's Clues store.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Return of Revelations of a Lady Detective (1864).

Just out in paperback from University of Chicago Press is the British Library's reissue of Revelations of a Lady Detective (1864, attrib. William Stephens Hayward). This is an important early work featuring a female detective. This edition is only for sale in North and South America; UK residents can buy it from the British Library here.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Triple Cross (1966).

In Triple Cross, Christopher Plummer stars as roguish ex-safecracker Eddie Chapman (the subject of Ben Macintyre's Agent Zigzag), who agrees to spy for the Germans—and the British—during World War II.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Today in 1965: The Defenders' final episode.

E. G. Marshall in
The Defenders
The Paley Center for Media remembers that today in 1965, the legal drama The Defenders (with E. G. Marshall) broadcast its final episode (which featured Robert Duvall).

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Lightning Strikes Twice (1951).

In Lightning Strikes Twice, actress Ruth Roman is convinced that exonerated murderer Richard Todd is innocent—until after she marries him. Directed by the legendary King Vidor and adapted from the novel Man without Friends by Margaret Echard, the film also features Mercedes McCambridge, Rhys Williams, Zachary Scott, and Dwayne Hickman.

Monday, May 06, 2013

Take a (virtual) bite of vampire fiction study.

Jeremy Brett in Dracula (1978)
NYPL
Edge Hill University in the United Kingdom will conduct a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) on "Vampire Fictions" that will trace the genre from its 19th-century beginnings to the present. It will start September 3, 2013, and run for 12 weeks. MOOCs, a fairly recent method of online learning, are free to those who do not wish to earn course credit—those who do are required to complete assignments and pay a fee. (Hat tip to Minna Vuohelainen)

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Great Lives: Conan Doyle.

Arthur Conan Doyle.
NYPL
The latest subject in the BBC Radio 4 series Great Lives is Arthur Conan Doyle, selected by author Gyles Brandreth, who calls the creator of Sherlock Holmes "the champion of the good." Also commenting is Conan Doyle biographer Andrew Lycett.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Mike Hammer, anticommunist.

Ralph Meeker as Mike Hammer
in Kiss Me Deadly (1955)
Over on the International Spy Museum's blog, historian Mark Stout and author Michael Barson discuss books published since the 1950s that have dealt with the Soviet threat to the United States, including Mickey Spillane's One Lonely Night (1951).