First Published: Appointment With Death. London, Collins Crime Club, 1938.
I Read: Appointment With Death. New York, Harper, 2011.
Summary:Once again Poirot is trying to take a vacation, this time to Jordan, when a body crops up. In this case the murder victim, Mrs. Boynton, was a villain in her own right, but Poirot never backs away from the truth and sets out to find the solution. The tiny wrinkle here? He has twenty-four hours to get his man before the suspects scatter in the wind.
Review: Pot roast, definitely pot roast level for this installment. Very good but not my favorite, I had a problem with a singular detail in the big reveal (No, I can’t tell you. Spoilers. But if you send me a message, I will tell you). As I read the forums and such, I seem to be alone in my issue but that’s okay; no book is ever read and interpreted the same way twice. In any case, this was a nice solid outing which showed Poirot’s resolve to find justice for every victim (even for those who many feel don’t deserve it), “The victim may be one of the good God’s saints - or, on the contrary - a monster of infamy. It moves me not. The fact is the same. A life-taken!” (pg. 125).
From the first page, the location of the murder - Petra, Jordan - completely distracted me! Well, at least until I focused on the mystery.... Why you ask? Having grown up during the 80’s, I watched Harrison Ford play Indiana Jones in a bunch of movies. Now if you possess certain deductive powers, read this blog regularly and have knowledge of movie trivia then you might guess why Petra would be distracting!
Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade was one of the first movies I went and saw by myself that wasn’t G rated (Hey no laughing, the bump to PG-13 was exciting! I got carded! A lot! Now I enjoy being carded for a much different reason...). A portion of The LastCrusade was filmed on location at The Rose City, aka Petra. From those few first glimpses the city caught my imagination (my day dreams were really good that year, foreign lands and being an archeologist was my goal until age 14 when I wanted to be a writer) and I still think it is one of the most beautiful man-made creations I have ever seen - and I have only seen pictures! Can you imagine it’s beauty in real life?
Splice the location together with the snake on the cover of the edition I was reading and for the first few chapters all I could think about was TheLast Crusade. Rather distracting, but that really isn’t Christie’s fault. I had hoped a snake would be featured in the narrative, but alas I was doomed to disappointment. Digitalis, not snake venom, was used to do in our victim. Curiously enough, snake venom is used only once in the Christie cannon, in DeathIn The Air where Boomslang venom was administered to an unsuspecting victim. So I couldn’t use the quote, “Snakes, why’d it have to be snakes?” in my blog this week but there’s still hope I suppose (hehehe!).
Western archeologists, real and fictional, have flocked to Petra over the last two hundred years, including Christie’s husband Max Mallowan. Christie herself accompanied her husband on his digs throughout this region, thus setting a mystery in Petra was rather natural (Christie is said to have stayed in the caves she described in the mystery - if you travel there now you must stay in a hotel loosely adjacent to the site, *sigh*). Interestingly enough, Petra was built around the 6th century BC, but remained virtually unknown to the west until 1812. Since then, the Rose City provides scientists and historians with excellent examples of ancient water engineering and management, mines, tombs (ordinary and royal), churches, temples, and the sheer artistic beauty of the rock-cut city. By a crazy random happenstance the legendary Dr. Jones (father and son) travelled to Petra in 1938 in search of the Holy Grail, the very same year Appointment was first published as a full length novel! (but I suppose crazy links can be found almost anywhere and that’s the reason why we have the game Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, btw I am at 3)
So whether you are a fictional archeologist, mystery novelist or a tourist it seems Petra holds a bit of something for everyone!
“...Americans are disposed to be a friendly race. They have not the uneasy suspicion of the traveling Briton.” (pg. 29)
“That old woman ought to be murdered! Arsenic in her early morning tea would be my prescription.” (pg. 43)
Interesting Facts: Sadism and Agatha Christie, not two things you would normally put together, but in Appointment With Death that changes. Our murder victim, Mrs. Boynton, enjoyed inflicting pain on those around her and the investigators labeled her as a sadist. Mrs. Boynton controlled her family through subtle threats, emotional manipulation, and money. (I am not giving anything away here, you read this and figure out she isn’t very nice pretty early on). She was a former prison warden, a position she relished and never really gave up, even when it meant treating her family like prisoners. She seems to have a bit of the "Mommy Dearest" quality to her....
Haven’t heard of Mommy Dearest? Well depending on who we believe - Joan Crawford (a legend of the silver screens during Hollywood’s golden age) bears a striking resemblance to Mrs. Boynton. Joan Crawford’s need for control and her alcoholism fueled her explosive sadistic behavior which focused on her two eldest children. After Joan’s death, Christina exposed the horrors of her childhood in the book Mommie Dearest, where Christina alleges Joan tried to kill her, beat her and had one very odd encounter with a wire hanger. While her younger brother supports the claims made by Christina in her book, her two youngest siblings categorically deny the events in the book took place (it seems family tensions were strained even before Joan’s death as she cut Christina and her brother out of her Will). Famous friends and former employees fall on both sides of the fence in this particular controversy. The book has gone in and out of print over the years and was turned into a so-bad-its-good movie starring Faye Dunaway; seriously, it is awful.
The legacy of Mommie Dearest the first celebrity-child-tell-all, was that there were several similar books published harpooning the memory of a celebrity/parent. Children of Bette Davis and Bing Crosby penned similar tales to Mommie Dearest alleging abuse at the hand of their famous parent. Bing Crosby’s eldest son’s book seems to have created the most ripples, accusing Bing of being physically and mentally abusive. Two of Bing’s sons quietly supported his claims while the youngest vehemently denied the claims.
Christie is fortunately clear of basing her character Mrs. Boynton on either star as the tell-alls were written years after this installment (unlike using an event in Gene Tierney’s life as a basis for TheMirrorCrack’d). She does a great job of showing the insidiousness of the sadistic behavior of Mrs. Boynton while not being gratuitous about it. While MommieDearest was well after this installment Christie’s writing is comprehensive enough we can recognize the sadistic qualities in a completely unrelated novel - and that is nothing to sneeze at!
And for those of you who were worried I couldn't work a Star Trek reference into this week's post - did you know Denise Crosby who played "Tasha Yar" on Star Trek: The Next Generation is the grand-daughter of Bing Crosby? Tasha Yar was chief of security, friends with Data and died in the line of duty - and she is said to have provided bedrock for the character of Kara Thrace or Starbuck on the new version of BattlestarGalactica.
Cheating: Did you know Appointment was first published in a serialized format in 1937? The same year The Hobbit was published by Tolkien! So with this knowledge, here is my answer on if I cheated this week or not, the translation into the script created by Tolkien is provided by Online Tengwar Transcriber.
From the back of the shop, standing next to the Urban Fantasy, the top shot looks up the long wall toward where the alphabet starts (yes, we're continuing our tradition of beginning with A).
Next to the As is the "Bill Wall" - photos of our Glorious Leader (Bill Farley, founder of the shop) and his family's embalmer's license.
Bottom shot is over the front counter and into that corner...
Which brings us back to where we began at the front of the shop.
One last photo, through the 'pass through' - the calendar of upcoming author events, hanging over a little lamp that we've never before found a use for. Now it lights the way for us to find the light switches in the morning.
Fitting - a little light to show the way, backward in distance and backwards in time, back to where the shop first started, in July of 1990.
As more than one person has commented this week - we're proof that you can go home again!
From the area of the back door, in the top photo, you see the end of the PNW shelves, then the Staff Recommends, New Hardcovers and New Paperback release sections.
The final shot is of the front of the shop, with the counters on the right, front windows showing the sidewalk slanting up above us, and Historical (split into to shelves, on either side of the front door),Classics (under the window), and Sherlockiana (to the right of the window (left of the front counter).
From the front counter, turning to your right, there are the shelves with the hats and mugs, with the bibliomystery books just beyond. The regular alphabet picks up again with the "R"s to the left of the back door where the "general population' to the left of the door. Pulp postcard rack floats there in the center, with a couple of chairs beyond.
On the left are (coming toward you from the back door) Noir, Northwest shelfes, Staff Recommends, New Hardcovers and New Release paperbacks (which are a shelf instead of a table), then the Collectable Cases.
In the center of this section - middle of the alphabet - is the island with Urban Fantasy on the left side, along with culinary. This top view is what you see coming around the corner from the mugs and bags.
The middle shot is looking back from the other end of island, looking along the side with the Kid's/YA books, back toward the front of the shop and the beginning of hte alphabet. Bottom shot is through the 'pass through', looking at the top of the Kid's display and into the Ds, Es and Fs of the general population.
Here's what the back of the shop looks like from behind the counters, what the person (usually JB) who is stilling at the e-mail computer sees. Regular alphabet on the left, with the island holding Urban Fantasy, Culinar, and YA/Kids. In the right is the aisle to the end of the alphabet, Northwest, New Releases and Staff Recommendations.
First Published: Death On The Nile. Collins Crime Club, 1937.
I Read: Death On The Nile. William Morrow, New York, 2011.
Series: Poirot & Colonel Race
Summary: Poirot has booked himself a vacation, one must recharge the little grey cells from time to time! So off to Egypt he goes to soak up its history, warm sun and sand. Unfortunately a detective’s work is never done and Poirot becomes embroiled in another murder investigation when Linnet Ridgeway if found with a bullet in her brain.
Review: Once again, I know you all will be completely shocked by this, I enjoyed reading this particular novel. Not only was the mystery engrossing but the location Poirot picked for his vacation was completely riveting. The setting of this book was derived from Christie’s own travels through the region, thus the backdrop for this novel feels very tangible. I have long dreamed of traveling through Egypt and the rest of Africa -- walking through the Valley of the Kings, observing Lucy in Ethiopia, touring Casablanca, Timbuktu and photographing the wild animals of the savanna. While touring Africa in a similar fashion to the characters in this book (on a steam ship chugging its way up the Nile) may be out of the question now (mainly due to health, security & financial issues) I can relish in reading someone else’s account of the region. Which is exactly what I did!
While the romance of an African safari seems to endure (well for me at least, to many PBS nature & history shows and classic movies) Poirot’s role in Death On The Nile is tenuous at best. According to John Curran’s book Agatha Christie’s Secret Notebooks, Miss Marple was the original detective considered for the mystery (Poirot replaced Marple, it is believed because he was already well versed in travel where Marple up to this point had not ventured beyond St. Mary Mead yet). A few years later Poirot’s role was again eliminated when Christie adapted the mystery for the stage in 1946. Christie felt he stole to much of the spotlight from the other characters and the mystery itself, so she cut him (it should be noted Race was cut out as well).
On a side note, had Marple solved this mystery it would have been the second full length novel to feature her knitting and crime solving skills. It would have been interesting to see to see Race and Marple working together to solve this mystery. Since between the two detectives you have a micro and macro study of crime. I think their partnership would have been similar to what we saw with Marple and Mr. Rafiel in A Caribbean Mystery and Nemesis. However this is all conjecture as Miss Marple never met (well at least in the full length mysteries I read) any of Christie’s other detectives.
“That old mountebank? He won’t find anything. He’s all talk and mustaches.” (pg. 220)
“Love can be very frightening thing. That is why most great love stories are tragedies.” (pg. 333)
“Marriage will cure me, I expect. It always seems to have a very sobering effect on people.” (pg. 12)
Interesting Facts: Did you know there are two types of envy? Then there is benign envy, which motivates a person into working harder so they can obtain what they envied in another (money, status, video game scores). Like the envy I felt in high school towards the honor students whose grades were high enough to be in those classes. Why? They always seemed to be learning or reading more interesting things than those of us in the regular classes.... Seriously I wanted to read about Dante, Frost and Faulkner but always got stuck with the standards of Steinbeck, Harper Lee and Hemingway (which I appreciate now, but at the time the others seemed far more interesting....). So when I hit college (and finally figured out a better study method for myself) I worked really hard to blow the curve on every test I took (yeah I was that guy). Previously felt envy in this case motivated me to working harder and smarter.
The second type is malicious envy, where you wish misfortune on a person who possess what ever you wish you had, the Evil Queen from Snow White is a perfect example. The Queen was so envious of Snow’s beauty she tried on several occasions to kill her, so Snow would not be the fairest of them all (malicious envy does not usually manifest itself in poisoned apples, it can also be just wishing or relishing in the misfortune of the person you envied). Malicious envy can also show up closer to home... Each year I envied my brother’s Halloween candy haul, he always seemed to get all the candy that I liked to eat! So I would filch a piece or two or three from his bowl, with the double advantage of his having less and me eating my favorites. (Now before you judge me to hard there is a punch line to this story. My brother and I were talking about our Halloween hauls back in the day, both of us now in our thirties and he admitted he used to take candy from my bowl - for the same reason! He was completely and utterly shocked when I admitted to the same deed! Our parents who were listening to this exchange thought it was absolutely hilarious...)
Why on earth is this important? Well, Death On The Nile is all about envy Snow White style. Every crime/unethical dealing committed on board the Karnak (with the exception of Race’s agitator) was motivated by malicious envy over love or money. Christie does a great job in showing how destructive this emotion is if left to grow like a canker in a hedge. Had Linnet Ridgeway not possessed all the enviable attributes of beauty, brains and a vast fortune I think she might have survived until the end of the book (It might have made a poorer mystery, maybe it would have only been an attempted murder). Perhaps if malicious envy had shifted to benign Linnet might have made it to the end of the book.
On a complete side note...Did you know that Shakespeare coined the phrase “green-eyed monster” in reference to jealousy, which eventually morphed into green with envy? In his 1603 play Othello Shakespeare pens Iago’s “advise” to Othello:
“O, beware, my lord, of jealousy!
It is the green-eyed monster, which doth mock
The meat it feeds on...” (act 3, scene 3, lines 167-1169)
Of course you did! I didn’t know this... However I did know he coined bedazzled (Taming of the Shrew) and manager (A Midsummer Night’s Dream). Not surprising I love reading the comedies....
Speaking of Shakespeare and since we are already off topic... You know that thespians never try and utter the name of the Scottish play, believing bad luck will follow should they do so? In a similar vein many actors in England and France believe wearing a green costume on stage is bad luck as well. Why? Moliere a famous french playwright (know for his comedies and satires) and actor is said to have worn a green costume onstage when he collapsed during a performance. He later died from hemorrhaging due coughing fits he suffered during the performance of his latest play (it should be noted he had tuberculosis and not the flu).
These two tidbits have nothing to do with Christie exactly, but I thought they were interesting and I felt the need to share!
That’s right – there was no newzine last week. A wrinkle came up in the move and we wanted to make sure it was ironed out before we sent this newzine. It was,the move is on and here’s the final newzine of August 2014!
Due to the Move:
- Remember that we’re closed Friday the 29th – Monday the 1st, all of Labor Day weekend for the move.
- Phone and computers will be out of commission at times as they’re unconnected and moved. Don’t be surprised if we don’t return your call or message until early next month!
- The Autumn 2014 Newsletter will most likely be late in going out.
And don't forget:
Along with the move – or due to the move – there are a couple of shop fixtures with which we need to part: the street-scene sculpture, and our antique desk. Photos, details and prices are on our blog. Now’s your chance to own a significant chunk of the shop’s history, lighten the load of the move, and fund the lunacy.
Once again, we had a large number of bounce-backs week-before last – newzines that were sent back with ‘fatal errors’. If you did not get a newzine on the 15th, let us know and we’ll try to re-send it to you (next week).
Rest In Peace
Jeremiah Healy died Thursday, August 14th. A retired sheriff’s officer, as well as a retired military police lieutenant, Healy had a law degree from Harvard and wrote a huge body of fiction – 18 novels and over 60 short stories.
He was born in New Jersey on May 15, 1948. With his law degree, he practiced as a trial attorney and spent 18 years teaching at the New England School of Law.
His most well known novels dealt with Boston private eye John Francis Cuddy. The first of those,Blunt Darts, was published in 1984. The second in the series,The Staked Goat, won the Shamus Award for the Best Private Eye novel published in 1986. He would go on to write 13 Cuddy novels, and be nominated four other times for the Shamus Best Novel.
He wrote of his work:“Through my experiences in law enforcement and law practice, I realized that some matters simply fell between the cracks in the system. Given the opportunity to teach, leaving my summers free, I decided to explore those cracks in novels.”
He served on boards within the mystery world, was often present at conventions, and seemed to be a cheerful guy. But Healy had long battled chronic depression. Combined with alcohol, it all got the better of him and he took his life in Fort Lauderdale, where he’d been living.
Actor, producer, and director Richard Attenborough died on August 24th. Though his crime and mystery films were but a tiny fraction of his prodigious output (Brighton Rock, 1947, Séance on a Wet Afternoon, 1964, 10 Rillington Place, 1971, Brannigan, 1975, Magic, 1978) we include him and salute him for his body of work: The Great Escape, The Sand Pebbles, The Flight of the Phoenix, Jurassic Park, Ghandi, Chaplin, Cry Freedom – a long, long list of films, in front of the camera and behind it.
Knighted in 1976, Sir Richard was born on August 29, 1923, in Cambridge, the eldest of three boys. (His younger brother David is the noted naturalist with the recognizable face and voice.) He left school at 16 and began acting. He served in the Royal Air Force during the war and returned to acting. He played the detective in the first staging of “The Mousetrap”. He spent twenty years trying to get his movie about Ghandi made. As no one would finance it, he did it all himself. He won the Academy Award for Best Director and the movie won seven others.
Sir Richard Attenborough was 90 at the time of his death.
Thanks, gentlemen, and R.I.P.
Gift Certificates: They’re available in Whatever Denomination You Want; They Don’t Expire; You can Order Them by Phone, e-mail or through the Website, and we can Mail them directly to the Recipient if you’d like. Perfect for all sorts of occassions.
While we specialize in mystery and crime books, we can order virtually any new book that you might want, no matter what its topic.
New Signings(with authors who will be visiting the shop)
Sat, Nov 15, noon, local author Maia Chance signs her debut Snow White Red-Handed (Berkley pbo, $7.99). In 1867, a frustrated American actress talks her way into a job as lady’s maid to a millionaire’s bride. What she didn’t anticipate is that the happy couple would leave for his storybook castle in Germany. Soon, a series of bad things take place: the ruins of Snow White’s cottage are found with the remains of a dwarf inside and the new groom is murdered via poisoned apple. Everyone looks at Ophelia the actress with suspicion and she’s in a Grimm spot of trouble.
Thus, Dec 11, noon, Phillip Margolin signs Woman with a Gun (Harper hc, $26.99). Fiction based on a real photograph that has haunted the author for years. Aspiring writer Stacey Kim sees a photo in a museum retrospective and is entranced. It shows a woman in a wedding dress, on a beach, looking out into the distance, and holding a revolver behind her back. Stacey wants to know the story. Her curiosity will lead her to an unsolved murder and the one person who might be able to crack the case isn’t talking – the photographer.The photo that Phil saw will adorn the dust jacket.
Sat, Jan 31, 3pm,Burt Weissbourd signs Teaser (Rare Bird hc, $24.95). In this sequel toInside Passage (Rare Bird, $14.95), Corey and Abe are drawn into the ugly world where privileged private school kids, who experiment with sex and drugs, get ensnared by predators on the streets of Seattle. As they hunt one missing girl, they concoct a plan to rescue her, one that is audacious and dangerous.
See the calendar of all currently-scheduled events on our website. The website calendar contains plot synopses. At the bottom of it is the updated, complete list of signed copies that we’ll be getting from other sources. Click Here.
James Ellroy, Sept 12
Peter May, Sept 12
Neil Low, Sept 20
Yasmine Galenorn, Oct 4
Hank Phillippi Ryan, Oct 10
Urban Waite, Oct 21
John Connolly, Nov 10
Fuminori Nakamura, Nov 12
Bernadette Pajer, Nov 29
Pamela Christie, Jan 17
Yasmine Galenorn, Jan 31
And there are always more on the way!
Remember, too, that while it is always fun to come in and meet the author in person, that isn’t always possible. So reserve a signed copy to be mailed to you or for you to pick up later. Those who reserve in advance get the copies in the best condition!
proof (n.) From the early 13th C., preove "evidence to establish the fact of (something)," from Anglo-French preove, Old French prueve "proof, test, experience" (13th C., Modern French preuve), from Late Latin proba "a proof," a back-formation from Latin probare "to prove" (see prove)."The devocalization of v to f ensued upon the loss of final e; cf. the relation of v and f in believe, belief, relieve, relief, behove, behoof, etc.” [OED]. Meaning "act of proving" is early 14th C. Meaning "act of testing or making trial of anything" is from late 14th C., from influence of prove. Meaning "standard of strength of distilled liquor" is from 1705. In photography from 1855. Typographical sense of "trial impression to test type" is from c.1600. Numismatic sense of "coin struck to test a die" is from 1762; now mostly in reference to coins struck from highly polished dies, mainly for collectors. Adjectival sense (proof against) is recorded from 1590s, from the noun in expressions such as proof of (mid-15c.), hence extended senses involving "tested power" in compounds such as fireproof (1630s), waterproof (1725), foolproof (1902), etc. Shakespeare has shame-proof. (thanks to etymonline.com)
You can browse our collectable and hard-to-find books, as well as signed copies from earlier author events, on Biblio.com. You do not have to place an order through them, especially if you’re a long-time customer and we have your ordering info. Just email us to order.
This Week: Dogs, Stashes and Names (if it hasn't been posted yet, it will be there tomorrow morning - another casualty of the move preparations!)
When Deborah Harkness came in to sign The Book of Life (Viking, $28.95,signed copies still available), talking with her inspired me to re-read the first two, to read the completed trilogy as a whole. So I started with Discovery of Witches (Perseus, $16.00), continued with Shadow of Night (Perseus, $17.00) and finished up the trilogy four days after I started the whole journey again.
Man, are these good books!
For those who are already in love with the “All Souls” books, Ms. Harkness fulfills the promise of the first two books. Her resolutions to the various problems, including what Ashmole 782 really is and can do, and how it relates to Diana, is beautifully complex, and is completely satisfying. She’s left herself openings to continue in this world if she wants to, but if she doesn’t, that’s fine too, although I hope she does come back to it, because I really love these people.
For those who are unfamiliar with the trilogy, Diana Bishop is a professor of history focusing on alchemy. She’s also a witch, one who hates to use her magic and keeps track of any infractions she indulges in. When she “calls” a dusty old book to her for her research, Ashmole 782, Diana sets into motion events that will change more than just her life.
You see, Ashmole 782 may very well be the history of the origins – and possibly the ways to destroy – all the witches, vampires and daemons roaming the earth. Each species wants it, and will do anything to keep the others from finding it. However, Diana teams up with Matthew, a vampire with a secret. She and Matthew challenge the established order of things, and in doing so, find each other.
Deborah Harkness is herself a professor of history, so her take on the creation of Ashmole 782 and the impact a single book can have on whole populations. What happened to witches in the past, and various historical events that highlighted the vampires’ lives is brilliantly depicted and elegantly woven. You know you can trust the facts as well as her interpretation and spin on what happened. Her writing is rich and lush, and she has built a world that is completely believable and real.
But it’s her people who are at the heart of the trilogy. All the beautiful background in the world wouldn’t matter if you didn’t care about the people, and in the pages of these books. You meet some amazing, troubled, determined, and memorable characters. Even her secondary and tertiary characters are fully developed; they matter.
I enjoyed re-reading the first two, and I know without a doubt that I’ll re-read these time and time again. This is, without a doubt, one of the best trilogies I’ve ever read.
David Rosenfelt’s series with defense attorney Andy Carpenter continues to be a reliable laugh-riot. Hounded (Minotaur hc, $25.99) is the 12th in this funny series, with Andy once again trying to avoid any work, do little else but watch sports, walk his dog Tara, dance with Laurie and meet his buddies for dinner.
This story starts out a little more seriously, or perhaps personally is the way to say it. His old friend, Pete Stanton, a police investigator with a sterling reputation, has been arrested for murder. While it is unthinkable, Andy still has to prove it in court and the circumstantial evidence is strong. Still, Andy and his team – Marcus is indispensable, of course – get moving to free Pete.
The ingenuity of the book is where the solution comes and when the center of evil is exposed. It’s a jaw-dropper!
There are major changes afoot in the series, all for the better. It’s a book filled with love and laughs. If you haven’t started reading this series, you’re missing a gem. Great for fans of Rex Stout, as Andy and Archie are cut from the same bolt of cloth.
We have three Tumblr blogs, in addition to our regularshop blog:
Books and Decay, maintained by Amber – interesting photos with literary quotes to match
Hardboiled, maintained by JB – pulp covers, film noir and other images of crime and mystery
On This Date [You Get Two Weeks Worth!]
Aug 23, 1572 – the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre as a wave of Catholic mobs attack Huguenots, initiated by a series of targeted assassinations, historically believed to have been instigated by Catherine de Medici, mother of King Charles IX. In the weeks to come it is estimated that up to 30,000 may have perished
Aug 23, 1927 - Sacco and Vanzetti were electrocuted
Aug 23, 1929 – actress Vera Miles was born in Boise City, OK
Aug 23, 1936 – writer of comic capers, Australian writer Tony Kenrick was born in Sydney
Aug 23, 1943 – author Nelson DeMille was born in Jamaica, Queens
Aug 23, 1946 –The Big Sleep, with Bogart and Bacall, premiered
Aug 23, 1954 – Earlene Fowler was born in Lynwood, CA
Aug 23, 1973 – Jan-Erik “Janne” Olsson attempted to hold up Stockholm bank and took hostages. It is from this crime that the term “Stockholm Syndrome”comes - when hostages began to sympathize with their hostage taker
Aug 23, 1976 – Scott Caan – son of James and the new Danny Williams – was born in LA
Aug 24, 1456 – the printing of the Gutenberg Bible is completed. Collectors begin calling, asking if 1st printings are still available…
Aug 24, 1899 – poet, translator, essayist and short story writer (many were mysteries) Jorge Luis Borges was born in Buenos Aires
Aug 24, 1902 – future crime boss Carlo Gambino was born in Palermo
Aug 24, 1940 – future serial killer Richard Fran Biegenwald was born in New York State
Aug 24, 1948 – Professor Alexander McCall Smith (“call meSandy…”) was born Bulawayo, Rhodesia
Aug 24, 1951 - Robert J. Randisi was born in Brooklyn
Aug 24, 1963 – Icelandic writer Yrsa Sigurdardóttir was born
Aug 24, 1976 - Alex O’Loughlin, the new Steve McGarrett, was born in Canberra
Aug 25, 1819 – spy and detective Allan Pinkerton was born in Glasgow
Aug 25, 1911 – noir writer Ed Lacy was born Leonard “Len” S. Zinberg in NYC. He would win the 1958 Edgar Award forRoom to Swing, which featured Touie Moore, the “first credible African-American PI” in fiction; and short story specialist Herbert Harris was born in London
Aug 25 – Brian Moore in Belfast (1921), Lady Dorothy Dunnett was born in Dunfermline (1923), Robert Ludlum was born in New York (1927), Margaret Maron was born in Greensboro, NC (19??), and Carolyn G. Hart – the G stands for Gimpel – was born in Oklahoma City (1936)
Aug 25, 1930 – Sean Connery was born in Edinburgh
Aug 25, 1933 – Patrick McManus was born in Sandpoint, ID
Aug 25, 1938 – Frederick Forsyth was born in Kent
Aug 25, 1988 – Errol Morris’ documentaryThe Thin Blue Line opened
Aug 26, 1845 – Mary Ann Nichols was born. 43 years and 5 days later she meets Jack the Ripper
Aug 26, 1875 – author John Buchan was born in Scotland.The Thirty-Nine Steps was published in 1915
Aug 26, 1884 – future creator of Charlie Chan, Earl Derr Biggers was born in Warren, OH
Aug 26, 1925 – David Sanchez Morales, future spook and shady anti-Castro activist, was born in Arizona
Aug 27, 1906 – killer and all-around scary guy Ed Gein was born. He was the roll model for Norman Bates and a few other choice fictional loonies
Aug 27, 1929 – future Edgar-winner and father of Rosemary’s baby, Ira Levin was born in NYC
Aug 27, 1932 – future writer Antonia Fraser was born in London, as was Joan Smith (1953)
Aug 27, 1947 – Richard Widmark becomes an instant sensation as the giggling villain whenKiss of Death premiered
Aug 28, 1814 – the prolific and multi-faceted Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu was born in Dublin
Aug 28, 1899 – future Gaslight actor Charles Boyer was born in Figeac, Lot, Midi-Pyrénées
Aug 28, 1916 – the multi-disciplinary writer John Holbrook Vance was born in San Francisco
Aug 28, 1917 – one of the finest Comic Book artists and innovators ever - co-creator of Captain American, the Fantastic Four, the X-men and the Hulk - Jack Kirby, was born Jacob Kurtzberg in NYC
Aug 28, 1925 – Philip Purser was born in Hertfordshire
Aug 28 - 3 notables from Hollywood were also born that day: Ben Gazzara (1930, NYC), David Soul (1943, Chicago), and Luiz Guzmán (1956, Cayey, PR)
Aug 28, 1933 – future nun and mystery writer Sister Carol Anne O’Marie was born in San Francisco
Aug 28 –The Killers premiered (1946), as didBody Heat (1981)
Aug 28, 1978 – the great Robert Shaw died
Aug 29, 1913 – prolific hard-boiled writer Steve Fisher was born in Maine City, MI
Aug 29, 1915 – the sublime Ingrid Bergman was born in Stockholm. Also on that day, a number of other Hollywood notables: actor and director Richard Attenborough (1923, Cambridge, England), actor Charles Gray (1928, Bournemouth, England), director and screenwriter William Friedkin (1935, Chicago), Elliot Gould (1938, Brooklyn), Joel Shumacher (1937, NYC), and Carla Gugino (1971, Sarasota)
Aug 29, 1950 – former Sheriff and Green River Killer hunter Dave Reichert was born in Detroit Lakes, MN
Aug 29, 1967 – final episode of “The Fugitive” aired and the one-armed man was caught
Aug 29, 1987 –the great Lee Marvin died
Aug 30, 1889 – at a dinner at London’s Langham Hotel, Lippencott’s Monthly Magazine managing editor Joseph M. Stoddart commissioned Arthur Conan Doyle to contribute a story. That would be “The Sign of the Four” (yes, 5 words), published that next Feb. Oscar Wilde was also at the table and hisThe Picture of Dorian Gray would be published the next July
Aug 30, 1893 – future Kingfish, Huey Long was born in Winnfield, LA
Aug 30, 1908 – actor Fred McMurray was born in Kankakee, IL
Aug 30, 1946 – future member of the Mod Squad, Peggy Lipton was born in NYC
Aug 30, 1963 – actor Michael Chiklis – TV cop and Fantastic Four member – was born in Lowell, MA
Aug 30, 1967 –Point Blank, with Lee Marvin starring in the first adaptation of Stark’sThe Hunter, premiered
Aug 31, 1888 – Jack the Ripper kills Mary Ann “Polly” Nichols, his first official murder
Aug 31 – James Cobern was born in 1928 (Laurel, NE) and Richard Gere in 1949 (Philadelphia)
Aug 31, 1996 –Bound first shown at the Venice Film Festival
Sept 1, 1889 – crime journalist Herbert Ashby was born in Farmington, MO. His landmarkThe Gangs of New York would be published in 1928
Sept 1, 1890, Arthur W. Upfield was born in Gosport, Hampshire. In 1929, he unleashed Napoleon "Bony" Bonaparte, the most brilliant detective on the continent of Australia. His books would become as famous and popular due to their whodunnit plots as they would their attention to the landscape and the people of Australia. Compounding the crime is that the books are out of print
Sept 1, 1906 – Eleanor Alice Burford was born in London. She would use many pen names but the most well known was Victoria Holt
Sept 1, 1935 - con artist Victor "The Count" Lustig escaped from the Washington FBI detention center on charges that he not once, butTWICE, sold the Eiffel Tower to gullible Parisian scrap metal dealers. Treasury agents recapture him before long
Sept 1, 1936 – Roderick Thorp was born. He wroteThe Detective, made into a movie with Sinatra, andNothing Lasts Forever, a sequel toThe Detective, but made not as a movie sequel but asDie Hard
Sept 1, from Hollywood: actor, director and screenwriter Ron O’Neal (1937, Utica, NY) and surfer, stunt double and character actor Don Stroud (1943, Honolulu)
Sept 1, 1948 –Sorry, Wrong Number premiered
Sept 1, 1951 – the 1st successful crime show, “Martin Kane, Private Eye”, premiered on NBC
Sept 2, 1847 - George B. Sims is born in London. In 1897, he'll create one of the very first fictional female detectives, Dorcas Dene, in a series of short stories.
Sept 2, 1949 –White Heat premiered
Sept 2, 1951 – football star and actor Mark Harmon was born in Burbank
Sept 2, 1955 – reformed attorney and thriller writer Steve Berry was born in Georgia
Sept 2, 1964 – Keanu Reeves was born in Beirut
Sept 3, 1913 – Alan Ladd was born in Hot Springs, AR
Sept 3, 1929 – former Boston crime boss “Whitey” Bulger was born
Sept 3, 1931 – the man convicted as The Boston Strangler, Albert DeSalvo was born in Boston
Sept 3, 1972 – the White House Plumbers first break-in: they burglarize the California office of Daniel Ellsberg’s psychiatrist to get dirt on him after he releases The Pentagon Papers
Sept 4, 1900 - Alfred Alexander Gordon Clark was born in Mickleham, Surrey. A lawyer himself, he will pen a series of classic mysteries set in England's courts under the name Cyril Hare
Sept 4, 1913 – future LA crime boss Mickey Cohen was born
Sept 4, 1924 – noted writer of children’s fiction who turned to adult mysteries and won the Edgar award in 1972, Joan Aiken was born in Sussex
Sept 4, 1933 – Richard Castellano – the great and loyal Clemenza – was born in The Bronx
Sept 4th – Happy Father’s Day to all the Dad’s in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, and Papa New Guinea
Sept 5, 1847 – future guerilla and outlaw Jesse James was born in Kearney, MO
Sept 5, 1904 – Philosophy professor Rudolf Hornaday Kagey was born in Tuscola, IL. Under the name Kurt Steel, he wrote a series of Hammett-styled novels with PI Hank Hyer
Sept 5 – Hollywood: William Devane was born in Albany, NY (1937), the Australian Bond George Lazenby (1939), bombshell Raquel Welch (1940, born Jo Raquel Tejada in Chicago), Michael Keaton (1951, born Michael John Douglas in Corapolis, PA) and Rose McGowan (1973, born in Florence, Italy but graduated high school in Seattle)
Sept 5, 1947 –Dark Passage premiered in NYC
Sept 5, 1972 - "Black September" terrorists attack at the Munich Olympic Games.
Sept 5, 1975 – Lynette Fromme attempts to assassinate President Gerald Ford. 17 days later Sara Jane Moore will try
Sept 5, 2000 – Christopher Nolan’s ingeniousMemento first shown, a the Venice Film Festival