The Fat Man Cometh...
Christmas 2000 Gift Suggestions
For the P.I. Fan Who Has Everything
I've just started this one, so any suggestions are more than welcome...
and, of course, you can always check out Word on the Street: What's New! for what else is out there.
These are just a few suggestions that I thought had particular merit. Take your pick!
By the way, the prices are
in American dollars,
and most of the "Buy this" links are to Amazon.com,
with whom I have a sponsorsip deal, which helps to pay for this
But if you'd prefer to buy them elsewhere,
there's a link to other suggested sources at the bottom.
Like your mama done told ya, ya better shop around...
And see what other readers
want to see under their stockings here...
- The Shamus Game...Buy
Edited by Robert J. Randisi
It doesn't get much better than this, for fans of the shamus
game. Think of it as a sampler pack of some of the best in contemporary
private detective fiction. PWA founder Randisi continues his
bi-annual schedule with another PWA anthology of 14 more original
stories, including contributions by Max Allan Collins, Loren
D. Estleman, Jeremiah Healy, Bill Pronzini, John Lutz, S.J. Rozan
and all the usual suspects. Excellent, as always, and recommended.
- The 2001 Deadly Directory
by Kate Derie, editor
Deadly Serious Press, 2000
Invaluable for any true fan of mysteries. Extensive listings
of mystery bookstores, organizations, publications, events, archives,
small presses, reviewers, entertainment, gifts, and online sites.
Names, addresses, phone/fax, email, and websites. It bills itself
as "Your complete guide to the international mystery, crime,
and detective fiction community," and this ain't no foolin'
around! Derie is also the creator of the essential ClueLass
- American Mystery and Detective Novels:
A Reference Guide...Buy
by Larry N. Landrum
Greenwood Press, 1999
This reference book provides a selective guide to the important
criticism of American mystery and detective novels. Landrum,
an English professor at Michigan State University, presents a
general outline of the genre's historical development over the
last two hundred years, compares related genres (such as gothic,
suspense, gangster, etc.), analyzes various critical approaches,
looks at individual authors (with special attention paid to many
writers who do not otherwise get mainstream attention), and provides
an introduction to available reference works and manuscript collections
regarding mystery and detective fiction in the United States.
- A Dashiell Hammett Companion...Buy
by Robert L. Gale
Greenwood Press, 2000
This book presents alphabetically arranged entries for all
of Hammett's works and characters. Entries for family members,
acquaintances, and influences, along with a chronology, a brief
general bibliography, and bibliographical references for especially
detailed entries, are also included. Author Gale is Professor
Emeritus of American Literature at the University of Pittsburgh.
A must-have for the serious Hammett aficionado on your Christmas
- And here's a treat for everyone:
a free book!.
- The Lost Son
by Eric Leclere
Free (as a .pdf download)
This served as the basis for what I thought was a pretty
decent P.I. flick. But the author had all sorts of problems with
it, so what do I know?. You can read the whole sordid story of
broken promises, artistic differences and backstage treachery,
and even read the original screenplay by Leclere and his wife,
at The Alibi Books Web
Site. Best of all, though, you can download the whole
damn novel for free, as a .pdf file. How cool is that? "Give
it away and be damned!" -- that's Leclere's motto. Merry
Christmas, I say!
- Sam & Twitch
"The Bounty Hunter Wars"
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Alex Maleev
Image Comics/$2.50 each
Not much new happening in private eye comics this year, but the
current story arc in Brian Michael Bendix's Sam and Twitch has
the Odd Couple team of New York cops of the title teaming up
with Bendix's hard-talkin', kickass female bounty hunter Jinx Alameda, who's been MIA for
- Detective Comics #1, March 1937
Written by E.C. Stoner, Sven Elven, Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson,
Bill Patrick, Jerry Siegel, Russell Cole, Fred Schwab, Homer
Art by Craig Flessel, Sven Elven, Tom Hickey, Bill Patrick, Joe
Shuster, Russell Cole, Fred Schwab, Homer Fleming
A special, one-off "Millenium" reprint of the pivotal
Detective Comics #1 from March 1937. "The First Comic Dedicated
To a Single Theme," as DC proudly proclaims. Clearly inspired
by the success of the hardboiled pulps of the time, this is about
as two-fisted and pulpy as comic books ever got, right down to
some truly ghastly writing, unbelievably offensive stereotypes
and art that ranges from horrid to heavenly. A great cover, too,
featuring -- what else? -- an "Oriental" villain, who
looks suspiciously like Fu Manchu. Includes the first Slam Bradley story, by the pre-Superman
team of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, as well as other he-man
tales of derring-do featuring Speed
Saunders, Buck Marshall, Range Detective, Gumshoe
Gus and Bart Regan, Spy. A fascinating glimpse into
the sometimes-hokey past, and a hoot to read. And Les Daniel's
insider intro is icing on the cake.
- Scene of the
Crime Trade Paperback...Buy
by Ed Brubaker
Art by Michael Lark and Sean Phillips
100 Bullets: First Shot,
100 Bullets: The Second Collection
by Brian Azzarello
Art by Eduardo Risso, Dave Johnson
Another couple of gift suggestions: DC/Vertigo finally has
the magnifient Scene of the Crime
collected as a trade paperback (all four issues plus the holiday
short), as well as two 100 Bullets
collections. 100 Bullets, for those of you who don't know,
is a continuing series, a sort of crime fiction revenge-fantasy/soap
opera for conspiracy buffs. These are pretty easy to find at
both comic shops and regular bookstores, as well as Amazon.
- On The Air: The Encyclopedia
of Old-Time Radio ...Buy
by John Dunning
Oxford University Press, 1997
$55.00 (but you can find this book on-line for much less than
the list price.)
Want to brighten any old-time radio fan's Christmas, give them
this book Here are some 1,500 radio series presented in alphabetical
order. The great programs of the '30s, '40s, and '50s are all
here -- including the many great detective shows. For each series,
Dunning provides a complete broadcast history, with the times
slot, the network, and the name of the show's advertisers. He
also lists major cast members, announcers, producers, directors,
writers, and sound effects people--even the show's theme song.
Equally important, Dunning provides a fascinating account of
each program, taking us behind the scenes to capture the feel
of the performance and providing engrossing biographies of the
main people involved in the show. This is the best written of
all the old-time radio reference books. After all, John Dunning
is also a best-selling writer of detective novels.
- Radio Drama A Comprehensive Chronicle of American Network Programs, 19321962
by Martin Grams
This book includes more than 300 program logs (many appearing
in print for the first time) drawn from newspapers, script files
in broadcast museums, records from NBC, ABC and CBS, and the
personal records of series directors. Each entry contains a short
broadcast history that includes directors, writers, and actors,
and the broadcast dates and air times. Some series logs include
cast lists for each episode. A comprehensive index rounds out
the work. Included are logs for favorite radio detective series
such as: Casey - Crime Photographer (Flashgun Casey, Crime Photographer),
The Adventures of Frank Race, The Adventures of Nero Wolfe, The
Adventures of Philip Marlowe, The Adventures of Sam Spade, Paladin,
I Love a Mystery, I Love Adventure, Nick Carter and others.
- Encyclopedia of American Radio, 19201960...Buy
by Luther F. Sies
Got a big Christmas budget and serious old-time radio collector
on your list? Get them an OTR Encyclopedia! Comprising nearly
29,000 entries, this massive volume comprehensively covers the
performers and programming on American radio from its inception
to its golden age. The OTR hobbyist will find lots of information
about favorite detective series and actors. The encyclopedia
includes entries for programs, announcers, orchestras, musicians,
vocalists, comedians, vocal groups, readers, whistlers, musical
saw soloists, ministers, sports commentators, reviewers (of books,
plays and movies), celebrities, and other personnel broadcasting
over American radio from the 1920s to the 1960s. Additional entries
cover commercial radio, educational broadcasting, firsts in radio
history, opera on radio, religious broadcasting, sports broadcasting,
women in radio, border radio, children's programs, comedy on
radio, crime shows and mysteries, daytime dramatic serials, and
disk jockeys, among other topics.
- Have Gun Will Travel
by Martin Grams and Les Rayburn
OTR Publishing, 2000
If you are a fan of Paladin and Have Gun Will Travel,
this is the book for you. This book is the result of years of
research and the co-operation of Have Gun - Will Travel fans
from all over, including our radio writer, Stewart
Wright. The authors have extensively searched for material
such as production call sheets, and many interviews with cast
and crew. Most of the photos in this book have never before appeared
in print. This the definitive guide to the "Have Gun"
series, both radio and television. All 106 radio episodes and
all 225 television episodes are documented, including cast and
crew lists, plot lines, and pre-emptions and summer reruns. You
can order direct from one of the authors, Martin
Old Time Radio Program Logs
by Frank Passage and others
Short on cash? What could be better than FREE? Lou Genco's
Original Old-Time Radio Web Site has over 100 logs of Old-Time
(and a few new-time) radio series, including many favorite detective
series. Each of these ASCII text files contains a short introduction
to the subject program, as well as a listing of episode titles
and broadcast dates. Frank Passage does an outstanding job of
searching through several document sources and resolving potential
conflicts in information, when he compiles his logs. There are
also several well-done logs by other contributors, who cared
enough to help in the organization of OTR show collections.
- OTR Detective
Looking for special gifts for the old-time radio hobbyist on
your list? Get them some tapes on old-time radioo detective series.
Lou Genco's Original Old-Time Radio Web Site has a great
listing of Commercial Tape and CD radio show dealers. Our radio
writer, Stewart Wright,
has had satisfactory service from Radio Memories, McCoy's
Recordings, and Radio
Spirits. In addition to single tapes and CDs', many dealers
offer multi-tape boxed (book shelf) sets at economical prices.
Don't forget to ask about special sales.
- Crosley Radio Reproductions
$80.00 to $400.00
There is nothing better than listening to Old-Time Radio on a
radio from the past. Crosley Radio offers a wide range of reproductions
of radios from the 1930's, 40's and 50's with both table and
console models. On the outside they look like classic radios
from the past; most even have illuminated dials. On the inside
they use present day radio technology. Most models have a cassette
player. They range in price from about $80.00 to $400.00. For
more information, check out their web site.
on the Cheap: The Lost B Movies of Film Noir....Buy
by Arthur Lyons
Da Capo Press, 2000.
A labour of love. Lyons, the writer of the acclaimed Jacob
Asch P.I. series, clues us in on some of his favourite
things: namely, those beloved but now woefully-neglected noir
B films of the 1940s and 1950s. Complete with cast lists, complete
production notes, Lyons' incisive comments, and more trivia than
you can shake a box of popcorn art, this is a must-have for any
fan of cinematic cheap thrills. As Dean Koontz says on the cover
blurb, "A terrific piece of work, the definitive book on
its subject, and a body slam of nostalgia that knocked me out
of my chair more than once."
Directed by John Singleton
Starring Samuel l. Jackson, Vanessa Williams, Richard Roundtree,
Shaft is back! The DVD and VHS versions of John "Boyz
'n' the Hood" Singleton's new, big buck remake of the
classic flick about "the black private eye who digs like
a private sex machine with all the chicks", with Richard
"Clockers" Price scripting, and Samuel "Pulp
Fiction" Jackson starring, is now available, just in
time for Christmas. Vanessa Williams is there, too, and Richard
Roundtree even pops up as the original Shaft, to hand over the
family biz to nephew Jackson.
It's no great art, and lacks the cultural punch in the gut of
the original, but it's still a great popcorn flick. And if you
really liked the remake, here's something
for the true fan. Can you dig it? .
Land Presents Crimestoppers: TV's Greatest P.I. Themes
This is just what you need for the TV P.I. buff on your Christmas
shopping list. No P.I. show worth its salt would be ever be caught
dead without a cool theme, so the good folks at TV Land, the
American nostalgia channel have collected 16 of the original
themes from such classic P.I. shows as The
Rockford Files, Mannix, Charlie's
Angels, 77 Sunset Strip, Vega$, Peter
Gunn, Cannon, Hart
To Hart, Remington
Steele, Honey West, Hawaiian
Eye, Spenser: For Hire, Harry O, Checkmate,
Tenspeed and Brownshoe and Magnum P.I., performed
by the original artists such as Mike Post, Lalo Shifrin, Jack
Elliot & Allyn Ferguson, Warren Barker, Dominic Frontiere,
John Parker, Mark Snow, Henry Mancini & His Orchestra, Alfred
Perry, Steve Dorff & Friends, The John Gregory Orchestra
and Johnny Williams & His Orchestra. The liner notes, by
Thane Tierney, are also great fun. Noticeable by their absence
are the themes from Mickey
Spillane's Mike Hammer, by Pete Rugolo, and Staccato,
by Elmer Bernstein , but who's complaining? A companion volume,
entitled Crime Stoppers: TV's Greatest Cop Themes, is
also available. A perfect little stocking stuffer.
Maniacs Series III: Shaft.. Buy
Who's the less-than-nine-inch tall black dude that's a plastic
sex machine to all the chicks? Now's your chance to give someone
the Shaft, and smile while doing it. For fans of the recent remake
of the original blaxploitation flick, this nine inch collectible
from Todd MacFarlane productions, part of the Movie Maniac III
series, should hit the spot. They're available in toy, department,
hobby, comic book and specialty stores right now, or you can
try to order them from such mail order places as The
Spider's Web, Fandomshop.com/
As with all McFarlane Toys, this one benefits from superior design,
attention to detail and comes in a classy (and also collectible)
Fiction III: A Comprehensive Bibliography, 1749-1995
by Allen J. Hubin
Yeah, I know this was suggested last year. Butr it's still
a great gift! The third edition of this indispensable bibliography,
listing almost every English-language mystery ever written, is
finally available on CD-ROM. Now it's affordable and even portable.
Once upon a time, you needed a forklift just to move this thing,
and deep pockets to afford it at all. And now you'll no longer
have to schelp all over town looking for a library with a copy.
Perfect for anyone with more than a passing interest in crime
fiction. There are links by author, book, story, pseudonym, by
co-author, contents, chronology, and even by movies based on
the author's books, and works about the author. The last print
edition of Hubin was close to $200. Do the math.
In fact, as of December 4, 1999, this site is being Hubin-ized.
For your protection, of course.
Nestor Burma Mini-Agenda
9,2 x 16,2 cm
14.50 FS (France)
Ooh-la-la! How here's something a little exotic. Right from France
comes this tasty hardcover mini-datebook featuring illustrations
from the graphic albums by Jacques Tardi of Leo Maslet's classic
Parisian private eye Nestor Burma.
It may be a little hard to track down in the States, but you
can order it from Renaud-Bray
in Canada or directly from the publisher, Casterman
in France. There's also a larger, full-sized agenda. It's in
French, but it's only the days and months of the year, so it's
not going to cause your brain to explode. Guaranteed, you'll
be the first on the block to have one of these! Zut alors!!!
Most of the stuff on The Hatshelf Web Site is Western crap, but
check out the "Chicago" model on the lower right-hand
corner. (The color, of course, sucks, but it comes in all the
normal colors too.) I think the name alone is fantastic, but
if I were to go out and get a winter fedora (to complement the
summer one, of course), this is the one I'd pick. For all the
Bogart wannabes in your life.
And finally, the all-time
great gift for any truly serious private eye fan...
- The Maltese Falcon
Not the real one, but an incredible facsimile. Now you can
have your own Black Bird. A foot high and five and a half pounds.
And I'm sure, for a price, you can have it delivered, wrapped
in San Francisco newspapers, by a dying sea captain. The stuff
that dreams are made of....
- Gift Certificates
Okay, it's not the most thoughtful gift, but at least you won't
be buying someone a book they've already read. Most bookstores
and online bookstores offer gift certificates, including several
that offer rare and collectible books. Check out my list of Booksellers & Dealers.
What could be cooler than receiving a gift all year long? There
are tons of great mystery magazines and newsletters, featuring
a range of fiction and non-fiction, ranging from enthusiastically
amateur to slickly professional, for all tastes and budgets.
Here are some suggestions.
- Mystery Parties/Events
Give your loved one murder this Christmas. What could be more
fun? If you have a family or business function, consider throwing
a mystery-theme party. Do it yourself, or check out these
companies who will do it for you, whether you plan to
entertain a few friends, or the entire office.
The above are just a few suggestions. Try these Suggested
Sources for gifts ranging from t-shirts, lawn ornaments,
handcuffs, tapes of old radio shows, books, mugs, puzzles, and
more, ranging from tacky to tasteful, from marvelous to morbid.
Thanks to Stewart
Shea-Esposito and Chris
Mills and Randal
Brandt for their much appreciated help with this one.