#1006: Green for Danger (1944) by Christianna Brand

Green for Danger

star filledstar filledstar filledstar filledstars
I first read Green for Danger (1944) by Christianna Brand about 12 years ago on the back of enthusiastic Agatha Christie comparisons, and came away impressed with its wartime hospital setting but underwhelmed by what I remembered as the seemingly random allocation of guilt to an undeniably surprising party in the finale. Since then, I’ve been assured by reputable sources that the book is in fact rigorously — and very fairly — clewed and warrants re-examination, so its republication in the British Library Crime Classics range is the perfect chance to find out if it does indeed stand on its own or if everyone’s enthusiastic just because they also love the 1946 movie (because, my god, don’t people ever love that movie).

Continue reading

#997: “Actors never betray themselves…” – Final Acts: Theatrical Mysteries [ss] (2022) ed. Martin Edwards

I tend to read multi-author anthologies over — if I’m honest — a couple of months, to better ameliorate the often wild changes in style and content of each tale. In recent times I’ve sped this process up, so that I’m able to review the annual Bodies from the Library (2018-present) collections on this very blog, so let’s see how I fare doing the same for the latest Martin Edwards-edited collection in the British Library Crime Classics range, eh?

Continue reading

#971: (Spooky) Little Fictions – Ghosts from the Library [ss] (2022) ed. Tony Medawar

With the annual Bodies from the Library collections, which have brought long out-of-print stories of crime and detection back to public awareness, proving rightly popular, editor Tony Medawar turns his attention to another facet of genre fiction with the Ghosts from the Library (2022) collection, in which authors (mostly) better known for their stories of crime and detection have a go at generating some supernatural chills instead.

Continue reading

#928: “Now we’re involved in it all over again…” – Heads You Lose (1941) by Christianna Brand

With the British library Crime Classics range apparently achieving the impossible by arranging for Green for Danger (1944) and Death of Jezebel (1948) by Christianna Brand to be reprinted, the time seemed ripe to take her second novel Heads You Lose (1941) out of the shelf space that it recently started occupying and see how it stacks up.

Continue reading

#892: “He happens to be around when so many murders crop up…” – Bodies from the Library 2 [ss] (2019) ed. Tony Medawar

With the Bodies from the Library 5 (2022) collection due in a couple of months, and spin-off Ghosts from the Library (2022) coming later in the year, the time seems ripe to revisit one of the earlier collections which — given the timespan over which I first read them — I failed to review on publication. And since, for reasons too complicated to bore you with here, the second volume was the first one I encountered, it’s there I’ll head today.

Continue reading

In GAD We Trust – Episode 26: The Maxims of Misdirection

I’m as surprised as you to see a new episode of my In GAD We Trust podcast, especially as I said on Thursday that there was unlikely to be one this weekend — well, okay, perhaps a I’m little less surprised than you, since I (sort of) planned, recorded, and (sort of) edited this, but you get the idea. However, on Thursday everything (sort of) came together and I was able to record this almost in one take and so here we are.

Continue reading

#831: “As you know, an unusual crime has a deep interest for me…” – Bodies from the Library 4 [ss] (2021) ed. Tony Medawar

I can’t believe that there is a GAD enthusiast who doesn’t look forward to the annual Bodies from the Library collections so expertly curated by Tony Medawar. In bringing to public awareness some of the forgotten, neglected, or simply unknown stories that the great and the good of the form produced, these collections have become a source of great excitement, and a must-read for even the most ardent student of the Golden Age.

Continue reading