Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Fast and Loose (1939).

In Fast and Loose, Robert Montgomery and Rosalind Russell are husband-and-wife booksellers on the trail of rare book thieves. Other films in this series are Fast Company (with Melvyn Douglas, 1938) and Fast and Furious (with Franchot Tone and Ann Sothern, 1939).

Monday, September 28, 2015

Early Hitchcock.

Ad for Three Live Ghosts (1922)
Henry K. Miller in the BFI's Sight & Sound magazine discusses recently discovered Hitchcock silent film work—The Man from Home (1922) and Three Live Ghosts (1922)—but the versions found bear evidence of hands other than Hitchcock's.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

"Age of Peril" (1952).

In this February 1952 episode of Tales of Tomorrow adapted from "Crisis 1999" (EQMM, Aug 1949) by mystery-sci fi author Fredric Brown, an agent (character actor Dennis Patrick) sets out to discover who is leaking classified defense secrets. Phyllis Kirk co-stars.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Results from Sept 10 Bloomsbury auction.

Graham Greene
Some results of interest from the Sept 10 bibliophile auction at Bloomsbury:

Black Plumes (1940) by Margery Allingham, 1st ed., £260 (approx US$404).

From Russia with Love (1957) by Ian Fleming, 1st ed., £200 (approx US$311).

The Fallen Idol, Our Man in Havana, Stamboul Train, The Third Man, and 12 other 1st eds. by Graham Greene, £420 (approx US$652).

Brighton Rock (1938) by Graham Greene,  1st ed., £300 (approx US$466).

Unnatural Causes (1967) by P. D. James, 1st ed., £220 (approx US$342).

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold and The Looking-Glass War by John le Carre, 1st eds., £280 (approx $435).

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Clues 33.2: Patricia Highsmith, Per Wahlöö.

In honor of the 20th anniversary of Patricia Highsmith's death and the 40th anniversary of Per Wahlöö's death, Clues 33.2 (2015) has been published. It is a theme issue on the work of Highsmith, plus reveals Wahlöö's plans for another Martin Beck novel near the end of his life. Abstracts follow below. Contact McFarland to order the issue or to subscribe to the journal.

Update. Issue is now available on Nook, Kindle, and Google Play

Introduction: Re-Evaluating Patricia Highsmith
FIONA PETERS (Bath Spa Univ, UK)

Conformity and Singularity in Patricia Highsmith’s Early Novels
This essay explores Highsmith’s critique of the American suburbs in the novels of the 1950s and early 1960s. It focuses on This Sweet Sickness, highlighting not only Highsmith’s critique of conformity but also her recognition of the threat of psychic breakdown for those who resisted cultural norms.

“Sooner or later most of us get hooked”:
The Question of Insanity in Patricia Highsmith’s Strangers on a Train and The Talented Mr. Ripley

This article considers constructions of insanity in Strangers on a Train and The Talented Mr. Ripley in the context of historical understandings of psychopathy and sociopathic personality disturbance. It examines Patricia Highsmith’s psychological influences and assesses how her novels have been read in relation to changing notions of criminal insanity in psychiatry, law, and culture.

Under an Atomic Sky: Patricia Highsmith, Fyodor Dostoevsky, and the Apocalyptic Imagination
ILSE SCHRYNEMAKERS (Queensboro Community College, NY)
This essay contextualizes Patricia Highsmith’s crime fiction within the ethos of a world with the atomic bomb, examining how her characters fit the prototype of Americans striving for and achieving a comfortable life. It also explores the significance of characters in such a world committing seemingly irrational actions.

Living “As If”: Ripley’s Imaginary and the Problem of Other People in The Talented Mr. Ripley
BRUCE WYSE (Wilfrid Laurier Univ, Canada)
In Patricia Highsmith’s The Talented Mr. Ripley, Tom Ripley finds reading people a challenge but copes through a form of everyday detection. The author argues that Ripley is an “as-if” character who passes for “normal” until his fantasized rapport with Dickie collapses. Through Dickie’s murder, he recaptures this imaginary bond.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Foxwell on Femmes Fatales blog.

I'm the guest today on the Femmes Fatales blog, talking about my anthology In Their Own Words: American Women in World War I, which will be published September 25. The post includes a photo of the "fingerprint girls" of the war.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Evil Mind (aka The Clairvoyant, 1934).

Claude Rains plays a con artist who finds that his mind-reading act is resulting in real predictions of the future. Fay Wray co-stars. Screenplay contributors include Charles Bennett (Blackmail, Foreign Correspondent) and Bryan Edgar Wallace (son of Edgar Wallace).

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

An early ghostly turn by Agatha Christie.

Agatha Christie, 1964.
Dutch National Archives
A child ghost is featured in Agatha Christie's "The Lamp" (1933) that is part of the BBC Radio 4 Extra series Haunted.

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

The Suspect (dir. Robert Siodmak, 1944).

Directed by Robert Siodmak (The Spiral Staircase), The Suspect is based on James Ronald's novel This Way Out (which fictionalized the Dr. Crippen case). It features Charles Laughton, Ella Raines, and Henry Daniell.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

A Slight Case of Murder (1938).

Based on a play by Damon Runyon, A Slight Case of Murder features Edward G. Robinson as a former bootlegger trying to make a splash in high society but facing complications when four corpses show up in his house.