Friday, January 20, 2017

Martha Matilda Harper, the Greatest Businesswoman You’ve Never Heard Of

Martha Matilda Harper, the Greatest Businesswoman You’ve Never Heard Of 

Song of the Day

The Morning After by Maureen McGovern - YouTube:

Forgotten Hits: January 20th

Forgotten Hits: January 20th

Today's Vintage Ad


Selling Rare Books on NYC Sidewalks (Video)

Selling Rare Books on NYC Sidewalks: Bookseller Ed Smith (Ed Smith Books) interviewed Kurt Brokaw, a professor and film critic, who likes to moonlight as a rare bookseller (specializing in noir paperback originals) on the streets of Manhattan.

PaperBack



Arnold Kummer, Ladies in Hades,  Dell, 1950

Rediscovering the Wonderful World of Weepuls

Rediscovering the Wonderful World of Weepuls

Roberta Peters, R. I. P.

OPERA NEWS: ROBERTA PETERS'S overnight ascent to Met stardom at twenty combined with her uncommonly attractive face and form to suggest a sort of fairy-tale figure. But Peters’s early years were spent absorbed in arduous study, devoid of many of the diversions taken for granted by the average teenager. Although in later life the soprano spoke about tears shed under the pressure of trying to live up to the expectations of those who believed in her, she maintained that young people should be urged to fulfill their potential. It was, in fact, this seriousness of purpose and artistic integrity that carried Peters through a five-decade career in which she racked up 512 Met performances of twenty-four roles during thirty-four seasons.  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Roll Models

Roll Models: Something everyone thinks about as they get close to retiring is “What am I going to do with all that free time?” Some people move to the country, others travel the world. Still others make a difference right where they are.

FFB: Deadhead -- Carleton Carpenter

Well, not every FFB can be a winner.  I picked this one up to read because of my affection for the Carleton Carpenter duet on "Aba Daba Honeymoon" in the movie Two Weeks with Love.  I've had this and several other mystery novels by Carpenter on my shelves for many years, but I'd never looked inside them.  It's just as well.  

Check out the description on the cover: "Death was a superstar in a Broadway horror show.   A novel of shattering suspense!"  I beg to differ.

The only suspense here is when someone will finally murder the execrable "producer" who's trying to mount a Broadway show.  And after the murder, amateur sleuth and Hairdresser to the Stars Chester Long does precious little sleuthing.  Like almost none.  This is one of those novels in which the crime is solved in the in with a big coincidence and everything gets blurted out.  As an aside, the cover doesn't represent anything in the book.  The producer's strangled (and maybe ODs), but he's not shot.

That being said, the writing is breezy throughout, and there's plenty of backstage stuff about mounting a show, the kind of thing that makes for appealing reading.  I'm glad I read it, but I won't be picking up any more Carpenter books to read, I'm afraid.  

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Miguel Ferrer, R. I. P.

'NCIS: LA' actor Miguel Ferrer dies at 61: Miguel Ferrer, the actor known best for television roles on NCIS: Los Angeles and Crossing Jordan, has passed away from cancer at the age of 61, per Associated Press.  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson and to Deb.

Bargain of the Day

Free eBook: The Digest Enthusiast #1 | Digest Magazines: Get a free copy of The Digest Enthusiast #1 on Magzter when you sign-up for updates about the series and other Larque Press projects.

Blaze! 15: Red Rock Rampage -- Ben Boulden

The latest entry in the Blaze! adult western series is set in Utah, where J.D. and Kate Blaze (two of the deadliest gunfighters the Old West has ever seen) are hunting a couple of train robbers for the bounty.  They trail them to a town named Small Basin, and that's where the troubles really begin.

The town has a corrupt sheriff, who's also one of the train robbers, and it's under the control of a renegade Mormon patriarch who has a yen for young wives.  He already has twenty wives, but they keep getting older.  When he kidnaps a young girl from town, J.D. and Kate decide to help out, with the aid of an interesting priest who knows a lot about cussing and shooting.  They have a plan, but of course things get complicated.  J.D. takes a whale of a beating, and there are several surprises along the way.  The book has some of my favorite things in it, a secret way into a hidden valley and a cave.  No quicksand, though.

This is a fine debut for Ben Boulden, with sharp action and well-observed descriptions.  I expect his name will become much more familiar to readers as he extends his writing career.

The First Truly Blockbuster Audiobook?

The First Truly Blockbuster Audiobook? 

Song of the Day

We're Not Gonna Take It - YouTube:

A History of Pepsi Cola

A History of Pepsi Cola 

Today's Vintage Ad


I'm Doomed

Sitting down for hours a day speeds up ageing

PaperBack



William Beyer, Murder by Arrangement, Phantom Books (Australia), 1955

Marilyn Monroe's Forgotten Hollywood Sorority

Marilyn Monroe's Forgotten Hollywood Sorority

A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Stu Palmer’s and Craig Rice’s Withers/Malone Team-Ups in EQMM”

“Collaborative Sleuthing: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Stu Palmer’s and Craig Rice’s Withers/Malone Team-Ups in EQMM”

Silent Film GIFs Reveal the Special Effects Tricks of Early Cinema

Silent Film GIFs Reveal the Special Effects Tricks of Early Cinema

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

PimPage: An Occasional Feature in Which I Call Attention to Books of Possible Interest

The Communion of Saints (John Ray / LS9 crime thrillers Book 3) by [Barlow, John]The Communion of Saints (John Ray / LS9 crime thrillers Book 3) - Kindle edition by John Barlow. Mystery, Thriller & Suspense Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.  Following the violent murder of his father, John Ray is getting his life back on track, and putting the criminal past of his family behind him. But when Shirley Kirk of the West Yorkshire Police asks him for a favour, he’s sucked into a mystery that is as confusing as it is devastating.

Allegations of historical abuse have emerged at a Catholic Boys’ Home in the city. They involve a prominent businessman who is keen to get to the bottom of who is making the accusations. And he wants John Ray to do the looking. Discreetly.

John soon begins to uncover a more complex mystery involving blackmail, kidnap and murder. But why are the police really asking for his help? There are people on the Force still out to get John Ray for his past misdemeanours. And they are not the only ones who know about his family's past.

A novel set in Leeds, THE COMMUNION OF SAINTS is novel about innocence, vengeance, and the power of good and evil. It is the third crime thriller in the John Ray / LS9 series.

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee

SF woman arrested in stabbing over parking place

Death and the Naked Lady -- John Flagg (John Gearon)

Sad to think that I've neglected to read John Flagg all these years.  Stark House has been publishing some new editions of his Gold Medal novels, though, and I've been catching up.  The latest from Stark House is a sort of Triple-Decker, two novels and a short story, with an introduction by none other than James Reasoner.

I chose to read Death and the Naked Lady not just because of the title but because of the intriguing setting.  The entire book is set on an ocean liner traveling from France to the U.S. in 1950.  Aboard is Mac McLean, a nightclub singer who's suddenly had a big success in France and is now set up for his debut in New York.  Also on board are spies, counterspies, crossers, doublecrossers, and killers.  Not to mention a MacGuffin, a case of jade pieces.  And of course the famous Naked Lady.  

McLean finds himself involved with all of these, and he also learns that maybe his sudden career boost hasn't come about solely because of his own efforts and talent. 

The setting of the ocean voyage (no place to run, no escaping the villains) adds a lot to the interest of the book, and the complex plotting kept me guessing.  It's no wonder that Flagg was the first author to published by Gold Medal, and it's great to have these books back in print.

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee

Woman stabbed man 9 times: Woman stabbed man 9 times after he wouldn't commit to relationship

The Best Cookbook to Come out of the 80s

Get in the Mood for Lurve with the Best Cookbook to Come out of the 80s

Song of the Day

The Delfonics - Didn't I (Blow Your Mind This Time) - 1970 - YouTube:

Top 10 Biggest Thefts In The History Of Entertainment

Top 10 Biggest Thefts In The History Of Entertainment

Today's Vintage Ad


I Want to Believe!

Daily Mail Online: Elvis in disguise? Conspiracy fans claim the King is ALIVE and visited Graceland on his 82nd birthday

PaperBack



George Worthing Yates, The Body that Wasn't Uncle, Dell, 1944

I Miss the Old Days

Mother Road Revisited  

This is a great site.

Forgotten Hits: January 18th

Forgotten Hits: January 18th

The Pioneering Female Sci-Fi Writer Whose Identity Was Kept Secret for 50 Years

The Pioneering Female Sci-Fi Writer Whose Identity Was Kept Secret for 50 Years

D.B. Cooper Update

New Evidence Suggests D.B. Cooper's Tie May Help Solve a 45-Year Mystery