Made to Kill: 1960s killer-robot noir detective novel

In Made to Kill, Adam Christopher presents us with a mashup of Raymond Chandler and Philip K Dick: the world's last robot (all the others were destroyed after they stole everyone's jobs) and his boss, a building-sized computer, who operate a private detective agency that's a front for an assassination business. And business is good.

TOM THE DANCING BUG: "The Long Adios," A Walmart Detective Story

All right, you mugs. If you don't want some chin music, give TOM THE DANCING BUG WEBSITE the buzz, and tail RUBEN BOLLING on TWITTER. Read the rest

Identifying Sioux Falls in 1956 from a set of unattributed parade photos

Cozyoak sez, "The latest installment of the Ferrous Archive takes us through the process of figuring out a place and time (via a Kodachrome parade from 1956). Dear Sioux Falls: Ethel's All Girl Bar and Lounge needs to be re-opened."

Look at all those great businesses - Gridley Martz Insurance, Don's Drive-In Liquor, Vandel Furniture, Ethel's All Girl Bar and Lounge (bar AND lounge? So much drinking going on!). Keep going down the street, Canton Chow Mein Cafe, Ace Variety, Sansa's Cafe, Maytag District Store - lots and lots of easy leads to pinpoint where the parade happened, right? Wrong! I have not been able to find evidence of any of these businesses! Seriously - no one cared to remember and record Ethel's? That's ridiculous.

Kerrville or Sioux Falls? 1956 Centennial Parade. Read the rest

Poe's Detective: audio editions of Poe's groundbreaking detective stories

AudioGo's new audiobook "Poe's Detective: The Dupin Stories" is a fantastic listen. The collection includes all three of Poe's famous "Dupin" mysteries, "The Murders in the Rue Morgue," "The Purloined Letter." and "The Mystery of Marie Rogêt," and also includes the (very good, but not Dupin) story "Thou Art the Man."

The stories are read by Bronson Pinchot, whom you'll remember from his role as "Balki" on the sitcom "Perfect Strangers." This wasn't the greatest TV ever produced, and Pinchot's scenery-chewing comedy accent work was often over the top, but what little laughs Strangers evoked inevitably belonged to him.

Pinchot's funny accent work is quite unexpectedly perfect for the Dupin stories, featuring as they do the semi-hysterical Prefect of the Paris police, "G____," who is wont to burst into peals of lunatic laughter whenever Dupin calls his sagacity into question. Pinchot's reading, with its special attention to G____'s eccentricities, makes the Prefect into an unexpected scene-stealer, and to good effect.

We tend to think of Sherlock Holmes as the literary forebear of the modern detective story, but Poe's Dupin predates Holmes by more than 40 years, and Poe's detective stories are really the first of the genre. But they're not only fascinating as historical antecedants -- they're cracking stories in their own right, and have lots to recommend them over Holmes, Watson and Lestrade.

C. Auguste Dupin is a dissolute aristocrat who lives in a crumbling mansion with his companion, an unnamed Anglo narrator who fills in for Watson. Read the rest