Category Archives: Noir

HARDBOILED, NOIR AND GOLD MEDALS by Rick Ollerman

Bringing together new essays with material published over the last decade, this new volume in the Stark House Reference range more than lives up to its subtitle: Essays on Crime Fiction Writers from the ’50s through to the 90s. Part of … Continue reading

Posted in Charles Williams, Donald Westlake, Ed Gorman, Friday's Forgotten Book, Harlan Ellison, Hollywood, Los Angeles, New York, Noir, Stark House Press, Wade Miller | 17 Comments

2016 Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt

For as long as I’ve been hosting this blog, I’ve participated in Bev Hankins’ irresistible vintage mystery reading challenges. The rules have been amended over the years, but the basic criteria is the same – review a mystery from two … Continue reading

Posted in 2016 Golden Age Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt, 2016 Silver Vintage Scavenger Hunt, 87th Precinct, Albert Campion, Bill Pronzini, California, Canada, Catherine Aird, Chicago, Cosy Cozy, David Callan, Don DeLillo, Dorothy L. Sayers, Edgar Wallace, Ellery Queen, England, Fletcher Fliora, Florida, Germany, Gideon Fell, Inspector Wexford, Italy, James Hadley Chase, James Mitchell, John Dickson Carr, John le Carre, Kansas City, London, Louisiana, Margery Allingham, Middle East, Montana, New York, Noir, Ostara Publishing, Patricia Moyes, Police procedural, Private Eye, Radio, Ruth Rendell, San Francisco, Stark House Press, Vintage Mystery Cover Scavenger Hunt 2016 | 18 Comments

BRIT NOIR by Barry Forshaw

This is the third in the author’s guides to contemporary crime fiction, following on from Nordic Noir (2013) and Euro Noir (2014). This, the Pocket Essential Guide to the Crime Fiction, Film & TV of the British Isles, looks at the state of … Continue reading

Posted in England, Noir, Police procedural | 36 Comments

1950s Hitchcock – vote for the best

This was the decade when Hitchcock truly became a superstar – along with a string of critically acclaimed and commercially successful films he became the host of his own TV shows Alfred Hitchcock Presents (and later, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour), … Continue reading

Posted in 'In praise of ...', Alfred Hitchcock, Boileau-Narcejac, California, Canada, Cornell Woolrich, Edmund Crispin, Espionage, Film Noir, Film Poll, France, London, Los Angeles, New England, New York, Noir, Patricia Highsmith, Ray Milland, San Francisco, Screwball, Spy movies | 65 Comments

Hitchcock in the 1940s – vote now!

With the success of The Lady Vanishes, Hitchcock got a contract with producer David O Selznick and headed to Hollywood to make the Oscar-winning Rebecca – and never looked back. This period saw the director blossom as he got to … Continue reading

Posted in 'In praise of ...', Alfred Hitchcock, Amnesia, Anthony Berkeley, Australia, California, Cold War, Courtroom, Daphne Du Maurier, England, Espionage, Film Poll, Francis Beeding, London, Los Angeles, New York, Noir, Patrick Hamilton, Philip MacDonald, Screwball, Spy movies, The Netherlands, World War II | 59 Comments

CRY BLOOD and KILLER IN SILK (1956) by Harry Vernor Dixon

This pair of hitherto hard-to-find mysteries come in a new volume from those very nice people at Stark House Press, the imprint specialising in new and classic crime fiction. Dixon is an author that seems really ripe for rediscovery, much … Continue reading

Posted in 2016 Golden Age Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt, Noir, Stark House Press | 26 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

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

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

2014 Vintage Mystery Challenges – completed

12 months and 72 book reviews later and the Vintage Mystery Challenge bingos, both Golden (pre-1960) and Silver (1960 to 1989) varieties, are complete! The indefatigable Bev of My Reader’s Block gives structure and meaning to the reading habits of us mystery … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, 87th Precinct, Agatha Christie, Bill Pronzini, Carter Dickson, Charlotte Armstrong, Cornell Woolrich, Dashiell Hammett, David Callan, Dorothy Dunnett, Ed McBain, Edward D. Hoch, Erle Stanley Gardner, Evelyn Anthony, Georges Simenon, Gideon Fell, Gil Brewer, Gillian Freeman, Graham Greene, Harold Q. Masur, Helen Nielsen, James Hadley Chase, James M. Cain, James Mitchell, John Blackburn, John Dickson Carr, John Sladek, L. Ron Hubbard, Lange Lewis, Lawrence Sanders, Leslie Charteris, LP Davies, Maigret, Marcia Muller, Miss Marple, Nero Wolfe, Ngaio Marsh, Noir, Orson Welles, Parker, PD James, Perry Mason, Peter Corris, Philip Marlowe, Philo Vance, Poirot, Police procedural, Private Eye, Raymond Chandler, Rex Stout, Richard Stark, Robert B. Parker, Robert Bloch, Roderick Alleyn, Science Fiction, Shirley Jackson, Somerset Maugham, SS Van Dine, Stanley Ellin, Stark House Press, The Shadow, Thomas M. Disch, Walter B Gibson, William Goldman | 24 Comments

Try This One for Size (1989) – Tuesday’s Overlooked Film

This amusing comedy-thriller was the first of a quartet of films starring Michael Brandon derived from the work of euro noir legend, James Hadley Chase. Set in the double-dealing world of smugglers and dodgy art dealers, this one brought Paradise City detective Tom … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Florida, France, James Hadley Chase, Noir, Switzerland | 24 Comments

NUDE ON THIN ICE (1960) by Gil Brewer

This thriller comes in s new volume comprising two previously hard-to-find titles by paperback maestro Gil Brewer from those very nice people at Stark House Press, the imprint specialising in new and classic crime fiction. Originally entitled ‘Naked on Ice,’ … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Gil Brewer, Noir, Stark House Press | 46 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 | 34 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 , | 30 Comments

THE GIRL WHO HAD TO DIE (1940) by Elisabeth Sanxay Holding

A belated Fedora welcome to 2013, which this year opens with a review of this fine book by Elisabeth Sanxay Holding (1889-1955), who after a brief dalliance with romance novels became a specialist in psychological suspense and thrillers. The Girl … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Elisabeth Sanxay Holding, Noir, Raymond Chandler, Stark House Press | 42 Comments

NIGHTMARE (1941) by Cornell Woolrich

During the 1940s Cornell Woolrich was one of the true masters of the psychological suspense yarn, as adept at creating ingenious and outlandish plots as painting an atmosphere of universal dread and irrationality. This is a case in point with … Continue reading

Posted in 2012 Vintage Mystery Reading Challenge, Amnesia, Cornell Woolrich, Film Noir, Friday's Forgotten Book, New York, Noir, Scene of the crime | 21 Comments

THE BEAST OF THE CAMARGUE by Xavier-Marie Bonnot

Dr Xavier-Marie Bonnot, author of the Commandant de Palma series, is the focus of this week’s Alphabet of Crime entry, which is reaching its always fairly head-scratching conclusion now that most of the ‘easier’ letters, shall we say, have been … Continue reading

Posted in 2012 Alphabet of Crime, Crime Fiction Alphabet, France, Noir, Scene of the crime, Support Your Local Library Challenge | 48 Comments

SALT RIVER by James Sallis

An author of compact mysteries rooted in the Deep South, poet and novelist James Sallis saw his profile rise last year after the release of the critically acclaimed Ryan Gosling movie Drive, an adaptation of his eponymous novel. Otherwise best … Continue reading

Posted in 2012 Alphabet of Crime, Crime Fiction Alphabet, Friday's Forgotten Book, James Sallis, Noir, Support Your Local Library Challenge | 20 Comments

NIGHTMARE CRUISE (1961) by Wade Miller

The phrase ‘cook’s tour’ takes on a rather sinister meaning in this unjustly neglected maritime thriller, first published in 1961 as an Ace paperback original from the team of Robert Wade and Bill Miller. It was their penultimate book though a … Continue reading

Posted in 2012 Alphabet of Crime, Crime Fiction Alphabet, Friday's Forgotten Book, Noir, Sargasso Sea, Wade Miller | 10 Comments

ROUGH RIDERS by Charlie Stella

Courtesy of those very nice people at Stark House Press, I have in my hands an advance copy of the new novel by Charlie Stella, purveyor of humour, violence, complex plots and double crosses aplenty. Although this zesty thriller is told … Continue reading

Posted in Charlie Stella, Noir, North Dakota, Stark House Press | 4 Comments

QUEENPIN by Megan Abbott

After my somewhat underwhelming first encounter with Lee Child, my 2012 Library Challenge continues with high hopes for another author I have heard lots of good things about. Indeed, this novel by Megan Abbott won the Edgar for best paperback … Continue reading

Posted in Film Noir, Megan Abbott, Noir, Scene of the crime, Support Your Local Library Challenge | 5 Comments