Saturday, January 23, 2010
State prison spokesman Jason Clark on Friday said Terrell is among four prisons in the Greater Houston area closed to weekend visitors."
While TV audiences will most likely associate Mitchell with his role on 'All My Children', Mitchell was also a professional dancer who danced in film musicals and acted in a slew of Broadway and regional productions. Mitchell's performing career began with the American Ballet Theatre. Mitchell had a long-standing collaboration with renowned choreographer Agnes de Mille working with her as dancer and assistant choreographer in various film and stage productions, including the Broadway productions of 'Bloomer Girl', 'Brigadoon' (for which he won the Theatre World Award), 'Paint your Wagon', 'Come Summer', and perhaps most notably in the 1955 film 'Oklahoma' where Mitchell starred as Dream Curly."
Since I hadn't been keeping up with the blog, everything in the book was new to me, and it's all highly entertaining. It's the perfect book to have around when you want to read something short and interesting. A few examples: Was there a St. Valentine? What made the Romans laugh? (This entry includes jokes, of course.) Ten things you thought you know about the Romans, but didn't. And so on. Beard also includes some of the comments left on the blog.
As soon as you read the book, you'll most likely want to follow the blog. Check them both out.
The tiny reptiles, called Paleo and Suchus, are even learning when they are allowed to open their mouths, the Blue Planet Aquarium in Ellesmere Port says.
The programme has been successful with mammals but it is one of the first times it will be used on reptiles."
Simmons, who won an Emmy Award for her role in the 1980s miniseries 'The Thorn Birds,' died Friday evening at her home in Santa Monica, said Judy Page, her agent. She had lung cancer."
Friday, January 22, 2010
Androgynous models with enviable cheekbones skulked down the catwalk in bulky, tie-waisted trenches in lacquered microfiber or wrinkly microfiber with stiff, standup necklines and drop-crotched harem pants. Some wore ribbed turtlenecks with knee-length flaps in the front and back, while others sported leather tank tops that left their backs bare."
Dallas - Fort Worth News | wfaa.com
| Local News: "The hairless creature was identified as a raccoon with a congenital defect."
Viva Forever will feature the band's greatest hits and 'harness the distinct personality of the Spice Girls', according to Judy Craymer, the woman who turned Abba's back catalogue into an entertainment phenomenon."
Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.
Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.
Production on the remake is expected to start in March in Bulgaria. Marcus Nispel will direct."
And speaking of great beginnings, the first page of "Stormy, Mon Amour" is guaranteed to grab your attention. Two words from me: Interspecies sex. I can say no more for fear of spoiling it for you.
"Sinny and the Prince" has identical twins and a femme very much fatale. A good twist, too. "The Big O" might not be what you're thinking, but it's got a heck of a storm and another good twist or two. And that's just, what? Four stories? There are seven other good ones in the book, some of which I'd read before but was happy to read again. Not that everybody in the stories is happy. Hardly anyone is. Hendricks writes about the doomed, the damned, and the despairing., and she does it wonderfully well. Sometimes, yes, sometimes she even gives a little glimmer of hope at the end.
Add to the stories a fine introductory essay by Megan Abbott and a nice closer by Michael Connelly, and you have a book that's more than worthy of your attention. Check it out.
Update: I should have mentioned that the book I have is an ARC. The book comes out in May. So check your local bookstores then. Or Amazon.
Hat tip to Jeff Segal.
The Lefty Award for Humorous Mystery:
Swan for the Money by Donna Andrews
Living With Your Kids Is Murder by Mike Befeler
Strangle a Loaf of Italian Bread by Denise Dietz
Getting Old Is a Disaster by Rita Lakin
High Crimes on the Magical Plane by Kris Neri
The Bruce Alexander Award for Historical Mystery:
Tears of Pearl by Tasha Alexander
In a Gilded Cage by Rhys Bowen
Freedom’s Fight by Gary Phillips
A Trace of Smoke by Rebecca Cantrell
Serpent in the Thorns by Jeri Westerson
The Panik Award for LA Noir (in honor of the late Paul Anik, Chair of LCC20, to be given this year only):
Cemetery Road Gar Anthony Haywood
Trust No One by Gregg Hurwitz
Death Was in the Picture by Linda Richards
Boulevard by Stephen J. Schwartz
Hat tip to Janet Rudolph at Mystery Fanfare.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Warren E. Strickland, 31, of Fairbanks, pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct Tuesday for throwing a double-decker taco at a manager of the Taco Bell restaurant on University Avenue.
Strickland said he was upset during the Jan. 14 incident because a taco contained spit after he had been through the drive-thru twice to correct his order."
The Capitol was on lockdown as officials searched as a precaution. The south steps were secured by yellow police tape.
The shots rang out just after noon, and officers with rifles quickly swarmed the scene. More than a half dozen Department of Public Safety cars quickly appeared, and troopers quickly surrounded the building."
Research is preliminary, but several studies suggest people who spend most of their days sitting are more likely to be fat, have a heart attack or even die."
| Mail Online: "We all know running is good for your body.
But it can also do wonders for the mind, according to Cambridge University scientists
A regular jog leads to the growth of new cells in the area of the brain which boosts your memory, a study has found."
Fort Bend County Sheriff's spokeswoman Terriann Carlson said the $523,145 in cash was discovered in the truck after it had been pulled over in the southbound lanes of the highway at 4 p.m. near Spur 10 in the Rosenberg area."
Mathias Winston would have become crocodile fodder - had it not been for his quick-thinking to use his thumbs to jab at the man-eater's eyes!"
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
[. . . .]
Eadgyth was born at the dawn of the 10th century, when England was still divided into a patchwork of Anglo-Saxon and Viking fiefdoms. Her brother King Athelstan kicked the Vikings out of York and routed the Scots and Irish in a massive battle around 937."
Justin Brown, 24, masqueraded as Californian Guess Jeans and Maxim swimwear model Bree Condon, 23, for two years."
BBC News - Temple to cat god found in Egypt: "Archaeologists in Egypt have discovered a 2,000-year-old temple in Alexandria dedicated to a cat goddess.
The temple is the first trace of the royal quarters of the Ptolemaic dynasty to be revealed in Alexandria.
The find confirms the Greek dynasty of Egyptians continued the worship of ancient animal deities."
A German team of neurobiologists has found that rhesus macaques can engage in abstract mathematical reasoning using specific brain cells dedicated to the comprehension of math rules and relationships."
Hat tip to Seepy Benton.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Lots of people quit reading Parker years ago, for one reason or another. Not me. I stuck with him, and I've enjoyed every book of his that I've read. Some more than others, but I've never been less than satisfied. What did Parker have that made him one of my favorites? I've written about this before, but it's one of my favorite quotations, and so I'll repeat it. When asked why people were so devoted to his books, Parker said, "I think they like the sound of the words on the page." I can't speak for anyone else, but that's what draws me back, time after time: the sound of the words on the page.
I've joked before, and so have many others, about all the white space in Parker's novels, but when it comes to telling a fast-moving story with mostly dialog, and not much of it, Parker has few peers. His stories have a bit of depth to them, too, an emotional heft some people overlook.
I met Parker a couple of times, the first being in San Francisco in 1982 at a Bouchercon in the Jack Tarr hotel, or whatever it was called in those days. Right across the street from Tommy's Joynt, a spot Parker mentioned in one of his books published not too long after that Bouchercon. Parker was the Guest of Honor that year. I met him in the lobby, where he was waiting around for his room, which for some reason wasn't ready. He wore a red windbreaker with Ace (his nickname) embroidered on it. We talked for a while about this and that, probably our dissertations, which we'd written at about the same time about the same three authors.
It's hard to believe, but in those days at Bouchercon, a writer like Parker spoke in a small room with only 30-40 people in the audience, maybe fewer than that. He told a great story about giving up teaching for full-time writing. He said that he taught fewer and fewer classes and was finally teaching only one class a week. When he told his wife that he was going to stop teaching altogether, she said, "But it's only once a week." He answered, "Yes, but it's every week." Maybe you had to be there.
I don't have much else to say except, "Robert B. Parker, ave atque vale."
Hat tip to David Cranmer.
The Missing by Tim Gautreaux (Random House - Alfred A. Knopf)
The Odds by Kathleen George (Minotaur Books)
The Last Child by John Hart (Minotaur Books)
Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death by Charlie Huston (Random House - Ballantine Books)
Nemesis by Jo Nesbø, translated by Don Bartlett (HarperCollins)
A Beautiful Place to Die by Malla Nunn (Simon & Schuster – Atria Books)
BEST FIRST NOVEL BY AN AMERICAN AUTHOR
The Girl She Used to Be by David Cristofano (Grand Central Publishing)
Starvation Lake by Bryan Gruley (Simon & Schuster - Touchstone)
The Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf (MIRA Books)
A Bad Day for Sorry by Sophie Littlefield (Minotaur Books – Thomas Dunne Books)
Black Water Rising by Attica Locke (HarperCollins)
In the Shadow of Gotham by Stefanie Pintoff (Minotaur Books)
BEST PAPERBACK ORIGINAL
Bury Me Deep by Megan Abbott (Simon & Schuster)
Havana Lunar by Robert Arellano (Akashic Books)
The Lord God Bird by Russell Hill (Pleasure Boat Studio – Caravel Books)
Body Blows by Marc Strange (Dundurn Press – Castle Street Mysteries)
The Herring-Seller’s Apprentice by L.C. Tyler (Felony & Mayhem Press)
BEST FACT CRIME
Columbine by Dave Cullen (Hachette Book Group - Twelve)
Go Down Together: The True, Untold Story of Bonnie and Clyde by Jeff Guinn (Simon & Schuster)
The Fence: A Police Cover-Up Along Boston’s Racial Divide by Dick Lehr (HarperCollins)
Provenance: How a Con Man and a Forger Rewrote the History of Modern Art by Laney Salisbury and Aly Sujo (The Penguin Press)
Vanished Smile: The Mysterious Theft of Mona Lisa by R.A. Scotti (Random House - Alfred A. Knopf)
Talking About Detective Fiction by P.D. James (Random House - Alfred A. Knopf)
The Lineup: The World’s Greatest Crime Writers Tell the Inside Story of Their Greatest Detectives edited by Otto Penzler (Hachette Book Group – Little, Brown and Company)
Haunted Heart: The Life and Times of Stephen King by Lisa Rogak (Thomas Dunne Books)
The Talented Miss Highsmith: The Secret Life and Serious Art of Patricia Highsmith by Joan Schenkar (St. Martin’s Press)
The Stephen King Illustrated Companion by Bev Vincent (Fall River Press)
BEST SHORT STORY
"Last Fair Deal Gone Down" – Crossroad Blues by Ace Atkins (Busted Flush Press)
"Femme Sole" – Boston Noir by Dana Cameron (Akashic Books)
"Digby, Attorney at Law" – Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine by Jim Fusilli (Dell Magazines)
"Animal Rescue" – Boston Noir by Dennis Lehane (Akashic Books
"Amapola" – Phoenix Noir by Luis Alberto Urrea (Akashic Books)
The Case of the Case of Mistaken Identity by Mac Barnett (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
The Red Blazer Girls: The Ring of Rocamadour by Michael D. Beil (Random House Children’s Books – Alfred A. Knopf)
Closed for the Season by Mary Downing Hahn (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children’s Books)
Creepy Crawly Crime by Aaron Reynolds (Henry Holt Books for Young Readers)
The Case of the Cryptic Crinoline by Nancy Springer (Penguin Young Readers Group – Philomel Books)
BEST YOUNG ADULT
Reality Check by Peter Abrahams (HarperCollins Children’s Books – HarperTeen)
If the Witness Lied by Caroline B. Cooney (Random House Children’s Books – Delacorte Press)
The Morgue and Me by John C. Ford (Penguin Young Readers Group – Viking Children’s Books)
Petronella Saves Nearly Everyone by Dene Low (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children’s Books)
Shadowed Summer by Saundra Mitchell (Random House Children’s Books – Delacorte Press)
BEST TELEVISION EPISODE TELEPLAY
"Place of Execution," Teleplay by Patrick Harbinson (PBS/WGBH Boston)
"Strike Three" – The Closer, Teleplay by Steven Kane (Warner Bros TV for TNT)
"Look What He Dug Up This Time" – Damages, Teleplay by Todd A. Kessler, Glenn Kessler & Daniel Zelman (FX Networks)
"Grilled" – Breaking Bad, Teleplay by George Mastras (AMC/Sony)
"Living the Dream" – Dexter, Teleplay by Clyde Phillips (Showtime)
ROBERT L. FISH MEMORIAL AWARD
"A Dreadful Day" – Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine by Dan Warthman (Dell Magazines)
Mystery Lovers Bookshop, Oakmont, Pennsylvania
Zev Buffman, International Mystery Writers’ Festival
ELLERY QUEEN AWARD
Poisoned Pen Press (Barbara Peters & Robert Rosenwald)
THE SIMON & SCHUSTER - MARY HIGGINS CLARK AWARD
(Presented at MWA’s Agents & Editors Party on Wednesday, April 28, 2010)
Awakening by S.J. Bolton (Minotaur Books)
Cat Sitter on a Hot Tin Roof by Blaize Clement (Minotaur Books)
Never Tell a Lie by Hallie Ephron (HarperCollins – William Morrow)
Lethal Vintage by Nadia Gordon (Chronicle Books)
Dial H for Hitchcock by Susan Kandel (HarperCollins)
I'm sure there'll be much more to come on this. Right now, I'm overwhelmed. A writer I've followed faithfully since the appearance of his very first book, never missing a one. I can't believe he's really gone.
Police seized 430 pot plants in various stages of growth, 60 jars of psilocybin — commonly known as magic mushrooms — also in the growing phase, 1,900 grams f marijuana and 198 grams of psilocybin.
Police also discovered a six-foot long alligator in the home."
A mysterious visitor who for decades has left roses and cognac at the grave of Edgar Allan Poe has failed to show up for the anniversary of the writer's birthday.
The curator of the Poe House and Museum in Baltimore says the graveyard tradition dates back to at least 1949 and has never been interrupted before."
Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.
He had recently suffered a stroke and had been in failing health, according to Keith Bilbrey, a close friend and former announcer on the Grand Ole Opry.
Mr. Smith’s music combined crooning vocals and upbeat arrangements, updating the gutbucket honky-tonk of his predecessors Hank Williams and Ernest Tubb with elements of rockabilly and rock ’n’ roll."
Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.
A researcher with the Wildlife Conservation Society stumbled upon the small, olive-brown large-billed reed warbler in 2008 and taped its distinctive song—a recording experts now say is probably the first ever. He and colleagues later caught and released 20 of the birds, the largest number ever recorded, the group says."
Monday, January 18, 2010
Bell died Sunday at his home in Rancho Santa Fe, according to a statement posted Monday on the Taco Bell Web site."
However, scholars say Poe looked far more vigorous, perhaps even dashing, in his earlier years than he does in the well-known series of daguerreotypes taken in the final years of his life.
The more robust Poe is captured in a small watercolor by A.C. Smith, one of just three surviving portraits of the author, which will be shown publicly for the first time Saturday and is expected to fetch tens of thousands of dollars at auction."
Link via Boing Boing.
Choices include Neytiri - after the film's Na'vi warrior-princess - and giant flying creature Toruk.
Another favourite is Pandora, name of the blockbuster flick's fictional planet."
Mexican authorities did not immediately know the identity of the person whose head was laid on the steps of access to the tomb with a flower in one ear. The rest of the body was found inside a plastic bag in the same cemetery, by the tomb of Gonzalo 'El Chalo' Araujo, a boss of the Sinaloa drug cartel who was killed in October 2006."
The novel begins with as a kind of crime story. Shel Shelbourne appears to have been murdered. But then he reveals himself to his friend Dave Dryden. Shel has discovered an invention of his father's, the Q-Pod, that allows him to travel in time, but his father has disappeared. Dave and Shel search for him through the centuries.
There's no attempt to explain how the Q-Pod works, but it does, and all the expected paradox elements also apply. McDevitt has fun explaining and playing with them. Dave and Shel can't resist mingling with the people from the past, but nothing serious comes of it because they're careful. Well, most of the time. They run into trouble in Selma, Alabama, and they tangle with a Borgia. There are other bumps in the road.
Mostly the search for Shel's father is an excuse for a "and then we visited" kind of novel. (I was pleased that Shel and Dave attended a Kingston Trio Concert; I'm assuming they saw the original group.) Some might find the plot a bit rambling, but eventually Dave and Shel get around to the "crime" that began the novel and its ingenious resolution. A couple of other bloggers have commented, and you can find James Reasoner's comments here. Randy Johnson weighs in here. And George Kelley's review is here. George is the one who first recommended McDevitt to me some years ago, and I've enjoyed several of McDevitt's books since then.
A good list, I think. Scott and I have talked about several of these over the years.
McCoy took advantage of favorable circumstances to propose to Glandorf Sunday night at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, shortly after he returned from an examination of his injured shoulder from Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala., earlier in the day.
[. . . .]
The proposal was made inside the stadium with the question flashed on the facility’s giant scoreboard. Glandorf quickly accepted."
Sunday, January 17, 2010
'We suddenly heard a huge thud; we almost thought it was an earthquake and everything flew up in the air,' one of about 20 group members said to the Smalandsposten newspaper. 'The floor collapsed in one corner of the room and along the walls.'"
Participants in the study often reported better moods, greater vitality, and fewer aches and pains from Friday evening through Sunday afternoon as compared with the rest of the week.
'Workers, even those with interesting, high-status jobs, really are happier on the weekend,' said study researcher Richard Ryan, a professor of psychology at the University of Rochester."
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Friday that 40-year-old Michael Plank of California was returning from Australia when U.S. Customs agents found two geckos, two monitor lizards and 11 skinks - another type of lizard - fastened to his body Tuesday."
Although I don't have any trunk murderers in my family, unlike some people (*kaff*Richard Moore*kaff*), some of my relatives were fascinated by that case, and I remember my grandmother and my aunt talking about it when I was a little kid. There were other references to it over the years, so I was aware of the basic story before I picked up Bury Me Deep. This book goes way beyond the facts I knew, however, and fleshes out the characters in a way the turns the story into pure noir.
Marion Seeley is the Judd stand-in. She's married to a doctor with a morphine addiction. He's lost his license and goes to Mexico to work, leaving Marion behind in a little Arizona town where she falls in with the wrong crowd. Before long, she's going to wild parties, and not long after that, she's having an affair with a supposedly upright businessman who turns out to be anything but.
Marion's bad choices lead to even worse results, as they so often do in noir fiction, and while there's action and suspense aplenty, Bury Me Deep is really a character study. Why does Marion do the things she does? Why does she keep on doing them? Is she entirely to blame? How can a person do terrible things that don't fit with her own image of the kind of person she is? What can she do when everyone turns against her?
Megan Abbott is a skillful writer, and she's already won an Edgar. I'll be surprised if she's not nominated for another one. Bury Me Deep is just that good.
Spot the gecko: Reptile so small it can fit on pencil top found along with dozens of other new species in threatened Ecuador jungle | Mail Online: "A gecko so small it can perch on top of a pencil has been discovered along with dozens of new animal species in Ecuador’s threatened rainforest.
Scientists also found 30 new varieties of frog and a snail-sucking snake – all on the verge of becoming extinct."