#839: The Death of a Millionaire (1925) by G.D.H. and Margaret Cole

Death of a Millionaire

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Here’s an oddity to begin with: the cover of my Penguin edition of The Death of a Millionaire (1925) by G.D.H. and Margaret Cole — a scan of the actual copy I read shown left — omits the opening article, but the title pages and all the internal pages include it. This may be deliberate, since it’s about the only mystery connected with this title that will confound any readers, the central scheme being frankly transparent to the modern eye — even if it may have caused sensation in 1925. However, the book as a whole is so very enjoyable, occasional facetiousness aside, that I can’t really hold this against it.

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#836: A Line to Kill (2021) by Anthony Horowitz

A Line to Kill

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Those of us who love a mystery that actually provides clues, hints, indications, and pointers towards a solution we might have had a chance of anticipating were we canny enough have found much to enjoy in the recent career of Anthony Horowitz. Magpie Murders (2016) contains a piece of audacious clewing up there with the best the Golden Age had to offer, and its sequel Moonflower Murders (2020) is rich in such matters. And the Daniel Hawthorne novels, in which a fictionalised version of Horowitz plays Watson to Hawthorne’s vaguely mysterious Holmes, have been less traditional, but no less clever in how they’ve misdirected.

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#835: The Island of Coffins and Other Mysteries from the Casebook of Cabin B-13 (2020) by John Dickson Carr [ed. Tony Medawar and Douglas G. Greene] – Series 1, Episodes 1-6

It is perhaps unsurprising, given the impact of John Dickson Carr’s radio play ‘Cabin B-13’ (1945) from the series Suspense, that a series of mystery and suspense plays should take that title when Carr returned to radio work. Unrelated to that original beyond apparently using the same ship — the Maurevania — as a framing device, the two series of Cabin B-13 (1948-49) nevertheless comprised half-hour problem-of-the-week plays in the same vein, related by ship’s surgeon Dr. John Fabian from his eponymous quarters

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In GAD We Trust – Episode 26: The Maxims of Misdirection

I’m as surprised as you to see a new episode of my In GAD We Trust podcast, especially as I said on Thursday that there was unlikely to be one this weekend — well, okay, perhaps a I’m little less surprised than you, since I (sort of) planned, recorded, and (sort of) edited this, but you get the idea. However, on Thursday everything (sort of) came together and I was able to record this almost in one take and so here we are.

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#833: Murder on the Way! (1935) by Theodore Roscoe

Murder on the Way

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Approximately five years ago, powered by a combination of ego and ignorance, I set about trying get Murder on the Way! (1935) by Theodore Roscoe reprinted, based on its reputation as a cracker and its infuriating unavailability. To my frank surprise I succeeded, and it — and Roscoe’s Second World War-predicting I’ll Grind Their Bones (1936) — was republished by Bold Venture Press in 2017. Rereading it recently, it seemed due a reappraisal — well, an appraisal, really — since I edited the book without any notion of whether it was any good, and was too fixated on matters typographical to focus all that intently on, like, the plot and stuff.

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#831: “As you know, an unusual crime has a deep interest for me…” – Bodies from the Library 4 [ss] (2021) ed. Tony Medawar

I can’t believe that there is a GAD enthusiast who doesn’t look forward to the annual Bodies from the Library collections so expertly curated by Tony Medawar. In bringing to public awareness some of the forgotten, neglected, or simply unknown stories that the great and the good of the form produced, these collections have become a source of great excitement, and a must-read for even the most ardent student of the Golden Age.

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#830: So Pretty a Problem (1950) by Francis Duncan

So Pretty a Problem

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“Please.  Come quickly.  Please.  I’ve killed my husband.” — these words awaken the holidaying Mordecai Tremaine as he dozes on the beach below the clifftop holiday home of Helen Carthallow and her artist husband Adrian.  More worryingly, the words are spoken by Helen herself and, accompanying her over the footbridge that is the house’s only connection to the mainland, Tremaine finds Adrian shot in the head and Helen insisting it’s all the result of a bit of playfulness gone very, very wrong. All this happening in the opening chapter of So Pretty a Problem (1950) by Francis Duncan seemed to bode well for an incident-packed puzzle plot…and then, well.

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