In the back of my mind when I started The Invisible Event was the idea that exactly half of what I’d post about would feature impossible crimes, locked room mysteries, and/or miracle problems — and although this proportion started an irreversible slide after the first 500 or so posts, the impossible crime remains my first love.Continue reading
With magicians being renowned as practitioners of misdirection and Vanishing canonically one of the ten types of impossible crime, you’re damn right I picked up twelfth Ken Holt book The Mystery of the Vanishing Magician (1958) by husband-and-wife team Sam and Beryl Epstein expecting some impossible shenanigans.Continue reading
I have read some dull books of late, but The Mystery of the Grinning Tiger (1956), the eleventh entry in Beryl and Sam Epstein’s series featuring teenage sleuths Ken Holt and Sandy Allen, might be the dullest yet.Continue reading
At the risk of appearing to stoke the thoroughly-raked embers of the “Is Die Hard (1988) a Christmas movie?” conversation — it’s not, by the way — how much Christmas should appear in your mystery in order for it to be considered a Christmas Mystery?Continue reading
I, doubtless in common with anyone who has persevered through the stronger and weaker works of any prolific author’s career, have been moved at times to reflect at what point a long-running series becomes good before it starts to tail off in quality through the challenges of sustaining such an output.
There’s a comforting familiarity about the Ken Holt Mysteries for Boys written by Beryl and Sam Epstein under the nom de plume Bruce Campbell. This is only the third one I’ve read, but, perhaps because of the strict adherence to classic ingredients, I feel like I’m about 12 books deep in the series.