Oct 14, 2010 in Film, Guest Posts
Image Entertainment’s 14-disc set of all sixty-seven black-and-white, one-hour episodes of the NBC series Thriller (1960–62) officially hit the streets on August 31.
Why should you care?
Because Thriller provided several of the best telefilms-noir nobody has ever seen. Existing in the shadow of Alfred Hitchcock—who actively sought to undermine what he rightly saw as competition with Alfred Hitchcock Presents—and hobbled by its own bifurcated structure (crime shows one week and supernatural horror the next, with little rhyme or reason), Thriller became the redheaded stepchild of a subgenre to which no one could put a definitive label. History rendered the verdict that while some of the out-and-out “horror” episodes were among the best television had to offer (“The Grim Reaper,” “The Cheaters,” and the immortal “Pigeons from Hell,” for example), Thriller’s crime episodes were thin beer indeed when compared to the stuff coming from the Master of Suspense (or, at least, under his imprimatur). Worse, they paled next to Thriller’s own forays into the ghostly and horrific.
And so they were largely forgotten. When Thriller popped up in syndication, most aficionados videotaped the horror episodes and didn’t bother with most of the crime shows . . . which is a shame, since many of them sprang from stories by the likes of Robert Bloch or Cornell Woolrich. The stinkers quickly outweighed the noteworthy nonsupernatural episodes in public memory, with the result that Thriller’s crime episodes all got tarred with the same brush: Forget ’em. Watch the scary ones instead.
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Oct 13, 2010 in Mulholland News
Want to learn more about the origins of the imprint? What we’re excited about for Spring 2011? Our opinions on the future of the suspense genre? Online Marketing secrets? Of course you do. Listen to our BlogTalkRadio interview. Click play below or visit the Hachette Book Group Features Channel on BlogTalkRadio.
Oct 07, 2010 in Guest Posts
Bernie Madoff was in the news again recently—or at least his bankruptcy case was. It seems the trustee and some of Madoff’s victims are fighting over legal fees—surprise, surprise. It was a small story, and just the latest chapter in a long saga, but it had me thinking again about Madoff, and about the largest Ponzi scheme in history. Which, given that I write crime fiction, often with Wall Street backdrops, is probably inevitable. After all, the case is a playground of crime fiction motifs, and rich in inspiration.
In the event you somehow missed it, here’s the story in a nutshell: Bernie Madoff rose from modest beginnings in Queens, New York, to become what my grandfather would’ve called a big macher on Wall Street—a big deal. He amassed huge wealth and influence as chief executive of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities, the firm he founded in 1960. His company was a major market-maker in stocks, and the technology he helped develop was instrumental in the creation of the NASDAQ. The firm eventually came to employ Madoff’s wife, brother, sons, and other relatives, and Bernie himself became an elder statesman in the financial services industry, serving on the boards of major industry groups and as chairman of the NASD.
In the late 1970s, Bernie added a new line of business to his company: an investment-management division, with affluent individuals as its client base. By 2001, this division had grown into one of the largest hedge funds in the world, with investors that included universities, hospitals, charitable organizations, bold-faced names in sports and entertainment, as well as banks and other hedge funds. It was this part of his business that Madoff was discussing in December 2008 when he confessed to his sons: “It’s all just one big lie…basically a giant Ponzi scheme.” And so it was: Madoff had for years been fabricating client statements so that they showed steadily growing investment account balances. If ever clients wanted to liquidate their holdings, they were paid with money from other investors. The rest of the cash apparently went to finance Bernie’s lavish lifestyle.
Madoff’s sons went to the FBI and Madoff was arrested, and the messy aftermath began. Personal fortunes—many large, but some quite modest—were wiped out. There were an unknown number of stress-induced heart attacks and strokes among Madoff investors and at least two suicides (a retired British soldier whose family fortune had evaporated and a French money manager who’d lost over $1 billion of his own and his clients’money). Several charities—also Madoff investors—closed their doors for good, and anti-Semites the world over gleefully trotted out the usual slanders about Jews and money.
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Oct 05, 2010 in Books
Today is the publication date of Michael Connelly’s new novel The Reversal, which we of course devoured the minute we got our hands on it. Michael Connelly is an amazing writer and chronicler of Los Angeles.
Below is a video, exclusive to MulhollandBooks.com of Michael Connelly driving on Mulholland Drive, talking about The Reversal and the role that that the road plays in the book. (Please note that this video does contain a bit of information about the end of The Reversal. If you don’t want to know anything before you’ve read the book, you might want to wait to watch the video until after you’re done. Which, let’s be honest, you should be soon because it’s so good.)
This video is from The Reversal enhanced eBook, which is available for the iBook application and the iPad Kindle application. The enhanced eBook includes many more videos like this one created exclusively for the eBook, as well as interactive maps of Los Angeles featuring locations from The Reversal, commentary by Michael Connelly, author Q&A, timelines of major events in the lives of Harry Bosch and Mickey Haller and much more.
Download from the iBook store.
Download from the Kindle store.
Want to show your love for Michael Connelly? Check in to The Reversal on entertainment social network GetGlue via the web or GetGlue’s app and share on Twitter and/or Facebook to earn Michael Connelly-related stickers. Collect a variety of 7 or more GetGlue stickers, and GetGlue will mail crack-n-peel versions of the stickers to you to display proudly.
Oct 04, 2010 in Books, Comic Books
I work in midtown, an area of Manhattan that isn’t often accused of having an excess of personality. Good restaurants within a few blocks’ radius are hard to come by. Chains dominate in all endeavors. But whenever I need to pop out at lunch for a few minutes of sweet escape from the nonconventional bookshelves, I’m glad the office is within easy walking distance of at least one New York underground staple: Midtown Comics.
Like Jonathan Santlofer, Brad Meltzer, and Max Allan Collins—like a whole lot of other crime and suspense addicts out there, I suspect—I, too, initially cut my teeth on the monthlies. It somehow became a tradition in my family that, after my father took me into town to get a haircut, we’d drop by the local independently owned comic store and I’d get to pick out one issue to add to my small but growing collection.
For me, it was less Batman or horror rags—I was a Marvel kid to start, mainly thanks to The Amazing Spider-Man around the time the villains Venom and Carnage were created.
Whether or not all of my selections were age-appropriate is up for debate—I was young enough to still enjoy being read aloud to on occasion. During the recitation of a particularly climactic issue of X-Men, in which Magneto uses his power to forcefully expel all of Wolverine’s adamantium from his body—essentially gutting him like a fish—my father was horrified enough to refuse to continue right in the middle of a text box.
From then on, I kept my reading mostly to myself.
Like any self-respecting comic store, Midtown Comics has a section devoted to back issues many times deeper than the new offerings. This was my destination—not for one of the Marvel giants that initially drew my eye, but for something a little more obscure: Malibu Comics’ Solitaire #1. An origin story that has stuck with me to this day, of special note because it’s more than just derring-do, babes and bad guys. It’s a crime story. Continue reading ›