Sunday, 13 February 2011 10:12
altHe's considered the father of American detective fiction. And now his home is in danger.
Because of a tight budget, the Edgar Allan Poe House in Baltimore is no longer receiving city funding to keep the historic landmark going. That amounts to about $80,000 a year to pay for the curator's salary, a security system, utilities and supplies.
Actually, the Poe House hasn't received any money from the city's general fund since last summer. It has been operating thanks to money that the curator, Jeff Jerome, has raised through the years. Now Baltimore is saying that the Poe House must be self-sustaining by 2012 or it will close.
Poe lived in the cramped three-room row house that's now in a dicey neighborhood with his aunt, cousins and grandmother from 1832-1835, before he became famous for his macabre tales. He never lived in Baltimore again, but he died in the city and and is buried in Baltimore. Poe houses also are in Philadelphia and New York, and other cities.

Landmarks such as the Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum in Baltimore are part of our history and should be preserved and open to visitors. While it cannot be torn down because of its historical designation, a vacant house is an open invitation to vandals.
These are tough economic times we live in and every city has had to make uncomfortable cutbacks.
Baltimore alone has had several historic venues such as the Peale Museum and the H.L. Mencken House either go close completely to visitors or open sporadically. Other cities also are shuttering libraries, museums, historical landmarks. Many members of DorothyL have been discussing the closing of the Poe House, showing how mystery readers are united.
There's a petition to sign to keep open the Poe House at http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/save-the-poe-house-and-museum-in-baltimore/.
Currently, more than 2,400 people have signed it. Sign the petition but also send money if you can. If 80,000 peole sent in $2 or $3 each, that would be enough to keep it running for a couple of years.
Photo: The Baltimore Poe House and Museum
Baltimore Poe House in Danger
Oline Cogdill
baltimore-poe-house-in-danger
altHe's considered the father of American detective fiction. And now his home is in danger.
Because of a tight budget, the Edgar Allan Poe House in Baltimore is no longer receiving city funding to keep the historic landmark going. That amounts to about $80,000 a year to pay for the curator's salary, a security system, utilities and supplies.
Actually, the Poe House hasn't received any money from the city's general fund since last summer. It has been operating thanks to money that the curator, Jeff Jerome, has raised through the years. Now Baltimore is saying that the Poe House must be self-sustaining by 2012 or it will close.
Poe lived in the cramped three-room row house that's now in a dicey neighborhood with his aunt, cousins and grandmother from 1832-1835, before he became famous for his macabre tales. He never lived in Baltimore again, but he died in the city and and is buried in Baltimore. Poe houses also are in Philadelphia and New York, and other cities.

Landmarks such as the Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum in Baltimore are part of our history and should be preserved and open to visitors. While it cannot be torn down because of its historical designation, a vacant house is an open invitation to vandals.
These are tough economic times we live in and every city has had to make uncomfortable cutbacks.
Baltimore alone has had several historic venues such as the Peale Museum and the H.L. Mencken House either go close completely to visitors or open sporadically. Other cities also are shuttering libraries, museums, historical landmarks. Many members of DorothyL have been discussing the closing of the Poe House, showing how mystery readers are united.
There's a petition to sign to keep open the Poe House at http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/save-the-poe-house-and-museum-in-baltimore/.
Currently, more than 2,400 people have signed it. Sign the petition but also send money if you can. If 80,000 peole sent in $2 or $3 each, that would be enough to keep it running for a couple of years.
Photo: The Baltimore Poe House and Museum
Wednesday, 09 February 2011 10:46
altThe mystery genre is loaded with thousands of gripping novels, poignant characters and solid plots.

Yet when it comes to TV and movies, very few of those wonderful novels make it to the big or little screen intact. The exceptions are so good that they become timeless classics -- Mystic River, L.A. Confidential, The Grifters, Get Shorty, Jackie Brown and a few others.

Add to that list Justified, which makes its return Feb. 9 on FX. It will air on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
Justified's first season is available on DVD.

Justified is based on a Leonard short story about U.S. Marshall Raylan Givens, an old-fashioned Kentucky lawman who is a deeply flawed good man. He knows what he is. A relentless lawman, quick on the draw and usually justified in his shooting.
On the personal side, Givens' is incapable of being faithful but he's so darned charming few women can stay mad at him. However, those charms don't work on criminals and he has more than his share of enemies, which will heat up even more during this season.
What makes Justified work -- and I am so looking forward to this second season -- is that the screenwriters cull Leonard's pitch perfect dialogue. Leonard has always been able to say so much with so few words. He makes the dialogue look simple, but it's loaded with depth.

But Leonard has never skimped on action. Justified's second season begins about two hours after the first season ended so expect plenty of fire power.

Leonard currently is working on a full-length novel about U.S. Marshall Raylan Givens.
Photo: Timothy Olyphant as Raylan Givens in Justified. FX photo
Get Justified -- Again
Oline Cogdill
get-justified-again
altThe mystery genre is loaded with thousands of gripping novels, poignant characters and solid plots.

Yet when it comes to TV and movies, very few of those wonderful novels make it to the big or little screen intact. The exceptions are so good that they become timeless classics -- Mystic River, L.A. Confidential, The Grifters, Get Shorty, Jackie Brown and a few others.

Add to that list Justified, which makes its return Feb. 9 on FX. It will air on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
Justified's first season is available on DVD.

Justified is based on a Leonard short story about U.S. Marshall Raylan Givens, an old-fashioned Kentucky lawman who is a deeply flawed good man. He knows what he is. A relentless lawman, quick on the draw and usually justified in his shooting.
On the personal side, Givens' is incapable of being faithful but he's so darned charming few women can stay mad at him. However, those charms don't work on criminals and he has more than his share of enemies, which will heat up even more during this season.
What makes Justified work -- and I am so looking forward to this second season -- is that the screenwriters cull Leonard's pitch perfect dialogue. Leonard has always been able to say so much with so few words. He makes the dialogue look simple, but it's loaded with depth.

But Leonard has never skimped on action. Justified's second season begins about two hours after the first season ended so expect plenty of fire power.

Leonard currently is working on a full-length novel about U.S. Marshall Raylan Givens.
Photo: Timothy Olyphant as Raylan Givens in Justified. FX photo
Sunday, 06 February 2011 10:12
alt"Dying is easy, comedy is hard."

That quote has been around for decades, maybe even centuries. Yet no one seems to agree on who actually said it.
Aside from being a line said by Peter O’Toole in the movie My Favorite Year, that line also has been attributed to Edmund Kean, Edmund Gwenn, and Donald Crisp. It could also be one of those phrases that no one said but has become part of our lexicon.

What is true, though, is comedy is hard.

Finding the mesh of humor to appeal to a wide range of people isn't easy. Each of us has a different sensibility. What's funny to me, may not be funny to you. And visa versa.

Comedy is even harder in mysteries.

I've been thinking a lot about humor in mysteries after just finishing Tim Dorsey's recent novel, Electric Barracuda. Dorsey is the Three Stooges of the mystery world, mixing slapstick, politically incorrect humor and wild escapades into what could be called a novel. The plots are outlandish and the characters unbelievable.
Yet for me, they work.

Still, Dorsey's humor isn't for everyone and that's all right.

The mystery genre is blessed with a number of very funny mystery writers. What makes these novels work is the fact that the authors take care to keep the seriousness of the murder serious but find the humor in the absurd behavior of people.

I like different kinds of humor.
Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series never fails to make me laugh. Yeah, the plots are the same and Stephanie is still the same person she was when Evanovich began that series with One for the Money. The latest is Sizzling Sixteen and I hope Evanvich can keep that series going for another 16 novels.

Donna Andrews, Elaine Viets and Nancy Martin write funny. Paul Levine also writes funny with his Solomon vs Lord series. And let's also add in Toni Kelner and Steven Forman. Harlan Coben has that perfect mix of humor and seriousness with his Myron Bolitar series.

I know I am forgetting some very funny writers. Who are your favorites?
Laughing With Tim Dorsey, Others
Oline Cogdill
laughing-with-tim-dorsey-others
alt"Dying is easy, comedy is hard."

That quote has been around for decades, maybe even centuries. Yet no one seems to agree on who actually said it.
Aside from being a line said by Peter O’Toole in the movie My Favorite Year, that line also has been attributed to Edmund Kean, Edmund Gwenn, and Donald Crisp. It could also be one of those phrases that no one said but has become part of our lexicon.

What is true, though, is comedy is hard.

Finding the mesh of humor to appeal to a wide range of people isn't easy. Each of us has a different sensibility. What's funny to me, may not be funny to you. And visa versa.

Comedy is even harder in mysteries.

I've been thinking a lot about humor in mysteries after just finishing Tim Dorsey's recent novel, Electric Barracuda. Dorsey is the Three Stooges of the mystery world, mixing slapstick, politically incorrect humor and wild escapades into what could be called a novel. The plots are outlandish and the characters unbelievable.
Yet for me, they work.

Still, Dorsey's humor isn't for everyone and that's all right.

The mystery genre is blessed with a number of very funny mystery writers. What makes these novels work is the fact that the authors take care to keep the seriousness of the murder serious but find the humor in the absurd behavior of people.

I like different kinds of humor.
Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series never fails to make me laugh. Yeah, the plots are the same and Stephanie is still the same person she was when Evanovich began that series with One for the Money. The latest is Sizzling Sixteen and I hope Evanvich can keep that series going for another 16 novels.

Donna Andrews, Elaine Viets and Nancy Martin write funny. Paul Levine also writes funny with his Solomon vs Lord series. And let's also add in Toni Kelner and Steven Forman. Harlan Coben has that perfect mix of humor and seriousness with his Myron Bolitar series.

I know I am forgetting some very funny writers. Who are your favorites?