I was supposed to see my doctor yesterday to look at the graft. But the snow storm put the kibosh on that for the time being. We may have been able to get it in, it was a morning appointment, but the woman that drives for the facility was afraid we’d run into the storm and said no drive. The storm was coming up from the south and Winston-Salem, south of us, was where we had to go. Best not take any chances.
Man of Steel(2013)
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 45,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 17 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.
I’ve been a fan of the Heller novels for many years now. Mr. Collins is now getting into territory I lived in. I remember the Kennedy assassination, seeing Ruby shoot Oswald on live TV, and a couple of years later the Beatles arriving on our shores.
ASK NOT concludes the author’s JFK trilogy and begins with Heller and his son, Sam, nearly getting run down coming out of a Beatles concert. Heller is working for them and arranges a meet(I’m the same age as Sam at that time and would have loved to be in his place).
Heller recognizes the near hit-and-run driver as one of two Cubans he’d nabbed a couple of years before in Chicago in an aborted assassination of the President.
It starts him on a path to stop whatever’s going on. Threats to himself he can deal with, but family is a different matter.
As always, Collins and his researcher George Hagenauer do a massive amount of research and weave his fictional detective Heller in with real people of the day to develop the story. He stays close to the truth, using his own speculations and those of others, to give us a coherent tale while admitting a few changes for dramatic purposes.
He has more plans for Heller, though originally the JFK trilogy was to wrap it all up. Glad to hear that.
Recommended and available HERE.
Hedy Kiesler made several films, enough to get her noticed by Hollywood. One, ECSTACY, in 1933 was notorious for her nude gallivant across an open field and a simulation of orgasm. MGM signed her up, changed her name to Lamarr, and set out to make her a star, without a lot of luck. When independent filmmaker Walter Wanger asked to borrow her for ALGIERS, they were only to happy to do so. That happiness was short lived as she became a huge star at the time and they were embarrassed at how an independent did so so easily. She wasn’t lent out for any other non-MGM films and it caused her to miss one role she was offered: CASABLANCA.
ALGIERS is a remake of a French film, PEPE LE MOKO, from the year before.
Charles Boyer plays Pepe le Moko, a French jewel thief that escaped Paris with a fortune in jewels and has been living in the Casbah for the past two years. The police know he’s in there, but can’t get at him in the labyrinthine choke of streets, connected balconies, and such. It is said that one can go from one side of the Casbah to the other without touching ground. The police can’t get at him, but he can’t get out either without being arrested.
Pepe has established a life there, has friends, even a rudimentary relationship with a young woman, Ines(Sigrid Gurie). I say rudimentary because of the difference in their ages, She loves Pepe, but he only likes her. He’s also grown bored and misses Paris.
Regis(Gene Lockhart), a thief brings word to Pepe that a new policeman from Paris is pressing them to invade the Casbah to get him. Pepe has long believed Regis is an informant to the police and knows it might be a set-up.
Pepe is slightly wounded in the raid, but escapes in the melee and to a room where he meets a young French tourist, Gaby(Hedy Lamarr), brought there to get her safely away from the action by Slimane(Joseph Calleia), an Algiers cop who is a friend of Pepe. But like so many in the Casbah, he has his own plans for Pepe. Pepe is instantly transfixed with Gaby and hardly notices all the expensive jewelry she wears.
As with most love triangles, people do and say things both good and bad for all involved. Unintended events and such highlight the last half of this excellent film.
For more overlooked fllms and related stuff, check out SWEET FREEDOM every Tuesday.
The debut of a fine new series. Authors Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg have combined their talents to give us FBI Special Agent Kate O’Hare and her new partner, con man Nick Fox. It’s especially hard for Kate because she’s spent the last five years chasing Fox and when she finally catches him, he becomes her partner.
Their goal is to chase down criminals, the super wealthy, gotten so because of their own cons ripping off folks life-savings. Their first assignment is Derek Griffin, an investment banker that ripped off five hundred million, then disappeared as the Federal government was closing in.
Only one caveat. Fox is still a wanted man. If another agency picks him up, oh well…If Kate is caught helping him…As they used to say on Mission: Impossible, “the secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions.” In other words, jail time.
Not a god plan…for Kate anyway. But she takes it.
Look forward to future volumes in this series. I’ve not read any of Evanovich’s work previous, but will start to work soon. I’m sure both authors will gain new fans from the other’s side as with me.
This first group comes from Barry Ergang, whose site is well worth checking out. He’s got them organized by type and the prices compete well with the used sites. The difference here is he doesn’t have jacked-up shipping and handling for each book, not having a broker to go through that must get his cut. I order from him often and he accepts payment through Paypal or check(though he will let you know that the check will have to clear before he ships them. I order regularly and always get swift action. This group I ordered on a Friday and got them the next Tuesday.
1 & 2: The Spider Strikes! & The Wheel of Death – R. T. M. Scott: these two book originally came bundled together. It was quite a deal. Buy the first, the second was free. At $.60, it was hard to pass up. I have them, but they were damaged years ago and I took the opportunity to pick them up.
3: The Sunrise Riders – William Colt MacDonald: large pritn edition
4: The Singing Scorpion – William Colt MacDonald
5: Swing Low, Swing Dead – Frank Gruber: the last johnny Fletcher mystery. A review was posted Friday.
6: The Cold Dish – Craig Johnson: I like the A & E series so I thought it was time to try one of the books.
7: Take My Face – Peter Held: Bill Crider posted on this one, an early Jack Vance. I found one reasonably priced, half the price of the cheapest other copy, a quarter of the most expensive. And it’s in very good shape.
8: What Doesn’t Kill Her(review copy) – Max Allan Collins: the latest thriller from one of my favorites.
9: The Heist – Janet Evanovitch & Lee Goldberg: Lee is a long time favorite. Not read any of Evanovitch’s work prior to the prequel short story they did for this first book in a new series.
and the ebooks:
10: Collected Sci-Fi Stories: Pack 1(review copy): Marco Guarda; an Italian writer whose work I’ve reviewed before.
11; Shootout At Hellyer’s Creek(review copy) – Chap O’Keefe: the first Joshua Dillard western My review goes up in the morning.
Johnny and his partner Sam Craig are still peddling their exercise books to gullible customers. The patter has changed a bit, Nowadays Craig got his Atlas build from the secret principles of the Aztapache Indians, bestowed on Johnny’s grandfather for a service. A strength demonstration and peddling the booklets until the police came, where a foot race usually followed.
When Johnny gets screwed by a bookie on a horse bet, they fall into a craps game in the man’s hotel room and Sam cleans up, even winning a song the writer put up on a bet. He claimed it was worth a half million. Then promptly loses it on the forty dollar bet. He signs it over and leaves.
Later in the evening, the pair stop for a drink at a bar, to find said songwriter even drunker and raving. He begins singing the song, loudly, only to keel over dead. It was arsenic poisoning!
Besides the bartender , Johnny and Sam, the dead man, the piano player, there was only one other in the bar at that late hour. A man with scars on his face, who hustles out the door.
Suddenly in the music business, after dealing with the cops, They set out to see what they have. And investigate the murder of the songwriter. They are soon inundated with problems. The dead man’s singer/girlfriend wants a piece of the action and has a will that says so(the will is dated the same day as his death: suspicious on the face of it). The bookie with the carps game wants the song(no one wins at his game but him). An ex-chemist/hit man that wants the song. And a crippled(with arthritis) millionaire music publisher wants to buy the song.
Another death pulls Johnny and Sam further in as someone is after them as well.
Another excellent mystery.
For more forgotten books, drop in to PATTINASE on Fridays.