You may remember that I recently reviewed Murder on the Way! (1935) by Theodore Roscoe — but what you won’t know until now is that I was rereading it in part because I’d been invited onto Death of the Reader to talk about it.
For the unaware, Death of the Reader is an Australian crime fiction podcast from two guys called Flex and Herds, and built around an idea so superb that I’m jealous I didn’t think of it first: every few weeks, one of them reads a book in its entirety, and the other reads only the first few chapters. They then discuss the events therein, with the partial reader putting forward predictions for the latter stages while the fully-informed reader either attempts to red herring them away from the correct answers or just generally throws whatever they can in the spokes of the predictor’s conclusions.
The following week, the same is done over the approximate middle third of the book, at which point the predictor (I don’t want to say “guesser” because these guys are very good at this, and there’s no way it’s down to mere luck) puts forward their thoughts on how the book will play out, and then the third week sees the concluding chapters discussed and points attributed for accuracy on the part of the predictor’s…predictions.
So, for the next three Sundays, I will be the fully informed reader as both Flex and Herds try to make sense of the cock-a-hoop insanity of Roscoe’s design. For this opening week we discuss chapters 1 to 5, and so it’s obviously best enjoyed if you’ve read the book already — full spoilers, no other warnings will be given. You can find it on Apple podcasts, on Spotify, and at various other places via the link above, or watch the YouTube version below (or, hey, on YouTube):
And, as an added incentive, this first episode includes an interview with Anthony Horowitz — who I’ve never even had the courage to approach for a podcast, meaning that Flex and Herds have effortlessly bested me on two fronts. Dammit.
Next week: Chapters 6 to 9…