Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Superman Returns Sooner

Warner Bros. is releasing Superman Returns two days earlier than previously announced. The new Wednesday, June 28 premiere will give the movie a linguistically ludicrous "7-day opening weekend" including the U.S. July 4th holiday.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

SHOTGUN OPERA by Victor Gischler

Brothers Dan and Mike Foley were an efficient killing team until Mike looked too long at one of his victims and lost his nerve. Forty years later, a phone call from Dan's son Andrew disturbs the peaceful life Mike has made for himself tending an Oklahoma vineyard. Having witnessed a terrorist's entry into the U.S., Andrew's been marked for death.

Wracked with guilt over running out on Dan, Mike resolves to protect Andrew as, for various reasons, the contract on his life is delegated from one colorful killer to the next. The result is another madcap bloodbath from Gischler, yet his nuanced take on each character made me care about them all, especially those trying to make new lives for themselves. The big question is, will they succeed?


Monday, May 29, 2006

Memorial Day BBQ Report

I spent the first sweltering shorts-and-shades day of the year at my cousin's backyard barbecue. I balanced a cheeseburger, a hamburger, two shrimp skewers, a boneless rib, some salad, and a cupcake with one can of Sierra Mist, two bottles of Poland Spring, and some basketball. No dinner required.

Paul Gleason Dies

Actor Paul Gleason has died from lung cancer at the age of 67. While much of my generation remembers him as the principal from The Breakfast Club, I remember him as Die Hard's Deputy Chief Dwayne T. Robinson.

Miami native Gleason attended Florida State University, where he played football with Robert Urich.

Upcoming DVD Sets

The first season of JAG comes out July 25. The one season aired on NBC features three episodes with Andrea Parker as Caitlin Pike, two episodes with Terry O'Quinn as Captain Thomas Boone, one episode with Stephen McHattie as Marine sniper instructor Ray Crockett, and one episode featuring Navy SEALs. I'll wait for a price drop.

The second seasons of House M.D. and Veronica Mars will be out August 22.

The first season of Disney's Tale Spin will be out August 29. In its own way, this cartoon featuring The Jungle Book's Baloo as a pilot-for-hire inspired my C.J. Stone stories.

Sunday, May 28, 2006


I'm years behind on this one, but it's the kind of well-written small movie I like, with fine performances from all involved. Fascinating to consider it was shot in 35 days in Montreal, coming in on time and within budget. It absolutely did not need a sequel.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Contemporary Rhyme, Spring 2006

The new issue of Richard Geyer's .pdf zine includes my poem "The Tease". Thanks again, Richard.

Heir to Hammett, Chandler, and Macdonald?

On the discussion list Shortmystery, it's being debated whether Robert B. Parker's writing is as evocative of Chandler as the blurb says. My contribution below:

I'd say Parker's later novels are more commercial/less substantial than his early work. He isn't the most evocative of Chandler, but this is because of the innovations he has tried to make. It's a tough proposition to be both evocative of someone and original.

Spenser is well adjusted (not a brooder), with a gregarious sense of humor, a long-term love interest, and a wide circle of friends—all deviations from Marlowe.

Parker drew mentions of Hammett, Chandler, Ross Macdonald, and John D. MacDonald simply because he was the next guy to come along (debuting 1973. The blurb you see on many of the paperbacks is quite old.). Pronzini's first Nameless book in 1971 also drew mentions of Hammett, Chandler, and Macdonald.

In my opinion, Parker's prose was better crafted early than recently, but while some call it simple, it does the job, creates a mental image, advances a story. Many of his early books had psychological depth which his prose clarified admirably.

Today's Parker evokes Elmore Leonard more than Chandler. He isn't as imaginative as Block or Pronzini, but the lessons of his writing are subtlety and economy, despite his smug public persona.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

An Oddity of Fandom

I've just watched the Yankees win a series with the Red Sox at Fenway Park. I noticed that every time the Yankees made a good play, the Sox fans chanted, "Yankees suck!"

I know this is a common expression of loyalty used by fans wordwide, but why chant that your opponents suck when they've just proven they don't suck?

If you want to insult the Yankees, chant after Giambi whiffs or Jeter grounds into a double play.

Will the Pistons Overheat?

The Miami Heat stayed ahead of the Detroit Pistons in Game 1 of the Easten Conference finals, winning 91-86, and taking homecourt advantage. It remains to be seen if they can capitalize where the Cleveland Cavaliers could not.

In the West, the Dallas Mavericks busted my original prediction of Spurs vs. Pistons for the title, and I think they have the size and scheme to beat the Suns. We'll see.

House Wraps Season Two with a Bang

Like its Emmy-winning first season finale, House's second season finale gives viewers a closer look into the mind of Dr. Gregory House. As always, if you plan to see the episode yourself, read no further, spoilers ahead.

The husband of a former patient who has since committed suicide shoots House in the name of revenge. Miraculously, both House and his assailant survive. In fact, Cuddy and Wilson authorize a surgery that allows House to walk without assistance. Unfortunately, the operation also affects his ability to think. With hallucinations as a side effect, House begins to wonder what's real and what's imagined.

This series is definitely worth DVD (though the Season One set has no commentaries and only a few featurettes as extras).

Monday, May 22, 2006

Da Vinci Mode

Where do I stand on The Da Vinci Code? I was curious when the book came out, I thought of sampling Dan Brown's earlier work. Then reviews came in from some of my favorite writers saying the book was poorly written. Their word was enough for me. While I can never learn enough from well structured, well paced, emotionally rich writing, I avoid padded, cliched prose whenever possible.

Similarly, I hear the movie is poorly executed at the cost of characters. Why would I want to watch people I don't care about?

The thorny relationship between Brown's premises and the truth also turns me off. I'm not one to solve puzzles for pleasure. And that's what the book and movie are, leisure. I don't see them as important or threatening at all. If anyone wants to challenge another's beliefs, do so with unmistakably serious theses supported not by theories, but by facts.

DYNAMITE ROAD by Andrew Klavan

In this first in a new P.I. series recounting the cases of Weiss Investigations, headlined by ex-cop Scott Weiss and ex-con Jim Bishop, the agency is hired to investigate corruption at a small nothern California airport. Weiss is the world-weary thinker; Bishop is the brash young man-of-action.

I can't expound much further without giving away plot details and suspense that the novel gives away all too soon on its own—thanks largely to my old nemesis, multiple-viewpoint thriller structure. Instead of characterizing Weiss and Bishop in traditional third-person, the novel is actually told from the first-person POV of an unnamed rookie op. While the goal was probably to cast a romantic, larger-than-life light on Weiss and Bishop, the third perspective actually killed most of the suspense by revealing what each party was doing when.

It was just a matter of time (and pages) before the parties intercepted each other with fairly predictable results. The chapters were short—seventy-one in a 303-page book—but even so, reading was a chore.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Bonds Ties Ruth

Barry Bonds finally hit his 6th homerun of the season, tying Babe Ruth's career mark of 714. Hank Aaron still holds the all-time record of 755, so why celebrate someone tying for second place?

People who say we should be celebrating are simply looking for reasons to celebrate. And, I'm sorry, now that we have evidence that Mark "I'm not here to talk about the past" McGwire and Rafael "I have never used steroids. Period." Palmiero actually took performance enhancers, I can't trust any records since the advent of these drugs.

I hate that professional sports base so much of a person's living on athletic performance. This is what creates the pressure to use performance enhancers.

Friday, May 19, 2006

WENN: Crow Couples Up With Stamos

Rocker Sheryl Crow has reportedly found love with Jake in Progress star John Stamos. The singer, who has recovered from breast cancer surgery, broke off her engagement to biker Lance Armstrong earlier this year. A source tells US publication Life & Style a mutual friend set up the celebrity pair. The couple had their first date a few weeks ago in Malibu, California, where they walked around the Malibu Country Mart shopping centre and stopped for a coffee. The source says, "They've been talking a lot and plan to have dinner together soon. They're really into each other, so it could blossom into something more."

Thursday, May 18, 2006


What was I saying about the NBA playoffs, the Pistons and Spurs would make the finals? Well, that prediction was as good as a Rasheed Wallace guarantee.

I hope LeBron and company eliminate the Pistons tomorrow night. A Cavs-Heat matchup is intriguing.

The Spurs-Mavs series is tough to call. San Antonio may have the edge in momentum.

Chapbook away!

My 17-poem entry for the 2006 Evil Genius Chapbook Contest is officially out of my hands.

"Gentlemen, this is the real thing. This is what you've been trained for. You are America's best. Make us proud."

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Speaking of NCIS...

Sasha Alexander, who played Special Agent Kate Todd, turns 31 today.

NCIS "Hiatus" Part 2

If you plan to see the finale on your own, read no further. Spoilers ahead:

NCIS wrapped up its third season with terrific studies in character. To help jog Jethro's memory, Director Shepard calls on Gibbs's mentor Mike Franks, who quit NCIS when his early warnings about Osama bin Laden were largely ignored. We get a quick recap of Gibbs's NIS orientation, including the origin of the back-of-the-head slap. Franks has the unenviable task of recounting for Gibbs the events of 9/11.

Gibbs remains unable to recall his time leading a team at NCIS until Ziva forces him to remember Ari's assassination of Kate Todd, and Ari's death at Ziva's hand.

Gibbs's last-ditch effort to stop the Abu Sayyaf terrorist aboard the munitions vessel Cape Fear meets with interagency interference, resulting in the bombing of the Cape Fear and a Navy frigate sent to intercept. In the wake of this, Gibbs gains a new understanding of Franks's frustration and resigns from NCIS himself, passing leadership to longtime whipping-boy DiNozzo with a simple "You'll do."

According to Pauley Perrette's show blog, Don Bellisario had leaked word someone would be "leaving NCIS" at the end of the season, but kept even the cast members in suspense until the last minute. Bravo Zulu.

Hard Boiled Brooklyn at Partners & Crime

I took the 3:00pm train to Penn Station, the E train to West 4th Street, walked up Greenwich Ave. and back in time to the first mystery bookstore I ever visited, Partners & Crime.

I planned to buy the book early and beat the rush, but as of 4:30, the copies of Hard Boiled Brooklyn for the 7:00 launch hadn't arrived. I busied myself looking over the shelves until the shipment came in, and I bought the first copy out of the box. Oh, what a feeling.

With two hours before the reading, I stopped into the McDonald's on 6th Ave. and West 8th Street for a chicken fajita and medium orange juice. Pastrami, pickles, and Brooklyn Lager were served at the launch, but I spent the time between readings mingling with the crowd. Great to see S.J. Rozan again, who read, and signed her story ("Sunset") "For the famous Gerald So." (blushing)

I also caught up with Jason Starr, to whose story ("Last Pick") I could instantly relate. Jim Fusilli and I talked a little baseball. I met readers Joseph Wallace and Gabriel Cohen and introduced myself to Maggie Estep, whose poetry and prose both have encouraged mine.

I also met photographer par excellence Mary Reagan, who led off and capped the night with photos of Dave White drinking.

I was glad to chat however briefly with ever-busy, ever-friendly Partners part-owner Maggie Griffin. Former Partners staffperson Sarah Weinman returned.

I chatted once again with Hard Case Crime editor Charles Ardai and fellow Long Islander Chris Aldrich.

Unable to attend but synonymous with the words Hard Boiled Brooklyn was Charlie Stella.

Huge thanks to editor and M.C. Reed Farrel Coleman and everyone at Partners & Crime.

UPDATE (05/19/06): Mary has posted some pictures from the event.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Where I'll Be

I plan to tape Part 2 of the NCIS finale and brave possible showers tomorrow to attend the signing of Hardboiled Brooklyn at Partners & Crime.

On Wednesday I'll tape the Bones finale and return to NYC for gyros with college friends.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Superman Trailer Thoughts

I watched the new Superman Returns trailer online and had no strong reactions, positive or negative. I would probably be more excited if this were the first Superman I'd seen since the unfortunately caught-on-film Quest for Peace. As it stands, I got through college watching Lois & Clark and have kept an eye on Smallville.

I've kept away from most buzz about Bryan Singer's movie so as not to be sated on the Man of Steel. I hope this puts me in the perfect position to enjoy the movie for what it is and not anything I could have built up.

I guess it's a good thing Routh, Bosworth, and the rest of the cast seem fine to me. Just under seven weeks to go.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

This is new.

I admit that, with a "To Be Continued" on last week's Smallville and the dissolution of the WB Network, I let myself believe tonight's finale would actually wrap up tonight.

Nope. Leave now if you don't want to read the various predicaments to be picked up on The CW next season:

Brainiac has given Lex Clark-like abilities, preparing him to be inhabited by Zod.

To force Clark to release Zod, Brainiac infects the world's computers with a virus.

Jor-El gives Clark the means to kill Lex before Zod can take over, but Clark hesitates and tries to kill Brainiac instead.

Brainiac disintegrates, releasing Zod into Lex anyway.

Zod traps Clark in the Phantom Zone.

Brainiac's virus traps Chloe in an anarchic Metropolis and fries the electronics on a plane carrying Lois and Martha. The plane depressurizes, knocking them unconscious.

In spite of chaos all around her, Lana meets Lex/Zod on the roof of LuthorCorp tower, looking to see if he's boyfriend material. She must be descended from Amidala.

A Meme from The Memory Project

I am: thinking of answers for this meme.
I want: to watch the season finales of Smallville and NCIS before they officially air.
I wish: I could watch the season finales...
I hate: operating on someone else's schedule.
I love: breathing.
I miss: people mostly, different people at different times.
I fear: most live animals.
I hear: "Margaritaville" in my head.
I wonder: about the inner workings of almost everything.
I regret: letting little things get to me.
I am not: married.
I dance: with no thought to how I look.
I sing: from the heart.
I cry: quietly.
I am not always: blogging.
I make with my hands: gestures.
I write: to expand my horizons.
I confuse: apricots and nectarines.
I need: quiet to work.
I should: read more.
I start: winding down the later it gets. No night owl, I.
I finish: because I hate dragging things out.
I tag: anyone hurting for a blog entry.

"Do the rhyme if you can't do the crime."

My attempt at crime fiction this morning resulted in a non-crime rhyming poem.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

"I knew it was too early to promote you."

I've just seen the Casino Royale trailer in English, and I like it very much. My concerns about Daniel Craig's natural accent, which I hadn't heard before, and his physique were both resolved. Normally, I'm not much of a purist, but I still wonder why Judi Dench was retained as M. In the previous timeline, she came to power when Bond was already an established agent. In the new timeline, she's the one to first issue Bond's license to kill.

Before I give myself a quantum headache, I can accept Dench as a previous female M who was succeeded by a couple of male Ms, who in turn were succeeded by a lookalike female M.

Okay, to paraphrase the Ghostbusters, I'm ready to believe you.

2006 Derringer Awards

For Immediate Release


The Short Mystery Fiction Society recently presented its annual Derringer Awards for excellence in Short Mystery Fiction. The 2006 awards were presented to stories first published in English in 2005. The award recipients are:

Best Flash Story: “Secondhand Shoe” by Patricia Harrington (A Flasher’s Dozen)

Best Short-Short Story: “Zipped” by Stephen D. Rogers (Windchill: Crime Stories by New England Writers, Level Best Books)

Best Mid-Length Short Story: Iain Rowan for “One Step Closer”(Hardluck Stories)

Best Longer Short Story: “The Safest Place on Earth” by Mark Best (Thrilling Detective)

The annual Derringer Awards were created in 1997 by the Short Mystery Fiction Society to honor excellence in the creative art form of short mystery and crime stories. The name “Derringer,” after the palm-sized handgun, was chosen as a metaphor for a mystery or crime short story—small, but dangerous. The award is in the form of a certificate suitable for framing.

Any English-language mystery or crime short story that appeared during the previous year in a publication that has an editor and an established procedure for submission, acceptance and rejection is eligible for a Derringer. The publication does not have to pay in cash and may be a print magazine, an electronic magazine (ezine), or an anthology or collection published in book form.

The Short Mystery Fiction Society is a group of writers, editors, publishers and fans of mystery and crime fiction from all around the globe. Additional information about the Short Mystery Fiction Society is available at

Congratulations to the winners. Especially thrilled for Mark Best.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Running Out of Steam?

Details of Robert Parker's latest Spenser book, Hundred-Dollar Baby, have been released. In a nutshell, Spenser once again comes to the aid of April Kyle (cf. Ceremony, Taming a Sea-Horse). One more favor Spenser does for a friend, prompting one of Parker's staunchest supporters on Spenser's Sneakers to admit that Parker may be running out of steam.

I think it's fair to say Spenser has run out of steam. Has any single protagonist stayed fresh and entertaining over a thirty-year period at the pace of a book a year?

Parker is able to sell Spenser today because readers have grown comfortable with him. Parker can no longer take chances with Spenser or his world if he is to maintain readers' comfort. As a result we have the Spenser books of the past few years, wherein problems arise, persist for 250 pages or so, and go away.

"Spenser, you devil. You've done it again."

Family Honor (1999) may have borrowed heavily from Early Autumn (1981), but it also had to be different because Sunny Randall was not Spenser. And while critics may have called her "Spenser in drag," the point is that Parker was trying to be different.

Another key factor: In the beginning, Parker had to be more meticulous about each book as he was trying to build a solid reputation/body of work. Today, with his rep established, each new book matters less, particularly in the Spenser series.

Poetry or BS?

Recovering from a year of untrained, rhymey, sappy high school poetry, I wrote only two poems as an undergrad. They were prosey, pseudonymous, search-for-meaning poems—the first a call, the second an answer—each two columns of equal-length stanzas that, with some margin play, each took up one page.

I was terribly proud of those two, that together seemed to say all I needed. Years passed before I wrote another poem, and there are times when works-in-progress seem like mountains of words made from molehills of experience and I crave the order and breakthrough power of those two.

The craving passes. Poetry, including formal poetry, is about depicting a moment of life that, while not necessarily autobiographical, is true-to-emotion. To publish poetry assumes one isn't writing for himself but to communicate to others precisely what he feels in the moment. The more a poet forces structure or solutions for his own benefit, the more cryptic his poem becomes.

NCIS "Hiatus"

Airing tonight, NCIS's two-part third season finale is called "Hiatus." My first reaction was, "Why tempt fate with such a word?" Anyway, it does match the previous finale titles, "Reveille" and "Twilight," for ominous feel.

Gibbs is injured in a terrorist bombing and, while in recovery, encounters some of the memories he's been repressing. The key with an exposé plot like this is to reveal just enough. For example, as much as I enjoyed Robert Crais's L.A. Requiem, I think it revealed too much about Joe Pike at once, reducing my interest in the character overall.

Fingers crossed.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Go Home, Kobe

As previously mentioned, I have almost no interest in this year's NBA playoffs. Not having seen Suns-Lakers Game 7, I was generally happy the Suns had come back to win. Today I heard of Kobe Bryant's tank job in the second half. I can't think of another so blatant example of a player putting personal pride above his team in a crucial game. I hope he never lives this down.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

"Rita Fiore, Denny Crane."

In the latest issue of Mystery Scene, Ron Miller's article "TV Views" gives a brief critique of Selleck as Jesse Stone and surveys all the TV that's been made of Parker's characters (Spenser For Hire, A Man Called Hawk, the Lifetime Spenser movies, the A&E Spenser movies, Jesse Stone).

Miller also speculates that Parker's Sunny Randall would be a good fit for Lifetime TV movies, and he's surprised Parker hasn't made a deal with David E. Kelley to have Rita Fiore appear on Boston Legal.

Intriguing. Who wouldn't want to see Rita go toe-to-toe with Alan Shore or Denny Crane?

In fact, I wonder just how much of a possibility this is.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Vein-Popping Forcefulness

The perfect description of Tom Cruise's acting, taken from Daniel Fienberg's review of Mission Impossible III.

This movie gives me the wait-for-video vibe.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Tonight's Smallville Notes

In a graveyard the ghost of Jonathan Kent coaxes Clark to kill Lionel Luthor. If you guessed clever ruse devised by Brainiac, you were right. Dispatching the episode's big mystery, I was free to focus as usual on the scenes between Lois and Clark.

Emotionally smarting Clark finally admits Lana has moved on with Lex.

Look. Sometimes you gotta tuck your feelings away until it's the right time. Like stuffing dollars into a piggy bank for a bike you can't quite afford.

Except I can't quite imagine there is anyone else out there.

Well, you never know, Clark. Maybe when you finally crack open that piggy bank, you'll find that all this time you haven't been saving for a bike. You've really been saving for a Harley.

There are times when I think you don't know me at all. Then others when I think you know me better than anyone.

Now that's what I'm here for, Smallville. One save at a time.

The way this plays, Lois could be revealing herself as much as she's consoling Clark. Lois's bicycle-motorcycle analogy is a clever metaphor for the childhood crush Clark had on Lana versus the more sophisticated relationship he'll have with Lois. Clark's response gives a hint of the chemistry between them. And the last line is a great twist on the classic scenario of Superman saving Lois.

Praise to teleplay writer Caroline Dries.

Return of the Trilogy

For those of us a certain age, one set of movies comes to mind when we hear the word "trilogy," the Star Wars trilogy. If you're as big a fan as I am, you've already heard the original, un-fooled-around-with trilogy is coming to DVD in September.

I would praise George Lucas for coming to his senses, but he may simply see the re-release as one more way to milk his early success.

Speaking of Teachers...

My ninth grade English teacher, who encouraged me as I discovered I wanted to be a writer, used to rattle off the following warning before tests:

"If I even suspect you of talking or cheating it's an automatic zero and I needn't remind you how much I enjoy the sound of paper rippage."

The one time he caught someone cheating, he gleefully tore the paper into snowflakes.

Editor Powers, Activate!

I've been catching up with some teacher friends today, and I almost sent an e-mail that began:

"Sorry I haven't written sooner, but I've been busy writing."

¡Ay, caramba!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Black Orchid, or BUST

I plan to meet and greet Ken Bruen and Jason Starr (co-authors of Bust) and whoever else will be at Black Orchid Bookshop tonight. This is quite a-ways from my usual beat, but I am yong and full of ragerye...

UPDATE (10:47 PM): Just home from my local train station after a most enjoyable night among writers and readers. In fact, it seemed a lot of people were readers of my blog, including Ken Bruen and Jason Starr. Who knew?

Though this was my first time meeting Ken and crime fiction writer and critic Anthony Rainone, no ice needed to be broken. My main goal with this blog is to give a good sense of who I am in person, so I guess I've succeeded.

Jason and Ken read (almost performed) two chapters of Bust. I could tell they had fun writing it, and I'm sure it'll be fun to read. I've been fortunate to meet so many writers lately who are both dedicated and enthusiastic about what they do.

I also chatted with New Jersey crime writer Wallace Stroby and hardboiled and noir afficionado Paul Eng, and reconnected with Mystery News publisher Chris Aldrich, Hard Case Crime editor Charles Ardai, Paul, Colleen, and Nicole from Dead End Books. (They're optimistic about a return, so I am, too.)

Thanks, everyone, especially Black Orchid owners Bonnie and Joe.

Star Trek: NCIS

In last night's episode of NCIS. Director Jenny Shepard was taken hostage from her limo by a pretty-boy drugrunner played by Connor Trinneer (Enterprise's Trip Tucker). DiNozzo visits the limo company and talks to a rep played by Tim Russ (Voyager's Tuvok).

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Lesser-Known Palindrome

"Flee to me; emote, elf."

Back in the Game

I'd gone about three weeks without submitting as I caught up on my reading and worked three poems into shape. These went into a batch of five to Cherry Bleeds, which recently opened to poetry.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Sign of the Times

From Studio Briefing:
News Rack Playing 'Mission: Impossible' Theme Blown Up

A news rack in Santa Clarita, CA was blown up by a Los Angeles County arson squad Friday when a device on the rack, intended to play the theme from Mission: Impossible when the door was opened, dislodged and fell onto the pile of newspapers, leading a passerby to suspect that it was a bomb and call police. The Times said that about 4,500 news racks had been outfitted with the musical devices as part of a marketing campaign between the newspaper and Paramount. However, the Associated Press reported Sunday that some of the red devices, exposing protruding wires, had become dislodged and had alarmed customers.

More from WENN:
'Mission: Impossible III' Stunt Goes Wrong

Tom Cruise's Mission: Impossible III publicity campaign has blown cinemagoers away - after strategically placed audio boxes singing the movie theme tune were mistaken for bombs. The promotional stunt saw The Los Angeles Times racks fitted with a digital musical device which was set to play the distinctive tune when the door was opened. However, some of the ill-fitted boxes became disconnected and sprouted wires, prompting alarmed customers to report potential bomb attacks. Officials from The Los Angeles Times said the stunt was designed to transform the "everyday news rack experience" into an "extraordinary mission." The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department arson squad, who destroyed a box, say, "This was the least intended outcome. We weren't expecting anything like this."


Tom Selleck returns as Jesse Stone

Death in Paradise is the third movie based on Robert B. Parker's Jesse Stone, Parker's five-pages-a-day, make-it-up-as-I-go style doesn't lend itself to a cohesive movie, but Selleck and company do a decent job tying together what, in my opinion, is the weakest book in the series.

Some dramatics were added, most notably the shooting of Stone's eager deputy Suitcase Simpson. This works because the chemestry is good between Tom Selleck/Stone and Kohl Sudduth/Simpson. As the returning actors become familiar to viewers, the TV characters are allowed to branch out from their book counterparts.

I preferred this movie to January's Night Passage, but Stone Cold still stands out as best.