Thursday, 02 September 2010 10:09
Like many of us who love mysteries, I have Bouchercon fever. It's a disease that comes around just about this time every year when I start planning and looking forward to Bouchercon, the annual mystery fiction conference.

Of course, I registered myself, my husband and my brother-in-law Peter about two years ago, but there is still time to sign up for Bouchercon, which will be Oct. 14-17.
And the fact that it is in San Francisco is an even more incentive -- the city and the area offers so much to do.
One way I soothe Bouchercon fever -- and this will work for you -- is to start looking at mysteries and crime fiction set in or around the area.

And San Francisco offers so much fodder for wonderful novels and movies.

altSo, this will be a regular/irregular feature that will continue until Bouchercon starts. By that I mean, I will write these posts when I feel like it.

So, first up, let's look at short stories collections.
San Francisco Noir (2005, Akashic Books) Akashic Books could publish Yellow Pages Noir and I would probably be enthralled. Akashic is keeping the short story alive while publishing series of terrific short stories that look at various cities and their specific neighborhoods. Be sure to read David Corbett's "It Can Happen" about a family inheritance in Hunter's Point. and Kate Braverman's funny "The Neutral Zone," a classic tale of love and hate of two bipolar people in Fisherman's Wharf. Domenic Stansberry's "The Prison" is set on North Beach. Eddie Muller, who is Bouchercon's toastmaster, takes us South of Market with Kid's Last Fight, the story of a very long day.
San Francisco Noir 2: The Classics (2009, Akashic Books) Akashic takes us back with classic stories by, among others, Mark Twain, Jack London, Ambrose Bierce and, of course, Dashiell Hammett, who by law must be included in any discussion of San Francisco crime fiction.
San Francisco Thrillers (1995, Chronicle Books) The eclectic collection shows the timelessness of San Francisco. Stories set in the 1900s could easily be set in 2010. Oscar Lewis' true-crime piece "The Phosphorescent Bridal" concerns a controversial trial, but unless you had been told it took place in the late 1800s you might wonder why
you had missed it on TruTV. Dashiell Hammett, course, is here with "Fly Paper." Marcia Muller checks in with an excerpt from "Deception" and Jim Thompson's "Ironside" has a familiar ring. There's also some script from Alfred Hitchcock's "Vertigo." Francis Bruguiere's photos look as fresh as when they first appeared -- in his 1919 book "San Francisco."
Like many of us who love mysteries, I have Bouchercon fever. It's a disease that comes around just about this time every year when I start planning and looking forward to Bouchercon, the annual mystery fiction conference.

Of course, I registered myself, my husband and my brother-in-law Peter about two years ago, but there is still time to sign up for Bouchercon, which will be Oct. 14-17.
And the fact that it is in San Francisco is an even more incentive -- the city and the area offers so much to do.
One way I soothe Bouchercon fever -- and this will work for you -- is to start looking at mysteries and crime fiction set in or around the area.

And San Francisco offers so much fodder for wonderful novels and movies.

altSo, this will be a regular/irregular feature that will continue until Bouchercon starts. By that I mean, I will write these posts when I feel like it.

So, first up, let's look at short stories collections.
San Francisco Noir (2005, Akashic Books) Akashic Books could publish Yellow Pages Noir and I would probably be enthralled. Akashic is keeping the short story alive while publishing series of terrific short stories that look at various cities and their specific neighborhoods. Be sure to read David Corbett's "It Can Happen" about a family inheritance in Hunter's Point. and Kate Braverman's funny "The Neutral Zone," a classic tale of love and hate of two bipolar people in Fisherman's Wharf. Domenic Stansberry's "The Prison" is set on North Beach. Eddie Muller, who is Bouchercon's toastmaster, takes us South of Market with Kid's Last Fight, the story of a very long day.
San Francisco Noir 2: The Classics (2009, Akashic Books) Akashic takes us back with classic stories by, among others, Mark Twain, Jack London, Ambrose Bierce and, of course, Dashiell Hammett, who by law must be included in any discussion of San Francisco crime fiction.
San Francisco Thrillers (1995, Chronicle Books) The eclectic collection shows the timelessness of San Francisco. Stories set in the 1900s could easily be set in 2010. Oscar Lewis' true-crime piece "The Phosphorescent Bridal" concerns a controversial trial, but unless you had been told it took place in the late 1800s you might wonder why
you had missed it on TruTV. Dashiell Hammett, course, is here with "Fly Paper." Marcia Muller checks in with an excerpt from "Deception" and Jim Thompson's "Ironside" has a familiar ring. There's also some script from Alfred Hitchcock's "Vertigo." Francis Bruguiere's photos look as fresh as when they first appeared -- in his 1919 book "San Francisco."
Monday, 30 August 2010 02:08
I have long thought that British actor Idris Elba should be the next action star. He has the acting chops to carry a movie, plus, he also has the looks.
Elba brought a complicated intelligence to the role of Stringer Bell on HBO's brilliant The Wire. A drug dealer, a college business major, a thug and a refined man -- Elba showed all the sides of Bell. The Wire remains one of my favorite TV series and the Bell character is quite memorable.
altElba also showed a different side of his skills when he played the new boss on NBC's comedy The Office.
Now Elba is signed to take over the role of Dr. Alex Cross, the forensic psychologist/sleuth of James Patterson's wildly popular series.
Elba takes over the role from Morgan Freeman, who originated the role in Kiss the Girls (1997) and Along Came a Spider (2001).
Elba will star in the film version of Cross, the 12th novel in Patterson's series. In this novel, Alex Cross tries to nab a serial rapist who is a former mob enforcer and who may have killed Cross' pregnant wife years earlier.
The director will be David Twohy. According to news reports, production is scheduled to begin in the spring, 2011.

Meanwhile, Elba is one of the stars of the heist flick Takers, which opens Aug. 27. He also will be appearing in four episodes of Showtime's comedy/drama The Big C as a love interest of Laura Linney's cancer-stricken character.
I have long thought that British actor Idris Elba should be the next action star. He has the acting chops to carry a movie, plus, he also has the looks.
Elba brought a complicated intelligence to the role of Stringer Bell on HBO's brilliant The Wire. A drug dealer, a college business major, a thug and a refined man -- Elba showed all the sides of Bell. The Wire remains one of my favorite TV series and the Bell character is quite memorable.
altElba also showed a different side of his skills when he played the new boss on NBC's comedy The Office.
Now Elba is signed to take over the role of Dr. Alex Cross, the forensic psychologist/sleuth of James Patterson's wildly popular series.
Elba takes over the role from Morgan Freeman, who originated the role in Kiss the Girls (1997) and Along Came a Spider (2001).
Elba will star in the film version of Cross, the 12th novel in Patterson's series. In this novel, Alex Cross tries to nab a serial rapist who is a former mob enforcer and who may have killed Cross' pregnant wife years earlier.
The director will be David Twohy. According to news reports, production is scheduled to begin in the spring, 2011.

Meanwhile, Elba is one of the stars of the heist flick Takers, which opens Aug. 27. He also will be appearing in four episodes of Showtime's comedy/drama The Big C as a love interest of Laura Linney's cancer-stricken character.
Thursday, 26 August 2010 10:08
Fiction follows fact or does fact follow fiction?
Whatever, there are times when an author's imagination gets a real-world workout.
I recently reviewed Ellen Crosby's The Viognier Vendetta, part of her series about the owner of a Virginia vineyard. In this mystery, Lucie Montgomery is trying to produce viognier wine. My review is here.
altNow, I have been known to enjoy a glass of wine -- or 40. But I had never heard of this wine until Crosby's novel. Simply, it's a classic French grape that is just making its way into American wines.
That review of The Viognier Vendetta appeared just a few weeks ago.
Now, viognier wine seems to be all the rage.
Just this week, I saw three food sections of three different newspapers devote a lot of space to viognier wine, with recommendations on which wines to buy and viognier food pairings.
That doesn't include the countless stories that have popped up on the internet, linking to other newspapers, magazines and Websites.
In honor of this interest in viognier wine -- and Crosby's timely novel -- let's raise a toast... with a glass of viognier, of course.
Fiction follows fact or does fact follow fiction?
Whatever, there are times when an author's imagination gets a real-world workout.
I recently reviewed Ellen Crosby's The Viognier Vendetta, part of her series about the owner of a Virginia vineyard. In this mystery, Lucie Montgomery is trying to produce viognier wine. My review is here.
altNow, I have been known to enjoy a glass of wine -- or 40. But I had never heard of this wine until Crosby's novel. Simply, it's a classic French grape that is just making its way into American wines.
That review of The Viognier Vendetta appeared just a few weeks ago.
Now, viognier wine seems to be all the rage.
Just this week, I saw three food sections of three different newspapers devote a lot of space to viognier wine, with recommendations on which wines to buy and viognier food pairings.
That doesn't include the countless stories that have popped up on the internet, linking to other newspapers, magazines and Websites.
In honor of this interest in viognier wine -- and Crosby's timely novel -- let's raise a toast... with a glass of viognier, of course.