November 29, 2007
Say good bye to the Ranger, but not for another year: It’s the final curtain call for one of North America’s small-truck icons. The Sleuth has learned that Ford will close the doors of its St. Paul, Minn. plant — which makes the Ford Ranger — at the end of 2009. The Ranger has been around for nearly 15 years in its current form . . . yes, it’s time for a change. Some reports have indicated that the Ranger could continue to be built in Thailand but high tariffs between the United States and Thailand would likely kill any profit.
December 27, 2007
Wheelbase Communications Is this what the new small Hummer will look like?: This General Motors division, which has staked a reputation as the builder of the largest off-road vehicles on the planet, has released several different design sketches of its HX Concept — the smallest Hummer — ahead of the vehicle’s Detroit Auto Show debut in early January. Designed for serious off-roading, the E85-capable HX (85 percent ethanol mixed with 15 percent gasoline) will offer removable roof panels, both front and rear.
April 13, 2008
Want a thrilling plot, nonstop action and romantic tensions all contributing to a heart-pumping conclusion? Viva la romantic suspense category! The increased popularity of this genre has encouraged traditional, bestselling romance authors to expand into the mysterious, the criminal and occasionally the paranormal worlds of psychic abilities. Some add comedy to spice up narratives. All of these authors have websites that brim with information about their recent books and their thoughts for new titles.
April 24, 2005
Last week marked the anniversary of the publication of the first detective story in 1841. It was Edgar Allen Poe's "The Murders in the Rue Morgue," featuring the Chevalier Dupin, who appeared in five other stories by Poe. On a more contemporary note, this week marks the birthday of Sue Grafton, one of the more recent stars on the mystery scene -- author of the "A is for Alibi" series, which has now reached "R is for...
November 24, 2002
For readers with an appetite for intrigue sweetened with a soupcon of good taste, there's hardly a more satisfying genre than food mysteries. Laced with recipes for everything from Swedish meatballs to a buttermilk pound cake to die for, these lighthearted whodunits are tempting for both cooks and literary detectives. New from Diane Mott Davidson, dubbed "the Julia Child of Mystery Writers" by the New York Times, is "Chopping Spree." In another fast-paced caper, caterer-turned-sleuth Goldy Schulz returns to plan the event of the shopping season: The Princess Without a Price Tag Extravaganza for wealthy shopaholics.
November 26, 2004
JOHN DEPKO Hollywood icon Jerry Bruckheimer produces a lot of very loud R-rated action thrillers aimed at teenage head bangers. "Armageddon," "Bad Boys" and "Black Hawk Down" are just a few. But he finds his widest audience when he tones down the madness and gets a PG rating as he did with "Top Gun" and "Pearl Harbor." He even partnered with Disney for "Pirates of the Caribbean." "National Treasure" is his latest effort with Disney to create a family-friendly adventure flick for holiday release.
May 5, 2004
June Casagrande There are two kinds of people in the world: history buffs and everybody else. The former say things like, "Just give me a stack of old documents to go through and let me at 'em" while members of the latter group scratch their heads in amazement. Laura Dietz is a bona fide member of the history buffs group, a former history major who's thrilled to rifle through relics, uncovering facts that fascinate throughout the ages. That's why she says she's in her element as chairwoman of the History Committee for the Corona del Mar Centennial celebration.
November 16, 2000
What the Zuckers and the Farrely brothers are to frantic, far-out comedy on the silver screen, the creative team of Ron House, Diz White, John Neville-Andrews, Alan Shearman and Derek Cunningham is to live theater. This buffoonish bundle from Britain has assembled some of the wackiest elements of theatrical hilarity, including "El Grande de Coca Cola," "Footlight Frenzy" and the current offering from Orange Coast College's repertory theater group, "Bullshot Crummond."