Category Archives: Julian Symons

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

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 , , , | 105 Comments

THE FIEND (1964) by Margaret Millar

Margaret Millar was a major writer of mystery and suspense for four decades, yet practically none of her books are in print today. Specialising in stories of abnormal or aberrant psychology, her books are notable for their acute portraits of … Continue reading

Posted in Anthony Boucher, Julian Symons, Margaret Millar, Ross Macdonald | 6 Comments

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

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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Guides to Mystery Fiction

Like so many aficionados of the genre, I got into mystery fiction at an early age, probably through exposure to film and TV adaptations. I certainly remember the great excitement of seeing the movie version of DEATH ON THE NILE (1978) when I was 10 years old at my local ABC cinema in Maidenhead and I suspect that I started reading Agatha Christie’s novels very shortly afterwards. The same was also probably the case with the much-filmed books by Ian Fleming and Raymond Chandler, the first ‘adult’ authors that I remember reading and getting really excited about. My fascination with the history of the genre is also fairly easy to pin down – it began when I came across the original 1972 edition in hardback of Julian Symons’ personal history of the genre, Bloody Murder (published in the US as ‘Mortal Consequences’), at the local library while visiting my grandparents in Horsham, West Sussex. After 30 years I still find myself regularly referring to it and so it has to come top of my list of reference works on the genre. Continue reading

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Pullman on Public Libraries

I began to know and love crime fiction in the late 1970s when I borrowed a copy of Julian Symons’ history of the crime and mystery genre, Bloody Murder, from the Horsham public library in West Sussex. I still dip into it today.

Philip Pullman has made a stirring speech on the massive closure planned for the UK’s public libraries. It has become something of a viral sensation – articulate, passionate and inspirational stuff – you can access it online at this address:

http://falseeconomy.org.uk/blog/save-oxfordshire-libraries-speech-philip-pullman Continue reading

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