Thursday, April 28, 2011

Carnegie Mellon's Posner Collection.

"I clapped a pistol to his
head." Illust. Sidney Paget
The Adventures of
Sherlock Holmes
Carnegie Mellon's Posner Collection allows bibliophiles to look at the rare books in its collection online, page by page. The following books from the collection may be of interest to genre fans:

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, first ed. (1892), by Arthur Conan Doyle, illus. Sidney Paget

The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, first ed. (1894), by Arthur Conan Doyle, illus. Sidney Paget

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, limited ed. (1952), by Robert Louis Stevenson, illus. Edward A. Wilson

The Time Machine: An Invention (1895), by H. G. Wells (dedicated to W. E. Henley)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Poe Museum exhibition, "The Birth of Mystery."

Edgar Allan Poe, 1848.
Library of Congress,
Prints and Photographs
The Poe Museum opens the new exhibition "The Birth of Mystery" tomorrow in honor of the 170th birthday of "The Murders in the Rue Morgue." It includes a first printing of "The Murders in the Rue Morgue," documents concerning the murder of Mary Rogers (the basis of Poe's "The Mystery of Marie Roget"), and illustrations related to Poe's work.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tribute to Ernie Kovacs.

The legendary
Nairobi Trio
Catch this clip from the Paley Center for Media on "The Life and Legacy of Ernie Kovacs." A new DVD collection of Kovacs's work is now available.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Graphic novel version, The Sign of the Four.

Sterling Publishing has issued a graphic novel version of Arthur Conan Doyle's The Sign of the Four by Ian Edginton and I. N. J. Culbard. Library Journal looks at it here as part of a larger piece on graphic novels; School Library Journal reviewed Edginton and Culbard's earlier collaboration on A Study in Scarlet in 2010.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Cornell to preserve early accounts of U.S. trials.

Rendering of Lizzie Borden
Phrenological Journal,
Dec 1892. The phrenologists
judged that her face showed
"courage, selfishness, and
executive ability."
Cornell University Library has received a grant to preserve accounts of early American trials such as the Lizzie Borden case. Trials covered run from the 1600s to the turn of the century. (Hat tip to Fine Books & Collections)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A history of the Illustrated Police News.

In this podcast from the British Library Linda Stratmann discusses the sensational periodical Illustrated Police News that began in the Victorian era, which included crime coverage; she mentions the treatment of one of the victims of Jack the Ripper in its pages. The Illustrated Police News is the subject of her new book Cruel Deeds and Dreadful Calamities.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Silva Screen remasters Fear Is the Key (1972).

Barry Newman in his
muscle car in Fear Is
the Key
dir. Michael Tuchner)
Silva Screen Records, which specializes in film and TV music, has issued a remastered version of Fear Is the Key, the jazzy soundtrack composed by Roy Budd for the 1972 film adaptation of Alistair MacLean's novel. The film starred Barry Newman (aka TV lawyer Petrocelli) as a man who plots revenge after his family is killed.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Happy birthday, mystery composer Miklos Rozsa.

Distinguished film composer Miklos Rozsa was born today in Budapest in 1907. His mystery-related film scores
Barry Fitzgerald, left, and Don Taylor
in The Naked City
include Double Indemnity (1944; Oscar nominee, Best Score), Blood on the Sun (1945), Spellbound (1945; Oscar winner, Best Score), The Killers (1946; Oscar nominee, Best Score), The Naked City (1948), A Woman's Vengeance (1948), The Bribe (1949), The Asphalt Jungle (1950), Time after Time (1979), and Eye of the Needle (1981). He died in 1995.

To hear some clips from his work, visit the following links:
The Asphalt Jungle
Double Indemnity
The Naked City
Time after Time

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Greene-influenced journal Night and Day returns.

The ABC Book Show discusses the revival by two Random House UK employees of the journal Night and Day, which was originally edited by Graham Greene and was modeled on the New Yorker.  The first free issue can be found here, which includes a short history of the journal under Greene's aegis that mentions poet "Herbert Read [. . . who] revealed unexpected comic gifts as a reviewer of detective novels."

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Happy birthday, Bill Pronzini.

Erle Stanley Gardner's
Exploits of the Patent
Leather Kid
, ed.
Bill Pronzini (2011).
Crippen and Landru
Turning 68 today is Bill Pronzini—MWA Grand Master, Shamus winner, and creator of the Nameless Detective, which are just a few of the items on his long resume.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Edgar Allan Poe, self-publisher?

Edgar Allan Poe, 1848.
Library of Congress,
Prints and Photographs
The always interesting blog Letters of Note features a poignant letter of January 4, 1848, from Edgar Allan Poe that details his despair during his wife's decline and eventual death from tuberculosis, but also reveals his intention to self-publish: "To be controlled is to be ruined."

Monday, April 11, 2011

John Buchan this week on BBC Radio 4 Extra.

This week on BBC Radio 4 Extra, a dying Edward Leithen takes up his final mission in John Buchan's last and perhaps most poignant novel, Sick Heart River (1941). Go here for the schedule; episodes usually can be heard online for a week after broadcast.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Exhibition on the roles and perceptions of journalists.

"Who Is the Journalist? The Past, Present, and Future of News" is a new exhibition at Northwestern University's Main Library that explores real and fictional journalists (the latter includes Brenda Starr). Items from Chester Gould, creator of Dick Tracy, are featured, among others.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Mystery-related films considered lost.

Pauline Frederick, star
of Lydia Gilmore,
Woman in the Case, and
The Paliser Case. NYPL

Lost Films is a project of Deutsche Kinemathek in Berlin that is designed to collect information and serve as a resource on films that are believed to be lost.  Some mystery-related films considered lost are the following:

 •  Sherlock Holmes and the Great Murder Mystery (1908). SH and a gorilla?

 • Lydia Gilmore (1915). Philandering husband murders his lover's spouse; wife attempts cover-up. 

 • The Woman in the Case (1916). Is a suicide actually murder?

 • Col. Heeza Liar, Detective (1917). One in a series of cartoons with a Colonel Blimp-type character.

 • The Paliser Case (1920). The murder of a treacherous man throws suspicion on the woman he lured into a sham marriage.

 •  The Radio Detective (1926). Adventure serial with Boy Scouts versus gangsters.

 • Kismet (1930–31, dir. William Dieterle). Thief is embroiled in a plot against a caliph.

 • Murder Will Out (1939). A valuable piece of jade causes a series of murders.

    Tuesday, April 05, 2011

    Hammer's 1940s–50s crime films.

    Ad for A Case for PC 49.
    In the film and TV journal Scope, David Mann examines some crime films of Hammer after World War II, including The Man in Black (1949; adapt. of John Dickson Carr's radio series Appointment with Fear), Dr. Morelle: The Case of the Missing Heiress (1949), Meet Simon Cherry (1949), and A Case for PC 49 (1951). There's an unfortunate and distracting misspelling of noted producer Val Gielgud's surname throughout.

    Monday, April 04, 2011

    The Road Murder this week on BBC Radio 4 Extra.

    BBC Radio 7 has become BBC Radio 4 Extra; featured this week is Kate Summerscale's The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher on the 1860 Road Murder. Also on the air: Reginald Hill's Dalziel and Pascoe in Bones and Silence. Go here for the schedule; episodes can generally be heard online for a week after broadcast.