Category Archives: Friday’s Forgotten Book

SO LONG AS YOU BOTH SHALL LIVE (1976) by Ed McBain

The 87th Precinct series, after the intimate highlight of Blood Relatives, reaches back to its past for a much more expansive story centered around the wedding of Bert Kling, whose bad luck when it comes to love sadly continues. This novel … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, 87th Precinct, Columbo, Ed McBain, Friday's Forgotten Book, New York, Police procedural | 38 Comments

THE TODD DOSSIER (1969) by Robert Bloch

This medical thriller was the first novel by Robert Bloch that I ever read, though I didn’t know it at the time. The reason I picked it up was because it was credited to Collier Young, the creator of Ironside … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Friday's Forgotten Book, Novelisation, Robert Bloch | 50 Comments

THE VENGEFUL VIRGIN (1958) by Gil Brewer

This is a ripe piece of pulp noir, from its alliterative, catchpenny title to the de rigeur cover art featuring piles of cash, a disrobed woman and a gun. One of the many  paperback originals written by Gil Brewer in … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Florida, Friday's Forgotten Book, Gil Brewer, Hard Case Crime, James M. Cain, Noir | 29 Comments

BLOOD RELATIVES (1975) by Ed McBain

We really like Ed McBain’s 87th Precinct books here at Fedora and for the last couple of years have been re-reading them in chronological order (links to all the reviews can be found here). All are lively and engrossing, with … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, 87th Precinct, Claude Chabrol, Ed McBain, Friday's Forgotten Book, New York, Police procedural | 36 Comments

BREAD (1974) by Ed McBain

After much too long a break, Cotton Hawes is brought back centre-stage for this story involving drugs, porn, insurance scams, pyromania and a few murders. It also gives a pungent, heartfelt depiction of the degradation of the slums of the city … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, 87th Precinct, Ed McBain, Friday's Forgotten Book, New York, Police procedural | 26 Comments

HAIL TO THE CHIEF (1973) by Ed McBain

This story of rival gangs plays some interesting narrative tricks and demonstrates an unusually strong satirical and political edge but is usually seen as one of the weaker entries in  the 87th Precinct series. How does is stand up today? “Why? What do … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, 87th Precinct, Ed McBain, Friday's Forgotten Book, New York, Police procedural | 33 Comments

NOTHING IN HER WAY (1953) by Charles Williams

“Charles Williams remains the best kept secret in noir fiction” – Max Allan Collins Charles Williams (1909-1975), one of the masters of the 1950s paperback original, has gone through a long period of neglect, probably more read in translation on … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Charles Williams, Friday's Forgotten Book, Noir, Stark House Press | Tagged , | 29 Comments

THE CASE OF THE LUCKY LEGS (1934) by Erle Stanley Gardner

The third in the Perry Mason series is set in the world of crooked beauty pageants and hails from back when the character was a pretty hardboiled lawyer who spent most of time racing around outside the courtroom. “I always take risks. … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Erle Stanley Gardner, Friday's Forgotten Book, Los Angeles, Perry Mason, San Francisco | 43 Comments

LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE DEAF MAN (1973) by Ed McBain

Yes, it’s the return of the fiendish nemesis of the 87th Precinct in his third appearance in 12 years (he appears approximately once a decade). Despite the fact that both of his previous capers were undone by sheer bad luck, he … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, 87th Precinct, Ed McBain, Friday's Forgotten Book, New York, Police procedural | 41 Comments

THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE (1934) by James M. Cain

James M. Cain’s debut novel was the publishing sensation of 1934 – and still packs a punch thanks to its twisty plot, sexually charged protagonists and violent emotional undercurrent. Based loosely on a real-life case, this obliquely titled tale of … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Film Noir, Friday's Forgotten Book, James M. Cain | 39 Comments

THE LOTTERY, OR THE ADVENTURES OF JAMES HARRIS (1949) by Shirley Jackson

This volume has appeared under a number of variant titles over the years but is principally known for its inclusion of that macabre and enigmatic classic, ‘The Lottery’, which along with The Haunting of Hill House probably remains Shirley Jackson’s best known single work. … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Friday's Forgotten Book, Shirley Jackson | 38 Comments

THE CAVES OF STEEL (1954) by Isaac Asimov

Thousands of years in the future the cities of Earth are housed in domes, the eponymous caves, and humans are too agoraphobic to leave. Settlers from their off-world colonies come back after centuries but insist on living separately and promoting … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Friday's Forgotten Book, Isaac Asimov, New York, Science Fiction, The 2014 Sci-Fi Experience | Tagged | 47 Comments

The Tenth Victim (1965) – Tuesday’s Overlooked Film

Robert Sheckley’s ‘The Seventh Victim’, a prescient short story of murder as public spectacle, was first published in 1953, well before The Hunger Games. Elio Petri adapted it as the Ursula Andress movie, The 10th Victim, also the title of Sheckley’s 1966 novelisation. It … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Friday's Forgotten Book, New York, Rome, The 2014 Sci-Fi Experience, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged , | 38 Comments

SADIE WHEN SHE DIED (1972) by Ed McBain

This is one of the most admired books in the 87th Precinct series by Ed McBain (aka Evan Hunter) and was included in the Crime Writer’s Association top 100 mysteries list that Rich  has been looking at over at his … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, 87th Precinct, Ed McBain, Five Star review, Friday's Forgotten Book, Georges Simenon, New York, Police procedural | 32 Comments

The Groundstar Conspiracy – Tuesday’s Overlooked Film

George Peppard plays a government agent so paranoid that he even bugs his own phone in this cult classic loosely based on LP Davies’ The Alien (which I previously reviewed here). Michael Sarrazin co-stars as the scientist whose face and memories have to … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, Amnesia, Douglas Heyes, Friday's Forgotten Book, LP Davies, The 2014 Sci-Fi Experience, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged , , | 36 Comments

THE ALIEN (1968) by LP Davies

Leslie Purnell Davies was enormously prolific in the 60s and early 70s, crafting some twenty novels that combined SF and mystery in a highly distinctive fashion. This one later served as the basis for the cult classic, The Groundstar Conspiracy … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Friday's Forgotten Book, LP Davies, The 2014 Sci-Fi Experience | 45 Comments

ENDLESS NIGHT (1967) by Agatha Christie

We begin 2014 with a classic author trying something different. Many readers (myself included) regard this as among the most accomplished of Agatha Christie’s (admittedly variable) later novels. A clever variation on one of her best Golden Age gambits, this is none … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Agatha Christie, Friday's Forgotten Book, Margaret Millar, Miss Marple | 73 Comments

HAIL, HAIL, THE GANG’S ALL HERE! (1971) by Ed McBain

To celebrate the 25th entry in the 87th Precinct series, Ed McBain (aka Evan Hunter) tried something new with this triple-decker of a novel incorporating 14 separate storylines! “This modest volume is dedicated to the Mystery Writers of America, who, … Continue reading

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

IF I DIE BEFORE I WAKE (1938) by Sherwood King

Later adapted by Orson Welles into The Lady from Shanghai starring Rita Hayworth, this was one of a pair of pre-war mysteries by Raymond Sherwood King. Set among the wealthy elite of Long Island, it is narrated by Laurence Planter, … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, 2013 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Courtroom, Friday's Forgotten Book, New York, Orson Welles, Sherwood King | 22 Comments

THE WINTER MURDER CASE (1939) by SS Van Dine

This was the snowy swan song for amateur sleuth Philo Vance. It is also, stylistically, Van Dine’s most atypical book, told in a brisk, direct and light manner almost completely free of those adornments (footnotes and expansive digressions etc.) that … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, 2013 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Friday's Forgotten Book, New York, Philo Vance, SS Van Dine | 43 Comments

THE DROWNING POOL (1950) by Ross Macdonald

This is the second of eighteen books featuring Lew Archer, the California PI created by Kenneth Millar, first published under his soon to be shortened pen-name, ‘John Ross Macdonald.’ It was also the first of the series that I read, … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, 2013 Vintage Mystery Challenge, California, Friday's Forgotten Book, Ross Macdonald | 46 Comments

DICK BARTON: THE CASE OF THE VANISHING HOUSE (1978) by Alan Radnor

In the 1940s my mum and her sister used to rush home every school night to listen to the next exciting adventure of Dick Barton – Special Agent. Broadcast by the BBC from 6.45 to 7PM, the radio serials debuted … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, Cold War, Dick Barton, Espionage, Friday's Forgotten Book, Hammer Studios, London, Novelisation, Radio, Scene of the crime | 43 Comments

THE BIG CLOCK (1946) by Kenneth Fearing

Kenneth Fearing (1902-61), modernist novelist and proletariat poet, was driven by a strong social conscience. When subpoenaed in the 1950s and asked if he was a Communist, he replied, rather splendidly, “Not yet.” Of his seven crime novels, The Big Clock … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, 2013 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Film Noir, Five Star review, Friday's Forgotten Book, John Farrow, Kenneth Fearing, New York | 26 Comments

THIS SWEET SICKNESS (1960) by Patricia Highsmith

If we’re lucky we’ve all been in love at least once – but can it also be a kind of madness? This is the theme of this novel by Patricia Highsmith, whose unconventional suspense fiction used genre trappings to depict … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, Friday's Forgotten Book, New York, Patricia Highsmith | 29 Comments

JIGSAW (1970) by Ed McBain

The 87th Precinct series reaches the decade that fashion sense forgot in a quirky and profane story of prejudice and stereotypes where the squad’s only black officer, Arthur Brown, finally takes centre stage. Built around a bizarre treasure hunt, this novel later served … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, 87th Precinct, Columbo, Ed McBain, Friday's Forgotten Book, New York, Police procedural | 31 Comments

THE FOUR JUST MEN (1905) by Edgar Wallace

Edgar Wallace made a real splash with his debut novel, though perhaps not quite the kind that he had intended. Originally promoted with the offer of a huge prize for anyone who guessed the ending, Wallace eventually had to declare … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, 2013 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Alfred Hitchcock, Edgar Wallace, Friday's Forgotten Book, Locked Room Mystery, London | 57 Comments

SHOTGUN (1969) by Ed McBain

This is a great example of where reading the 87th Precinct mysteries in order of publication (for my previous reviews, click here) really pays dividends. Along with the series’ usual mixture of clever plotting and good humour, Shotgun also resolves … Continue reading

Posted in 87th Precinct, Alfred Hitchcock, Ed McBain, Friday's Forgotten Book, New York, Police procedural | 19 Comments

THE LIVING AND THE DEAD (1954) by Boileau-Narcejac

Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narjejac’s mysteries in the 1950s and 60s were admired for their great plot ingenuity but not for their plausibility. This is certainly the case with their third novel, a morbid tale with a giant twist adapted … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, 2013 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Alfred Hitchcock, Boileau-Narcejac, France, Friday's Forgotten Book, Paris | 31 Comments

BINARY (1972) by Michael Crichton

This proved to be the last of the books Michael Crichton published under his ‘John Lange’ pseudonym as his secret identity was pretty much blown by then. After his mutating virus bestseller The Andromeda Strain and the Edgar-winning medical mystery A Case of Need … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, Friday's Forgotten Book, John Lange, Michael Crichton, San Diego | 25 Comments

THE SIEGE OF TRENCHER’S FARM (1969) by Gordon M. Williams

A worm-that-turned story of revenge in a remote English community, this harrowing snow-bound thriller has been filmed twice as Straw Dogs - and greatly altered, much to novelist Gordon Williams’ displeasure. The frustration felt by the author is easy to understand given … Continue reading

Posted in England, Friday's Forgotten Book, Gordon M. Williams, Sam Peckinpah | 23 Comments