The time has come again for some nerdy Golden Age Detection podcasting, and James Scott Byrnside is here to oblige with a discussion about some of the tropes we know and love from GAD fictionContinue reading
It’s long been a tenet of mine that detective fiction and comedy have a great deal in common, and to pursue that this week via the medium of podcasting I’ve enlisted the help of comedian Alasdair Beckett-King.
A triptych of needs are being met here: firstly a last-minute replacement for the Modern Locked Room Mystery for TomCat I’d intended to write about, secondly the addressing of a Paul Halter book not yet reviewed on this blog, and thirdly some tangential research for next Saturday’s In GAD We Trust episode.
Aaah, Christmas; time to drop into the comforting arms of the ones we know and love. I tried to mix things up a bit this year, starting two Christmas mysteries to review this week…but neither really worked for me, and so I’m following my own advice and adding another pre-blogging Paul Halter title to my archives. I distinctly remembered The Seventh Hypothesis (1991, tr. 2012) to be a doozy, with less of a focus on the impossibilities — though we get two in quick succession — and more attention drawn to a complex switchback of mellifluous plotting…so how’d it stand up to a second look? Rather well, as it turns out.
Similar to how Alfred Hitchcock’s two version of The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934/1956) use the same core ideas but differ in details, the motifs Paul Halter returns to in The Gold Watch (2019, tr. 2019) — the dual time period narratives of The Picture from the Past (1995, tr. 2014), a baffling no footprints murder at an isolated house a la The Lord of Misrule (1994, tr. 2006), the invocation of The King in Yellow from ‘The Yellow Book’ (2017, tr. 2017) — there’s no doubt this is a very different style of story simply using familiar ideas to very new ends. Strange to say this of a Frenchman, but this is perhaps the outright Frenchest work of his yet translated.
Back in December 2015 I read and reviewed Matt Ingwalson’s first two self-published Owl and Raccoon novellas and, impressed with their quality, undertook what has since become my Adventures in Self-Publishing in which I work through impossible crime fiction following a non-trad route to its audience.
Who doesn’t love a list? No-one who matters, that’s who. And since I’ve now read all twenty of the translated short stories of Paul Halter it seems inevitable that I should have my own preferences laid out for everyone to disagree with.
Right, here we go: the final two Paul Halter stories from Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine previously unreviewed on this blog. Oh, hang on a minute, what am I going to do next Tuesday…?