The Great Detectives of Old Time Radio The great ones are back in action.

30Nov/140

2014 Detective Fan Christmas Gift Ideas

It's Christmastime and finding the right gift is always a challenge if you want to find something that the recipient will enjoy. This list is for you if you have a fan of detective fiction in your life and would like some gift ideas. Below are books, movies, and audios that I've found enjoyable  and that I recommend as gift ideas. I'm a fan of a lot of detective fiction but I lean towards older material, but there are some newer items here as well.

In the hopes, this list will help you with your Christmas shopping. Here are some favorites I've enjoyed and would recommend as gifts.

Books:

1) The Greek Coffin Mystery by Ellery Queen: There are few names that say detective fiction quite like Ellery Queen. This book, while not the first Queen book published is set at the start of his mystery solving career and finds him investigating will and then a bizarre murder. Then Ellery lays out his facts-only to be proven completely wrong.  The older style of language may be a barrier to some readers, but if you can get past it, it's great if you enjoy puzzle mysteries.

2) Lady in the Lake by Raymond Chandler: This is one of Chandler's best. Marlowe's investigation into the disappearance of a wealthy man's wife puts his life in danger and puts him on the wrong side of a corrupt local police force. The book is stocked with some of Chandler's most enjoyable characters. Great for lovers of hardboiled private eyes.

3) Homicide Trinity by Rex Stout. I wanted to include a Nero Wolfe book on the list and I wanted to also throw in a short fiction collection on the list, so this book is the winner. This book collects not one but three Nero Wolfe stories, all of them are good and "Counterfeit for Murder" contains the best one time character that Rex Stout ever created.

4) Back on Murder by J Mark Betrand: The Roland March mystery series by Bertrand is simply superb. This first story is a great tale of a veteran detective struggling for one last chance to make it back to the Homicide department. This is a fantastic police procedural and a great character story.

Movies:

5) The Thin Man Collection: This is the classic romantic comedy Detective film series. The chemistry between Myrna Loy and William Powell is just remarkable. The first two films are the best, but three through five are also quite good.

6) The Maltese Falcon: Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Sidney Greenstreet, and Peter Lorre in the most iconic hard boiled detective film of all time on DVD for less than $7. A wonderful gift.

7) The George Sanders Saint Movie Collection: Many consider Sanders the definitive screen "Saint." This collection of five films showcase the charm and style that made Sanders a star.

Television:

8) Columbo: The Complete Series: This affordable DVD collection features all 69 Columbo Telefilms from the beginning starting with the 1968 telefilm Prescription: Murder through the 2003 telefilm, Columbo Loves the Night Life. 

9) Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Series: All 39 episodes of the  very good 1950s syndicated series starring Ronald Howard and Frances Marion as Holmes and Watson.

Audio:

10) Perry Mason: The Case of the Howling Dog: This isn't the Raymond Burr version of Perry Mason, rather a very faithful audio adaptation of Erle Stanley Gardener's original novels. This is just a very rich and complex mystery. While all of the Colonial Theater Perry Mason adaptations are good, this one is the best.

Bonus: 

Jim French Productions offers a wide variety of Detective audio dramas on their website. Most notably, those featuring Harry Nile, a detectives whose adventures from the 1940s-1960s have been told by French in true Golden Age style for several decades, and the delightful Hillary Caine series.

Happy shopping, hope these give you some good ideas.

This post contains affiliate links, which means that items purchased from these links may result in a commission being paid to the author of this post at no extra cost to the purchaser.

11Aug/140

Why I’m Doing Four Half Marathons This Fall

I'm not fast.

I'm not a runner.

This Fall, I'll be participating in four half marathons in five weeks.  Here's the reason why:

There are hundreds of thousands of AIDS orphans in India. Either their parents have died or they have been abandoned. They face starvation, and a future without hope.

Send Hope has established orphanages in India where these children who would otherwise be abandoned, are given food, clothing, medicine, education, and more importantly, love and hope.

Heaven's Gate

Run for Heaven’s Gate began in Boise at a grassroots level several years ago to raise funds for these children in India with walker and runners doing four half marathons to raise funds for the orphans in India. I heard about it church and decided that this year, I was actually going to do it and I’ve been training for it since March.

It’s been quite an experience. Prior to this year, the longest I’d ever walked was 5K or 3.1 miles. Prior to Run for Heaven’s Gate, Saturday was my “sleep in day,” now I’m getting early and going to bed early on Friday. I’ve been introduced to a whole new world where people take things like GU to prepare for long runs and where it really does make sense to pay extra for good shoes because good shoes are cheaper than physical therapists.

While I hope that  I become more fit through this whole process, I admit that there is no way I could imagine do this except for the fact that in India, there are children whose futures lay in the balance between life and hope and death and despair. Run for Heaven’s Gate gives me an opportunity to make a difference in their lives. Every dollar raised goes to help these kids and every $400 raised will cover all the needs of a child in India for a whole year.

You can make a tax deductible pledge in any amount support of my walk by going here.

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23Nov/120

How the Golden Age Shined Released for Kindle

I've released my new ebook on the topic of the Golden Age of entertainment called, What Made the Golden Age Shine.

Over the years, I've been quizzed on why on what got me interested in golden age of entertainment and why I enjoy so much given that much of the material I listen to and watch is before my time. In What Made the Golden Age Shine I attempt to answer these questions as well as provide an understanding of what the lasting appeal of the Golden Age of entertainment is.

It's 8,000 word essay/manifesto. (I'll post some excerpts this weekend.) and I think listeners will enjoy it. It's available at the link above. It's available for the Kindle for $2.99. It's available free with the Kindle Lending Library for Amazon Prime members as are all other titles in this post except All I Needed to Know I Learned from Columbo.

Also now available:

Rise of the Robolawyers:   The latest in my superhero comedy series in which Powerhouse has to deal with the threats of lawsuits and the Alien Zolgron's attempt to eliminate lawyers. Of all the stories I've written in this series, this novella has been the best yet.

Digital Stocking Stuffers (99 Cents):

Tales of the Dim Knight:  (Through 12/26) You get a full length Superhero Comedy novel (90,000 plus words) for only 99 cents.  We pay homage and have fun with some great superhero stories and conventions.

Rise of the Robolawyers: (Through 12/26): This is the first novella of the series in which Powerhouse tries to make a comeback after being attacked by a cynical CEO.

The Perfect Church: A man is in search of the Perfect Church, but what will happen when he finds it.  The story has got a Twilight Zone twist.

Your Average Ordinary Alien: In this send-up of extreme sci-fi fandom Kirk Picard Skywalker dreams of being abducted by aliens. But what will he think when he finds out that his abductors are all too ordinary.

Good Values all The Time:

All I Needed to Know I Learned from Columbo: Life lessons from seven great detectives including Sherlock Holmes, Nero Wolfe, Father Brown, Dan Holiday, Boston Blackie, Columbo, and Monk. (Also available for Nook, Ipad, and other e-readers.)

Laser and Sword Annual: Eleven great superhero and action/adventure stories featuring The Order of the Sword, Powerhouse, and A.L. Snyder.

If you enjoyed this post, you can have new posts about Detective stories and the golden age of radio and television delivered automatically to your Kindle.

This post contains affiliate links, which means that items purchased from these links may result in a commission being paid to the author of this post at no extra cost to the purchaser.

 

   

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