The Jigsaw Man (1983) – Tuesday’s Overlooked Film

Bennett_Jigsaw-Man_corgiThis spy thriller was inspired by the exploits of double agent Kim Philby. Indeed the author went so far as to cheekily dedicate the book to him, and all her ‘dear friends in the KGB’ including those, ‘not yet surfaced.’ Published shortly before Anthony Blunt was revealed as the ‘Fourth Man’ in the Cambridge Spy ring, it tells the story of long-time defector Philip Kimberley (sic) who, after some plastic surgery, leaves Moscow to settle some unfinished business back in England.

I submit this review for Katie’s 2014 Book to Movie Challenge at Doing Dewey; Bev’s Silver Age Vintage Mystery Challenge; and Tuesday’s Overlooked Film meme over at Todd Mason’s Sweet Freedom blog.

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Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Cold War, England, Espionage, London, Moscow, Spy movies, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 28 Comments

A MOST WANTED MAN by John le Carré

LeCarre-A-Most-Wanted-ManFirst published in 2008, this ultra-topical spy thriller by John le Carré (whose work I previously profiled here) deals with money laundering, political asylum, extraordinary rendition and the ambiguities surrounding the tactics used in the ‘war on terror.’ It has now been turned into a movie, so I thought it might be a good time to have a look at the original and its adaptation, which includes the last lead performance by the late, great Philip Seymour Hoffman. We begin in Hamburg and the arrival of a man on the run …

The following is offered for P atti Abbott’s Friday’s Forgotten Books meme, today hosted by BV Lawson of In Reference to Murder; and Katie’s Book to Movie Challenge at Doing Dewey (for reviews, click here)

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Posted in Espionage, Germany, John le Carre | Tagged | 32 Comments

Phantom Lady (1944) – Tuesday’s Overlooked Film

Woolrich-Phantom-Lady-centipedeThis great movie is based on the book that got me hooked on the dark suspense of  Cornell Woolrich in the 1980s – and I suspect that, along with The Bride Wore Black, it’s the one that does it for most readers too. The premise is simple: a man is on death row for killing his wife. The only chance to prove his innocence is if he can find the stranger he spent the evening with at the time of the murder. The trouble is proving she ever existed as she seems to have vanished.

I offer this review for Bev’s Vintage Golden Age Mystery Challenge; Tuesday’s Overlooked Film meme over at Todd Mason’s Sweet Freedom blog; and Katie’s Book to Movie Challenge at Doing Dewey (for reviews, click here).

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Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Cornell Woolrich, Friday's Forgotten Book, New York, Robert Siodmak | 36 Comments

SHOOTING STAR (1958) by Robert Bloch

Bloch_Shooting-Star_aceReprinted by Hard Case Crime a few years back, this was Robert Bloch’s one and only private eye novel – so of course, given his inclination towards the tongue-in-cheek, he made it a book about an investigator with only one eye! It’s set in Hollywood and it seems that the author did not hold it in very high regard. So how does this story of the scandalous murder of a cowboy movie star actually hold up?

I offer this review as part of Bev’s Vintage Golden Age Mystery Challenge; Rich Westwood’s celebration of all things 1958 over at his Past Offences blog; and Patti Abbott’s Friday’s Forgotten Books meme over at her fab Pattinase blog.

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Posted in 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Friday's Forgotten Book, Hollywood, Robert Bloch | 70 Comments

Tommy & Tuppence are back on TV

So, here is the first official look at the new Tommy and Tuppence from the upcoming six-part BBC series Partners in Crime, starring David Walliams and Jessica Raine.

PinC

(Left to Right : Jessica Raine as Tuppence and David Walliams as Tommy. Photo: Laurence Cendrowicz / Copyright: Endor Productions )

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Posted in Agatha Christie, Tommy & Tuppence | 50 Comments

Try This One for Size (1989) – Tuesday’s Overlooked Film

try-this-one-for-size-movie-poster-1989-1020542015This amusing comedy-thriller was the first of a quartet of films starring Michael Brandon derived from the work of euro noir legend, James Hadley Chase. Set in the double-dealing world of smugglers and dodgy art dealers, this one brought Paradise City detective Tom Lepski to the fore and then sent him packing off to Europe with his wife.

The following is offered for Tuesday’s Overlooked Film meme over at Todd Mason’s Sweet Freedom blog; Katie’s Book to Movie Challenge at Doing Dewey (for links, click here); and Bev’s Silver Age Vintage Mystery Challenge.

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Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Florida, France, James Hadley Chase, Noir, Switzerland | 24 Comments

A SCENT OF NEW-MOWN HAY (1958) by John Blackburn

Blackburn_Hay_msmilljpgI’ve been looking to sample this author’s weird fiction for years after hearing him compared with LP Davies, one of my favourite British pulp authors of the 1960s. So I have decided, in my usual fashion, to start at the beginning with his debut, a Cold War tale of biological weaponry with its roots in Nazi experiments that combines espionage and horror with a dash of SF – or as the blurb has it:

“A novel of action, horror and emotion”

I offer this review as part of Bev’s Vintage Golden Age Mystery Challenge; and Rich Westwood’s celebration of all things 1958 over at his Past Offences blog. Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, England, Germany, John Blackburn, LP Davies | 29 Comments