Saturday, May 07, 2011

New Story at BEAT to a PULP

BEAT to a PULP :: Down, Down, Down, Burns, Burns, Burns :: Jedidiah Ayres

Smokey Update

Smokey the cat's deafening purr wins place in Guinness Book of Records

Video at the link.
Hat tip to Angela Crider.

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . .

WCVB Boston: "A Cohasset man has been charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon for allegedly ramming his neighbor with a ride on lawnmower, police said."

Seve Ballesteros, R. I. P.

ESPN: "Ballesteros, a five-time major champion whose incomparable imagination and fiery personality made him one of the most significant figures in modern golf, died Saturday from complications of a cancerous brain tumor. He was 54."

The Bastard Hand -- Heath Lowrance

The Bastard Hand is narrated by Charlie Wesley (Methodists take note), who may more may not be crazy. He's recently escaped from a mental hospital, and he talks to his dead brother a lot, so how much of his narrative are we supposed to trust? That's an important question, since some of the things that happen in the course of the novel that certainly appear real. Are we in the territory of magic realism, or are we simply listening to the lunatic ravings of a nonsensical mind? It's up to each reader to decide that, I suppose.

Charlie goes down South, the gothic South of crazed preachers, mysterious women, drug gangs, small-town secrets, sex, and such. Charlie falls in with the reverend Phineas Childe, who has some secret purpose in mind for the town of Cuba Landing. Charlie doesn't mind, not at first, anyway, and he goes along. For a while, anyway.

The book moves fast, and Charlie's voice carries it right along to the slam-bang ending. Check it out.

Rancho Diablo Rolls Along

Mel Odom has a great post about the success of the Rancho Diablo series on Kindle and about some of the plans we have for future books. If you haven't gotten in on the fun yet, you can buy Mel's book here, James's book here, and my book here. Then you can read Mel's blog post here: Adventures In Writing: Rancho Diablo Rolls Along

Today's Vintage Ad

Pre-Order Yours Now! The Wild Hog Murders: A Dan Rhodes Mystery (Sheriff Dan Rhodes Mystery) (9780312641498): Bill Crider: Books

A Review of Interest (to Me, Anyway)


Woody Allen’s Favorite Books

Woody Allen’s Favorite Books, From J.D. Salinger to S.J. Perelman


James Lee Burke, Lay Down my Sword and Shield, Popular Library, 1972

Today's Good News

Red wine and chocolate are good for the mind, scientists claim

Today's Western Movie Poster

Well, Duh

Men Think About Sleep & Food as Much as Sex

Haven't We All Done this from Time to Time?

CBS News: "Woman Arrested After Crash, Grooming 'Bikini Area' Say Cops"

Hat tip to Scott Cupp.

The Dark, Dark World of Cornell Woolrich

AbeBooks: The Dark, Dark World of Cornell Woolrich

Some great pb covers.

Everybody Needs a Good Laugh . . .

. . . so it's time to check in on my singing career.

Daughter Of Horror


Friday, May 06, 2011

They're Gonna Need a Bigger Boat "Buddies out mackerel fishing today came upon a giant great white shark like they’ve never seen before “bumping” and “nudging” a dead whale and then circling their boat off Martha’s Vineyard.

The monster of the sea was “20 feet” long, said boat captain Jeff Lynch of Chilmark. “To see something that big was crazy. It was as big as my boat.”"

Here's the Plot for Your Next Geezer Noir Story

The Detroit News: "A group of older women, wearing hats of various colors and shapes, have stolen money and credit cards from distracted shoppers in four counties, police said Thursday.

Dubbed the Mad Hatters by police, the women then use the stolen checks and credit cards to receive money from banks and merchandise from retailers, said the Sterling Heights Police Department."

Sir Paul McCartney Update

Sir Paul McCartney set to marry for a third time

It's Always Worked for Me

Ford Heights man kept alligator in home to attract women, police say

Nicolas Cage Update "Nicolas Cage is in the clear.

The actor, 47, who was arrested for alleged domestic abuse and disturbing the peace after an allegedly drunken argument with his wife in New Orleans last month, won't be prosecuted."

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . .

Naples Daily News: "An apparent pork rind rampage at a food market landed an “irate and cursing” man in jail this week, according to a police report."

You Would Be, Too

WSB Atlanta: "An Atlanta man is frightened since finding three dead frogs in his car Monday."

PimPage: An Occasional Feature in Which I Call Interesting Books to Your Attention

Clark Howard is an award winning and acclaimed mystery writer. In 1981, his story "The Horn Man" won the Edgar Allan Poe award for best short story of the year from the Mystery Writers of America. In 2009, Howard won the Edward D. Hoch Memorial Golden Derringer Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Short Fiction Mystery Society.

A professional writer for over 40 years, he has written sixteen novels, six books of non-fiction, and has two published collections of short stories, in addition to more than 200 uncollected short stories.

He enlisted in the Marine Corps at 17 and served as a rocket launcher gunner in the Punchbowl in Korea. He was one of eight survivors in a platoon that survived the battle of the high ground north of the Punchbowl. He was discharged from the marines at age 20.

In 1990, Dutton published Howard's novel Hard City in hardback. Hard City was never published in paperback, and the book is now hard to find even on the shelves of used bookstores.

Hard City was Howard's most personal novel. The semi-autobiographical novel features Richie, a young boy from a troubled family, who lives on the streets of 1940s Chicago at age 12 while sleeping in a bowling alley every night. Eventually, Richie's love of reading is key to Richie's surviving, and eventually leaving, the street life.

Writing about Hard City in a new Author's Preface for the publication of Hard City as an ebook, Howard writes, "Because much of it is based on my life as a wayward boy on the mean streets of Chicago's lower West Side, a life frequently fueled by truancy, petty thievery, gang membership, and other disreputable behavior, I had, as a respectable adult, left those bleak days far behind and buried them deep in my memory. The things I had done back then, the life I had experienced, as well as vivid recollections of my mother's drug addiction and my father's incarceration in federal prison and subsequent disappearance, had all melded together into some dark recess of my mind and, I thought, been locked away forever."

Now, Hard City is widely available as an eBook. For those who missed Hard City's paperback publication in 1990, you now have the chance to share Richie's life on the streets of Chicago, and his ultimate redemption via books, reading, and writing.

Arthur Laurents, R. I. P.

Los Angeles Times: "Arthur Laurents, the writer-director behind 'West Side Story,' 'Gypsy' and other theatrical works, is dead. He was believed to be 93."


PaperPhone: The smartphone made out of paper that will shape with your pocket

Maybe if I could get this, I'd actually use a cell phone.

Hat tip to David Cranmer.

Today's Vintage Ad


James Lee Burke, Half of Paradise, Pocket Books, 1966

Vega Westerns

James Reasoner's comment on my post of the Nelson Nye Vega paperback led me to look at the last page of the book to see what other westerns Vega published. Here's the list.

Today's Western Movie Poster

Gone with the Wind Turns 75

Gone with the Wind Turns 75

Don Del Oro's Cave Not Included

Top 10 Evil Lairs

Prequel Time

Los Angeles Times: "Mario Puzo's bestselling mafia novel, 'The Godfather,' will get a prequel, it was announced Wednesday. Publisher Grand Central says 'The Family Corleone' will come to shelves in June 2012.

'The Family Corleone,' an 'all-new prequel,' will be based on an unproduced screenplay written by Puzo. The 78-year-old Puzo died of a heart attack in 1999.

Assigned to bring Puzo's original characters to early life was Ed Falco, a novelist, short-story writer and playwright who runs the creative writing program at Virginia Tech. Falco is an interesting choice for a number of reasons: He grew up Catholic in Brooklyn; his writing has dealt with violence; the Virginia Tech shooter, who killed 32 people in 2007, was one of his students. And on the more frivolous side, he is the uncle of actress Edie Falco, who starred in the modern-day mafia hit 'The Sopranos.'"

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Texas Time Travel

Forgotten Books: The Kiss-off -- Douglas Heyes

If you do a quick Internet search for "Douglas Heyes," you can find out about his movie and TV careers. He was a prolific writer in both media, he developed TV series (North and South), he directed (Kitten with a Whip), and he even had a bit part or two. But you can find nothing about his fiction writing, and that's too bad. Heyes doesn't deserve to be forgotten.

The Kiss-off was Heyes' first novel, and Signet no doubt hoped the book would appeal to Mickey Spillane's audience. There's a half-page ad for Spillane's books on the final page of the novel, and the book begins with the description of a brutal double murder that's about as graphic as anything you'd find back in 1951. Then it switches to the first-person narration of Steve Mallory, who has his own p.i. agency, with a partner and several operatives. Mallory is hired by an attorney to find his missing wife. Naturally, complications ensue.

There's some great hardboiled dialogue in this one, and Mallory proves to be one tough cookie when facing up to a gangster or being almost burned alive. I could almost hear Bogart speaking some of the lines. I think the book was influenced as much by Chandler as by Spillane, but it doesn't really matter. It clocks in at 144 pages, just about the ideal length for a book like this, and it grabbed me from the start. If you ever run across a book by Heyes, pick it up. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

The 39 Steps


Thursday, May 05, 2011

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Postcards: "On Monday, the Texas House passed a resolution commending President Barack Obama, intelligence personnel and members of the military for taking out Osama bin Laden.

But 10 of the 101 Republican members of the House are recorded in the House Journal as voting against the resolution. And 52 who supported the resolution entered a joint Journal statement saying they do not support Obama’s overall foreign policy."

The Decline of Western Civilization Continues Apace

KOMO News: "Elvis has left the list.

Ending a run that started in 1955, Elvis did not make the list of 1,000 most popular baby names compiled by the Social Security Administration. The name never topped the charts, peaking at No. 312 in 1957 and making a slight comeback after Elvis Presley died in 1977. But The King's first name was in the top 1,000 for 55 straight years, something that cannot be said for, say, Barack, which has never cracked the list."

Headline of the Day

Mark Thompson, found in women's lingerie standing over dead goat, was high on 'bath salts': cops

Hat tip to Art Scott.

Today's Vintage Ad

Laura Lippman Talks about I'd Know You Anywhere

YouTube - Laura Lippman's Bestselling Novel I'd Know You Anywhere: ""

Send Your Name to Mars

Mars Science Laboratory: Send Your Name to Mars

Hat tip to Stan Burns.

Arthur A. Howe, Sin-Drome, Vega, 1965

Hallam Now 99 Cents on Kindle

Livia J. Washburn: Hallam Now 99 Cents on Kindle

Gator Update (Great Movie Title Edition)

The Alligator Whisperer

Not Quite Jack Reacher

ABC News Radio Interviews Andrew Hyde Who Only Owns 15 Things: "Mr. Hyde owns just 15 things and is currently homeless. After leaving his job as community organizer for the New York-based start-up incubator TechStars, Mr. Hyde sold all of his posessions and traveled the world. He now moves through the New York and Silicon Valley technology scenes, mentors young companies, and is currently building a business that creates art from old vinyl records."

Today's Western Movie Poster

Double Trouble: Twins in Literature

AbeBooks: Double Trouble: Twins in Literature: "To novelists, twins can be very bad, very misunderstood, very mysterious and sometimes badly mistreated. In fact, it would be fair to argue that twins get a bad rap from most writers.

One thing is clear - twins are never dull in literature. Audrey Niffenegger, Wally Lamb, Pat Conroy, Arundhati Roy, V.C. Andrews and Madeleine L’Engle are just a few of the authors to have turned to twins."

7 of Grimm's Fairy Tales That Would Make Great Movies

7 of Grimm's Fairy Tales That Would Make Great Movies

New Poem at BEAT to a PULP

BEAT to a PULP :: Ghost :: Keith Snyder

Croc Update (Tree-Climbing Edition)

Boning up on the climbing crocodile

Mike Ripley's Latest "Getting Away With Murder"


Cinco de Mayo

CINCO DE MAYO: "Introduction
The holiday of Cinco De Mayo, The 5th Of May, commemorates the victory of the Mexican militia over the French army at The Battle Of Puebla in 1862. It is primarily a regional holiday celebrated in the Mexican state capital city of Puebla and throughout the state of Puebla, with some limited recognition in other parts of Mexico, and especially in U.S. cities with a significant Mexican population. It is not, as many people think, Mexico's Independence Day, which is actually September 16."

The 39 Steps


Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Keep off Her Lawn!

Cops: Woman, 75, hit husband with walker

A Car Pool for the Ages

Elizabeth Taylor, Michael Jackson and Marlon Brando's bizarre drive to flee New York together after 9/11


LiveScience: "Almost 50 million years ago, ants the size of hummingbirds roamed what is now Wyoming, a new fossil discovery reveals. These giant bugs may have crossed an Arctic land bridge between Europe and North America during a particularly warm period in Earth's history."

The Saint is Back

James Purefoy is the new Simon Templar, alias THE SAINT. (130): "The newest version of The Saint, the Robin Hood of Modern Crime created by author Leslie Charteris, is being produced by Cajun Pictures, and directed by Ron Shelton (Bull Durham, White Men Can't Jump,) from a script by William J. MacDonald (Rome) and Burl Barer, author of the most recent Saint novels."

Jackie Cooper, R. I. P.

The Salt Lake Tribune: "Jackie Cooper got a Best Actor Oscar nomination at age 9, won Emmys for directing episodes of 'M*A*S*H' and 'The White Shadow,' and worked more than 60 years in show business.

But Cooper, who died today at the age of 88, will forever be known as the best darn newspaper editor Metropolis has ever known."

Mary Higgins Clark Interview

The Daily Beast: "With 100 million copies of her books sold and the latest hitting bestseller lists, there's no stopping the doyenne of mystery writers, Mary Higgins Clark. She talks to Sandra McElwaine about her childhood and love of baubles."

The Decline of Western Civilization Continues Apace

Los Angeles Times: "A reboot titled 'Zorro Reborn' is being developed at Fox that will remove the character from his historical California or Mexico setting.

Unlike many of the previous Zorros (real name: Don Diego de la Vega) brandishing whips and swords, the hero of the new installment will live in the future -- specifically a desolate and post-apocalyptic one, . . ."

Hat tip to Jeff Segal.

Uh-Oh "The Weinstein Company is remaking the classic Akira Kurosawa movie Seven Samurai and they’ve hired a director. His name is Scott Mann, and he’s best known for, well, nothing."

America's Weirdest Restaurants

America's Weirdest Restaurants - CNBC

Hat tip to Scott Cupp.

Hyenas -- Joe R. Lansdale

Wow, it seems like only the other day that I was reviewing a new Hap and Leonard novel by Joe Lansdale. Oh. It was just the other day. Okay. Anyway, Hyenas isn't a novel. It's a novella, 91 pages, and the pages are small. Who cares? It's Hap and Leonard, doing what they do best. The opening sequence, as often in these stories, is hilarious, and hearing Joe read it at the World Horror Convention was a treat.

The story involves a young man in trouble. He's mixed up with some really bad folks, and his brother, who's had a recent problem with Leonard and knows what he can do, asks Hap and Leonard for help in extracting his brother from the mess. Hilarity and violence ensue. Are you surprised?

The slim volume also includes Lansdale's short story "The Boy Who Became Invisible."

We're #1

Today's Vintage Ad

10 Technologies That Changed Literature Forever

10 Technologies That Changed Literature Forever


Nelson Nye, Frontier Scout, Vega, 1964.

The 20 Essential Indian Novels

The 20 Essential Indian Novels

Today's Western Movie Poster

But New York Leads the Way

Houston Chronicle: "Houston offers the strongest purchasing power for living and doing business among an international list of 26 cities, according to an examination by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The study released today says Houston offers the best value for the money, based on several key factors of doing business including cost, transportation, economic clout, ease of doing business, livability and intellectual capital and innovation."

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Houston named the best U.S. city for bachelors

Texas Makes the List

AbeBooks’ Top 10 Most Expensive Sales in April 2011

10 Movie Sequels That Were Surprisingly Good

10 Movie Sequels That Were Surprisingly Good

Jim Dickson, R. I. P.

Variety: "Jim Dickson, a key architect of the '60s folk-rock sound and the original manager of the Byrds, died of unknown causes April 19 in Costa Mesa, Calif. He was 80.

Born in Los Angeles, Dickson worked as a record producer in the early '60s, cutting proto-folk-rock sides by singer-songwriter Hamilton Camp, progressive bluegrass units the Dillards and the Hillmen (which included future Byrds member Chris Hillman) and singer-songwriter David Crosby."

Match Game

Match history's most-notorious fugitives to their evil lairs



Tuesday, May 03, 2011

We're #1 Mystery Anthology on Kindle!

Top Suspense Group: We're #1 Mystery Anthology on Kindle!: "'Top Suspense' is the #1 Mystery Anthology on Kindle, and the #3 'Mover and Shaker' at the same time, i.e. fastest moving. Remember, it is priced at only .99 for the next two weeks, so grab your copy now."

Sidney Michaels, R. I. P. "Sidney Michaels, a playwright who was nominated for Tony Awards in three consecutive seasons in the 1960s, died Friday in Westport, Conn. He was 83."

The Decline of Western Civilization Continues Apace

Bugs Bunny gets another weird reboot: "This time around, Bugs and Daffy have been rebooted into sitcom characters, living in the suburbs in what Ad Week magazine described as a “Desperate Housewives/Odd Couple mash-up.”"

At First I Thought This Was about Seepy Benton

Math Genius Solves 100 Year Old Problem, Then Refuses Million Dollar Prize

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . .

West Virginia News and Sports -: "Man high on bath salts kills neighbor's goat, police say"

A Complete Listing of James Reasoner's Longarm Novels

The Education of a Pulp Writer: Longarm and the Pulp Master

PimPage: An Occasional Feature in Which I Call Interesting Books to Your Attention

"The Dead Man #3: Hell in Heaven" Is Out - A Writer's Life: "The third book in the DEAD MAN series, HELL IN HEAVEN, is now available on the Kindle, as a trade paperback, and on the Nook. Here's the story...

Matthew Cahill was an ordinary man leading a simple life until a shocking accident changed everything. Now he can see a nightmarish netherworld that nobody else does. Now each day is a journey into a dark world he knows nothing about, a quest for the answers to who he is and what he has become...and a fight to save us, and his soul, from the clutches of pure evil."

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Houston Chronicle: "You may not have gotten a raise for a while, but somebody did: Houston led the nation's top 15 metropolitan areas in wage and salary increases over the past year, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Monday."

PimPage: An Occasional Feature in Which I Call Interesting Books to Your Attention

Top Suspense Group: Top Suspense Specials for May: "All of these e-books are being priced at $0.99 for the month of May only, with prices being set back to $2.99 for June 1st"

Click the link for the titles.

K.C. Constantine Makes His First Public Appearance

Reclusive author K.C. Constantine reveals himself at mystery fest: "Asked what he's been working on over the past years, he said, 'stuff that nobody wants to buy, even people who had published other stuff. It's very disappointing.'"

Hat tip to Walter Albert.

PimPage: An Occasional Feature in Which I Call Interesting Books to Your Attention

Rockstar Games’ Crime Thriller, L.A. Noire, Provides Setting for New Anthology of Short Stories

Eight Leading Authors Explore Game’s Dark and Violent Vision of Post-War Los Angeles

New York, NY – May 3, 2011 - Rockstar Games, a publishing label of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO), in conjunction with Mulholland Books, an imprint of Little, Brown and Company, has partnered with notable authors of the thriller genre to publish a series of short stories some of which are based on characters and cases from the world of L.A. Noire. "L.A. Noire: The Collected Stories" will be available for digital download on June 6, 2011 through all major eBook retailers.

L.A. Noire draws on a rich history of not just film, but also great crime literature for inspiration,” said Sam Houser, Founder of Rockstar Games. “Using the game’s world as a springboard, we worked with the genre’s best writers to create stories that lived up to the finest traditions of crime fiction.”

“We are thrilled to be embarking on a creative partnership with the team at Rockstar Games,” said Michael Pietsch, Publisher of Little, Brown and Company. “The possibilities for cross-promotions of this nature, encouraging gamers to read and readers to play games are huge. We’re looking forward to a new frontier of book publishing possibilities and see Rockstar as an ideal partner.”

Authors with stories in the anthology include such renowned writers as Megan Abbott, Lawrence Block, Joe Lansdale, Joyce Carol Oates, Francine Prose, Jonathan Santlofer, Duane Swierczynski and Andrew Vachss. 1940s Hollywood, murder, deception and mystery take center stage as readers reintroduce themselves to characters seen in L.A. Noire. Explore the lives of actresses desperate for the Hollywood spotlight; heroes turned defeated men; and classic Noir villains. Readers will come across not only familiar faces, but familiar cases from the game that take on a new spin to tell the tales of emotionally torn protagonists, depraved schemers and their ill-fated victims.

Select stories will be available across various media outlets prior to the launch of L.A. Noire on May 17, 2011 in North America and May 20, 2011 in Europe. An excerpt from “The Girl” by Megan Abbott is now available for readers at

For more information, log onto

About L.A. Noire

Produced and developed by Rockstar Games and Team Bondi, L.A. Noire is a violent crime thriller that blends breathtaking action with true detective work to deliver an unprecedented interactive experience. Following the story of a young detective’s rise to prominence in the LAPD, L.A. Noire lets players solve complex, historically-inspired crimes in a beautifully-recreated and fully-interactive rendition of 1947 Los Angeles. Interrogate witnesses, search for clues, and chase down suspects as you struggle to find the truth in a city where everyone has something to hide. L.A. Noire is expected to launch on both the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system on May 17, 2011 in North America and May 20, 2011 in Europe.

About Mulholland Books

Mulholland Books is an imprint of Little, Brown and Company. Little, Brown and Company is a division of Hachette Book Group. Founded in 1837, Little, Brown has long been recognized as a publisher committed to publishing fiction of the highest quality and nonfiction of lasting significance. Hachette Book Group is a leading trade publisher based in New York and a division of Hachette Livre, the second-largest publisher in the world. The goal of Little, Brown’s Mulholland Books is simple: to publish books you can’t stop reading. Whatever their form—crime novels, thrillers, police procedurals, spy stories, even supernatural suspense—the promise of a Mulholland Book is that you’ll read it leaning forward, hungry for the next word. With a focus on online community building, internet marketing and authentic connections between authors, readers and publisher, Mulholland Books will be at the center of a web of suspense. Learn more at

# # #

Today's Vintage Ad

The 20 Most Important Russian Reads

The 20 Most Important Russian Reads

Gator Update (It's About Time Edition)

A growing trend: Standing up for alligators

PimPage: An Occasional Feature in Which I Call Interesting Books to Your Attention

Rough Edges: Diamondback: New Cover and New Low Price!


William Ard, Hell is a City, Popular Library, 1956.

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . .

Man Attacks Cops At Sears With Weed Whacker

Two New Poems at BEAT to a PULP

BEAT to a PULP :: Two Poems :: Gerald So

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Local News: "Three Marshall men were arrested Sunday afternoon at Bella Wyatt Park for criminal mischief after the trio were caught 'mud hogging.'

According to police spokeswoman Sonya Johnson, James Edward Brown, 42, Christopher Scott Call, 18, and Scott Desalvo, 19, were arrested at about 3:20 p.m. Sunday after tearing up several sections of grass at the park on East Rusk Street in Marshall.

Johnson said the three men were racing lawnmowers through the mud in the park when a passerby reported the incident to officers."

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Today's Western Movie Poster

Gator Update (Postcard Edition)


Hat tip to Toby O'Brien.

Covering Lolita

Covering Lolita: An Online Exhibit by Dieter E. Zimmer

Forgotten Films: Sangaree

I was reminded of Fernando Lamas the other day, and whenever I think of him, I think of this movie. It has some good memories connected with it because I was crazy about 3D as a kid, and my parents took me to Waco, Texas, to see this one.

It's got so much to like that it's hard to remember it all. Why not start with Arlene Dahl (Mrs. Lamas at the time the film was made), one of Hollywood's most beautiful redheads. And if that's not enough there's also Particia Medina. In 3D! Plus a shirtless Fernando, if that turns you on, not to mention pirates. And the plague. And post-Revolutionary War Savannah. Beautiful Technicolor photograhpy, too. How can you go wrong? It's just too bad that you can't see it in 3D the way I did. There's a great barrel-throwing scene. Some great accents, too. Rhonda does a great southern accent, and Fernando -- well, I'm not sure.

I'm always saying "they don't make 'em like this anymore," and of course it's true. Sangaree might be too corny or old-fashioned for today's whippersnappers. But it's still a lot of fun for us geezers. Get off our lawns!

The Loved One


Monday, May 02, 2011

Yvette Vickers, R. I. P.

Mummified body of former Playboy playmate Yvette Vickers found in her Benedict Canyon home Los Angeles Times: "Yvette Vickers, an early Playboy playmate whose credits as a B-movie actress included such cult films as “Attack of the 50-Foot Woman” and “Attack of the Giant Leeches,” was found dead last week at her Benedict Canyon home. Her body appears to have gone undiscovered for months, police said."

Hat tip to Doc Quatermass.

Gator Update (Patrol Car Edition)

Alligator takes bite out of patrol car

Was There Ever any Doubt?

Jack Bauer killed Osama Bin Laden? | TV Series Finale: "His 24 TV series may have ended a year ago but Jack Bauer has been trending on Twitter today. Apparently many believe that Kiefer Sutherland’s character is behind the death of Osama Bin Laden."

Hat tip to Toby O'Brien.

PimPage: An Occasional Feature in Which I Call Interesting Books to Your Attention The Dead Man: Face of Evil eBook: William Rabkin, Lee Goldberg: Kindle Store

If you think this might not be fun, check out the reader reviews. There are a lot of them, and they're very enthusiastic. Get your copy now.

Today's Vintage Ad

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . . "A Derby High School sophomore said Friday that he was hit by a Taser and had his arm broken by two school resource officers for refusing to pull up his pants."


David Dodge, Death and Taxes, Popular Library, no date.

And They Say Social Media Aren't Useful "A St. Petersburg attorney says Facebook and social media are used in 90 percent of her divorce cases.

'You get a little bit of everything that happens on Facebook,' said Carin Constantine.

'Everything from clients coming in with pictures of the opposing party doing a keg stand with high schoolers... to teenagers drinking alcohol served by a parent... to a picture of a husband at a nightclub dancing with a babysitter.'"

The Fascinating Histories Behind Your Favorite Fairy Tales

The Fascinating Histories Behind Your Favorite Fairy Tales

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

The wrong way. Dallas is the worst place to live to avoid a natural disaster.

Where to Live to Avoid a Natural Disaster

Today's Western Movie Poster

As Oppposed to "in his foot"?

Trump Says He’s Decided ‘In My Mind’ to Pursue the Presidency

Cursive Writing Update "Might people who write only by printing — in block letters, or perhaps with a sloppy, squiggly signature — be more at risk for forgery? Is the development of a fine motor skill thwarted by an aversion to cursive handwriting? And what happens when young people who are not familiar with cursive have to read historical documents like the Constitution?

Jimmy Bryant, director of Archives and Special Collections at the University of Central Arkansas, says that a connection to archival material is lost when students turn away from cursive. While teaching last year, Mr. Bryant, on a whim, asked students to raise their hands if they wrote in cursive as a way to communicate. None did."

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Texas cops bust cockfighting ring at children's party

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

The Top Ten States With The Highest Gas Prices

The Top Ten States With The Highest Gas Prices

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Strangers When We Meet


Sunday, May 01, 2011

Lizards Lead the Way

Small lizard sparks big debate in NM, Texas

And Keep Off His Lawn!

71-year-old man captures criminal | "Gladin said he heard a commotion, grabbed his gun, and saw a man taking his lawnmower Friday afternoon."

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

BusinessWeek: "The Texas House Ways and Means Committee has approved a tax break for those who want to buy yachts costing $250,000 or more."

PimPage: An Occasional Feature in Which I Call Interesting Books to Your Attention

Anthony Neil Smith's Yellow Medicine is now an e-book. I reviewed it a couple of years ago, so here's the review again in case you've forgotten. The book's only 99 cents today. I don't know how long the bargain price will last. Better buy it now.

Yellow Medicine might be the name of a county in Minnesota, but it sounds downright nasty. What else would you expect from the author of Psychosomatic and The Drummer?

Deputy Billy Lafitte (nice piratical ring to the name) could be a distant cousin of Jim Thompson's Lou Ford or Nick Corey. Billy has relocated (thanks to a little storm named Katrina) from Mississippi to Minnesota. The circumstances of his life have changed and he's separated from his wife and kids (they're back with her bible-thumping parents), but he's the same kind of lawman he always was, the kind you really don't have to be arrested by. You don't even want him to try to help you.

That's what kicks off the action. Billy tries to help Ian, the boyfriend of a singer named Drew, with whom Billy has a complicated relationship. Things don't work out so well for Ian, and before long Billy is mixed up with druggies, killers, the Feds, and (yes, even in Minnesota) terrorists. Plenty of action and the usual Smith weird take on things make this one something you'll want to grab as soon as it's in print and take your medicine.

Today's Vintage Ad

10 Most Terrifying Airplane Hijackings of All Time

10 Most Terrifying Airplane Hijackings of All Time

Ummmmmmmm! Cookies!

Ninjabread Men


Dana Chambers, She'll Be Dead by Morning, Popular Library, no date.

Joe Lansdale Signs a Book at World Horror Con

Happy May Day!

May Day — "May 1st, often called May Day, just might have more holidays than any other day of the year. It's a celebration of Spring. It's a day of political protests. It's a neopagan festival, a saint's feast day, and a day for organized labor. In many countries, it is a national holiday."

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Wienermobile to take Texas motorcycle accident victim to prom

Joe Hill Reading at World Horror Con

Today's Western Movie Poster

The Only Thing We Have to Fear . . .

Mail Online: "An Arab waiter at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel named Mohamed said he was forced to wear a name badge with ‘Edgar’ on it to stop guests being scared."

Agatha Awards

Winners and nominees are posted here:
Malice Domestic Convention - Bethesda, MD:

David Wilkerson, R. I. P.

Reverend David Wilkerson | World Challenge: "David Wilkerson is the Founding Pastor of Times Square Church in New York City. He was called to New York in 1958 to minister to gang members and drug addicts, as told in the best-selling book, The Cross and the Switchblade."

Hat tip to Maurice Powell.

Sweet Smell of Success