Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Foxwell on mystery reviewing, EQMM blog.

Today on the EQMM blog "Something Is About to Happen," I discuss "The Not-So-Simple Art of Mystery Reviewing," including a look back at some eminent reviewers (such as Walter R. Brooks, Dorothy L. Sayers, Dorothy B. Hughes, Howard Haycraft, and Anthony Boucher).

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Elmore Leonard speaks, 1984.

This interview with Elmore Leonard was part of the First Edition TV series on PBS station WNET cohosted by noted critic John Leonard (no relation) and Nancy Evans. In it, Elmore Leonard cites such diverse influences as Erich Maria Remarque, Ernest Hemingway, James M. Cain, and Mark Harris (Bang the Drum Slowly) and addresses his cross-genre works, his approach to dialogue, and the National Lampoon parody of his style.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Clues 35.1: Conan Doyle, French, Mitchell, Oates, Orczy et al.

Clues vol. 35, no. 1 (2017) has been published, although it is not yet available in e-versions (I will post when these are available). Contact McFarland to obtain a print copy of the issue or to subscribe to the journal.

The following are the abstracts for the issue:

Introduction: Reevaluating the Past and the Present
JANICE M. ALLAN

After Sherlock: The Age of Fallible Detectives
MAURIZIO ASCARI (University of Bologna)
In the wake of Sherlock Holmes’s success, writers and critics explored the relationship of the fallible detective to the ideological and aesthetic characteristics of the Golden Age. The author examines this phenomenon, shedding light on the transition between the infallible detectives of positivism and the vulnerable detectives of post–World War II psycho-thrillers.

Old Holmes: Sherlock, Testosterone, and "The Creeping Man" SYLVIA PAMBOUKIAN (Robert Morris University)
Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The Creeping Man” captures the early–twentieth century’s interest in male menopause and hormone replacement. The now-retired Sherlock Holmes and the aged Professor Presbury embody the conflict between aging as diminishment and aging as healthy and vigorous, a conflict still affecting readers who hesitate to accept Holmes as elderly. 

"Look at This Map": Arthur Conan Doyle's Use of Diegetic Illustrations in The Return of Sherlock Holmes 
THOMAS VRANKEN (University of Melbourne)
Four stories from The Return of Sherlock Holmes in the Strand Magazine and Collier's Weekly featured hand-drawn maps and other visual material supposedly created by Arthur Conan Doyle’s characters. These peculiar diegetic phenomena serve an ambivalent, even contradictory, function, both drawing in and repulsing the reader.

Arthur Conan Doyle's Lens KATHERINE VOYLES
The author argues that relations of scale are central to the late-nineteenth-century detective fiction of Arthur Conan Doyle, in which the movement between large and small, far and near, and the distant and the intimate is condensed by making Sherlock Holmes’s own vision the locus of that movement.

True Cock-and-Bull Stories: Negotiating Narrative Authority in Emmuska Orczy’s “Man in the Corner” Tales RACHEL SMILLIE
Critical studies of Baroness Emmuska Orczy’s “Man in the Corner” narratives have been dominated by the collected edition The Old Man in the Corner; however, this edition fundamentally alters the dynamic of the original stories. Revisiting the original tales, this article interrogates the relationship among detective, narrator, and reader.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Candles at Nine (1944).

In this film, based on The Mouse Who Wouldn't Play Ball (1943) by Detection Club member Anthony Gilbert, a wealthy miser is murdered after tormenting his relatives with speculations about who will receive his money after he dies. The heir is revealed to be an aspiring actress, who must spend a month in the miser's mansion to receive her inheritance. But there are those who are disgruntled by the chosen heir and retaliate.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Conan Doyle works at UNC Chapel Hill.

Richard Doyle, from
A Journal Kept by
Richard Doyle

(1885)
The Rare Book Blog at UNC Chapel Hill highlights spiritualism-related works in its collection by Arthur Conan Doyle as well as In Fairyland by Richard Doyle (uncle of Arthur), offering a peek at Richard's illustrations for the book and showing a distinct interest in fairies by the family. Conan Doyle's relatives included several artists (such as his father, Charles Altamont Doyle).

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

"The Thirty-Two Friends of Gina Lardelli" (1959).

Rita Moreno with
Jeffrey Hunter, ca. 1956
The former teacher of model Gina Lardelli (Rita Moreno) appeals to private eye Lucius Crane (Robert Middleton) to investigate when her death is chalked up to suicide. This episode was the pilot for the TV series The Fat Man (based on the character created by Dashiell Hammett and the radio series with J. Scott Smart) that did not pan out. The writers are Ivan Goff and Ben Roberts (Ironside, Mannix, Shake Hands with the Devil, White Heat).

Monday, April 10, 2017

On early Sherlock Holmes fandom.

Publisher and MP
Sir George Newnes
In TWC: Transformative Works and Cultures, Plymouth State University English department chair Ann McClellan discusses the role of the magazine Tit-Bits in building the popularity of Sherlock Holmes (including publisher George Newnes's strategies for raising Holmes's profile with readers and the place of celebrity culture).

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Happy centenary, Robert Bloch.

Robert Bloch (Psycho; Alfred Hitchcock Presents; Alfred Hitchcock Hour; three episodes of Star Trek, etc.) was born today in Chicago in 1917. Clues 31.1 (2013) published (in the issue on Hitchcock and adaptation) "Adapting Poe, Adapting Hitchcock: Robert Bloch in the Shadow of Hitchcock's Television Empire" by Dennis R. Perry and Carl H. Sederholm.

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Fourteen Hours (1951).

Scene from Fourteen Hours
In Fourteen Hours, cop Paul Douglas attempts to coax a despondent Richard Basehart off the ledge of a tall building. Directed by Henry Hathaway and based on "The Man on the Ledge" (The New Yorker 16 Apr. 1949) by crime reporter, war correspondent, and screenwriter Joel Sayre, the film also features Barbara Bel Geddes, Debra Paget, Agnes Moorehead, Robert Keith, Howard da Silva, Jeffrey Hunter, and Grace Kelly in her film debut.

Monday, April 03, 2017

The unique world of Harry Stephen Keeler.

Ramble House edition of
Keeler's Thieves' Nights
On the Center for Fiction blog The Book Drop, Mercantile Library librarian Jon Michaud discusses the offbeat work (including the never-to-be-forgotten flying strangler baby) of Harry Stephen Keeler (1890–1967) with Keeler experts Ed Park and Richard Polt: "It's also interesting to compare him to Agatha Christie, his exact contemporary."