#1013: Fell Murder (1944) by E.C.R. Lorac

Fell Murder

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Another gentle tale of Northern homicide from the pen of E.C.R. Lorac, Fell Murder (1944) was Chief Inspector Robert Macdonald’s first visit to Lunesdale — I’m not entirely sure how many he would make over his career, but I understand it to be more than a few — and finds author and character both having a lovely time. This only falls down for me in comparison to the similarly-set Crook o’ Lune (1953) in that the eventual solution doesn’t feel quite so rigorously proved, relying on a few rather key assumptions which spoil the overall effect. Prior to that, however, Lorac’s melding of character and setting again shows through very strongly, making her popularity easy to understand.

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#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?

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#980: (Spooky) Little Fictions – The Horror on the Links [ss] (2017) by Seabury Quinn

This first volume of The Complete tales of Jules de Grandin, French detective of the occult, contains 23 stories published between 1925 and 1928. Seabury Quinn was brought to my attention on the GAD Facebook group as an author who, like William Hope Hodgson, would mix in rational solutions to apparently supernatural problems so that you’re never sure what you’re getting. Sounds like fun? Let’s see how these stories stand up to scrutiny.

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