The only frustration I feel towards the Adventures on Trains series by M.G. Leonard and Sam Sedgman is that I didn’t discover it sooner. Because, see, then I’d be four books deep into this wonderful, charming, clever series — with a fifth on the way soon — rather than the mere two I am.Continue reading
After a tough few months in which I have been very grateful for the support of good friends and the presence of good books, let’s discuss the latter, eh? Kicking off 2022 is John Thorndyke’s Cases (1909), the first collection of short stories to feature Richard Austin Freeman’s medical jurist.Continue reading
There are Advent calendars in the supermarkets, but I’m sticking to my guns and committing October to a study of the eldritch and shiversome in detective fiction. We have zombies stalking through, Tuesday was ghosts, Thursday was spiders, and today we’ll look at the legend of Mr. Diabolo.Continue reading
In my recent conversation with Nick about Jonathan Creek, I reflected on how a chance encounter with that television programme ended up having a profound effect upon my interests. No less profound an effect was brought about by my purchasing of John Pugmire’s translation of The Fourth Door (1987, tr. 1999) by Paul Halter back in 2013. The annual Halter translations Pugmire publishes through Locked Room International are a highlight of my year, having provided a window on the French mystery in the Golden Age and beyond (thanks almost entirely to Pugmire’s translations of many other classics), and being a riotously fun time along the way.
It’s Hallowe’en — or, er, it will be in a few weeks — and so I’m jumping on the branding train and looking at some short stories that feature ghosts, ghouls, witches, and other season-appropriate horrors which end up having rational resolutions.Continue reading
If you were fortunate enough to get one of the 150 hardcover editions of The Island of Coffins and Other Mysteries from the Casebook of Cabin B-13 (2020) by John Dickson Carr — and I was — you also got an additional pamphlet containing the play ‘Secret Radio’ (1944). And so, having completed my reviews of the collection proper, I turn my attention to this delightful appendix.Continue reading
At the risk of upsetting the accepted order of things, I have a serious question: in placing Queens of Crime alongside Agatha Christie, why is the scope always so narrow? The Sayers-Marsh-Allingham-Tey debate rages ever onward, but, after reading just two of her novels, I’m going to throw a hat labelled ‘Craig Rice’ into the ring and stand back to see what happens. Her debut Eight Faces at Three (1939) ain’t perfect, and the review will explain in more detail, but to summarise: buy this now, because we need to convince the American Mystery Classics that a full reprint of Craig Rice is something they should commit to. You can thank me later.
The final six trips aboard the Maurevania during the Golden Age of radio, with Dr. John Fabian leading us through the apparently impossible.Continue reading