Author Archives: Cavershamragu

Pursuit to Algiers (1945)

It’s a shame, I know, but as we say in Italy, not every ring doughnut comes out with a hole in the middle. And the tenth entry in Universal Studios’ Holmes and Watson series, is by common consent considered the … Continue reading

Posted in Arthur Conan Doyle, London, Sherlock Holmes, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged , | 17 Comments

THE NIGHT MANAGER (1993) by John le Carré

This is a spy novel that got great reviews from the get-go, but I somehow kept delaying actually reading it and despite several attempts, never seemed to actually crack on with it (I don’t mean that literally – cracking spines … Continue reading

Posted in Bahamas, Egypt, England, Espionage, John le Carre, Switzerland | 38 Comments

THE FRUMIOUS BANDERSNATCH (2003) by Ed McBain

Cultural appropriation is the theme and the music biz the scene for this unusual entry in the 87th Precinct series. ‘Bandersnatch’ is the name of a new album, taken of course from Lewis Carroll, and initially there is more than … Continue reading

Posted in 87th Precinct, Ed McBain, Friday's Forgotten Book, New York, Police procedural | 14 Comments

THE STORY OF CLASSIC CRIME IN 100 BOOKS – guest post by Martin Edwards

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Martin Edwards is a pretty amazing chap. A busy blogger (Do You Write Under Your Own Name?), a lawyer by trade, a fine and prolific mystery author, he is also the … Continue reading

Posted in Agatha Christie, Anthony Berkeley, Arthur Conan Doyle, Edgar Wallace, England, Julian Symons, Martin Edwards, Michael Gilbert, Patricia Highsmith, Sherlock Holmes | 13 Comments

Summer of Spies

This Summer the Waterstones bookchain is running a “Summer of Spies” promotion at its Gower Street shop in London, as a run-up to the publication of the new Smiley novel by John le Carre, A Legacy of Spies, due to … Continue reading

Posted in Espionage, George Smiley, John le Carre, Mike Ripley | 8 Comments

THE BURNING COURT (1937) by John Dickson Carr

There are oddly obscure mysteries from the Golden Age that are in fact still entertaining and clever and deserve to be rediscovered. Then there are novels that once were considered classics but now seem very tame indeed. And then there … Continue reading

Posted in 2017 Golden Age Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt, Five Star review, Gothic, John Dickson Carr, Locked Room Mystery, Pennsylvania | 78 Comments

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 … Continue reading

Posted in Dario Argento, Fredric Brown, Giallo, Rome, Scene of the crime, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 28 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 … Continue reading

Posted in 87th Precinct, Ed McBain, Friday's Forgotten Book, New York, Police procedural | 34 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 … Continue reading

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 … Continue reading

Posted in 2017 Golden Age Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt, Anthony Berkeley, Columbo, Courtroom, England | 29 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 … Continue reading

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 … Continue reading

Posted in 'In praise of ...', 87th Precinct, Ed McBain, Police procedural | 12 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 … Continue reading

Posted in 87th Precinct, Ed McBain, Friday's Forgotten Book, New York, Police procedural | 25 Comments

KISS KISS, BANG BANG by Mike Ripley

The subtitle really does say it all: The Boom in British Thrillers from Casino Royale to The Eagle Has Landed Though I sadly missed the launch party last week due to an international incident (but which sadly I can’t discuss due … Continue reading

Posted in Adam Hall, Alistair MacLean, Clive Egleton, Eric Ambler, Frederick Forsyth, George Smiley, Gerald Seymour, Ian Fleming, James Bond, James Mitchell, John le Carre, Lee Child, Len Deighton, Mike Ripley | 26 Comments

The Man in Room 17 (1965-67)

Created by Robin Chapman, this glorious 1960s TV show was big in its day and deserves to be rediscovered. The eponymous room is the secret centre of operations for the Department of Special Research. And the man is Edwin Oldenshaw … Continue reading

Posted in Film Noir, Noir on Tuesday | 22 Comments

RIVERS OF LONDON by Ben Aaronovitch

I first read this urban fantasy / police procedural hybrid several years ago and really enjoyed it, but for various reasons stopped there with the series. Recently a couple of friends of mine mentioned they had been reading the later … Continue reading

Posted in Ben Aaronovich, Doctor Who, Friday's Forgotten Book, London, Police procedural, Scene of the crime | 32 Comments

Last Resort

When is a submarine thriller not just a submarine thriller? Well, in this case, when it’s also an allegory of right-wing American imperialism – which is definitely what I liked most about Last Resort. In this short-lived TV show (only 13 … Continue reading

Posted in Noir on Tuesday | 20 Comments

THE LAST DANCE (2000) by Ed McBain

Given the title and the fact that it was the fiftieth entry in the 87th Precinct series, it is possible, just maybe, that this was envisaged as the last one – or maybe McBain was just toying with us. Certainly, … Continue reading

Posted in 87th Precinct, Ed McBain, Friday's Forgotten Book, New York, Police procedural | 25 Comments

THE RIDDLE OF THE THIRD MILE (1983) by Colin Dexter

This book in the Inspector Morse series generally sees little love from either critics or fans – and was changed greatly when adapted for TV (even the title, to ‘The Last Enemy’). Is this a book that is worth reclaiming? … Continue reading

Posted in 2017 Silver Age Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt, Colin Dexter, England, Inspector Morse, London, Oxford, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 15 Comments

SHE DIED A LADY (1943) by Carter Dickson

OK, let’s get this out of the way: Carter Dickson, aka John Dickson Carr, is my favourite Golden Age detective story writer. For me, he was better than Christie, Queen, Sayers and Stout, love them all though I do. And … Continue reading

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 | 89 Comments

The Woman in Green (1945)

This film marked the final (re) appearance of Professor Moriarty (or, rather, as credited, ‘Moriarity’) in the Universal Holmes and Watson series, this time in the chilly, smooth-tongued form of Henry Daniell (who was said to be Rathbone’s favourite). And this … Continue reading

Posted in Arthur Conan Doyle, London, Sherlock Holmes, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged , | 30 Comments

THE BIG BAD CITY (1999) by Ed McBain

The murder of a nun, a burglar who leaves cookies as a calling card and various family entanglements involving Steve Carella, his sister and the man who murdered their father, are just some of the elements to be found in … Continue reading

Posted in 87th Precinct, Ed McBain, Friday's Forgotten Book, Police procedural | 28 Comments

THE SILENT WORLD OF NICHOLAS QUINN (1977) by Colin Dexter

This was the third book in the Inspector Morse series, and is perhaps my favourite of them all (well, it is either this one or Service of All the Dead, I always struggle a bit between the two). Not only is the … Continue reading

Posted in 2017 Silver Age Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt, Colin Dexter, Crime of the Century, England, Five Star review, Inspector Morse, Oxford, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 38 Comments

ANGEL’S FLIGHT (1960) by Lou Cameron

This dynamic piece of jazz noir was the debut novel of Lou Cameron (1924–2010), an author who would later establish himself as the ultra prolific authors of hundreds of Westerns. First published as a Gold Medal original, it spins the … Continue reading

Posted in 2017 Silver Age Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt, Friday's Forgotten Book, Hollywood, Los Angeles, New York, Stark House Press | 30 Comments

The Marseille Contract (1974)

This unpretentious thriller, running just under 90 minutes and released in the US as The Destructors, was shot on location in France and features Michael Caine as a professional assassin, Anthony Quinn as a US intelligence agent and James Mason … Continue reading

Posted in Film Noir, France, Noir on Tuesday, Paris, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 28 Comments

The House of Fear (1945)

Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson are off to a remote part of Scotland to investigate the peculiar goings on at Drearcliff House, a gloomy old mansion where its inhabitants are all starting to receive mysterious threats before dying. Has their … Continue reading

Posted in Arthur Conan Doyle, London, Scotland, Sherlock Holmes, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged , | 48 Comments

The House that Dripped Blood (1971)

Robert Bloch (1917-1994) is one of my favourite writers. I discovered him at a very early age and I doubt I’ll ever be able to let him go – but how can you not love an author who once quipped, … Continue reading

Posted in Amicus, England, Robert Bloch, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged , , | 52 Comments

Colin Dexter, requiescat

Colin Dexter has died aged 86. To crime fiction fans he will of course be remembered as the creator of Inspector More and Sergeant Lewis, two of Oxford’s finest detectives. Dexter was also an educator and a crossword buff, and … Continue reading

Posted in 'Best of' lists, 'In praise of ...', Colin Dexter, Inspector Morse, Oxford | 39 Comments

Smile Jenny, You’re Dead (1974)

This is was the second of two feature-length TV Movies that ultimately served to launch the short-lived private eye series Harry O (1974-76) starring David Janssen, which in its first season may have got as good as this genre ever … Continue reading

Posted in California, Film Noir, Noir on Tuesday, Private Eye | Tagged | 33 Comments

OUR GAME (1995) by John le Carré

After several globe-trotting excursions, including The Little Drummer Girl (1983), The Russia House (1989) and The Night Manager (1993), John le Carré got back to basics in this very compact spy novel which doesn’t set foot outside UK until the … Continue reading

Posted in England, Espionage, France, John le Carre, London, Russia | 37 Comments