Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Tuesday, June 30, 2015


Watching the first episode of HBO's The Brink has provided me with this ear worm.  Here's CCR.


Pat Gallagher and Stoney Crockett are a pair of Treasury Department agents working in the American West in this 1952-3 syndicated series.  Russell Hayden (who played William Boyd's sidekick Lucky Jenkins in about a zillion Hopalong Cassidy oaters) played Gallagher and former child actor Jackie Coogan (The KidPeck's Bad Boy, Oliver Twist, Circus Days; later known for playing Uncle Fester) was Crockett.  Cowboy G-Men was based on a story by producer Henry B. Donovan.  The series lasted for 39 episodes.

"Silver Fraud" aired on March 14, 1953.  Gallagher and Crockett are sent to the mining town of Bodee where the silver sent to the Treasury Department was found to contain a great deal of lead.  Soon bullets are flying.  As Crockett remarks, "Somebody's always shooting at us!"  And as Gallagher tells him, "You'll get used to it."

Cowboy G-Men employed a lot of character actors whose resumes are peppered with roles as 'Henchman," and who appeared on many television shows in the 50s (and were also were able to labnd a few recurring roles).  This episode features Paul Kearst (who had a recurring role on Casey Jones), Bob Wilke (his recurring role was as Captain Mendoza on Zorro), Brad Johnson (best known as Lofty Craig on Annie Oakley), the ubiquitous Harry Lauter (Clay Mason on Tales of Texas Rangers, Atlasande on Rocky Jones, Space Ranger, and Jim Herrick on Waterfront), John Cason, and Riley Hill.  (Five of these supporting players appeared (in various roles) on more than one episode of Cowboy G-Men:  Wilke, Hill, and Lauter were in two episodes apiece, while Johnson appeared in five episodes and Cason appeared in ten.)

"Silver Fraud" was written by Buckley Angell and Tod Ballard.  Angell was an active writer of television westerns.  Ballard was Willis Todhunter Ballard, a cousin of Rex Stout and a popular writer of western and mystery novels; he wrrote four episodes for this series.  (Another well-known western novelist who contributed to this series was William R. Cox.)


Monday, June 29, 2015


Tom Rush.


  • Stephen Booth, The Dead Place.  A Detective Constable Ben Cooper/Detective Sergeant Diane Frye mystery.  The anonymous phone call could have been from a crank, but then a woman vanishes from a parking lot and an unidentified female corpse left in the woods for more than a year is discovered.
  • Simon Brett, Blood at the Bookies, Bones Under the Beach Hut, and Death Under the Dryer.  Fethering mysteries featuring Carole Seddon.  At least Fethering, England, has less murders than Cabot  Cove, far.
  • "K. C. Constantine" (Carl Kosak),  Blood Mud.  ARC.  A Mario Balzic mystery.  Retired police chief Balzic returns to Rocksburg where a sudden personal crisis crosses path with a sudden murder.  Constantine is a master of dialogue and a pure pleasure to read.
  • Bernard Cornwell, Sharpe's Havoc.  Historical novel in the Richard Sharpe series.  Chronologically, this is the eighth book in the series and has Sharpe in the Campaign in North Portugal in the Spring of 1809.
  • Clive Cussler and Thomas Perry, The Tombs.  A Fargo Adventure.  One of the tombs in the title may be that of Attila the Hun (complete with fortune).  I'm not much for Cussler but I'm very pro Thomas Perry.  This, by the way, is Perry's first go-round with a Fargo adventure;  the previous ones were coauthored with Grant Blackwood.
  • Tim Downs, Less Than Dead.  A Bug Man mystery.  Forensic entomologist Nick Polchak is called in when strange bones are found on a U.S. senator's property.
  • Richard Lederer, The Word Circus.  Fun with words:  spoonerisms, kangaroo words, homophones, anagrams, acrostics, palindromes...I love this kind of book.
  • Paul Levine, False Dawn.  A Jake Lassiter mystery.  Jake's client admits to murdering a man with a forklift but Jake doesn't believe him.  Throw in some Faberge eggs, Fidel Castro, the CIA, and a newly "democratic" Russia and you have a bloody recipe for mayhem.
  • Less Martin, Young Indiana Jones and the Gypsy Revenge.  YA television tie-in novel.
  • Patrick McGrath, Trauma.  Psychological thriller.  Charlie Weir, a product of a dysfunctional family, approaches the abyss after his wife leaves him and his mother dies.
  • Adrian McKinty, Dead I Well May Be.  Irish noir.  Michael leaves Belfast and the Troubles and ends up working for a violent Irish gang in Harlem and making the dire mistake of fooling around with a crime boss' girlfriend.  Violence ensues.
  • John Jackson Miller, Star Wars:  The Lost Tribe of Sith, Collected Stories.  Movie franchise tie-in collection of eight stories (originally published as eBooks) set 5000-3500 years before Star Wars: A New Hope.
  • Paul Milo, Your Flying Car Awaits:  Robot Butlers, Lunar Vacations, and Other Dead-Wrong Predictions of the Twentieth Century.  Why did I think of Bill Crider when I bought this one?
  • John Mortimer, A Rumpole Christmas.  Five stories featuring Britain's favorite barrister,
  • Carol O'Connor, Crime School.  A Mallory mystery.  The dead call girl was someone from Kathleen Mallory's past and the crime scene was one from Mallory's youth.  Wass she looking for a copycat murderer or a serial killer?
  • Abigail Padgett,The Last Blue Plate Special.  A Blue McCarron mystery.  Female political leaders are dying of strokes -- the deaths are too many too close together.
  • Heinz R. Pagels,  The Cosmic Code:  Quantum Physics as the Language of Nature.  Science popularization. 
  • Robert B. Parker, Double Play.  It's 1947 and a wounded veteran is hired to bodyguard Jackie Robinson.
  • Karin Slaughter, Cop Town.  Atlanta, 1974:  A cop is gunned down and female officers Kate Murphy and Maggie Lawson are sidelined during the hunt for the killer.  But these two women refuse to be sidelined.
  • Megan Stine & H. William Stine, Young Indiana Jones and the Journey to the Underworld.  YA television tie-in novel.
  • Kate Wilhelm, The Price of Silence.  Mystery.  Todd Fielding begins work at a small-town newspaper when a local girl vanishes.  No one seems concerned.  After all, five other girls have disappeared over the past twenty years.

Sunday, June 28, 2015


Have you ever wondered what famous people in the past sounded like?  Here's 25 snippets -- dating from 1890 to the mid Thirties -- of some rare recordings of historic voices* from the past:

  • William Jennings Bryan
  • Woodrow Wilson
  • Grover Cleveland
  • William McKinley
  • William Howard Taft
  • Theodore Roosevelt
  • Vice President Garrett A. Herbert
  • Ernest Shackleton
  • Robert E. Peary
  • Thomas A. Watson (Edison's assistant)
  • Thomas Edison
  • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • W. B. Yeats
  • George Bernard Shaw
  • G. K. Chesterton
  • Oscar Wilde
  • Leo Tolstoy
  • Harry Houdini
  • Florence Nightingale
  • Edwin Booth
  • General Nelson A. Miles (Commander of the US Army in the Spanish-American War)
  • Andrew Carnagie
  • Buffalo Bill
  • Pope Leo XIII

*There's some question whether the recording of Oscar Wilde is really by him (see comments to the post).


Colton Dixon - Through All of It.

Saturday, June 27, 2015


Spider John Koerner & Willie Murphy.