#412: On the Appeal of Impossible Crimes – At Death’s Door…


I’ll he honest, I’m not really sure what this post is about.  See, I’ve been mulling the appeal of the impossible crime novel for, well, years now, and having previously looked at what makes something an impossible crime the thing I’ve been mulling lately why the concept of an impossible crime is so appealing.  This, then, is the end result of those lucubrations, unfocused as they are despite being pinned on a very small area of interest.

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#411: Six Were to Die, a.k.a. The Dark Angel (1932) by James Ronald [a.p.a by Kirk Wales]

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I feel as if I’m encroaching on the territory of John Norris at Pretty Sinister by reviewing a book that isn’t all that easy to come by; worry not, John, I don’t have well-enough stocked shelves to support this kind of habit, so it’s back to normal next week.  This title is one that — like What a Body! (1949), The Rynox Mystery (1930), Death Has Many Doors (1951), and Dead Man Control (1936) — was brought to my attenion by the Roland Lacourbe library of highly-regarded impossible crime novels, though due to the absence of a French translation did not qualify for the main list.  Well, as you can see from the rating above, I think our Francophone brethren are missing out.

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#408: Quick Curtain (1934) by Alan Melville

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In German there is schadenfreude, pleasure at the misfortune of others, which I believe is the intended response to Richard Hull’s Murder of My Aunt (1934).  I’m sorry to say that in reading it I experienced more the Spanish vergüenza ajena, that toe-curling horror of watching someone make a prat of themselves, and not in any sort of a good way.  But in order to (hopefully) prove that I’m not a humourless prig I’ve opted for another light, funny mystery with Alan Melville’s Quick Curtain (1934), having enjoyed but not really retained much of the similarly-republished Death of Anton (1936) from the British Library.

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