#361: False Economies – On the Buying of Second-Hand Books (Definitely Not a Rant…)

Books waiting

A recent post by Noah on the topic of book-scouting came hard upon the back of an experience of mine that really brought home the frequent futility of buying second-hand books.  And, since the timing was rather too apt to ignore, I thought I’d share my frustrations.  But I’m not ranting; be sure to note at the simplicity of the ensuing vocabulary, indicative as it is of me in a reflective (rather than bad) mood.

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#341: The Case of the Historical Precedent – Is Tell No One (2001) by Harlan Coben an Impossible Crime Novel?

Tell No One

I’ll warn you now: even for me, this is niche.  Following a reorganisation of books at Invisible Event Towers I stumbled across my copy Harlan Coben’s Tell No One (2001), which I read while at university, and got thinking about it in light of my more recent adoption of GAD an impossible crimes.  And the above question struck me, but discussing it will require you, dear reader, to have done some rather specific reading…

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#335: Stand Not Upon the Order of Your Going – Do You Get the Most Out of an Author by Reading Them Chronologically?

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In light of my recent favourable experience with Ellery Queen’s The Chinese Orange Mystery (1934), my thoughts turn to the benefits and pitfalls of reading GAD authors’ novels in chronological order.  The old joke is that they had to write them in that order, but is there any real benefit or detriment in reading them so arrayed?

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#332: “From the Table of My Memory I’ll Wipe Away All Trivial Fond Records” – Recall and Opinion in GAD

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Discussing a book we’ve both read in preparation for another episode of The Men Who Explain Miracles, Dan made reference to some key event in the narrative that I simply did not remember…and this got me thinking: how much of a novel do you have to recall in order to be able to have an opinion on it?  And in a plot-heavy undertaking like GAD, should you be expected to remember more, or less?

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#309: For Movember – Clinical Depression and Me: A GAD Analogy

You are no doubt aware that in recent years the month of November has been co-opted into a fundraising event known as Movember, in which men grow facial hair to raise money for a variety of causes, including mental health charities.  For reasons that will be made plain if you click to read more, this is something I’d like to discuss today; if that doesn’t sound like your kind of thing, feel free to pass this post over and I’ll see you on Tuesday for more of the usual.

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#295: Fell/Murder – Ranking the First Ten Gideon Fell Novels (1933-39) by John Dickson Carr

Fell Ten

Having recently read The Arabian Nights Murder (1936) by John Dickson Carr, the time seems ripe to rank the first ten of Carr’s novels featuring the gargantuan Dr. Gideon Fell.  Why the first 10?  Well, we’re a decimal-obsessed society, and I’ve not read the eleventh, so this seems a natural jumping-off point.  It’s not technically a top ten, right?  It’s a little more interesting than that…right?

And so, in reverse order, I give you…

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#292: Character v Plot 3 – Purpose and Artificiality

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The second trailer for Kenneth Branagh’s Murder on the Orient Express was released a few days ago.  People are probably furious or something.   Me, I’ve already said everything I intend to about the movie until I actually see it and shall not be discussing it here beyond a few brief mentions, but it got me thinking some about character and plot and so this is a sort of Part Three to follow up on parts One and Two on this topic before.

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#287: The Equivocation of the Fiend That Lies Like Truth – Colloquialisms, Idioms, and Fair Play

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I’ve spoken a lot about fair play in detective fiction.  I defined it, I defended it (twice, in fact), we voted for the books that best exemplify it, and here we are again.  See, the idea of presentation and declaration (which, yes, I’ve also spoken about before) occurred to me in a new way, and this blog operates on a sort of “Hey, I wonder what people would think about this thing I just thought of?” principle — so here we go…

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#286: A Conscious Regiment of Women? – The Queens of Crime™, Representation, and the Golden Age

QoC

It is tremendously difficult to write about gender these days without appearing to be trying to sneak through some (usually unpleasant) agenda.  If anything in the following causes any reader jump to such a conclusion about my intentions, I urge that hypothetical reader to take a glance through any selection of posts on this site — all written by the author of what you’re reading now — to assure themselves that this in no way features in my plans.  I am simply, out of curiosity, asking a question that happens to involve gender.

And the question is this: Has Golden Age Detective fiction been subjected to a deliberate feminisation?  And, if so, to what end?

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