Category Archives: Books and Authors

‘Primates of Park Avenue’: ‘Holes Big Enough to Drive an Escalade Through’

Isabel Vincent and Melissa Klein of the New York Post do some fact-checking on the bestselling book “Primates of Park Avenue,” by Wednesday/Wendy Martin. Executive summary: “Holes big enough to drive an Escalade through.” An excellent Sunday read and a … Continue reading

Posted in 2015, Another Good Story Ruined, Books and Authors | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Book Review: ‘Dead to Me’ by Mary McCoy

Last week’s mail brought us an advance copy of “Dead to Me” by our longtime friend Mary McCoy of the Los Angeles Public Library, one of the leading lights among those of us who research L.A. history and a past … Continue reading

Posted in 1948, 2015, Books and Authors, Hollywood, LAPD | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

What I’m Reading

Yesterday’s mail brought two long-anticipated books. The recently published “Missing Reels” by Farran Smith Nehme and an advance copy of Mary McCoy’s “Dead to Me.” I may do nothing but read this weekend.

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Al Martinez, a Dying Boy and Some Peaches

Jim Romenesko, for those who aren’t in the news business, runs an essential blog that serves as a clearing house for information, gossip, bad headlines and assorted gaffes. A Jan. 6 post dealt with former Times columnist Al Martinez, who … Continue reading

Posted in 1949, 1958, Books and Authors, Columnists | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Al Martinez — ‘Jigsaw John’

While people are remembering former Times columnist Al Martinez, it’s good to mention his 1975 book “Jigsaw John,” about LAPD Detective John St. John, who was one of the caretakers of the Black Dahlia case at Robbery-Homicide. Copies are available … Continue reading

Posted in Black Dahlia, Books and Authors, LAPD | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

‘Laura’ — The Making of a Film Noir Classic, Part 46

Joseph “Jay” Dratler in a photo from the cover of his 1947 novel “The Pitfall,” listed on EBay at Buy It Now for $245.   Joseph “Jay” Dratler, who received the first screenwriting credit on “Laura,” is a somewhat obscure … Continue reading

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Ray Bradbury’s Unrealized Opera: ‘Leviathan ‘99’

Since Ray Bradbury died in 2012, I have been rummaging around the Daily Mirror archives in a frustrating search for a copy of his libretto for an opera titled “Leviathan ’99,” which I obtained many years ago when I was … Continue reading

Posted in 1984, Books and Authors, Music | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

L.A. Daily Mirror Retro Drinking Guide: A Brief History of the Tom and Jerry

A recipe for the Tom and Jerry from the San Francisco Call, June 30, 1912. Note: This is a repost from 2013. Over on Facebook, Christopher McPherson asked whether the Tom and Jerry was named for the MGM cartoon characters. … Continue reading

Posted in 1862, Books and Authors, Food and Drink | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

L.A. Daily Mirror Retro Shopping Guide

Final suggestion: “Missing Reels,” by Farran Smith Nehme, who writes so wonderfully about films on the Self-Styled Siren. “Missing Reels” is available from Amazon. Locally, it’s listed at Book Soup (“on our shelves now”), Skylight Books (“ships to store in … Continue reading

Posted in Books and Authors, Film, Hollywood | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

‘Laura’ — The Making of a Film Noir Classic, Part 42

An image from the Broadway play “In Time to Come,” directed by Otto Preminger, listed on EBay as Buy It Now for $32.75. In case you just tuned in, I’m using Louella Parsons’ May 15, 1944, item on Rouben Mamoulian … Continue reading

Posted in 1944, Books and Authors, Film, Hollywood, World War I, World War II | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

‘Laura’ — The Making of a Film Noir Classic, Part 41

Otto Preminger makes his film debut as an actor in 1942 in “The Pied Piper.” Preminger said in a 1970 interview in On Film: “Although I’m Jewish, I can look like a Nazi if I shave my head.” The film … Continue reading

Posted in 1942, 1943, 1944, Books and Authors, Film, Hollywood, Stage | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

L.A. Daily Mirror Retro Shopping Guide

If you are running a bit late in your holiday shopping, you might consider an advance order of “Dead to Me,” a YA (young adult) novel to be issued by Disney-Hyperion in March. “Dead to Me” is by Mary McCoy, … Continue reading

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‘Laura’ — The Making of a Film Noir Classic, Part 40

In case you just tuned in, I’m using Louella Parsons’ May 15, 1944, item on Rouben Mamoulian being replaced as the director of “Laura” to take a meandering look at the making of the film, which was released in Los … Continue reading

Posted in 1944, Books and Authors, Film, Hollywood | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

‘Laura’ — The Making of a Film Noir Classic, Part 39

  In case you just tuned in, I’m using Louella Parsons’ May 15, 1944, item on Rouben Mamoulian being replaced as the director of “Laura” to take a meandering look at the making of the film, which was released in … Continue reading

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L.A. Daily Mirror Retro Shopping Guide

Note: This is a repost from 2013. Today’s holiday gift suggestion is the latest biography from Eve Golden, “John Gilbert: The Last of the Silent Film Stars.” The Daily Mirror likes to support its local independent bookstore whenever possible. But … Continue reading

Posted in Books and Authors, Film, Hollywood | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

‘Laura’ — The Making of a Film Noir Classic, Part 38

In case you just tuned in, I’m using Louella Parsons’ May 15, 1944, item on Rouben Mamoulian being replaced as the director of “Laura” to take a meandering look at the making of the film, which was released in Los … Continue reading

Posted in 1944, Books and Authors, Film, Hollywood | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

L.A. Daily Mirror Retro Shopping Guide

“Angel’s Flight” by Leo Politi. Another of my favorite books about Los Angeles is Leo Politi’s “Bunker Hill Los Angeles: Reminiscences of Bygone Days,” published in 1964. Copies are listed on Bookfinder for as little as $20. This painting shows … Continue reading

Posted in Art & Artists, Books and Authors | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

L.A. Daily Mirror Retro Shopping Guide

“The Los Angeles Book,” with text by Lee Shippey and photos by Max Yavno is one of my favorite books on Los Angeles – but only for Yavno’s photographs. The text is forgettable and, in fact, Yavno said he paid … Continue reading

Posted in 1950, Books and Authors | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

L.A. Daily Mirror Retro Shopping Guide

In February, I ran a series of posts by James Curtis about producer David Lewis. This isn’t a new book but I found it remarkably insightful. “The Creative Producer” can be found via Bookfinder.com, with copies starting as low as … Continue reading

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‘Laura’ — The Making of a Film Noir Classic, Part 37

Detective Mark McPherson (played by Dana Andrews), confronts Shelby Carpenter (played by Vincent Price) about a shotgun that might be the murder weapon. In case you just tuned in, I’m using Louella Parsons’ May 15, 1944, item on Rouben Mamoulian … Continue reading

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