Sometimes revisiting the classics is a real chore, y’know? And sometimes, like today, it’s a complete delight.Continue reading
#1059: “You are one of those people who look so mild, and really wallow in blood.” – Three-Act Tragedy (1934) by Agatha Christie
Having just completed a look at the Murder in the Mews (1937) collection by Agatha Christie, let’s turn our attention to “the Crow’s Nest business” referenced by Mr. Satterthwaite therein.Continue reading
#1058: The Cat Saw Murder (1939) by Dolores Hitchens [a.p.a. by D.B. Olsen]
If, like me, you were dissuaded from reading The Cat Saw Murder (1939) by Dolores Hitchens because the titles brings on the hives of a cozy Cat Catches Criminals caper, rest assured that this is very much not that type of book. The cat does indeed see murder — the surprisingly violent hacking to death of Lily Stickleman in the shabby beachside boarding house where she resides while waiting for an inheritance — but the sleuthing is done by a combination of Lieutenant Stephen Mayhew and the elderly Miss Rachel Murdock. Samantha, the eponymous moggy, provides a clue and a little intrigue of her own, but she’s much more dragged in rather than an essential catalyst (Ithankyou).
#1057: Little Fictions – ‘The Five Orange Pips’ (1891) by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Tuesdays in May will see us recommence charting the complete short stories of Mr. Sherlock Holmes as written by his creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.Continue reading
#1056: A Wolf (or Two) in Sheep’s Clothing in The Affair of the Twisted Scarf, a.k.a. Disguise for Murder (1950) by Rex Stout
Once more unto the breach of Ellery Queen’s 1964 Anthology, with a visit to the famous brownstone on West 35th Street, home of Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin.Continue reading
#1055: Owls Don’t Blink (1942) by A.A. Fair
If I remember correctly — and, let’s face it, I probably don’t, since I read them years ago and all out of order — Owls Don’t Blink (1942), the sixth title to feature Erle Stanley Gardner’s irrepressible P.I. duo of Donald Lam and Bertha Cool, starts something of a hot streak for the series. Hired by New York lawyer Emory Hale on behalf of an unknown client to find an ex-model who was last heard of in New Orleans some three years ago, you know Gardner has something special up his sleeve when the resourceful Donald is able to produce the woman within twenty pages. From here, it’s a criss-cross of obscured motives and identities, and enough skulduggery for Yorrick’s remains.
#1054: Murder in the Mews, a.k.a. Dead Man’s Mirror [ss] (1937) by Agatha Christie – ‘Triangle at Rhodes’, a.k.a. ‘Before It’s Too Late’ (1936)
So, can you have four people in an eternal triangle? Asking for a friend.Continue reading
#1053: Pouring Snake Oil on Troubled Waters in The Mystery of the Singing Serpent (1972) by M.V. Carey
Mary Virginia Carey would, in time, write more books in the Three Investigators series than any of the four other writers so employed, but got off to a slightly wobbly start with The Mystery of the Flaming Footprints (1971). So will her second title, The Mystery of the Singing Serpent (1972), find her on better form?Continue reading
#1052: The Mysterious Mr. Badman (1934) by W.F. Harvey
The expertly-curated British Library Crime Classics series continues to diversify with crowd-pleasing reissues of Anthony Berkeley, Christianna Brand, and John Dickson Carr, never-heard-of-em delights like Family Matters (1933) by Anthony Rolls and Death of Anton (1936) by Alan Melville, and stirring in a Freeman Wills Crofts or a few E.C.R. Loracs along the way. And The Mysterious Mr. Badman (1934) by W.F. Harvey definitely falls into the middle category, because ask 100 people if they’d heard of it before this reissue and maybe three would say they had, two of whom would be lying to look cool. But a delight it is, and welcome it most certainly is.
#1051: Murder in the Mews, a.k.a. Dead Man’s Mirror [ss] (1937) by Agatha Christie – ‘Dead Man’s Mirror’, a.k.a. ‘Hercule Poirot and the Broken Mirror’ (1937)
Do you like interviews? I hope you like interviews.Continue reading