My TBR for self-published impossible crime fiction alone is getting a little ridiculous, so for the month of January I’m going to promote this series to my Tuesday posts just to burn through a few. And we’ll start with an absolute belter in the shape of Goodnight Irene (2018) by James Scott Byrnside.
I’m probably starting in the wrong place with this chronologically fourth collection of the Dr. Sam Hawthorne impossibilities by short story specialist Edward D. Hoch. However, it contains the very first Hoch story I ever read and so seemed as good a place as any to start. I’ve read maybe three Hawthornes in other collections and figured it would be good to end 2018 with a long-awaited perusal of them in greater concentration, and…well, I’m a little underwhelmed. Hoch has a talent for capturing ambience very piquantly, and the best of these stories are very good, but far too few of them have anything like the rigour or intelligence I’d expected given how highly-regarded this series seems to be.
Sometimes you like a book more for the way it’s written than the actual content, an attitude that would generally sum up my feelings on the works of Josephine Tey. This third entry in Martha Freeman’s Chickadee Court mystery series is one such book.
After a four month hiatus rather than the usual (and intended) two, Dan of The Reader is Warned and I are back with some impossible crime podcasting…and to my utter delight it’s the turn of M. Paul Halter to find himself in the spotlight.
Having gotten so successfully into the skin of Dr. John H. Watson for his Sherlock Holmes tale The House of Silk (2011), Anthony Horowitz has now found a Watson whose skin fits even better: himself. And if Horowitz is to be Watson, he needs a Holmes — a role obligingly filled by the brilliantly perceptive ex-D.I. Daniel Hawthorne, a man as private as he is borderline-unlikable, who is parachuted into cases which run the risk of sticking around for a while and making the Metropolitan Police Force’s statistics look bad. And with Horowitz as his chronicler, it’s to be hoped that any cases they meet will require at least 80,000 words to solve…