Thu 5 Jan 2012
1. INQUIRY: From Bill Pronzini: Just for the heck of it, here’s a quiz question for you and M*F readers: Can you name at least one mystery novel narrated by a chauffeur, or in which a chauffeur is the investigating detective? I can supply the title and author of one and am wondering if there are others.
2. A New OTR Website. It might not be correct to call the CBS RADIO MYSTERY THEATER “Old Time Radio,” but given that the program ran for eight years beginning in 1974, it means that it’s been nearly 30 years since its last broadcast. There is a website that not only lists all 1399 episodes, but it also includes cross-listings for all of the performers and writers. And not only that, you can download or listen to each and every one. How many months would that take, if you did it non-stop? Pull out your calculators! Check it out at http://www.cbsrmt.com/
3. Pulp fiction writer Charles Boeckman is 91 and no longer writing, but his jazz band is still going strong. Check out a photo gallery of his latest gig here.
4. Headline in a local paper: Police were called to a day care center where a three-year-old was resisting a rest.
UPDATE. 01-06-12. My description of Charles Boeckman as a pulp fiction writer was challenged on a Yahoo group where I also posted the link to the photo gallery above. I was advised that Boeckman was a writer of hard-boiled fiction but not published in pulp magazines.
I shouldn’t have been so short and brief in my post there, nor in the one above. I should (and could) have supplied more of a résumé for Boeckman, and I’m sorry I didn’t.
It was Walker Martin who came to my rescue on that Yahoo list, and I hope he doesn’t mind my repeating some of the credentials for Boeckman I should have provided:
“Charles Boeckman under the name Charles A. Beckman started writing for the Popular Publication line of pulps in the late 1940′s and continued until the pulps bit the dust. Such titles as Fifteen Western Tales and Detective Tales carried much of his short fiction. He also made the switch to the digests. I recently noticed his name in Manhunt.”
Boeckman is one of the very few authors who wrote for the pulps still living — a survivor — and he should be recognized as such. I’m wondering whether he might be a suitable guest for one of the two annual pulp conventions sometime soon. Playing in a jazz band at the age of 91 seems to suggest that his health may be good enough to attend.