Sometimes we have no idea how to start a newzine.
So, for your edification and enjoyment – Today in History: May 15th
1755 – Spaniards founded what will become Laredo, TX
1718 – London lawyer James Puckle patents the first machine gun
1817 – opening of the first private mental health hospital in the US, in Philadelphia
1856 – L. Frank Baum born
1886 – Emily Dickinson died
1902 – future Chicago mayor Richard J. Daley born
1905 – Las Vegas, NV, founded on 110 acres of land bought at auction
1911 – the US Supreme Court orders Standard Oil to be broken up
1928 – Walt Disney premieres the first cartoon featuring Mickey Mouse
1930 - Jasper Johns born
1936 – Wavy Gravy and Ralph Steadman born
1953 – first pinewood derby organized
1963 – Gordon Cooper becomes the first American to spend more than a day in space and the last to go into space alone
1967 – Edward Hopper died
1970 – President Nixon appoints the first female generals, in the Army
And, finally – May 15th is the 135th day of the year (136th in a Leap Year) and there are then 230 days in the year (meaning only 224 in which to finish your Christmas shopping…)
Now – back to our regularly scheduled programming:
We’ve taken in a small but important collection of Tony Hillerman items from a local gentleman who wrote the first bibliography of Hillerman ever done, 1988. If you’d like to see the list of items, let us know.
Saturday, May 2nd, our hours have returned to the longer “Summer Hours”:
Mon – Sat: 10am to 6pm
Sunday: Noon to 5pm
As usual, if the door is unlocked before the posted hours or after, come on in!
Rest In Peace:
Newspaperman and novelist Edward Wright has died. Ed was born on Dec. 18, 1939, in Hot Springs, AR. He got a bachelor and Master degree in journalism, with a three-year stint in Viet Nam mixed in there. Into the early 70s, Ed worked various reporting and editing assignments at the Chicago Tribune. From there he went to the LA Times, where he worked in editorial capacities at the foreign desk “where he was known for his unflappable temperament and broad knowledge of the Middle East”, according to his obituary in the Times.
We came to know of and know him in the 90s when he decided to chuck journalism and start writing fiction. Lucky for us he chose mysteries. Ed produced a small but stellar string of books. Our favorites were three with John Ray Horn, a former 1940’s B-movie cowboy star who was blackballed from movies after he broke the jaw of a studio boss’s son. A stint in prison was the result. Some people still saw Horn as an honorable man and had him help them when in trouble. They were a wonderful, if melancholy, trio of books.
Two more contemporary crime novels followed. We have always held his fiction in the highest regards, were pleased to host him for a couple of sigings, and were flattered to receive Holiday cards from him and his wife Cathy every year.
Ed died from complications of lymphoma on Friday, May 8th. He was 75.
Illustrator and teacher Glen Orbik died on May 11. Exact details of his life are sparse as we write this. He was born in 1963. After graduating high school in Nevada, he began studying at the California Art Institute under the school’s founder, the noted illustrator Fred Fixler. When Fixler retired, Orbik took over the teaching.
We became aware of him when Hard Case Crime began using his noir illustrations for their book’s covers. His was a fluid and painterly style which gave his work a great spirit and character – odd that he could portray a dark noir sensibility in such bright tones.
Here’s his website where you can see those HCC covers, as well as his work for Marvel, DC, advertisements, and science-fiction illustrations.
Here’s Hard Case Crime’s tribute to him, along with reproductions of the covers that he did, and a number of other things about him and his work.
He was just 52, a great pity for us all to lose such a great talent.
Links of Interest:
From NPR for fellow bibliomaniacs: a Fortune in Folios: One Man’s Hunt for Shakespeare’s First Editions. Henry Folger’s pursuit of rare books.
While we specialize in mystery and crime books, we can order virtually any new book that you might want, for yourself or for a gift, no matter what its topic.
Signed Copies to Reserve (the authors will not be here for a formal signing or we’ll be getting the copies from other sources):
Daniel Silva -The English Spy (July, Harper hc, $27.99).Stretched topless upon the foredeck, drink in hand, her flawless skin baking in the sun, was the most famous woman in the world. And one deck below, preparing an appetizer of tuna tartare, cucumber, and pineapple, was the man who was going to kill her. . . .She is an iconic member of the British Royal Family, beloved for her beauty and charitable works, resented by her former husband and his mother, the Queen of England. But when a bomb explodes aboard her holiday yacht, British intelligence turns to one man to track down her killer: legendary spy and assassin Gabriel Allon.
Gabriel's target is Eamon Quinn, a master bomb maker and mercenary of death who sells his services to the highest bidder. Quinn is an elusive man of the shadows "a whisper in a half-lit chapel, a loose thread at the hem of a discarded garment" but fortunately Gabriel does not pursue him alone. At his side is Christopher Keller, a British commando turned professional assassin who knows Quinn's murderous handiwork all too well.
The English Spy moves at light speed from the glamorous island of Saint Barthelemy to the mean streets of West Belfast to a cottage atop the cliffs of Cornwall that Gabriel holds dear. And though he does not realize it, he is stalking an old enemy a cabal of evil that wants nothing more than to see him dead. Gabriel will find it necessary to oblige them, for when a man is out for vengeance, death has its distinct advantages.
Louise Penny -The Nature of the Beast (Aug., Minotaur hc, $27.99). 9-year-old Laurent is a boy who is always telling big tales – space aliens, trees walking and winged monsters in the woods. No one pays him any mind. He’s an annoying but creative little boy. Then he vanishes. Should one of his stories have been listened to? The retired Gamache is, naturally, involved.
[Quantities of signed copies for these books will be very limited. Reserving ahead of time – such as in next few days – is HIGHLY recommended. For the most part, we’ll be ordering only enough for those who reserve. You don’t have to pay until you pick it up or we mail it. Ask us to hold a copy for you!]
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.
Allison Leotta, May 19
Tina Connolly, May 23
Ace Atkins, May 27 – 12:30!
Colin Cotterill, June 2
Ron Lovell, June 6
Craig Johnson, June 20
Carola Dunn, June 27
Ingrid Thoft, June 30
Roger Hobbs, July 7
Don Winslow, July 9
Yasmine Galenorn, July 11 Drop-by!
Mike Lawson, July 11
Jenny Milchman, July 30
Kevin O’Brien, Aug 1
Richard Kadrey, Aug 25
Yasmine Galenorn, Oct 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!
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.
Word of the Week:
SMERSH (n): Soviet Army counter-espionage organization begun during World War II, 1953, from Russian abbreviation of smert' shpionam "death to spies." Introduced to English by "James Bond" author Ian Fleming.
(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.
What We’ve Been Reading:
My 52 Weeks With Christie: Classics Corner – Patricia Wentworth
We have two Tumblr blogs, in addition to our regular shop blog:
Hardboiled, maintained by JB – pulp covers, film noir and other images of crime and mystery, and
Reviews and Events – just what it sounds like!
On This Date:
May 19, 1870 – early serial killer and all-around fiend Albert Fish was born in Washington DC
May 19, 1908 – Merriam Modell was born in NYC. Under the name Evelyn Piper, she published the classic Bunny Lake is Missing in ‘57
May 19, 1932 – Canadian thriller-writer Paul Erdman was born
May 19, 1934 – Jim Lehrer, future mystery writer and journalist, was born in Witchita
May 19, 1959 – Nicole Simpson Brown was born in Frankfurt, West Germany
May 19, 1983 – Diane Downs attacked her own children
May 20, 1891 – 1st public demonstration of Edison’s kinetoscope
May 20 – two writers of note: Margery Allingham (1904, London) and Boris Akunin (1956, Georgia, Russia)
May 20 – from Hollywood: Jimmy Stewart (1908 Indiana, PA), Anthony Zerbe (1936 Long Beach, CA) and Timothy Oliphant (1968, Honolulu)
May 20, 1914 – witty novelist and short story writer Fletcher Flora was born in Parsons, KS
May 20, 1927 – an actor who played Felix Leiter twice, (Live and Let Die and License to Kill), David Hedison was born in Providence, RI
May 20, 1956 – Stanley Kubrick’s The Killing premiered. Kubrick co-wrote the screenplay, an adaptation of Lionel White’s Clean Break, with Jim Thompson
May 20, 1956 – journalist and bestselling novelist Douglas Preston was born in Cambridge, MA
May 20, 2010 – huge art heist in France, including works by Matisse, Picasso, Braque, Leger and Modigliani
May 21, 1902 – Anatol Litwak was born in Kiev. He began moving west in the 1920 to avoid repressive regimes and finally ended up directing in Hollywood. He directed the film noir classic Sorry, Wrong Number and was nominated for an Academy Award for directing in 1948
May 21, 1904 – Robert Montgomery was born in Fishkill Landing, NY. In 1947, he would star in and direct the adaptation of Chandler’s The Lady in the Lake (1947), which was notable for being filmed as if you’re seeing what Marlowe is seeing. He’s also notable for being the father of Elizabeth
May 21, 1910 - future Philadelphia boss Angelo Bruno was born in Sicily. “The Gentle Don” was whacked on his 70th birthday
May 21, 1917 – Raymond Burr was born in New Westminster, BC. Rear Window, Godzilla, ‘Perry Mason’, ‘Ironside’ come in time
May 21, 1924 - Leopold and Loeb killed Bobby Franks just to prove they could pull off the perfect crime
May 21, 1934 - Oskaloosa, IA, becomes the first municipality in the US to fingerprint every citizen (man, and we think the Patriot Act is intrusive...)
May 21, 1938 – Derek Marlowe was born in London
May 21, 1958 – Orson Welles’ Touch of Evil premiered
May 21, 1960 - future criminal freak Jeffrey Dahmer was born
May 22, 1859 – Arthur Conan Doyle, who later changes his name to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, was born in Edinburgh
May 22, 1907 – Laurence Olivier was born and he too changes his name by adding “Sir” to it
May 22, 1942 - future 'Unabomber' Ted Kaczynski was born in Chicago
May 22, 1946 – Gordon (G.F. on the book’s spine) Newman was born in Kent, creator of Insp. Terry Sneed
May 22, 19?? – Kat Richardson was born in San Diego Early Happy Birthday!
May 22, 1951 – Kenneth Bianchi, half of he Hillside Strangler team, was born in Rochester, NY
May 22, 1962 - Continental Flight 11 crashed after a bomb is set off in a rear bathroom in an attempt at insurance fraud. Arthur Hailey would use this as a plot device in his 1968 Airport
May 22, 1966 - the last, original "Perry Mason" episode aired
And Have a Relaxing and Book-Filled Weekend!