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March 6, 2014
We’re saluting mystery series this week, and many people associate the word “series” with television. Who are we to buck a trend? So this week’s quiz is about TV sleuths, snoops, and coppers.
1. Huggy Bear dressed like a pimp, ran a bar, and provided “street intelligence” for which cops?
2. What groundbreaking show about two female police officers premiered in 1982 and was originally written as a feature film?
3. Peter Falk famously played Columbo in a series that ran from 1971 to 1978. What was the character’s first name?
4. Name the cop-show that debuted in 1968 and was pitched with the tagline “One White, One Black, One Blonde.”
5. Name the innovative series that rescued a former model’s career, propelled a former bartender to stardom and made history by way of its nominations, by the Directors’ Guild of America, for both Best Drama AND Best Comedy…in the same season.
6. What Miami-based series, only recently off the air, featured one of the leading actresses from Question 2 (extra credit if you can ID the actress).
7. In 1967, the brilliant Sydney Poitier debuted the first of three films he would make featuring the character Virgil Tibbs. Nearly 20 years later, the first of these films was made into a TV series with Howard Rollins and Carroll O’Connor. Name the film or the series.
March 5, 2014
Another of Les Blatt’s audio reviews, this one for Ngaio Marsh’s Vintage Murder, a novel that is often overlooked in discussions of the Alleyn series, and which also holds the distinction of taking place in New Zealand. The “Vintage” in the title, by the way, is a reference to a bottle of champagne. But we won’t give any more away…
March 4, 2014
Much has been written about Ngaio Marsh, from her own autobiography, Black Beech and Honeydew, to countless blog posts. She was the subject of two biographies; first in 1991, by Margaret Lewis, and then again in 2008, by Joanne Drayton. She was a winner of the Mystery Writers of America Grand Master Award (in 1978), and was made Dame of the British Empire in 1966. In 2010, the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel was established in New Zealand. Given all this, saying something new about Ngaio Marsh is a bit of a tall order, so instead we’re leaving you with this three-part New Zealand TV documentary from 1977 on the life of Ngaio Marsh, which contains a long interview, excerpts from the TV series, and, in the third part especially, a discussion of Ngaio Marsh as a theater actor and director.
Fun fact from the documentary: her first play was titled “Cinderella” (OK, so she was 10 years old).