Category Archives: London

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 | 3 Comments

Circus of Fear (1966) – Tuesday’s Overlooked Film

Christopher Lee and Klaus Kinski co-star in this Anglo-German whodunit marketed as a sensational Edgar Wallace thriller. Some sources claim the story of bank robbers hiding out with a travelling circus was based on Wallace’s The Three Just Men, while others credit … Continue reading

Posted in Edgar Wallace, England, Harry Alan Towers, London, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged , | 28 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

Top 20 Amnesia Mystery Movies

Whether it’s the intrigue of Jason Bourne adventures or the farcical escapades of the Hangover films, memory loss remains a popular narrative device in fiction in general and at the cinema in particular. Here is a guide to my top 20 favourite … Continue reading

Posted in 'Best of' lists, Alfred Hitchcock, Amnesia, Billy Wilder, Boileau-Narcejac, Charlie Chan, England, Eric Ambler, France, Greece, Hammer Studios, James Hilton, Jimmy Sangster, John Frankenheimer, Len Deighton, London, Los Angeles, LP Davies, New York, Orson Welles, San Francisco, Spain, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged | 78 Comments

Women of Twilight (1953) – Tuesday’s Overlooked Film

Nothing to do with Stephenie Meyer, this stark social drama (aka Twilight Women) was based on Sylvia Rayman’s groundbreaking all-female play. The up-and-coming Lois Maxwell and Laurence Harvey co-star, though the film is dominated by René Ray as unlikely heroine Viviane and Freda Jackson … Continue reading

Posted in Film Noir, Hammer Studios, London, Noir on Tuesday, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 24 Comments

THE ORDEALS OF SHERLOCK HOLMES by Jonathan Barnes

This collection of four new audio adventures follows the threads of a single case across 40 years in the career of Conan Doyle’s consulting detective. Following on from the conspicuous success of The Adventure of the Perfidious Mariner, Jonathan Barnes is again … Continue reading

Posted in Audio Review, Big Finish, Jonathan Barnes, London, Scene of the crime, Sherlock Holmes, Sussex | 26 Comments

Blind Date (1959) – Tuesday’s Overlooked Film

This above average whodunit was directed with style and conviction by Joseph Losey, an American émigré in London who brought much of own feelings of cultural and social displacement to bear. Hardy Kruger is the foreigner in London who gets framed for murder … Continue reading

Posted in England, Film Noir, Georges Simenon, Joseph Losey, Leigh Howard, London, Scene of the crime, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged | 24 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

Joseph Losey’s crime movies

In the 1940s and early 1950s Joseph Losey established himself as a new director of rare intelligence and technical dexterity in Hollywood. His promise however was curtailed by the McCarthy witch hunts that destroyed the lives of hundreds of men … Continue reading

Posted in Cold War, Film Noir, James Hadley Chase, Joseph Losey, London, New York, Noir on Tuesday, Paris, Stanley Ellin, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 23 Comments

DICK BARTON: THE CASE OF THE VANISHING HOUSE (1978) by Alan Radnor

In the 1940s my mum and her sister used to rush home every school night to listen to the next exciting adventure of Dick Barton – Special Agent. Broadcast by the BBC from 6.45 to 7PM, the radio serials debuted … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, Cold War, Dick Barton, Espionage, Friday's Forgotten Book, Hammer Studios, London, Novelisation, Radio, Scene of the crime | 43 Comments

The Passion of Brian De Palma

Well, there is a slight change to our usual schedule today as it’s my birthday, which means I am officially in my mid forties … good grief! So I could commemorate this august moment just by joining a gym (of … Continue reading

Posted in Alfred Hitchcock, Brian de Palma, Chicago, England, Film Noir, France, Germany, Hollywood, London, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Paris, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Scene of the crime, Tuesday's Overlooked Film, Washington DC | 35 Comments

The Four Just Men (1939) – Tuesday’s Overlooked Film

Edgar Wallace was a popular author who, when it came to adapting his works for the cinema, not only opted to produce them himself but even directed a couple! He remains one of the most filmed of all writers, the vast majority … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, Alfred Hitchcock, Edgar Wallace, London, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 19 Comments

Dead Head (1986) – Tuesday’s Overlooked TV show

Let’s play a TV buff’s game: can you identify today’s overlooked show? It’s a 1986 multi part ‘authored’ BBC serial; the setting is modern-day London, the narrator wears a fedora and is haunted by the image of woman’s severed head … Continue reading

Posted in Film Noir, London, Private Eye, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged , , , | 18 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

The First Great Train Robbery (1978) – Tuesday’s Overlooked Film

A hugely successful writer, Michael Crichton had a more patchy career as a director. After two high concept hits, Westworld (1973) and Coma (1978), he changed tack with this meticulously researched caper based on a real-life Victorian bullion robbery. It won … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, England, London, Michael Crichton, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 34 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

Ragu in The Smoke

Activity here at Fedora will be decidedly erratic over the next couple of months while I move the ragu (me) out of Caversham (on the Berkshire/Oxfordshire border) and relocate to a temporary abode in The Smoke (London). This will be … Continue reading

Posted in London | 48 Comments

The Age of Revolution

Corks – it’s the return of theatre impresario Henry Gordon Jago and pathologist Professor George Litefoot, those two fruity Victorian investigators played to perfection by Christopher Benjamin and Trevor Baxter. They are back for another quartet of audio adventures, courtesy … Continue reading

Posted in Audio Review, Big Finish, Jago & Litefoot, Jonathan Morris, London, Scene of the crime, Steampunk | 12 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

THE BLOODY MATCH by Paul Halter

I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions usually but I promised myself two things for 2013: first, that I would try some of the great books recommended by my blogging compadres; and second, that I would finally read some of … Continue reading

Posted in John Dickson Carr, Locked Room Mystery, London, Paul Halter, Philip MacDonald, Scene of the crime | 37 Comments

The Big Sleep (1978)

Michael Winner, the pugnacious British filmmaker (and restaurant critic), died in January at age 77. He dabbled in almost every genre (Westerns, musicals, horror, costume melodrama, war movies etc.) though was most at home with ironic comedies during the 1960s … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, Film Noir, London, Noir on Tuesday, Philip Marlowe, Private Eye, Raymond Chandler, Scene of the crime, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 52 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

Top 20 TV Spies

Not everyone agrees, but for me the spy story is definitely a subset of the crime and mystery genre. However, tales of espionage do come in all shapes and sizes: from contemporary to historical, deadly serious like Tinker Tailor Soldier … Continue reading

Posted in Espionage, George Smiley, John le Carre, Len Deighton, London, Mexico, Robert Culp, Rome, Scene of the crime, The Sandbaggers | 61 Comments

GHOSTS OF CHRISTMAS PAST by Tony Lee

This new audio play by Tony Lee brings together two (fictional) icons of Victorian England – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s immortal consulting detective Sherlock Holmes and Oscar Wilde’s Dorian Gray, that perverse satyr, sensualist and scoundrel whose own narcissism led … Continue reading

Posted in Audio Review, Big Finish, London, Scene of the crime, Sherlock Holmes | 11 Comments

Top 20 Spy movies

The release of Ben Affleck’s smart historical satire Argo, based loosely on the true extraction by the CIA and Canadian officials of six American Embassy staff members out of Tehran in 1980, made me reflect on the spy genre as … Continue reading

Posted in 'Best of' lists, Adam Hall, Alfred Hitchcock, Amnesia, Billy Wilder, Brian de Palma, Cold War, Elleston Trevor, Eric Ambler, Espionage, Film Noir, George Smiley, Ian Fleming, James Bond, John Frankenheimer, John le Carre, Len Deighton, London, Michael Powell, New York, Paris, Quiller, San Francisco, Scene of the crime, Spy movies | 76 Comments

The Blake Edwards mysteries

In a career spanning six decades, writer-director Blake Edwards (1922-2010) really mixed it up, making almost every conceivable type of film. There were westerns (Panhandle and Wild Rovers), musicals (Darling Lili and Victor Victoria), dark drama (Days of Wine and … Continue reading

Posted in Blake Edwards, Cold War, Espionage, Evelyn Anthony, Hollywood, London, Michael Crichton, Mickey Spillane, Mike Hammer, Paris, Police procedural, Private Eye, Robert Bloch, Rome, San Francisco, Scene of the crime, Screwball, Tuesday's Overlooked Film, TV Cops | 45 Comments

Skyfall – five star movie review

Yes, the title of this post does rather give things away – I loved the new Bond movie. Have you been to see Skyfall yet? You really should. In the UK the new 007 adventure, the first in 4 years, came … Continue reading

Posted in Espionage, Five Star review, James Bond, London, Scene of the crime, Spy movies | Tagged | 40 Comments

The Last Page (1952)

Released as Man Bait in the US, this story of blackmail and murder in the London book trade was adapted from a 1947 play by James Hadley Chase, a writer still best-known for the pulp shocker No Orchids for Miss … Continue reading

Posted in Hammer Studios, James Hadley Chase, London, Terence Fisher, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged , , | 31 Comments

Mantrap (1953)

Paul Henreid stars in this fast-paced British whodunit, an adaptation of Adam Hall’s Queen in Danger, my review of which you can read here. In the US the film was released as Man in Hiding and was one of dozens of … Continue reading

Posted in Adam Hall, Hammer Studios, London, Terence Fisher, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged , | 20 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