#487: The Polferry Riddle, a.k.a. The Choice (1931) by Philip MacDonald

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For now, like, the fourth time in my experience — and the second involving a book by Philip MacDonald — the Roland Lacourbe-curated list of 100 excellent impossible crime novels has disgorged a title which is not in any way an impossible crime.  I’m still fully capab- (hang on, carry the one…then minus…yup, you’re good) fully capable of enjoying a book which is sans-impossibility, but I find it weird that a list compiled by such eminent heads includes so many books that don’t qualify.  The simplicity of MacDonald’s own narratives should be a giveaway anyway, since he’s really not about the complexities or misdirection, sticking more to a simpler, thriller-tinged path.

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#485: “What I say is, is it wise or necessary to rake up things?” – Memory as Evidence in Elephants Can Remember (1972) by Agatha Christie

Elephants Can Remember

You’ve heard of Elephants Can Remember (1972): it’s the final time Hercule Poirot investigates a case at Agatha Christie’s direction, written in the final stretch of her career when everything she did was awful and without merit.  Not even I could find something positive to say about it…could I?

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#484: The D.A. Calls a Turn (1944) by Erle Stanley Gardner

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Thanksgiving evening, Sheriff Rex Brandon receives a call from a contrite drunk claiming to have stolen a car, and heads over to pick him up along with D.A. Doug Selby.  Arriving too late to prevent an accident in which the man is killed, a chance observation by Selby leads to an identity different to one the man had claimed  This in turn brings Brandon and Selby to Carmen Freelman, who had been called away from dinner with her new husband’s family that evening by her boss…who just happens to be the man killed in the crash.  So run the first twenty-four pages of The D.A. Calls a Turn (1944) by Erle Stanley Gardner.  Strap in for a wild ride…

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