Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Coming in November from Stark House

A triple-decker with three of Peter Rabe's excellent Daniel Port novels.  You can't go wrong with this one, but then that's par for the course with Stark House books.  As you can see, the cover says this is "Daniel Port Omnibus 1," so that must mean there'll be another one.  Definitely something to look forward to.  You can order it at this link.

As a bonus, Rick Ollerman provides a fine introduction to the volume and also has some things to say about Rabe's spy novels with Manny DeWitt.  

A long time ago, I wrote about Rabe for Twentieth Century Crime & Mystery Writers, and I'm quoted on the back cover of this volume.  I haven't changed my opinion.  

A Peek into my Past

5 Forgotten Writers Whose Works Inspired Me When I Was Much Younger

So It's Come to This

'Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide' to Cease Publication:  In a blog post last night, Joe Leydon, critic for Variety and a contributor to Maltin's guide, announced that the 2015 edition, due for release September 2, will be the last. 

Hat tip to Steve Stilwell.

Once Again Texas Leads the Way

Father of 'affluenza' teen arrested for allegedly pretending to be a Texas policeman   

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Treasure Coast -- Tom Kakonis

Tom Kakonis is back, and Brash Books has him.  Kakonis published several excellent hardboiled novels (Michigan Roll and Criss- Cross come to mind) back in the late '80s, early '90s and then more or less disappeared.  Brash Books is bringing the early novels back and has published a brand-new one, Treasure Coast.

Jim Merriman is a down-on-his luck gamber who's in Florida to see his dying sister, to whom he makes the rash promise that he'll take care of her grown son, a loser who, unknown to Jim, is deeply in debt for his own gambling losses.  Even worse, two collectors are after him, and one of them is a seriously mean and slightly crazy guy.

Meanwhile, Bryce Bott and his accomplice, Waneta, are trying out the tombstone-selling game, not that any stones would ever be delivered.  While talking to potential clients,  Bott comes up with a new scheme.  He and Waneta will become intermediaries between the living and the dead, with Waneta bringing messages from the Other Side.

And even meaner-while, Big Lonnie and his not-so-loving wife are entertaining guests, with Big Lonnie being entertained by his wife after the guests are gone.  These disparate groups are all about to come together in a wild kidnapping plot that's rips along as fast as the hurricane that's bearing down on the Treasure Coast.  This is prime stuff, and when you read it, you'll wonder where Kakonis has been and be really glad that he's back.

“Musings on the Egg and the Detective” (by Mark Evan Walker)

“Musings on the Egg and the Detective” (by Mark Evan Walker) | SOMETHING IS GOING TO HAPPEN: Mark Evan Walker has posted twice before on this blog, the first time about his work as an illustrator (he’s one of EQMM’s finest and most regular art contributors) and the second time in tribute to the fictional character Michael Shayne. His knowledge of crime fiction is extensive and detailed, as you’ll see in this post that examines the role eggs—including recipes for cooking them—have played in crime fiction.

This Is Exactly Why We Need 911

Man Calls 911 To Complain That Stripper Would Not Have Sex With Him

All My Readers Know this Stuff Already

33 "Facts" Everybody Knows That Are Actually Total Lies

Song of the Day

Depeche Mode - Just Can't Get Enough (Remastered Video) - YouTube:

Will Texas Lead The Way?

'Purge night' threats concern The Woodlands residents: Thieves and murderers running the streets for one night of violence with no one stopping them, that's the premise of the movie "The Purge." But now posts circulating on social media are calling to bring the big screen to life, threatening a "purge night" in Texas on August 29th.


I was sitting on the patio in Sonoma when these planes flew over.  I had only my phone, but I managed a quick snapshot.  You can't easily tell, but a couple of them are biplanes from the Vintage Aircraft Co.  If I ever go back to Sonoma, maybe I'll take a ride in one of them or in the Texan.

Today's Vintage Ad

10 Crimes Solved By A Tiny Piece Of Evidence

10 Crimes Solved By A Tiny Piece Of Evidence


Whit Harrison (Harry Whittington), Girl on Parole, Venus Books, 1953

Willie Nelson Does a Card Trick

Willie Nelson Does a Card Trick

Guilty as Charged

27 Signs You're A Bit Of A Hoarder

Here’s Why We Need to Protect Public Libraries

The Public Library: Here’s Why We Need to Protect Public Libraries

Debut Novels With Big Advances: Where Are They Now?

Debut Novels With Big Advances: Where Are They Now?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee

Woman Beat Man, 64, Over Gas Passing 

Last Stagecoach to Hell -- James Reasoner

This is another novella I read on my California flights, a "weird western" by James Reasoner, who knows a thing or two about westerns.  When Rye Callahan finds himself stranded in Providence, Arizona, he notices that people in town act mighty strangely.  And then there's that smokestack that's putting out black smoke.  What's up with that?  By the time Callahan learns the answers to his questions about the townspeople and the smokestack, he's not in a good position to do much about them.  In fact, he might be taking a shortcut to Hell.

As usual, James Reasoner tells a heck of a story that's weird in a good way.  It'll keep you entertained on a plane or on the ground.  Check it out.

The Myriad Monikers Of Gotham's Villains

The Myriad Monikers Of Gotham's Villains

Song of the Day

Beverly Hills Cop Main Theme - YouTube:

The Rap Sheet Interview with Joel Goldman & Lee Goldberg about Brash Books

The Rap Sheet: Brash Talking

Yet Another List I'm Not On

25 Writers Who Did Great Work Before 25

Today's Vintage Ad

My Studio Inexplicably Not Included

Stunning Writing Studios

Those Wacky Croatians

 Daily Star: Police discover man's pickled penis collection  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.


Larry McMurtry, The Last Picture Show, Dell, 1971

Small Town Noir

Small Town Noir | Small-time true crime from New Castle, Pa.: The mug shots on this site were all taken in New Castle, Pennsylvania, between 1930 and 1960, and were rescued from the trash when the town's police department threw them out. The information that has been used to reconstruct the stories behind the pictures comes mostly from old copies of the local paper, the New Castle News.  

Link via Neatorama.

Make Your Vacation Plans Now

Gatorama hosts annual gator hatching festival

Laura Ingalls Wilder Update

X-rated Little House On The Prairie memoirs to be released this fall

I Want to Believe!

The Blob Was Based On A True Story

Don Pardo, R. I. P.

Deadline: The longtime NBC announcer who did the voice-over on Saturday Night Live since its launch died today. Don Pardo’s daughter Paula confirmed his death to CBS Radio News. He was 96. Pardo was NBC’s staff announcer for more than 60 years. His voice was familiar to generations of Americans on radio and TV, commercials and game shows, news and sports. On the original version of Jeopardy!, host Art Fleming would start the show with “Thank you, Don Pardo” and tease winners with, “Don Pardo, tell him what he’s won!” His game show credits also include The Price Is Right, Jackpot and Three On A Match. 

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Jerry Lumpe, R. I. P. Jerry Lumpe, who played the infield for the Yankees in two World Series in the 1950s and was later an All-Star second baseman with the Detroit Tigers, died on Friday in Springfield, Mo. He was 81.  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Overlooked Movies: Smile

This is one of those movies I'd never have seen if it weren't for cable.  It isn't the kind of thing being shown in Brownwood, Texas, in the 1970s when we were living there, so I watched it on Showtime or HBO and found it very funny.

It's a satire on beauty pageants, as you know if you've heard of it or if you watched the trailer embedded below, and it's very funny.  Bruce Dern is hilarious as  Big Bob, one of the judges, and if you thought that Barbara Feldon could play only Agent 99, you really need to see this.  She's very good as the pageant director.  Annette O'Toole and Melanie Griffith show up as contestants.  

If you think that beauty pageants are too easy a target, you might be right, but the movie's satire never gets vicious or heavy-handed.  You might be surprised at how much fun it all is if you ever run across it.  Well worth a look.


Smile 1975 theatrical trailer - YouTube:

Monday, August 18, 2014

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee

Man attacked with baseball bat, prosthetic leg 

Keanu Reeves Update

Keanu Reeves to Produce, Star In Action Series Rain - Keanu Reeves is heading to the small screen. The Matrix star will produce and star in the action series Rain, based on the book series by Barry Eisler, Deadline reports. This will mark his first time starring in a television show.

Supergirls -- Mav Skye

When I'm on an airplane, I can't concentrate very well on reading.  So I prefer to read novellas or short stories.  I have the Kindle app on my iPad, so I can take plenty of material with me.  One of the novellas I read on our recent trip to California was Henry Kuttner's The Time Trap.  Another was this one by Mav Skye.  

The Supergirls of the title are May and Jenn, sisters who want to live the American Dream.  Not easy to do when you're starting out with their disadvantages, plus the fact that they're both more or less crazy.  They're working at a convenience store and turning tricks on the side when they get the idea of making one big score, robbing a man they call Fat Bastard and taking off with the money.  To say that things do not go well (for anybody) would be an understatement.  There's gore aplenty, and violence and a talking (and whistling) moose head.  That should give you some idea.  It's gritty down to the bone, and surprisingly touching, especially at the end.  

If you're not sure about whether you'd like to read it, you can check out the prequel, a short story that's free to read.  It's in Pulp Metal magazine, and here's the link.  Check it out.

Cross-dressing Mafia Kingpins WBAGNFARB

Cross-dressing Mafia kingpin arrested at Sicily port 

What is Bill Crider reading?

Campaign for the American Reader: What is Bill Crider reading?  Or read about it here.

Bid Early & Often

Action Comics 1 June 1938 Superman's Debut CGC 9 0 Perfect White Pages | eBay

Song of the Day

Emmylou Harris - Making Believe - YouTube:

PW Talks with James Ellroy

Days that Will Live in Infamy: PW Talks with James Ellroy

Key quote:  "Thus, my career as a historical novelist is augmented and rendered that much more grand."

6 BS Stories That Fooled You On Facebook: Bear Hates Bieber

6 BS Stories That Fooled You On Facebook: Bear Hates Bieber

Another Baseball Card Bonanza

'Roadshow' hits a $1 million home run - Houston Chronicle: LOS ANGELES - The PBS series "Antiques Roadshow" says it hit a home run with a collection of 1870s Boston baseball memorabilia. 

A trove of signatures and rare baseball cards from Boston Red Stockings players was appraised at $1 million for insurance purposes, series producer Marsha Bemko said.  

Hat tip to John Duke.

Today's Vintage Ad

J.K. Rowling Update

J.K. Rowling Just Posted A New Story About A "Singing Sorceress" From "Harry Potter"

I Was going To Post This Yesterday, but I Forgot

10 Mind-Altering Facts About Memory 


We had a picnic at the Valley of the Moon winery.  A nice place with very nice people to take care of visitors.


Horace McCoy, The Shoot Horses, Don't They?, Signet, 1948

I Found a Penny Last Week

Man finds one-of-a-kind baseball card  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.  
Annoying auto-start video alert.

Now Available in All E-book Formats

Get it at Amazon now, or in other outlets soon.

27 Photos That Demonstrate The Power Of Makeup

27 Photos That Demonstrate The Power Of Makeup

New Poem at the Five-Two

The Five-Two: Kristina England: SLENDERMAN

Once Again Texas Leads the Way

Pregnant mom gives birth while enrolling 4-year-old at Houston area preschool

5 delightful science experiments from 100 years ago

5 delightful science experiments from 100 years ago