Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Tuesday, March 31, 2015


I'm including this because Mississippi is such a cool word to type.  Also, because Charlie Pride is a great singer.


I'm more of a cat person than I am a dog person, but I admit a great fondness for Declan, our old, rescued, blind-in-one-eye, gapped-tooth, moves-even-more-slowly-than-I-do dog.

Even BD (Before Declan), I could not tolerate anyone being cruel to a dog, those persons being lower than the pus in a pimple on the penis of a protozoa in Patagonia.

Speaking of cruely to dogs (or, at least, to their egos), I present The Killer Shrews.

And shame on you director Ray Kellogg, screenwriter Jay Simms, and James Best, Ken Curtis, Ingrid Goude, and the rest of the cast.  I have it on good authority that dogs throughout America hung their heads in shame after the 1959 release of this turkey.

Monday, March 30, 2015


Freddy Cannon.


  • B. A. Botkin, editor, A Civil War Treasury of Tales, Legends, and Folklore.  One of Botkin's many enjoyable books on American folklore.  A perfect book for dipping and sampling.
  • Michael Brandman, Robert B. Parker's Fool Me Twice.  A Jesse Stone mystery, the second post-Parker.
  • Lewis Black, Nothing's Sacred.  Miscellany from a biting wit.
  • Lee Childs, 61 Hours.  a Jack Reacher thriller.
  • Agatha Christie, The Unexpected Guest.  Mystery play.
  • Peter Church, Bitter Pill.  Thriller from New Zealand.
  • Silvia Cinca, Comrade Dracula.  Vampire novel.
  • Humphrey Cobb, Paths of Glory.  War novel.  The basis of the 1957 Kirk Douglas film.
  • Harlan Coben, Missing You.  Thriller.
  • Micheal Connelly, The Burning Room.  A Harry Bosch mystery.
  • Greg Cox, The Q Continuum, Book 2:  Q-Zone and Book 3: Q-Strike.  Television franchise (Star Trek) tie-in.  Still need Book 1 of this trilogy.
  • Guillain de Benouville, The Unknown Warriors.  A personal account of the French resistance.  Translated by Lawrence G. Blochman.
  • Jeffrey Deaver, XO, a thriller, and The Sleeping Doll, a Kathryn Dance thriller.
  • John F. Dobbyn, Frame Up.  Legal thriller.  Signed and inscribed to previous owner.
  • James Alan Gardner, Hunted.  SF, the fourth novel in the League of Peoples series.
  • Ed Gorman & Martin H. Greenberg, editors, The World's Finest Mystery Mystery and Crime Stories, Third Annual Collection.  An anthology with 39 stories from 2001, plus in-depth articles about the mystery world.
  • Peter F. Hamilton, The Naked God, The Neutronium Alchemist, Part 1:  Consolidation and Part 2:  Conflict, and The Reality Disfunction,  Part 1: Emergence.  SF novels in the Night's Dawn series.
  • Ron Hanson & Jim Shepard, editors, You've Got To Read This.  Anthology of 35 stories, each introduced by a contemporary author -- "stories that held them in awe."
  • Carolyn Hart, Set Sail to Murder.  A Henrie O mystery.
  • Thomas Heggen, Mr. Roberts.  The novel from which the play and the movie arose.
  • Stephen Hunter, 47th Samurai.  A Bob Lee Swagger thriller.
  • "Jack Higgins" (Harry Patterson) - Exocet.  Thriller.
  • Greg Iles, Third Degree.  Thriller.
  • Tohru Kai, Chibi Vampire:  The Novel 1 and Chibi Vampire:  The Novel 2.  Manga tie-in novels.  A "school-vampire-love-comedy-mystery series."
  • MacKinley Kantor, Signal Thirty-Two.  Novel about the New York City Police, circa 1950.
  • Theodora Kroebler, Ishi in Two Worlds.  A biography of the last wild Indian in North America.  A classic in anthropology written by Ursula K. leGuin's mother.
  • Herbert Lieberman, The Girl with the Botticelli Eyes.  Thriller.
  • Laura Lippman, By a Spider's Thread.  A Tess Monaghan mystery.
  • Nathan Long, Orcslayer.  Gaming (Warhammer) tie-in novel in the Gotrex & Felix sequence.

  • Jaye Maiman, Old Black Magic.  A Robin Miller mystery.
  • Robert Mayer, Super-Folks.  Satire.  "There were no more heroes.  Kennedy was dead.  Batman and Robin were dead.  The Lone Ranger was dead.  Superman was missing.  Even Snoopy had bought it:  missing in action over France."
  • H. L. Mencken, The Vintage Mencken.  A collection of 23 articles "gathered" by Alistair Cooke.
  • James Morrow, The Wine of Violence.  SF.
  • Richard North Patterson, Eclipse.  Legal thriller.
  • Kathy Reichs, Bones to Ashes.  A Temperance Brennan mystery.
  • Ruth Rendell, The Keys to the Street.  Mystery.
  • "J. D. Robb" (Nora Roberts), Reunion in Death.  An Eve Dallas near-future mystery.
  • Willow Davis Roberts, Twisted Summer.  YA mystery novel, winner of an Edgar award.
  • Eric Frank Russell, Wasp.  SF.  When Russell was good, he was very, very good.
  • Dorothy L. Sayers & "Robert Eustace" (Eustace Robert Barton), The Documents in the Case.  An epistolatory mystery.
  • Dorothy L. Sayers & Jill Paton Walsh, Thrones, Dominions.  An uncompleted Lord Peter Wimsey mystery finished by Walsh.
  • Zoe Sharp, Hard Knocks.  A Charlie Fox mystery.
  • Rev. Ivan Stang, High Weirdness by Mail:  A Directory of The Fringe:  Mad Prophets, Crackpots, Kooks & True Visionaries.  There are a lot of whack-jobs out there, people.
  • "Josephine Tey" (Elizabeth MacKintosh) - A Shilling for Candles.  A classic mystery.
  • Grant Turner, The Ricky Mokel Stories.  A collection of four humorous adventure stories.  Signed by the author and inscribed to the previous owner.
  • Harry Turtledove, American Empire:  The Center Cannot Hold and Settling Accounts:  Return Engagement.  Alternate history SF.
  • Stuart Woods, Bel-Air Dead, Doing Hard Time, and Son of Stone.  Three Stone Barrington adventures.

Sunday, March 29, 2015


Stephen Hawking asks the big questions.


The Sons of the Pioneers singing "What Wonderful Joy."

Saturday, March 28, 2015


Jerry Lee Lewis.


Taanda, the beautiful red-headed daughter of missionary parents, was raised by the Tauruti chief Upatani after her parents died.  Vowing to save her beloved jungle from those who would despoil it, Taanda became loved and feared as the White Princess of the Jungle.  With her native ward Koru, Taanda is prepared to face any threat -- no matter how large or deadly.

White Princess of the Jungle, a quarterly from Avon Publications lasted only five issues, from July 1951 to November 1952, under the editorial direction of Sol Cohen.

In this issue, Taanda is really up against it.  First, from "The Head Hunters of Bullah!"; then, from "The Death Hunt!"; and finally, Taanda must avoid "The Fangs of the Swamp Beast."  Will our flame-haired heroine survive these challenges?  Well, yeah.

Also in this issue, white hunter Jack Barnham searched for a jungle treasure protected by a "Deadly Guardian!"

Enjoy.  (But watch out for poison darts -- they're like the Spanish Inquisition; you never know when they will appear!)

Friday, March 27, 2015


Uncle Dave Mason.


The Age of the Tail by H. Allen Smith (1955)

Beginning at precisely 5:35 a.m., Eastern Daylight Saving Time, on September 22, 1957, every child born in the world was born with a tail.  (What?  You don't remember?  Lucky for you that H. Allen Smith does.)  Writing four decades after that momentous occasion, the author takes a look back at the cultural shifts a tailed population might affect.

There are strategic problems that accompany a caudal appendage.  How do you design clothes now.  Do you cover the tail or display it proudly au naturel?  Should the tail be bedecked with jewelry and goo-gaws?  What should on do with a tail when the weather is cold?  Chairs, toilets, cars...must they all be redesigned.  For those born pre-9/22/57, will they be facing discrimination as the number of tailed becomes larger than the number of untailed?  How does one protect a tail (which is literally an extension of the spinal cord) from injury at work or at sport?

For that matter, how does the addition of a tail affect common-day language?  Etiquette?  Self-esteem?  Advertising?  Entertainment?

What happens when the tail-boomers reach puberty and discover that the tail is an erogenous zone for females?

BTW, the tail exudes a slight unpleasant odor.  So how does one keep his or her tail at optimal cleanliness, vermin-free, and with a lustrous shine?

As with dogs, the human tail is expressive -- a distinct disadventage at business, politics, poker,,,Children have to be taught at an early age how to control their tailish instincts and how to invoke the commonly accepted tail movements that will help one navigate through society's expectations?  There are so many hours in a school day, so arithmatic and spelling must be deemphasized to make room for tail tutorage.

All this and more are covered by H. Allen Smith in this informal history of forty tailed years for humanity.

Smith (1907-1976) was a popular humorist in the the Forties and Fifties.  Many of his books (Low Man on the Totem Pole, Lost in the Horse Latitudes, Rhubarb, and Life in a Putty Knife Factory, among others) were national best-sellers.  He claimed (along with many others) to have had the first legally-bought drink after Prohibition was repealed.  One thing I did not realize:  he lived in the same New York town (Mt. Kisco) as my wife did when she was young; they never met.  His loss.

The Age of the Tail is a wry (and wise) satirical look at our society.  It's no knee-slapper, but it does provide many a pleasant smile and a nod of the head in agreement to his observations.

The time of best-selling humorists such as Smith, George Ade, Max Shulman, Will Cuppy, Stephen Leacock, Jean Kerr, and so many others has seemed to pass.  To steal a line from the Sage of Alvin, I miss the old days.

Thursday, March 26, 2015


Today, Kitty and I celebrate our forty-fifth anniversary.  It's been a great ride and we're looking forward to many more years together.

On March 26, 1970, she was still in college.  I had graduated and still had my beard.  We married in Concordia Hall at what was then Lowell State College, now UMass Lowell, followed by a champagne reception which ran out of champage -- relatives and friends were very thirsty that day.  If I have ever done something that was totally and perfectly right, it was on that day.

 Kitty was the most beautiful woman I have ever met.  Smart, funny, compassionate.

She still is.  Her eyes have the same sparkle.  Her smile can still melt me.  She has made me a much better person.

We both have added a bit of mileage over the past forty-five years and she thinks I am just being polite when I tell her how lovely she is.  I guess she just can't tell the difference between politeness and the truth.  She is beautiful and I am the luckiest man on earth.

I'm still not sure how a schlub like me ended up with a woman like her, but you but you will never catch me complaining.

Two children and five grandchildren later, I look back on that day in 1970 with wonder and gratitude.  The time before that is a hazy fog, for it was forty-five years ago today that my life truly began.


Louisiana born Johnny Rivers recorded his first record at fourteen when he was still John Ramistella.  It wasn't until two years later that famed DJ Alan Freed suggested that he take the name Rivers.

Rivers was performing at the Whiskey a Go Go in Los Angeles when he recorded his first hit album.  On track, a cover of Chuck Berry's "Memphis, Tennessee" went on to sell more records than Berry's original album.

He's had many hits over the years and still performs  fifty to sixty shows a year.

Memphis, Tennessee:

The Poor Side of Town:

Mountain of  Love:

Secret Agent Man:

Summer Rain:

The Midnight Special:

Baby I Need Your Lovin:

Slow Dancing:

Mystery Train:


Seventh Son:

And here's his first single, before he was Johnny Rivers -- Little Girl:


A door slowly creaks open...

A voice welcomes you, "Come in...welcome..."

Yes, you are welcome. You're welcomed to be frightened.

For nine years, from January 6, 1974 to December 31, 1982, and throughout 1,399 original episodes listeners were daily subjected to one-hour tales of the mysterious and the macabre.  E. G. Marshall served as the host for most of that time; Tammy Grimes replaced him for the show's final year.

CBS Radio Mystery Theater was created by Himan Brown, a radio legend who had produced over 30,000 programs in a career that spanned 65 years.  Brown wanted to bring back the excitement of such radio programs as  Inner Sanctum from the Golden Age of old-time radio.  Brown passed away in 2010, less than two months shy of his hundredth birthday; he had lived in the same New York City apartment for 72 years.

Here's the very first episode of the show, "The Old Ones Are Hard To Kill."  complete with ads and breaks while a news recap is heard before the program begins.  This episode was written by Henry Slesar and starred Agnes Moorehead, Leon Janney, and Roger De Koven.

Enjoy this episode about and old woman who decides to take in a border.

And afterwards, the door creaks closed and the voice of E. G. Marshall says. "Until next time, pleasant...dreams?"

Tuesday, March 24, 2015


Celebrate with Patti Page!


My, oh are The Ronettes.


A nifty film noir directed by actress Ida Lupino, The Hitch-Hiker was based on the true story of Billy Cook, who murdered a family of five, then killed a traveling salesman, and finally kidnapped two hunters, intending to kill them.  In this film, two fishermen (Edmond O'Brien and Frank Lovejoy) pick up a hitch-hiker (William Talman).  Talman plays a psychotic killer who taunts the two friends, telling them that he will kill them before the end of the trip.

This claustrophobic thriller was written by Lupino and Collier Young (who was married to Lupino at the time).  Young went on to create the television show Ironside; mystery fans may also know Young from his novel The Todd Dossier, which was ghost-written by Robert Bloch.  Robert Joseph (Rage of Angels, World War III) is credited with adapting the script, while an uncredited Daniel Mainwaring (a.k.a. mystery novelist "Geoffrey Homes;" he also wrote the script for the first -- and best -- Invasion of the Body Snatchers) also contributed to the script.


Monday, March 23, 2015


The Kinks.


  • Scott Adams, Stick to Drawing Comics, Monkey Brain!  Short essays -- more than 150 of them -- from the creator of Dilbert.
  • Ian Alan, Virginia Ghosts.  Another collection of supposed hauntings.  I never nsaw, heard, or felt a ghostly presence all the time I lived in Virginia.  **sigh**
  • Paul Auster, The Book of Illusions.  Novel.  A grieving professor fixates on an old silent comedian.
  • David  Baldacci, The Collectors. A Camel Club thriller.
  • L. A. Banks, Tananarive Due, & Brandon Massey, The Ancestors.  Horror collection of three novellas.
  • Clive Barker, Sacrament. Horror.
  • "M. C. Beaton" (Marion Chesney), Death of a Hussy.  A Hamish MacBeth mystery.
  • David Black, The Extinction Event.  Thriller.
  • Lawrence Block, All the Flowers Are Dying, Matthew Scudder mystery and The Burglar in the Rye, a Bernie Rhodenbarr mystery.
  • Michael Cadnum, Flash.  Crime.
  • Harlan Coben, No Second Chance.  Thriller.
  • Patricia Cornwell, The Front.  A Win Garano/Monique Lamont mystery.
  • Robert Crais, The Forgotteen Man.  A Elvis Cole novel.
  • Shirley Damsgaard, The Seventh Witch and The Witch's Grave.  Ophelia and Abby mysteries.
  • Jack Dann & Gardner Dozier, editors, Armageddons.  SF anthology with a dozen stories.
  • Hilary Davidson, The Damage Done.  Debut mystery.  Winner of an Anthony award and a Crimespree award; nominated for the Arthur Ellis and Macavity awards.
  • Eileen Dreyer, A Man to Die For.  Mystery.
  • Loren D. Estleman, The Book of Murdock.  A Page Murdock western.
  • Elizabeth George, What Came Before He Shot Her.  Psychological mystery linked to George's Inspector Linley series; the prequel to With No One As Witness.
  • David Lynn Golemon, Event.  An Event Group thriller.  What really happened at Rosewell?  And will it mean the end of the world?
  • Sue Grafton, W Is for Wasted.  Kinsey Millhone nears the end of the alphabet.
  • Martha Grimes, The Blue Last.  A Richard Jury mystery.
  • Steven Harper, Battlestar Galactica:  Unity.  Television tie-in novel.  An origin story for the newer series, not the older series.
  • Carolyn G. Hart, Death By Surprise.  Mystery.
  • David G. Hartwell, editor, Year's Best SF 5.  SF Anthology covering 1999.
  • Seamus Heaney & Ted Hughes, editors, The Rattle Bag.  Poetry anthology.
  • "Jack Higgins" (Harry Patterson), Cold Harbour, Drink with the Devil, Eye of the StormMidnight Runner, On Dangerous GroundThe President's DaughterA Season in Hell, Thunder Point, The White House Connection, and Without Mercy.  Thrillers.
  • Hans Holzer, Houses of Horror.  Another collection of supposed hauntings.  File under Humbug.
  • P. D. James, The Private Patient.  An Adam Dalgleish mystery.
  • William W. Johnstone & J. A. Johnstone, Blood Bond:  Deadly Road to Yuma and Bloodshed of Eagles.  Westerns from a prolific dead man and a "carefully selected" writer  "inspired by Mr. Johnstone's superb storytelling."
  • "Chris Jordan" (Rodman Philbrick), Torn.  A Randall Shane thriller.
  • Stuart Kaminsky, Now You See It.  Mystery.  Toby Peters meets the magician Blackstone.
  • C. Brian Kelly (with an assist from Ingrid Smyer), Best Little Stories from Virginia.  Non-fiction.  Little tidbits from Virginia history, 1607-2003.  Smyer (actually Smyer-Kelly) wrote one chapter of the book, as she has done for most of Kelly's books.  Signed by both Kelly and Smyer.
  • Ryan Lockwood, Below.  Horror.  Something lurks in the deeps of the sea.
  • Margaret Maron, Christmas Mourning.  Mystery.  Number 16 in the Judge Deborah Knott series.
  • John McCain & Mark Salter, Worth the Fighting For:  A Memoir.  Signed and inscribed to previous owner by McCain.
  • Ron Miller, The History of Science Fiction.  Non-fiction aimed at a YA audience.
  • Doug Murray, The World of Darkness:  Vampire:  Blood Relations.  Gaming tie-in novel.
  • Larry Niven, Destiny's Road.  SF.
  • Larry Niven & Edward M. Lerner, Betrayer of Worlds, Fate of Worlds, and Fleet of Worlds.  SF prequels to Niven's Ringworld.
  • Neil Ravin, Informed Consent.  Medical thriller.
  • Alastair Reynolds, Terminal World.  Sf.
  • "J. R. Roberts" (Robert J. Randisi), The Gunsmith:  #246 Dead Man's Eyes, #307 Red River Showdown, #313 Wildfire, #334 Message on the Wind, #338 Pleasant Valley Shoot-Out, and #341 The Bandit Princess.  Adult westerns in Randisi's long-running series,  Berkley Books has decided to discontinue this series with #399.  #400 (and many more, I hope) will be continued by Piccadilly Publishing in hardback and by Western Trailblazers in paperback.   I hope these books get the support they deserve.
  • Mary Beth Sammons & Robert Edwards, City Ghosts.  Even more supposed hauntings.
  • Zoe Sharp, Fourth Day.  A Charlie Fox mystery.  A Barry award finalist for best Brritish crime novel.
  • Clea Simon, Grey Matters.  A Dulcie Schwartz mystery.  Dulcie solves mysteries with the ghost of her cat, Mr. Grey.  Sounds twee.
  • Brian Stableford, Inherit the Earth.  SF.
  • G. Harry Stine, Handbook of Model Rocketry, Fourth Edition.  Non-fiction.  Stine also wrote science fiction as "Lee Correy."
  • Denise Swanson, Murder of a Needled Knitter.  A Scumble River mystery.
  • Brad Thor, The Lions of Lucerene.  The first Scot Harvath thriller.
  • Roger Welsch, Touching the Fire.:  Buffalo Dancers, the Sky Bundle, and Other Tales.  A collection of seven stories rewritten from American Indian folklore and mythology.

Sunday, March 22, 2015


A beautiful springtime Sunday (in some parts of country, anyway)...what better time to listen to one of G. K. Chesterton's Father Brown stories?

In "The Sign of the Broken Sword," Father Brown tells Flambeau the story of General Arthur St. Clare, who died a hero and a martyr.  Or did he?

One of best stories in the Father Brown canon.



Marion Williams.

Saturday, March 21, 2015


A happy little ditty from Loka the Pug.


Taking the lead story in this issue of Rangers Comics is Firehair, a character who appeared 45 issues of the comic, from 1945 to 1952.  The popular redhead also had her own comic book for eleven quarterly issues from 1948 to 1952, after which the White Queen of the Redskin Ranges disappeared into comic book oblivion.  (Later on, Joe Kubert drew a completely different character of the same name. for DC.)

Lynn Cabot, red-headed daughter of a Boston businessman, accompanied her father west  when their wagon train was attacked and everyone but Lynn was killed; she was thrown from a wagon, and hit her head, unconscious.  Lynn was found by Little Ax, the son of a Dakota tribal chief, and brought back to his tribe.  Suffering fromm amnesia, Lynn was taken into the tribe and taught their ways.  She soon became a great warrior, the equal or better of any man in the tribe.  When Lynn regains her memory, she proves the attack on the wagon  train was done by a gang of outlaws disguised as Indians.  She also learns that town life is not for her and returns to her tribe.

In this issue, Firehair takes on "The Tomahawk Traitors of Plunder Canyon."

Also in this issue, The Secret Files of Dr. Drew pits the titular doctor against a voodoo curse in "The Witch's Doll."  Pilot Bart Battle and his "friend" Dot are taken captive in Latin America by the "Gaucho Queen" and her band of desperados.  Jan of the Jungle rescues the kidnapped wife of explorer Professor Blanding; she has been taken by thugs wanting to learn the location of the Lost kafgar Mines.  (I'm assuming this story is based on Otis Aldebert Kline's character, but I have not read the books yet -- they are buried somewhere in Mount TBR -- so I can't say for sure.)  Texan Cap Morgan of the Sky Rangers solves the mysterious disappearance of two trains in Central America.  And Myra Maxwell, radio's voice of conscience, introduces a tale of a woman who had to choose between her country and her father in "I Confess."

All in all, a pretty neat issue.


Friday, March 20, 2015


Yes, you with the stars in your eyes...come listen to the magnificent Rosemary Clooney.


Chicago Lightning and Triple Play by Max Allan Collins (both 2010)

It's hard to catagorize these two as Forgotten Books, but they do replace two out-of-print older collections, Dying in the Post-War World (1991) and Kisses of Death (2001), and then

A few words about Max Allan Collins.  The Iowa native has had his hand -- successfully -- in many endeavors:  from comic books and comic strips, from computer games, puzzles, and trading cards to fiction and non-fiction, from writing, producing, and directing films to playing in popular bands. He has written film and television tie-in novels.  Among fictional series are the Quarry novels (about a hit-man), the Nolan novels (about a thief), the Mallory novels (about a mystery writer), the Elliot Ness novels (about the real-life character), the Jack and Maggie Starr novels (with a comic strip background), the Trash 'n' Treasure novels (written with his wife, Barbara Collins), the Ms. Tree stories (both comic books and a novel), the J. C. Harrow thrillers, the Disaster series (mixing real-life mystery writers with real-life crimes), the Reeder and Rogers novels (political thrillers, the second book in the series, Fate of the Nation to be published soon), Mike Hammer novels (posthumous collaborations based on partial manuscripts and notes by Mickey Spillane), a western trilogy based on a script by Spillane, Criminal Minds tie-in novels, CSI tie-ins (Los Vegas, Miami, and New York -- in novels, computer games, comic books, and puzzles), Dark Angel tie-ins, Dick Tracy (tie-ins, novels and the comic strip), NYPD Blue tie-ins, The Mummy (ties-ins), GI Joe tie-ins, Mommy tie-ins (based on movies created by Collins), and Road to Perdition tie-ins (both novels and graphic novels).  That doesn't include his well-researched introductions to comic strip collections and collections of pin-up art, as well as books and articles about true crime, television shows,  men's magazines, the mystery field, mystery writers, comicbooks and comic strips, or his film reviews...Phew!  The man's a powerhouse.

The thing is, just about everything Collins has written is damned good.  And that includes his Nathan Heller series.

Nathan Heller is a former Chicago cop turned private detective.  Readers first met him in the 1983 novel True Detective, set in the Chicago days of Al Capone and Frank Nitti in which Heller tries to survive on five Dollars a day plus expenses.  Throughout the Heller series, we watch him go from a one-room office with a Murphy bed to owning a successful agency to owning a large successful agency with an added office in Los Angeles, from meeting Dillinger and Ma Barker to hobnobbing with Dorothy Kilgallan as she tries to ferret out who killed John F. Kennedy.  Along the way (in a total of fifteen hisorical mysteries, with a sixteenth -- Better Dead -- to be published soon), Heller finds himself involved in famous crimes and events:  the assassinations of Anton Cermak and Huey Long, the Lindburgh kidnapping, the disappearnace of Amelia Earhart, the Black Dahlia murder, the Roswell "saucer" mystery, the death of Marilyn Monroe, the forgotten assassination attempt on John F. Kennedy, and his assassintion a month later.  Along the way Heller befriends gangsters and politicians and the famous and infamous

A hallmark of the Heller series is the scrupulous historical research done for each story and the seamless welding of fact and speculation.  Heller himself is a tarnished knight with a personal moral code that allows for moral lapses.  He doesn't hesitate to deliver justice himself, a la a cetain character created by Mickey Spillane, and he certainly doesn't hesitiate bedding a number of famous females along the way.

The first Heller short story "The Strawberry Teacup" was first published in 1984, the year following Heller's True Detective debut.  Over the next quarter century more stories trickled from Collins' imagination, most of them published in original anthologies.  In many cases, the short stories allowed Collins to focus on little-known true crimes with the care and research used in his novel-length adventures.  (A "tip of the hat" is openly given to George Hagenauer, Collins' diligent researcher and collaborator on the series.)

Chicago Lightning collects thirteen Heller short stories, while Triple Play collects three Heller short novels; together they contain all of the Heller shorter works published through 2010 (and all the stories in earlier collections Dying in the Post-War World and Kisses of Death).  Chicago Lightning adds three additional stories not included in the two previous collections.

Need I mention that these two collections are highly recommended?

I thought not.

Thursday, March 19, 2015


I was listening to an interview with legendary flat-picker Norman Blake on NPR this afternoon and thought I'd post this.  As the late Ray Davies might say, file this classic song under "Plumb Pitiful."


Ghost Corps was a 1930s radio show that featured K. C. Smith, one of a group of free-lance diplomats operating in the near and far East.  Smith's usual beat was the Middle East -- its dark alleys, mosques, and bazaars -- as he worked to bring down various warlords.  (I'm afraid the show might not be very PC.)

The show is especially recommended for fans of such pulps as Adventure and Oriental Stories.

Enjoy these two thirteen-part episodes, "Knives of El Malik" and "Prayer Rug of Nana Sieb."

Wednesday, March 18, 2015


Wilbert Harrison.


I stole this one from yesterday's Bits and Pieces blog:

Man:  Is this where babies are delivered?
Maternity Ward Nurse:  Yes.
Man:  That's terrible.  Babies need their lilvvers.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015


Liam Clancy.


Bellhop Buzzy O'Brien needs some Irish luck if he and his pal Jefferson are to solve the murder of a hotel guest and clear the name of the lovely Kitty Monahan.

This 1939 programmer stars Frankie Darrow, Dick Purcell, and Lillian Elliott.  Way down on the list of credits is our old friend Mantan Moreland, who can make even the worst film bearable.

Directed by Howard Bretherton, written by Mary McCarthy, and based on Charles Molyeaux Brown's short story "Death Hops the Bell," enjoy this St. Patrick's treat with some green beer or some other suitable potion.

And may the luck of the Irish be with you!

Monday, March 16, 2015


Been there, done that.  So, evidently has Ramblin' Jack Elliott.


  • L. M. Boston, Treasure of Green Knowe.  YA fantasy, the second in the Green Knowe series.  Also published as The Chimneys of Green Knowe.
  • C. J. Box, Three Weeks to Say Goodbye.  Thriller.
  • "Sarah Caudwell" (Sarah Cockburn), The Shortest Way to Hades.  A Hilary Tamar mystery.  (Of course, the biggest mystery in these books was whether Hilary Tamar was male or female.)
  • Peter David, Sir Apropos of Nothing.  Humorous fantasy.  Also, Star Trek:  New Frontier:  The Quiet Place.  Television franchise tie-in.
  • "Peter Dawson" (Jonathan Hurff Glidden), Man on the Buckskin.  Western.
  • Gordon R. Dickson, Tactics of Mistake.  Sf novel in the Dorsai series.
  • "Tabor Evans" (house name), the Longarm series:  #58 Longarm in No Man's Land, #62 Longarm in Virginia City, #63 Longarm and the James County War#66 Longarm and the Hangman's Noose, #68 Longarm and the Desert Duchess, #69 Longarm on the Painted Desert, and #71 Longarm on the Arkansas Divide.  Adult westerns.  The Lonaerm series was begun in 1978, with the first book being written by Lou Cameron.  These seven books were published in 1983 and 1984.  I have no idea of who is behind house name on any of these seven books.
  • Katherine Farrar, The Missing Link.  An Inspector Ringwood mystery.
  • James W. Hall, Body Language.  Mystery.
  • Daniel Hearn, Bad August.  PI novel, the first featuring Joe Noonan.
  • Sarah J. Hoyt, Darkship Renegades, SF novel, a follow-up to the Prometheus winning Darkship Thieves.  Also, Ill Met by Moonlight, a Shakespearian fantasy.
  • E. Howard Hunt, House Dick. A mystery by the Watergate guy.  First published as by "Gordon Davis."  Also published as Washington Payoff.  Although Hunt wrote 43 mystery and spy-guy novels, he never belonged to MWA.
  • "Michael Innes" (J. I. M. Stewart), The Man from the Sea.  Mystery.  Also published as Death by Moonlight.
  • "Chip Kidd" (Charles Kidd), The Cheese Monkeys:  A Novel in Two Semesters.  A novel of college days in the 50s.
  • Mercedes Lackey, The Serpent's Shadow.  Fantasy.
  • Paul J. McAuley, Red Dust.  SF.
  • Jack McDevitt, The Devil's Eye.  SF novel in the Alex Benedict series about an interstellar antiques dealer.
  • Maureen McKernan, The Amazing Crime and Trial of Leopold and Loeb.  True crime.
  • Andy McNab, Remote Control.  Thriller.
  • Mark McShane, The Singular Case of the Multiple Dead.  Mystery novel.
  • Michael Reaves, Hell on Earth. Dark fantasy.
  • Laura Resnick, Disappearing Nightly.  Urban fantasy.  The first in the Manhattan Magic series.
  • Kat Richardson, Greywalker. Fantasy, the first in the Greywalker series.
  • Sandra Ruttan, What Burns Within.  The first Craig Nolan/Ashlyn Hart/Tain mystery.
  • C. J. Ryan, Dextra.  SF.  A Gloria VanDeen novel.
  • Robert J. Sawyer, Flashforward.  SF novel.  The population of Earth blacks out for two minutes and seventeen seconds.  This is a television tie-in edition.  Too bad they cancelled the show.
  • Dean Wesley Smith, Kristine Kathryn Smith, & Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Star Trek:  Voyager:  Echoes.  Television franchise tie-in novel.
  • Sarah Strohmeyer, Bubbles in Trouble.  The second Bubbles Yablonsky mystery.
  • Charles Stross, The Atrocity Archives.  A Bob Howard Lovecraftian spy mash-up.
  • Harry Turtledove, Departures,  Alternat history collection with twenty stories.
  • John Twelve Hawks, The Dark River.  SF, second in the Fourth Realm trilogy.
  • Laurence Yep, The Star Fisher.  YA novel.

Sunday, March 15, 2015


Designer Stefan Sagmeister presents seven rules for life and design happiness which (with some adjustment) can apply to anyone seeking more joy.  And we all need more joy, don't we?  Even on the Ides of March.


Tamela Mann.

Saturday, March 14, 2015


Not only is today Pi Day, but it's a super-Pi day!  3-14-15 comes only once a century so it's time for a rip-roaring celebration!


Deciding to cash in on its popular comic book Captain Marvel, Fawcett Comics came up with a spin-off character distinct from the original character.  Enter Freddy Freeman, crippled teenaged newsboy.  Differing from Captain Marvel, Freddy remains a teenager when he transforms to superhero mode.  Not only that, instead of saying "SHAZAAM" to transform, Freddy must say "CAPTAIN MARVEL."  (This last a subtle reminder to kiddies that Captain Marvel has his own comic book for them to spend additional money on each month.)

Junior first appeared in Whiz Comics #25 (December 1941) in Part One of a three-issue crossover with Master Comics.   There, he crosses swords with Hitler's superherovillain Captain Nazi -- the first of many wartime encounters.

(Elvis Presley was a big Captain Marvel, Jr. fan.  He styled his hair as well as some of his costumes on the young superhero.  Unlike Elvis, Junior did not gain weight or abuse substances or die young.  I believe he's currently a blond he's somewhere in the DC universe.)

Captain Marvel, Jr. is approaching his 75th birthday, lasting (I'm sure) far longer than creators Ed Herron and Mac Raboy ever thought.

In this issue he meets Professor Werewolf, travels west to meet the Outlaw of Crooked Creek, faces crime's trumpeter, and delves into the mystery of the hammer that shook the world.


Friday, March 13, 2015


It's Friday the 13th!  Let's celebrate with Alice Cooper.


The Zanzibar Cat by Joanna Russ (1983)

Joanna Russ (1937-2011), novelist, short story writer, essayist, and critic, was one of the most important and influential voices in science fiction in the recent past but (I fear) she is little read today, and that's a shame.  Adjectives that might best describe her?  Radical, angry, fearless, ironic, acerbic...take your pick.

Russ published her first story in 1959 and then came into her own in the Sixties, blazing her way through that decade with a stunning series of stories, followed by ground-breaking novels like Picnic on Paradise (1968), And Chaos Died (1970), The Female Man (1975), and We Who Are About To... (1977).  In all, she published seven novels and four collections culled from her over five dozen stories.  In the late Eighties, Russ turned away from science fictions, publishing only one story in 1996, and instead concentrating on essays that showcased her thoughts on feminism and human dignity -- subjects that always been part and parcel of her fiction.  Through her writings, Joanna Russ has shown us (male and female alike) a new (well, new for most of us) and courageous way of thinking.  We are the better for it.

The Zanzibar Cat (Arkham House, 1983), her first collection, contains 16 stories covering fantasy, science fiction, and I don't know what.  These are powerful stories.  Sly stories.  Difficult stories.  Glorious stories.  Russ writes with the power of a poet and the ferocity of a poet's truncheon.  Read, for example, "Old Thoughts, Old Presences" and see if you can cope with the pain, joy, and triumph it relates.  Or "Useful Phrases for the Tourist" without smiling.

A varied, worthwhile collection.

  • "When it Changed" (from Again, Dangerous Visions, edited by Harlan Ellison, 1972)  A Nebula and Tiptree award winner
  • "The Extraordinary Voyages of Amelie Bertrand" (from The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, September 1979)  A Nebula Award finalist
  • "The Soul of a Servant" (from Showcase, edited by Roger Elwood, 1973)
  • "Gleepsite" (from Orbit 9, edited by Damon Knight, 1971)
  • "Nobody's Home" (from New Dimensions 2, edited by Robert Silverberg, 1972)
  • "My Dear Emily" (from The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, July 1962)
  • "The New Men" (from The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, February 1966)
  • "My Boat" (from The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, January 1976)
  • "Useful Phrases for the Tourist" (from Universe 2, edited by Terry Carr, 1972)
  • "Corruption" (from Aurora:  Beyond Equality, edited by Susan Janice Anderson and Vonda N. McIntyre, 1976)
  • "There Is a Shore, You Know, Upon the Other Side" (from The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, September 1963)
  • "A Game of Vlet" (from The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, February 1974)
  • "How Dorothy Kept Away the Spring" (from The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, February 1977)
  • "Poor Man, Beggar Man" (from Universe 1, edited by Terry Carr, 1971)  A Nebula Award finalist
  • "Old Thoughts, Old Presences (originally published in two parts in Epoch, published by Cornell University, as "Daddy's Girl," Winter 1975, and as "Autobography of My Mother," Fall 1975)  The second part was an O. Henry Prize story.
  • "The Zanzibar Cat" (from Quark 3, edited by Samuel R. Delaney and Marilyn Hacker, 1971)
The paperback edition of The Zanzibar Cat (Baen, 1984) has slightly different contents, dropping "How Dorothy Kept Away the Spring," "Poor Man, Beggar Man," and "Old Thoughts, Old Presences," and adding the following three stories:
  • "The Man Who Could Not See Devils" (from Alchemy and Academe, edited by Anne McCaffrey, 1970)
  • "Dragons and Dimwits" (from The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, December1979, as "Dragons and Dimwits or There and Back Again:  a Publisher's Holiday or Why did I do It? or Much Ado about Magic or Lord of the Royalties or...or...or...")
  • "The Precious Object" (1970, source unknown)

Thursday, March 12, 2015


Betty Grable.


Sam Small, the Flying Yorkshireman, was the second-best-known creation of another Yorkshireman -- Eric Knight.  (Knight's best-known creation was Lassie.)  Sam Small, who woke up one day and discovered he could fly, appeared in ten tall tales short stories collected in book form in 1936.

From August 16, 1942's Author's Playhouse, here's one of Sam's warm adventures.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015


The Rolling Stones.


A woman came into a bank and asked the teller if he could check her he pushed her over.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015


Rex Allen.


From 1935, a Tom Tyler western.  Tyler was a popular action star in silent movies and the early sound era.  In addition to being the screen's first Captain Marvel and the screen's first Phantom, Tyler had supporting roles in several major films, including Gone With the Wind and Stagecoach.  Born Vincent Markowski in Hamtramck, Michigan, he became Bill Burns when he started in films, then becoming Tom Tyler when signed by FBO (Film Booking Offices) in 1925.  With the advent of talkies, Tyler overcame a strong Lithuanian accent to continue his career.  In the mid- to late-Forties Tyler developed a cripplimg case of rheumatoid arthritis.  Nevertheless, in the last six years of his life Tyler appears in 35 films and television shows, including an unsold western pilot written by Ed Wood (yes, that Ed Wood.

Tyler's sidekick Soapy is played by Eddie Gribbin (The Great dictator, Tell It to the Marines), who was one of the original Keystone Kops.  Further comedy relief comes from the "Singing Smith Brothers" who are ready to fight anyone who criticizes their singing.

Tom Denton (Tyler) and Soapy come across a dying Texas Ranger (Tom London, whom IMDb gives 644 credits from 1915 until 1953 -- mainly as a bit player) who had been working undercover.  The ranger gives Tom his identification papers, an act that ends with Tom being thought to be the ranger.  This puts Tom the crosshairs of Mason, town banker and secret head of an outlaw gang (William Gould, 265 credits, again, mostly minor roles), and of gunslinger Rattler Brown (Slim Whitaker, a prolific B-western baddie).  Of course there's a pretty girl -- Mary Adams, the sister of the dead ranger, played by Marion Shilling who was featured in films starring Buck Jones, Hoot Gibson, Tim McCoy, and Rex Bell, as well as non-western stars such as William Powell and constance Bennett.

Rio Rattler is a surprisingly interesting western from Hollywood's Poverty Row.


Monday, March 9, 2015


Peggy Seeger.


  • David Baldacci, Stone Cold.  A Camel Club thriller.
  • Linwood Barclay, Too Close to Home.  Thriller.
  • John Canning, editor, Adventure Stories for Boys.  Anthology with 36 stories and extracts (both fictional and non-fictional) supposedly geared to youth with the Y-chromosome.
  • Harlan Coburn, The Innocent.  Thriller.
  • J, California Cooper, Some Soul to Keep.  Literary collection of five stories.  Signed by the author and inscribed to the previous owner.
  • Norman Daniels, The Rat Patrol.  Television tie-in novel.  See also David King, below.
  • Marcelle Dube, The Shoeless Kid.  Mystery,
  • "Leslie Egan" (Elizabeth Linington), A Feast of Egan.  Omnibus of the first four Vic Varallo mysteries:  The Borrowed Alibi, Run to Evil, Detective's Due, and The Nameless Ones.
  • Martha Grimes, The Case Has Altered and The Old Wine Shades.  Richard Jury mysteries.
  • Rick Hautala, Ghost Light.  Horror novel from an author too soon gone.
  • Brian Herbert, The Garbage Chronicles.  SF.
  • Greg Iles, 24 Hours. Thriller.
  • William W. Johnstone with J. A. Johnstone, The Brothers O'Brien.  Western, the first in a new series by the dead author and a "carefully selected writer."
  • Douglas C. Jones, Gone the Dreams and Dancing.  Western, winner of the 1984 Spur Award for Best Historical Novel.
  • David King, The Rat Patrol #2:  The Desert Danger.  Television tie-in novel.  See Norman Daniels, above, for the first in the series
  • Attica Locke, The Cutting Edge.  Mystery.
  • Richard Lockridge, Write Murder Down. A Nathan Shapiro mystery.
  • "Berkely Mather"  (John Evan Weston-Davies), The Break.  Suspense novel.
  • Ralph McInerny, Sham Rock.  A Philip and Roger Knight mystery.
  • Barbara O'Brien, Operators and Things:  The Inner Life of a Schizophrenic.  Supposedly the true story of a self-cured schizophrenic.
  • Andrew J. Offutt, Cormac Mac Art:  The Mist of Doom.  Sword and Sorcery fantasy featuring the Robert E. Howard character.  Based on an outline by Geo. W. Proctor.
  • Michael Palmer, Oath of Office.  Medical thriller.
  • James Patterson & Howard Roughan, You've Been Warned.  Thriller.
  • Richard North Patterson, The Race.  Political thriller.
  • Otto Penzler, editor, The Big Book of Adventure Stories, The Big Book of Christmas Mysteries, The Big Book of Ghost Stories, and The Black Lizard Big Book of Black Mask Stories.  Doorstop anthologies, with a total of a zillion and one stories and a bajillion pages.  Heavy on familiar stories and heavier on unfamiliar stories.  I read Penzler's zombie book and most of his vampire book, so when I had a chance to pick up these four it was a no-brainer.
  • Ian Rankin, The Complaints.  ARC, the first Malcolm Fox mystery.  Also, Freshmarket Close.  The 15th in the Inspector Rebus novels.
  • Alexander Yates, Moondogs.  ARC,  a first novel "about the disappearance of an American businessman in the Phillipines and the estranged son, jilted lover, misguided felon, and the supernatural saviors who all want a piece of him."  Sounded interesting.

Sunday, March 8, 2015


W. F. Harvey's classic horror story, read by Phil Chenevert.

Enjoy.  Shiver, but enjoy.


Muddy Waters and Sister Rosetta Tharp.  Can it get any better than that?

Saturday, March 7, 2015


This one is for Kitty, who grows more beautiful every day and who has made me a better person every day.

I love you.

From 1957, here's The Tune Weavers:


In the Forties and the early Fifties, Charles Starrett rode through 65 B-movie westerns from Columbia Pictures as The Durango Kid, a man in black with a kerchief mask delivering his branld West.

In this issue of The Durango Kid, our hero meets an old enemy -- The Red Scorpion, an outlaw in red who carries a deadly dwhip.


Friday, March 6, 2015


The Lovin' Spoonful.


Only the Cat Knows by Marian Babson (2007) [original title:  Only the Cat]

This week's Forgotten Book is an offbeat take on the "gothic" trend that swept through the paperback publishing industry in the Sixties and Seventies, as well as being a cozy with cats.

Instead of a mansion or a castle, the setting is Friary Keep, a Victorian faux-monestary located on a large estate owned by shadowy industrialist Everett Oversall.  Earlier in life Oversall had been tabloid fodder for his playboy antics;  the antics still continue (there are a number of "nubile females" as pemanent residents at Friary Keep), but Oversall is now reclusive, shunning personal noteriety.  So when his personal assistant, Vanessa, fell from one of the battlements on the estate, the episode was quietly hushed up.

What wasVanessa doing up there? Supposedly she was in the habit of walking along the battlements when she couldn't sleep and this time lost her footing.  Vanessa, in a coma and barely clinging to life, couldn't be asked.  But unknown to people on the estate, Vanessa had a twin half a world away who knew she would never been on the battlements because of her great fear of heights.  No, Vanessa was either pushed or thrown off.

It was up to Vanessa'a twin to find out who had tried to kill her.  The twin would go to Friary Keep, pretending to be Vanessa in the hopes of discovering her would-be murderer.

There, "Vanessa" meets a houseful of weird and seclusive characters: a writer who does not write, an artist who steals peacock feathers, an oily lothario whom no woman would look at, a mysterious old lady in a wheelchair, a domineering woman who runs the estate, and several others -- each with an agenda of their own.  Besides who attacked Vanessa, there are many other mysteries:  What had happened to Vanessa's predecessor?  Who are the mysterious visitors who arrive by helicopter while the household is kept in locked rooms?  Who was the person who committed suicide shortly after "Vanessa" arrived?  What is happening to members of the staff?  Where is the mysterious and elusive Everett Oversall?  Who is Vanessa's self-proclaimed lover?  Why is a monk walking the halls of the supposedly haunted Keep, built centuries after the monk's time?  And who is the dead blonde lying next to a lifelike statue of a medieval monk?  And where did her body go?

And, for a twist, Vanessa's twin is named Vance and he is the world's greatest female impersonator.

And there is Gloriana, Vanessa's angora cat who knows Vance is not her owner and who may disrupt all of Vance's plans.

Babson manages to juggle these over-the-top elements well, creating a loving homage to a pretty ridiculous genre.  Despite my initial qualms, I kept reading.  After the first few chapters, I suspended disbelief and went on an enjoyable ride through this strange world.

Marion Babson has written (by my count) 43 mysteries.  Over the years I have read most of them.  Only the Cat Knows convinces me I should read the rest.

Thursday, March 5, 2015


The Everly Brothers.


Jules Verne's early science fiction novel Journal to the Center of the Earth was adapted to an eight-part radio series by BBC radio in 1963 -- 99 years after the book was first published.  Today the science in the story is specious but in 1864 the concept of a hollow earth was at least possible, if not probable.  The radio adaptation, in eight half-hour episodes, follows Verne's story fairly closely.

Bernard Horsfall, perhaps best known as playing James Bond's colleague (and "Official Sacrificial Lamb") in The Spy Who Loved Me and for various roles in BBC's Doctor Who series, starred with Jeffrey Banks (about whom I know zilch).


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Tuesday, March 3, 2015


Damita Jo.


Rocky King, Detective (later called Rocky King, Inside Detective), one of the Dumont Networks most popular programs, ran from January 15, 1950 to December 26, 1954.  Rocky King was a member of a large city (read New York) police force. Very few of the episodes of the live crime show survive.  This one, "One Minute to Murder," in that star Roscoe Karns never appeared in the episode.  Detecting duties were performed by Rocky King's assistant Detective Sergeant Lane, played by Earl Hammond.  Another oddity:  there seems to be no record of when this particular episode was aired.

Roscoe Karns was a street-wise character actor and second banana throughout most of his long career, which stemmed from 1906 to 1964.  Arguably, his best-known role was as Oscar Shapeley, the pesky bus rider who tried to pick up Claudette Colbert in It Happened One Night.  He also appeared in another Oscar-winning film,  as Lt. Cameron in Wings.  Taking the role of Rocky King evidently pulled him from a career slump.  He later appeared in 73 episodes of Jackie Cooper's series Hennesey as Admiral Walter Shafer.

Co-star Earl Hammond later moved from character to voice actor on a number of cartoon series such as Starblazers, The Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers, and Thundercats.  His career in film and television covered almost fifty years.

Although she was never seen on camera, Grace Carney appeared in every episode as Rocky King's wife, Mabel.  Carney appeared sporadically three times on television following this show, once in 1956, once in 1958, and once in 1964.  She appeared in only one film, The Owl and the Pussycat, in 1980.  She died in Connecticut in 1999 at age 97.

This episode involves the murder of the owner of a scandal sheet.  At the end of the show, Hammond, as Lane, explains to the audience that Rocky King did not appear that week because of a case of food poisoning.  This varied from the show's normal ending in which Rocky King telephones his wife to tell her the case was closed.

Also appearing in this episode were Ned Wertimer, Mary Jackson, Barbara Joyce, Wylie Hancock, and Steven Gethers.

"One Minute to Murder" was directed by Wesley Kenny and Written by Carl Abrams, with additional dialog from Karns.  Ken Roberts was the announcer and Jack Ward was the organist.  Rocky King, Detective was shot in Dumont's New York offices.


Monday, March 2, 2015


Carl Perkins.


  • Louisa May Alcott, The Journals of Louisa May Alcott.   As the years passed, her entries became much shorter, often just a line or a single word.  Edited by Joel Meyerson & Daniel shealy, with Madeleine B. Stern as associate editor.
  • [anonymously edited], Four Summoner's Tales.  Horror anthology with four novellas by Kelley Armstrong, Christopher Golden, David Liss, and Jonathan Maberry.
  • IdsaacAsimov, Charles G. Waugh, & Martin H. Greenberg, editors, The Best Crime Stories of the 19th Century.  Mystery anthology with 15 stories.
  • Robert Asprin & Linda Evans, Wagers of Sin.  SF novel, the second in the Time Scout series.
  • Marian Babson, Murder on a Mystery Tour.  Cozy mystery.  Also published as Weekend for Murder.
  • "George Bagby" (Aaron Marc Stein), Dirty Pool.  An Inspector Schmidt mystery.
  • Iain M. Banks, Use of Weapons.  SF novel in the Culture series.
  • Raymond Benson, The James Bond Bedside Companion.  Nonfiction.  Benson wrote a number of authorized Bond novels following Kingsley Amis and John Gardner.
  • T. I. Binyon, "Murder Will Out":  The Detective in Fiction.  Nonfiction.
  • Jeff Burk, Shatnerquake.  SF parody.  At the very first ShatnerCon, all the characterseer plyed by Willaim Shatner are sucked into our world.  Their mission:  Destroy William Shatner.  Features Captain Kirk, Cartoon Kirk, T. J. Hooker, Denny Crane, Priceline Shatner, a sining Shatner, and others.
  • Angus Burrell & Bennett Cerf, editors, An Anthology of Famous American Stories.  Seventy-three stories.
  • Stephen Calder, Bonanza:  The High-Steel Hazard and Bonanza:  The Money Hole.  Television tie-ins.  Calder wrote three of the five books in this series.
  • Groff Conklin, editor, Four for the Future.  SF anthology with four novelettes.
  • David Drake, Eric Flint, Ryk E. Spoor, & Henry Kuttner, Mountain Magic.  Fantasy anthology with four Hogben stories by Kuttner, five Old Nathan stories by Drake, and a short novel by Flint & Spoor.
  • J. T. Edson, The Half Breed.  A Floating Outfit western.
  • Phyllis Eisenstein, editor, Spec-Lit No. 2.  SF anthology of 14 stories, mostly written by students at Columbia College Chicago.
  • Roger Elwood & Virginia Kidd, editors, Saving Worlds.  Ecologically-themed SF anthology with 20 stories and poems, with an introduction by Frank Herbert.
  • Michael Eury, Comics Gone Ape!  Nonfiction,  A loving history of simians in comics.
  • Christopher Fahy, Nightflyer.  Horror.
  • Edward L. Ferman, editor, The Best from  Fantasy and Science Fiction:  Sixteen Series and The Best from Fantasy and Science Fiction:  20th Series.  SF anthologies with thirteen stories and four poems (16th) and eleven stories (20th).
  • Ed Gorman, Martin H. Greenberg, & Larry Segriff, editors, Cat Crimes Through Time.  Mystery anthology with 21 stories.
  • Peter Haining, editor, London After Midnight.  Mystery anthology with 22 stories.
  • Harry Harrison & David Bischoff, Bill, the Galactic Hero on the Planet of Ten Thousand Bars.  SF.
  • Harry Harrison & Jack C. Haldeman, Bill, the Galactic Hero on the Planet of Zombie Vampires.  SF.
  • Edward James, Science Fiction in the 20th Century.  Nonfiction.
  • William W. Johnstone, The Sanction.  Horror.
  • Stephen Jones, editor, Clive Barker's Shadows in Eden.  A compendium of 48 articles by and about Barker.  Also, The Mammoth Book of New Terror, a horror anthology with 26 stories.
  • Walter Kendrick, The Thrill of Fear:  250 Years of Scary Entertainment.  Nonfiction.
  • Elaine Koster & Joseph Pittman, editors, Crimes and Misdemeanors.  Mystery anthology with 18 stories.
  • Mercedes Lackey, Reserved for the Cat.  Fantasy, Book Five in the Elemental Masters series.
  • Louis L'Amour, Callaghen, Flint, Kilrone, Over on the Dry Side, Reilly's Luck, The Shadow Riders, The Tall Stranger, and Tucker.  Western novels.  Also, two Sackett novels:  The Lonely Men and Milo Talon (Talon's  mother was a Sackett. so this one is oblilquely a Sackett novel and not part of the official canon), and Fair Blows the Wind, a historical novel with pirates.  Western collections Bowdrie's Law (ten stories), Durchman's Flat (eleven stories), Riding for the Brand (twelve stories), and Yondering (revised edition; 16 stories and one poem).
  • Y. S. Lee, The Agency:  The Body in the Tower.  ARC.  The second Mary Quinn mystery featuring an all-female detective unit operating out of Miss Scrimshaw's Academy for girls in 1859 London.
  • [MAD Magazine, aka "The Usual Gang of Idiots"], The MAD Bathroom Companion:  The Mother Load.  Humor omnibus containing The MAD Bathroom Companion, The MAD Bathroom Companion, Number Two, and The Mad Bathroom Companion, Turd in a Series.  Admittedly, I have the mind of a thirteen-year-old boy.
  • Gary McCarthy, Gunsmoke:  Dead Man's Witness and Gunsmoke:  Marshal Festus.  Radio/television tie-ins.  McCarthy wrote four novels in the series, but "I didn't enjoy them and they didn't work for me."  Hmm.
  • "Hank Mitchum" (house name), the Stagecoach Station series: #1 Dodge City, #3 Cheyenne, #5 Virginia City, #6 Santa Fe, #7 Seattle, #8 Fort Yuma, #9 Sonora, #10 Abilene, #11 Deadwood, #12 Tucson, #13 Carson City, #14 Cimarron, #16 Mojave, #17 Durango, #18 Casa Grande, #19 Last Chance, #20 Leadville, #23 El Paso, #24 Mesa Verde, #25 San Antonio, #27 Pecos, #29 Panhandle, #32 Taos, #33 Death Valley, #34 Deadman Butte, #36 Casper, #37 Shawnee, #38 Grand Teton, #41 Red Buffalo, #42 Fort Davis, #43 Apache Junction, #44 Socorro, #45 Presidio, #47 Juarez, #49 Gila Bend, #50 Buckskin Pass, #51 Wild West, and #52 The Last Frontier.  I'm not sure who wrote what here.  James (according to Wikipedia) wrote seven books in the series; of those listed above, he wrote #29, 33, 51, and 52.  Other authors are unidentified,
  • Andre Norton, Mirror of Destiny, a fantasy, and Wizards' Worlds, a collection of thirteen stories.
  • Flannery O'Connor, The Complete Stories.  Thirty-one stories.
  • Mel Odom, Apocalypse Dawn, Apocalypse Crucible, and Apocalypse Burning.  The first three (of four) books in the Left Behind Apocalypse military series, based on Tim LaHaye/Jerry B. Jenkins Christian thriller series dealing with those left behind after the Rapture.  LaHaye and Jenkins created a Left Behind industry; in addition to over a dozen books of their own and to Odom's military series, there's also a political series by another writer, as well as devotionals, gift books, calendars, graphic novels, audio products, and so much more.  Who knew the Apocalypse could be so profitable?
  • Penzler, Otto, editor, The Black Lizard Big Book of Pulps.  Fifty-nine crime stories from the pulps of the 20s, 30s, and 40s with the majority of them coming from Black Mask.
  • Fred Saberhagan, The First Swords.  Fantasy omnibus containing The First Book of Swords, The Second Book of Swords, and The Third Book of Swords
  • Arthur W. Saha, editor, The Year's Best Fantasy Stories:  7.  Fantasy anthology with eleven stories from 1980.
  • Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, Nothing Sacred.  SF novel.
  • Lawrence Schimel & Martin H. Greenberg, editors, Vampire Stories from the American South.  Horror anthology with twelve stories.  Also published as Southern Blood:  Vampire Stories from the American South.
  • Howard Schwartz, editor, Tales of Wisdom:  One Hundred Modern Parables.  A hundred parables from 72 writers.  Maybe I can get some wisdom from this book.  Lord knows I need it.
  • "Jon Sharpe"  (I have no idea who's behind the house pseudonym on this one), The Trailsman #240: Frisco Filly.  Adult western.  Skye Fargo runs into a deadly extortion racket in San Francisco's theater district.
  • Dorothy Simpson, Dead by Morning.  An Inspector Luke Thanet mystery.
  • Ann & Jeff VanderMeer, editors, Fast Ships, Black Sails.  Pirate/fantasy anthology with 18 stories.
  • Charles Harry Whedbee, Outer Banks Mysteries and Sea Stories.  North Carolina folklore and legends.

Sunday, March 1, 2015


Here's a story from Melville Davisson Post's collection The Sleuth of Saint James Square (1920), featuring Captain Walker, chief of the United States Secret Service.  This one's a podcast (July 13, 2006) by Maureen at MariaLectrix.

"I found a drunken hobo in Atlantic City who was the best detective I ever saw."



Tamela Mann, "I Can Only Imagine"