Tag Archives: The Long Goodbye

Beat Not the Bones & the story of an Australian Edgar Allan Poe Award winner

Beat Not the Bones Avon 1955As many of the my US readers will no doubt be aware, America’s foremost crime writing awards, the annual Mystery Writers of America Edgar Allan Poe Awards, will be presented on April 28.

The upcoming awards make it an opportune time to revisit the winner of the Edgar Award in 1954. That book was called Beat Not the Bones, and it was written not by an American but by an Adelaide-born woman called Geraldine Halls, writing under the pseudonym, Charlotte Jay. That the winner the next year was Raymond Chandler’s The Long Goodbye, gives you some idea how prestigious Halls’ win was.

Why some writers and their books go onto achieve lasting literary fame, while others, in this case Halls and her considerable work, sink into obscurity, always fascinates me. In a writing career stretching from 1951 to her last published novel in 1995, she produced fifteen books. Seven of these appeared under the pseudonym of Jay, her maiden name, and seven as Geraldine Halls, Halls being her married name. Another was published under the alias Geraldine Mary Jay.

There is very little information available about Halls, who died in Adelaide in October 1996, and the only image I could find on the Internet is on the Austlit site and is taken from the Adelaide Advertiser, dated May 8, 1853.… Read more

Night Moves

One of the things I like best about the Christmas/New Year period is it’s a good chance to catch up on my movie viewing. This holiday season I re-watched the neo-noir, Night Moves. Made in 1973, but not released until 1975, Night Moves belongs to a period of US film making that is probably my favourite. It’s a complex, meandering and multi-layered film that perfectly captures the moral and political ambiguity of the time. I wanted to review Night Moves for this site but discovered a recent post on the same topic that does it much better than I ever could by a friend called Dean Brandum.

Dean’s the man behind a terrific web site called Technicolor Yawn (for overseas readers that’s Australian slang for throwing up), which chronicles the history of Melbourne’s now vanished grindhouse cinema scene in the seventies and early eighties. He’s a great guy and what he doesn’t know about cinema is not worth knowing. The following review appeared on his site in mid-December. Enjoy.

BTW, I’ll be interviewing Dean about Melbourne’s forgotten grindhouse cinema scene on Pulp Curry sometime in the next few weeks.

“I remember Bobby (Kennedy) when he got shot, the newsreels made it look like everything was happening under water” – Paula (Jennifer Warren) in Night Moves 

It’s that certain visual aesthetic; let’s call it “muted Cannon with a chance of showers” that veneers so many Los Angeles set film noir of the early 1970s, differentiating it from the monochrome 40s-50s and the swimming pool enhanced glare of the 1960s.… Read more