#408: Quick Curtain (1934) by Alan Melville

Quick Curtainstar filledstar filledstar filledstarsstars
In German there is schadenfreude, pleasure at the misfortune of others, which I believe is the intended response to Richard Hull’s Murder of My Aunt (1934).  I’m sorry to say that in reading it I experienced more the Spanish vergüenza ajena, that toe-curling horror of watching someone make a prat of themselves, and not in any sort of a good way.  But in order to (hopefully) prove that I’m not a humourless prig I’ve opted for another light, funny mystery with Alan Melville’s Quick Curtain (1934), having enjoyed but not really retained much of the similarly-republished Death of Anton (1936) from the British Library.

Continue reading

#206: Death of Anton (1936) by Alan Melville

death-of-antonIf you’ve never read a classic-era novel of crime and detection, what are you waiting for?  There’s that Agatha Christine lady who wrote those David Suchet books, and the British Library has been putting out affordable classics for a little while now — go ahead and dig in.  Sure, some of them are better than others, but if you want a good introduction to this type of thing then Alan Melville’s circus-set Death of Anton might just be the perfect place to start: it’s very witty, written with the lightest of touches, and wastes no time in maundering on in a wannabe hard-boiled fashion while dealing with the seeming imprecations of a circus where death keeps raising its head…

Continue reading