Saturday, November 28, 2015

Al Markim, R. I. P.

Hollywood Reporter: Al Markim, who portrayed Astro, a young engineer from Venus, on the popular 1950s sci-fi TV serial Tom Corbett, Space Cadet, died Tuesday, his family announced. He was 88.

First It was the Thin Mints Melee

Man Attacks Roommate for Taking Too Long in Bathroom in NJ

Lie Catchers -- Paul Bishop

Paul Bishop is former L.A. cop, a reality TV star (Take the Money and Run),  and a writer.  On the TV series Bishop used some of the interrogation techniques that he'd become expert in as a cop, and this expertise plays a big role in his new novel, Lie Catchers.

Jane Randall, the novel's narrator, is recovering from a gunshot wound, another of the calamities that have given her the nickname of Calamity Jane.  She's assigned to work with Ray Pagan, a cop who seems to have his own rules.  That's because he's the best at what he does, interrogations.  He wants Randall to work with him because she has a special ability.  Pagan does, as well.  There's just a bit of woo-woo at work here, but Bishop makes it all believeable.  The reason Pagan's so good at his job is that he's an empath.  Randall can literally see when a person is lying.  The two of them together would have a tremendous advantage in interrogations.

Their first call is about a kidnapping of a child, but before long there's another kidnapping.  Could these two seemingly disparate cases be related?  You bet your bippy, and soon enough murder gets added to the complexity of the web being woven.

It takes good police work to get to the bottom of things, but the heart of the novel is the interrogation scenes, and these are intense and expertly handled.

Bishop knows how to tangle things up and to get them unraveled in fast-moving prose.  But wait!  There's more!  The book includes two nonfiction essays, one on Bishop's first arrest and one on his last.  These are both fine reading in their own right, so you get plenty of bang for your buck in Lie Catchers.  Check it out.

I Miss the Old Days

The Behind-the-Scenes Beauty of Barbarella

Song of the Day

Chris Kevin & The Comics - Here He Comes - There They Go - YouTube:

I'm Sure You'll All Agree

The ten funniest jokes ever (according to scientists at Oxford University)

Today's Vintage Ad

Peace on Earth

Shoppers brawl all over the country on Black Friday 

Warren Miller, R. I. P.

Inside Business: In 1958, Miller recorded the popular bopper, “Everybody’s Got A Baby” under his real name, on the United Artists label. He released others as Jesse Travers and Cris Kevin. His 1959 Cris Kevin song, “Here He Comes, There They Go” (aka “Have Gun, Will Travel”) caught the attention of Dick Clark and enjoyed heavy rotation on American Bandstand.


Geoffrey Household, Rogue Male (Man Hunt), Bantam, 1946

I Have Two Serious Quibbles with this List

NTN: The 12 debut novels that changed crime fiction 

A Review of Interest (To Me, Anyway)

Kevin's Corner: Review: "… A Dangerous Thing: A Carl Burns Mystery" by Bill Crider

Guy Lewis, R. I. P.

New York Times: Guy Lewis, a Hall of Fame basketball coach known for leading the University of Houston’s Phi Slama Jama teams of the early 1980s, died on Thursday at a retirement home in Kyle, Tex. He was 93.  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Judy Crider -- November 5, 1943 -- November 27, 2014

FFB: The Violent Ones -- Brant House, editor

Back in the Old Days, we didn't have Syrian refugees to fear, but we had plenty of other things.  We had the commies, the bomb, and of course juvenile delinquents.  

I believe that Brant House is *ahem* a house name used at Ace Books.  That's what Wikipedia says, so it must be true.  For this book, whoever was using the name assembled a book of stories about the fearful plague of delinquents on the nation, and as you can see from the back cover (and the title), he didn't pick out any stories about youngsters who help old ladies across the street.  Or if he did, those aren't the ones I read.

Evan Hunter's "See Him Die" is a told by a cop-hating youth who thinks a killer is a heroic guy.  Don't think this is going to be a story with a moral, one in which the narrator sees the error of his ways.  These stories aren't about people who do that.

The narrator of Robert Silverberg's "Russian Roulette" talks her boyfriend into playing the game.  And she wants to go first.  These are tough kids, and she's even tougher than you might think.

In "The Bobby Soxer" Jonathan Craig gives us another girl as the protagonist.  It's what happens after a man drags her into an alley and tries to rape her that gives the story its kicker.

Gil Brewer might have the nastiest story in the book (I haven't read all of them yet) in "On a Sunday Afternoon."  A man, his wife, and his child go on a picnic after church.  What could possibly to wrong?  J.D.s, that's what.  Very bad things happen.

Robert Turner's "Movie Night" closes things out with another story of a simple pleasure -- a night at a drive-in movie -- that gets way out of hand.  

[SPOILER ALERT] There's not a single story that I read in which any of the perpetrators of violence are punished.  I'm not sure what this tells us. [END OF SPOILER ALERT]

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving Crew

Back Row: Natalie Fulwiler, Scott Fulwiler, Allen Crider, Norma Fulwiler

Front Row: Tom Neary, Angela Crider Neary, Francelle Bettinger, Will Fulwiler, Bill Crider  (Francelle is my sister, and the Fulwilers are her son, his wife, and her grandkids.)

Who Says Hollywood Is Out of Ideas?

‘The Wages Of Fear’ Remake: Ben Wheatley In Talks To Write & Direct

Song of the Day

We Gather Together - Celtic Spirits - YouTube:

Yet Another List I'm Not On

Best mystery books and thrillers of 2015 - The Washington Post

Today's Vintage Ad

First It was the Thin Mints Melee

SFGate: Frustration is not an unfamiliar feeling for anyone who’s gone to the DMV, but one San Francisco man’s resilience and one clerk’s impatience resulted in a brawl at the department’s office with each using desk supplies as weapons.

Eat Like the Pilgrims

Eat Like the Pilgrims


Dorothy Charques, Men Like Shadows, Ballantine, 1965

Who Says TV Is Out of Ideas?

Read it and weep: 42 Movies Being Adapted For TV

The Origins of 15 Holiday Foods and Drinks

The Origins of 15 Holiday Foods and Drinks

How the Thanksgiving turkey was named after the country Turkey

How the Thanksgiving turkey was named after the country Turkey: The turkey, as you probably know, is native to North and Central America. So of course it's named after a Middle Eastern country, because why not, right?

Forgotten Music: 5 Insane Stunts From The Craziest Record Label Of All-Time

5 Insane Stunts From The Craziest Record Label Of All-Time