#650: Puzzles for Players – The Baffle Book (1930) by Lassiter Wren and Randle McKay [ed. F. Tennyson Jesse] Problems 8 to 14

Baffle Book. The

As in life, this blog has a few untrimmed threads hanging — one of these days I really must return to The Knox Decalogue and The Criminous Alphabet — but for today it’s back to The Baffle Book (1930).  The first seven problems in F. Tennyson Jesse’s edit of Lassiter Wren and Randle McKay’s famous puzzle series failed to excite my reason or my enthusiasm, so how does this second quarter of puzzles stand up?

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#636: Justice It Was That Moved My Great Creator – It’s About Crime [ss] (1960) by MacKinlay Kantor

It's About Crime

Marketing has a lot to answer for.  In much the same way that Herbert Brean a couple of weeks ago found himself the centre of a tussle between competing crime fiction ideologies, and endless crime fiction authors these days end up with “as gripping as Agatha Christie” in their synopses, it’s fashion that determines how to lie to you when selling something.

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#613: Little Fictions/Going Home – The Crime Stories of Edgar Allan Poe: ‘The Man of the Crowd’ (1840), ‘Into the Maelstrom’ (1841), and ‘The Oblong Box’ (1844)

Poe header

The accepted wisdom is that Edgar Allan Poe wrote five stories which formed the basis of the nascent detective fiction genre, and the plan for this month had originally been to look at one story each week.  But that’s what you plan when you fail to account for the rigour and research of Christian, who blogs at Mysteries, Short and Sweet.

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#610: Little Fictions/Going Home – The Crime Stories of Edgar Allan Poe: ‘The Gold Bug’ (1843) and ‘Thou Art the Man’ (1844)

Poe header

It’s Christmas Eve, you’re keenly watching for snow and listening for reindeer hooves on your roof, and Christian and I are moving onto the lesser crime stories of Edgar Allan Poe — the weaklings which nevertheless still hold some sway where the development of detective fiction is concerned.

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