Category Archives: 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo

THE KEY TO NICHOLAS STREET (1952) by Stanley Ellin

Way before Peyton Place and the like, with this novel Stanley Ellin once again demonstrated his ability to stay ahead of the literary curve, using the investigation into a domestic death to explore the petty (and not so petty) jealousies … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Claude Chabrol, Friday's Forgotten Book, New York, Scene of the crime, Stanley Ellin | 41 Comments

The Outfit (1973) – Tuesday’s Overlooked Film

Despite being the third in the Parker series, this is a very good jumping on point for newbies as it summarises all that came before and brings to a close the initial arc, paving the way for a the next … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Donald Westlake, Film Noir, Parker, Richard Stark | 24 Comments

PRISONER’S BASE (1952) by Rex Stout

The late William L. De Andrea in his introduction to the Bantam edition (on the right) singles out this particular case for Nero Wolfe and his legman Archie Goodwin for having one of Rex Stout’s best plots. It also made … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Friday's Forgotten Book, Nero Wolfe, New York, Rex Stout | Tagged | 40 Comments

Don’t Bother to Knock (1952) – Tuesday’s Overlooked Film

That truly disturbing suspense character, the unhinged baby sitter, helped to get entrenched with Mischief, Charlotte Armstrong’s novel subsequently filmed as Don’t Bother to Knock with Marilyn Monroe. We begin in New York as Peter and Ruth Jones  await the arrival of … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Charlotte Armstrong, New York, Roy Baker, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged , , , | 24 Comments

MY FRIEND MAIGRET (1949) by Georges Simenon

There is evil in paradise in this Maigret story, which some critics (including Julian Symons) consider to be among the best of the series (no mean feat with over 100 to choose from). It was later adapted for French TV, … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Friday's Forgotten Book, Georges Simenon, Maigret | 44 Comments

THE ABC MURDERS (1936) by Agatha Christie

I realise this might be a bit controversial but I am here to praise both Christie’s classic ABC mystery and The Alphabet Murders, the zany 1965 movie version starring an improbably skinny Tony Randall as Poirot. Yes, it’s a broad comedy and … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Agatha Christie, Amnesia, London, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 44 Comments

Marlowe, Private Eye: season 1

Powers Boothe starred in this 1980s TV show that took Raymond Chandler’s early pulp stories and replaced their original protagonists with the detective from his later novels. The brainchild of British writer-producer-director David Wickes, the first season was made in … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Bryan Forbes, Film Noir, Noir on Tuesday, Philip Marlowe, Private Eye, Raymond Chandler, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 22 Comments

SHROUD FOR A NIGHTINGALE (1971) by PD James

Easier to admire than to like, this was the fourth of PD James’ series featuring her detective, Adam Dalgliesh. It is set in a nursing school and, at considerable length and in great detail, anatomises the lives of the female … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, England, PD James | 43 Comments

THE TAMARIND SEED (1971) by Evelyn Anthony

Evelyn Anthony (pen-name of Evelyn Ward-Thomas) turned 86 this month. She began writing historical romances in the Coronation year of 1953 but by the late 1960s had switched to topical suspense mixed with romance. The Tamarind Seed is a perfect example … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Barbados, Blake Edwards, Cold War, Espionage, Evelyn Anthony, London, Paris, Spy movies | 38 Comments

THE BIRTHDAY MURDER (1945) by Lange Lewis

Greatly admired by Barzun and Taylor, this sharply observed and elegantly phrased whodunit is set in the Hollywood movie colony at the height of its Golden Age. Its protagonist is Victoria, a successful screenwriter and novelist (and soon-to-be playwright) whose … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Friday's Forgotten Book, Hollywood, Lange Lewis | 41 Comments

THE SAINT IN EUROPE (1953) by Leslie Charteris

I can’t quite believe it but this may in fact be the first Saint book I have read in about 35 years! I do remember picking up some of the tie-ins reprinted when Return of the Saint premiered on TV in 1978 … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Austria, Friday's Forgotten Book, Germany, Leslie Charteris, Mike Ripley, Paris, Rome, Spain, Switzerland, The Netherlands | Tagged | 58 Comments

THE THIRD MAN (1950) by Graham Greene

Published after the release of the popular film of the same name, this book by Graham Greene is slightly unusual – it is not a screenplay (and indeed it varies from the finished film in many ways) and it is … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Film Noir, Five Star review, Graham Greene, Orson Welles, Vienna | 51 Comments

The Whole Truth (1958) – Tuesday’s Forgotten Film

Stewart Granger is the Hollywood producer accused of a murder he didn’t commit in this neat little thriller set on the Riviera. Shot with typical energy and flair by tyro director John Guillermin (The Blue Max, Death on the Nile, The Towering … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, John Guillermin, Jonathan Latimer, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 46 Comments

DEADFALL (1965) by Desmond Cory

Desmond Cory wrote a series of novels featuring secret agent ‘Johnny Fedora’ but today I’m not reviewing one of those. Instead we have one of his standalone efforts, a caper set in Spain involving split-second timing, complex gymnastics and a … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Bryan Forbes, Desmond Cory, John Barry, Spain, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged | 30 Comments

NUDE ON THIN ICE (1960) by Gil Brewer

This thriller comes in s new volume comprising two previously hard-to-find titles by paperback maestro Gil Brewer from those very nice people at Stark House Press, the imprint specialising in new and classic crime fiction. Originally entitled ‘Naked on Ice,’ … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Gil Brewer, Noir, Stark House Press | 45 Comments

Conduct Unbecoming (1975) – Tuesday’s Overlooked Film

This highly unusual military drama is set in 1880s India and stars Stacy Keach, Richard Attenborough and Christopher Plummer with Susannah York as the widow of a regimental hero who accuses an unpopular new recruit of assault. Michael York is the … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Bryan Forbes, Courtroom, India, Scene of the crime, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged , , , , | 34 Comments

SO LONG AS YOU BOTH SHALL LIVE (1976) by Ed McBain

The 87th Precinct series, after the intimate highlight of Blood Relatives, reaches back to its past for a much more expansive story centered around the wedding of Bert Kling, whose bad luck when it comes to love sadly continues. This novel … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, 87th Precinct, Columbo, Ed McBain, Friday's Forgotten Book, New York, Police procedural | 43 Comments

FEAR (1940) by L. Ron Hubbard

Well, I didn’t think I’d ever review a book by L. Ron Hubbard here at Fedora! But this early tale of suspense and horror was written well before the author made his fortune by creating sci-fi religions, and has had some … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Amnesia, L. Ron Hubbard | 39 Comments

Ten Little Indians (1965) – Tuesday’s Overlooked Film

With the news that the BBC are to adapt Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, I thought this might be a good opportunity to look at the original novel and earlier screen incarnations, especially the 1965 cinema version released … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Agatha Christie, Harry Alan Towers, Philip MacDonald, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 71 Comments

THE TODD DOSSIER (1969) by Robert Bloch

This medical thriller was the first novel by Robert Bloch that I ever read, though I didn’t know it at the time. The reason I picked it up was because it was credited to Collier Young, the creator of Ironside … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Friday's Forgotten Book, Novelisation, Robert Bloch | 57 Comments

NO ORCHIDS FOR MISS BLANDISH (1939) by James Hadley Chase

What can you say about this infamous crime story – that as a book and again as a film it was once the most notorious title in the UK? That it was critically lambasted by George Orwell? That it sold … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Film Noir, James Hadley Chase, Kansas City, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 41 Comments

THE VENGEFUL VIRGIN (1958) by Gil Brewer

This is a ripe piece of pulp noir, from its alliterative, catchpenny title to the de rigeur cover art featuring piles of cash, a disrobed woman and a gun. One of the many  paperback originals written by Gil Brewer in … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Florida, Friday's Forgotten Book, Gil Brewer, Hard Case Crime, James M. Cain, Noir | 31 Comments

Mr Arkadin (1955) – Tuesday’s Overlooked Film

In considering this quirky and delirious movie and book by Orson Welles, I am reminded of Winston’s Churchill’s quote about pre-war Russia: “It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma; but perhaps there is a key.” Arkadin tells … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Amnesia, France, Italy, Mexico, New York, Novelisation, Orson Welles, Spain, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 27 Comments

BLOOD RELATIVES (1975) by Ed McBain

We really like Ed McBain’s 87th Precinct books here at Fedora and for the last couple of years have been re-reading them in chronological order (links to all the reviews can be found here). All are lively and engrossing, with … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, 87th Precinct, Claude Chabrol, Ed McBain, Friday's Forgotten Book, New York, Police procedural | 36 Comments

BREAD (1974) by Ed McBain

After much too long a break, Cotton Hawes is brought back centre-stage for this story involving drugs, porn, insurance scams, pyromania and a few murders. It also gives a pungent, heartfelt depiction of the degradation of the slums of the city … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, 87th Precinct, Ed McBain, Friday's Forgotten Book, New York, Police procedural | 26 Comments

HAIL TO THE CHIEF (1973) by Ed McBain

This story of rival gangs plays some interesting narrative tricks and demonstrates an unusually strong satirical and political edge but is usually seen as one of the weaker entries in  the 87th Precinct series. How does is stand up today? “Why? What do … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, 87th Precinct, Ed McBain, Friday's Forgotten Book, New York, Police procedural | 33 Comments

NOTHING IN HER WAY (1953) by Charles Williams

“Charles Williams remains the best kept secret in noir fiction” – Max Allan Collins Charles Williams (1909-1975), one of the masters of the 1950s paperback original, has gone through a long period of neglect, probably more read in translation on … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Charles Williams, Friday's Forgotten Book, Noir, Stark House Press | Tagged , | 29 Comments

THE CASE OF THE LUCKY LEGS (1934) by Erle Stanley Gardner

The third in the Perry Mason series is set in the world of crooked beauty pageants and hails from back when the character was a pretty hardboiled lawyer who spent most of time racing around outside the courtroom. “I always take risks. … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Erle Stanley Gardner, Friday's Forgotten Book, Los Angeles, Perry Mason, San Francisco | 43 Comments

LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE DEAF MAN (1973) by Ed McBain

Yes, it’s the return of the fiendish nemesis of the 87th Precinct in his third appearance in 12 years (he appears approximately once a decade). Despite the fact that both of his previous capers were undone by sheer bad luck, he … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, 87th Precinct, Ed McBain, Friday's Forgotten Book, New York, Police procedural | 41 Comments

THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE (1934) by James M. Cain

James M. Cain’s debut novel was the publishing sensation of 1934 – and still packs a punch thanks to its twisty plot, sexually charged protagonists and violent emotional undercurrent. Based loosely on a real-life case, this obliquely titled tale of … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Film Noir, Friday's Forgotten Book, James M. Cain | 41 Comments