Sunday, November 30, 2008

Lindsey Davis this week on BBC Radio 7.

Lindsey Davis's "Sam Spade in a toga," Marcus Didius Falco, is featured on BBC Radio 7 this week in Shadows in Bronze. Click here for the schedule or to listen.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Pimp my bookcart 2008.

The winners of this year's Pimp My Bookcart competition are up at Unshelved. I like the fire engine.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Erle Stanley Gardner on editors.

"Erle declared that when authors 'temporarily down on their luck' came in steady streams to borrow money, the dog would wag his tail in ecstatic greeting. But the minute an honest-to-God editor came, the dog bit him." --Dorothy B. Hughes, Erle Stanley Gardner: The Case of the Real Perry Mason 185

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Canadian pulp fiction.

The Library and Archives Canada has a neat online exhibition, "Tales from the Vault: Canadian Pulp Fiction, 1940-1952."

About the artwork: Dare-Devil Detective Stories 2. 1 (Aug. 1942). Library and Archives Canada/Rare Books/Pulp Art collection/ Dare-devil detective stories, vol. 2, no. 1 (August 1942)/Box 4

Friday, November 21, 2008

Mystery-related photos in Life photo archive, Google.

You can now search the Life magazine photo archive on Google. When I typed "mystery" into the search box, photos of Mignon G. Eberhart (1960), Harry Stephen Keeler (1947), Mickey Spillane (1952), Rex Stout (1960), and Charlton Heston in a 1949 TV mystery production were some of the results that popped up. There also are several photos of author Craig Rice.

(Hat tip to the AHA blog.)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

George C. Chesbro (1940-2008)

I was saddened to learn of the November 18th death of George C. Chesbro, creator of sleuth and ex-circus performer Mongo Frederickson. The first fan letter I ever wrote was to Chesbro, after I had read the superb Shadow of a Broken Man (1977), and I still remember (and kept for years) the kind postcard he wrote in response. I believe I was about 14 years old at the time. He was a class act.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Puzzling it out at the Lilly Library.

Over at Indiana University's Lilly Library, there's an exhibition on mechanical puzzles from the Jerry Slocum Mechanical Puzzle Collection, and you can see some samples from the collection here.

The Lilly Library also offers online exhibitions on Sherlock Holmes and Ian Fleming.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Helen McCloy/MWA Scholarship for Mystery Writing.

If you know someone working on mystery fiction, nonfiction, plays, or screenplays in a writing program, urge him or her to apply for the Helen McCloy/MWA Scholarship for Mystery Writing. This scholarship, which I proposed while I was serving on the board of directors of Mystery Writers of America, is intended to encourage the next generation of mystery writers. As someone who benefited from the encouragement of English and journalism instructors, I think tangible support is crucial in the often tough world of writing, and we must attend to fostering the next generation of mystery readers and writers if the genre is to maintain its vitality.

Two scholarships of US$500 each are awarded each year. The deadline for applications is February 28, 2009. For further details, go here.

The scholarship is named for writer, editor, agent, and publisher Helen McCloy, creator of sleuthing psychiatrist Basil Willing and an MWA Grand Master. Once married to author Davis Dresser (one incarnation of Brett Halliday), McCloy was a relative of John J. McCloy, who advised presidents from FDR to Reagan.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Wilkie Collins this week on BBC Radio 7.

Wilkie Collins's No Name (1862), in which a daughter discovers her illegitimacy and other family skeletons, is featured this week on BBC Radio 7. Go here for the schedule or to listen.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Dick Francis on BBC Radio 7.

Dick Francis's Enquiry will air on Saturday, November 15, on BBC Radio 7. Click here for the schedule or to listen.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy birthday, Anna Katharine Green.

Anna Katharine Green—a pioneering and hugely popular mystery author in her day for numerous works including The Leavenworth Case (1878); The Doctor, His Wife and the Clock (1895); and The Golden Slipper and Other Problems for Violet Strange (1915)—was born today in Brooklyn in 1846. She graduated from Ripley College (VT) in 1866, making her one of the earliest female college graduates in the United States. In 1884, she married actor Charles Rohlfs, who later designed a successful line of furniture.

The Leavenworth Case sold more than a million copies in Green's lifetime and was studied at Yale Law School for its treatment of circumstantial evidence. Green introduced spinster detective Amelia Butterworth in That Affair Next Door (1897), who is often considered a prototype of Christie's Miss Marple. Green died in 1935.

Her son Roland Rohlfs (1892–1974; shown at left) became a test pilot for Curtiss and broke several aviation records.

"Crime must touch our imagination by showing people, like ourselves, but incredibly transformed by some overwhelming motive."—Anna Katharine Green, "Why Human Beings Are Interested in Crime," American Magazine 87 (Feb. 1919): 3839, 8286. Qtd. in Barbara Ryan, "Anna Katharine Green," Nineteenth-Century American Fiction Writers. Detroit: Gale, 1999.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Andrew Greeley injured.

Author Andrew Greeley, 80, best known for his Blackie Ryan novels, has been injured in a fall and is currently listed in critical condition. Further details here.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Technical difficulties.

The Bunburyist is on hiatus until my DSL service is restored sometime next week.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

A 1921 murder at Syracuse University;
Pan Am Flight 103.

In "SU in the Headlines," Syracuse University remembers Dean John Herman Wharton, who was shot and killed by Prof. Holmes Beckwith on April 2, 1921; Wharton had just fired Beckwith. After shooting Wharton, Beckwith killed himself. Rumors of ghostly gunshots circulated around campus years later.

Syracuse also remembers Pan Am Flight 103 after 20 years (Syracuse, with one of the largest study abroad programs in London, lost 35 individuals over Lockerbie, Scotland, in the bombing of the flight).

Monday, November 03, 2008

Take ice cream, plus one B-17...

American ingenuity in World War II:
According to a 1943 New York Times article . . . American airmen stationed in Britain "place prepared ice-cream mixture in a large can and anchor it to the rear gunner's compartment of a Flying Fortress. It is well shaken up and nicely frozen by flying over enemy territory at high altitudes." — Anne Fadiman, "Ice Cream," At Large and At Small 56
From what I heard about the average temperature inside my father's B-24 (aka "Willie the Wolf"), I believe it.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Daphne du Maurier, John Creasey,
James Sallis this week on BBC Radio 7.

This week, BBC Radio 7 features Daphne du Maurier's The House on the Strand, John Creasey's detective The Toff, and James Sallis's The Eye of the Cricket. Go here for the schedule or to listen.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Archaeologist Shuman's new suspense standalone.

Contract archaeologist Malcolm Shuman has turned his hand to a suspense standalone, The Levee, issued this month by Academy Chicago Publishers. Shuman has published several archaeological mysteries (sometimes under the name M. K. Shuman), such as Past Dying and The Meriwether Murder.