Sunday, November 29, 2015

From Stark House: Fell The Angels Catharine Butzen

Catherine Butzen
Fell the Angels
978-1-933586-89-2  $17.95

Stark House Press introduced the Fell the Angels characters in Catherine Butzen’s first novel, Thief of Midnight, back in 2010. The main character, Abby Marquise, works in Chicago for the Society for the Security of Reality, keeping the world area safe from the nefarious plots of such mythical creatures as boogymen, werewolves, ghouls and faeries. 

In Thief of Midnight, there is a plot by the bogeymen--their existence threatened by dying belief--to kidnap children and create a reign of terror. In Fell the Angels, Abby and her group have to deal with a group of rogue selkies who are in league with a group of power-hungry faeries.

Reviews for Thief of Midnight include this from Publishers Weekly: “Butzen's strong debut livens up some common urban fantasy tropes with witty dialogue and fun monsters.” 

Her new fantasy mystery is darker—and even stronger. 

In fact, Fell the Angels just received a PW review in late October, in which the reviewer had this to say: "Butzen keeps the action moving quickly, with plenty of fights distracting Abby and John from their search for the killer, but also tosses in some delightfully grim humor... fans of the formula will enjoy the ride." 

Part urban fantasy, part detective thriller, Fell the Angels is the second book in the Abby Marquise series. Available now from Stark House Press at

Saturday, November 28, 2015


Ed here: This is a discussion from

TCM Movie Morlocks. Even though I think Body Doubles is something of a mess structurally I enjoyed it and find this discussion entertaining.

Sark and Rick Discuss Brian De Palma's "Body Double"

This post is being republished as part of ClassicBecky's and Dorian'sThe Best Hitchcock Movies (That Hitchcock Never Made) blogathon. Click here to read other entries in the blogathon.

This discussion of 
Body Double (1984) between film fans from different generations assumes that you’ve seen the film. But if you haven’t—or have, but need a plot refresher--here’s a synopsis:Actor Jake Scully (Craig Wasson) experiences a debilitating episode of claustrophobia on the set of a low-budget horror film. Dismissed for the day, he discovers his girlfriend Carol making love to another man. Later, he learns that he has been fired from the movie. Since Carol owned the house they shared, Jake needs to find new lodgings. His luck improves when another actor, Sam, offers a house-sitting gig. One of the perks of the observatory-like house is a telescope aimed at the window of an attractive woman who performs a provocative dance routine every night. Jake becomes obsessed with his "window" neighbor, but becomes concerned when he spies another man watching and following her. (Body Double is rated for adult themes, nudity, and violence.)

: Sark, you once said that De Palma’s best Hitchcock homages were the ones where he took Hitchcockian themes and turned them on their head. I think Body Double is a great example of that. On the surface, Body Double is a suspense film--and a very good one. But underneath the surface, it's a witty film about acting and deception. When Jake freezes up while reliving the "sardine game" in his acting class, the teacher yells at him: "You've got to act!" That's just what everyone around Jake does throughout the rest of the movie. Alexander Revelle acts the role of Sam who, in turn, acts the role of "the Indian." Holly acts out of the role of Gloria. Even Jake gets in the game, acting out the role of an adult film producer. The scene over the closing credit is a perfect coda, where De Palma shows us a body double in a shower scene in the horror film. Holly, who is standing beside the lead actress, tells her: "I bet this will get you a lot of dates." Thus, more deception will be promulgated!
for the rest go here:

Barry Malzberg: Queen's Gambit

A posting to Rara Avis, that mystery discussion group. 

Patti Abbot, bless her, fails to see the fragility, the passion, the divided self and agonizing struggle of Elizabeth Harmon to supersede her damaged history and psyche, Patti Abbot mistakenly sees this novel as ideologically centered (anti-Commie) when politics is the shell, not the meaning, the distraction, not the soul.  She does not appear to understand the complexity of the characters, all of them or that they are all in thrall to chess itself which in this great novel is no metaphor but is the shape and expression of our condition.

In 1964 in Syracuse, my wife and I saw THE HUSTLER in a local theater (the second time I had seen it) as did our friend, the great poet Trim Bissell who said then "It's a nice film but I have come to the conclusion that it is _only_ about pool."  And I did not have the wit to give him the proper response until years later after he had jumped bail and gone underground for seventeen years meaning that when they finally caught him we surely would have had other matters to discuss.  So I must settle again for giving that proper answer to rara avis, such empty (but always earnest) forum: "Trim, you are right.  Of course you are.  But in being right you have isolated not the weakness of the work but its stunning power.  Because if if a work of art is truly about something, embraces its subject wholly, explores it to the absolute, then it has taken the world itself."

Poor Trim.  (1942-2002)   Poor Elizabeth Harmon.  Poor Boris Spassky.  Poor Bobby Fischer. 
The world in all its elegance, intricacy and darkness.
Barry N. Malzberg

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving; My favorite quote about actor David Canary's passing

Ed here: We had a long and perfect lunch with my son Joe and his entire family yesterday. Even our oldest grandchild Shannon was back from the Naval Academy. After next year she'll be spending five years on various ships around the world. We'll see her even less. I baby sat her three afternoons a week when she was 2 1/2-5 years old. She was such a sweet, hilarious little girl. And now she's a sweet, hilarious--and brilliant--young woman.


Actor David Canary died Friday. I always enjoyed his work. A real pro, good guy or bad, soap operas or westerns, so I read his obits. This sardonic line from the NY Times made me smile as I'm sure it would have Mr. Canary himself.:

"Mr. Canary’s first taste of soap-opera drama came in 1965, when he was cast as Dr. Russ Gehring, Mia Farrow’s physical therapist, in “Peyton Place.” Ms. Farrow’s character was in a coma at the time, so their interaction was minimal."