#322: A Little Help for My Friends – Finding a Modern Locked Room Mystery for TomCat Attempt #5: The Real-Town Murders (2017) by Adam Roberts

Real-Town Murders

My previous attempt at finding a modern locked room mystery for TomCat ended in frank disaster when it turned out TomCat had, of course, already read the book chosen.  Well I’m back, baby, and this time I’ve done my homework.  Hours of research went into choosing this title, including an algorithmic analysis of TomCat’s reading habits over the past five years.  I in no way just happened to see it at my local library, no sir.  Why would you even suggest that?

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#309: For Movember – Clinical Depression and Me: A GAD Analogy

You are no doubt aware that in recent years the month of November has been co-opted into a fundraising event known as Movember, in which men grow facial hair to raise money for a variety of causes, including mental health charities.  For reasons that will be made plain if you click to read more, this is something I’d like to discuss today; if that doesn’t sound like your kind of thing, feel free to pass this post over and I’ll see you on Tuesday for more of the usual.

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#256: Catastrophic Protagonist Failure in Too Many Ghosts (1959) and The Hand of Mary Constable (1964) by Paul Gallico

Gallico

A little while ago, while secondhand bookshop haunting as is my wont, I stumbled upon a copy of Paul Gallico’s The Hand of Mary Constable (1964) — a book I have recommended here before for the brilliant way it shows up the tricks of the séance through a combination of perspicuous writing and trusting its readers’ intelligence.  My copy was a rat-eared, much-abused paperback and this was a lovely hardcover for a very reasonable price…and yet I vacillated for some time (like, a few weeks) before buying it.

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#253: Beauty and the Beast – The Sublime and the Ridiculous in Devil’s Planet (1951) by Manly Wade Wellman

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Like a latter-day Edgar Rice Burroughs, Manly Wade Wellman’s Earthman-out-of-his-element story casts the protagonist as a near-superhuman saviour who is hated by the powerful, championed by the underdog, and treated to sweet, sweet lovin’ by an appreciative female who’s clearly never experienced this sort of hunkiness before.  Think Jack Reacher of Mars for best (?) results.

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