Before the recent Scandinavian crime fiction invasion, before even Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö, there was Kerstin Lillemor Ekman (born August 1933), whose debut crime novel, Thirty-Meter Murder (30 meter mord), was published in 1959. Her first few mystery novels grew out of her background as a documentary filmmaker, and she wrote seven crime fiction books in all before turning her hand to more general psychological and social themes (and one book that's a history of Sweden told from the POV of a troll). She did later return to the genre, with the detective novel Blackwater (Händelser vid vatten) in 1993, which won the Swedish Crime Academy's award for best crime novel.
Eckman's novel Under the Snow (De tre små mästarna) from 1961 is set in the harsh, distant landscape of the Arctic Circle's Lapland in the town of Rakisjokk during the extended darkness of winter. Or as one character notes, "You might say this is where the world comes to an end." A drunken evening ends in the death of a local artist and teacher named Matti Olsson, but when Constable Torsson sets out to investigate (a 25-mile trek on skis across a frozen lake), he is met with a conspiracy of silence, mismatched stories and only a single clue: a bloodstained mahjong tile. His efforts aren't helped by the fact that the locals are part of the ethnic Sami group who speak Finnish and don't think very highly of Swedes. Torsson has no choice to close the case. That is, until David Malm, an eccentric redheaded painter and friend of Matti's, arrives in town to investigate the truth on his own and runs into beautiful teacher Anna Ryd who is caught with a bag containing a bloody noose with a human hair clinging to it.
Eckman maintains the dark atmosphere of the unrelenting subzero cold and sunless days (followed by nights where the sun never sets) where nearly everyone has secrets, but still manages to inject bits of humor and her trademark irony: the super-fit younger colleague decked out in the 1960 version of chic Gore-Tex gear who turns an ankle in the first few yards during his first attempt on skis; a language professor who happily scribbles down the ferryman's epithets; a elkhound that barks nonstop. One unusual technique: Ekman wrote Under the Snow almost completely in the third person except for Chapter 12, where Matti's killer explains how the murder was committed. Of her writing influences, Eckman has said "I live in a small village and I have been living in two other small villages far up north in Sweden. Very close to the forest, the mountains, the waters. They have had a great impact on me, melting into my language."
Under the Snow remained unavailable in English from the time of its publication until the translation by Joan Tate in 1996, 35 years later. Entertainment Weekly called Eckman "Striking...a sort of Graham Greene meets Dean Koontz," and the Library Journal added that "Ekman's brilliant evocation of a place and culture above the Arctic Circle is as compelling and mysterious as the crime itself." Ekman was elected member of the Swedish Academy in 1978, but left in 1989 when the academy didn't take a strong stand after the fatwa against Salman Rushdie. She also turned her hand back to the screen with a Swedish TV movie based on one of her books and appearances as herself in documentaries.
Mystery Writers of America announced that Lois Duncan and James Ellroy have been chosen as the 2015 Grand Masters. The award represents the pinnacle of achievement in mystery writing and was established to acknowledge important contributions to this genre and a body of work that is significant and of consistently high quality. The Raven Award, which recognizes outstanding achievement in the mystery field outside the realm of creative writing, is being bestowed upon Jon and Ruth Jordan and Kathryn Kennison. In addition, Hard Case Crime editor Charles Ardai won the MWA’s 2015 Ellery Queen Award, honoring "outstanding writing teams and outstanding people in the mystery-publishing industry.” Well-deserved congrats to all!
The Crime Writers Association announced the third annual Margery Allingham Short Story Competition to celebrate the short story and Margery Allingham's contribution to crime writing. The competition is open to both published and unpublished authors, with stories of up to 3,500 words due by March 16, 2015. (Note there is a submission fee.)
Mystery Scene's holiday issue features a profile of Japanese crime fiction author Fuminori Nakamura, who recently received the David L. Goodis Award for Noir Fiction at the NoirCon convention in Philadelphia. Other highlights include Ed Gorman making an interesting connection by proposing we look at Charlotte Armstrong as a purveyor of suburban noir instead of traditional mysteries; the annual gift guide; and an introduction to Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, the TV show based on Kerry Greenwood's novels.
The latest edition of Pulp Modern is available for the Kindle and focuses on "stories about America's third favorite activity—drugs. From the Middle East to Middle America, these ten stories deal with all manner of dope and addiction. Some are dark, some are light, all of them make unique statements about drugs and the people who use and sell them."
Lee Lofland announced that there will be a new site for the 2015 Writers' Police Academy: it's the National Criminal Justice Training Center at Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton, Wisconsin. The facility includes 75 acres of indoor and outdoor tactical training space filled with innovative props and simulation experiences, a 30-foot "ant hill" for confined space drills, a 6-story burn tower for fire training, four firearms ranges for police training, a simulated training village, a fully functional forensics lab, and a full-size Boeing 727 aircraft, and full-size train cars for crisis scenarios and investigations. Registration details will be forthcoming sometime in the new year.
Author and blogger Martin Edwards profiled his top ten favorite books about crime, including such titles as Whodunit?, edited by H.R.F. Keating, and A Catalogue of Crime by Barzun and Taylor. If you're a fan of all things crime fiction, his list is a good guide to find new insights and reviews of the greats in the genre.
Author Mary Kennedy, author of Nightmares Can Be Murder, tells USA Today why we love married couples in romance and mystery fiction.
The new crime poem up at the 5-2 is "The Late Show" by Bill Baber.
Looks like we have to say goodbye to another crime fiction ezine, although the reasons are understandable. Thrills, Chills, and Chaos editor David Barber is going to concentrate on his own writing pursuits, and we wish him all the best.
The Q&A roundup includes Ominimystery News welcoming mystery author J.J. Hensley to chat about his new novel, Measure Twice, and thriller author Roderick Vincent about his first book in the Minutemen series about a dystopian America; Maxim Simmler talks about his new crime novellas as he takes on Paul D. Brazill's "Short, Sharp Interview" challenge; Jasper Fforde fielded some zany questions from the Seattle Mystery Bookshop; and Craig Sisterson's Kiki Crime blog featured a "9mm interview" with Gold Dagger winner Wiley Cash.
Margaret Morgan grew up in a rural area in Shropshire, England and turned her hand to teaching, both in the UK and overseas. But after a tragic medical diagnosis led to early retirement, Margaret’s husband suggested she write to avoid dwelling on missing her colleagues. Instead of starting slowly and perhaps gaining experience with short stories, Margaret leapt straight into researching a period of history she knew little about, but wanted to know more.
The result was Mrs. McKeiver’s Secrets, the first book in a planned trilogy set in a fictional area of limestone hills and a microcosm of England in the late 18th century. The themes involve all the problems facing rural villages—such as the horror of landlessness, the price of food and the threat of starvation as a once settled rural community is rocked to its core by the effects of the Hills' Enclosure Act 1795—all seen through the eyes of the midwife, Mrs. McKeiver.
Morgan stops by In Reference to Murder to take some "Author R&R" and talk about how her family history inspired the novel as well as her research into the real-life events that are at the heart of the book:
I was born in 1950, which I feel now was another age.
Our farm was two and a half miles from the village of Leintwardine, where I went to primary school. My elder sister, Kate, two years older than me was already there. Our younger sister Liz wasn’t born until 1957.
The farm was built in the 1750’s and had not changed since then, except for the addition of a black grate and oven in the kitchen. The bits to the spit remained, as obviously one would need it, which Mum did when feeding lots of shearers etc. Water came via a pump in the yard, or a well in the orchard; light from a candle; or a lamp, strictly after tea, of course.
The yard was a beautiful cobbled pattern, I remember, until my father concreted it during his ‘concrete period’ in 1957, as it was so slippery. Gone were the days of many cheap hands on farms, to do all the sweeping and upkeep needed.
We had electricity when I was about four and water when my father paid for it to be brought in 1962. The thrill of a bathroom I can still remember; as we’d had an Elsan in the attic, as well as a two seater ‘around the corner’ in the orchard, previously. I don’t expect many rural children in the Herefordshire area had much different in the 1950’s.
From primary school at eleven, I didn’t follow my sister to Ludlow High School, but went to a small prep school in Leominster. From there I went to a brand new secondary school in a nearby village, Wigmore. In 1966 I became Head Girl, which was a great step in the right direction for me. For A levels I attended Ludlow Grammar School, until 1968.
I decided to teach Physical Education, so trained at Weymouth College of Education, part of the University of Southampton. I taught PE in Bournemouth until 1978 and changed to EFL teaching to go overseas with my husband. We lived in various African countries and Malta. In 1985 we returned and lived in London for sixteen years, teaching in privateprep schools. By now I was teaching junior girls for the London Day Schools’ Entrance Examination at 10+. However, I was finding life increasingly difficult.
Looking back, it seems strange that no one put two and two together earlier than 1995. I had been attempting to find out what was wrong with me for nearly twenty years. Terrific head and lower back pain, projectile vomiting coupled with deteriorating ability to walk, meant nothing to a long list of doctors. Indeed, I was sneered at on my medical notes. ‘Very into alternative therapies ha ha’.
At last I saw a neurologist. 1995 meant Bart’s for three days, steroids and the immediate clearing of my head. I had Multiple Sclerosis diagnosed too. The lower back pain faded and my headache gradually diminished. I still have leg pain, with excruciating right big toe pain. It seems that I have spinal stenosis and MS.
I had to retire in 2002, as I did a graceful collapse outside my Doctor’s Surgery and had to call my husband to drive me less than half a mile home.
After bed rest, I could feel my feet again and began to take an interest in life. It took a time for everything to sink in and that left me very lost. I missed everyone at work terribly, so my husband suggested that I write, as I had started short stories for competitions. As a child my sister and I had written ‘newspapers’, which had a limited circulation: 2 parents. I had been teaching essay writing to junior girls, but I already knew it was the thing for me.
Instead of writing short stories, for experience, I leapt straight into researching a period of history I knew a little about, but wanted to know more. Herbal knowledge and midwifery in the eighteenth century seemed to naturally evolve out of my research. Mrs. McKeiver entered my head when I first thought of a character to hold everything together in the Hills; my fictional area.
I expect she is an amalgam of my mother and her two grandmothers. Coming from Yorkshire and Lincolnshire they were fearless, strong women. One was a land worker, living until her seventies; having a home and family. She was reputed to be able to make soup from ‘the dishcloth and an onion’. The other was perhaps better off, assisting the midwife at births in her rural area in Yorkshire. I know one of them would beat any official with her umbrella, if she thought someone was being harangued for being poor and needy. A great sin in pre war days.
What I did discover from my research, was the appalling effects of Land Enclosures on the rural poor. It equals mistreatment of a country’s own working people, anywhere in the World. They must have died in hundreds, as charity was very limited, even up to the early twentieth century. Punishments for poaching were increasingly horrific too; for taking an unwanted rabbit to feed hungry children.
At the moment I am editing and improving Book 3; thinking about Book 4 and writing Children’s books that are one page bedtime stories.I belong to a very small Writers’ Circle, sisters and sister in law, but we do an activity every fortnight and enter competitions. My sister in law has had many stories published in women’s magazines.In addition, Morton and Smith are publishing three of my teenage stories, in their termly School’s Catalogue.
In my children’s writing the main character usually has to cope with a parent’s illness, and/or death. I think that is so important, as in my experience many children today have to face someone in the family having treatment for cancer. The main character cannot cope at the beginning, but gradually realises others need support as much as them. They reach out and are rewarded.
The second Mrs. McKeiver book is Mrs. McKeiver’s Solutions, which is now published as an ebook by Troubador. Book three, Mrs. McKeiver’s Remedies, will see ‘chickens coming home to roost’. Just desserts come to the right people and the mystery baby is born.
The 21st annual Screen Actors Guild Award nominations were announced last week. Several crime-related movie and TV dramas were highlighted, including the WWII code breaker film The Imitation Game (Outstanding Performance nod to Benedict Cumberbatch, Outstanding Supporting Role to Keira Knightley, and Outstanding Performance by a Cast); Gone Girl (Rosamund Pike's performance); The Judge (Robert Duvall); and Foxcatcher (Steve Carell, Mark Ruffalo). On the television side, Benedict Cumberbatch got another nomination, for Sherlock: His Last Vow, while Billy Bob Thornton was honored for Fargo, Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson for True Detective, Claire Danes for Homeland, and Viola Davis for How to Get Away with Murder.
The SAGs were followed immediately by the announcement of the Golden Globes. Foxcatcher, The Imitation Game, Rosamund Pike, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Steve Carell were among the same film nominees as the SAGs. Although Benedict Cumberbatch wasn't nominated in the TV category, his Sherlock co-star Martin Freeman scored a Best Actor nomination for Fargo. For the extensive list of all the film and TV nominees, head over to the official Golden Globe website.
Lionsgate is developing a movie about the most prolific serial killer in American history, based on Charles Graeber’s book about the killer's atrocities, The Good Nurse.
A trailer was released for the thriller Blackhat, which stars Chris Hemsworth as a man released from prison in order to help track a mysterious cybercriminal behind numerous terrorist acts around the globe.
An international trailer was released for the Austrilian crime drama Kill Me Three Times features Simon Pegg as a beleaguered hitman.
Speaking of Simon Pegg, he's been cast as the Devil in a new horror-comedy, The Gathering, which also stars Jeffrey Combs as Edgar Allen Poe, David Naughton as H.P. Lovecraft, and Doug Bradley as Bram Stoker who are sent to purgatory to tell their best untold stories.
The first Gunman trailer features Sean Penn as an international spy trying to clear his name who's forced to go up against his former friend, played by Javier Bardem.
The BBC has unveiled plans for a TV series based on the crime novels written by JK Rowling under the name Robert Galbraith, featuring private eye Cormoran Strike. The Beeb said Rowling will “collaborate on the project” with the number and length of episodes to be decided.
CBS is planning a still-untitled Criminal Minds spin-off, which will follow the same storylines as the original series but center on an FBI team working abroad. The introductory episode will be slotted into the regular program later this season.
Following prolonged negotiations, TNT has renewed Rizzoli & Isles for a sixth season. The police drama stars Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander and is based on the novels by Tess Gerritsen.
Christopher McDonald (Boardwalk Empire) has joined the cast of an untitled TNT crime drama, executive produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and Michael Bay. Written by Masters Of Sex creator Michelle Ashford, the serialized character drama is set in the wild and unpredictable world of the Florida drug trade in the 1970s.
Kirsten Dunst and Jesse Plemons will co-star as a married couple in the second season of FX's Fargo.
Emily Deschanel of Bones announced she and her husband are expecting another child, and the showrunners of Bones have said they will write the second pregnancy into the series' storyline.
The 1980s pop singer Rick Springfield has joined the cast of True Detective for its second season, which will revolve around the murder of the business partner of career criminal Frank Semyon (Vince Vaughn).
NBC announced the network's midseason premiere dates, including the spy drama Allegiance, about a pair of deactivated Russian spies living in America brought back into duty to turn their CIA analyst son (Thursday, Feb. 5), and the conspiracy drama Odyssey, about three people whose lives become intertwined when its discovered an American corporation might be funding Jihadists (Sunday, April 5).
The BBC's Sherlock is getting the "theme park treatment." BBC Worldwide has entered a deal with London Resort Company Holdings to feature the broadcaster’s properties at a new park to be built in north Kent. But you'll have to wait; the park isn't expected to open until 2020.
A new trailer (which CinemaBlend categorizes as "emotional and brutal") was released for season two of the British drama Broadchurch, which returns to BBC America Feb. 4 at 10 p.m. ET/9 p.m. The series centers on Detective Inspector Alec Hardy (Doctor Who alum David Tennant) and Detective Sergeant Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman).
The world premiere of Ken Ludwig's play, Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery (inspired by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Hound of the Baskervilles), will play at Washington, D.C.'s Arena Stage from January 16 to Feburary 22, 2015. Amanda Dehner will direct the production, with Gregory Wooddell (As You Like It) as Sherlock Holmes and Lucas Hall (Tales from Red Vienna) as Doctor Watson.
John Reeves was born in British Columbia in December 1926, but was raised and educated in England where he studied music at St John's College, Cambridge. Eventually, he found himself back in Canada as a music and documentary producer for the CBC, where he was responsible for several technical innovations and a wide variety of musical, religious, literary, and dramatic series. He also composed his own music, over thirty pieces of religious works and several opera librettos.
Reeves didn't turn to writing literary works until later in his career and is primarily known for his inventive radio plays, noteworthy for their use of verse, prose, music and shifting points of view. One even won the Prix D'Italy for tbe world's best radio play in play in 1959. But he also tried his hand at writing books, choosing to pen mystery novels featuring Inspector Andrew Coggin and Sergeant Fred Sump of the Metro Toronto Police. From the author's background, it's not terribly surprising the first book in the series was titled Murder by Microphone, while the second is 1984's Murder Before Matins, which was a finalist for the Arthur Ellis Award.
The story of Murder Before Matins is set in the cloistered world of Tathwell Abbey where the Prior is found murdered and suspicion falls on the entire order of Gilbertine nuns and monks who live in seclusion there. When Coggin, Sump and Constable Nancy Pringle are assigned to the case, they learn the victim was destined to be made Abbot and that even allegedly holy people are capable of dark ambition and violence.
In an interview from 1986 in Books in Canada, Reeves acknowledged that he lost his faith gradually, partly because of a "disillusionment with the institution of the Church." Even so, Murder Before Matins is a sympathetic portrayal of monastic life and includes a subplot of Constable Nancy Pringle's own struggles with her faith. Reeves added that, "Religion when I was a practising Christian was a very important part of my life, and the fact that I am no longer one has not reduced its emotional impact upon me. I think that to have a strong faith and then lose it leaves a particular hole in your life that cannot be replaced by anything else."
Reeves' mysteries are less about suspense typical of other police procedurals and more in the traditional puzzle-solving detective fiction (he even works in lists, diagrams, puns and one crossword puzzle in each novel). The Canadian Book Review Annual aptly noted that "Almost as entertaining as the detectives' unravelling of clues is Reeves' delightfully crisp yet cultivated prose style, and the frequency, in both the omniscient narration and the opinions of Coggin and Sump, of wry humour, dry wit, biting satire, and sometimes an outrageously amusing waspishnes."
Books in Canada wrote that "If Sherlock Holmas and Dr. Watson are respectively brilliant and dim, Andrew Coggin and Fred Sump shed light on crime about equally, less like a priest and acolyte than a happily married couple. Coggin is good at sifting details and making deductions; Sump is intuitive, disarming, a shrewd judge of character."
The follow-up Coggins/Sump novel, Murder With Muskets, was also a finalist for the 1986 Arthur Ellis Award for Best Novel, and there was one more book in the series in 1988, Death in Prague. There was supposed to be a fifth book, set in a Toronto track and field club, but it was either never finished or not published.
The CWA 2014 Dagger in the Library Award honoring an author's body of work was handed out to Sharon Bolton, the author of eight books as well as the Lacey Flint series. The other four finalists included Elly Griffiths, Mari Hannah, James Oswald, and Mel Sherratt.
This year's Nero Award, presented each year to an author for the best American Mystery written in the tradition of Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe stories, was handed out to David Morrell, for Murder as a Fine Art. The organizers of the award, The Wolfe Pack, also presented the Black Orchid Novella Award to K.G. McAbee for “Dyed to Death.”
Thanks to Sandra Seamans for noting there's a new print crime fiction magazine gearing up for publication. Dead Gun Press has posted a call for submissions for Dead Guns Magazine, with a reading period from February 1, 2015 and run through April 20, 2015. Seamans also reported, via Michael Bracken, about another new crime fiction market called Crooked Holster, billed as "an anthology of crime, mystery, and thriller," now accepting short stories up to 2500 words, flash up to 500 words, and poetry. The deadline for the first issue is February 28, 2015.
The last "Getting Away with Murder" column for 2014 from Mike Ripley at Shots Mag is out and ready for your reading pleasure. The Ripster recounts various holiday festivities including the Autumn Lunch of the Margery Allingham Society and a book by Jane Stevenson that is an homage to Allingham and her works, and the annual Publishers Publicity Circle party. He also selects his favourite crime novels of 2014 and looks ahead to some anticipated new novels of 2014.
The Guardian's Laura Wilson selected her choices for "The Best Crime and Thrillers of 2014."
Interested in global crime fiction but don't know where to start? The Mystery People's Molly Odintz picks her "Top Ten International Crime Novels of 2014."
The December issue of Gumshoe Review is available online with the latest news and reviews.
Lit Reactor compiled a history of the Noir at the Bar events with organizers Peter Rozovsky (who kicked off the very event in Philadelphia), Jedidiah Ayres, Eric Beetner, Glenn Gray, and Todd Robinson.
The featured crime poem over at the 5-2 is "Reprieve" by Robert Cooperman.
The Q&A roundup this week features thriller author Mike Pace, chatting with Omnimystery News about his new suspense thriller, One To Go; Paul D. Brazill's "Short, Sharp Interviews" features Paul O'Brien talking about his three Blood Red Turns Dollar Green books, and Alan Jones discussing his latest book, Blue Wicked.
Well, maybe Christmas isn't murder per se, but sometimes shopping can certainly feel like it. So, here are some ideas to help you find something unusual for the mystery reader on your shopping list:
This crime scene pot trivet is perfect for holiday gatherings! Nothing says cheery and cozy like a murdered-body chalk outline. The silicone trivet will hold all your hot pots with ease, and add "fun and drama to the dinner table."
According to a study reported in the Daily Mail a few years ago, the average 30-year-old woman owns 21 handbags and buys a new one every three months. But I'll bet your favorite feminine mystery lover doesn't own a bag fashioned from a recycled Sherlock Holmes book. Plus, you have your choice of fabric and handle.
You can never start them too early - book lovers, that is. This onesie will hopefully encourage your child or grandchild to make reading a lifelong habit. Or else, the pictures you take of them in the onesie will make them so embarrassed, they'll never want to touch a book again.
This can probably be construed as double entendre apparel, but this crime scene scarf will still help keep you warm. The knit scarf is acrylic with a touch of spandex for extra strength and is almost as long as the real thing - five feet.
These hand-made earrings feature a miniature replica Nancy Drew book, The Secret of Red Gate Farm, and vintage typewriter keys. Plus, the surgical steel ear wires should keep you from getting "green ear."
Since I don't want to leave the guys out in the cold, jewelry-wise, here are some fingerprint cufflinks for your favorite CSI-wannabe. He can be elegant and mysterious at the same time.
For both he-spies and she-spies, young and old, check out this camera spy pen with a name longer that the product, namely, "Mini HD Hidden & Secret Spy Cam Pen Video Recorder USB DVR Wireless Surveillance Spy Camera." The spy pen holds a charge up to 1.5 hours of video recording sessions that can vary anywhere from 6 to 45 minutes of continuous recording time. (Note: of course, you know that most jurisdictions have laws against recording someone without their knowledge, right? Of course you do.)
Director Sam Mendes has revealed the title for Bond 24, which will be Spectre. The newest cast members are Christoph Waltz, Andrew Scott (Moriarty of BBC's Sherlock), Dave Bautista, Monica Bellucci and Léa Seydoux. Returning cast members include Daniel Craig as Bond along with Rory Kinnear as Tanner, Ben Whishaw as Q, Naomie Harris as Miss Moneypenny and Ralph Fiennes as the new M. As Deadline reports, the logline for the new film is: “A cryptic message from Bond’s past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organization. While M battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind SPECTRE.”
Actress Cate Blanchett and director Baltasar Kormakur are in negotiations to participate in Cascade, a thriller about an oil tanker collision in the Persian Gulf that sets off an international crisis and leads the tanker’s captain (Blanchett) to find a way to prove she didni't commit a terrorist act.
Zoey Deutch has joined the cast, incuding headliners Emile Hirsch and Zoe Kravitz, for the crime drama Vincent-N-Roxxy. Hirsch and Kravitz star as a small town loner and a rebellious punk rocker who "unexpectedly fall in love as they are forced on the run and soon discover violence follows them everywhere," with Deutch playing the bubbly and tattooed girlfriend of a character played by Emory Cohen.
More than 40 new images were released from Paul Thomas Anderson's adaptation of Inherent Vice, based on Thomas Pynchon's novel. Inherent Vice arrives in theaters December 12 in limited release, with the wide release slated for January 9.
Settling in for some holiday movie binge-watching? Word and Film compiled a list of "Four Must Sees from the Raymond Chandler Canon."
TNT has given a 10-episode second-season pickup to freshman drama series Legends, based on the book by Robert Littell about the work and life of Martin Odum (Sean Bean), an undercover agent for the FBI’s Deep Cover Operations division.
CBS announced schedule slots for some mid-season programs, including placing Battle Creek (about two Michigan detectives) in the recent CSI slot on Sunday nights, two weeks after the CSI finale in March, and CSI: Cyber, which will launch in the time slot that housed CSI for three years, Wednesdays at 10 p.m.
HBO has remastered all 60 episodes of its Peabody Award-winning drama The Wire, making them available in 16×9 full-frame HD for the first time. HBO Signature will run them in order starting the day after Christmas.
The El Rey Network has chosen not to order a second season of its original spy drama series Matador, starring Gabriel Luna as a DEA agent recruited by the CIA to go undercover as a professional soccer player.
Korean broadcaster KBS will adapt the hit Israeli spy drama The Gordin Cell (a/k/a MICE), marking the first time an Israeli drama will be adapted for South Korea. NBC has ordered a U.S. version of the series, to air as Allegiance in 2015.
Deadline noted that The Newsroom alumna Wynn Everett has signed on for a lead role in the TNT drama pilot Lumen, about what happens when the famous author of a best-selling series of fantasy books disappears, and a family of four is transported to the mystical alternate world that inspired her work; and also that Afemo Omilami and Chris Kerson have booked roles on the upcoming second season of HBO’s True Detective.
NPR's Fresh Air program remembered PD James with two interviews — one from 1987 with Terry Gross and one from 1998 with NPR book critic Maureen Corrigan.
BBC Radio 4 is offering a series of Ellis Peter's Brother Cadfael mysteries online. The series stars Philip Madoc as the Medieval monk detective, and will be available for four weeks.