Friday, October 31, 2008

Bullet Points for Halloween

• In the spooky spirit of this Friday, Bruce Grossman, who writes in Bookgasm about pulp crime novels both classic and, well, questionable, this week recalls “three books with icons of Halloween in the titles.” His choices include Bats Fly at Dusk, by “A.A. Fair,” a pseudonym used by Perry Mason creator Erle Stanley Gardner. I’ve recently had the good fortune to acquire a small trove of Gardner/Fair’s Bertha Cool and Donald Lam private eye novels, including Bats Fly at Dusk. With Grossman’s recommendation, I really look forward to reading it.

• James Hynes offers his top 10 Halloween reads, while Brad Leithauser comes up with his own intriguing rundown of the five best ghost-story books.

• The new James Bond film, Quantum of Solace, continues to raise doubts, this time from CHUD reviewer Devin Faraci. More thoughts on the movie from novelist and Rap Sheet contributor Declan Burke.

• Peter Rozovsky’s latest “Noir at the Bar” event in Philadelphia will be held this Sunday. The guest is Stoker Award-winning novelist Jonathan Maberry. More details can be found here.

• For the true James Bond movie fan: books about the making of the films. Unfortunately, says Double O Section’s Tanner, the new entries in this series are slimmer on the text than the previous installments. Doesn’t anybody read anymore?

• On the DVD release front: The sixth and final season of The Rockford Files, starring James Garner, is due out on January 20 of next year. Meanwhile, the three-disc set Columbo-- Mystery Movie Collection 1990 is scheduled to reach stores on February 3.

• Zoë Sharp is the latest guest blogging author at St. Martin’s Minotaur’s Moments in Crime site. She follows Stuart MacBride, who was a hoot and a half last week.

• Well, so much for Amazon Shorts.

• There’s a nice piece in the Los Angeles Times by Sarah Weinman about the largely forgotten, 19th-century fictional sleuth James Brampton. The piece is here. Hmm. That’s odd. The copy I ordered of Leaves from the Note-Book of a New York Detective: The Private Record of J.B, “edited by” John Babbington Williams, seems to have gone missing in the mail. Hope it shows up soon.

• An Internet Books Database? I like the idea.

• David J. Schow’s Gun Work, the new release from Hard Case Crime, seems to be getting an awful lot of favorable attention. There’s this review from Independent Crime’s Nathan Cain, this other one from Craig Clarke of Somebody Dies, and the author himself steps into the grilling box at The Big Adios. Looks like I’ll have to move that novel up closer to the top of my to-be-read pile.

Trenchant political analysis from novelist Barry Eisler. Boy, I’ll be glad when this current U.S. presidential election is over, Barack Obama begins assembling his cabinet, and we can all go back to obsessing over books again.

• And one of today's most reliable and prolific private-eye novelists, Loren D. Estleman, gets the feature treatment in Detroit, Michigan’s mighty Metro Times.


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