PRISONER’S BASE (1952) by Rex Stout

Stout_Prisoners-Base_bantamThe late William L. De Andrea in his introduction to the Bantam edition (on the right) singles out this particular case for Nero Wolfe and his legman Archie Goodwin for having one of Rex Stout’s best plots. It also made for great television when adapted for the show starring Timothy Hutton and Maury Chaykin. It all begins when a stranger arrives at Wolfe’s brownstone looking for a place to stay …

I offer this review as part of Rich’s celebration of 1952 books over at Past Offences; Bev’s 2014 Vintage Golden Age Mystery Challenge; Patti Abbott’s Friday’s Forgotten Books meme over at her fab Pattinase blog; Katie’s Book to Movie Challenge at Doing Dewey (for reviews, click here).

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Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Friday's Forgotten Book, Nero Wolfe, New York, Rex Stout | Tagged | 41 Comments

MYSTERIES UNLOCKED – ESSAYS IN HONOR OF DOUGLAS G. GREENE edited by Curtis Evans

Evans_Mysteries-UnlockedCurtis Evans, he of The Passing Tramp blog and the Masters of the Humdrum Mystery book, has edited the new anthology, Mysteries Unlocked – Essays in Honor of Douglas G. Greene. It’s a celebration of the work of the founder of Crippen & Landru publishers and author of the authorised biography of John Dickson Carr, The Man Who Explained Miracles, though this volume is much more besides. Any post from me would be a bit partisan as I am not only one of the contributors, but I also think that some of the nicest people on the blogosphere have written terrific original essays for this equally terrific book. But this is a volume that really does speak for itself – here’s why you should really get this …

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Posted in Agatha Christie, Edmund Crispin, Fredric Brown, John Dickson Carr, Margery Allingham, Patrick Quentin, Raymond Chandler, Ross Macdonald | Tagged , , , | 32 Comments

Don’t Bother to Knock (1952) – Tuesday’s Overlooked Film

Armstrong_Mischief_pandoraThat truly disturbing suspense character, the unhinged baby sitter, helped to get entrenched with Mischief, Charlotte Armstrong’s novel subsequently filmed as Don’t Bother to Knock with Marilyn Monroe. We begin in New York as Peter and Ruth Jones  await the arrival of the sitter to look after their nine-year-old daughter …

The following book and film review is offered for Katie’s 2014 Book to Movie Challenge at Doing Dewey (for links, click here); Bev’s 2014 Golden Age Vintage Mystery Challenge; and Tuesday’s Overlooked Film meme hosted by Todd Mason over at his Sweet Freedom; and the celebration of 1952 mysteries over at Rich’s Past Offences.

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Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Charlotte Armstrong, New York, Roy Baker, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged , , , | 24 Comments

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