Category Archives: Books and Authors

‘Mort Sahl: Last Man Standing’ by James Curtis

Folks, please give a little love to the publication today of “Last Man Standing,” James Curtis’ new biography of Mort Sahl, who transformed standup comedy from mother-in-law gags to cutting political commentary. James, known for his biographies of W.C. Fields, … Continue reading

Posted in 2017, Books and Authors, Stage | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Coming Events: Book Signing for ‘Hollywood at Play’

A book signing for “Hollywood at Play,” by Donovan Brandt, Mary Mallory and Stephen X. Sylvester, will be held at 4 p.m. Saturday at Larry Edmunds Bookshop at 6644 Hollywood Blvd.

Posted in 2017, Books and Authors, Coming Attractions, Film, Hollywood, Mary Mallory | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Eve Golden’s YouTube Theater: Castles on the Air

  Eve Golden’s biography of Vernon and Irene Castle. I am operating on the assumption that none of you have read my 2007 biography of Vernon and Irene Castle—that book laid an ostrich-sized egg. Three dogs and a cat bought … Continue reading

Posted in 1915, Books and Authors, Dance, Eve Golden, Film, Hollywood | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

Black Dahlia: ‘Severed’ Author John Gilmore Dead at 81 (Updated)

John Gilmore is dead? Really? Hidden in yet another rehash of the Black Dahlia case for the 70th anniversary of Elizabeth Short’s killing is word from Tony Mostrom in L.A. Weekly that “Severed” author John Gilmore died in October. This … Continue reading

Posted in 1947, 2016, Black Dahlia, Books and Authors, Cold Cases, LAPD, Obituaries | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

Black Dahlia: ‘Heaven Is Here!’ Progress Report

A little over a year ago, on Dec. 18, 2015, I walked out the doors of the Los Angeles Times after 27 years, having asked a security guard to take this picture of my farewell. And yes, I’m wearing my … Continue reading

Posted in 1947, Black Dahlia, Books and Authors, Cold Cases, LAPD | Tagged , , , , | 32 Comments

Black Dahlia: ‘Ghostland’ and Another Good Story Ruined (Updated)

“Ghostland” by Colin Dickey, Page 136. OK, who can spot the mistake in the highlighted passage? (And yes, Dickey is about to invoke the name of Kenneth Anger, who has caused more grief for historians than any other writer). This … Continue reading

Posted in 1947, Black Dahlia, Books and Authors, LAPD | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

In the Steps of Raymond Chandler: L.A. Mystery Quotes (Updated +)

To accompany my piece on James Ellroy, Michael Connelly and The Wrong Side of Goodbye at the L.A. Review of Books, here are eleven mystery writers strolling Los Angeles in the shadow of Raymond Chandler. Can you identify the authors? … Continue reading

Posted in Books and Authors | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Eve Golden’s YouTube Theater: Do not Get Me Started With Marion Davies and Orson Welles

“American Heiress” via Amazon.com. Rush out and get Jeffrey Toobin’s new book about the Patty Hearst kidnapping, American Heiress. It’s really one of the best-written, best-researched books I’ve read lately, and is actually laugh-out-loud funny at points. I am quite … Continue reading

Posted in Books and Authors, Eve Golden, Film, Hollywood | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

Mystery Manuscript

If you think the mystery movies are tough – try the British Library’s mystery manuscript.

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The L.A. Public Library’s Thriving Authors

The Los Angeles Public Library seems to be a thriving hub of book authorship these days, and if you wonder how the library contributed to their writing, you can hear them explain at a panel at 1 p.m. Friday Aug. … Continue reading

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Found on EBay: Manly Palmer Hall

The biography of Manly Hall by my Los Angeles Times colleague Louis Sahagun. Two lectures by Manly Hall have been listed on EBay as Buy It Now for $69. Hall was included in a Los Angeles Conservancy tour in 2009,  … Continue reading

Posted in Books and Authors, Found on EBay, Religion | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: Larry Edmunds Bookshop Provides Film Education for More Than 75 Years

  Jeanne Moreau shoots a scene for the 1970 film “Alex in Wonderland,” starring Donald Sutherland, right, at Larry Edmunds Bookshop, from a catalog listed on EBay  Long a mecca for film aficionados, Hollywood’s Larry Edmunds Bookshop continues educating film … Continue reading

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L.A. Celebrates Fourth of July With Cricket Match, Bagpipe Contest

Note: This is a post from 2007. July 4, 1907 Los Angeles And how does Los Angeles celebrate Independence Day? With cricket matches and bagpipe contests.  

Posted in 1907, Black Dahlia, Books and Authors, Fashions, LAPD, Music, Parks, Streetcars | Leave a comment

Black Dahlia: A Crime Graphic Novel by James Ellroy, David Fincher, Matz and Miles Hyman

Take a close look: “The Black Dahlia ™.” Does that mean the publisher is trying to trademark “The Black Dahlia?”  Good luck with that.   I picked up a copy of the new graphic novel version of James Ellroy’s “The … Continue reading

Posted in 1947, Art & Artists, Black Dahlia, Books and Authors, Cold Cases, LAPD | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Books and Authors: ‘Deepwater Horizon’

  Earl Boebert, a member of the Brain Trust, writes that his book “Deepwater Horizon: A Systems Analysis of the Macondo Disaster,”  written with James M. Blossom, will be published in September by Harvard University Press. This is a little … Continue reading

Posted in Books and Authors, Brain Trust | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Coming Attractions: Mark A. Vieira’s ‘Into the Dark’

Mark A. Vieira writes that he will be signing advance copies of his book “Into the Dark” at the TCM Classic Film Festival. “Into the Dark,” published by Running Press and TCM, won’t be officially released until May 24, so … Continue reading

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‘Laura’ — The Making of a Film Noir Classic, Part 52

One important aspect about the script for “Laura,” beyond the filming of the movie, is the complicated agreement that Twentieth Century-Fox had with David O. Selznick in sharing the contract of Jennifer Jones, who was originally cast in the lead … Continue reading

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‘Laura’ — The Making of a Film Noir Classic, Part 51

The final shooting script for “Laura,” dated April 18, 1944, with additions as late as July 1944. On Monday, Nov. 1, 1943, Twentieth Century-Fox head of production Darryl F. Zanuck issued his stinging critique of Jay Dratler’s draft of “Laura.” … Continue reading

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‘Laura’ — The Making of a Film Noir Classic, Part 50

“Memo From Darryl F. Zanuck,” edited by Rudy Behlmer. On Nov. 1, 1943, Darryl F. Zanuck, the Twentieth Century-Fox head of production, issued a stinging critique of Jay Dratler’s first draft of “Laura.” In this post, we will look at … Continue reading

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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 , , | Leave a comment