#639: “Nothing is so sad as the devastation wrought by age” – Going Out in Style(s) with Curtain (1975) by Agatha Christie

Curtain

Given the inevitable decline in Agatha Christie’s powers as her career drew to a close, there’s a moderate irony in that fact that she had come off probably the most successful decade in the history of detective fiction writing when she opted to portray Hercule Poirot at his apparent worst.

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#635: A Taste for Honey (1941) by H.F. Heard

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It’s difficult to know where to begin with A Taste for Honey (1941), the first of three ‘Mr. Mycroft’ novels by H.F. Heard.  The core conceit is delightfully barmy — I shall avoid naming it in this review to preserve it for the curious — and played with an impressively straight face, but beyond that there’s really only a short story’s worth of content here, spread thinly over 189 generously-margined pages.  With only one plot-line, only really three characters, and nothing to widen the universe or engage the mind in any meaningful way past the halfway point (when the ending will already be painfully obvious to anyone), this really is just a latter-day Holmes pastiche with verbal diarrhoea.

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#627: A Little Help for My Friends – Finding a Modern Locked Room Mystery for TomCat Attempt #14: The Darker Arts (2019) by Oscar de Muriel

Darker Arts, The

A certain amount of debate continues to rage — “rage” might be too strong a word — over whether the impossible alibi qualifies as a true impossible crime.  I suggest that, should it eventually be inducted into future Locked Room Murders supplements, we do so on a ‘one out, one in’ policy and retire the “death by unknown means” to make space.

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