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Quote of the Day

"There are enough explosives in there to give Mount Rushmore a headache."

-- private eye John Marsh in The Resurrected,
a 1991 horror gore flick loosely
based on an H.P. Lovecraft story

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This Just In...
What's New in the P.I. World
(Plus Random Thoughts & Other Provocations)

  1. Bouchercon 2014: Murder at the Beach
    At long last, a Bouchercon within spitting distance! The Girl Detective herself, mystery author Diana Killian, and I will be attending Bouchercon 2014 in Long Beach, California from November 13-16, just a little ways down the road from our secret detective headquarters in Palmdale. I'll even be moderating a panel, entitled "P.I.s Coast to Coast" and I'll be grilling Anthony Bidulka, Rex Burns, Greg Herren, Thomas Sawyer and Cathi Stoler on how much location and regional flavour matters in a private eye novel. The answer? A lot! We're the very first panel listed in the programme, so be there, and let's get the party started right. And if you want me, I'll be in the bar...
  2. So Long, Jimbo
    A spontaneous tribute from me, and "Remembering Rockford" by author Craig McDonald.
  3. Inherent Vice to Debut at NYC Film Festival This Fall
    Hotshot filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson's adaptation of Thomas Pynchon's whack-a-doo P.I. novel Inherent Vice is set to make its debut at the New York Film Festival on October 4, followed by a limited theatrical release in December. Joaquin Phoenix, Josh Brolin, Reese Witherspoon, Owen Wilson and Benicio Del Toro star.
  4. Thrilling Detective Finally Gets a Decent Search Engine
    I've been meaning to upgrade the search engine for this site for years, and now it's done. This isn't a limited search, or a hit-or-miss fishnet with holes big enough to drive a Buick through. Nope, it's a full-feldged search engine that works the way it's supposed to. Thank you, Mr. Google.
  5. The Fade Out
    Oh man, I'm licking my lips, just thinking about this one. Crime comic kingpins Ed Brubaker (words) and Sean Phillips (art), the same bad boys that brought you Criminal, Sleeper and Fatale, return to the crime beat with possibly their biggest and most ambitious chunk of noir yet. No vampires, no temporarily dead superheroes, no omnipotent beasts from the underworld -- just a sprawling multi-part saga of 1948 Hollywood (pretty much noir ground zero), revolving around a tortured writer, a doomed starlet, a studio head possibly off his rocker and, oh yes, his troubleshooting gun-for-hire who just may be in over his head. (August 2014)
  6. Welcome to Our Super Groovy New Issue
    Launched on June 20, the fortieth anniversary of the premiere of Chinatown, Roman Polanski's classic film starring Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway, with a screenplay by Robert towne, this issue gave us all the excuse we needed to look by at the 1970s, the Silver Age of the Private Eye film.

    This new "issue" (#69, if I counted correctly) kicks off with my introduction, in which I make my rambling case for the seventies as "the decade the private eye film came of age."

    It's followed by four mini-essays on four essential films from that amazing decade:

    "I Was Filled With a Sense of Loss and Longing."
    Chinatown Remembered by Fred Zackel

    "Looking for the Connections"
    The Long Goodbye Remembered by Thomas Pluck

    "It's Not Supposed to Matter"
    The Conversation Remembered by Ben Solomon

    "With Autumn Closing In"
    Night Moves Remembered by Daniel Moses Luft

    And of course, we're also pleased to officially present, for the very first time, The Big Screen: Celluoid Eyes,a timeline, plotting the history and development of the private eye film. In fact, it was compiling this list that was the inspiriation for this issue. Hope you like it.
  7. Dewey Does It
    Just in case Brian Ritt's piece on Thomas B. Dewey (which we reprinted here last year) only whetted your appetite, Kirkus and The Rap Sheet's J. Kingston Pierce takes a whack himself at, as he puts it, "one of crime fiction's underrated stars."
  8. AMC Renews Breaking Bad Spinoff
    The new show, Better Call Saul, which will feature slimeball New Mexico attorney Saul Goodman and his private eye/fixer Mike Ehrmantraut, has had its November 2014 premiere delayed until early next year. But the network has already ordered up a second season. Go figure.
  9. 2014 Shamus Nominees Announced
    The nominees for the 2014 Shamus Awards, to be bestowed by the Private Eye Writers of America, have just been announced. See you in LA at Bouchercon when they announce the winners!
  10. Joe Lansdale's Hap Collins and Leonard Pine Heading for Television?
    Well, that's the rumour, anyway. But is television ready for Lansdale? Variety reports that SundanceTV is developing Hap and Leonard,a project based on Joe Lansdale's odd couple of best friends and trouble-prone Texas shitkickers. Jim Mickle and Nick Damici, who did the recent Cold in July with Michael C. Hall and Sam Shepard, will be adapting Lansdale's stories, with Mickle also directing.
  11. Cold in July
    Keep an eye out for this nasty little piece of noir, currently wowing 'em on the film festival circuit. It's based on the 1992 novel of the same name by Joe Lansdale, and stars Michael C. Hall, Sam Shepard and Don Johnson as Jim Lee Luke, a shit-kicker P.I. (and hog farmer).
  12. "The Peach Streaked Blouse"
    I finally get another piece of fiction published, and it's not even a P.I. story! But hey, you've read this far, so please check out this little piece of nasty that I've had in my head for years. It finally sees the light of day in the latest issue of CrimeFactory, and has all sorts of fun stuff, like Montreal, domestic angst, violence and incorrect laundry techniques. What more could you want? And if that doesn't float your book, the issue also has a great interview with Aussie writer Peter Corris in it!

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