Category Archives: 2013 Vintage Mystery Challenge

2013 Vintage Mystery Challenge – completed

The indefatigable and always welcoming Bev of My Reader’s Block regularly corrals us mystery buffs with her Vintage Mystery Reading Challenge, which focuses on mystery fiction published pre-1960 to be eligible for inclusion. I’ve had a great time this year with … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Albert Campion, Boileau-Narcejac, Edgar Wallace, Elisabeth Sanxay Holding, George Axelrod, Georges Simenon, James M. Cain, Maigret, Margaret Scherf, Margery Allingham, Michael Gilbert, Nero Wolfe, Philo Vance, Rex Stout, Richard Matheson, Sherwood King, SS Van Dine, Stanley Ellin, Wade Miller, Whit Masterson, World War II | 26 Comments

The Lady from Shanghai (1948) – Tuesday’s Overlooked Film

The story goes that Orson Welles, needing $50,000, rang the head of Columbia Studios and offered to make a film for them from a paperback he had just plucked at random from a book stand near the phone booth. Is … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, 2013 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Film Noir, New York, Orson Welles, San Francisco, Sherwood King | Tagged | 48 Comments

IF I DIE BEFORE I WAKE (1938) by Sherwood King

Later adapted by Orson Welles into The Lady from Shanghai starring Rita Hayworth, this was one of a pair of pre-war mysteries by Raymond Sherwood King. Set among the wealthy elite of Long Island, it is narrated by Laurence Planter, … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, 2013 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Courtroom, Friday's Forgotten Book, New York, Orson Welles, Sherwood King | 22 Comments

THE WINTER MURDER CASE (1939) by SS Van Dine

This was the snowy swan song for amateur sleuth Philo Vance. It is also, stylistically, Van Dine’s most atypical book, told in a brisk, direct and light manner almost completely free of those adornments (footnotes and expansive digressions etc.) that … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, 2013 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Friday's Forgotten Book, New York, Philo Vance, SS Van Dine | 43 Comments

THE DROWNING POOL (1950) by Ross Macdonald

This is the second of eighteen books featuring Lew Archer, the California PI created by Kenneth Millar, first published under his soon to be shortened pen-name, ‘John Ross Macdonald.’ It was also the first of the series that I read, … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, 2013 Vintage Mystery Challenge, California, Friday's Forgotten Book, Ross Macdonald | 46 Comments

DEADLY WEAPON (1946) by Wade Miller

Bill Miller and Bob Wade made their debut as novelists with this highly distinctive mystery that opens with a stabbing in the back row of a San Diego burlesque house. The victim was a fan of Shasta Lynn, the strip-tease … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Dashiell Hammett, Private Eye, San Diego, Scene of the crime, Wade Miller | 27 Comments

SS Van Dine – forgotten author

Does anyone read the rarefied intellectual puzzles investigated by Philo Vance anymore? I have been looking again at this series written and narrated by ‘SS Van Dine’ mainly with great pleasure (and will provide a couple of reviews here at Fedora very … Continue reading

Posted in 'In praise of ...', 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, 2013 Vintage Mystery Challenge, SS Van Dine | 38 Comments

DEATH IN CAPTIVITY (1952) by Michael Gilbert

The unusual background for this superb locked room mystery is a POW camp in Italy, loosely based on the author’s own experiences during the Second World War. It was filmed with Richard Todd in 1959 as Danger Within, the book’s US … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, 2013 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Italy, Michael Gilbert, World War II | 34 Comments

THE BIG CLOCK (1946) by Kenneth Fearing

Kenneth Fearing (1902-61), modernist novelist and proletariat poet, was driven by a strong social conscience. When subpoenaed in the 1950s and asked if he was a Communist, he replied, rather splendidly, “Not yet.” Of his seven crime novels, The Big Clock … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, 2013 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Film Noir, Five Star review, Friday's Forgotten Book, John Farrow, Kenneth Fearing, New York | 27 Comments

BLACKMAILER (1952) by George Axelrod

One of my favorite Hard Case Crime reprints is their cheeky edition of The Valley of Fear, presented with a lurid 1950s style cover as by ‘A.C. Doyle’. This approach, taking a classic and spicing it up for the masses, was … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Dashiell Hammett, George Axelrod, Hard Case Crime, New York | 32 Comments

THE FOUR JUST MEN (1905) by Edgar Wallace

Edgar Wallace made a real splash with his debut novel, though perhaps not quite the kind that he had intended. Originally promoted with the offer of a huge prize for anyone who guessed the ending, Wallace eventually had to declare … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, 2013 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Alfred Hitchcock, Edgar Wallace, Friday's Forgotten Book, Locked Room Mystery, London | 57 Comments

BADGE OF EVIL (1956) by Whit Masterson

The team of Robert Wade and Bill Miller produced nearly three dozen crime novels between 1946 and 1961, mainly as  ‘Wade Miller’ and (in hardback) ‘Whit Masterson’. Badge of Evil served as the basis for the Orson Welles classic Touch of … Continue reading

Posted in 'Best of' lists, 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, 2013 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Film Noir, Mexico, Scene of the crime, Wade Miller, Whit Masterson | 25 Comments

THE LIVING AND THE DEAD (1954) by Boileau-Narcejac

Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narjejac’s mysteries in the 1950s and 60s were admired for their great plot ingenuity but not for their plausibility. This is certainly the case with their third novel, a morbid tale with a giant twist adapted … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, 2013 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Alfred Hitchcock, Boileau-Narcejac, France, Friday's Forgotten Book, Paris | 32 Comments

MAIGRET SETS A TRAP (1955) by Georges Simenon

A psychopath is stalking the women of a small district in Paris and Jules Maigret of the Police Judiciaire is under pressure to find the culprit. Pretty soon, after a failed attack, an arrest is made – but then another … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, 2013 Vintage Mystery Challenge, France, Friday's Forgotten Book, Georges Simenon, Maigret, Paris, Police procedural, Scene of the crime | 43 Comments

SOMEONE IS BLEEDING (1953) by Richard Matheson

Like so many writers of his generation, Richard Matheson – who turned 87 last month – was shaped by his experiences in World War Two. Though this produced only one directly autobiographical book, The Beardless Warriors, postwar malaise and unease … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, 2013 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Friday's Forgotten Book, Los Angeles, Richard Matheson, Scene of the crime | 43 Comments

THE CASE OF THE LATE PIG (1937) by Margery Allingham

This is Margery Allingham’s shortest Albert Campion novel (my Penguin TV tie-in edition, featured on the right, runs to 138 pages) but it certainly packs in plenty of incident with the sleuth battling problems on the domestic and romantic front … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, 2013 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Albert Campion, East Anglia, Friday's Forgotten Book, Margery Allingham, Scene of the crime | 37 Comments

THE GREEN PLAID PANTS (1951) by Margaret Scherf

This was the second of four screwball mysteries featuring Emily and Henry Bryce, full-time husband-and-wife interior decorators and part-time amateur sleuths. After eleven months of marriage the volcanic Emily is already feeling that their life in New York is in … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Vintage Mystery Challenge, London, Margaret Scherf, New York, Rue Morgue Press, Scene of the crime | 37 Comments

DREADFUL SUMMIT (1948) by Stanley Ellin

Stanley Ellin burst on the literary scene in Spring 1948 with a one-two punch with the twin successes of his first short story, ‘The Specialty of the House’, the classic tale of the macabre for Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine and … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, 2013 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Friday's Forgotten Book, Joseph Losey, New York, Scene of the crime, Stanley Ellin | 22 Comments

THE GIRL WHO HAD TO DIE (1940) by Elisabeth Sanxay Holding

A belated Fedora welcome to 2013, which this year opens with a review of this fine book by Elisabeth Sanxay Holding (1889-1955), who after a brief dalliance with romance novels became a specialist in psychological suspense and thrillers. The Girl … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Elisabeth Sanxay Holding, Noir, Raymond Chandler, Stark House Press | 37 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

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