Category Archives: Crime Fiction Alphabet

A GRAVEYARD FOR LUNATICS (1990) by Ray Bradbury

Hollywood, 1954 and the unnamed protagonist of Ray Bradbury’s Death is a Lonely Business (which I reviewed here) is back. When we saw him last he was a struggling pulp writer living in Venice (California) – since then has moved … Continue reading

Posted in 2012 Alphabet of Crime, Crime Fiction Alphabet, Friday's Forgotten Book, Hollywood, Los Angeles, Private Eye, Ray Bradbury, Scene of the crime | 18 Comments

THE ZEBRA-STRIPED HEARSE (1962) by Ross Macdonald

This review is my final contribution to Kerrie’s 2012 Alphabet of Crime community meme for her Mysteries in Paradise blog, which this week reaches the letter Z. It’s been an amazing ride for six months and I am pleased as … Continue reading

Posted in 2012 Alphabet of Crime, Crime Fiction Alphabet, Los Angeles, Mexico, Private Eye, Raymond Chandler, Ross Macdonald, Scene of the crime, William Goldman | 32 Comments

THE YELLOW DOG (1931) by Georges Simenon

This is one the first Maigret novels. Georges Simenon chronicled some 100 of his cases over a period of 40 years but initially churned them out in a blaze of activity – indeed this was the first of seven Maigret … Continue reading

Posted in 2012 Alphabet of Crime, Crime Fiction Alphabet, France, Friday's Forgotten Book, Georges Simenon, Maigret, Police procedural, Scene of the crime | 42 Comments

THE BEAST OF THE CAMARGUE by Xavier-Marie Bonnot

Dr Xavier-Marie Bonnot, author of the Commandant de Palma series, is the focus of this week’s Alphabet of Crime entry, which is reaching its always fairly head-scratching conclusion now that most of the ‘easier’ letters, shall we say, have been … Continue reading

Posted in 2012 Alphabet of Crime, Crime Fiction Alphabet, France, Noir, Scene of the crime, Support Your Local Library Challenge | 48 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

VERONICA’S ROOM (1973) by Ira Levin

Even if you have not seen his plays performed on the stage or read his novels, you are probably familiar with some of the movies adapted from the work of Ira Levin (1929-2007). I thought I knew his output pretty … Continue reading

Posted in 2012 Alphabet of Crime, Boston, Crime Fiction Alphabet, Friday's Forgotten Book, Ira Levin, Scene of the crime | 34 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

SALT RIVER by James Sallis

An author of compact mysteries rooted in the Deep South, poet and novelist James Sallis saw his profile rise last year after the release of the critically acclaimed Ryan Gosling movie Drive, an adaptation of his eponymous novel. Otherwise best … Continue reading

Posted in 2012 Alphabet of Crime, Crime Fiction Alphabet, Friday's Forgotten Book, James Sallis, Noir, Support Your Local Library Challenge | 20 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 PIZZA HOUSE CRASH (1989) by Denise Danks

Georgina Powers is 25 years old and her life is a bit of a mess. A journalist working in London for a weekly computer magazine, she doesn’t take very good care of herself and is recovering from a brief and … Continue reading

Posted in 2012 Alphabet of Crime, Crime Fiction Alphabet, Denise Danks, Friday's Forgotten Book, London, Ostara Publishing, Scene of the crime | 22 Comments

ONE FOR THE ROAD (1958) by Fredric Brown

A whodunit that, as the title suggests, is more than a tad on the bibulous side, One For the Road is one of the less well-known mysteries by cult author Fredric Brown and  one of his last. In the 40s … Continue reading

Posted in 2012 Alphabet of Crime, Arizona, Crime Fiction Alphabet, Fredric Brown, Friday's Forgotten Book, Robert Bloch | 14 Comments

NIGHTMARE CRUISE (1961) by Wade Miller

The phrase ‘cook’s tour’ takes on a rather sinister meaning in this unjustly neglected maritime thriller, first published in 1961 as an Ace paperback original from the team of Robert Wade and Bill Miller. It was their penultimate book though a … Continue reading

Posted in 2012 Alphabet of Crime, Crime Fiction Alphabet, Friday's Forgotten Book, Noir, Sargasso Sea, Wade Miller | 10 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

K is for … Stuart Kaminsky

The prolific mystery writer and academic Stuart Melvin Kaminsky was born in Chicago in 1934 and spent most of his career as a professor of film. Eventually he would spend 16 years teaching at Northwestern University before becoming a Professor … Continue reading

Posted in 2012 Alphabet of Crime, Alfred Hitchcock, Crime Fiction Alphabet, Friday's Forgotten Book, George Baxt, Los Angeles, Private Eye, Raymond Chandler, Scene of the crime, Stephen J Cannell, Stuart Kaminsky | 17 Comments

J is for … Jonathan Latimer

Kerrie’s 2012 Alphabet of Crime community meme over at her Mysteries in Paradise blog continues this week and has reached the letter J. As part of my contribution, I offer a look at the work of Jonathan Latimer, one of … Continue reading

Posted in 'In praise of ...', 2012 Alphabet of Crime, Columbo, Cornell Woolrich, Crime Fiction Alphabet, Dashiell Hammett, Erle Stanley Gardner, Film Noir, Jonathan Latimer, Los Angeles, Perry Mason, Private Eye, Raymond Chandler, Scene of the crime, Screwball, The Thin Man | 20 Comments

INVISIBLE GREEN (1977) by John Sladek

This detective novel by science fiction author John Sladek offers several impossible crimes in the style of John Dickson Carr and deserves to be much better known. It was paid a great compliment in 1981 when, only two years after … Continue reading

Posted in 2012 Alphabet of Crime, Crime Fiction Alphabet, Friday's Forgotten Book, John Dickson Carr, John Sladek, Locked Room Mystery, London, Scene of the crime | 47 Comments

HE WHO HESITATES (1965) by Ed McBain

Today we turn to one of the most anomalous entries in the 87th Precinct series, which I am currently re-reading in the order of original publication (my previous reviews can be found here). The chronology of the series is only … Continue reading

Posted in 2012 Alphabet of Crime, 87th Precinct, Crime Fiction Alphabet, Ed McBain, New York, Police procedural | 28 Comments

G is for … William Goldman

What do The Princess Bride, All the President’s Men (1976), Marathon Man, the cinema adaptations of Maverick (1994), Misery (1990) and The Stepford Wives (1975) as well as that great counter-culture Western, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, all have in common? … Continue reading

Posted in 2012 Alphabet of Crime, Crime Fiction Alphabet, Los Angeles, Private Eye, Ross Macdonald, Scene of the crime, William Goldman | 20 Comments

FACE TO FACE (1967) by Ellery Queen

Did you know that at the end of his illustrious career Ellery Queen retired to Italy, got married and sired a son? And that ‘Queen’ was not his real name, even in the fictional sense? Well, this is the information … Continue reading

Posted in 2012 Alphabet of Crime, Crime Fiction Alphabet, Ellery Queen, New York, Scene of the crime | Tagged | 34 Comments

E is for … Stanley Ellin

Kerrie’s Alphabet of Crime community meme over at the Mysteries in Paradise blog this week reaches the letter E. Those participating will post a review, author biog or a thematic item that matches the letter of the week either with … Continue reading

Posted in 2012 Alphabet of Crime, Alfred Hitchcock, Crime Fiction Alphabet, Fredric Brown, HRF Keating, Julian Symons, Private Eye, Stanley Ellin | Tagged | 13 Comments

DEATH IS A LONELY BUSINESS (1985) by Ray Bradbury

I delayed reading this book for the best part of thirty years but finally made the leap last week. I was thirty pages in when I heard the news: Ray Bradbury had died at the age of 91. The following, … Continue reading

Posted in 2012 Alphabet of Crime, Crime Fiction Alphabet, Dashiell Hammett, Friday's Forgotten Book, Leigh Brackett, Los Angeles, Private Eye, Ray Bradbury, Raymond Chandler, Ross Macdonald, Scene of the crime | 21 Comments

C is for … John Dickson Carr

Kerrie’s Alphabet of Crime community meme over at the Mysteries in Paradise blog has returned for 2012. Those participating will post a review, author biog or a thematic item that matches the letter of the week either with the first … Continue reading

Posted in 2012 Alphabet of Crime, Carter Dickson, Crime Fiction Alphabet, Gideon Fell, Henry Merrivale, John Dickson Carr, Julian Symons, Locked Room Mystery | Tagged , , , | 101 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

A is for … Amnesia

Kerrie’s Alphabet of Crime community meme over at the Mysteries in Paradise blog has returned for 2012. Each week those participating will post a review, author biog or a thematic item in which either the first letter of the title … Continue reading

Posted in 2012 Alphabet of Crime, Agatha Christie, Amnesia, Cornell Woolrich, Crime Fiction Alphabet, Ed McBain, Ellery Queen, Espionage, Film Noir, James Bond, LP Davies, Margaret Millar, Patrick Quentin | 29 Comments

Crime Fiction Alphabet for 2012

Kerrie, the host of the Mysteries in Paradise blog, is once again running her Alphabet in Crime Fiction community meme. I joined a little late in 2011 (letter F) but stuck with it right through to the end, even with … Continue reading

Posted in Crime Fiction Alphabet | 4 Comments

Z is for … Michael Bar-Zohar’s THE THIRD TRUTH (1972)

The 2011 Alphabet of Crime community meme over at the Mysteries in Paradise blog has reached the end of the line with the letter Z – and both my nominations this week, I am proud to say, are from author … Continue reading

Posted in Crime Fiction Alphabet, Espionage, New York, Paris | 8 Comments

Y is for … YOU’D BETTER BELIEVE IT (1985) by Bill James

The Alphabet of Crime community meme over at the Mysteries in Paradise blog this week reaches the letter Y, and my nomination, is … YOU’D BETTER BELIEVE IT by Bill James “Big boys don’t stop to talk” This procedural introduced … Continue reading

Posted in Bill James, Crime Fiction Alphabet, Police procedural | 4 Comments