‘Ms. Tree’ Headed to TV?
First, the disclaimer. I’ve known Ms. Tree’s Max Allan Collins and Terry Beatty since we were all pups down on the farm, I’ve done some research consulting on Max’s Heller series, and I was the editor of Ms. Tree Quarterly. More to the point, there’s this scene at the end of a story where Tree goes back to the scene of the crime strictly to murder the bad guys; that final page was dedicated to me and I’m proud of it. Make what you will of that.
Well, it turns out Our Gal Friday (that’s a joke, but you’ve got to read Ms. Tree to get it) may be headed to the small screen. In an interview with Comics2Film, Collins disclosed the Oxygen Network has "gone beyond an option (and paid) the purchase price." They’ve assigned two screenwriters to the write the first movie, both women, and it’s being regarded as a pilot for further movies and possibly a teevee series.
Obviously, things have been held up a bit by the WGA strike, but Collins took his original treatment and turned it into Deadly Beloved, a paperback novel published last December by Hard Case Crime. Cooler still (since Collins is the author of about a million mystery novels, including the aforementioned Heller boos, and teevee/movie tie-ins, including many of the C.S.I. books) the cover was painted by Ms. Tree artist Terry Beatty.
Considering other Hard Case covers have been provided by the likes of all-time paperback mystery master painter Robert McGinnis and Marvel Zombie cover king Arthur Suydam, Terry’s in some pretty heady company.
It’s a solid read. Quite frankly, too many comics novelizations make me wonder why I didn’t spend my time reading reprints of the stuff instead. Collins wasn’t intimidated by the assignment (well, Max isn’t intimidated by much of anything, really) and he brought his comics creation to the prose pages with all the gusto that one associates with his Quarry and Heller work. Even if you’ve never read the Ms. Tree comic book – and you should – you’ll enjoy Deadly Beloved.
In other words, Ms. Tree will blow your brains out.