Like so many writers of his generation, Richard Matheson – who turned 87 last month – was shaped by his experiences in World War Two. Though this produced only one directly autobiographical book, The Beardless Warriors, postwar malaise and unease over the dramatic societal shifts that occurred during the conflict, and the deathly legacy of the atomic age, can be clearly discerned in much of his work. Not only in classic SF tales of mutation and alienation like I Am Legend and The Shrinking Man but more obliquely in the troubling sexual politics of Someone is Bleeding, a coming-of-age story couched in the language of pulp fiction that marked his debut as a novelist. It begins on a beach …
I offer this review as part of Bev’s 2013 Vintage Mystery Challenge in the ‘Amateur Night’ category; the 2013 Book to Movie Challenge at the Doing Dewey blog – for links to other participants’ reviews, click here; and Patti Abbott’s Friday’s Forgotten Books meme over at her Pattinase blog – you should head to these great sites right away to check out some of the other selections offered this week.
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 of those smashing people at Big Finish. These are not talking books but full-cast audio plays, about an hour-long each, featuring imaginative and detailed sound design and enthralling music scores. This first adventure catches up with our duo after being stranded in the 1960s …
The following review is offered as part of the Tuesday’s Overlooked AV Media meme hosted by Todd Mason over at his Sweet Freedom blog and you should head over there to see the many other fascinating titles that have been selected.
It’s common to hear it said that an act ‘died’ on stage but in the case of TV comic Stan Gifford this proves to be literally true – and in front of 40 million viewers too. This is the premise of this entry in the 87th Precinct series, which I am re-reading in chronological order (my previous reviews are located here).
“Be human,” she said. “You’re dealing with people, not cyphers.”
The following review is offered as part of Patti Abbott’s Friday’s Forgotten Books meme, which today is being hosted by Todd Mason over at Sweet Freedom. You should head there now to check out some of the other selections.
Patrick, a man wise beyond his years and master of that smashing resource, At The Scene of the Crime, today celebrates the second online birthday of his blog. As we are both fans of mystery audios I was thrilled to be asked to participate in his podcast devoted to the subject. Part one was posted in December (to listen, click here) and now you can access the sequel. In it we discuss BBC Radio, such crime writers as Anthony Horowitz and Gilbert Adair, and the original audios produced by Big Finish Productions, the company responsible for Jago and Litefoot and original Sherlock Holmes stories too.
So, if you are you interested in the Sound of Fear … click here
This is Margery Allingham’s shortest Albert Campion novel (my Penguin TV tie-in edition, featured on the right, runs to 138 pages) but it certainly packs in plenty of incident with the sleuth battling problems on the domestic and romantic front while also trying to solve a murder or three. It first appeared as a paperback in the Spring of 1937, more or less simultaneously with a darker and much longer Campion hardback, Dancers in Mourning. For his eighth (or ninth, depending on how you count) reported case, our amateur detective (and reputed member of the Royal family) opts, for the first and only time, to narrate his own adventure, which takes place in one of those far away fairytale East Anglia villages so beloved by Allingham.
I submit this review for Bev’s 2013 Vintage Mystery Challenge in the ‘Dangerous Beasts’ category; the 2013 Book to Movie Challenge at the Doing Dewey blog (for links to other participants’ reviews, click here); and Patti Abbott’s Friday’s Forgotten Books meme over at her Pattinase blog – you should head to these great sites right away to check out some of the other selections offered this week.
Also released in some English-speaking territories as either The Inquisitor or The Grilling, this was the first cinema adaptation of John Wainwright’s 1979 novel Brainwash (click here to read my review). The second, Under Suspicion (2000), was in effect a remake based on both the earlier screenplay and the original book, and starred Morgan Freeman, Gene Hackman and Monica Bellucci with the action relocated to Puerto Rico. Although the book has been adapted to various media over the years, the first remains an exceptional effort. Made very shortly after the book’s publication, Lino Ventura, Michel Serrault and the luminous Romy Schneider star in this very wintry whodunit …
I offer the following review as part of the 2013 Book to Movie Challenge at the Doing Dewey blog – for links to other participants’ reviews, click here. I also submit it as part of the Tuesday’s Overlooked Film meme hosted by Todd Mason over at his Sweet Freedom blog and you should head over there to see the many other fascinating titles that have been selected..
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 a bit of a rut and craves adventure – which dutifully arrives in the shape of a work trip to London. An early highlight of the book details their stay at the Royal Rajah Hotel in an England still under the weight of austerity and rationing – the rooms are cold and cavernous, the food and service unspeakably awful and yet the well-off members of the Peel clan still stay there for the sake of tradition. And then there are Bonnie Prince Charlie’s trousers …
I offer the following review as part of Bev’s 2013 Vintage Mystery Challenge in the ‘Colourful Crime’ category. I also submit it for Friday’s Forgotten Books meme run by Patti Abbott at her Pattinase blog – you should head over there right away to check out some of the other selections offered this week.