Category Archives: ‘In praise of …’

Fedora’s 400,000 visits

Well, we pause briefly for a minor celebration here at Fedora … Late yesterday this blog sailed past its 400,000th visit, which seems incredible to me – and that’s not including the 113,000 plus visits from spammers (a curse on their … Continue reading

Posted in 'In praise of ...' | 69 Comments

Buon Natale 2013

This site began back in January 2011 and here we are, three years and 374 posts and 7,500 comments later. So, what have we learned this year?

Posted in 'In praise of ...' | 40 Comments

The Edgar Wallace Anthology

This is a bit of an indulgence I realise but I just got myself this massive box set and wanted to tell everybody about it … The following overview is offered as part of the Tuesday’s Overlooked Film meme hosted … Continue reading

Posted in 'In praise of ...', Edgar Wallace, London, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 20 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

Raven’s Head Press is launched

Great news reaches us at Fedora – the redoubtable John F Norris of Pretty Sinister Books and Michael Hudson have launched Raven’s Head Press, a new imprint devoted to weird and wonderful crime and adventure fiction. Their motto is ‘Reviving … Continue reading

Posted in 'In praise of ...', Raven's Head Press | 24 Comments

WordPress awards

Thanks to Colin for nominating Fedora for the WordPress Family Award – I am glad to be able to return the favour and also tip my hat to some of the other fine WordPress bloggers out there (those on other platforms … Continue reading

Posted in 'Best of' lists, 'In praise of ...' | 26 Comments

Top 12 Mystery Movie Remakes

As the movie summer starts to wind down, the sheer number of sequels, remakes and ‘reboots’ certainly can make for a dispiriting summing up. But it is worth remembering that, at least in our genre, there are a great many great … Continue reading

Posted in 'Best of' lists, 'In praise of ...', Chicago, Ernest Hemingway, Film Noir, James M. Cain, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Mexico, Miami, Michael Curtiz, New York, Noir on Tuesday, Parker, Philip Marlowe, Private Eye, Raymond Chandler, Richard Stark, San Francisco, Texas, Top 10, Washington DC | 52 Comments


I, Ira Retru Grade, was born with a question in my mouth – ‘What the f*** am I doin’ out here?’ This is the opening line, albeit slightly edited as it’s above the fold (sorry IR, this is a family … Continue reading

Posted in 'In praise of ...', Ira Retru Grade, Jim Ballantyne | 4 Comments

Richard Matheson is no longer Earthbound

We bid farewell to Richard Matheson, one of Fedora’s first and greatest literary loves. Born in 1926, he was the author of such powerful and influential novels as I am Legend and The Shrinking Man as well as dozens of … Continue reading

Posted in 'In praise of ...', Richard Matheson, RIP | 25 Comments

Ragu in The Smoke – part 2

In British parlance I am supposed to be ‘Exchanging Contracts’ this week – putting a deposit on my flat, binding all parties to the sale. These things always take longer than you imagine, however … so activity here at Fedora … Continue reading

Posted in 'In praise of ...', London | 20 Comments

PROOF OF GUILT (1973) by Bill Pronzini

Buon compleanno Bill! Tomorrow is the 70th birthday of  William John Pronzini, now into his sixth decade of activity as a mystery author and still one of the best on the scene – and thankfully, one of the most prolific too. … Continue reading

Posted in 'In praise of ...', 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, Bill Pronzini, Locked Room Mystery | 37 Comments

Fedora’s 200,000 visits

Where does the time go? This site just passed another milestone at the beginning of this week with its 200,000th visit! Flabbergasting is the word. To celebrate, here is Alain Delon sporting one of my favourite fedoras in action in … Continue reading

Posted in 'In praise of ...', France, Scene of the crime | 34 Comments

Douglas Slocombe – 100 years old today

OK movie buffs, here’s a fun pop quiz for you: what do Raiders of the Lost Ark, Sean Connery’s last Bond movie, Michael Caine in The Italian Job, Montgomery Clift’s turn as Sigmund Freud and several classic Ealing comedies such … Continue reading

Posted in 'In praise of ...', Basil Dearden, Douglas Slocombe, Film Noir, George Baxt, Gothic, Hammer Studios, Jimmy Sangster, Joseph Losey, London, New York, Paris, Scene of the crime, Screwball | 21 Comments

Two years of Fedora tips

I can’t quite believe it but this blog started two years ago today. A lot has happened here since then but the nicest byproduct has definitely been the regular exchanges of views with the many fine bloggers out there on … Continue reading

Posted in 'In praise of ...' | 47 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

Fifty shades of James Bond

Tomorrow is ‘International James Bond Day’, not actually a national holiday yet but I’m sure it’ll catch on eventually. It’s part of a coordinated media blitz celebrating the 50 years on screen of ‘the world’s favourite secret agent’. I’m starting … Continue reading

Posted in 'Best of' lists, 'In praise of ...', Espionage, Ian Fleming, James Bond, Spy movies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 23 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

Quote of the day

“(Car journeys are the frowning parentheses at the start and end of any good holiday).” – Joe Dunthorne, Submarine (2008) With so many people traveling in the UK this weekend as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations, this witticism by … Continue reading

Posted in 'In praise of ...' | 4 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

John le Carré at 80

David Cornwell, aka John le Carré, turned 80 yesterday and celebrations are definitely in order. Not only is the feature film adaptation of his 1974 novel Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy a roaring critical and box office success but he is still publishing new work that is attracting praise from all quarters. A master of the espionage story, he has branched well beyond the constraints of genre fiction to produce work that in its topicality, lucid prose style and in its charting of the decay of the late and unlamented British Empire can certainly bear comparison with that of his great literary mentor and inspiration, Graham Greene. Of his most recent work, The Constant Gardener (2001), a trenchant conspiracy thriller and exposé of the ethics big pharma, he may well have produced his finest work to date, though there is a real bounty to choose from. Continue reading

Posted in 'In praise of ...', Espionage, George Smiley, John le Carre | Leave a comment

Everyone’s a critic: In praise of Julian Symons

Julian Gustave Symons (1912-1994) was a poet, novelist and scholar and published over 80 books in his lifetime. These include biographies of Dickens and Carlyle as well as studies of Hammett, Christie, Conan Doyle and Poe. During the 1970s he … Continue reading

Posted in 'In praise of ...', Julian Symons | 15 Comments

In praise of … INSPECTOR MORSE

There are two distinct flavours of Inspector Morse – first there are the Colin Dexter series of thirteen novels (and a handful of short stories) published between 1975 and 1999; then there are the 33 feature-length episodes of the TV … Continue reading

Posted in 'Best of' lists, 'In praise of ...', Colin Dexter, Columbo, Inspector Morse, Oxford | 20 Comments

In Praise of … COLUMBO

Peter Falk has died at the age of 83 after several years in poor health. A brilliant stage and film actor equally adept at comedy and drama, familiar for his blistering performances in John Cassavetes’ films and as the loving … Continue reading

Posted in 'Best of' lists, 'In praise of ...', Columbo, Top 10 | 23 Comments

Blogs what I have read

Unaccustomed as I am to blogging (with apologies to the immortal British comedy duo Morecambe and Wise and their scriptwriter Eddie Braben), I just thought I’d stop for a minute or two to point with amazement at the apparent synchronicity surrounding the great time I have been having of late participating in the blogosphere. Without realising it, I seem to have joined a group of bloggers all of whom celebrate fairly traditional detective stories, with most of us in particular being great fans of John Dickson Carr and Ellery Queen.

There’s a lot of great crime and mystery bloggers out there and I have to tip my hat to several that I have recently had the pleasure of getting better acquainted with Continue reading

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In praise of … Stuart Kaminsky (1934-2009)

This gallery contains 2 photos.

In some ways, Stuart M. Kaminsky’s place here is absolutely essential – he was a prolific writer of all kinds of crime novels (psychological, suspense, thrillers, spy fiction as well as the hard-boiled mysteries he is best known for), and won the Edgar for best Mystery novel for A Cold Red Sunrise, a police procedural set in Siberia. But, he also had a long career as professor of film; and his best novels are the series featuring shambolic shamus Toby Peters (the names of his two sons) which ably combine excellent plots with vivid descriptions of California in the 1930s and 40s and a firm knowledge of film (which, as we know, holds the secrets to all life’s mysteries). Continue reading

Gallery | 2 Comments