THE NOISE OF TIME by Julian Barnes

Julian Barnes is a celebrated author of novels, short stories and literary criticism. He also wrote four thrillers (1980-87) as ‘Dan Kavanagh’ (named for his late wife, Pat Kavanagh), featuring bisexual private eye Duffy. Though recently reprinted by Orion, you wouldn’t know that from the bibliography in Barnes’ most recent volumes as Duffy has been expunged from these.

He had been a mistake, swiftly corrected: a face in a photograph that went missing the next time the photograph was printed.

The Noise of Time, while containing references to murder, espionage and blackmail, is not crime fiction.

I submit this short review for Friday’s Forgotten Books meme, hosted today by Todd Mason over at his fab Sweet Freedom blog.

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Posted in Julian Barnes, Moscow, New York, Russia | 18 Comments

Terror by Night (1946)

The Holmes and Watson series picked itself right up again with this train-bound adventure that comes as very welcome after the disappointment of Pursuit to Algiers. It was also the swansong for Dennis Hoey’s Lestrade.

Holmes: The Inspector’s going to Scotland to fish for salmon!
Watson: Oh really? The season doesn’t start for another month, but you wouldn’t know that, would you?
Lestrade: ‘Oo says I’m gonna fish fer salmon?
Watson: ‘Oo? ‘Im!

The following review is offered for Todd Mason’s Tuesday’s Overlooked Film meme over at his fab Sweet Freedom blog.
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Posted in Arthur Conan Doyle, London, Scotland, Sherlock Holmes, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged , | 17 Comments

PAST TENSE by Margot Kinberg

kinberg_past-tenseYou all know Margot Kinberg, the indefatigable mystery author and academic who blogs over at Confessions of a Mystery Novelist and who cheerleads for the detective genre here, there and everywhere. Past Tense is the third in her series of mysteries featuring Joel Williams, an ex-cop who now is an academic at (the fictional) Tilton University, somewhere in Pennsylvania. It’s exam time but there is more excitement than normal when remains of a man who died some 40 years earlier are found on campus. Was it murder?

Don’t forget to check out Friday’s Forgotten Books meme run by Patti Abbott at her fab Pattinase blog

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Posted in Campus crime, Friday's Forgotten Book, Margot Kinberg, Pennsylvania | 16 Comments

TILL DEATH DO US PART (1944) by John Dickson Carr

This classic Golden Age detective story tends to get a little lost among the multitude and enthralling mysteries that John Dickson Carr was producing at such a prodigious rate at that time. It begins with a superb set piece in the tent of a fortune-teller at the end of a village fete that is being enveloped by thunder and lightning. Before long a shot is fired, a recently engaged couple find their happiness under threat and Gideon Fell has to investigate a complex locked room mystery. As a reader, I couldn’t be happier …

I submit this review for Bev’s 2017 Golden Age Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt; and Todd Mason’s Tuesday’s Overlooked Media meme over at his fab Sweet Freedom blog.

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Posted in 2017 Golden Age Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt, Audio Review, England, Five Star review, Gideon Fell, John Dickson Carr, Locked Room Mystery, London, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 44 Comments

EIGHT MILLION WAYS TO DIE (1982) by Lawrence Block

This fine private eye novel is first and foremost a powerful character study, depicting the slow recovery of an alcoholic but it also provides the requisite crime thrills too. It was the fifth in the Matthew Scudder series of New York mysteries and something of a breakthrough for the author. It was also loosely adapted into a problematic movie starring Jeff Bridges, Rosanna Arquette and Andy Garcia, which recently made its way to Blu-Ray in a special edition.

I submit this book and film review for Bev’s 2017 Silver Age Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt; and Tuesday’s Overlooked Film meme hosted by Todd Mason over at his Sweet Freedom blog.

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Posted in 2017 Silver Age Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt, Lawrence Block, New York, Private Eye | 22 Comments

PIETR THE LATVIAN (1931) by Georges Simenon

This novel marked the official literary debut of Detective Chief Inspector Jules Amédée François Maigret of the Paris Police Judiciaire when it first appeared in serial form in the summer and autumn of 1930. It was however the fifth in order of book publication when the series started to appear at the extraordinary rate of one a month the following year. But that is but one of the many headaches that befall anyone trying to keep chronological sense of the series of 75 novels, especially in translation.

I offer this review for Bev’s Golden Age Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt; and Todd Mason’s Tuesday’s Overlooked Film meme over at his fab Sweet Freedom blog.

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Posted in France, Friday's Forgotten Book, Georges Simenon, Maigret, Normandy, Paris, Police procedural, Scene of the crime | 30 Comments

NINE-AND DEATH MAKES TEN (1941) by Carter Dickson

I fell in love with John Dickson Carr’s work via his  ‘Carter Dickson’ alter ego when I chanced across his classic The Reader is Warned back when I was 14. Nine and Death Makes Ten (aka Murder in the Submarine Zone) was the next book of his I was able to find, and it confirmed for me what a great author he was. Here’s why (without spoilers):

“They are not the finger-prints of anybody aboard this ship”

I submit this review for Bev’s Golden Age Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt; and Friday’s Forgotten Books meme run by Patti Abbott at her fab Pattinase blog.

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Posted in 2017 Golden Age Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt, Carter Dickson, Five Star review, Friday's Forgotten Book, Henry Merrivale, John Dickson Carr, Locked Room Mystery | 92 Comments