Mar 29, 2006

Pre Bouchercon 2006 - Milwaukee

The tuesday afternoon before bouchercon (sept 26) we are planning an event to kick it all off. We are going to have a paintball tournament here in Milwaukee. The starting price is $65 and it drops as we add more people. Afterward we are planning a cookout.

This is the Place where we will be doing it>
BFG Paintball in Milwaukee

As part of this we are also looking into arranging transport to Madison for Wed afternoon and back to Milwaukee on Sunday. If the ride leaves Madison Sunday around 11:00am it would be safe to book flights after 3:00pm.

If you have any interest at all leave a message or drop me a line.

This should be a lot of fun.

Mar 27, 2006


That's what is on the shirts: "We Will Rock You". Right next to the Queen Shirts and the Paul Rodgers Shirt. I've been to a lot of concerts. You might even say a shitload of concerts.

I love Queen, Paul Rodgers doesn't do much for me. He's a good singer, but not really a stand out for me. Not like some of the guys and gals I really love. So I was a little nervous going in, thinking it could be really great or really wrong. Well, it was really great. Rodgers nailed the vocals. I'll admit, could have done with out the couple of Bad Company songs they did, but that's me, I burned out on Bad Company in the eighties, too many drunken nights with the turntable....

However tonight in Milwaukee Paul Rodgers convinced me he should indeed be touring with Queen. Just the fact that they all were having so much fun was worth seeing. Add great performances to the mix and you've got a hell of a evening.
Brian May was amazing, of course. I believe he is an underappreciated genius. Rogder Taylor was great on drums. This was truly what rock and roll is all about. Some nice solos, a few slow songs, and even a couple teary moments when they mentioned Freddie Mercury. I actually couldn't sing along because I was getting choked up, I'm such a girl.

Queen got me through being a teenager. For my sister it was Patti Smith, Mark Billingham had Morrisey, for me it was Queen and Supertramp. Queen made growing up easier for me and I'll never really be able to thank them for that. And now years later, here they are makingme happy all over again.

And tonight made me very happy, The band was happy, the audience was happy, it was really great. Especially Radio Ga Ga and Under Preussure. Paul Rodgers NAILED the David Bowie vocal.

To check out Queen and Paul Rodgers on line just click the link. (That's where I found the photos.) Queen and Paul Rodgers

And on the off chance Brian May or Rodger Tayor or John Deacon see this: Thanks Guys. I owe you.

Mar 26, 2006

confessions of a collector

Long before my life and home were filled with piles and piles of books, shelves upon shelves filled with books, I collected other things. One of these other things I collected were comics. When I finally sold the whole collection it was over 40,000 comics. Long boxes (boxes designed specifically for comics holding 300 issues each) filled 8 foot hight shelves. I was spending upward of $400 a month when I finally said enough. Part of my deciding to stop was the cost of the comics. They were hitting $2.25 each average with many costing more. Add to that the fact that I just wasn't reading all of them and was only bagging and storing it seemed like a good time to stop.

I refocused my collecting urges toward mysteries, and now have over 11,000 books in the house, though a few are in storage, many are out in the shelves.

I never really stopped reading comics altogether. In fact I still buy them and like any anal retentive wanker, I store them in order and bag them. But.... and this is a big BUT. I'm not collecting comics. I keep them, yes, but I read them and I think of it as my own library. I'm not worried about the value or if they are in mint condition. I keep them in good shape, but only for re reading later. I also am building a huge library of Comics trade paperbacks. But these are all for reading.

There is a company that is offering an interesting service. You carefully package and mail comics to them, they "Officially Grade" them and then seal them in what can best be described as a plastic slab, sealing them in to preserve the condition. This seems like a good idea....
If you are running a museum. I don't understand sealing up a comic so you cannever read it. Sure, if I had a 1947 Superman comic in mint condition I might consider it, but most people don't own comics that rare. I personally think a lot of people are getting ripped off and having their comics sealed up so they can't read them. Most of the comics being sealed aren't really that valuable.

The book in this "slab" is a great comic. But the truthis, if you gave me $20 I could go out right now and get a couple of them in damn good shape.
In mint condition it's worth $95, but slabbed it's supposed to be worth $at least $600.
What I'm getting at is this.
What is the point of collecting something you can't enjoy? This leads me to my book collection. I do have some books that are worth some big bucks. A lot of them in fact. But every book we own is for reading. Granted, I want people to be careful with my books, but that's so that they can be read and enjoyed for years. The truth is my collection could have no value and it wouldn't matter, beause I have a wonderful collection of books. A ever growing collection of a reading library. I have some books that we paid an embarrassing amount of money for. But we still hold them and pull them down ff the shelf. Carefully, yes, but they are still enjoyed.

Because that's what books are for. Reading. Comics too.
Yes, you should take good care of them. But for heaven's sake. If you can't touch it, open it, enjoy it what's the point?

Collecting is a very fun hobby, but you should collect something you can enjoy even if it has no monetary value.

Mar 24, 2006

DVD Releases for March 28th

The end of March does not have much to offer the crime buff, so let me take a moment to preview April. April will bring us Syriana, special editions The Dirty Dozen, Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid, Mission Impossible and Crash, seasons of Magnum P.I., Knight Rider and Remington Steele. Also coming will be a Nero Wolfe mega set and the latest direct-to-DVD offering by Steven Seagal.

This week the latest version of King Kong comes out. There are single and double disc sets depending on your tastes. Also on the monkey front are two Planet of the Apes Box sets. One has a lot of stuff and the other has pretty much everything ever filmed. In the unrated version of Sliver, we get to see even more of Sharon Stone. Is there something we have not already seen? Find out for yourself with the Unrated and Uncensored version of this sexual thriller. Last and not least the very under-rated Stay comes out. It did not get much love in the theaters, people were to busy with The Rock killing aliens or demons or whatever was in Doom. Give this flick a second chance, it deserves it. Jon Jordan will be bringing us a complete review on it next week.

Jeremy Lynch - Entertainment Editor Crime Spree magazine

DVD releases for Tues March 28th

King Kong (2005)
Dir.: Peter Jackson; Naomi Watts, Jack Black, Adrien Brody, Thomas Kretschmann, Colin Hanks, Andy Serkis. Single-disc and two-disc special edition. Extras: Special Edition: Introduction by Jackson, post-production diaries, "Skull Island: A Natural History" featurette, "Kong's New York, 1933" featurette that explores vaudeville, the skyscraper boom, the construction of the Empire State building and more. (Universal).
Buy King Kong
Planet of the Apes: The Ultimate DVD Collection
Fourteen-disc set, $179.98. Includes all five original "Ape" films, the live-action TV series, the animated TV series, the 2001 "Ape" remake, plus tons of extras. (Fox).
Buy The Ultimate Planet Of The Apes
Planet of the Apes: Legacy Edition Box Set
Includes all five original "Ape" films plus a bonus disc with the documentary "Behind the Planet of the Apes" and other bonuses, $49.98. (Fox).
Buy The Planet Of The Apes Legacy Edition
Quantum Leap: The Complete Fourth Season
(1991-92) Scott Bakula, Dean Stockwell Twenty-two episodes, $49.98. Extras: "The Great 80's TV Flashback" featurette. (Universal).
Buy Quantum Leap Season 4
(1993) Dir.: Phillip Noyce; Sharon Stone, William Baldwin, Tom Berenger,, Martin Landau, CCH Pounder, Nina Foch. Unrated and uncensored. (Paramount).
Buy Sliver
(2005) Dir.: Marc Forster; Ewan McGregor, Ryan Gosling, Kate Burton, Naomi Watts, Elizabeth Reaser, Bob Hoskins, Janeane Garofalo, B.D. Wong. Extras: Scene specific commentary by director Forster, "Departing Visions" featurette. (Fox).
Buy Stay

Inside Man: Actors, Director deliver the goods.

Inside Man really isn't anything we have not seen before: a caper flick that tries to keep its viewers guessing until the very end. Sound familiar? It should because it has been done a million times. But Inside Man has some things going for it that the others often don't: a fine script in the hands of a very good director, and a cast that contains a pair of two-time Academy award-winners as well as two Oscar nominees.


Clive Owen is Dalton Russell. Russell has planned the perfect bank robbery. How do we know it is the perfect robbery? He tells us. Russell and his three companions (all called Steve) enter the bank dressed as painters. They quickly take over and lock the doors. When a patrolman comes across the locked doors, he calls for help. Help arrives in the form of Denzel Washington. Washington is Keith Frazier, a detective that is in the dog house over some missing money from a case. While he insists he had nothing to do with it, he is still the prime suspect. He sees this case as a chance to redeem himself and nail a promotion.

The Swat team moves in, the building is isolated, the phone lines tapped and the sewers checked. Every conceivable escape route has been covered. And Detective Frazier is certain that Russell knows this, so why is he so calm? As the night goes on, Frazier become more and more certain that Russell has something up his sleeve that none of them are seeing. Just what is Russell planning? How he is planning on getting away. Therein lies the rub.

Spike Lee takes the helm and does a fantastic job. This is only the second film Lee has directed that he did not write (the first being The 25th Hour, which was adapted by David Benioff from his novel of the same name). When Lee steps away from his usual fare, he shows us just how good he really is. There are twists and turns, none of which seem too far fetched. Rather than deliver the typical bombastic Hollywood thriller, Lee prefers to keep things tight and tense.

Denzel Washington, Clive Owen, Willem Defoe and Christopher Plummer all give fine performances, but it is Jodie Foster who stands out. Foster gives her best performance in ages. She plays a power broker who is often called on when the rich and powerful need help getting what they want. Foster has amazing charisma and it is well used here as she exudes confidence and power. You never once doubt she is capable of delivering what she promises.

As I said before, Inside Man will not show you anything you have not seen before, it will simply show you how it is supposed to be done. The rest of Hollywood should take notice as Inside Man proves that anything worth doing is worth doing right.

Jeremy Lynch

Mar 23, 2006

Dumb books

I did an google image search for dumb books.
I got this:
Dumb Books A review of Stuart Woods
Then I foud this

which lead to this on a search for stupid books

Bad books gave me the crew from Black Books, the wonderful sitcom

Nothing much I agreed with under great books, but this was funny

What have we learned here?
Nothing really, but google is entertaining.
Please feel free to return to your lives as scheduled....

The never ending cycle

We got #11 into the mail last week and while this might be cause to celebrate, we already have our next deadline upon us this weekend. Books still coming in with the hope of being reviewed for that issue.

#12 is going to have the one and only Val McDermid on the cover. We're going to be using two different covers, both featuring great shots of Val.

We have some pretty cool stuff lined up.

Meawhile when you get issue 11 let us know what you think. We never get enough feedback!

Mar 21, 2006


Sometimes I don't go to sleep.
It makes my wife a little worried.
But I need to be up.
I have things to do.
Things important and deep.
And I refuse to fell hurried.

And really, I'm just not tired

I'm not.

And sometimes I stay up because I need to read.
A book so good that I'll make coffe at 2:00 am to help me stay up.

The latest book to do this to me was Robert Eversz ZERO TO THE BONE.

This is book five in the series featuring paparazzi photographer Nina Zero and I think it's the best yet. Nina is an ex-con working for a tabloid paper in Hollywood. Through out the series we see Nina go through changes. This book is no different. She has to face past issues with her Father and is also looking at the endof her parole. She is also talked into exhibitting her photos for the fist time and be taken as a serious photographer.

Naturally something goews wrong, as one of the models Nina had shot for the show goes missing, presumed murdered. Nina is drawn into the case because of a dvd sent to her with waht looks like the murder taking place.

What really makes this series, and this book in particular work is the fact that Eversz writes great characters. They are real people dealing with real things. The action is smooth and the pacing perfect.

Eversz spoke on his last tour about doing a five book arc and bringing the series full circle. I think he has done that and done it exceedingly well. There was talk of spinning off another series with one of the supporting characters thaa might feature an occasional glimpse of Nina. I'd sure like that, but the truth is Eversz is so damn good I'd read a grocery list. I trust that what ever the next book is it will be great.
Meanwhile if you haven't read this book, or God forbid, the series, get going!

Mar 18, 2006

The Amazon Links

I'm putting these up so people can order the movies being reviewed quickly.
I firmly believe in Independant Bookstores so I won't be lining to any mystery novels.

V For Vendetta

V for Vendetta: Good acting, good action and just plain good.

Based on the graphic novel by Alan Moore, Vendetta is set in a not too distant future in which England has become a fascist state. A shadowy figure, known only as V, wages war on the government with the intent to spark a revolution, or so it would appear. Before long, it becomes clear that he has vengeance on his mind.

James Mc Teigue makes his directorial debut, after working as First Assistant Director on The Matrix trilogy, and does an incredible job bringing the wonderful graphic novel to the big screen. He wisely put together an amazing cast that includes Hugo Weaving, Natalie Portman, John Hurt, Stephen Rea and Stephen Fry. It is the fine acting of this
group helps V step above much of the Sci-fi dreck that we have seen in the past. They help the characters seem a little more real and not just archetypes.

John Hurt is fantastic as Adam Sutler, the head of the government. He is everything you could want in a villain, I found myself wanting to seem him taken out almost before he uttered his first words. It was as though he was taking leadership classes from Hitler himself.

Hugo Weaving is excellent. Despite being covered by a mask the entire film, he manages to convey emotions and get across the nuances of the character. His use of vocal inflections as well as body language is fantastic. V, despite being ruthless and living up to the label of terrorist, is a sympathetic character whose motivations are understandable. You may find yourself feeling a bit uneasy for cheering for him at times.

I have been a fan of Natalie Portman since seeing her in Leon (aka The Professional) at the age of 13. But after seeing her flail about in junk like Anywhere but Here, Where the Heart is and the Star Wars trilogy, I had almost forgotten she could act. It is nice to see her picking roles that clearly interest her enough to bring out the full range of her acting abilities. I hope she stays on this course for years tocome.

V for Vendetta is a fun, stylish action flick full of power and emotion. While it is true that the filmmakers have taken some liberties with the source material, they stay true to the overall feel of the comic and convey the underlying message quite well. Whether or not you have read the comic, you should enjoy this motion picture.

Though I must mention that towards the end of the movie, the comic book nerd, (you know the type: 40ish, pudgy, looks like he still lives with mom and dad) broke into tears. I held up, managing not only to not cry, but also refraining from openly making fun of him. Of course I am mentioning now so maybe I am not as strong as I would like to think.

Jeremy Lynch

Get the graphic novel

DVD Review - A History Of Violence

A History of Violence

New Line Cinema

Release date: March 14, 2006

I have never been a big fan of David Cronenberg; too much of his work is a little too… offbeat for my taste. Another way to put it is that his work can be just plain weird. Having said that, I was a little hesitant when I sat down to watch A History of Violence.

I should not have been. AHOV is an outstanding film. It features very strong performances by a fantastic cast. Cronenberg brings a certain stylistic flavor that prevents AHOV from seeming mundane.

Viggo Mortensen plays Tom Stall, a family man in small town Indiana. When an attempted robbery of his diner results in his killing the criminals, Tom is thrust into the spotlight as a hero. This publicity brings some unwanted attention when a mobster(Ed Harris) comes into town insisting that Tom is not who he claims to be.

To reveal any more would spoil the film. This gives you the set-up. The story itself is not what makes this special. It is the impassioned performances by Mortensen, Maria Bello(Who plays Tom’s Wife) and others that draws you in and makes you want to understand what is happening and why.

William Hurt has a small, but important role that won him an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actor. His part takes up perhaps 15 minutes of screen time, but in that time he certainly makes an impact and reminds you just how good of an actor he is.

The DVD features a director’s commentary that definitely adds insight and makes the film all the more fascinating. Also featured is an examination of the two very minor differences between the U.S. version and the international version. It is amazing what minor changes can make a scene acceptable to the MPAA. Other features include footage from the Cannes film festival. While many films toss on bits and pieces simply to have bonus features, the extras here are welcome additions that add to the viewing experience.

A History of Violence is worth watching and worth owning. I can see myself going back to visit the Stall family again down the line.

Jeremy Lynch
Buy A History Of Violence

Mar 17, 2006

DVD Releases for Up Coming Week

There is an overlooked gem (The Dying Gaul) and one of the best films of all time (Stalag 17) coming out on the 21st. Add to that Capote’s release and I think a trip to the store is in order.

Jeremy Lynch

DVD releases for March 21st

(2005) Dir.: Bennett Miller; Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine
Keener, Clifton Collins Jr., Chris Cooper, Bruce Greenwood. Some of you might be familiar with this film, Hoffman just snagged an Oscar for his portrayal of the troubled and eccentric Capote. Extras: Extended behind-the-scenes documentaries, Truman Capote featurette, commentary by director Bennett Miller and Hoffman, commentary by Miller and writer Dan Futterman. (Sony).
Buy Capote
The Confessor
(aka The Good Shepherd) (2004) Christian Slater, Molly Parker,
Stephen Rea. Christian Slater plays a priest who is drawn out of his comfortable existence of fundraising and p.r. work when he believes in the innocence of a young priest charged with murder. (Sony).
Buy The Confessor
(2005) Vincent Cassel, Clive Owen, Jennifer Aniston, Melissa George, RZA, Tom Conti, Xzibit. Rated and unrated versions. The thriller based on James Siegel’s novel of the same name. Extras: Deleted scenes. (The Weinstein Co.)
Buy Derailed
The Dying Gaul
(2005) Patricia Clarkson, Peter Sarsgaard, Campbell Scott.
An interesting thriller full of manipulation, lust, betrayal and revenge. Extras: Deleted scenes, alternate ending. (Sony).
Buy The Dying Gaul
The Godfather DVD Collection Four-Disc Set
Includes "The Godfather," "The Godfather II" and "The Godfather III" with a fourth disc featuring 22 minutes of footage chronicling the making of "The Godfather The Game" videogame. $76.99. (Paramount).
Buy The Godfather DVD Collection
Stalag 17 Special Collector's Edition
(1953) Dir.: Billy Wilder; William
Holden, Don Taylor, Otto Preminger, Robert Strauss. One of the greatest films ever made. Drama and intrigue in a POW camp. William Holden won an Oscar for his role. That is all you need to know. Buy it immediately. Extras: Commentary by Erdman and Stratton and co-playwright Donald Bevan, "Stalag 17: From Reality to Screen" featurette, "The Real Heroes of Stalag XVIIB" featurette, photo gallery. (Paramount)
Buy Stalag 17