Category Archives: Friday’s Forgotten Book

KISS (1992) by Ed McBain

The 44th entry in the Ed McBain series of police procedurals offers two main storylines. In the first, Carella and Meyer investigate two cases of attempted murder against one person and two related deaths; in the second we carry on … Continue reading

Posted in 87th Precinct, Ed McBain, Friday's Forgotten Book, New York, Police procedural | 22 Comments

WIDOWS (1991) by Ed McBain

And … we’re back. In the opening scene from this busy novel, Homicide dicks Monoghan & Monroe get into a spat, signalling that this might be a more domestic case than usual. Indeed, Steve Carella’s family takes centre-stage when news reaches … Continue reading

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

THE WAR OF THE WORLDS MURDER by Max Allan Collins

If, like me, you are a devoted fan of the amazing writer-director-producer-actor-showman Orson Welles, a sucker for magic tracks, love listening to Old Time Radio, and enjoy the pulp adventures of The Shadow, then this book is most definitely for … Continue reading

Posted in Friday's Forgotten Book, New York, Orson Welles, The Shadow, Walter B Gibson | 31 Comments

THE LAST TANGO OF DOLORES DELGADO (1992) by Marele Day

I really enjoyed this Australian private eye mystery from the 1990s, especially for its gender-bending sensibility, though it remains otherwise comparatively conservative in terms of  its genre boundaries. What it did do though was make me ponder on the kind … Continue reading

Posted in Australia, Friday's Forgotten Book, Private Eye, Sydney | 34 Comments

MURDER IN MINIATURE by Leo Bruce

This 1991 collection brought together all the (then) known uncollected short stories by Leo Bruce, the pseudonym used by Rupert Croft-Cooke (1903-1979) for his murder mysteries, which first featured Sergeant (later Inspector) Beef (1936-1952) and later the amateur sleuth Carolus Deene (1955-1974). … Continue reading

Posted in 2016 Golden Age Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt, England, Friday's Forgotten Book | 26 Comments

THE GIRL ON THE BEST SELLER LIST (1960) by Vin Packer

In the 50s and 60s ‘Vin Packer’ was the pulp fiction alter ego of Marijane Meaker, better known today as YA author M.E. Kerr. Originally published as a Gold Medal paperback, her novel is a smart and deliciously back-handed riff on … Continue reading

Posted in 2016 Silver Vintage Scavenger Hunt, Friday's Forgotten Book, Stark House Press, Vin Packer | 60 Comments

DEAD MEN DON’T SKI (1959) by Patricia Moyes

Apparently written to pass the time while the author was recovering from a skiing accident, this ended up being the first of nineteen novels featuring Inspector Henry Tibbett. Having really enjoyed the intricately plotted Who Is Simon Warwick?, one of the … Continue reading

Posted in 2016 Golden Age Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt, Friday's Forgotten Book, Italy, Patricia Moyes | 38 Comments

SMEAR JOB (1975) by James Mitchell

David Callan is a dyspeptic working-class spy employed by a spartan MI6 black ops unit known only as ‘The Section.’ An exceptional marksman with a deep-rooted (and usually well-founded) distrust of authority, his nasty assignments do little to assuage his sense … Continue reading

Posted in 2016 Silver Vintage Scavenger Hunt, Cold War, David Callan, Espionage, Friday's Forgotten Book, Germany, Italy, James Mitchell, Las Vegas, London, Mexico, Ostara Publishing | Tagged | 18 Comments

LEAVE HER TO HELL (1958) by Fletcher Flora

This sardonic private eye novel arrives from those very nice people at Stark House Press in an edition bringing together a trio of 1950s Noirs by Fletcher Flora (1914-1968) with an introduction by Bill Pronzini.  Our narrator, Perceval “Percy” Hand, is hired … Continue reading

Posted in 2016 Golden Age Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt, Bill Pronzini, Fletcher Fliora, Friday's Forgotten Book, Stark House Press | 27 Comments

FROM DOON WITH DEATH (1964) by Ruth Rendell

This short novel (my edition runs to 182 pages) marked the debut of Chief Inspector Reg Wexford and Inspector Mike Burden, the two top cops of Kingsmarkham, a sleepy Sussex market town with more than its fair share of murderous … Continue reading

Posted in 2016 Silver Vintage Scavenger Hunt, England, Friday's Forgotten Book, Inspector Wexford, Ruth Rendell | Tagged | 34 Comments

VESPERS (1990) by Ed McBain

A priest is murdered n his own church and Carella and Hawes get tangled in a case involving drugs, blackmail, street gangs and, bizarrely, Satanism. At the same time, Hal Willis’ relationship with love-of-his-life Marilyn Hollis comes under strain when … Continue reading

Posted in 87th Precinct, Ed McBain, Friday's Forgotten Book, New York, Police procedural | 35 Comments

LULLABY (1989) by Ed McBain

My pan edition (on the right), at nearly 350 pages, marks this as the chunkiest book in the 87th Precinct thus far (I reviewed the previous 40 in the series here) and as we know, length did become a bit … Continue reading

Posted in 2016 Silver Vintage Scavenger Hunt, 87th Precinct, Ed McBain, Friday's Forgotten Book, New York, Police procedural | 22 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

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

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

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

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

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

THROUGH A GLASS, DARKLY (1950) by Helen McCloy

Poor mousey little Faustina Crayle! An apparently mild, self-effacing art teacher with no axe to grind and perfect manners, she has somehow become an object of horror. Everybody, it seems, is frightened to death of her, yet she has no … Continue reading

Posted in 2015 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Connecticut, Friday's Forgotten Book, Helen McCloy, New York | 50 Comments

GHOSTS (1980) by Ed McBain

A heavy emphasis on the supernatural takes the 87th Precinct series into uncharted waters with this volume. It may be Christmas but Carella and Hawes are investigating the fatal stabbing of two residents of a new and highly secure apartment … Continue reading

Posted in 2015 Vintage Mystery Challenge, 87th Precinct, Ed McBain, Friday's Forgotten Book, New York, Police procedural | 40 Comments

NOTHING CAN RESCUE ME (1943) by Elizabeth Daly

Don’t you just hate it when a book you think you’re really going to like just doesn’t ‘do it’ for you? This is such a case …It is one of 16 detective novels by Elizabeth Daly (1878-1967), who was said … Continue reading

Posted in 2015 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Friday's Forgotten Book, New York | 36 Comments

NIGHT OF THE HORNS (1958) and CRY WOLFRAM (1959) by Douglas Sanderson

This volume, reprinting a pair of hitherto hard-to-find mysteries by Douglas Sanderson (1920-2002), comes from those very nice people at Stark House Press. Both originally appeared under multiple titles and bylines: Night of the Horns was known as Murder Comes Calling by ‘Malcolm … Continue reading

Posted in 2015 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Friday's Forgotten Book, Stark House Press | Tagged | 94 Comments

CALYPSO (1979) by Ed McBain

Carella and Meyer of the 87th get involved in the music world in this, the 33rd entry in this amazingly long-lived series of police procedurals. “King George’ was a Trinidadian singer-songwriter of calypso songs dealing with hot topic issues, from … Continue reading

Posted in 2015 Vintage Mystery Challenge, 87th Precinct, Ed McBain, Friday's Forgotten Book, New York, Police procedural | 36 Comments

CAROL (1952) by Patricia Highsmith

This was Highsmith’s second novel and superficially is quite different from her usual tales of tortured suspense. It first appeared as by ‘Claire Morgan’ under the title The Price of Salt, the switch in identity due to the fact that … Continue reading

Posted in 2015 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Friday's Forgotten Book, New York, Patricia Highsmith | 76 Comments

THE LITTLE SISTER (1949) by Raymond Chandler

This is one of my favourite Raymond Chandler novels but I’m probably in a minority on this. In fact, even the author professed to dislike it! I loved this book when I first read it as a kid but wondered … Continue reading

Posted in 2015 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Five Star review, Friday's Forgotten Book, Hollywood, Los Angeles, Philip Marlowe, Private Eye, Raymond Chandler, Scene of the crime | 76 Comments