#1058: The Cat Saw Murder (1939) by Dolores Hitchens [a.p.a. by D.B. Olsen]

Cat Saw Murder

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If, like me, you were dissuaded from reading The Cat Saw Murder (1939) by Dolores Hitchens because the titles brings on the hives of a cozy Cat Catches Criminals caper, rest assured that this is very much not that type of book. The cat does indeed see murder — the surprisingly violent hacking to death of Lily Stickleman in the shabby beachside boarding house where she resides while waiting for an inheritance — but the sleuthing is done by a combination of Lieutenant Stephen Mayhew and the elderly Miss Rachel Murdock. Samantha, the eponymous moggy, provides a clue and a little intrigue of her own, but she’s much more dragged in rather than an essential catalyst (Ithankyou).

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#918: The Life of Crime (2022) by Martin Edwards

Life of Crime

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To me falls the honour of rounding off the blog tour for The Life of Crime (2022) by Martin Edwards, adding to the deserved praise it has already garnered elsewhere. This “personal journey through the genre’s past, with all the limitations and idiosyncrasies that implies” is a monumental achievement, encompassing the breadth and depth of a genre that is now a good couple of centuries old, and finding many nuggets to share about it along the way. And, since any study of a genre must inherently be about that genre to some extent, Edwards’ trump card here is to tell a story of crime writing that also sheds light on the need for such stories to exist in the first place.

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