Monday, October 19, 2020

Coming in January: Lupin.

On Gizmodo, Charles Pulliam-Moore discusses Lupin, the latest incarnation of Maurice Leblanc's legendary gentleman thief that will be aired on Netflix.

Monday, October 12, 2020

Recent radio production of Sorry, Wrong Number


Lucille Fletcher, ca. 1948

You can catch Bay Area Radio Drama's June production of Lucille Fletcher's Sorry, Wrong Number, here.

Monday, October 05, 2020

Notre Dame's London Book Club:
"Hitchcock in London"

Oscar Homolka and Sylvia
Sidney in Hitchcock's Sabotage

The virtual London Book Club of the University of Notre Dame is currently covering "Hitchcock in London." The episodes include discussions of works adapted for Alfred Hitchcock films such as Marie Belloc Lowndes's The Lodger and Joseph Conrad's The Secret Agent. Catch up with episodes here.

Monday, September 28, 2020

Oct 1 virtual reading of Glaspell's "Trifles."

A scene from Susan Glaspell's "Trifles," n.d. NYPL

Shadowpath Theatre and Newmarket Public Library in Ontario, Canada, will be offering a free virtual reading of Susan Glaspell's "Trifles" (which is the earlier play version of her famous 1917 short story "A Jury of Her Peers"). In the play, two women solve a murder that baffles male investigators. The reading will take place on October 1 at 7 pm EDT. Register here for the event.

Update, October 5, 2020. Watch the play reading below.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Hard-boiled detectives and libraries.

Philip Marlowe (Humphrey Bogart)
meets a librarian from the Hollywood Public
Library (Carole Douglas) in the trailer to
The Big Sleep (1946)

Peter Igelström, librarian at Linköping University's Valla Library, takes an entertaining look at the relationship of hardboiled detectives to libraries and librarians. "One wonders why the library is a potential stigma to a hard-boiled detective," he states.

Monday, September 14, 2020

The challenges of mystery translations.


The podcast In GAD We Trust hosts translator Louise Heal Kawai, who worked on the 2019 translations of The Honjin Murders (1946) by eminent Japanese mystery author Seishi Yokomizo and Murder in the Crooked House (1982) by Soji Shimada. She describes the challenges of the translator such as trying to convey cultural facets that may not be familiar to the reader.

Monday, September 07, 2020

The Hesse crown jewels case.

Among the projects on which the National Archives is requesting volunteer transcribing assistance are court-martial case files of Army Colonel Jack W. Durant and his wife, Captain Kathleen Nash Durant, who were convicted (along with co-conspirator David Watson) of stealing the House of Hesse crown jewels after World War II (Countess Margaret of Hesse-Kassel was a granddaughter of Queen Victoria, and the Duke of Edinburgh's sister Sophie married into the family). For discussions of the case, see Geoffrey E. Duin's article on HistoryNet and Fred L. Borch III's article in The Army Lawyer.

For details on the Citizen Archivist projects at the National Archives, go here.

Monday, August 31, 2020

Online museum exhibition: "Nancy Drew at 90."

Due to COVID-19, the Museum of Childhood Ireland was unable to launch its exhibition "Nancy Drew at 90" in Dun Lagohaire, so it is online instead. It includes details on the cover illustrators and some fascinating international editions such as Alice et les trois clefs (aka The Clue of the Black Keys).

Monday, August 24, 2020

Clues 38.2: Genre b(l)ending.

Volume 38, number 2 of Clues: A Journal of Detection, guest edited by Maurizio Ascari (University of Bologna), has been published on the theme "Genre B(l)ending: Crime's Hybrid Forms." Below are the abstracts for the issue. Contact McFarland to order the issue or a Clues subscription. 

Update, 9-14-20. The ebook versions are now available: Google Play, Kindle, Nook.

Introduction: Make It New, but Don’t Forget / MAURIZIO ASCARI (University of Bologna)

G. K. Chesterton’s Postmodern Anti-Detective Story: Generic Innovation and Transgression in “The White Pillars Murder” / NILS CLAUSSON (University of Regina, Canada)
G. K. Chesterton’s undervalued story “The White Pillars Murder” anticipates the postmodern anti-detective story in the way it transgresses the conventions of the Holmes-style analytic detective story and subversively introduces political critique into a genre, the Golden Age country house mystery, widely regarded as either apolitical or conservative. 

Murder, Mayhem, and Madness: John Dickson Carr’s Gothic Detective Stories / STEFANO SERAFINI (University of Toronto)
This essay investigates the contact zones between gothic and detective fiction within the early work of the significant yet largely neglected author John Dickson Carr. By revealing the transgressive and contaminated character of his narratives, this essay also provides a more nuanced picture of interwar crime-writing, the literary boundaries of which were constantly violated and renegotiated. 

The Cowboy and the Detective: The Case of Craig Johnson / ANTOINE DECHÊNE
This essay focuses on Craig Johnson’s charismatic protagonist Walt Longmire, the county sheriff of Absaroka, Wyoming. A cowboy-detective par excellence, Longmire embodies the interrelationship between the Western and detective fiction while offering a good example of “glocal literature”—that is, a form of literature that is both global and local. 

James Church’s A Corpse in the Koryo and His Inspector O Series: A Noir/Spy Thriller Hybrid Set in North Korea / DAVID C. WRIGHT JR. (Misericordia University)
Analysis of A Corpse in the Koryo, the first book in the Inspector O series by James Church, shows that this series featuring a North Korean detective constitutes a successful genre hybrid: a hard-boiled detective thriller, à la Raymond Chandler, combined with a spy novel in the style of John le Carré. 

Monday, August 17, 2020

Seattle Public Library's Thrilling Tales podcast.

E. Phillips Oppenheim. NYPL

The Seattle Public Library offers the Thrilling Tales podcast with short story readings (in both audio and transcription form). One episode features E. Phillips Oppenheim's "The Reckoning with Otto Schreed" (1922), and another has the G. K. Chesterton story "The Hammer of God" (1910) with Father Brown.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Foxwell on Velona Pilcher, Lucy Maud Montgomery.

Velona Pilcher (center) in the Stanford opera
In Dutch. Stanford Quad, 1917, p. 110.
Over on the blog of my publisher Deborah Adams, I talk about World War I Red Cross searcher Velona Pilcher (playwright of the "female 'Journey's End'"), my book on US women in World War I, and author Lucy Maud Montgomery.

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)



Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

• Update, September 24, 2020
. Episode 4, "The Horror of the Heights" by Arthur Conan Doyle (1913)

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.