Monday, March 20, 2023

Creating a detective story through art.

Here's an interesting project: artist Daniel Moore is creating a detective story through the use of public domain images such as 1920s movie stills.

Monday, March 13, 2023

New mystery audiobooks from Librivox.

Librivox, which marshals volunteer readers to produce free audiobooks of works in the public domain, has some new mystery-related offerings:

Want to volunteer as a reader? Visit this webpage

Monday, March 06, 2023

Grants for academic research, Sisters in Crime.

Sisters in Crime is offering grants of $500 to those working on research projects that contribute to understanding of the role of women or underrepresented groups in crime fiction. The funds may be used to purchase books. US citizens or legal residents as well as those conducting research on US authors are eligible to apply. The application deadline is April 15, 2023. 

Interested in projects of previous recipients? Go here.

Monday, February 27, 2023

Online TCU exhibition on dime novels.

Texas Christian University's Mary Couts Burnett Library has the online exhibition "A Riotous Imagination; or, Dime Novels in America," which looks at the inexpensive and often lurid tales of adventure, mystery, horror, and romance that emerged in the nineteenth century. Sections of the exhibition include "Cowboys and Detectives," "Investigating Crime," and "Rise of the Pulps."

Monday, February 20, 2023

The agonies of the agony column.

The Ciphers of The Times project at McGill University (headed by Nathalie Cooke) explores the Victorian agony column in the Times of London that often involved messages from criminals and detectives, including ways that messages in this column were encoded. The project includes an online interactive game where a person can play detective by following clues in a sample column. There also are discussion and data regarding "newspaper novels" (those that involve newspapers in their plots) such as The Female Detective (1864) by Andrew Forrester (aka James Redding Ware) and Lady Audley's Secret (1862) by Mary Elizabeth Braddon. An additional resource is the accompanying exhibition "News and Novel Sensations."

Monday, February 13, 2023

Ruh-roh: Scooby-Doo exhibition.

Running through April 9, 2023, is "Scooby-Doo Mansion Mayhem" exhibition at the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation, in Dearborn, Michigan, where visitors can solve mysteries alongside Scooby, Shaggy, and gang.

Monday, February 06, 2023

Clues CFP: BIPOC female detectives.

Seeking to illuminate an often marginalized space, this Clues theme issue will focus on female detectives who are BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color); span eras, genres, and geographical locations; and appear in texts, TV programs, films, and other media. Of particular interest are intersections among race, indigeneity, gender, age, class, or sexuality in these works, as well as projects that center BIPOC authorship and scholarship. 

Some Suggested Topics:  

  • BIPOC female detective figures in African and Asian crime fiction, such as in works by Leye Adenle, Oyinkan Braithwaite, Angela Makholwa, and Jane De Suza. 
  • BIPOC female detectives in hard-boiled and traditional mysteries that might include characters such as Carolina Garcia-Aguilera’s Lupe Solano, Eleanor Taylor Bland’s Marti MacAlister, Leslie Glass’s April Woo, Sujata Massey’s Rei Shimura and Perveen Mistry, Marcia Muller’s Sharon McCone, BarbaraNeely’s Blanche White, S. J. Rozan’s Lydia Chin, Valerie Wilson Wesley’s Tamara Hayle and Odessa Jones, and Paula L. Woods’s Charlotte Justice. 
  • BIPOC female detectives in film and television series such as Get Christie Love! (1974–75, TV movie 2018), Angie Tribeca (2016), and Black Earth Rising (2018). 
  • BIPOC female detectives in comics/graphic novels such as Storm and Misty Knight of Marvel Comics, Martha Washington of Dark Horse Comics, and Vixen of DC Comics. 
  • BIPOC female sidekicks such as Janet Evanovich’s Lula, Elementary’s Joan H. Watson, or BIPOC detecting teams such as those in Cheryl Head’s Charlie Mack series or Ausmat Zehanat Khan’s Inaya Rahman series. 
  • BIPOC female detectives of male authors such as Kwei Quartey, Deon Meyer, and Alexander McCall Smith. 
  • Analyses of historical BIPOC female detectives in crime fiction such as in Fergus Hume’s Hagar of the Pawnshop (1898) and Pauline E. Hopkins’s Hagar’s Daughter (1901). 
  • Analyses that queer the BIPOC female detective, or examine the intersections between gender and sexuality in these works. 
  • Relationships between BIPOC female detectives and criminals/criminality. 

Submissions should include a proposal of approximately 250 words and a brief biosketch. Proposals due: April 30, 2023. Submit proposals to: Prof. Sam Naidu, email: s.naidu <at> Full manuscripts of approximately 6,000 words based on an accepted proposal will be due by September 30, 2023.

Monday, January 30, 2023

Henry Mancini and Alfred Hitchcock's Frenzy.

As Scott Bettencourt discusses in Film Score Monthly, Quartet Records has issued on CD the score to Alfred Hitchcock's Frenzy (1972), which includes the version by Ron Goodwin and the version by Henry Mancini that was rejected by Hitchcock. Visit Quartet Records to listen to some clips from both scores.

Monday, January 23, 2023

Shirley Jackson panel.

If you missed the online symposium Reading Shirley Jackson in the 21st Century, you can now watch the panel with Jackson's sons and grandchildren as well as Jackson scholar Bernice M. Murphy.

Monday, January 16, 2023

Sherlock Holmes items from Guymon collection at California Antiquarian Book Fair.

Ned Guymon with his
first wife, Ernestine, in 1923.
There will be an exhibition featuring Sherlock Holmes materials from Occidental College's Ned Guymon Collection of Mystery and Detective Fiction during the 55th California International Antiquarian Book Fair on February 10–12, 2023, in Pasadena. The collection is composed of some 16,000 items; one item is an 1887 copy of A Study in Scarlet (also includes Guymon's bookplate).

 There also is a Guymon collection at Bowling Green State University.

Monday, January 09, 2023

Upcoming classic thrillers, Library of America.

On January 3, the Library of America announced some of its fall 2023 releases, which included the following:

(1) Five Classic Thrillers 1961–1964 (The Murderers by Fredric Brown, The Name of the Game Is Death by Dan J. Marlowe, Dead Calm by Charles Williams, The Expendable Man by Dorothy B. Hughes, The Score by Richard Stark [Donald Westlake])

(2) Four Classic Thrillers 1964–1969 (The Fiend by Margaret Millar, Doll by Ed McBain [Evan Hunter], Run Man Run by Chester Himes, The Tremor of Forgery by Patricia Highsmith)

Below are some critics' reactions to the works in these volumes.

Re Brown's The Murderers: Sgt. Cuff [John Winterich] in 30 Sept. 1961 Saturday Review dubbed it "highly amative."

Re Highsmith's Tremor of Forgery: Terrence Rafferty in the 4 Jan. 1988 New Yorker dubbed the book "nihilistic."

Re Himes's Run Man Run: Sgt. Cuff in the 31 Dec. 1966 Saturday Review regarded this as a "[t]aut, devilish, ably-written slice of life—and death."

Re Hughes's Expendable Man (Edgar nominee, Best Novel): Kirkus lauded its "savage momentum."

Re Marlowe's The Name of the Game Is Death: Anthony Boucher in the 11 Feb 1962 New York Times believed that Marlowe had reached "an impressive new high."

Monday, January 02, 2023

The latest from John Straley.

Radio station KCAW in Sitka, Alaska, caught up with author John Straley (long based in Sitka, but he has moved to California), discussing topics such as the role of the Trappist monk Thomas Merton (probably best known for The Seven Storey Mountain) in Blown by the Same Wind, Straley's new mystery set in the fictional town of Cold Storage, Alaska.