Harry O Tie-Ins


What is best TV private eye show? For me, it's a tie between David Janssen's HARRY O and James Garner's THE ROCKFORD FILES… with Darren McGavin's THE OUTSIDER coming in a close second. The plots on HARRY O were often lousy, but the pleasure of watching Janssen's portrayal and listening to the crisp dialogue (and, in the first season, the voice-overs) more than made up for it. HARRY O is definitely the most "literary" of the three …by that I mean that it was the show that came closest to capturing the feeling of reading a detective novel. Perhaps that's why I was so disappointed in the HARRY O tie-in novels, one of which is reviewed today over on the Vintage Hardboiled Reads blog. He says, in part:

This "Harry O" paperback is far from being a great crime novel, but as a huge fan of the series I did enjoy it. I would say that the characterization of Harry Orwell in the story is fairly close to the TV one. The spoken narrative on the show is definitely much better. And the book didn't capture that lonely, somber persona that David Janssen was able to deliver. I'll chalk that up as something that is difficult for a tie-in author to do. The writing is straightforward and the plot though interesting, wasn't too difficult to figure out. Even with the similarities of Hammett's Casper Gutman, I would of liked to have seen more of the Sydney Jerome character. He came off as the most colorful of all in the story. All-in-all, it still was a fun quick read for me. If you were a fan of the TV series, I'm sure you would get a kick out of this novel also.

And, just for the fun of it, here's the  HARRY O main title from the second half of season one  (I'll use any excuse to watch it again).




Mrs Potato Head is Back…Again

Lady Sybilla, the dimwit who tried to sell her own TWILIGHT sequels on eBay, is back. Now's she's self-published RUSSET NOON through CreateSpace and is offering her swill on Amazon as a "parody" in a pathetic and transparent attempt not to get slapped with a cease-and-desist order. The product description of her craptastic opus clearly indicates that it's not a parody…but a lame attempt to sell a sequel to a book, and characters, she doesn't own. This delusional fanficcer must have studied at the feet of the master, Lori Jareo.

(Thanks to C.S. Winchester for the  heads-up)

UPDATE 8-10-2010: No surprise:  Faster than you can say "Lori Jareo, " delusional fanficcer Lady Sybilla's self-published TWILIGHT sequel RUSSET NOON has been yanked off of Amazon. It's also now "on hold" on CreateSpace.

Remaindered In the News

REMAINDERED was the good news/bright side in an article in today's Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer about the unfortunate cancellation of the NDX Film Festival. The article said, in part:

Though the festival has been canceled, a short movie will still be filmed in Owensboro in September.

"Remaindered" was written and will be directed by Lee Goldberg, a veteran TV writer, author and member of the Mystery Writers of America. The film was set to premiere during the NDX Film Festival.

"Remaindered" is about a once famous and successful author who is on a downward spiral in his career and in the midst of a self-funded book tour. The movie takes its name from the term for a book being relegated to a store's bargain bin. Students taking classes in the recently created theater arts degree program will have the chance to participate in the filming.

Newton said he and Goldberg hope to show "Remaindered" and "Murder in Kentucky," a short movie filmed during the 2009 International Mystery Writers Festival, in October at the RiverPark Center. A round-table discussion about filmmaking and what filmmakers learned from the two movies would then be held, Newton said.

Roxi Witt, general manager of the RiverPark Center, wrote in an e-mail that RiverPark staff members need to discuss the possible showings with its board of directors at this month's meeting."

Attention K-Mart Shoppers


In REMAINDERED, the short film I will be directing in September in Kentucky, the central character is a once-successful writer now on a self-funded book tour through rural America, signing at K-Marts and stores like it. The story unfolds at two discount stores and a house. We've locked down the house location, but we are still looking for a discount store to shoot in (and that would double as two different stores). It hasn't been easy. We're only four weeks from filming and a couple of possibilities have emerged… but the uncertainty is driving me nuts.

I suspect whatever location we end up at will require some adjustments to the script and some cheating. For example, one possible location is an office equipment store…which makes no sense at all story-wise. But if I use an establishing shot of a discount store, and then shoot tight in one corner, and have a bunch of people pushing shopping carts filled with groceries, garden items, etc. past where my protagonist is signing books, I might be able to sell the notion that we are in a K-Mart or Save-A-Lot…and not in an office equipment place.

But I sure hope it doesn't come to that…

The Triumphant Return Of The Goldberg Brothers Band…Plus A Rabkin

51bwbQd18mL._SS500_ From my brother Tod's blog

Yes, the rumors you've heard are true: My brother Lee and I are putting the Goldberg Brothers Band back together for a limited engagement summer tour. We'll be playing all of our hits, a bunch of the B-sides you used to love, the songs with the backward masking and, of course, we intend to do our patented Hot August Night show where we cover, in full, Neil Diamond's original live album of the same name. And despite Lee's late career marriage to Cher, his weight gain and the time he spent in prison for cutting a fan with his glass-beaded shirt, folks I swear he still rocks. It all starts this coming weekend and then all of August will be spent hitting some pretty major county fairs, parks with well-lit gazebos (Pioneer Park in Walla Walla, I'm talking to you!) and then one final night at the Cow Palace. Scorsese is filming that one for a concert film.

We'll be joined by William "Billy The Axe Man" Rabkin for a few dates, too, so keep your radio tuned to your favorite AM rock station for the details. 

Here's where we'll be this coming weekend:

Saturday, Aug. 7th, 1pm

Mysteries to Die For

2940 Thousand Oaks Blvd.

Thousand Oaks, CA 91362

Lee will be signing his new Monk book (his 109th, I believe), Bill will be signing his new Pysch book, and I'll be signing my new Burn Notice book.

 Saturday, Aug. 7th, 4pm

The Mystery Bookstore

1306 Broxton Avenue

LA, CA 90024 (that's Westwood Village)

Same as above, but we'll have perfected our jokes and witty banter from the previous event. 

 Sunday, Aug. 8th, 1pm

Mystery Ink

7176 Edinger Avenue

Huntington Beach, CA 

Just me and Lee this time. Bill has a parole hearing that day. This is a new store, so there's a good chance it will just be me and Lee and no one else, really. So if you've ever wanted to have a private conversation with us about, you know, whatever weird shit happens to be on your mind, this is your chance.