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
#933: Dead Sure, a.k.a. Collar for the Killer, a.k.a. A Matter of Fact (1956) by Herbert Brean
Herbert Brean is an author whose work is really rather difficult to pigeonhole, and this multi-titled obscurity — I’ll call it Dead Sure (1956), as per my Dell paperback edition — highlights why. From the gentle Americana puzzling of his debut Wilders Walk Away (1948), to the gloomy suspense of The Darker the Night (1949) and the intricate historical imbrications of his masterpiece Hardly a Man is Now Alive (1950), we find ourselves now in a sort of Woolrichian nightmare of an honest cop framing an innocent man and attempting to dig himself out before it’s too late…both legally and morally. And yet, even then, there’s more going on here.
#809: The Clock Strikes 13 (1952) by Herbert Brean
Just a few days ago it was my lot to be unimpressed by the concluding volume of one series, and so time is ripe for me to be slightly underwhelmed by the fourth and final novel to feature Herbert Brean’s photographer-sleuth Reynold Frame. This feels like the thousandth book I’ve read this year to which my response has been “Yeah, it was okaaaay…”, but it’s sort of pleasing to finally encounter something by Brean that fails on its own terms — though if you can’t help but go into this “ten people trapped on an island, then murder intrudes” story expecting an update of And Then There Were None (1939), you do so at your own damn peril.
In GAD We Trust – Episode 22: On Making a Good First Impression [w’ Sergio @ Tipping My Fedora + Brad @ AhSweetMysteryBlog]
After the interruption to the schedule of two weeks ago, here’s another In GAD We Trust podcast — and given the topic of ‘Making a Good First Impression’ it’s only fitting to welcome returning guests Sergio and Brad.Continue reading
In GAD We Trust – Episode 19: Reissue! Repackage! Repackage! [w’ Various People]
On the back of the Reprint of the Year Award run by Kate at CrossExaminingCrime, I thought it might be interesting to see what those of us who submit titles for that undertaking would choose to bring back from the exile of being OOP.Continue reading
#740: The Darker the Night (1949) by Herbert Brean
Man, there is a lot to unpack here. Firstly my love of Herbert Brean — an author brought to my attention by TomCat, and about whose books Ben at The Green Capsule and I frequently try to outdo each other in our enthusiasm. Secondly the need for a mystery to sell you on its central premise — here, hypnotism, about which a neat little treatise halfway through. And thirdly the purpose of a mystery novel — does a compelling plot obviate the need for a good mystery, and does a disappointing mystery necessarily detract from a great plot? All this and more we shall confront today with Brean’s second novel The Darker the Night (1949).