Monday, December 30, 2019

The real-life Charlie Chan.

KHOU2 in Honolulu pays tribute to Apana Chang (1871–1933), the first Chinese police officer in Hawaii who was acknowledged by Earl Derr Biggers as the inspiration for Charlie Chan.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

The Lady Confesses (1945).

In The Lady Confesses, a couple's marriage plans are derailed when the man's estranged wife appears and is murdered. His fiance sets out to solve the crime, nosing around the activities of a nightclub. Mary Beth Hughes and Hugh Beaumont costar.

Monday, December 23, 2019

Denise Mina on Scottish legal cases.

"The Trial of Madeleine Smith in the Scotch Court of Session."
1857. NYPL
Mystery novelist Denise Mina is hosting a series on BBC Radio 3 focusing on famous legal cases in Scottish history. The latest episode is on Madeleine Smith, accused of poisoning a former suitor and placed on trial in 1857.

Monday, December 16, 2019

10 great whodunnit films.

On BFI's website, Pamela Hutchinson selects and discusses 10 great whodunnit films such as The Last Warning (1928), which deals with the unsolved murder of an actor onstage, and Green for Danger (1946), which examines murder in a wartime hospital.

Ads for The Last Warning

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Dementia 13 (1963).

In this early film written and directed by Francis Ford Coppola and produced by low-budget specialist Roger Corman, an ax murderer stalks a family that has plenty of secrets to conceal.

Monday, December 09, 2019

The Lost World and conmen.

Scenes from The Lost World (1925)
The latest episode of the American Heritage Center's Archives on the Air deals with conmen who attempted to extort Cathrine Curtis, a producer planning an adaptation of Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World (ultimately released in 1925). The film is notable for its early use of stop-motion animation.

Cathrine Curtis, ca. 1925

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

ELT ends after 60 years.

Sad news: The journal English Literature in Transition, 1880–1920, is closing up shop in late 2020 after a run of more than 60 years. The journal was a friendly venue for scholarly articles on mystery and detective fiction of the period, and editor Robert Langenfeld and I once exchanged info on our respective journals for publication in ELT and Clues in collegial fashion.

For a history of ELT, go here.

Monday, December 02, 2019

ISO: Mystery companion proposals.

I have a wishlist for proposals for the McFarland Companions to Mystery Fiction series that I edit (see below), but I also am interested in hearing from those who would like to prepare a proposal on alternative subjects. Potential subjects must have a substantial body of work (roughly defined as a minimum of 25 books).

Further details on the elements of a proposal.
• If interested, contact me.