Friday, October 30, 2009

Crime Beat

At 2:18 p.m. Sept. 14, assorted college textbooks valued at a total of $575 were reported stolen from a car parked in a driveway in the 200 block of Vinedale Drive.

And then a dog ate them.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sons of Anarchy, Episode 2.7

Look, it's been a little difficult catching up since I've come back, but don't let that stop you from watching the show. Just don't tell me about it. Just the avatar for this episode has spoilers for me.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Crime Beat

Eight mirrors were removed from rooms at the Motel 6, 155 Buell Road, and several other mirrors were damaged sometime between Sept. 29 and 30. The mirrors were found under a tree in the parking lot.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Crime Beat

At 6:42 p.m. Sept. 13, police responded to the area of 100 Kings Highway South for a report that a man in the area was exposing himself. The officer subsequently located Angel Morales, 41, of Edgebrook Drive, Rochester. He was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance (cocaine) after a clear plastic bag containing a white powder fell from his pants.


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Mystery Authors in the Rochester Area

Fresh off being the Toastmaster at Bouchercon in Indianapolis, SJ Rozan is coming to Rochester as part of the Lane Dworkin Jewish Book Festival. She will be joined on November 3rd by Daniel Levin and Gabriel Cohen for a Mystery Panel in the middle of the festival. The event will be held from 7:30-9:00 at the JCC Hart Theatre on Edgewood Avenue. The tickets are $10 for non-members, and can be purchased here.

On December 3, Canadian author Louise Penny will be speaking as part of the Rochester Arts and Lectures series at the United Presbyterian Church on Fitzhugh. The event starts at 7:30, and Standing Room Only tickets will be sold at the door starting at 6:45.

And if you want an idea of what local mystery authors are doing, all you have to do is be in Greece this Saturday, October 24. Lorna Barrett will be signing at the Greece Arts Festival at the Greece Public Library from 11am-2pm. Then at 2pm, new author Lisa Bork will be at the Barnes & Noble at the Mall at Greece Ridge. The two are doing a joint event at the School 46 Holiday Bazaar on December 5th. Barrett also has other signings throughout the holiday season, so if you miss these two events, maybe you can catch up with her another time.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sons of Anarchy, Episode 2.6

I stil haven't had a chance to catch up and I'm very jealous that you may get a chance to watch this before I do...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

What I Learned at Bouchercon - 2009 Edition

Bouchercon is always a hectic 3-4 days of information overload, and it's always nice to sit back and take stock of what you've seen and heard. It's way too much to write a full post about, so I'll just give you the bullet points:

- Rochester is 9 hours from Indianapolis. It breaks down pretty well: 2 hours in New York, 1 hour in Pennsylvania, 5 hours in Ohio and 1 hour in Indiana.
- According to Sean Chercover, Toronto (on the other side of the lake) is 9 1/2 hours from Indianapolis.
- Indianapolis is the 12th largest metropolitan area in the US (credit: new friend Paul Vasquez)
- Indianapolis is the "Crossroads of America," where US 65 (Mobile to Gary) and US 70 (Baltimore to Cove Fort, UT) intersect.
- Jim Huang is full of good ideas. The Continuous Conversation was always interesting and the New Authors speed-dating event transferred over well from Malice Domestic.
- Always listen to James Scott Bell.
- Translating a book from another language is hard.
- You want Max Allan Collins to sneeze.
- Sean Chercover's Ray Dudgeon series was this close.
- Canadians dress funny. At least on their panels.
- No matter what Trey Barker says, I love it when authors get recognized. Congratulations again to Brett Battles, Julie Hyzy, Christa Faust and Sean Chercover.
- SJ Rozan gives good interview and I eagerly anticipate her trip to Rochester.
- I love talking to Terence Faherty.
- Video games at Bouchercon? It kinda works.
- Films are as much an influence on current authors as books are.
- Lockerbie Square is a beautiful place to live near a major downtown area.
- I have to read Stephen Jay Schwartz's book soon.
- I still don't know which Terence Faherty book is going to be the "Book You Have to Read."
- I have to read Derek Nikitas' books soon.
- I have to read more and sleep less.
- Write with your head down.
- Absent friends are indeed missed. I'm looking at you, Charles. You too, Lorraine.
- The International Thriller Writers is coming out with a book of essays by authors talking about the 100 Greatest Thrillers. Writers talking about writers is intellectual porn.
- Don't get stuck in the middle of a row.
- The Dark Books for Dark Times panel was a bad idea. Now I have five more authors to read: Reed Farrel Coleman, Larry Beinhart, JT Ellison, Michael Lister and Duane Swierczynski.
- Harley Jane Kozak is just as beautiful in person. And she will sign your DVDs.
- Y'know who else is beautiful? Louise Penny. And she's coming to Rochester, too!
- Authors are still fans.
- Trey Barker knows everybody. Well, almost everybody.
- Jack Daniels is good.
- Sean Chercover and Marcus Sakey are still two of the nicest G-D guys you'll ever meet.
- If you ever want to bring down a ceremony, just give Julie Hyzy an award. (That's facetious, folks.)
- Shannon Clute is almost as knowledgeable about film noir as I am. (Also facetious.)
- Loren Estleman likes film geeks.
- If you're ever in Indianapolis, make sure to hit the TaTa Cuban Cafe.
- Sean Chercover was the second person to recognize my ring. The first was The Hungry Detective, Dan Wagner. And that was a year and a half ago.

More to come, if I think of them.

Will I learn as much in San Francisco next year? It's hard to believe. But SF is a town that is steeped in mystery, and mystery writers.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Crime Beat

This one has a picture, too:

City police have apprehended one person and suspect three more in the dismemberment of Holly Ween, the giant, pink-haired scarecrow. The scarecrow, Holly Ween, was erected Friday to inaugurate the downtown Fall into Canandaigua Festival, and the foot was stolen late that night, before the festival was even under way, said Nicole Mahoney, of the Business Improvement District. The red foot and shoe measured two-and-a-half-feet tall, police said. “It was disappointing,” she said. “We would at least have liked to have her whole for the festival.”

Used to be, back in my day, a scarecrow only needed brains.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Bouchercon Update #3

Connelly was good, and so was the fish and chips. Stopped off at the Minotaur party and had a drink. Met Shannon Clute and had a great conversation. Going down to the bar to watch the game. Much to come tomorrow.

Bouchercon Update #2

Saw Megan Abbott and Christa Faust panels in the morning, and saw local author Lisa Bork in action at the New Authors speed-dating event. Michael Connelly this afternoon, plus Louise Penny and SJ Rozan (who are both coming to Rochester, more details to follow). Hopefully an Irish pub for dinner and maybe a party or two. Several people still to talk to, but I've got a day and a half left.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Bouchercon Update #1

The long first day is over. Saw several friends and met some online friends. Went to panels, walked around downtown. Bought some books, went to an awards ceremony, and played some video games. No stop at the bar tonight, but I've got two days left, and it starts early tomorrow with a Noir panel, something close to my heart.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Sons of Anarchy, Episode 2.5

I'm off to Indianapolis, but you can enjoy this next episode of Sons of Anarchy. Don't tell me what happens, because I haven't seen it yet.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Crime Beat

Someone stole a black Trek 7100 bicycle from a garage on Country Club Drive in Brighton between 5:15 and 7 p.m. Sept. 8. The thief left a black Trek bike in the yard.

Someone stole a black and blue Trek mountain bike from an unlocked garage on Old Landmark Drive in Brighton between midnight and 8:20 a.m. Sept. 9. The thief left a blue Pacific Dune mountain bike in the yard.

Someone stole a Rally Passage bike from an open garage on North Country Club Drive in Brighton between 2:20 and 2:38 p.m. Sept. 11. The resident found a yellow men’s Trek bike that was not his.

So, is this actually stealing? Or more like a forced trade?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Crime Beat

A Christmas tree, computer game system, boots, luggage and picture frames were reported stolen sometime between Sept. 29 and Oct. 5 from a storage locker at a Poplar Gardens apartment building.

It seems like the Christmas season starts earlier and earlier every year.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Top 10 Reasons to Go to Bouchercon

I'm the featured guest-blogger this morning at Type M For Murder (a clever play on Hitchcock's DIAL M FOR MURDER, which, if you've been paying attention, I just introduced at the Dryden in late August). I give you the Top 10 reasons to attend Bouchercon in Indianapolis this year. Or, if you're too late, then San Francisco next year. Check it out and let me know if you need links to any of the authors or events listed. I'd be happy to provide them.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Bouchercon Preview, Volume 3

One last time, the whole program can be found here.

Saturday, October 17

David Morrell previously published a list of the 70 greatest thrillers on the International Thriller Writers website. The list has apparently been expanded to 100 and he is presenting it at Bouchercon, along with Lee Child and Barry Eisler. But Julie Hyzy and Thomas H. Cook are both speaking at the same time, Hyzy on "Criminal Consumables" and Cook on "The Cold Dead Hand of the Past." Plus, there is a Kindle demonstration.

Throughout the program is a concept called "Continuous Conversation" where three authors sit down and talk about whatever they want. One author leaves and is replaced by a new author every 15 minutes. From 9:30-10:15 on Saturday morning, Megan Abbott will be part of the group, and she may be able to pull me away from whatever panel I'm in.

At this time, Michael Connelly is leading a tribute to Edgar Allan Poe during the 200th anniversary of his birth. Also Harlan Coben is talking about "What Do You Need to Know in Order to Write a Crime Novel?" If I feel satisfied with the Connelly interview on Friday, I may end up at the latter panel.

Again there's a lunch. Then Sean Chercover and Louise Penny are talking about the Dilys Award. But there are some interesting conceptual panels, too. "War Crimes" talks about war's relationship with crime fiction, and "Bouchercon 1934" posits what a panel would look like 75 years ago.

I'd like to see Judy Clemens talk about "Rules for the Paranormal Mystery" and Harley Jane Kozak contribute to "The Humor Panel," but I'm also intrigued by "Dark Books for Dark Times."

The Anthony Awards ceremony starts at 4:15, and the reception starts immediately after. But it's only scheduled till 6pm, giving me another night on the Indianapolis streets. Or maybe I'll catch up on some sleep. Maybe I'll sleep at the bar.

Sunday, October 18

It's a long drive home to Rochester, NY, so we may leave fairly early. But I do think we want to check out The Bazaar, where authors hand out free copies of their books to promote reading and awareness. I dig it. And I may even drop an extra $5 for another 5 books.

But once I get home, I'm definitely sleeping. If my wife lets me.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Sons of Anarchy, Episode 2.4

The Club conducts a "charity run" up north, but trouble follows when Bobby decides to bring his old bike along, and Gemma identifies her attackers.

This one expires 10/29/09.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Bouchercon Preview, Volume 2

Again, the entire program is here.

Friday, October 16

Christa Faust is featured in "More Noir Than You Are," but Sean Chercover is making himself seen again in "Short, Dark and Good Reading." And the concept of "Which End is Up?" intrigues me: debating plotting forward vs. writing backward from the end. I have a feeling my inner Noir will win out, though.

Also at this time (from 9:45-11:15) there will be a speed-dating type of introduction to new authors, including local author Lisa Bork. I may have to stop in and see how she's doing.

Get this. All the panels at this time have something to offer for me. Conceptually, there is a panel of "Agents and Editors," one on "Police Procedure" and "The PI Novel Through the Years" featuring Max Allan Collins and SJ Rozan talking about the last four decades of the form. Then there's Marcus Sakey talking about plotting from character in "Character is Destiny" and Megan Abbott and Derek Nikitas talking about "The Dark Side of the Fair Sex." No matter what I do, I'll end up feeling guilty.

After lunch is the featured Guest of Honor interview with Michael Connelly, conducted by Michael Koryta. This panel is running unopposed.

If I'm not already exhausted, I'll have to choose between Louise Penny talking about "Ordinary People, Extraordinary Circumstances" and a big heaping helping of backstory in "The Past is Always Present."

Another decision. This time between SJ Rozan talking about "Keeping it Fresh" and a panel on the dangers of modeling characters on real people in "You Talking About Me?" Although, if my good friend Charles Benoit was coming this year, he'd likely be on the panel called "Murder at the Edge of the Map," which was tailor-made for him, and I would definitely be there to support him.

I'll be on my own Friday night. I could use it to catch up on some sleep. Or hang out in the bar.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Noir Images - Dead Reckoning

Lizabeth Scott is the female lead in this film, the object of the dead man's desire and the woman that Humphrey Bogart falls for. In this scene where she's introduced she's asked to sing a song. She's in the spotlight while the rest of the room is shaded, yet her mouth remains an empty maw of darkness. Can you believe anything that comes from it?

Monday, October 5, 2009

Bouchercon Preview, Volume 1

I once again have the good fortune to be able to go to Bouchercon, this time in Indianapolis, Indiana, the home, apparently, of Rex Stout, John Dillinger, "One Day at a Time" and the Indy 500. I'm going to take a few entries to preview what I'm thinking about doing before I get there. What actually happens, no one can tell. If you want to take a look at the program yourself, you can comment on what I'll be missing, or strongly suggest alternatives.

Thursday, October 15.

I'm going to hope that I'm up for the first session on the first day. My pick will likely be "Guidance from Writing Guides," moderated by Chris Roerden.

I'm interested in the "Lost in Translation" panel, featuring four people who take crime fiction in other languages and translate them to English. But I'm also interested in the "Inside Booklist" presentation from the Publisher and Senior Editor. This may be a gametime decision.

After lunch, there are a few interesting panels. "This Pen for Hire" is about continuing an existing series, including, among others, Max Allan Collins, who has finished some Mickey Spillane manuscripts. There is also "Twenty-First Century Private Eyes," moderated by the always-fun Austin Camacho. Then there is a presentation by the Head of Publisher Relations at Amazon on how that website connects authors with their audience. I'll play this one by ear.

This particular Bouchercon has a "One Conference, One Book" concept based around the Rex Stout-Nero Wolfe mystery SOME BURIED CAESAR. The town hall conversation on the book is in this time slot. I hope I can finish the book in time.

I'm going to clone myself for this time slot. It features "The Fixers" with Brett Battles and Lee Child, "Changing Gears" with Loren Estleman, "Adaptation" with Sean Chercover, and "O Canada" with Vicky Delany. If my day-job mentality wins out, I'll probably go to "Adaptation," but if it doesn't the field is wide open.

That night is the presentation of the Barry, Macavity, Derringer and Crime Spree Awards, followed by an interview of toastmaster SJ Rozan by Terence Faherty (a personal favorite, and an Indiana native), and concluding with an "Extravaganza" at some place called GameWorks Studio. Then off to bed. Or the bar.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Sons of Anarchy, Episode 2.3

White Power is selling drugs in Charming and Jax has girl trouble, while Gemma and Clay frow further apart.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Panic in the Streets (1950)

In 1950 New Orleans, Richard Widmark is a Navy Officer working for the National Department of Health. He is called in on his day off to attend an unusual autopsy. A gunshot victim shows signs of the virulent pneumonic plague. He enlists the mayor and the police to find the murderers before they infect the city or flee and infect the rest of the country. Meanwhile, the murderers (Jack Palance and Zero Mostel) are tracking down the victim's cousin, believing that he's holding onto something extremely valuable.

The intercutting of the killers' quest and Widmark's need to scour the underworld for them are the qualities that seem to qualify this film as film noir. But the protagonist does not fit into one of the noir roles: as a criminal, a cynical anti-hero, or a hero made to act like a criminal. He is a hero, complicated only by his strident attitude, a self-realization he makes halfway through the picture. And his token undercover work literally involves him covering up his uniform in a long overcoat to better blend in.

Jack Palance is truly evil in his screen debut and carries the qualities of cruelty and ambivalence alone on his shoulders. But there is nothing oneiric, erotic, or strange about the film. Too, there is very little that one would call noir style in the picture. A lot of the film was shot on location in New Orleans, and there is much in the way of realistic night-time photography, but expressionistic shadow and mise-en-scene give way to that reality. There is one particular shot of Palance waking toward the camera in silhouette that was nice, but it was early in the picture and not representative of the rest of the film.

Judgment: Not Noir.