In honor of the Edgar Awards announced last night, I thought I'd highlight The Edgar Winners anthology published in 1980 and edited by Bill Pronzini. There are two dozen short stories included from writers who were awarded an "Edgar" for excellence by the Mystery Writers of America between 1948 and 1978.
As Pronzini states in his introduction, this anthology is
"The first anthology to bring together in one volume only those stories that have received the coveted Edgar as the Best Mystery Short Story of its year....These twenty-four stories include some of the finest mystery fiction to be published in the past four decades. Moreover, they represent the widest possible variety of types, themes, styles and authors--testimony to the fact that the mystery story, contrary to what certain critics would have us believe, is by no means a limited and hidebound genre."
A little history is in order, too, as the first two years of the Edgar Award for the short story were given for bodies of work; the third went to Ellery Queen's Mytery Magazine; and the next four were given to one-volume single-author collections. The current policy of honoring a single story didn't begin until 1954, and thus, Pronzini chose representative stories from the pre-1954 categories to be included here.
The stories are printed chronologically, from 1947's "The Adventure of the Mad Tea Party," by Ellery Queen (Frederic Dannay and Manford Bennington Lee), up through "The Cloud Beneath the Eave" by Barbara Owens, the winner from 1978. Other names are indeed a "Who's Who" of giants in crime fiction, short or long forms, including William Irish (a/k/a Cornell Woolrich), Lawrence G. Blochman, Philip MacDonald, Roadl Dahl, Stanley Ellin, Edward D. Hoch, Joe Gores, and Robert L. Fish. On the other hand, it's interesting to see how many of the winning stories were penned by authors who, for whatever reason, never went on to widespread name recognition, like William O'Farrell, Warner Law, and Margery Finn Brown.
The themes and styles Pronzini alluded to above range from detective stories to psychological suspense, police procedurals, character studies, morality plays, social commentaries, and "gently nostalgic glimpses of the past, even what might be termed an avant-garde literary exercise." If you're looking for a book that provides an overview of the best writing in a variety of short mystery fiction sub-genres, then this is a good place to start.
As a reminder and nod to the latest possibilities for inclusion in a future Edgar-winning anthology, here are this year's nominated stories (with a new update - the winner is Lawrence Block!):
The winners of the Los Angeles Times Book Awards were announced this past weekend at the LA Festival of Books. The top nod in the Mystery/Thriller category went to Bill Beverly for his novel Dodgers. The other finalists included Graeme Macrae Burnet, His Bloody Project: Documents Relating to the Case of Roderick Macrae; Emma Cline, The Girls; Ian McGuire, The North Water; and Thomas Mullen, Darktown.
In the 2017 Independent Publisher Book Awards, Michelle Cox’s A Girl Like You won the Gold Medal in the Mystery/Cozy/Noir category, with the Silver going to Delivering the Truth, by Edith Maxwell, and the Bronze to Catriona McPherson’s Quiet Neighbors.
The Crimefest Awards shortlists were announced ahead of the Crimefest Gala Awards Dinner on Saturday, May 21 in the categories of he Audible Sounds of Crime Award for the best unabridged crime audiobook (first published in the UK); the eDunnit Award for best crime fiction ebook first published in both hard copy and in electronic format; the Last Laugh Award for the best humorous crime novel; the H.R.F. Keating Award for best biographical or critical book related to crime fiction; and the Best Novels for Children and YA. (Hat to Spinetingler Magazine)
The finalists for the Arthur Ellis Awards, which honor the best in Canadian crime writing, were announced last Friday. In the category of Best Novel, the nominees are Kelley Armstrong for City of the Lost; Michael Helm for After James; Maureen Jennings for Dead Ground in Between; Janet Kellough for Wishful Seeing; and Donna Morrissey for The Fortunate Brother. For all the finalists, head on over to the Crime Writers of Canada website.
May 19-21, a Noir at the Bar Crawl will spread out across three cities, Washington, DC, Richmond, Virginia, and Baltimore, Maryland. Thirty authors will be taking part, with E.A. Aymar serving as host. Aymar wrote more about the whole Noir at the Bar experience for Lithub, and if you aren't already acquainted with these events, check out a history here.
Goodreads is presenting Mystery Week on their website, May 1 to 7, shining the spotlight on page-turning mysteries, thrillers, and suspense stories. Anthony Horowitz, Charlaine Harris, Dennis Lehane, and many others will be recommending books and sharing original content to kick off the week, but many other mystery authors (including myself) will also be participating. Look for the hashtag #MysteryWeek across various social media.
Booklist is sponsoring a Mystery Month during May, which will include a small press lineup and a feature called "The Clues to My Crime," where authors explain the influences behind their latest works. Jane Harper will shed some light on the writing of her bestselling book The Dry, and A. J. Hartley, Leah Carroll, David Swinson, Rob Hart, Jay Hosking, Nancy Werlin, Kristen Lepionka, Bill Loehfelm, and other authors will offer up their take on their process.
Sandra Ruttan and Jack Getze, editors of Spinetingler magazine, have been maintaining an online 'zine for some time featuring news and short fiction, even while many other publications have fallen by the wayside. Recently, Sandra announced that Spinetingler will have its first print issue in years this fall and is actively scheduling author interviews, selling limited ad space and pulling things together. Although they've already lined up several stories (including one by yours truly), they are still seeking a few additional pieces. But you'd better hurry if you're interested; they expect slots to fill up soon. You can read all the submission details here.
At the recent LA Festival of Books, author Michael Connelly explained why he's allowing Harry Bosch to age in his novels, adding,"I didn't freeze Harry in time, because it's better storytelling not to. As long as he can keep his health and his knees are good, he can close cases."
Sisters in Crime was founded in 1986 by Charlotte MacLeod, Kate Mattes, Betty Francis, Dorothy Salisbury Davis, Sara Paretsky, Nancy Pickard and Susan Dunlap. The organization was established to promote equality for women in crime fiction (particularly with reviews and awards), but has since branched out to include men and other educational and outreach programs. This past week, it expanded even further with the official founding of the New Orleans chapter of Sisters in Crime, who will also present the Third Annual Mystery Writers Conference in cooperation with the East Bank Regional Library.
This week, the 5-2 continues its "30 Days of the Five-Two" poetry blog tour with "Her Beheading" by Anne Graue and "Paradise" by Emilie Buchwald.
In the Q&A roundup, the Mystery People welcomed Megan Miranda, best-selling author of All The Missing Girls and The Perfect Stranger; Esquire spoke with Sophie Hannah about the challenges of writing the continuation Hercule Poirot novels originally created by the Queen of Crime, Agatha Christie; Sara Paretsky stopped by the Huffington Post to talk about her latest V.I Warshawski novel, Fallout; mystery writer Lynne Raimondo (the "Dante" series) chatted with the Chicago Tribune about her novels and writing routine; Criminal Element hosted Carolyn Haines (Sticks and Bones); and Lori Rayder-Day explained to the Wicked Cozy Authors why she's chosen to be a standalone writer.
New York Times best-selling author Randy Wayne White has been a farm hand, a brass and iron foundry worker, a telephone lineman, and, for thirteen years, a full-time fishing guide at Tarpon Bay Marina on Florida's Sanibel Island. His official bio also goes on to state that White has been stabbed, "shot at with intent," and was in a hotel that got blown up by Shining Path Anarchists in Peru. As a columnist for Outside magazine he has covered the America's Cup races in Australia, gone dog sledding in Alaska, searched for wild orangutans on Borneo, brought back refugees from Cuba, been diving in the infamous Bad Blue Hole lake on the desolate Cat Island in the Bahamas, and even participated in a mission to steal back General Manuel Noriega's bar stools.
In 1981, White turned his hand to crime fiction with the first book featuring Ex–Navy SEAL Dusky MacMorgan, Deep Six, written under the pen name of Randy Striker. He went on to pen seven novels under the Striker name and eleven novels as Carl Ramm, writing various series under the various pen names, including the Hannah Smith and Hawker novels, But White's primary focus has been his series featuring marine biologist and former secret operative, Doc Ford, who first appeared in 1990's Sanibel Flats.
In the twenty-fourth work in that series, Mangrove Lightning, legendary charter captain and guide Tootsie Barlow has come to Ford, muttering about a curse. The members of his extended family have suffered a bizarre series of attacks, and Barlow is convinced it has something to do with a multiple murder in 1925, in which his family had a shameful part. Ford doesn’t believe in curses, but as he and his friend Tomlinson begin to investigate, following the trail of the attacks from Key Largo to Tallahassee, they, too, suffer a series of near-fatal mishaps. Is it really a curse? Or just a crime spree? The answer lies in solving a near-hundred-year-old murder . . . and probing the mind of a madman.
White stops by In Reference to Murder today to talk about his writing and the inspiration and background behind it:
Novel Writing Tip #102: Use What You Know
by Randy Wayne White, Author of Mangrove Lightning: A Doc Ford Novel
Among the great strokes of good fortune -- and there were many junctures where I could have gone awry -- was the decision to write about, via fiction, my small marina family at Tarpon Bay, Sanibel Island, Florida, where I was a fishing guide from 1974 to 1987. This marina family embraced a wider tribe of watermen from along the Gulf Coast, fascinating characters, and also decent, caring people, who now populate my novels.
When my marina closed, I was out of a job -- a tough period financially, but a powerful motivator to write a good book that would sell. I did exactly that, but it didn’t happen as easily as it might sound. During my years as a guide, I’d also worked hard in my spare time at writing. I sold some stories to Outdoor Life (not about fishing) but my big break came when Rolling Stone founded Outside Magazine. This led to calls from other magazines, and a New York editor who asked me to write a series of thriller novels under pennames; jobs of work that paid $5k each. I wrote 18 of those tawdry bastards; called them D&F books (Duck and F---). I didn’t complain. They helped fund college accounts for my two young sons, and also provided a
bruising trial-by-fire during which I learned the rudiments of how to structure a novel.
I was not unprepared, then, when I set out to write not only a book I would be proud to carry my name, but one that sold. First, the protagonist: I was an experienced fishing guide, so why not a marine biologist? Also, thanks to Outside Magazine, I’d traveled countries torn by wars and revolutions, so why not a biologist who was also a clandestine operator – a “spook” with skills and knowledge far beyond my own.
Florida is an American microcosm that lures the best and the worst sort of people from all of the Americas, not just the U.S. I love the social diversity as much as I adore the varieties of subtropical land and waterscapes. For much of my life here, I’ve lived in an old Cracker house, tin-roofed, with a fireplace for heat, built atop the remnants of a shell pyramid that was constructed more than three thousand years ago by contemporaries of the Maya. Florida is an ancient place, but as modern as the latest South Beach fads in fashion and food. From my acre on the bay I can stand atop a mound, where kings once parlayed with Conquistadors, and watch the Space Shuttle arch toward the moon.
The boating experiences played out by characters in my books mirror my own, for I know no other way to write. One of the joys of writing is the opportunity to come as close as I can to capturing on paper the intimacies of water, mangroves, bays, backcountry and open sea. During my thirteen year guiding career, I spent three hundred days a year on the water, in small boats, in every possible type of weather. I was up at first light to catch bait, and, during the busy spring season, often tagged a third half-day charter onto my schedule, trips that went from seven p.m. until midnight. In Southwest Florida, where there are bays and many islands, it is often easier and faster to travel by boat, so I travel a lot at night, sometimes using night vision optics, always attuned to the various landmarks and ranges important when running shallow water.
As a writer, I still enjoy advantages gained by growing up in rural areas where isolation and boredom were relentless motivators and keys to the limitless worlds that lie between covers, not coasts. Better yet, my isolation was split between bipolar geographies: farms in the Midwest and my maternal home of Richmond County, North Carolina, a solid place of cotton mills, tobacco, truck farming (of the vegetable variety) and some of the finest people I’ve known. The fact that many of these fine people were also my aunts, uncles and cousins only added to the richness of a Midwestern and Deep South childhood that practically guaranteed that, even if I had failed as a writer, I was bound to succeed at something.
© Randy Wayne White, author of Mangrove Lightning: A Doc Ford Novel
You can find out more about Randy Wayne White and his books via his website and by following him on Facebook. Mangrove Lightning is available via all major book retailers and just hit the New York Times Bestsellers List.
Welcome to a new week and a new roundup of crime drama news:
Feature film rights to David Grann's true crime book, The Flower Moon: The Osage Murders And The Birth Of The FBI, were snapped up last year after a bidding war for $5 million by Imperative Entertainment, and now the producers are in talks to bring Martin Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Robert De Niro on board. The book follows the aftermath of an oil discovery on Osage Indian tribal lands in Oklahoma, which led to conspiracy, greed, and murder among the tribe that caused the federal government to step in. It also chronicles the rise of J. Edgar Hoover, who led the investigation into the murders and ended up making a name for himself.
Smart House, a new techno-thriller from James Wan, is being developed by Lionsgate, with Alexandre Aja (The Hills Have Eyes) on board to direct from a script by Brad Keene (The Grudge 3). Based on an original idea by Wan, Smart House follows a family in the witness protection program who are placed in the custody of a state-of-the-art, autonomous "smart house." When a group of assassins locates the family, the house goes into lethal defense mode to protect them.
Clint Eastwood is set to direct a drama based on the book The 15:17 To Paris: The True Story Of A Terrorist, A Train, And Three American Heroes. The book was written by Anthony Sadler, Alek Skarlatos, Spencer Stone, and Jeffrey E. Stern and is based on the 2015 real-life incident when an ISIS terrorist boarded a train from Brussels to Paris armed with an AK-47 and enough ammo to kill more than 500 people. The terrorist might have succeeded except for three American friends who refused to give in to fear.
The first trailer was released for American Assassin, based on the novel by Vince Flynn. The film stars Dylan O’Brien as Mitch Rapp, a man recruited by the CIA after terrorists kill his fiancée, into a black ops mission aimed at stopping World War III in the Middle East. Michael Keaton also stars as a Cold War veteran who would be the most feared training officer in the CIA if more than a handful of people at the agency actually knew of his existence.
A new trailer was released for The Beguiled, Sofia Coppola’s screenplay adaptation of Thomas Cullinan’s novel of the same name, which will screen in competition at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival. The Beguiled stars Nicole Kidman, Elle Fanning, Kirsten Dunst, and Colin Ferrell in the atmospheric thriller set during the Civil War at a Southern girls’ boarding school where its sheltered young women take in an injured enemy soldier. As they provide refuge and tend to his wounds, "the house is taken over with sexual tension and dangerous rivalries, and taboos are broken in an unexpected turn of events."
Last Monday, I noted that although a new limited X-Files series wasn't in the works yet, a new audiobook release would help pacify fans. Later that week, Fox announced that yes, there is going to be another "event series," this time expanded slightly to ten episodes. Stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson have been confirmed to appear in the new season, which will be helmed by series creator and original executive producer, Chris Carter, and air during the 2017-18 television season.
Lifetime has given a straight-to-series 10-episode order to the romantic thriller You, based on Caroline Kepnes’ best-selling 2014 novel. The work is described as a 21st century love story that asks, "What would you do for love?" When a brilliant bookstore manager crosses paths with an aspiring writer, his answer becomes clear: anything. Using the internet and social media as his tools to gather the most intimate of details and get close to her, a charming and awkward crush quickly becomes obsession as he quietly and strategically removes every obstacle, and person, in his way.
TNT’s upcoming straight-to-series drama The Alienist, which has been filming in Europe, is making a casting change midstream with Brian Geraghty (The Hurt Locker) stepping in to co-star as Teddy Roosevelt, replacing Sean Astin who originally was cast in the role. "Unfortunately because of scheduling difficulties, Sean Astin will no longer play the role," TNT said in a statement. The psychological thriller drama is set in 1896, when a series of gruesome murders of boy prostitutes has gripped the city. Newly appointed top cop Roosevelt (Geraghty) calls upon Dr. Laszlo Kreizler (Daniel Brühl), a criminal psychologist — aka alienist — and newspaper illustrator John Moore (Luke Evans) to conduct the investigation in secret.
Producer and Miramax co-founder Harvey Weinstein has optioned TV rights to the new book by Detroit author and Kresge literary fellow Stephen Mack Jones. Weinstein, a fan of crime fiction who named his son after detective story author Dashiell Hammett, came across a blurb describing Jones' book, August Snow, when it was published in February. The book's protagonist is a half-black, half-Latino ex-cop and private detective working in Detroit named August Snow who testified against a crooked mayor and corrupt police officers and is adjusting to a Motor City that’s both gentrifying and decaying. Weinstein isn't alone in his interest, however, as there are other offers to adapt the book on the table.
Niels Arden Oplev, who directed the pilot for USA’s Mr. Robot, has been tapped to direct and executive produce the TNT hourlong pilot The Deep Mad Dark, an atmospheric mystery-thriller about the complexities of friendship. The story centers on Detroit neurosurgeon Polly Lewis who embarks on an unorthodox study in the field of memory and trauma. Her once closest friend – the irreverent, brilliant Tash Hollander – comes home after living many years in a strange, off-the-grid community in Belize and insinuates herself into Polly’s life in ways that threaten everything Polly has achieved.
Crackle announced it had greenlighted the techno-thriller movie In The Cloud and is also developing the 10-episode seies The Oath, written and created by former Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy Joe Halpin and centering on a gang whose members turn on each other after being picked off by the FBI. Other projects under development include RPM, a "high-octane" drama set in the working-class streets of Boston’s most corrupt neighborhoods where a used-car salesman moonlights as a getaway driver for a Boston crime syndicate.
Jerry Ferrara, Jesse Bradford, and Todd Lowe will join USA Network’s Ryan Phillippe-starrer Shooter as recurring characters. Beverly D’Angelo will also return as Patricia Gregson, steely-eyed National Security Advisor to the President, when the show returns for its second season July 18.
The Writer Types podcast showcased four different crime fiction authors, Sara Paretsky, William Kent Krueger, Lori-Rader Day, Marcus Sakey, and Sean Chercover.
Inside Thrill Radio host Jenny Milchman welcomed Matt Coyle, David McCaleb, Nadine Nettmann, and Lili Wright for a program titled "Win, Lose, or Draw."
Haunted NIghts Live was joined by Ridley Pearson, a New York Times bestselling author of more than 50 novels. Ridley was also awarded The Raymond Chandler Fulbright fellowship in detective fiction from Oxford University in 1990, was an Edgar Award nominee, and was admitted to the Missouri Writer Hall of Fame in 2013.
Two Crime Writers and a Microphone hosts Steve Cavanagh and Luca Veste featured Miranda Dickinson, talking about genre, crossovers between romance and crime, and her publishing journey.
Sasscer Hill stopped by Authors on the Air Radio to chat about her new series featuring Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau agent "Fia McKee," and the AAR podcast also welcomed two time Edgar Award & Dagger Award shortlisted crime novelist, Adrian McKinty, Macavity Award finalist Jennifer Kincheloe, and Kate White (The Secrets You Keep).
Captain America star Chris Evans will make his Broadway debut at Second Stage in spring 2018 in a revival of Oscar winner Kenneth Lonergan’s 2001 play Lobby Hero opposite Michael Cera. Trip Cullman will direct the project, which is set in the lobby of a Manhattan apartment building where an ambitious young security guard clashes with a stern boss, an intense rookie cop, and her unpredictable partner.
Tess Gerritsen is the recipient of the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance inaugural CrimeMaster Award for Distinguished Achievement, to be presented this Friday, April 21, on the eve of the 2017 Maine Crime Wave in Portland. Gerritsen's books have been published in 40 countries, sold more than 30 million copies, and the hit TV series Rizzoli & Isles is based on her suspense novels.
The longlist for the 2017 Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of The Year was released, with 18 authors/books in the running. The shortlist for the award, which celebrates the very best in crime fiction by UK and Irish crime authors, will be announced May 20 and the winner (selected by judges and online voting) anointed July 20 during the Theakston Festival in Harrogate, England.
Also announced recently were the five finalists for the 2017 Bloody Words Light Mystery Award (aka the Bony Blithe Award), an annual Canadian honor that celebrates traditional, feel-good mysteries. The winner will be crowned during the Bony Blithe Mini-Con and Award Gala to be held in Toronto on May 26.
The Del Sol Press 2017 First Novel competition is open for entries, which will be considered by guest judge Hallie Ephron. The contest is open to all authors writing in English regardless of nationality or residence and is available to published and unpublished authors alike. Genres can include literary and upmarket fiction, mainstream or general fiction, mystery/thriller or speculative fiction with a literary edge, serious women's fiction, and unique experimental work. The winner receives a $1,500 honorarium and book publication by Del Sol Press, and finalist manuscripts will also be considered for publication.
On June 30 in South Melbourne, Australia, Sisters in Crime will sponsor a panel on "Nordic Noir: the new cool," including Australia’s Queen of Noir, Leigh Redhead; Swedish translator Hanna Lofgren; author Janice Simpson; and Sue Turnbull, Professor of Media Studies at the University of Wollongong.
Sisters in Crime U.S. has begun accepting submissions for the 2017 Eleanor Taylor Bland Crime Fiction Writers of Color Award. Honoring the memory of pioneering African-American crime fiction author Eleanor Taylor Bland, the award offers a $1,500 grant to an emerging writer of color, male or female, who has not yet published a full-length work. This year’s application and more information can be found via the official SinC contest link.
The Library Journal's spotlight on recent mystery novels featured new books from authors beyond the grave, as well as some career switches, and an increasingly multicultural slate of crime protagonists and themes.
Speaking of all things library, if you haven't heard of the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library in Toronto or made a pilgrimage, you should definitely put it on your bucket list.
Raymond Chandler allegedly once gave J. Edgar Hoover a snub that may have led the iconic FBI head to investigate the author, but as Ron Capshaw notes for the Daily Beast, although most people would be intimated, the creator of Philip Marlow was made of "tougher stuff."
New York Times columnist Radhika Jones sings the praises of Agatha Christie's detectives - not Hercule Poirot nor Miss Marple but rather Dame Agatha's "accidental sleuths."
The Guardian spoke with author Donna Leon on the 25th anniversary of her first Commissario Brunetti crime novel about how she is responding to dark times and why she became an eco-detective writer.
The Guardian also put the spotlight on the humble fly, often the first visitors to a murder scene, and how studying their grisly dining habits can reveal vital clues to help catch the killer. The article notes that the practice of forensic entomology dates all the way back to China in 1235.
This week, the 5-2 continues its "30 Days of the Five-Two" poetry blog tour with "Judgment Day" by Nancy Scott, by "No Title (On Purpose)," by Matt Kolbet, and "The Intruder," by David R. Slavitt.
In the Q&A roundup, Terri Bischoff, with the blog Hey, There's a Dead Guy in My Living Room, posed five questions to author Catriona McPherson; Slate pinned down Baltimore-based writer Laura Lippman to discuss her writing process and her relationship to the city; the Seattle Times spoke with Ann Cleeves on her literary career and the birth of the BBC mystery series Vera; the blog Chat About Books snagged Paul Harrison, a former police officer turned true crime author who has just released his first crime novel; Margaret Fenton was the guest at The Writers Life, discussing her latest book, Little Girl Gone; Alex Segura spoke with the Huffington Post about his latest Pete Fernandez novel, Dangerous Ends; and the Sleuthsayers welcomed Gerald So, author, editor, publisher, and a proponent of short crime writing forms, both stories and poetry.
Benedict Cumberbatch is in early negotiations with Fox Searchlight to star in The Man in the Rockefeller Suit, with David Bar Katz adapting the book by Mark Seal. The project is based on the true story of Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter, an imposter who conned his way into various jobs on Wall Street — as well as a marriage — posing as a member of the Rockefeller family. After achieving a life in rarefied social circles, his past finally catches up with him, and he fears losing custody of his only daughter.
Alex Pettyfer (Magic Mike, Elvis & Nixon) will make his directorial debut with Back Roads, a murder mystery in which he will also star opposite Jennifer Morrison, Juliette Lewis, and Nicola Peltz. Based on the 1999 debut novel of the same name by author Tawni O’Dell, the project tells the story of a man caring for his three younger sisters after the death of their abusive father and imprisonment of their mother for his murder, whose life takes a dangerous turn when he finds himself the leading suspect in another local murder.
Oscar winner Robert Duvall is the latest to join New Regency’s Steve McQueen-helmed heist thriller Widows. The acting legend’s addition bolsters an already-strong cast that includes Viola Davis, Colin Farrell, Liam Neeson, Michelle Rodriguez, Cynthia Erivo, Elizabeth Debicki, and Daniel Kaluuya.
Lionsgate released a trailer for The Hitman’s Bodyguard, starring Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson as an unlikely duo who must work together to testify at the International Court of Justice to bring down an evil man.
The British Bafta Award finalists for excellence in television programming included nods for crime dramas The Secret and The Witness for the Prosecution in the Mini-Series category. The International Category included nominations for The Night Of (HBO/Sky Atlantic) and American Crime Story – The People Vs OJ Simpson (FX/BBC).
CBS Television Studios has pre-emptively bought the rights to Edgar-winning author Meg Gardiner’s forthcoming novel UNSUB to adapt for television. The thriller follows a female detective on the trail of an infamous serial killer – inspired by the still-unsolved Zodiac case – when he breaks his silence and begins killing again. The detective, who grew up watching her father destroy himself and his family chasing the killer, now finds herself facing the same monster.
ABC Is developing the crime series Harrow, described as "darkly funny" and "irreverent." The show centers on a forensic pathologist named Dr. James Harrow who is TV-level brilliant and unorthodox ... and also a murderer.
Donald Sutherland is set to play billionaire oil man J. Paul Getty in the first installment of the FX anthology series Trust, executive produced by the Slumdog Millionaire trio Danny Boyle, Simon Beaufoy, and Christian Colson. Season 1 takes place in 1973, when the young heir John Paul Getty III was kidnapped in Rome and his mafia captors attempted to extract a multimillion-dollar ransom from his wealthy family.
David Morrissey will headline The City and the City for BBC Two, joining an international cast that features German actress Maria Schrader, U.S. actor Christian Camargo, rising British actress Mandeep Dhillon, and veteran British actors Ron Cook and Danny Webb. Described by the BBC as a "genre-busting thriller" based on the 2009 novel by China Mieville, The City and the City follows the investigation of Inspector Tyador Borlu (Morrissey), a detective in the Extreme Crime Squad of the fictional rundown European city of Beszel, into the death of a foreign student. He soon discovers that the dead girl came from Beszel’s sister city, Ul Qoma, and was involved in the political and cultural strife that exists between the two. To do his job, Borlu must work alongside the Ul Qoman police.
Hulu acquired the Canadian crime drama Pure, which stars Ryan Robbins (Arrow, The Killing), Alex Paxton-Beesley (Copper), AJ Buckley (CSI: NY, Narcos), Peter Outerbridge (Orphan Black) and Oscar and Golden Globe nominee Rosie Perez. Inspired by true events, it follows a Mennonite pastor trying to protect his family and preserve his faith while battling drug trafficking within his community.
Keanu Reeves Is heading to TV for the first time to star in the Pop Network series Swedish Dicks, Private Investigators. The project centers on former stuntman Ingmar Andersson (Peter Stormare) trying to carve out an existence as a private detective in Los Angeles. He runs into a struggling DJ (Johan Glans) who decides to leave that life behind to join Ingmar in solving cases and trying to top L.A.'s most successful P.I. company. Keanu Reeves will have a recurring role as Tex Johnson, an old stunt-performing friend of Ingmar's with "an interesting history."
USA Network announced its spring/summer schedule, including the new thriller The Sinner, based on Petra Hammesfahr’s book and starring Jessica Biel as a young mother who commits a startling act of violence and to her horror, has no idea why. Detective Harry Ambrose (Bill Pullman) finds himself obsessed with uncovering the woman’s buried motive. Returning USA shows include the narcotics thriller Queen of the South, inspired by the global best-selling novel La Reina Del Sur by Arturo Pérez-Reverte, and The Shooter, based on the best-selling novels by Stephen Hunter and the 2007 Paramount film starring Mark Wahlberg,
While fans of The X-Files wait impatiently to see if there will be another limited series of the show, they can take solace in a new audiobook, X-Files: Cold Cases, with David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Mitch Pileggi (Walter Skinner), William B. Davis (the Cigarette Smoking Man) and the Lone Gunmen (Tom Braidwood, Dean Haglund, and Bruce Harwood) all reprising their roles from the original TV show.
The venerable true crime series Dateline has been sold in 80% of the country for a September premiere in national syndication on Fox and other television affiliates. Double runs of Dateline will also be offered to stations to air as a two-hour true crime block.
HBO released a trailer for its upcoming miniseries The Wizard of Lies, starring Robert DeNiro as the disgraced and imprisoned financier Bernie Madoff. Michelle Pfeiffer co-stars as Bernie’s wife, while Alessandro Nivola, Nathan Darrow, and Kristen Connolly play his children.
Author Paul Levine visited Libby Hellmann on the 2nd Sunday Crime podcast to talk about his new book, Bum Luck.
Author Harry Hunsicker made an appearance on WFAA-TV to talk about his new crime thriller, The Devil's Country.
Steve Cavanagh and Luca Veste, the hosts of the Two Crime Writers and a Microphone podcast, chatted with their special guest Steve Mosby, who talked about his brand new book You Can Run, his career so far, and the dark side of crime fiction.
Suspense Radio this week welcomed guests Daniel Pyne (screenwriter and author of Catalina Eddy), former Navy Seal Thom Shea, and bestselling author Kate White (The Secrets you Keep).
Tony nominee Max von Essen stars as Captain Alfred Dreyfus in a limited engagement of The Dreyfus Affair at the BAM Fisher theater Off-Broadway. Written by Eve Wolf and directed by Donald T. Sanders, the multi-media production shines a light on the controversial conviction and false arrest of a highly decorated French Jewish officer in 1894 - the consequences of which were felt for decades in the political landscape in France and the rest of the world. The Ensemble for the Romantic Century production starts April 27 and continues through May 7.
If you ever thought classical music was staid and boring, you probably haven't encountered Carlo Gesualdo (1566-1613). A New Yorker article referred to him as the "Prince of Darkness" and others have dubbed him the "Madman of the Renaissance" and not without good reason. He was responsible for at least two murders, but the prolific composer of madrigals and sacred works was also known for his complex and imaginative harmonies that were almost two hundred and fifty years ahead of their time. Here's his "Tenebrae factae sunt" from Feria Sexta - Tenebrae Responsories for Good Friday, sung by the Hilliard Ensemble:
Today's Friday's "Forgotten" Book feature hosted by Patti Abott is focused on small-town cops or sheriffs. In that vein, I offer up a Nordic take on the subject.
Before the recent Scandinavian crime fiction invasion, before even Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö, there was Kerstin Lillemor Ekman (born August 1933), whose debut crime novel, Thirty-Meter Murder (30 meter mord), was published in 1959. Her first few mystery novels grew out of her background as a documentary filmmaker, and she wrote seven crime fiction books in all before turning her hand to more general psychological and social themes (and one book that's a history of Sweden told from the POV of a troll). She did later return to the genre, with the detective novel Blackwater (Händelser vid vatten) in 1993, which won the Swedish Crime Academy's award for best crime novel.
Eckman's novel Under the Snow (De tre små mästarna) from 1961 is set in the harsh, distant landscape of the Arctic Circle's Lapland in the town of Rakisjokk during the extended darkness of winter. Or as one character notes, "You might say this is where the world comes to an end." A drunken evening ends in the death of a local artist and teacher named Matti Olsson, but when Constable Torsson sets out to investigate (a 25-mile trek on skis across a frozen lake), he is met with a conspiracy of silence, mismatched stories and only a single clue: a bloodstained mahjong tile. His efforts aren't helped by the fact that the locals are part of the ethnic Sami group who speak Finnish and don't think very highly of Swedes. Torsson has no choice but to close the case. That is, until David Malm, an eccentric redheaded painter and friend of Matti's, arrives in town to investigate the truth on his own and runs into beautiful teacher Anna Ryd who is caught with a bag containing a bloody noose with a human hair clinging to it.
Eckman maintains the dark atmosphere of the unrelenting subzero cold and sunless days (followed by nights where the sun never sets) where nearly everyone has secrets, but still manages to inject bits of humor and her trademark irony: the super-fit younger colleague decked out in the 1960 version of chic Gore-Tex gear who turns an ankle in the first few yards during his first attempt on skis; a language professor who happily scribbles down the ferryman's epithets; a elkhound that barks nonstop. One unusual technique: Ekman wrote Under the Snow almost completely in the third person except for Chapter 12, where Matti's killer explains how the murder was committed. Of her writing influences, Eckman has said "I live in a small village and I have been living in two other small villages far up north in Sweden. Very close to the forest, the mountains, the waters. They have had a great impact on me, melting into my language."
Under the Snow remained unavailable in English from the time of its publication until the translation by Joan Tate in 1996, 35 years later. Entertainment Weekly called Eckman "Striking...a sort of Graham Greene meets Dean Koontz," and the Library Journal added that "Ekman's brilliant evocation of a place and culture above the Arctic Circle is as compelling and mysterious as the crime itself." Ekman was elected member of the Swedish Academy in 1978, but left in 1989 when the academy didn't take a strong stand after the fatwa against Salman Rushdie. She also turned her hand back to the screen with a Swedish TV movie based on one of her books and appearances as herself in documentaries.