AND NONE SHALL SLEEP (1997) by Priscilla Masters

Masters_And-None-Shall-Sleep_telosThe DI Joanna Piercy series by Priscilla Masters has now reached its twelfth volume but today I am reviewing the fourth, after being sent a review copy of a new reprint by those very nice people at Telos. Piercy is knocked off her bike by a passing truck and hospitalised with a broken arm. That night a coronary patient in the same hospital has his life support intubation ripped out and walks out in his pajamas. Soon after he is found in a forest, trussed up and executed by a professional hitman. Not run-of-the-mill for the folk in sleepy Leak in Staffordshire …

I offer the following review for Friday’s Forgotten Books meme run by Patti Abbott at her fab Pattinase blog.

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Posted in Friday's Forgotten Book | Tagged | 46 Comments

Double Confession (1950) – Tuesday’s Overlooked Film

Double-Confession-DVDThis terrific Film Noir, missing for decades but finally released last year on DVD, co-stars Peter Lorre in his first British film since his Hitchcock thrillers of the 30s. It was directed by the eclectic Ken Annakin, who would make several big international hits including Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines and The Longest Day. In the 1950s however he made smaller scale films (including the Grahame Greene adaptations Loser Takes All and Across the Bridge) and Double Confession is a real find among them and shouldn’t be missed. We begin late one night as a stranger comes into town via the mail train, looking for a seaside villa. He is looking for trouble and finds it …

This review is offered for Todd Mason’s Tuesday’s Overlooked Film meme at his fab Sweet Freedom blog.

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Posted in Film Noir, Noir on Tuesday, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged | 44 Comments

CALLAN: UNDER THE RED FILE by Andrew Pixley

callan-under-the-red-file-book-Regular readers of this blog will know what big fans we are of anti-establishment hero David Callan, the dyspeptic secret agent created for television by James Mitchell and played to perfection by Edward Woodward. I have previously posted about the character several times (just click here if you want proof).

The character would ultimately appear in four series on TV, a feature film, a re-union TV-movie and dozens of short stories and novels. Now there is a new book about the show by über TV historian Andrew Pixley.

Here is part of the blurb:

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Posted in David Callan, James Mitchell | Tagged | 14 Comments

CRIME ON MY HANDS (1944) by George Sanders (and Craig Rice)

crime on my hands coverThis was the first of two mysteries published as by suave movie star George Sanders, then best known for playing the Saint and the Falcon on screen. Two of the latter had been co-written by Craig Rice (1908–1957), who ghosted this effort for the star. Indeed, the book is dedicated to her: ‘To Craig Rice, without whom this novel would not be possible.’ An early example of the celebrity mystery, this has recently been republished as an ebook by the brand new imprint, Dean Street Press, who kindly supplied a review copy.

I submit this review for Bev’s Golden 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 2015 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Craig Rice, Friday's Forgotten Book, Hollywood | Tagged | 50 Comments

SLAYGROUND (1971) by Richard Stark

Stark_Slayground_coronetOne of the very last of the original run of novels featuring ultra-hardboiled, single moniker criminal Parker, it begins with a getaway that goes awry. He and his occasional colleague, Grofield, soon part company. To find out what happens to Grofield you need to read another book, The Blackbird, which shares the opening chapter with this one in fact. But here’s what happens to Parker when he reaches Fun Land, an out of season amusement park with the mob and corrupt cops on his heels …

I submit this book/movie review for Bev’s Vintage Mystery Challenge; and Todd Mason’s Tuesday’s Overlooked Movie meme over at his fab Sweet Freedom blog.

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Posted in 2015 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Blackpool, Donald Westlake, Film Noir, New York, Parker, Richard Stark | Tagged | 24 Comments

THE JOHN DICKSON CARR COMPANION by James E. Keirans

Keirans_JOHN-DICKSON-CARR-COMPANION_ramblehouseThis large and lovingly crafted tome is devoted to one of Fedora’s favourite authors, which made it a truly irresistible purchase. John Dickson Carr (1906-1977), truly the master of the locked room mystery and one of the greatest of Golden Age mystery authors, generated hundreds of short stories and radio plays as well as over 70 novels, many appearing under his transparent ‘Carter Dickson’ pseudonym. He was highly prolific (at his height in the 1930s he produced some 4 novels a year) and also helped establish the historical mystery genre and introduced fantasy elements too. Kierans has provided a dedicated alphabetical guide to his assorted works well as the people and places in them. And much more besides …

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Posted in Carter Dickson, Gideon Fell, Henry Merrivale, John Dickson Carr, Locked Room Mystery | 55 Comments

FIRE WILL FREEZE (1944) by Margaret Millar

Millar_Fire-Will-Freeze_dellThis year marks the centenary of the birth of Margaret Millar (1915-1994), easily one of the best suspense writers of the 50s and 60s. To celebrate (no that I need much of an excuse) I decided to pick up this snowbound mystery, her fifth novel and her first without a series character, one of the few of hers that I had not read previously. We begin with a group of passengers heading for a Canadian ski lodge stuck in a broken down bus. The driver heads out but never returns, so the passengers go into the storm …

I submit this review for Bev’s Golden 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 2015 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Canada, Friday's Forgotten Book, Margaret Millar | 68 Comments