Category Archives: 2012 Vintage Mystery Reading Challenge

THE HORIZONTAL MAN (1946) by Helen Eustis

Phew! By the skin of my teeth I’ve managed to complete the 2012 Vintage Mystery Readers Challenge. To celebrate, and as my last blog post until late January, here is my (short) review of Helen Eustis’ influential Edgar-winning debut. Set … Continue reading

Posted in 2012 Vintage Mystery Reading Challenge, Amnesia, Campus Crime, Five Star review, Golden Age Girls, Margaret Millar, New York, Robert Bloch, Scene of the crime | 22 Comments

NIGHT WALKER (1954) by Donald Hamilton

Donald Hamilton (1916-2006) produced many different types of adventure books including Westerns such as The Big Country (filmed in 1958 with Gregory Peck). He is best known for his series of 27 Matt Helm novels, four of which were adapted … Continue reading

Posted in 2012 Vintage Mystery Reading Challenge, Amnesia, Donald Hamilton, Friday's Forgotten Book, Hard Case Crime, Scene of the crime, Virginia | 51 Comments

THE G-STRING MURDERS (1941) by Gypsy Rose Lee

Rose Louise Hovick (1914-70), better known under her stage name, ‘Gypsy Rose Lee’, had a brief but notable career. Her autobiography, Gypsy, detailing her rise to become the ‘Queen of Burlesque’ was a Broadway hit and was later filmed with … Continue reading

Posted in 2012 Vintage Mystery Reading Challenge, Craig Rice, Friday's Forgotten Book, Golden Age Girls, New York, Scene of the crime, Screwball | 33 Comments

Buon Natale 2012

This site began back in January 2011 and here we are, two years and 270 posts later and the year is almost up. What have we learned from the Blogosphere? Well, for one thing, WordPress and Google’s blogger software like each … Continue reading

Posted in 'Best of' lists, 'In praise of ...', 2012 Alphabet of Crime, 2012 Vintage Mystery Reading Challenge, 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, 2013 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Doctor Who, James Bond | 24 Comments

MURDER AT CAMBRIDGE (1932) by Q Patrick

This was the third novel by ‘Q. Patrick’, the byline belonging to the same family as ‘Patrick Quentin’ and ‘Jonathan Stagge’. The first two were collaborations between Richard Wilson Webb and Martha Mott Kelley but this was by Webb writing … Continue reading

Posted in 2012 Vintage Mystery Reading Challenge, Campus Crime, Friday's Forgotten Book, Patrick Quentin, Q Patrick | 25 Comments

2013 Vintage Mystery Reading Challenge

The indefatigable and always welcoming Bev of My Reader’s Block is already laying out the groundwork for her 2013 Vintage Mystery Reading Challenge, which as always focuses on mystery fiction published pre-1960 to be eligible for inclusion. I’ve had a … Continue reading

Posted in 2012 Vintage Mystery Reading Challenge, 2013 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Golden Age Girls | 14 Comments

THE HOUSE (1947) by Hilda Lawrence

John Norris has featured several postwar Gothic mysteries of late over at his fantabulous Pretty Sinister Books, whetting my appetite for something similar. So I finally decided to dust off this mystery by Hilda Lawrence (1906-76) and give it a … Continue reading

Posted in 2012 Vintage Mystery Reading Challenge, Friday's Forgotten Book, Golden Age Girls, Gothic, Hilda Lawrence | 32 Comments

NIGHTMARE (1941) by Cornell Woolrich

During the 1940s Cornell Woolrich was one of the true masters of the psychological suspense yarn, as adept at creating ingenious and outlandish plots as painting an atmosphere of universal dread and irrationality. This is a case in point with … Continue reading

Posted in 2012 Vintage Mystery Reading Challenge, Amnesia, Cornell Woolrich, Film Noir, Friday's Forgotten Book, New York, Noir, Scene of the crime | 20 Comments

THE WENCH IS DEAD (1955) by Fredric Brown

This unconventional mystery by cult author Fredric Brown has unfortunately become a little bit scarce, its absentee status probably not helped by the fact that the title, taken from Christopher Marlowe, has been used for several other novels too. The … Continue reading

Posted in 2012 Alphabet of Crime, 2012 Vintage Mystery Reading Challenge, Amnesia, Campus Crime, Crime Fiction Alphabet, Fredric Brown, Friday's Forgotten Book, Los Angeles, Scene of the crime | 37 Comments

UNFINISHED PORTRAIT (1934) by Agatha Christie

When I started Fedora I promised myself that I would try to avoid Agatha Christie as much as possible, not because I don’t enjoy her work but simply out of a spirit of self-preservation. She is already so well represented … Continue reading

Posted in 2012 Alphabet of Crime, 2012 Vintage Mystery Reading Challenge, Agatha Christie, Crime Fiction Alphabet, Friday's Forgotten Book, Golden Age Girls | Tagged | 43 Comments

TRAITOR’S PURSE (1941) by Margery Allingham

This is an Albert Campion novel like no other. Margery Allingham had introduced the character in the late 1920s and deployed him in a broad range of books, alternating between whodunits like Police at the Funeral (1931), Death of a … Continue reading

Posted in 2012 Alphabet of Crime, 2012 Vintage Mystery Reading Challenge, Albert Campion, Amnesia, Crime Fiction Alphabet, Film Noir, Friday's Forgotten Book, Margery Allingham, Scene of the crime | Tagged , | 45 Comments

REUNION WITH MURDER (1941) by Timothy Fuller

Harvard University is a real character in this novel, as a place rich in tradition, as a maker of men and as a source of continuity and reassurance ahead of America’s entry into the Second World War. However, while conventional … Continue reading

Posted in 2012 Alphabet of Crime, 2012 Vintage Mystery Reading Challenge, Boston, Campus Crime, Crime Fiction Alphabet, Scene of the crime | 18 Comments

QUEEN IN DANGER (1952) by Adam Hall

Elleston Trevor doesn’t rate a single mention in The Oxford Companion to Crime & Mystery Writing (1999), and that’s a real shame. The author of some 100 novels, as Trevor he published exciting war and adventure stories that easily stand … Continue reading

Posted in 2012 Alphabet of Crime, 2012 Vintage Mystery Reading Challenge, Adam Hall, Amnesia, Crime Fiction Alphabet, Film Noir, Hammer Studios, London, Scene of the crime, Terence Fisher | 30 Comments

THE EMPEROR’S SNUFFBOX (1942) by John Dickson Carr

Singled out by Carr himself as one of his best efforts, this is quite an anomalous title from the great writer’s oeuvre, though it displays many of his greatest virtues. Constructed with his trademark cunning, the story does not feature … Continue reading

Posted in 2012 Vintage Mystery Reading Challenge, Agatha Christie, Amnesia, France, John Dickson Carr, Scene of the crime | 25 Comments

MURDER ON THE BLACKBOARD (1932) by Stuart Palmer

This book features one of the first, and funniest, examples of that mystery mainstay, the spinster sleuth. From Mary Roberts Rinehart’s plucky one-off heroines to the more professional investigating of Agatha Christie’s Jane Marple and Patricia Wentworth’s Maud Silver (both first … Continue reading

Posted in 2012 Alphabet of Crime, 2012 Vintage Mystery Reading Challenge, Campus Crime, Craig Rice, Crime Fiction Alphabet, Hildegarde Withers, New York, Partners in Crime, Scene of the crime, Screwball, Stuart Palmer | 20 Comments

THE LONG WAIT (1951) by Mickey Spillane

Well, I suppose it had to happen sooner or later at Fedora! After a year and a half of blogging it is time to confront some potentially ingrained snobbery and decided if we have descended to the level of Mickey … Continue reading

Posted in 2012 Alphabet of Crime, 2012 Vintage Mystery Reading Challenge, Amnesia, Crime Fiction Alphabet, Dashiell Hammett, Friday's Forgotten Book, Mickey Spillane, Raymond Chandler | 57 Comments

DO EVIL IN RETURN (1950) by Margaret Millar

During the 1950s the Canadian author Margaret Millar proved herself, along with Patricia Highsmith, to be arguably the great innovator of the postwar crime and mystery genre. She was certainly crucial stepping stone in the later development of such notable … Continue reading

Posted in 2012 Vintage Mystery Reading Challenge, Friday's Forgotten Book, Golden Age Girls, Margaret Millar, Scene of the crime | 20 Comments

BRAT FARRAR (1949) by Josephine Tey

Imposture lies at the heart of this well constructed suspense novel by Elizabeth Mackintosh, the Scottish author best known today for the mysteries she published as  ‘Josephine Tey’, though she also wrote books and plays using her own name and … Continue reading

Posted in 2012 Alphabet of Crime, 2012 Vintage Mystery Reading Challenge, Crime Fiction Alphabet, Golden Age Girls, Hammer Studios, Jimmy Sangster, Josephine Tey | 16 Comments

THE TIGER AMONG US (1957) by Leigh Bracket

It is an oft-repeated cliché that reading can be a ‘magical’ experience. It is certainly a special kind of pleasure but sometimes I think ‘alchemical’ may be a more appropriate term, not least because it can rely on so many … Continue reading

Posted in 2012 Vintage Mystery Reading Challenge, Friday's Forgotten Book, Golden Age Girls, Leigh Brackett, Ohio, Scene of the crime | 22 Comments

THE SCARF (1947 / 1966) by Robert Bloch

“I have the heart of a young boy. I keep it in a jar on my desk” Robert Bloch was the prolific author of novels, short stories and screenplays in the horror, science fiction and mystery genres. He also possessed … Continue reading

Posted in 2012 Vintage Mystery Reading Challenge, Amnesia, Chicago, Friday's Forgotten Book, Los Angeles, New York, Psycho, Robert Bloch, Scene of the crime | 37 Comments

MURDER AT SCHOOL (1931) by James Hilton

James Hilton is probably best-remembered today for his trio of highly romantic novels from the 1930s, all of which were turned into successful movies: Lost Horizon (1933), the tale of the lost civilisation of Shangri-La, first filmed with Ronald Colman … Continue reading

Posted in 2012 Vintage Mystery Reading Challenge, Campus Crime, Friday's Forgotten Book, James Hilton | 19 Comments

Posthumous collaborations: The April Robin Murders case

The recent BBC TV adaptation of Dickens’ The Mystery of Edwin Drood, that classic crime novel left unfinished at the time of the author’s death in 1870, got me thinking about ‘enforced collaborations’ where works were completed post-mortem by other … Continue reading

Posted in 'In praise of ...', 2012 Vintage Mystery Reading Challenge, Cornell Woolrich, Craig Rice, Ed McBain, Golden Age Girls, Hildegarde Withers, Philip Marlowe, Raymond Chandler, Robert B. Parker, Stuart Palmer | 9 Comments

WHY SHOOT A BUTLER? (1933) by Georgette Heyer

This is my first excursion in to the upper crust world of Georgette Heyer, though she was hardly an obscure author and was very prolific. Making her publishing début while still in her teens, she went on to produce some … Continue reading

Posted in 2012 Vintage Mystery Reading Challenge, Friday's Forgotten Book, Georgette Heyer, Golden Age Girls | 27 Comments

DARKNESS AT PEMBERLEY (1932) by TH White

Mike Ripley in his unmissable Getting Away with Murder column recently pointed to the reprint of this early campus mystery and it is through his auspices that I have very kindly been sent a review copy by those nice people … Continue reading

Posted in 2012 Vintage Mystery Reading Challenge, Cambridge, Campus Crime, Columbo, Dorothy L. Sayers, Edgar Wallace, Locked Room Mystery, TH White | 33 Comments

FALLEN ANGEL / MIRAGE (1952) by Howard Fast

I begin the second stage of Bev’s 2012 Vintage Mystery Readers Challenge with an early mystery from the pen of Howard Fast, probably still best known as the author of Spartacus, his epic tale of revolution in ancient Rome. Like … Continue reading

Posted in 2012 Vintage Mystery Reading Challenge, Amnesia, Film Noir, Howard Fast, New York, Scene of the crime | 21 Comments

LANDSCAPE WITH DEAD DONS (1956) by Robert Robinson

I begin this year’s book challenges in high spirits thanks to a gift from Bev, the charming and generous host of the 2012 Vintage Mystery Readers Challenge. As part of the Challenge I have selected to read and review at … Continue reading

Posted in 2012 Vintage Mystery Reading Challenge, Campus Crime, Edmund Crispin, Michael Innes, Oxford, Scene of the crime | 26 Comments

2012 Vintage Mystery Reading Challenge

The indefatigable and always welcoming Bev of My Reader’s Block is already laying out the groundwork for her 2012 Vintage Mystery Reading Challenge, which as always focuses on mystery fiction published pre-1960 to be eligible for inclusion. I’ve had a … Continue reading

Posted in 2012 Vintage Mystery Reading Challenge, Golden Age Girls | 14 Comments