I’ve not reviewed a movie here on The Invisible Event before, but then The Last of Sheila (1973) is not your average movie. I first became aware of it at the Bodies from the Library conference in 2017, when it was recommended as one of the few examples of a fair-play mystery in long format, and that was enough for me.
It’s fitting that Noah’s review of Dead Men Don’t Ski (1959), is what first brought the book to my attention, because the novel exemplifies for me a strata of fiction that I only got thinking about on account of Noah’s own, far superior, ruminations on the subject. Much like Murder on Safari (1938) by Elspeth Huxley, contemporary familiarity with the milieu would probably see this classified as ‘cozy’ these days — but to do so would be to ignorantly overlook the newness of this sort of setting at the time of writing. I’m tempted to call these Travelogue Mysteries, where the setting appeals as much as the crime on account of how novel it would have been at the time.
Lightning could strike twice, right? I went into Max Murray’s The Voice of the Corpse (1948) last week knowing nothing about it and that turned out rather well, and no less authorities than Xavier Lechard and Nick Fuller had enthused about this in recent weeks. Plus, in the comments on that above post, TomCat — who knows my standards pretty well, I feel — called Murder on Safari (1938) “a wonderfully written detective story with a splendid backdrop, [that] plays scrupulously fair with the reader”. So, despite (deliberately) knowing nothing about this one either, this wasn’t a risk at all. Kick back, and let the good times roll.