Wow. I did not realize I hadn’t posted here since April! I haven’t been writing much since wrapping up The Public Life of Sherlock Holmes over at BlackGate.com in March, though I have been reading a LOT.
Lately, it’s been another visit to Hyboria and the world of Conan the Cimmerian. Better known as ‘The Barbarian.’ Which gave me the itch to write something for Black Gate again. So, I did! Click on over for my thoughts on the Tor pastiches that were a very mixed bag.
After reading several pastiches, I pulled the first Del Rey Conan book from the shelf and was again awed by Robert E. Howard’s amazing writing.
I quite like Mister Bean. Well, the television episodes: not so much the movies. But I think Rowan Atkinson is brilliant. And his hour-long comedy special was hilarious. Johnny English is my favorite spy spoof.
So it was a bit of a surprising move when the makers of a new series of tv movies featuring Georges Simenon’s Inspector Maigret decided to cast Atkinson in the lead. The first two have aired and two more are in the production stages. Atkinson doesn’t do a bad job and I wrote about the whole thing over at BlackGate.com. There is certainly room for improvement, but I think they’re definitely worth watching.
Click on over and read what I had to say. Or don’t. But you might be sorry. Then again, you might not be…
I love Erle Stanley Gardner’s Cool and Lam series. It’s far and away my favorite stuff from the creator of Perry Mason. Next Tuesday, December 6, Hard Case Crime is publishing the never before released second Cool and Lam novel, The Knife Slipped.
So this past Monday over at BlackGate.com, I had an excellent Q&A with Charles Ardai, founder and head honcho of Hard Case Crime. And this coming Monday, I’ve got a post ready to go on the Cool and Lam series. So, head on over to Black Gate for a little Erle Stanley Gardner.
So, over at BlackGate.com today, The Public Life of Sherlock Holmes looks at a fifth book in Otto Penzler’s Sherlock Holmes library. This one is from S.C. Roberts, an accomplished bookman who had a life-long impact on Cambridge.
This is a nifty little collection of essays written by Roberts and a nice addition to a Sherlockian bookshelf. I’ve long been fond of his pastiche, “The Strange Case of the Megatherium Thefts.”
I had previously written a post on Vincent Starrett’s two entries in the series, followed by a post on the two books from James Edward Holroyd.
This week, I actually managed to tie my favorite band into my Monday morning post over at BlackGate.com.
Included with the Beach Boys’ 1972 album, Holland, was an EP. For you youngsters, that stands for ‘Extended Play’ and it was a bonus record: less music than a regular album but more than on a 45. Mt. Vernon and Fairy: a Fairy Tale, was an odd piece of music, singing and spoken verse, telling the story of a young prince and a magic transistor radio.
I talk about this rather unique piece of Beach Boys history, so head on over to Black Gate and check it out.
Yesterday, July 24th, marked the 100th anniversary of John MacD’s birth (and it was also my twelfth wedding anniversary. Fortunately, I remembered both occasions!).
You can search John’s name here at AlmostHolmes and find several posts I’ve written about my favorite author. For today’s ‘The Public Life of Sherlock Holmes’ post over at BlackGate.com, I talk about JDM, and delve a bit into one of my favorite short stories, “The Trap of Solid Gold.”
Please head on over. And if the mood strikes you, leave a comment. That shows there’s some interest in the post topic. I work for free, so I don’t think they’ll be cutting me loose just yet, but it’s good to see discussions going on about the posts.
And if you’ve (shudder) never read any of MacDonald’s work, I truly believe that you’re missing out on one of the finest writers of the twentieth century. In any genre. He was just that good.
So, I finished my three-post series on the late, great Tony Hillerman over at BlackGate.com. You can find links to all three of them in this final post. I thoroughly enjoy his stuff and I recommend you check him out. Or at least read my posts!
I also did a post on a serial killer loose in Austin, TX back in 1885. That’s three years before Jack the Ripper, yet it’s a largely forgotten horror in American crime history. Go ahead and give it a quick look.
In between, I wrote a post on Key West’s finest private eye, Gideon Lowry. I really enjoy this four book series which John Leslie wrote back in the nineties. Lowry, who is in his late fifties, makes as much money playing piano in Key West bars as he does doing PI work. Leslie has created an interesting character.
And Key West becomes an essential element in the series. The ebooks are only $2.99 at Amazon (and free for Kindle unlimited!) and well worth the price. If you’re looking for a good PI series that is a bit different than the rest, check it out. After you read my post, of course!