Saturday, March 12, 2005

Open Season on Cats? -- Part 2 - Family - Man Who Wants To Hunt Domestic Cats Gets Death Threats: "LA CROSSE, Wis. -- The Wisconsin man who's asked the state to allow hunters to kill stray cats says he's been getting death threats."

I had feeling this guy wasn't going to win too many Man of the Year Awards.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Jicarilla Mud

When I got back from the Left Coast Crime convention, I mentioned Fender Tucker's Ramble House books. (You can read the post here.) I also mentioned that I'd picked up "Jicarilla Mud," a Ramble House 10-Cent Book written by Fender himself. It's really a novelette, but it's got an extra. It comes with a CD by Knees Calhoun. The CD has only one song, "Jicarilla Mud," and it's a great number. If you'd like to hear some of Knees's earlier work, I highly recommend this site. All the songs are good, but check out the Everly Brothers covers first.

"Jicarilla Mud," the book, is a period piece about the "oil bidness" in New Mexico in the 1950s. Or that's what it seems to be about at first. It takes an unexpected turn, though, and gets into some strange territory before it's all over. It's a fast-moving story, with good period details, some laughs, and a great cover, as you can see. Posted by Hello

Thursday, March 10, 2005


Rough Edges: "I finished watching THE NEW ADVENTURES OF TARZAN, one of the movie serials I got for Christmas."

While Ivan over at Thrilling Days of Yesteryear is watching Captain Midnight, James Reasoner has watched The New Adventures of Tarzan. I saw this one long ago, and I'm a fan of the star, Herman Brix (aka Bruce Bennett). (You can find out what James thinks of the serial [and Brix] by clicking on the link above.) I remember Brix fondly from one of my favorite serials, Hawk of the Wilderness. And by a mild coincidence, I'm currently watching Daredevils of the Red Circle, in which Brix (as Bennett) is one of the Daredevils. Maybe after I've watched the whole thing, I'll have something to say about it.

I Got This in the Mail--Could it Possibly be a Scam?


Dear.. .Someone Connected with This Address,
People just like you are writing to this 54-year-old church, telling us of all types of blessings since this church started praying with them. They are receiving divine help in the form of answered prayer. Some are seeing loved ones saved, and many of them are receiving spiritual, physical and financial blessings of all types - better jobs, raised in salaries, being able to buy and sell homes, buying new cars, and so on. Actually, these dear people are receiving so many blessings that it is impossible to mention them all in a letter. And, as you will read in the enclosed brochure a Sister Garcia used the same type of Bible faith prayer rug that we are sending to you, with this letter, and was blessed with almost $50,000! Now, we must talk to you about something we see, in the Holy Spirit, concerning vou and your family's needs.


WE MUST GIVE YOU THIS OPPORTUNITY FIRST.. .THEN IT MUST GO TO THE HOME OF ANOTHER DEAR FRIEND WHO NEEDS A BLESSING... You, or someone connected with this address, and another dear family are about to be blessed through this unusual, Bible Faith, Church, Prayer Rug, which we are placing in your care for these next 24 important hours. Because of any needs you are facing, we want you to use this Church Prayer Rug first, then we must pass it on to another dear friend of ours who also needs a blessing. As we pray for you and everyone connected with this address, WE FEEL THAT SOMETHING VERY WONDERFUL IS TRYING TO COME TO YOU.

When you use this Faith Church Prayer Rug, go into a room where you can be alone (just God and you). Turn off the television and radio and try to be by yourself when you kneel on this Holy Ghost, Bible Prayer Rug, or spread it over your knees. We want this Church Ministry, Prayer Rug to be touching both of your knees as you pray for the needs you are facing right now. It is going to be like you are kneeling before God All Mighty at the altar inside a great church of blessings. If you need more joy, peace, health, money, a new car, a new house, healing in family communication, or whatever, we, as a very old (54 years) church, want to know about it. Check your prayer needs on page two of this letter. Talk to us. This power you and this church ministry are about to use works!

These next 24 important hours are crucial to you. Timing is important to God. After you kneel on this Church Prayer Rug, or place it over your knees, place it in a Bible, on Philippians 4:19. (If you don't have a Bible, it's okay - just slide it under your side of your bed, for tonight, if you can. If you can't do this, it is okay.) Leave It There No Longer Than Tonight Only! God sees.
Then, in the morning it is a must that you get this unusual blessing Church Prayer Rug out of this house and back to us, here at the church's chapel prayer room, in faith. And, we must also have this letter back, with whatever you need prayer for printed on page two of it. You must get this Bible Prayer Rug back to us so we can rush it onto another family that's in need of a blessing. Do this without fail. Please, do not break this flow of power between us.

Notice the face of Jesus on this Church Prayer Rug. When you first look, you will notice that His eves are closed. If you relax and continue looking straight into His eyes, you will see His eyes slowly opening, and He will begin looking back at you. Jesus sees your needs (Philippians 4:19). Use this unusual, important. Church Prayer Rug for tonight only.

Let us ask you: Would you like to have God's blessings upon your home, your family and your finances? Say, "Yes, Lord Jesus, I do need Your financial blessings upon me and my family's finances!" Deuteronomy 28:6. Just put a mark by your needs below, telling us that you want prayer. Also, check any other needs you are facing. Pray about sowing a seed gift to the Lord's work. Give God your best seed and believe Him for His best blessing (St. Luke 6:38). Now, go and use this Church, Faith, Prayer Rug. The Lord is watching and waiting. You are about to enter the Holy Spirit of God right here in your home. through this faith exercise. Then, it is a must that you return it for another to use.


Dear Brothers and Sisters at Saint Matthew's 54-Year-Old Church,

( ) I received this Church Prayer Rug you loaned me, and I used it as instructed in this letter of faith. Now, I am returning it to you for another to use.

( ) Yes, I do need the Lord's blessings upon my family and me! Pray for my family and me for...
( ) My Soul ( ) A Better Job
( ) A Closer Walk With Jesus ( ) A Home To Call My Own
( ) My Health ( ) A New Car
( ) A Family Member's Health ( ) A Money Blessing
( ) Confusion In My Home ( ) I Want to be Saved.
( ) My Children ( ) Pray for God to bless me with this
( ) To Stop A Bad Habit amount of money: $_________
( ) Please, especially pray for this person: __________________________
( ) Also pray for (please print): _______________________________
( ) Enclosed is my seed gift to God's work of $ ______________.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Whatever Happened To . . . ?

True crime books. I guess the heyday of the true crime book in the second half of the twentieth century was the early 1980s until sometime in the latter half of the '90s. We old guys can remember the days when bookstores had whole sections devoted to true crime, and writers like Jack Olsen, Ann Rule, and Carlton Stowers were getting big bucks, not to mention great acclaim, for their nonfiction accounts of various awful crimes. (Maybe the boom goes back even earlier than I think, back to Truman Capote's In Cold Blood.) At any rate, the market now has shrunk. Ann Rule is still selling fairly well, but the true crime book has gone the way of the western and the horror novel. It's a vanishing genre.

What brought this to mind is a book called Death in a Texas Desert by Carlton Stowers. Stowers is a guy who's won two Edgars for true crime, and he's an excellent writer. But this collection of nonfiction pieces (collected from articles Stowers wrote for the Dallas Observer) was published The Republic of Texas Press, and it will probably have an audience far smaller than Stowers had for his other true crime books.

And that's too bad, as all the pieces make engrossing reading. The one I like best is about the "real killer" in the O. J. Simpson case. Stowers writes about Dallas p.i. Bill Dear, who's devoted years of his time and a lot of his money to studying the case. Dear (and Stowers) present a persuasive argument that O. J.'s son might very well have committed the murders that everyone believes O. J. did.

You probably won't see this book on the shelves at your local bookseller's store, but if you do, it's well worth a look. Or you could check it out here.


Here are the first two pages of the current issue

The latest issue of Steve Lewis's excellent Mystery*File is available now, and the magazine even has a new subtitle, The Crime Fiction Research Journal. That title might be a slight exaggeration, at least as far as my own meager contributions are concerned, but it's a great resource, and I highly recommend that you subscribe, if you haven't already done it.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

How Soon We Forget -- Frank Parrish

I can hear some of you, probably most of you, saying, "Frank Who?" But not too many years ago, Frank Parrish was doing all right. He published a series of mystery novels about a fellow named Dan Mallett, who lives in a little English village where he's a poacher, handyman, and occasional thief. We don't begrudge him his little thefts, however, because he lives with his aged mother, who needs surgery for her arthritis, and Dan's just trying to get the money one way or another. Sure, he could get it in the straight world. He used to work in a bank. But Dan's not into banking. He's into personal freedom, which is sure to get you in trouble.

The Dan Mallett books got good reviews and and nice paperback editions from Harper & Row's Perennial Library. They were cozies in the best sense, and I enjoyed reading them. Which is why I picked up Fly in the Cobweb when I saw it the other day and reread it. Originally published in 1986, it seems a bit older than that when you read it now. For one thing, the first line of dialogue doesn't appear until page 32. Try that these days and see how far your manuscript gets. The paragraphs are long, too, another sign of age. But the characters are interesting, and so is the village life. The flora and fauna around the village play a big part in the books, and the descriptions add to the pleasure of reading the stories.

Parrish was really Roger Longrigg, who had another entertaining (and vastly different) series under the name Ivor Drummond. The Drummond books were spy novels in the outrageous vein of the James Bond movies or maybe Modesty Blaise. They were reprinted in the U.S. by Pyramid with appropriately garish covers. I still have a few of these, and I wish I had all of them.

Oddly enough, I read a book by Longrigg under another name long before I discovered either Ivor Drummond or Frank Parrish. The book was supposedly by a schoolgirl named "Rosalind Erskine," and it was The Passion Flower Hotel, about British schoolgirls who decide to earn a little extra cash by engaging in the world's oldest profession. Very racy for the time, and I thought it was really Hot Stuff. Though of course it wasn't, not at all when compared to just about anything on the bestseller list these days.

And as "Laura Black," Longrigg wrote a book that became the basis for a popular British miniseries, Mother Love, starring Diana Rigg. I've never seen the series or read the book, but if the series starred Rigg, it had to be good, right?

Monday, March 07, 2005

Ed Gorman

I've heard from Ed that his new blog is located here. Check it out.

100 Favorite Fictional Characters

The Independent Online Edition > Enjoyment: "The 100 favourite fictional characters... as chosen by 100 literary luminaries
To celebrate World Book Day, we asked the leading lights of British letters to name the characters who give them the greatest reading pleasure. Is your favourite among them? Interviews by Julia Stuart"

I looked, but Sheriff Dan Rhodes didn't make the cut.

Open Season on Cats?

WBAY-Coverage You Can Count On: Wisconsin hunter wants open season on free-roaming domestic cats: "
MADISON, Wis. Hunter Mark Smith welcomes wild birds onto his property, but if he sees a cat, he thinks the 'invasive' animal should be considered fair game.
The 48-year-old firefighter from La Crosse has proposed that hunters in Wisconsin make free-roaming domestic cats an 'unprotected species' that could be shot at will by anyone with a small-game license."

I have a feeling that cat lovers (like me) won't be sending Mark Smith any Christmas cards.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

The Texas Prison Museum

Banjo Pics

You might not want to go all the way to Huntsville, Texas, to tour the Texas Prison Musuem, but you can take a photo tour with Banjo Jones by clicking on the link. More photos, including a picture of the new building, are here.