MY FRIEND MAIGRET (1949) by Georges Simenon

Simenon_My-Friend-Maigret_penguin_1961There 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, twice. Unusually, the story is filtered through the eyes of Inspector Pyke of Scotland Yard, sent to study the ‘methods’ of his celebrated colleague.

I submit this review for Bev’s 2014 Golden Age Vintage Mystery Challenge; for Katie’s 2014 Book to Movie Challenge at Doing Dewey (for review links, click here); and Patti Abbott’s Friday’s Forgotten Books meme over at her fab Pattinase blog.

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

In Praise of … MEDIUM (2005-11)

Medium-Final-Season-DVDI just finished watching the seventh and final season of Medium, the mystery / supernatural drama starring  loosely inspired by reputed real-life spirit medium, Allison DuBois. It is one of my favourite shows, one of the most consistently inventive and ingenious whodunits to have graced the small screen over the last couple of decades in my view and one with a genuine heart at its centre. So this seemed like a good time to provide a quick overview and provide a list of my top 7 personal favourites episodes.

The following review is submitted for your approval as part of the Tuesday’s Overlooked Film & TV meme hosted by Todd Mason over at his Sweet Freedom blog.

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Posted in 'Best of' lists, 'In praise of ...', Arizona, Medium, Scene of the crime, Top 10, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged | 40 Comments

THE ABC MURDERS (1936) by Agatha Christie

Christie-ABC-panI 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 yes, a lot has been changed from the book (including the identity of the murderer) but it’s also great  fun! Not persuaded yet? Let me try a little harder …

The following review is offered Katie’s 2014 Book to Movie Challenge at Doing Dewey (for links, click here); Bev’s 2014 Golden Age Vintage Mystery Challengeand Patti Abbott’s Friday’s Forgotten Books meme, today corralled by Todd Mason over at Sweet Freedom; and Kerrie’s Agatha Christie Reading Challenge monthly Blog Carnival.

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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

Marlowe-Private-EyePowers 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 the UK with extensive location shooting in California, while the second season relocated entirely to Toronto, necessitating an almost complete change in cast and crew other than Boothe and his producer. The following is a look at the first series. N.B. When the rights were sold to HBO for screening in America, they added the detective’s first name to the title, but it’s otherwise the same show.

The following review is offered for Tuesday’s Overlooked Film meme over at Todd Mason’s Sweet Freedom blog; Katie’s 2014 Book to Movie Challenge at Doing Dewey (for links, click here); and Bev’s 2014 Golden Age Vintage Mystery Challenge.
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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

James-Shroud_sphereEasier 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 students and teachers and the buried secret that will result in four deaths.

“For God’s sake don’t start being sentimental about death. The indignity is that we die at all, not what happens to our bodies”

I submit this review for Katie’s 2014 Book to Movie Challenge at Doing Dewey; Bev’s 2014 Silver Age Vintage Mystery Challenge; and Patti Abbott’s Friday’s Forgotten Books meme, today coralled by Todd Mason over at his blog, Sweet Freedom.

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

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

Circus_of_Fear_FilmPosterChristopher 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 a short story, ‘The Man Without a Face.’ If truth be told, one imagines this is pretty much an ‘original’ by producer Harry Alan Towers. We begin with an elaborate heist sequence …

I submit this review for Tuesday’s Overlooked Film meme hosted by Todd Mason over at Sweet Freedom.

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Posted in Edgar Wallace, England, Harry Alan Towers, London, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged , | 30 Comments

THE TAMARIND SEED (1971) by Evelyn Anthony

Anthony-Tamarind-sphereEvelyn 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 of her approach, a tale of Cold War espionage where a Russian agent falls in love with a British counterpart – will they make it?

I submit this review for Katie’s 2014 Book to Movie Challenge at Doing Dewey (for review links, click here); Bev’s 2014 Silver Age Vintage Mystery Challenge; and  Patti Abbott’s Friday’s Forgotten Books meme over at her fab Pattinase blog, 

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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