The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (2017 Blu-ray)

Finally available (it was released yesterday) in a restored and high def format that preserves the original 2.35:1 aspect ratio, this visually audacious whodunit lands on Blu-ray in a gorgeous looking edition from Arrow Films. Starring Tony Musante and Suzy Kendall, beautifully shot by Vittorio Storaro and scored by the great Ennio Morricone, writer-director Dario Argento made a very assured debut in this genuinely chilling and thrilling mystery.

The following, updating a previous post, is offered as part of the Tuesday’s Overlooked Film meme hosted by Todd Mason over at his Sweet Freedom blog.

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Posted in Dario Argento, Fredric Brown, Giallo, Rome, Scene of the crime, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 24 Comments

FAT OLLIE’S BOOK (2002) by Ed McBain

Ed McBain decided that ultra-bigot Detective/First Grade Oliver Wendell Weeks – known colloquially (if not to his face) as ‘Fat Ollie’ – somehow merited having his own 87th Precinct mystery, even though he’s from the 88th! But what about Roger Havilland and Andy Parker, the two equally un-PC cops actually from the 87th? They never got a volume dedicated to them. But life is never fair .. Carella actually does most of the work tracking down the murderer of a candidate for mayor; Ollie instead tries to find the miscreant who lifted the manuscript of his debut novel!

I offer this review for Friday’s Forgotten Books meme hosted today by Todd Mason at Sweet Freedom.
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Posted in 87th Precinct, Ed McBain, Friday's Forgotten Book, New York, Police procedural | 31 Comments

Quincy, M.E (1976-83)


“You are about to enter the most fascinating sphere of police work, the world of forensic medicine”

Jack Klugman, one of the best actors who ever worked on American film and TV, was already a 25-year veteran, and star of the hit sitcom The Odd Couple, when he scored his biggest personal success in Quincy, which ran for 7 years. I just watched the third season …

This brief review is offered as part of Tuesday’s Overlooked Film & TV meme hosted by Todd Mason over at his Sweet Freedom blog,
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Posted in California, Tuesday's Overlooked Film, TV Cops | 32 Comments

TRIAL AND ERROR (1937) by Anthony Berkeley

It’s time for a guest post from my blogging buddy Livius, who writes about movies at his marvellous blog, Riding the High Country. And now it’s over to the man himself:

The inverted crime story is one where the perpetrator is known from the outset, or close enough to it, and the thrust of the story is carried forward by our interest in seeing law or its representatives piece together the clues and evidence that will bring the criminal to book. In short, if you’ve ever seen an episode of Columbo, then you know exactly what I mean.

We submit this review for Bev’s Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt; and Friday’s Forgotten Books meme, hosted today by Todd Mason at his Sweet Freedom blog

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Posted in 2017 Golden Age Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt, Anthony Berkeley, Columbo, Courtroom, England | 27 Comments

Death Valley (2011)

At least in popular culture, one might think that zombies really have inherited the earth. At least this hybrid cop show has a sense of humour and doesn’t get too bogged down in the morbidity of it all. Indeed this is a surprisingly amusing show, though I’m not that surprised that it didn’t last too long on the airwaves. One imagines in fact that it might do considerably better today than way back in 2011 – but then, a lot has happened to the world in the last six years …

“These are the stories of the cops that capture the monsters. And the camera crew, that capture the cops. Death Valley.

The following review is offered for Tuesday’s Overlooked Film meme hosted by Todd Mason at Sweet Freedom.

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Posted in California, Police procedural, Postmodern | 10 Comments

Hark! The 87th Precinct podcast

Well, this just made my day! Just as I am winding down to my last remaining reviews of the 87th Precinct series, here are a whole bunch of enthusiasts who are looking at the books anew in a smashing podcast – click on to read more:

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Posted in 'In praise of ...', 87th Precinct, Ed McBain, Police procedural | 10 Comments

MONEY, MONEY, MONEY (2001) by Ed McBain

Steve Carella is paired with Fat Ollie Weeks in this unusual entry in the 87th Precinct series. Shifting away from the whodunit formula, this is a contemporary thriller involving drug trafficking, counterfeiting and the secret service and featuring a rogue’s gallery of villains ranging from petty burglars to hit-men (and hit-women) and Islamic terrorists on  American soil.

He flipped back his jacket, holstered the gun, and said, “You owe me one, Steve-a-rino.”

I offer this review for Friday’s Forgotten Books meme, hosted today by Todd Mason at his Sweet Freedom blog
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Posted in 87th Precinct, Ed McBain, Friday's Forgotten Book, New York, Police procedural | 18 Comments