Monday, August 03, 2020

Another library podcast with mystery short stories.

William Faulkner by Carl Van Vechten.
Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Div
The Elmhurst (IL) Public Library offers the Storytime for Grown-Ups podcast. The following mystery-related stories have been read on the podcast:
  • "Wasps' Nest" by Agatha Christie
  • "The Landlady" by Roald Dahl (Edgar winner, Best Short Story)
  • "Poison" by Roald Dahl
  • "A Rose for Emily" by William Faulkner
  • "Wikipedia Brown" by B. J. Novak
  • "The Cask of Amontillado" by Edgar Allan Poe
  • "Here Lies Another Blackmailer" by Bill Pronzini
  • "The Hangman" by Ian Rankin

Monday, July 27, 2020

Podcast with Bramah, Morrison, Orczy mysteries.

Author Arthur Morrison
Arthur Morrison. NYPL

Staff of the Saint Paul (MN) Public Library have initiated the Adult Storytime Podcast with the following mystery readings:

• "The Lenten Croft Robberies" by Arthur Morrison (with detective Martin Hewitt, 1894)



Ernest Bramah
Ernest Bramah
• "The Coin of Dionysus" by Ernest Bramah (with blind detective Max Carrados, 1913)


Photo of Baroness Orczy
Baroness Orczy
• "The York Mystery" by Baroness Orczy (with the Old Man in the Corner, 1902)

Monday, July 20, 2020

Philip Marlowe via Australia.

A radio series in Australia, Philip Marlowe Investigates, was broadcast in 1953 starring Australian actor-writer-producer Reginald Goldsworthy as Marlowe. Episode 1 was "The Lady in the Lake," and episode 2 was "The High Window." Below is "The Lady in the Lake." The American accents are fairly proficient.

Monday, July 13, 2020

Encouraging new scholars in bibliography.

The New Scholars Program of the Bibliographical Society of America seeks to encourage early-career scholars, graduate students, librarians, booksellers, and collectors in bibliography (defined as any research that deals with the creation, production, publication, distribution, reception, transmission, and subsequent history of textual artifacts). Each year, BSA invites three new scholars to give a 15-minute presentation on their research and offers an honorarium of $1,000. This year, the presentations will be virtual. The application deadline is September 8, 2020. Further details here.

Monday, July 06, 2020

Finding Golden Age gems.

The In GAD We Trust podcast chats with short story sleuth Tony Medawar, who has uncovered unknown or neglected works by authors such as Christianna Brand, John Dickson Carr, Agatha Christie, Anthony Berkeley Cox, Edmund Crispin, Ngaio Marsh, and Dorothy L. Sayers. Medawar talks about his favorite mystery finds and other discoveries he has made. A new volume in Medawar's Bodies from the Library series will be out in October in the United States.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Upcoming online course, African American detective fiction.

Norlisha Crawford, associate professor emerita at University of Wisconsin–Oshkosh who guest edited the Clues theme issue on Chester Himes, will be teaching an online course on African American detective fiction starting in August under the auspices of the Rosenbach in Philadelphia. Authors covered will include Himes, Eleanor Taylor Bland, Walter Mosley, and Nichelle D. Tramble.

Monday, June 22, 2020

The gentleman thief, annotated.

Kyrle Bellew as A. J. Raffles in
the play "Raffles, the Amateur
Cracksman" by E. W. Hornung
and Eugene W. Presbrey.
Ca. 1903. NYPL.
This Web site offers annotations and original illustrations for stories featuring A. J. Raffles, the gentleman thief created by E. W. Hornung, brother-in-law of Arthur Conan Doyle.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Ian Rankin companion published.

The latest in the McFarland Companions to Mystery Fiction series that I edit (vol. 10) has been published. Ian Rankin: A Companion to the Mystery Fiction by Erin E. MacDonald (who wrote the companion on Ed McBain/Evan Hunter) delves into the life and works of Scottish novelist Rankin, the creator of Inspector John Rebus, and tips the scales at more than 400 pp. Booklist called it a “[f]ascinating biography…definitely belongs in mystery reference collections."

Monday, June 15, 2020

CFP, Historical Crime Fiction (theme issue of Clues: A Journal of Detection).

Clues has issued a new Call for Proposals for a theme issue on "Historical Crime Fiction" that will be guest edited by Rosemary Erickson Johnsen (Governors State University; author of Contemporary Feminist Historical Crime Fiction). The deadline for proposals is November 1, 2020.

As usual, Clues considers manuscripts on all aspects of mystery, detective, and crime fiction on an ongoing basis, so authors who have a manuscript on a topic that falls outside the Call for Proposals are welcome to submit to Clues Executive Editor Caroline Reitz at any time.


Tuesday, June 09, 2020

Having Wonderful Crime (1945).

Craig Rice, right, with producer Bob Fellows.
Sourced from the novel by Craig Rice, Having Wonderful Crime features sleuthing couple Carole Landis and George Murphy, aided by their lawyer friend Pat O'Brien, who look into the disappearance of a magician.

Monday, June 08, 2020

The rooms at 221B Baker Street.

The University of Minnesota Libraries have digitized the catalog from the 2007 exhibition "Victorian Secrets and Edwardian Enigmas," which featured re-creations of the sitting room at 221B Baker Street.

Friday, June 05, 2020

A change at Clues.

As McFarland has announced, a new executive editor has been appointed at Clues: A Journal of Detection, the oldest US scholarly journal on mystery/detective/crime fiction: Dr. Caroline Reitz, associate professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice–CUNY and a faculty member of the CUNY Graduate Center. A Victorian specialist, Dr. Reitz coedits the Dickens Studies Annual, teaches frequently on detective fiction, and wrote Detecting the Nation: Fictions of Detection and the Imperial Venture (2004). As a graduate student, she worked at the famed Kate's Mystery Books (owned by the late Kate Mattes) in Cambridge, MA.

She succeeds Dr. Janice Allan (University of Salford, UK), who has served as executive editor for eight years. As the longtime managing editor of Clues, I am grateful for Dr. Allan's long service and look forward to working with Dr. Reitz.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Wait until Dark (1982).

This 1982 TV version of the play by Frederick Knott (Dial M for Murder, etc.) features Katharine Ross as a blind woman terrorized by criminals who want something that is in her possession. Stacy Keach takes on several roles in this production. Other costars include Joshua Bryant and Edward Winter.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Studio One: "Ten Thousand Horses Singing" (1952).

In "Ten Thousand Horses Singing," the gallant owner of a fledgling cargo airline (John Forsythe) encounters complications such as a llama, a mysterious woman with an abusive spouse, a lively farming family, and a businessman on the run. Look for James Dean in a small role as a hotel bellhop.

Monday, May 18, 2020

What's in a name? The messages in detective monikers.

In the California Literary Review, Jem Bloomfield discusses the messages conveyed through author choices for the names of their detectives. For example, Agatha Christie's Harley Quin suggests Harlequin, who has taken various roles in literature (such as a masked figure in the Commedia del'Arte).

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

The Scarf (1951).

In The Scarf, John Ireland is convicted of murder, although he has no memory of the crime, and is confined to an insane asylum. He escapes to find out the truth and meets Mercedes McCambridge.

Monday, May 11, 2020

BFI choices, works with cinema and mystery.

"Flick Lit" presents recommendations by the British Film Institute's Sight & Sound contributors of 100 novels that deal with cinema. The piece states that George R. Sims's "Our Detective Story" (1897) is the "earliest crime drama involving film."

The following mystery-related works are included:

Tuesday, May 05, 2020

Remembering Maj Sjowall:
The Laughing Policeman (1973).

Maj Sjowall, best known for the Martin Beck series that she wrote with her partner, Per Wahloo, died on April 29 at age 84. The fourth book in the series, The Laughing Policeman, received an Edgar for Best Novel and was released as a film in 1973 with Walter Matthau, Bruce Dern, and Louis Gossett Jr.

Monday, May 04, 2020

Allingham's "Room to Let."

In "Room to Let," Margery Allingham's only radio play, a new lodger who behaves strangely unsettles a widow and her daughter, and the outcome of the case baffles seasoned investigators. This production is by the Old Court Radio Theatre Company.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Dummy (1979).

In Dummy, deaf lawyer Paul Sorvino defends LeVar Burton, a deaf man unable to speak who is accused of murder. The writer is Edgar winner Ernest Tidyman (Shaft, The French Connection).

Monday, April 27, 2020

Addl funding for online dime novel project.

Villanova's Falvey Memorial Library announced that it has received a nearly $350,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to continue digitizing dime novels in partnership with Northern Illinois University (Nickels and Dimes collection, which offers research opportunities), Bowling Green State University, Oberlin, and Stanford. Comments by Falvey's Demian Katz indicate that the concentration will be on works issued by Street & Smith, a major dime novel publisher.

The project has provided many valuable mystery-related works, including those by female authors such as Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Anna Katharine Green, and Metta Fuller Victor (aka Seeley Regester).

Illustration from The Figure Eight (1869), by Seeley Regester
(aka Metta Fuller Victor). NIU Nickels and Dimes Collection

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Remembering Brian Dennehy:
Perfect Witness (1989).

Amid the large body of work of veteran actor Brian Dennehy, who died on April 15, is the TV movie Perfect Witness (1989),  in which he appears as a district attorney wishing to prosecute a mob killing, but the witness (Aidan Quinn) faces threats to his family.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Mysteries through L.A. Theatre Works.

Looking for something mystery-related to listen to during an extended period at home? L.A. Theatre Works has the following programs available on Sound Cloud:

• John Ball's In the Heat of the Night


Arthur Conan Doyle's The Hound of the Baskervilles

• Reginald Rose's Twelve Angry Men

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Million Dollar Weekend (1948)

In Million Dollar Weekend, stockbroker Gene Raymond faces blackmail and ruination when he decides to embezzle funds from his firm. Raymond also directs and shares a writing credit on the film.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Potential undergraduate and other projects, Nickels & Dimes collection.


Mary Elizabeth Braddon's
Three Times Dead (1881).
Nickels & Dimes Collection, NIU
The librarians at Northern Illinois University's Digital Library have suggestions to offer for virtual projects for undergraduates and others involving the Nickels & Dimes collection.

Tuesday, April 07, 2020

Chance Meeting (1959).

When a woman is murdered after having an affair with Dutch painter Jan Van Rooyen (Hardy Kruger), Van Rooyen finds that he is the top suspect of Inspector Morgan (Stanley Baker). Costars include Michelene Presle, Gordon Jackson, and Robert Flemyng.

Monday, April 06, 2020

Clues 38.1: Asimov, Christie, Conan Doyle, Ellroy, Flynn, Hammett, and more.

Clues 38.1 has been published; the abstracts follow below. Contact McFarland to order the print issue.  Ebook versions are available: GooglePlay, Kindle, and Nook 

Introduction: Beginnings and Endings / JANICE M. ALLAN (Salford University)
The Clues executive editor outlines the content of Clues 38.1, with articles on authors such as Isaac Asimov, Cheng Xiaoqing, Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle, Ruth Dugdall, James Ellroy, Gillian Flynn, Dashiell Hammett, Tatiana Lobo, Satyajit Ray, Susanne Staun, and Olen Steinhauer.

“Floating Unmoored”: The World of “Tourism” in Olen Steinhauer’s Espionage Trilogy / ROBERT LANCE SNYDER (University of West Georgia)
Olen Steinhauer’s espionage trilogy dramatizes its protagonist’s struggle to forge a centered identity after years of service as a black-ops agent in the CIA’s fictive Department of Tourism. By committing himself to his wife and stepdaughter, Milo Weaver escapes a downward spiral into suicidal disintegration captured by the trope of “floating unmoored.” The series’ recursivity involves structural elements that can be identified as momentum and world-building.

Altering the Hypermasculine through the Feminine: Female Masculinity in Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl / BETH STRATTON 

Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl offers a modern take on the neo-homosocial triangle that results in the triumph of a female masculinity. With the aid of his queer-coded sister, the character of Nick learns to temper his hypermasculinity with a more feminized version of masculinity to win back his wife, Amy.

Hard-Boiled Queers and Communists: James Ellroy’s The Big Nowhere / JOSHUA COMYN (Trinity College, University of Melbourne)
This article argues that the characterization of the killer in James Ellroy’s The Big Nowhere (1988), together with Ellroy’s development as a novelist, can be illuminated through the representation of psychoanalysis and Marxism within the novel, as well as by the historical context of the novel’s fictional setting.

Resisting Invisibility: Mothers and Human Trafficking in Ruth Dugdall’s Nowhere Girl and Susanne Staun’s Skadestuen  / CHARLOTTE BEYER (University of Gloucestershire)
Human trafficking is regularly presented in twenty-first-century crime fiction, frequently through stereotypes of femininity but rarely involving mothers or maternal experience. This article seeks to remedy this gap in representation by analyzing two twenty-first-century crime novels featuring trafficking plots that focus specifically on the politics of representing mothers.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Plunder Road (1957).

In Plunder Road, a gang headed by Gene Raymond robs a train of $10M in gold, but evading the police and camouflaging the gold pose significant difficulties.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Update: Anna Katharine Green induction into New York State Writers Hall of Fame.

New edition of Anna Katharine Green's
That Affair Next Door (1897) coming
soon from Poisoned Pen Press/Sourcebooks
I've been advised by the Empire State Center for the Book, which hosts the NYS Writers Hall of Fame, that the ceremony at the Princeton Club for the 2020 inductees (including mystery pioneer Anna Katharine Green) has been moved to September 14.

Here's my original post on the subject.

Update, 5-26-20. I've been advised that the induction is being moved to June 7, 2021.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Moonlight Murder (1936).

In Moonlight Murder, an opera singer dies in front of a large audience, and detective Chester Morris is on the case.