Wednesday, 05 January 2011 10:20
altA year ago on the third day of 2010, my husband and I stood on a beach holding towels, a hat and some water to greet Randy Wayne White as he finished his swim across Tampa Bay.

It was one of the coldest mornings last year, but that didn't seem to matter to Randy or the others who were swimming with the Navy SEALS as a fund-raiser. It was an amazing sight and no could help but be moved by watching these hearty men and women come ashore, freezing, but happy and knowing they had just raised money for a SEAL who had been disabled fighting for our country.

I was there to interview Randy for a cover story for Mystery Scene. I had brought the towels in case his wife, the singer Wendy Webb, was unable to get his car to the finish line. We didn't want this New York Times best selling author to freeze.

This year, I stayed home.

But not Randy.

altOnce again he joined the fund-raiser and he was there for the 2nd Annual Frogman “Toasty Warm” Swim, which the organizers hope will be a yearly event to raise money for those brave men and women who have fought for this country. This year, 67 people made the swim in hopes of raising $50,000 for the Naval Special Warfare Foundation, which provides services for Navy SEALs wounded in action and college educations for children of fallen SEALs. More information is on the fund-raiser's web site and here is a link to the St. Petersburg Times story.

Randy said the water was a bit warmer this year but, I am sure, the sight was just as dramatic and the reason for the swim as important as ever.

In the cover story that Mystery Scene published, Randy discussed his volunteer work and I hope the story gave readers a different view of this author whose book Night Vision, his 18th novel about Doc Ford, a marine biologist and former government op who lives on Florida’s Sanibel Island will be published in February. (The interview ran in the Winter 2010 Issue, No. 113.)

Sometimes tells me that, as long as he can, he'll also be back next year to swim with the SEALS.
PHOTO: Randy Wayne White after his 2010 swim. Photo by Bill Hirschman
Randy Wayne White Takes the Plunge Again
Oline Cogdill
randy-wayne-white-takes-the-plunge-again
altA year ago on the third day of 2010, my husband and I stood on a beach holding towels, a hat and some water to greet Randy Wayne White as he finished his swim across Tampa Bay.

It was one of the coldest mornings last year, but that didn't seem to matter to Randy or the others who were swimming with the Navy SEALS as a fund-raiser. It was an amazing sight and no could help but be moved by watching these hearty men and women come ashore, freezing, but happy and knowing they had just raised money for a SEAL who had been disabled fighting for our country.

I was there to interview Randy for a cover story for Mystery Scene. I had brought the towels in case his wife, the singer Wendy Webb, was unable to get his car to the finish line. We didn't want this New York Times best selling author to freeze.

This year, I stayed home.

But not Randy.

altOnce again he joined the fund-raiser and he was there for the 2nd Annual Frogman “Toasty Warm” Swim, which the organizers hope will be a yearly event to raise money for those brave men and women who have fought for this country. This year, 67 people made the swim in hopes of raising $50,000 for the Naval Special Warfare Foundation, which provides services for Navy SEALs wounded in action and college educations for children of fallen SEALs. More information is on the fund-raiser's web site and here is a link to the St. Petersburg Times story.

Randy said the water was a bit warmer this year but, I am sure, the sight was just as dramatic and the reason for the swim as important as ever.

In the cover story that Mystery Scene published, Randy discussed his volunteer work and I hope the story gave readers a different view of this author whose book Night Vision, his 18th novel about Doc Ford, a marine biologist and former government op who lives on Florida’s Sanibel Island will be published in February. (The interview ran in the Winter 2010 Issue, No. 113.)

Sometimes tells me that, as long as he can, he'll also be back next year to swim with the SEALS.
PHOTO: Randy Wayne White after his 2010 swim. Photo by Bill Hirschman
Sunday, 02 January 2011 15:03
altSo many tourists, so many scenes in Venice, so much confusion.

When I first saw the previews of The Tourist, the movie starring Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie, left, I wondered, is this the same The Tourist based on the 2009 novel by
Olen Steinhauer.

It certainly has a lot of similarities -- Venice, clandestine meetings, spies, and the most beautiful people trying to protect the world since, well, James Bond's last movie.

I wasn't the only reader who was confused.
The Depp/Jolie Tourist movie is about an American tourist named Frank who is an American tourist visiting Italy and gets caught up in espionage when he meets the beautiful Elise. It is based on an original screenplay.
alt
Steinhauer's excellent novel is about a clandestine branch of the CIA whose deep undercover agents call themselves Tourists. Milo Weaver is a black-ops agent who wants to get out of the business and devote time to his wife and 6-year-old stepdaughter. Naturally, he agrees to do one last job for the agency. (Where have you heard that plot spin before?)
Steinhauer's The Tourist is the start of a projected triology. The Nearest Exit, the second novel in the mini series, was published a couple of months ago.
This is where the confusion starts.
Steinhauer's novel The Tourist has been optioned by George Clooney who plans to play Milo. According to as many Websites I could find, The Steinhauer/Clooney Tourist is being planned for a 2012 release.
Remember that word "planned" so many novels are optioned but the film version runs only in someone's head, not the screen.
So will The Steinhauer/Clooney Tourist be a real visitor or an accidental tourist?
Who knows.
Steinhauer's novel is a multi-layered novel filled with political intrigue and human agnst of a man who had done some terrible things in the name of his country and just wanted a quiet life. I reviewed the novel very favorably and it was one of my favorite books of 2009.
I would imagine that when and/or if The Steinhauer/Clooney Tourist makes it to the screen, The Depp/Jolie Tourist will be long forgotten, expect by extreme fans of the actors. (Should anyone care, I am a Depp fan.)
Oh, and let's make it even more interesting. Earlier in 2009, George Clooney starred in The American, based on a novel by Martin Booth. That plot also has some similiar aspects -- "an assassin hides out in Italy for one last assignment."
So many tourists, so little ways to keep them straight.
Is 'the Tourist' the Tourist?
Oline Cogdill
is-the-tourist-the-tourist
altSo many tourists, so many scenes in Venice, so much confusion.

When I first saw the previews of The Tourist, the movie starring Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie, left, I wondered, is this the same The Tourist based on the 2009 novel by
Olen Steinhauer.

It certainly has a lot of similarities -- Venice, clandestine meetings, spies, and the most beautiful people trying to protect the world since, well, James Bond's last movie.

I wasn't the only reader who was confused.
The Depp/Jolie Tourist movie is about an American tourist named Frank who is an American tourist visiting Italy and gets caught up in espionage when he meets the beautiful Elise. It is based on an original screenplay.
alt
Steinhauer's excellent novel is about a clandestine branch of the CIA whose deep undercover agents call themselves Tourists. Milo Weaver is a black-ops agent who wants to get out of the business and devote time to his wife and 6-year-old stepdaughter. Naturally, he agrees to do one last job for the agency. (Where have you heard that plot spin before?)
Steinhauer's The Tourist is the start of a projected triology. The Nearest Exit, the second novel in the mini series, was published a couple of months ago.
This is where the confusion starts.
Steinhauer's novel The Tourist has been optioned by George Clooney who plans to play Milo. According to as many Websites I could find, The Steinhauer/Clooney Tourist is being planned for a 2012 release.
Remember that word "planned" so many novels are optioned but the film version runs only in someone's head, not the screen.
So will The Steinhauer/Clooney Tourist be a real visitor or an accidental tourist?
Who knows.
Steinhauer's novel is a multi-layered novel filled with political intrigue and human agnst of a man who had done some terrible things in the name of his country and just wanted a quiet life. I reviewed the novel very favorably and it was one of my favorite books of 2009.
I would imagine that when and/or if The Steinhauer/Clooney Tourist makes it to the screen, The Depp/Jolie Tourist will be long forgotten, expect by extreme fans of the actors. (Should anyone care, I am a Depp fan.)
Oh, and let's make it even more interesting. Earlier in 2009, George Clooney starred in The American, based on a novel by Martin Booth. That plot also has some similiar aspects -- "an assassin hides out in Italy for one last assignment."
So many tourists, so little ways to keep them straight.
Thursday, 30 December 2010 00:09
This is the time of year when people make lists for gifts -- for Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa or whatever you celebrate.
This also is the time when critics, bloggers, newspapers and more make separate lists -- for their best of the year picks.
Now tell me you haven't seen at least four different lists of best mysteries of the year -- and none of those lists have the same books.
And we haven't even gotten to the Edgar Awards nominations, which will be announced in January, or the Agatha nominations, or the flurry of other best lists.
Sometimes it seems as if these lists aren't even about books published in the same year. They can be that different.
I say these lists are good a thing. These different opinions show how unique each reader is. How one novel is one reader's treasure but can be another's trash. How we each want a different experience when we read. Some of us love foreign mysteries, others prefer the lighter than light novels.
These different views also prove that it was a good year for readers. 2010 may have been a bad year in many ways, certainly for many countries' economy. But it was a very good year for readers with so many good, solid mysteries being published.
I also know it was a good year because it was difficult for me to narrow down my choices to just my top 20 and 5 debuts. So many good mysteries just had to be left off the list.
So, as 2010 draws to a close, enjoy the variety of lists. My list ran in the Sun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale and various others place. My list is, of course, the only list you should pay attention to.
The Mystery Scene family wishes each of our readers a Happy New Year. We hope that 2011 will be filled with health, personal satisfaction, professional success and everything you desire.
Happy reading to each of you. We'll be back next year...which is just a couple of days from now.
The Season of Lists
Oline Cogdill
the-season-of-lists
This is the time of year when people make lists for gifts -- for Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa or whatever you celebrate.
This also is the time when critics, bloggers, newspapers and more make separate lists -- for their best of the year picks.
Now tell me you haven't seen at least four different lists of best mysteries of the year -- and none of those lists have the same books.
And we haven't even gotten to the Edgar Awards nominations, which will be announced in January, or the Agatha nominations, or the flurry of other best lists.
Sometimes it seems as if these lists aren't even about books published in the same year. They can be that different.
I say these lists are good a thing. These different opinions show how unique each reader is. How one novel is one reader's treasure but can be another's trash. How we each want a different experience when we read. Some of us love foreign mysteries, others prefer the lighter than light novels.
These different views also prove that it was a good year for readers. 2010 may have been a bad year in many ways, certainly for many countries' economy. But it was a very good year for readers with so many good, solid mysteries being published.
I also know it was a good year because it was difficult for me to narrow down my choices to just my top 20 and 5 debuts. So many good mysteries just had to be left off the list.
So, as 2010 draws to a close, enjoy the variety of lists. My list ran in the Sun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale and various others place. My list is, of course, the only list you should pay attention to.
The Mystery Scene family wishes each of our readers a Happy New Year. We hope that 2011 will be filled with health, personal satisfaction, professional success and everything you desire.
Happy reading to each of you. We'll be back next year...which is just a couple of days from now.