Category Archives: 2015 Vintage Mystery Challenge

AND ALL THROUGH THE HOUSE (1984) by Ed McBain

This is my last review of the year and I couldn’t resist a seasonal entry from my favourite police procedural series. This 87th Precinct short story (which first appeared in the December 1984 issue of Playboy) got the royal treatment … Continue reading

Posted in 2015 Vintage Mystery Challenge, 87th Precinct, Ed McBain, New York, Police procedural | 60 Comments

CASTLE SKULL (1931) by John Dickson Carr

Henri Bencolin visits the Rhine in his third novel, and appropriately enough there are a trio of killings to solve: the impossible attack on a magician in a train carriage under constant supervision, apparently thrown out by an unseen assailant; … Continue reading

Posted in 2015 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Germany, John Dickson Carr, Locked Room Mystery | 56 Comments

THE HOUSE NEXT DOOR (1956) by Lionel White

This unusual thriller comes in a new volume comprising two previously hard-to-find titles by Lionel White (1905-85) from those very nice people at Stark House Press, the imprint specialising in new and classic crime fiction. White was the king of … Continue reading

Posted in 2015 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Lionel White, Noir, Stark House Press | 39 Comments

WHO IS SIMON WARWICK? (1978) by Patricia Moyes

This smart detective story provides a really entertaining bridge between the Golden era of pure deduction and the modern scientific age. It is based on a classic scenario from popular culture – the long-lost heir of who may or not … Continue reading

Posted in 2015 Vintage Mystery Challenge, England, Patricia Moyes | 36 Comments

SLEEP LONG, MY LOVE (1959) by Hilary Waugh

Waugh was one of the founding fathers of the American police procedural, following on from Lawrence Treat and Sidney Kingsley and opening the way to the likes of Ed McBain. His best and most widely read book remains the classic … Continue reading

Posted in 2015 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Hilary Waugh, New York, Police procedural, Tuesday's Overlooked Film, Val Guest | Tagged | 32 Comments

MURDER WITHIN MURDER (1946) by Richard and Frances Lockridge

This was the tenth in the long-running series of screwball mysteries featuring Pam and Jerry North, a married couple with (of course) a penchant for solving crimes. He is editing a new book on true crimes and when one of … Continue reading

Posted in 2015 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Friday's Forgotten Book, Mrs & Mrs North, Richard and Frances Lockridge | 38 Comments

YOURS TRULY, JACK THE RIPPER by Robert Bloch

Before Robert Bloch (1917-1994) was made immortal by the success of Psycho, he was best-known for Yours Truly, Jack the Ripper, the classic 1943 short story that first appeared in Weird Tales. It was the first of many of Bloch’s efforts … Continue reading

Posted in 2015 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Chicago, England, Five Star review, Friday's Forgotten Book, Robert Bloch | 38 Comments

MURDER IN THE COLLECTIVE (1984) by Barbara Wilson

This was the first of a trio of mysteries set in Seattle featuring amateur sleuth Pam Nilsen, who with her sister Penny runs a printing business (inherited from their parents) as a cooperative. A radical lesbian typesetter collective expresses an … Continue reading

Posted in 2015 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Seattle | 54 Comments

I START COUNTING (1966) by Audrey Erskine Lindop

Audrey Erskine Lindop (1920-86) was once a popular author of romantic, historical and crime-inflected fiction. I Start Counting was one of her last but seems to be the one she is best known for today. This may be because it was … Continue reading

Posted in 2015 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Audrey Erskine Lindop, England, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged | 76 Comments

THE CRIME ON THE COTE DE NEIGES (1951) by David Montrose

The influence of Chandler initially looms large in this highly enjoyable private eye novel but this eventually proves itself to be a pretty distinctive performance, not least for its Montreal setting. This was the book that launched the Ricochet Series of … Continue reading

Posted in 2015 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Canada, Noir | 32 Comments

A PERFECT MATCH (1983) by Jill McGown

This marked the debut of Scottish writer Jill McGown (1947-2007) and her two detectives, DCI Lloyd (no first name ever provided and it turns out to be something of a bone of contention) and Detective Sergeant Judy Hill, his partner … Continue reading

Posted in 2015 Vintage Mystery Challenge, England, Jill McGown | 39 Comments

THE PILLARS OF MIDNIGHT (1957) by Elleston Trevor

This book was one of the first of a new breed of medical thrillers dealing with threats at the microscopic scale, spawned by anxieties over germ warfare (and which can be said to have peaked with Michael Crichton’s The Andromeda Strain). … Continue reading

Posted in 2015 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Elleston Trevor, England, Tuesday's Overlooked Film, Val Guest | Tagged , | 27 Comments

TRICKS (1987) by Ed McBain

As this book is set entirely on Halloween night, this seemed like a perfect fit. Pretty much the entire cast of the 87th appears in this ultra busy entry in Ed McBain’s series. We have four major cases: Eileen and … Continue reading

Posted in 2015 Vintage Mystery Challenge, 87th Precinct, Ed McBain, New York, Police procedural | 40 Comments

SHEILA LEVINE IS DEAD AND LIVING IN NEW YORK (1972) by Gail Parent

A slight change of pace here at Fedora, revisiting a comic novel from the 1970s. Sheila is a young Jewish woman from Pennsylvania who in the early 60s heads to the Big Apple in search of domestic bliss. After a … Continue reading

Posted in 2015 Vintage Mystery Challenge, New York, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged , | 24 Comments

A THREE PIPE PROBLEM (1975) by Julian Symons

When is a Sherlock Holmes pastiche not a Sherlock Holmes pastiche? Well, when the great detective does not in fact appear … This is the clever conceit of this mystery by poet, critic, novelist and editor Julian Symons, who brings … Continue reading

Posted in 2015 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Julian Symons, London, Sherlock Holmes | 31 Comments

POISON (1987) by Ed McBain

What, another 87th Precinct review at Fedora? Well, it’s a pretty good one and I wanted to share … Carella takes the backseat while perennial second banana Hal Willis is pleasingly brought to the fore in this story of a beguiling … Continue reading

Posted in 2015 Vintage Mystery Challenge, 87th Precinct, Ed McBain, New York, Police procedural | 26 Comments

READY REVENGE (1960) by Catherine Arley

The French writer Catherine Arley is best known for Woman of Straw, one of only a few of her thrillers to have made it into English. Ready Revenge was translated by Virginia Graham and when it was published by Random House … Continue reading

Posted in 2015 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Catherine Arley, France, Friday's Forgotten Book, Spain | 26 Comments

THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES (1902) by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Like Bram Stoker’s Dracula, this is one of those books that may seem very familiar even to those who have never actually read it. But they really should because it holds up beautifully. It is certainly the single best known … Continue reading

Posted in 2015 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Arthur Conan Doyle, England, Friday's Forgotten Book, Hammer Studios, Sherlock Holmes, Terence Fisher, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged , , | 53 Comments

THE RED SCARF (1958) by Gil Brewer

One of the many Florida-set paperback originals written by Gil Brewer in the 1950s, it has a plot that mostly recycles James M. Cain’s The Postman Always Rings Twice but also adds some very effective gear changes. Roy Nichols has been … Continue reading

Posted in 2015 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Florida, Friday's Forgotten Book, Gil Brewer, James M. Cain, Noir | 34 Comments

DEATH AT THE OPERA (1934) by Gladys Mitchell

Gladys Mitchell is one of the true eccentrics of the Golden Age mystery, an author that easily divides fans of the genre, especially for her highly idiosyncratic plots and her decidedly  ‘colourful’ detective. Mrs Bradley. After a couple of failed … Continue reading

Posted in 2015 Vintage Mystery Challenge, England, Gladys Mitchell, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 42 Comments

EIGHT BLACK HORSES (1985) by Ed McBain

At the end of Lightning, the previous book in the 87th Precinct series, a photo of eight black horses was sent to Steve Carella – and immediately he and his colleagues knew this could mean only one thing: the return … Continue reading

Posted in 2015 Vintage Mystery Challenge, 87th Precinct, Ed McBain, Friday's Forgotten Book, New York, Police procedural | 34 Comments

LIGHTNING (1984) by Ed McBain

This is a rather problematic entry in the 87th Precinct series, though outwardly it conforms to the structure  of many of McBain’s efforts from the era: it begins with Monoghan & Monroe making comments in bad taste about a dead … Continue reading

Posted in 2015 Vintage Mystery Challenge, 87th Precinct, Ed McBain, New York, Police procedural, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 24 Comments

THE WIDOW OF BATH (1952) by Margot Bennett

This is an elegant and witty novel and it is very easy to see just why Margot Bennett was so greatly admired by the likes of Graham Greene and Julian Symons. The protagonist is Hugh, a damaged young man who … Continue reading

Posted in 2015 Vintage Mystery Challenge, England, Friday's Forgotten Book, Margot Bennett | 29 Comments

ICE (1983) by Ed McBain

After a two-year gap Ed McBain returned to the cops of the Eight Seven with their longest case yet. Clocking in at over 300 pages, we are presented with four intersecting murder cases, all taking place during a particularly glacial … Continue reading

Posted in 2015 Vintage Mystery Challenge, 87th Precinct, Ed McBain, New York, Police procedural, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 29 Comments

ELEVEN CAME BACK (1943) by Mabel Seeley

This wartime example of the ‘Had I But Known’ school was one of the handful of mysteries published by the Minnesotan writer Mabel Seeley (1903-1991), who principally set her work in the Mid West. This particular title however takes place … Continue reading

Posted in 2015 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Friday's Forgotten Book, Had I But Known, Wyoming | 58 Comments

HEAT (1981) by Ed McBain

It’s summer in the city and we get a quartet of plotlines for the thirty-fifth volume in the 87th Precinct series (I am in the process of reading / re-reading them all in chronological order; to see my previous 34 … Continue reading

Posted in 2015 Vintage Mystery Challenge, 87th Precinct, Ed McBain, Friday's Forgotten Book, New York, Police procedural | 37 Comments

THE SKELETON IN THE GRASS (1987) by Robert Barnard

It is 1936, the year of the Spanish Civil War and the British abdication crisis, and Sarah Causeley is the new Governess for the youngest child of the Hallam family, for generations the lords of a small village in Oxfordshire. … Continue reading

Posted in 2015 Vintage Mystery Challenge, England, Friday's Forgotten Book, Robert Barnard | 30 Comments

A MAN LAY DEAD (1934) by Ngaio Marsh

Having rather hated one of the later cases featuring Roderick Alleyn, the upper-class cop invented by Ngaio Marsh (click here for my splenetic review of False Scent), I thought I would dial back the clock and see how he fared in … Continue reading

Posted in 2015 Vintage Mystery Challenge, England, Ngaio Marsh, Roderick Alleyn, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 44 Comments

POSTERN OF FATE (1973) by Agatha Christie

This was Agatha Christie’s farewell to Tommy and Tuppence, the fun-loving Jazz Age adventurers currently back on TV in the shape of David Walliams and Jessica Raine. This was their fifth and final volume and sees the couple now in … Continue reading

Posted in 2015 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Agatha Christie, Friday's Forgotten Book, Tommy & Tuppence | 71 Comments

FIFTY-TWO PICKUP (1974) by Elmore Leonard

This was the novel that put Elmore Leonard on the map as a crime writer – and was filmed twice in very quick succession, which is some kind of compliment! Having appeared as The Ambassador in 1984, it was re-made … Continue reading

Posted in 2015 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Elmore Leonard, Film Noir, John Frankenheimer, Noir on Tuesday, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 38 Comments