Paula Gosling was born Paula Osius in 1939, the daughter of an inventor in Detroit, Michigan. She tried her hand at poetry at Wayne State University and later at a Detroit advertising agency, but wasn't happy. In 1964, she headed to England in search of romance, intrigue and adventure, eventually meeting her husband, Christopher Gosling, whom she married in 1968.
Although divorced after only nine years of marriage, she kept the Gosling surname as she started writing her books. Perhaps she felt she owed him her literary start, because it was loneliness when he was away working that led her to start writing to pass the time. The result was A Running Duck in 1974, which won the CWA's John Creasey Award for the best first novel of the year and was named in 1990 as one of the CWA's Top 100 Crime Novels of All Time.
Many books followed, mostly standalones at first, including one paranormal book penned under the name Ainslie Skinner. Eventually she created her first series, with Detective Chief Inspector Luke Abbot, and another, the Blackwater Bay series, she set near the Great Lakes with Sheriff Matt Gabriel as protagonist. A third series, which she also set in the U.S., was launched in 1985 with Monkey Puzzle, a police procedural centered around homicide Lieutenant Jack Stryker, which won the 1985 CWA Gold Dagger Award.
Money Puzzle takes place primarily around Grantham University in Ohio, when one of the English professors, Aiken Adamson, is murdered and his tongue cut out. The professor was despised by all of his colleagues for collecting and hoarding secrets about them like the human equivalent of a thieving magpie. Hours before his death, all of the department members were with Adamson at a sherry reception, giving each of them opportunity for murder, in addition to the various motives they had—personal and professional rivalries, envy, sexual intrigue and blackmail.
As Detective Stryker digs deeper into the case, he realizes he has secret ties of his own to one of the professors, Kate Trevorne and starts to fall for her, despite the fact her boyfriend and fellow English prof is the prime suspect. Although at first, the murder is considered a crime of passion (the victim was a homosexual), the case soon takes a different turn when the Chairman of the Department is attacked and his ear cut off. Stryker, recovering from pneumonia, is doggedly determined to nail the culprit no matter what it takes, but when Kate is attacked and the murderer attempts to gouge out one of her eyes, the case becomes personal.
Gosling does a good job of portraying the sometimes cut-throat world of academia with its petty squabbles, jockeying for position and inter-departmental feuds. The characters are also relatively well drawn, although some might find a few cliches that date the book, i.e., the sleazy homosexual (complete with mirrors on the ceiling), an alcoholic Vietnam vet and a cop-hating young professor who participated in campus riots in the 70s. The writing carries you along at a suspenseful clip, but it can also show hints of Gosling's poetry background, like this excerpt following a snowfall that is appropriate for the recent winter weather we've been having:
He loved the city like this, hushed and briefly upended in it headlong run to destruction, mantled with a transient beauty that hid all the dirt and slowed all the hate. In two miles he passed only four cars, and the drivers smiled as they edged past one another in the rutted, twinkling streets. The snow made them momentary partners in adversity, witnesses of that fleeting moment in time when nobody had spoiled anything. Yet.
As a side note, Gosling's novel A Running Duck, written in 1974 (also published as Fair Game), was adapted into two separate films, one starring Sylvester Stallone, titled Cobra, and the second starring Cindy Crawford, titled Fair Game. Unfortunately, like a lot of books-to-film, the results were less than Oscar-worthy; the Stallone version was nominated for a Razzie in 1986 for worst screenplay and Metacritic listed the Cindy Crawford flick as one of its five worst movies based on a novel.
Not that Gosling was particularly worried. In a People interview, she noted she had optioned the film to Warner Bros, for a "mid-five-figure" sum and almost forgotten about it when a friend of her son's alerted her to the fact Gosling's name was in the Stallone film' credits. At the time, she said "I haven't really taken it in yet. It's all very exciting."
The crime fiction community lost one of its own last week when author, editor, and blogger Ed Gorman died following a long battle with cancer. Ed penned dozens of mystery novels, including the Sam McCain, Jack Dwyer and Dev Conrad series. Tributes have been pouring in since about Ed's decency and his tireless support for and encouragement of newbie authors. You can read some of those tributes via The Rap Sheet, Bill Crider, Mike Stotter, Todd Mason, James Reasoner, Mystery Fanfare, and the Cedar Rapids Gazette. If you'd like to celebrate Ed's life and literary legacy, the Mystery File has an extensive bibliography, and Beat to a Pulp is featuring one of Ed's stories, titled "Stalker."
Sadly, mystery author Larry Karp also died this past week. Karp was the author of medical thrillers and novels based on music, especially ragtime, and lived in the Puget Sound region of Washington State. Puget Sound's Sisters in Crime chapter had a tribute on Facebook.
The Noir at the Bar events are coming at a fast and furious pace, which means I sometimes miss a few. But this one looks particularly fun, to be held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on November 3 and hosted by Night Owl Mysteries and Crimespree Magazine. The featured authors scheduled to appear include Dana Camera, Matthew Clemens, Ed Kurtz, Nicholas Petrie, Todd Robinson, and Johnny Shaw. Plus, in honor of this Noir at the Bar also being the launch for the Crimespree beer, Cherry Moon, everyone buying a Cherry Moon during the event will get a free hardcover book with their beer.
Irish crime writers Alan Glynn and Declan Hughes will take part in a commemoration of Raymond Chandler's Waterford connections at the city's annual Imagine Arts Festival on October 23, reading from their work and discussing Chandler's influence on their writing and contemporary crime fiction.
Last week, the CWA handed its annual Dagger Awards, with Bill Beverly's novel Dodgers being the big winner, awarded both the Goldsboro Gold for the best crime novel and John Creasey New Blood for the best debut crime novel. Don Winslow's The Cartel was also honored with the Ian Fleming Steel for the best crime thriller of the year. For the full list of winners, check out the Eurocrime blog or the official CWA website.
Book Riot is celebrating the launch of its new biweekly newsletter for all things mystery and thriller, Unusual Suspects, with a giveaway open through October 23 (the winner will receive 10 new mystery and thriller releases). Unusual Suspects will include crime fiction news, reviews, and interviews, with the first issue scheduled for November.
In honor of its 75th anniversary, Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine recently held an anniversary symposium. For those of you who weren't able to attend, EQMM has since made the video and audio from the first panel available online, and you can read more about the celebration via Vicki Weisfeld's piece for Crime Fiction Lover.
Forty years ago, music writer Paul Nelson interviewed the iconic crime fiction author Ross Macdonald (a/k/a Kenneth Millar), creator of one of the most famous fictional private eye in literary history, Lew Archer. Their interaction resulted in forty hours of interviews that have been collected into a book by Kevin Avery and Jeff Wong, and LitHub arranged for Avery to speak with one of Macdonald's surviving friends, New York Times bestselling writer Jonathan Lethem, about Macdonald and how the book came together.
Ahead of Halloween, the AMC Network is celebrating the 20th anniversary of FearFest, one of TV’s longest-running annual thematic programming celebrations. As part of the big bash, the network will offer the largest collection of horror and genre film titles in its history.
For the next two weekends, Genesee Country Village & Museum will bring some of Edgar Allan Poe's wonderfully creepy tales to life with its Spirits of the Past theatrical tours. Using the historic village as its canvas, this 75-minute, all-new theatrical tour revisits chilling scenes from such works as "The Tell-Tale Heart," "Berenice," "The Pit and the Pendulum," "The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether" and others. Costumed guides lead visitors by candlelight through the village where they encounter short vignettes in and around the historic homes.
Strand Magazine compiled a listing of "Ten Great Books by Up-and-Coming Crime Fiction Writers," from traditional hard-boiled to pulpy southern noir to "drug dealers doing battle with inhuman gangbangers."
Lithub profiled "the man who invented bookselling as we know it," James Lackington. If you've ever bought a remaindered book at deep discount, or wandered through the over-stocked shelves of a cavernous bookstore, or spent an afternoon lounging in the reading area of a bookshop, then you’ve experienced some of the ways that Lackington revolutionized bookselling in the late 18th century.
Author Louise Millar talked about the "The creepy truth about being a female crime writer" for the Telegraph.
Placing Literature has created two new digital interactive literary maps: Charles Dickens and Sherlock Holmes. Site visitors can follow the adventures of Oliver Twist or Edwin Drood in Victorian London and see the locations that the Baker Street detective visited in his stories. The website has been creating literary maps since 2013 and has already created maps for Mark Twain, Dylan Thomas, New York City, and others, with more than 3,600 literary places of interest mapped on its site.
Really neat idea: at one store in Ypsilanti, a working-class town just outside Ann Arbor, Michigan, kids get a $2 discount if they read a book aloud to their barber.
Hopefully, you'll get to see them in person, but in the meantime, here's your chance to peek inside some truly famous bookshops.
This week's featured crime poem over at the 5-2 is "Midnight Preparation" by Michael Arnzen.
In the Q&A roundup, J.R. Lindermuth stopped by Omnimystery News to chat about his new mystery novel, Shares the Darkness; Crimespree Magazine sat down to talk wth Gary Phillips, the "Hardest Working Man in Crime Fiction"; Stay Thirsty Publications grilled Edgar and Shamus nominated author Duane Swierczynski about his latest noir tale, Revolver, which follows three generations of cops and crimes in his home city of Philadelphia (officer worker cubicle warning: this piece starts off with audio of gunfire); and This is Writing interviewed prolific author O'Neil De Noux about his many books and over 350 short stories.
Warner Bros. is developing Impossible Odds, based on a memoir written by Jessica Buchanan and her husband Erik Landemalm and set to be adapted by Brian Helgeland and directed by Clint Eastwood (who previously worked with Helgeland on Mystic River). The story centers on Buchanan, an aid worker who was captured and held by Somalia land pirates until President Obama sent in Seal Team 6 to rescue her and a colleague.
Oscar-winning writers Joel and Ethan Coen are developing the techno-thriller Dark Web for Fox. Based on a two-part Wired article by Joshuah Bearman and adapted for the screen by author Dennis Lehane, the story follows Ross William Ulbricht, who developed "The Silk Road" illegal online marketplace for drugs and was eventually arrested in 2013.
Arrival screenwriter Eric Heisserer has been brought on board to put the finishing touches on the script for the Sylvester Stallone action thriller Godforsaken, based on an original treatment from Daniel Casey. The story centers on an aging ex-con (Stallone) who is forced out of his self-imposed isolation to protect the only family he has left and avenge the death of the son he hardly knew.
Netflix has the lead in an auction to acquire The Helicopter Heist, with Jake Gyllenhaal attached to star and produce with his Nine Stories Productions partner Riva Marker. The project is based on a manuscript for a yet-to-be-published book written by Swedish author Jonas Bonnier that follows the true story of the the infamous Västberga robbery of 2009 where a gang of brazen robbers used a stolen Bell 206 Jet Ranger to land on the roof of a building and abscond with more than $5 million.
The first trailer was released for Werner Herzog's Salt And Fire starring Michael Shannon and Gael García Bernal in the eco-thriller about a scientist and CEO who must come together as a volcano threatens to explode.
John Grisham’s novel The Rainmaker is in the works at CBS with a put pilot commitment. The story follows a young lawyer right out of college whose life is turned upside-down as he takes on a fraudulent insurance company. It was previously adapted into a film by Francis Ford Coppola starring Matt Damon, Claire Danes, and Danny DeVito.
Showrunners and producers David E. Kelley and Jonathan Shapiro are reuniting for a new legal drama for streaming giant Amazon. Goliath, which launched its eight-episode first season this past week, follows Billy (Billy Bob Thornton) and Donald Cooperman (William Hurt) who play former law partners turned courtroom opponents.
Legal dramas are apparently the latest craze: NBC has put in development Reversible Error, an hourlong legal drama from The Boy Next Door scribe Barbara Curry and Fast & Furious franchise writer Chris Morgan. Written by Curry, Reversible Error follows a former high-powered attorney who is freed from prison after her conviction for murdering her husband is reversed. Now she must piece her shattered life back together and find her husband’s true killer before a vindictive D.A. finds a way to prosecute her again.
Masterpiece will feature a Prime Suspect prequel titled Prime Suspect: Tennison, serving as co-producer alongside ITV Studios and NoHo Film & Television. Created by Lynda La Plante, who wrote the early installments of the original series, the new six-part drama portrays the early career of iconic, tenacious detective Jane Tennison — the role that established Helen Mirren as a household name. Stefanie Martini now stars as the ambitious 22-year-old Jane, a probationary officer in 1970s London who’s starting out in an environment where chauvinism and rule-bending are the norm. No airdate has been announced yet for the show.
After taking on one hot-button issue with the drama Shots Fired which deals with police shootings, Fox is taking on another timely topic: college rape. The network has given a put pilot commitment to Controversy, an investigative thriller drama about a successful crisis-management consultant brought in to advise a university when a co-ed accuses football players of gang-raping her. Facing a crisis of conscience, she partners with a lawyer for the university to seek out the truth.
Scottish novelist Tony Wood’s London-based Buccaneer Media is teaming with Irvine Welsh on the adaptation of Woods' book Crime, with Dougray Scott attached to star in and exec produce the six-part drama. Crime is the sequel to Welsh’s 1998 novel Filth, which was made into a 2013 movie (starring James McAvoy) and is set in Miami with Scott taking on the role of Detective Inspector Ray Lennox who becomes embroiled in a case involving a ring of pedophiles.
Idris Elba is heading to Africa for his next TV series for Brazza, a Narcos-like drama set in the criminal underworld of Brazzaville, the capital of Republic of the Congo. Paul Viragh (Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll) is attached to write the series, in which a Congolese man living in Paris is forced to return home after his father dies under suspicious circumstances. Back home he gets drawn into a bloody family feud that threatens the country's uneasy truce.
CBS could be breaking new ground for Asian-American actors with Exhibit A, a legal drama from former Castle co-showrunner Alexi Hawley, Hawaii Five-0 co-star Daniel Dae Kim, and Jane The Virgin producer Ben Silverman. The project, written by Hawley, is based on the South Korean series My Lawyer, Mr. Jo, and centers on a disgraced Korean-American prosecutor who finds redemption as a defense lawyer when he pairs with a young idealistic attorney and the two fight for the underdogs of Los Angeles. The show would be a rare U.S. broadcast drama with an Asian lead and the first U.S. drama series outside of the action genre where the main lead is Asian American.
Milo Ventimiglia, one of the stars of the new NBC/20th TV drama This Is Us, has teamed with Royal Pains co-creator Andrew Lenchewski for Kin, a 20th TV-produced drama project which has been set up at Fox with script commitment plus penalty. Written and co-executive produced by Kevin O’Hare, Kin is loosely based on Cundiff’s extended family growing up and will center on a tight-knit Florida law-enforcement family who become the primary suspects in the disappearance of a notorious drug cartel leader following a DEA plane crash.
Graham Norton's debut novel, Holding, is being produced for television by the former boss of EastEnders, Dominic Treadwell-Collins. He's partnering with Blueprint Television, which won the rights to the chat show host's book about a murder in a rural Irish community.
Netflix’s drama Mute has tapped The Leftovers star Justin Theroux to join previously announced cast members Paul Rudd and Alexander Skarsgard in the sci-fi thriller, to be directed by Duncan Jones, who also co-wrote the script with Mike Johnson. Set 40 years in the future, the film centers on a mute bartender (Skarsgard) in a world that has become a roiling city of immigrants, where East crashes against West. His character will be looking for a woman who has disappeared — and when his search takes him deep into the city’s underbelly, an odd pair of American surgeons seem to be the only recurring clue.
TNT has cancelled another one of its staple programs: Murder in the First, the drama starring Taye Diggs and Kathleen Robertson as two homicide detectives who have looked into a different big case each season.
But fans of Bosch on Amazon have happier news: Amazon renewed the series based on Michael Connelly's books for a fourth season.
Crime writer Peter James has launched his own "crime-hub" YouTube channel, Peter James TV, promising to feature exclusive interviews with household names in crime including RL Stine, Martina Cole and Paula Hawkins, as well as behind the scenes research footage for his bestselling Roy Grace series.
Lee Child explored the writing and legacy of John D. MacDonald's Travis McGee series for a Radio 4 program,"21 Shades of Noir: Lee Child on John D MacDonald."
Broadway production company The Araca Group and global toy-and-games makers Hasbro Inc. are bringing Col. Mustard and the rest of the suspects from Clue to the stage. The show will mark their second live entertainment collaboration, after the Broadway-bound musical adaptation of Monopoly announced earlier this year. Clue will be adapted by writer/director Jonathan Lynn from his 1985 Paramount Pictures film and premiered at Pennsylvania’s Bucks County Playhouse next May, followed by a U.S. national tour and a potential U.K. tour.
A play by Rosemary’s Baby and Deathtrap author Ira Levin is being staged by the UK's Norwich based Baroque Theatre Company. Veronica’s Room tells the story of Susan Kerner, a young beautiful Boston college student who is on a date with the charming Larry Eastwood in 1973. The young lovers find themselves at The Brabissant mansion owned by the Mackeys, an elderly Irish couple instantly struck by Susan’s strong resemblance to long since dead Veronica Brabissant. Together they enter Veronica’s room, untouched since 1935, and nothing will ever be the same.
The Playhouse Theatre in Northampton is staging Mindgame through October 22. The play, written by Anthony Horowitz (Foyles War and Midsummer Murders) centers on true crime author Mark Styler who visits Fairfields Hospital to interview the notorious serial killer Easterman - but Dr. Farqhuar, head of the hospital, seems unhelpful and quixotic, and the place hostile and unnerving.
Sony Pictures and Google have teamed up to launch the "Inferno Journey Through Hell" online game based on the Robert Landon thriller novel by Dan Brown. Finding clues hidden throughout Google products and the world’s most popular social platforms, players will complete up to three puzzles each week and will have the opportunity to win weekly prizes, culminating in one grand prize – an Italian getaway with stops in Rome, Milan, Florence, and Venice. As each new set of puzzles are unveiled week-to-week, the experience will become increasingly difficult to solve as the 'Inferno Journey Through Hell' progresses to its ultimate mind-bending final challenge.
Born in 1939, English author Michael Derek Allen had a career in education, first as a teacher and then as a university administrator at the University of Bath, and also served a brief stint working for the New York Herald Tribune. When he retired from all his various day jobs, he started his own small press, Kingsfield Publications, and turned his hand to writing novels full-time under the pen names Michael Bradford, Anne Moore and Patrick Read.
Allen has penned mostly standalone novels and short stories, but he did write three books in a series featuring his police detective Superintendent Ben Spence. The third and final book in that series was Spence at Marlby Manor, dating from 1982, in which wealthy Lady Dinnister of Marlby Manor begins to suffer from "accidents" she suspects are actually attempts on her life. When Lady Dinnister's companion Emily Fosdyke dies from arsenic poisoning, it's only natural she thinks she herself was the intended victim.
Detective Ben Spence agrees with the Lady of the Manor after interviewing a houseful of servants and family members that are all-too-eager to sell off Marlby Manor and inherit Lady Dinnister's considerable fortune. Chief among them is an artist son-in-law; a handsome but unmotivated grandson in love with a secretary neither Lady Dinnister nor Emily Fosdyke deemed good enough for him; and a selfish, greedy granddaughter and her husband who tend to live well beyond their means. But, as Spence and his assistant, Inspector Laruel, take a closer look, they uncover undercurrents of malevolence coming from an unexpected source.
Although Publishers Weekly was a little critical of the book's "awfully implausible murderer-catching traps to snare the culprit," the publication's reviewer ultimately deemed it "comfortable, mildly beguiling entertainment in the traditional style." It deviates a bit from the traditional police procedural into more of the classic whodunit format. Michael Allen's last novel of any sort was in 2006, and his blog, the Grumpy Old Bookman, listed by The Guardian as one of the top 10 literary blogs worldwide in 2005.
Thanks to Altus Press, three of the most historic pulp fiction magazines of the Twentieth Century are set to return to magazine format. This November, Altus Press will relaunch full-length magazines of Argosy, Black Mask, and Famous Fantastic Mysteries in periodical format, with both classic fiction tales and new stories and articles. Each of these magazines enjoyed decades-long publications by a variety of publishers with several thousand total issues. Now owned by Steeger Properties, LLC, these titles will be published on a regular schedule and in print and e-magazine formats.
Three weeks remain to submit your work for consideration in the William F. Deeck-Malice Domestic Grant Program for Unpublished Writers. The grant is designed to foster quality literature in the Malice Domestic tradition and assist the next generation of traditional mystery writers on the road to publication. The grant includes a $2,500 cash award and a comprehensive registration to Malice Domestic 29, including 2 nights' lodging at the convention hotel. For submission information, check out the official website.
Libraries throughout the Aberdeenshire regions of Scotland are participating in a CrimeFest during the month of October. Authors Ann Cleeves and James Oswald offered up talks earlier in the month, but there are still plenty of events to come, including panels on crime writing, forensics, a talk on "Cosy Crime Noir" by journalist and author Sara Sheridan, and more.
Two crime fiction authors are being honored by their respective states: Margaret Maron is being inducted into the North Carolina Writers Hall of Fame, and Tod Goldberg is this year's recipient of the Silver Pen Award from the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame.
The New Yorker had a meaty profile of Scottish crime fiction author Philip Kerr, best known for his Berlin Noir trilogy of novels.
This year's volume of America's Best Mystery Stories has just been released. Edited by Elizabeth George and Otto Penzler, the roster of authors includes Megan Abbott, Steve Almond, Matt Bell, Bruce Robert Coffin, Lydia Fitzpatrick, Stephen King, Elmore Leonard, Evan Lewis, Robert Lopresti, Dennis McFadden, Michael Noll, Todd Robinson, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Georgia Ruth, Jonathan Stone, Susan Thornton, Brian Tobin, and Saral Waldorf.
Novelist and screenwriter Anthony Horowitz has been invited to write a second official James Bond novel by Ian Fleming Publications Ltd after the success of his 2015 bestseller, Trigger Mortis, published by Orion in September last year. As yet untitled, the setting will be "period Bond" and the story will again feature previously unpublished material by Fleming. Horowitz is the fourth author in recent years to be invited by Ian Fleming Publications Ltd to write an official Bond novel, following in the footsteps of William Boyd (2013's Solo), Jeffery Deaver (Carte Blanche in 2011), and Sebastian Faulks (Devil May Care, 2008).
If you can't get enough about Agatha Christie during her 12th anniversary, here are "126 remarkable Agatha Christie facts" (you get a bonus!) compiled by Christie expert John Curran.
Writing for The Guardian, John Mullan takes a look at "How we got to The Girl on the Train" and the rise of the psychological thriller, explaining that the themes of adultery, murder and secret identity in Paula Hawkin's book are rooted in the Victorian era.
In honor of the release the Girl on the Train movie, based on Paula Hawkin's novel, Signature Reads chose the "7 Best Train-set Thrillers."
The Seattle Times printed a report about a puzzling case of an identity thief that was solved, in part, thanks to the work of a forensic genealogist. (HT to Sisters in Crime).
Psychological crime novels are still "a thing," if you go by recent major advances handed out to books vying to the next Gone Girl, ahead of the Frankfurt Book Fair.
The October issue of Plots With Guns is out, scaring up new stories from Jeff Kerr, Joe Kraus, Andrew Gibbons, Nick Kolakowski, James Pate, Steven Nester, David Rachels, and Donald McCarthy.
The September/October issue of Suspense Magazine includes interviews with authors Jonas Saul, Blake Crouch, Craig Johnson, Sophie Hannah, Sean McFate, Richard Chizmar, and Linda Castillo, plus Dennis Palumbo asks the question "Is your Psycho Killer...just Psycho?", and a look at the Sisters in Crime publishing summit report on diversity in the mystery community.
Something to pass along to your kids and other young folk: Barnes and Noble compiled a list of "7 Awesome Diverse YA Thrillers."
Think homo sapiens is a dangerous species? A new study found that we don't even crack the top thirty of the most murderous mammals.
This week's crime poem at the 5-2 is "Testimony" by Lida Bushloper.
In the Q&A roundup, Omnimystery News welcomed Don Bruns to introduce his New Orleans homicide detective Quentin Archer in Casting Bones and also Leslie Nagel to chat about her latest, The Book Club Murders; Australian Andrew Nette talked up heist novels and his latest, Gunshine State, with the Mystery People; My Central Jersey spoke with Otto Penzler, editor, publisher, bookstore owner, and one of the most influential proponents of crime fiction; and Declan Burke welcomed author Ruth Downie for some grilling.
In a bid to be considered for the Oscar chase, Ben Affleck's latest directorial outing, Live by Night, will hit select theaters on Christmas Day before opening wide on Jan. 13. Based on Dennis Lehane's novel, the project stars Afflect, Elle Fanning, Brendan Gleeson, Chris Messina, Sienna Miller, Zoe Saldana and Chris Cooper in the period piece that features the son of a Boston police captain who moves to Florida and becomes an infamous gangster.
Warner Bros Pictures and Village Roadshow Pictures have set an opening date for the female-driven caper spinoff of Ocean’s Eleven, titled Ocean’s 8, on June 8, 2018. The all-star lineup includes Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter, Rihanna, Mindy Kaling, Awkwafina, and Sarah Paulson.
EuropaCorp has set an April 28 release date for the thriller The Circle, starring Tom Hanks, Emma Watson, and John Boyega. Based on the international best-seller by Dave Eggers, the story centers around the founder of the world’s largest tech and social media company (Hanks) who encourages Watson’s character, who’s rising through the company ranks, to live her life with complete transparency — but no one is really safe when everyone is watching.
A teaser trailer was released for the upcoming John Wick: Chapter Two. The sequel sees the eponymous protagonist being pulled out of retirement yet again and traveling to Rome to help an old friend take control of a "shadowy international assassins' guild." Along with Keanu Reeves, the returning cast includes Bridget Moynahan as Helen Wick, John's deceased wife; Ian McShane as the Continental Hotel owner Winston; and John Leguizamo as car chop-shop mogul Aurelio.
The new trailer for the the Sin City thriller, Sleepless, shows Jamie Foxx trapped between corrupt cops and the mob underground.
Robin Hood is the latest literary figure to get the small-screen treatment, with CBS ordering the pilot A Burglar's Guide to the City. The project follows a team of modern-day Robin Hoods led by a brilliant architect with a troubled past who use their unique skills to steal from rich criminals and give to those that have been wronged by a corrupt system. Paul Grellong (Scorpion) will write the project, which is based on the book by Geoff Manaugh, with Alex Kurtzman (Star Trek: Discovery) and Justin Lin (The Fast and the Furious) serving as executive producers.
In other thief-related TV plot news, NBC has put in development In Defense of Tom Parish, a drama that centers on the titular successful Manhattan defense attorney who was once a high-end art thief. After a stretch in a federal prison where he learned the law, he reinvented himself and quickly rose to the top of his new profession. But he has to deal with a mistrustful family and an overzealous FBI agent who doesn’t believe Tom’s truly changed and … steal the occasional priceless work of art.
ABC has put in development the timely project Protect & Serve, a drama from the team behind Secrets & Lies. Written by Barbie Kligman and her husband, actor Billy Malone (Murder in the First), Protect & Serve is set in the aftermath of a riot in an American city triggered by the shooting of an unarmed man by cops. The police department is dismantled and a newly appointed police chief is tasked with rebuilding from scratch.
A&E is also ripping from the headlines for its new docuseries called Live PD. The project offer viewers an unfettered and unfiltered live access inside the six of the country’s busiest police forces and the communities they patrol. The first season, which will run for eight, two-hour episodes, will show the work of both urban and rural police forces around the country on a typical Friday night via a combination of dash cams, handheld and fixed rig cameras.
In the first broadcast development season since the Pentagon allowed women to serve in front-line U.S. military combat units, ABC is tackling the subject with an untitled ensemble drama. It will center on an elite co-ed special forces team that will be forced to find a way to navigate both the treacherous waters of their external missions and the equally dangerous undercurrents of tensions — romantic and otherwise — within the unit.
NBC has given a put pilot commitment to Flight Risk, a woman-on-the-run thriller drama with comedic elements from Shameless executive producers Krista Vernoff and John Wells. Flight Risk centers on an attorney whose take no mercy approach towards the criminals she prosecutes has earned her the nickname The Shark. But when she loses her temper in a divorce mediation, comically threatens to have her soon-to-be-ex-husband killed, and he turns up dead the next day, she has to go on the run and turn to a criminal she's been prosecuting to help clear her name.
John Noble is returning for the fourth season of the Fox paranormal procedural Sleepy Hollow. Noble will reprise his role as the deceitful Henry Parrish, the son of Tom Mison's Ichabod Crane.
USA Network has set a new premiere date for its thriller drama series Shooter starring Ryan Phillippe. The series, based on Stephen Hunter’s novel Point of Impact and the 2007 Mark Wahlberg film Shooter, is now slated for debut on November 15, two months after its original premiere date was delayed due to sniper attacks on police officers. The cast of the series also includes Omar Epps, Shantel Vansanten, Eddie McClintock and Cynthia Addai-Robinson.
The CBS hit series The Mentalist is getting an adaptation for Russia and Ukraine. The 16-part series will be directed by Alexei Muradov and star Yehezkel Lazarov and Anastasiya Mikulchina and is tentatively scheduled to launch in late 2017. Shooting is to take place in Russia and Ukraine's port city of Odessa, making the project a rare Russian/Ukrainian collaboration since the relations between the two countries have soured over Russia's annexation of Crimea and support for rebels in East Ukraine.
UKTV has commissioned and launched a new six episode crime podcast, A Stab in the Dark, hosted by noted novelist Mark Billingham, whose novels Rush Of Blood and In The Dark are currently being adapted by Matt Charman and Danny Brocklehurst for BBC One.
Suspense Radio's Beyond the Cover podcast featured Matthew Dunn talking about his latest work, The Spy House, the fifth electrifying thriller featuring Will Cochrane.
Just in time for Halloween: "18 Creepy True Crime Podcasts That’ll Keep You Up At Night."
Mystery at the Theatre in Village of Schaumburg, Illinois, is presenting Binge, a show that lets you see all 10 episodes of a murder mystery in 100 minutes — including an intermission. It's the 10th Mystery at the Theatre play Rob Pileckis has written since 1997 for the Prairie Center Arts Foundation as a benefit for the Prairie Center for the Arts.
Hurricane Matthew has gotten me (and many others) in a rather stormy frame of mind, so I thought it was appropriate to feature the "Storm" section from Benjamin Britten's Four Sea Interludes (extracted from the opera Peter Grimes). I think it has to be the best musical representation of a storm in all of classical music. This performance is by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Paavo Järvi: