Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Brother Orchid (1940).

When gangster Edward G. Robinson goes up against aspiring mob boss Humphrey Bogart, he is wounded and is cared for by the brothers in a monastery, whose livelihood is threatened by the criminals.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Eudora Welty and mystery.

Eudora Welty, 1980.
Library of Congress,
Prints and Photographs Div.
The 2019 Eudora Welty Conference, which will be hosted by the College of Charleston on February 21–23, will include the February 22 panel "Welty and Mystery," with the following presentations:
Eudora Welty’s Career in Mystery Fiction. Harriet Pollack (College of Charleston)

Chester Himes, Harper Lee, Eudora Welty: The Civil Rights Movement on a Crime Fiction Continuum. Jacob Agner (Univ of Mississippi)

Murder, Mystery, and Motivation: Eudora Welty’s The Optimist’s Daughter and Agatha Christie’s The Body in the LibrarySarah Ford (Baylor Univ)

Wanted Dead Or Alive: Last Years’ Dead Branches. Rebecca Mark (Tulane Univ)

“The Writer as Detective Hero”:  Eudora Welty and Her Late Fiction. Suzanne Marrs (Millsaps College)
I would imagine the relationship between Welty and Kenneth Millar (aka Ross Macdonald) will be discussed, including Welty's famous review of Macdonald's The Underground Man. Further details can be found in Meanwhile There Are Letters: The Correspondence between Eudora Welty and Ross Macdonald, ed. Marrs and Tom Nolan (Macdonald's biographer).

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Feb 23 event at Berkeley on Urdu spy fiction.

The House of Fear by Ibne Safi
On February 23, the Institute for South Asia Studies and the Berkeley Urdu Initiative will host UC Berkeley lecturer Gregory Maxwell Bruce, who will discuss Urdu spy fiction such as works by Ibne Safi (1928–80, pseudonym of Asrar Ahmad). Read more about the event.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

The Unfaithful (1947).

Zachary Scott, Ann Sheridan, and Lew Ayres
in The Unfaithful (1947)
In The Unfaithful, Ann Sheridan claims that she killed an intruder in self-defense, but evidence emerges that she was more than well acquainted with the dead man. Lew Ayres, Zachary Scott, Eve Arden, and Jerome Cowan costar. The film is based on "The Letter" by Somerset Maugham (compare with the Bette Davis version), with a screenplay by David Goodis.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

"Her Last Adventure" (1952).

Based on the 1925 story of the same name by Marie Belloc Lowndes (The Lodger, etc.), this 19 August 1952 episode of Suspense features a wealthy bride beginning to wonder about the fate of her husband's prior fiance. Costars are Arlene Francis and Lloyd Bridges. Steve Haste states in Criminal Sentences that the Patrick Mahon case is the basis for the story; the married Mahon killed his pregnant girlfriend Emily Kaye in 1924 and was hanged.

Note that there is a new collection of Lowndes's short stories, A Monstrous Regiment of Women, that is edited by past Clues contributor Elyssa Warkentin and is published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Green's The Step on the Stair enters the public domain.

House diagram from The Step on the Stair
The Tisch Library of Tufts University notes that one of the books that entered the public domain on 1 January 2019 is The Step on the Stair by Anna Katharine Green, which involves the murder of a wealthy man and a hidden will. "Admirable craftsmanship," deemed the World's News of Sydney, Australia.

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

"Lullaby" (1953).

In this 3 October 1953 episode of Revlon Mirror Theatre adapted from "The Hummingbird Comes Home" by Cornell Woolrich, a blind woman (Agnes Moorehead, in her TV debut) suspects her son (Tom Drake) of involvement in robbery and manslaughter. Lee Marvin costars.

Monday, January 07, 2019

Paretsky to receive Fuller Award.

On May 9 at the Newberry Library, Sara Paretsky will receive the Fuller Award for lifetime achievement from the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame. The event is free and open to the public.

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Charlie McCarthy, Detective (1939).

Edgar Bergen, Constance Moore, and Charlie McCarthy
in Charlie McCarthy, Detective
In the comic Charlie McCarthy, Detective, Charlie McCarthy, Mortimer Snerd, and Edgar Bergen are on the case when shady magazine publisher Louis Calhern is murdered. Robert Cummings costars. Charlie sings, "I'm Charlie McCarthy, Detective . . . they call me the Slap-Happy Sleuth." Despite Charlie's assertions, it's Edgar who does most of the detecting in the film.