Patricia Cornwell has become a big name in crime novels, specializing in the fictional exploits of Medical Examiner Kay Scarpetta. Post-Mortem is Cornwell’s first Scarpetta book, first published in 1990, and has the intrepid ME following the trail of a serial killer who specializes in raping and then strangling females who live alone. Of course, it’s inevitable that there will be someone on the inside sabotaging her investigation, and that the killer will for one reason or another target her.
The plot drags in places, but is generally acceptable for this sort of book. The forensic detection elements, while far too few and brief, are interesting, and the serial killer himself is, if not unique, at least not derivative. However, Cornwell’s plot would have profited from devoting more time to the actual science or the detection than on interpersonal squabbling and pointless in-fighting; someday, authors will learn that “characterization” does not mean “make them all annoying and selfish.” The eventual revelation of the villain is, while not obvious, not particularly difficult to predict; readers paying any attention at all will have a pretty good idea by about halfway through the book. All that remains will be filling in the holes and determining motive.
It’s apparently a really wretched television marathon tonight on the site.
Did you know there was a five-minute short prepared as a pilot for a Wonder Woman TV series back in 1967? Neither did I. But Mark Evanier gives you the skinnee on it, plus an embedded YouTube bit for the video. Go watch it on his site so you can read the history. It’s…wow, it’s bad. It’s so bad that funny breaks down when confronted with this thing’s unfunny gravity well.
Just the other day I saw mention of the fact that there are still people out there who have not seen the horrid wretched thing that is The Star Wars Holiday Special. Basically, Chewbacca has to go back to his home planet to celebrate Life Day with his family: Malla, Itchy and Lumpy. And Bea Arthur and Art Carney show up, along with Jefferson Starship as holograms. And then you wake up ninety minutes later in a puddle of your own drool, your mind having blue-screened to avoid a catastrophic failure.
Watching this is basically the fanboy equivalent of what Case in Neuromancer had done to him by his former bosses.
John over at fellow nominee Come to Find Out… left a comment on one of our recent posts, congratulating us. And that was the first news I had heard. So of course, paranoid bastard that I am, I thought, “If he’s pulling my leg just to screw with my head, I’ll eat his spleen.” But yeah, it’s official. Sorry I uh…considered eating your spleen, John. I’m sure it’s a…um, fine spleen but…
Anyway, Kyle at Blogebrity liveblogged the event but didn’t record the Best Kept Secret win since…well, we weren’t there. I seriously considered attending but for two reasons, decided not to. One, that costs money and hey, does a shmoe who shamelessly begs for help from his readers look like the type who can just wing to Austin? I think nay.
DVD of the Week:Dead Poets Society. Once upon a time, before Robin Williams decided to be edgy instead of just dramatic, he made this movie. And once upon a time, it was released in a bare bones DVD. But no more…this time around, Disney throws it back at us with plenty: a commentary with director Peter Weir and others, deleted scenes, a retrospective featurette, a respectable slew of new interviews with cast and crew, and a mini-class in proper lighting. Rejoice. (Buy it)
TV DVD of the Week:The Mary Tyler Moore: The Complete Third Season. Fox presents all twenty-four third season episodes of this classic series across three discs. No features, but fans will appreciate getting Mary, Cloris Leachman, Ed Asner, Ted Knight, Valerie Harper and Gavin McLeod on DVD, along with guest stars Jerry Van Dyke, Craig T. Nelson and others. (Buy it)