Monday, February 08, 2021

Still Here

 We are in a deep freeze here and I am sure George is too. Wow. Looks like it will be below zero several nights this week. It is only 4 degrees now. And it keeps doing that annoying lake effect snow so the ground beneath our feet is frozen. I was lucky enough to have some company this week including my son, Josh. Hadn't seen him since New Year's Day. 

Watching C.B. Strike, which I mostly like for the relationship between the two main characters. The cases are sort of ho-hum to me. But the leads have chemistry. 

Still working on The Handmaiden's Tale, which is terrifying. Elizabeth Moss is a terrific actor though and she is surrounded by other talented actors. Watched The Dig, which was fun and rewatched The Whole Wide World--the one about Robert Howard--which is a strange film. I guess because it is based on Novalyne Prices' diaries and then her book it is kind of a narrow look at the man. As my friend noted, it lacked an arc that would have made it more dynamic. Still it was very interesting and well done. 

Reading Elinor Oliphant for my book group. So many novels about quirky characters now--almost seems to have begun with A Man Called Ove of a few years ago. 

What about you?

Coming Soon: Bullets and Other Hurting Things: A Tribute to Bill Crider - Rick Ollerman, ed.

From the Down & Out Books website:

In a career spanning nearly four decades, Bill Crider published more than sixty crime fiction, westerns, horror, men’s adventure and YA novels. In this collection 20 of today’s best and brightest, all friends and fans of Bill’s, come together with original stories to pay tribute to his memory. Authors include: William Kent Krueger, Bill Pronzini, Joe R. Lansdale, Patricia Abbott, Ben Boulden, Michael Bracken, Jen Conley, Brendan DuBois, Charlaine Harris, David Housewright, Kasey Lansdale, Angela Crider Neary, James Reasoner, James Sallis, Terry Shames, S. A. Solomon, Sara Paretsky, Robert J. Randisi, SJ Rozan, and Eryk Pruitt.

William Kent Krueger (Ordinary Grace, the Cork O’Connor series) brings us a story of romance and grift. Bill Pronzini (the Nameless Detective and Carpenter & Quincannon series) offers a taut episode of a midnight raid. Joe R. Lansdale (The Bottoms, the Hap and Leonard series) tells a tale of two hit men working through their differences. James Sallis (Drive, the Lew Griffin series) shows us how a deadly figure once helped out a man called Bill. Charlaine Harris (the Sookie Stackhouse and Midnight, Texas series) reminds us to be careful of what we wish for. Sara Paretsky (the V.I. Warshawski series) shows how truly deadly a terrible storm can be.

These and fourteen more stories are offered here in the appreciation of our friend and colleague, Bill Crider. These stories were written for him.

My story has a sheriff much like Bill's although it takes places in northern Michigan. Hope I don't let him down. 

This may be the best contributors I have ever been among.


Steve Oerkfitz said...

I agree with you on C.B. Strike. Tom Burke is well cast. A lot of other British shows have done poorly in this regard especially with series based on characters from books by Ian Rankin and Peter Robinson.
Also been watching The Lady and the Dale, Bill Maher, 30 Coins and The Investigation, all on HBO.
Finished rereading The Sparrow by Marie Doria Robinson. Just started Iron Lake by William Kent Krueger, the first of his Cork O'Connor books. I have never read any of them before although I have read a stand alone of his and liked that.
As far as movies go the only think I watched this week was a rewatch of El Camino.
Everybody stay warm.

Margot Kinberg said...

I've been hearing about the cold snap you're going through, Patti - it sounds awful! Stay warm! Glad you've got some TV and books to stay warm with.

Jeff Meyerson said...

We had 17 inches of snow last week, and another 4 yesterday. Annoying. It has kept us in most of the time and little chance to walk. At least we did get out to the hospital where we got our first shot of the Pfizer vaccine on Thursday, with appointments for the second dose three weeks from then. It all went perfectly, never even felt the needle, and no side effects - apparently most people get them with the second one. This has made Jackie feel a whole lot better. Mostly shopping for food at stores or restaurant pickups, staying in and reading and watching television.

We watched one of her favorites the other day - WHERE THE BOYS ARE. Very dated, of course. All the stars were in their early 20s then (1960) and are all still around in their early 80s, other than poor Jim Hutton, who died at 45. Yvette Mimieux was the baby at 18 when this was filmed, 79 now. She watched TERMS OF ENDEARMENT in the bedroom while I watched the awful Super Bore, and was amazed at how young - and good - Shirley MacLaine and Jack Nicholson looked. Still watching 30 COINS, THE GOOD PLACE (started series 3), SCHITT'S CREEK, THE SOMMERDAHL MURDERS, BLOOD, NCIS, etc. Two of the stars (and the writer) of THE INVESTIGATION had big roles in BORGEN.

I caught up on the last two books in Mary Logue's series about Deputy Claire Watkins (FROZEN STIFF and LAKE OF TEARS), the investigator in the smallest county in Wisconsin, on the Mississippi across from Minnesota. Short, very fast reads. Also read and very much liked Walter Tevis's dystopian MOCKINGBIRD, which had a surprisingly happy ending. Excellent. I am waiting on the library to deliver THE QUEEN'S GAMBIT next.

Despite the vaccine, we will not be going anywhere any time soon. The earliest is a possible trip with my cousins to Boston around July 4, assuming the restaurants reopen by then (including the ones in the hotel, and the Concierge lounge.) We'll have to see if our concerts (postponed from last summer to this one) are going to happen. Looks like it will be at least the fall before theaters reopen.

Stay safe!

Jerry House said...

It's pretty cold here -- for Florida, that is. So cold that I am beginnes theing to regret having only shorts to wear. **sigh** Of course that did not stop us from beaching yeasterday, if only for an hour. We were the only ones there. Amy spotted a dolphin but we missed it. Maybe next week.

Still watching LAW & ORDER UK. Some fairly dramatic cast changes in Season 3. Since these episodes are based on ones that aired in the US series and many of those, in turn, are taken from the headlines, we can usually tell where each episode is going but they still hold our interest. Also started watching DERRY GIRLS, which I am enjoying very much.

I finish Sax Rohmer's BROOD OF THE WITCH QUEEN, which was pure pulp, and John Collier's MILTON'S PARADISE LOST: SCREENPLAY FOR CINEMA OF THE MIND, which does honor to both Milton and himself. I finally read Clayton Rawson's first The Great Merlini detective novel, DEATH FROM A TOP HAT. A good puzzle with many clues, false turns, and misdirection; the only fault is some weak characterization. I also read a short SF novel by Donald A. Wollheim (under his David Grinnell pseudonym) and Lin Carter, DESTINATION: SATURN. Though certainly not a masterpiece, its frothy light humor kept me reading (and smiling). I'm curently reading Ernest Lawson's Edgar-winning NOT A THROUGH STREET and have just started Eric Frank Russell's SF novel THE GREAT EXPLOSION.

My new hearing aids are working well and I no longer have an excuse (darn it!) for ignoring other people. My new glasses are a bit hinky and may need some adjusting. My constant cough has been getting better (I hope so; I've been practicing enough) and may be gone in a few weeks with all the medication I have been given. Otherwise I am remarkably healthy.

I've preorder the Bill Crider tribute anthology and am looking forward to your story, as well as all the others.

Mark opted not to run the annual Two-Bridge Race this time around. Because the Pensacola Bay Bridge is still out of commission since it was ripped apart by runaway barges during the hurricane, the race is actually the One Bridge Twice Race this year. Mark has landed a job at a camp in Alabama this summer but doesn't know much about it. We asked him what kind of camp it was and what he would be doing and he said he didn't know. But they did hire him after a Zoom interview. Mark says it could be a fantastic job or a terrible one...time will tell.

May you have a fantastic week ahead, Patti, and not a terrible one. Stay warm. Stay safe.

George said...

The Polar Vortex hit us with bone-chilling cold. It's 10 degrees right now (windchill temp is -2). And we're not getting much warmer this week. Snow is in the forecast although we have a few inches of the White Stuff on the ground from the weekend Lake Effect event.

I've been busy reading the latest LOCUS magazine which features a dozen writers and critics listing their favorite SF books from 2020. Yes, I'm making lists despite the stacks of books all around this house.

The Super Bowl was a dud so I tuned out early and got some reading done. You'll see a few reviews of those "unusual" books that attract your attention in the weeks ahead.

Diane and I are looking forward to our second Moderna shot next week! But this vaccine rollout has been a mess! Stay safe!

pattinase (abbott) said...

Hoping we can avoid this horrific S. African variety. So cold I am afraid to go out and salt my icy sidewalks.
Just started the lovely Gabriel Byrne memoir. What a gorgeous writer.
Where the Boys Are sounds pretty good about now. Was it ever easier to indulge in most any movie or show you can think of.

Gerard Saylor said...

Crider's daughter listed the forthcoming tribute book on Facebook and I was dang glad to hear of it. I watched THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD a few years ago after Crider recommended it. The movie was OK, and had a big-name cast for a small feature, but I recall it running too long.

Over the weekend I went onto Disney+ and, on a whim, watched two Wes Anderson movies. Whimsicality being appropriate. The flicks were Ok, not great. Sometimes his work clicks with me and sometime not.

I started reading BALL PARK by John farrow (Trevor Ferguson) and always enjoy his mysteries. BALL PARK is set in 1975 Montreal, the same setting as John McFetridge's fantastic Dougherty series.

The weather here is nice and cold. I was out yesterday when it was about 0 degrees. There was zero wind and it was pretty nice out. I had to clear out the big snow piles on the end of the driveway that blocked sightlines when exiting. The job was quickly completed with the help of Boy #2 and the snowblower.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Yeah, it was long considering how it was mostly dialog between Howard the Price.
I feel the same about Wes Anderson.
I need hearing aids. Keep hoping these new great and cheaper ones will come on the market. Ever since I had my hearing tested and took a few tests, it has grown worse. Is it a plot?

TracyK said...

I cannot even imagine weather that cold. Having only lived any length of time in southern California (nearly 50 years) and Alabama (20ish years), I haven't experienced any extremely cold weather and not even much snow.

I have no interest in watching THE HANDMAID'S TALE, because I still remember the reaction I had to reading the book, decades ago. I do agree with you about Elizabeth Moss as an actress, and the only reason I would watch it would be for her acting.

Coincidentally I was reading elsewhere about ELINOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE and wondering if I should give that a try. I had not heard about the Bill Crider tribute book but of course I will get a copy.

Reading and watching: Just finished another Hercule Poirot book, MRS. MCGINTY'S DEAD. Not the best one I have read but still fun. We did watch IN A LONELY PLACE with Humphrey Bogart this weekend, and it was very good. Different from the book, as you had mentioned, but still dark. I did not realize how gorgeous Gloria Graham was.

Jeff Meyerson said...

True. I thought it was the perfect movie to watch in a snowstorm. The movie starts in snow, but Fort Lauderdale looks pretty good now.

Jeff Meyerson said...

I knew Bill from about 1977 in DAPA-EM. We met him the first time at the Bouchercon in D.C. in 1980. He was in our old apartment in 1983 (I think) after the second NY Bouchercon. I remember them being here years later (we moved here at the end of '86), because I drove him to Brooklyn Heights to see the MOONSTRUCK house, and that movie came out in 1987. (We also drove past Cammareri Bakery, where his idol Nicolas Cage worked in the movie. We met Bill and Judy at their hotel next door to Grand Central on 42nd Street (which turned out to be just before Judy got sick) and walked with them down to the World Trade Center site, with stops at the Museum of Sex (just the outside!) and the Flatiron Building, where Jackie strong armed him into taking us up to St. Martin's Press to see his editor, Ruth Cavin. I'm glad we got to spend time with him in Raleigh, New Orleans, and Toronto.

Todd Mason said...

I'd buy that book even if it wasn't in honor of Bill...and for your story ahead of some of the other contributors! Thanks for letting us know...

Todd Mason said...

Philadelphia-area frozen, if less so, as well. We've been doused with snow rather than buried. Let's see if that holds through the week.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Thanks, Todd. I hope I captured the Bill vibe a bit. Boy, I wonder if I have one more trip to Philly left in me.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Gloria Graham was gorgeous. I am not sure why so many of those forty-fifty era stars seemed so flawless. Maybe the makeup.
Eleanor is a lovable book. There is a vibe going on now-and I see it with shows like THE GOOD PLACE, SCHITTS CREEK, TED LASSO and books like this one where goodness is at long last seen as a virtue and worth talking about.

Todd Mason said...

They definitely piled on the makeup! Eye-shadow in bed and in the shower in contemporary productions isn't a touch on the spackling of Max Factor in the first half of the previous century...

Rick Robinson said...

Finally able to drop in with my say. I just read your story in Bullets and Other Hurting Things: A Tribute to Bill Crider and loved it. Emeralds in the cat collars, indeed. Good one.

It's cold here to us, but you back-Easters always outdo us that way. We have low 40 highs and 30 lows here, clear, and the birdbaths are frozen. There has been some rain, and snow is predicted the latter half of the week, probably just 2-3 inches.

I've been reading some short stories, and a bit more of the E.B. White book of letters and essays, E. B. WHITE ON DOGS, which isn't completely about dogs at all, but any White is good White. I started a 1957 SF novel, but stopped it for the Crider tribute collection, which I'll finish in a day or two, I hope (I got the ebook version). We watched AGATHA CHRISTIE'S ENGLAND (PBS) and were disappointed. Too much blather and not enough tie-in to the writing.

No vaccine shots in sight here, for any age. Unless one is a medical worker, school employee or is incarcerated. I've given up even expecting any for us, but fear even when something does come (May? June? and I'm 75 with Diabetes), the virus may have evolved beyond the vaccine anyway. I'm beginning to suspect I'll spend the rest of my life staying home. Joy.

I spent a few hours listening to favorite music yesterday, EAT A PEACH by The Allman Brothers Band was one and a couple of jazz albums. It was a nice break from reading. Stay well and warm, Patti, and keep writing terrific stories.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Thanks, Rick. You are the first person I know to have the book.
I so hope it hasn't evolved beyond us. Maybe this is the real apocalypse. Hope I can see my daughter before that happens. It's been almost sixteen months.
Cannot say enough about this cold. It is absolutely frightening.