Category Archives: Scene of the crime

ZERO COOL (1968) by Michael Crichton

This is one of the ‘John Lange’ adventures written by Michael Crichton during his apprenticeship as a purveyor of paperback thrills. Reprinted in paper by Hard Case Crime, it is also available as an e-book from Open Road in what … Continue reading

Posted in 2017 Silver Age Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt, Barcelona, France, Friday's Forgotten Book, Hard Case Crime, John Lange, Michael Crichton, Paris, Spain | 42 Comments

Crime at Christmas

As Britain gets ready for a very chilly yule indeed (and no, I don’t just mean the weather), my mind inevitably turns to the comforts of fictional crime! There are some splendid books being made available for crime aficionados this … Continue reading

Posted in 'In praise of ...', Albert Campion, Cosy Cozy, Edward D. Hoch, England, Locked Room Mystery, Margery Allingham, Mike Ripley, Ngaio Marsh, Peter Lovesey, Philip MacDonald, Simon Brett | 45 Comments

SHOTGUN SATURDAY NIGHT (1987) by Bill Crider

Today Patti Abbott is hosting Bill Crider Day over at her fab Pattinase blog. Crider has been remarkably prolific over the decades, managing to publish an average of two books a year while also working full-time as an academic until his retirement. As … Continue reading

Posted in 2017 Silver Age Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt, Bill Crider, Ed McBain, Texas | 35 Comments

Dressed to Kill (1946)

The Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce series of Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson mysteries came to an end with this, their 14th entry, in which the Baker Street duo battle suave criminals searching London for the secret hidden within three … Continue reading

Posted in Arthur Conan Doyle, London, Scotland, Sherlock Holmes, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged , | 32 Comments

FIDDLERS (2005) by Ed McBain

So six years and 55 books later, we come to the end of the road. This would prove to be the final 87th Precinct mystery by Ed McBain and was released posthumously. It was rumoured that he had, in advance, … Continue reading

Posted in 87th Precinct, Ed McBain, Friday's Forgotten Book, New York, Police procedural | 30 Comments

Torture Garden (1967)

The great Robert Bloch (1917-1994) supplied stories and screenplays for six films made by Amicus Film, the only serious rival to Hammer in the 1960s and 70s when it came to horror cinema. The first three – The Skull (1965), … Continue reading

Posted in Amicus, England, Robert Bloch, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged , | 32 Comments

GREEN FOR DANGER (1944) by Christianna Brand

Easily he best-known of Brand’s Inspector Cockrill mysteries, this clever and funny book was turned into a clever and funny film that is also one of the most atmospheric whodunits you will ever see. The setting is a secluded hospital now … Continue reading

Posted in 2017 Golden Age Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt, England, Five Star review, Kent, World War II | Tagged , | 45 Comments

Murder on the Orient Express (2017)

Just released in the cinemas, this new adaptation of the classic Agatha Christie novel seems to be dividing critics and viewers. In fact, I have now been to see it twice – the first time with a friend who is … Continue reading

Posted in Agatha Christie, Poirot, Turkey | Tagged | 60 Comments

I AM MARY DUNNE (1968) by Brian Moore

Karen of Kaggsy’s Bookish Ramblings and Simon of Stuck in a Book regularly celebrate work published in a particular year. And this time it’s 1968, which I couldn’t resist as it’s when I was born. My choice is the thirteenth … Continue reading

Posted in Brian Moore, New York | 25 Comments

THE WENCH IS WICKED / BLONDE VERDICT / DELILAH WAS DEADLY by Carter Brown

This omnibus by ultra-prolific paperback writer ‘Carter Brown’ (in private life Alan Geoffrey Yates) – courtesy of those very nice people at Stark House Press – features the first three cases of Al Wheeler, the unorthodox and wise-cracking Lieutenant working in the California … Continue reading

Posted in 2017 Golden Age Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt, California, Carter Brown, Friday's Forgotten Book, Stark House Press | 20 Comments

SINGLE & SINGLE (1999) by John le Carré

John le Carré (born David Cornwell on 19 October 1931) is 86 years old today – and to celebrate here is a quick review of a title that is perhaps unfairly neglected. This is one of the later books that … Continue reading

Posted in England, Espionage, John le Carre, London, Russia, Switzerland, Turkey | 16 Comments

TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT (1937) by Ernest Hemingway

A tale of smuggling between Cuba and  Florida, this is generally considered one of Hemingway’s lesser works, which may actually explain why it made surprisingly good movie fodder. The hardboiled story of downtrodden boat-owner Harry Morgan was famously filmed with … Continue reading

Posted in 2017 Golden Age Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt, Cuba, Ernest Hemingway, Film Noir, Friday's Forgotten Book, Miami, Michael Curtiz | Tagged , , | 26 Comments

The Manny deWitt trilogy by Peter Rabe

This omnibus – a secret review copy of which arrived, via three drop boxes and as many couriers in disguise – comes courtesy of those very nice people at Stark House Press. It brings together the trilogy of decidedly off-beat adventure … Continue reading

Posted in 2017 Silver Age Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt, Africa, Cold War, Espionage, Germany, Paris, Peter Rabe, Stark House Press, The Netherlands | 15 Comments

Homecoming

This riveting psychological thriller dealing with returning American servicemen has just completed its second season and I am here to sing its praises – of course, without divulging any spoilers. An audio drama available as a free podcasts, it features … Continue reading

Posted in Amnesia, Audio Review, Florida | 8 Comments

THE NOISE OF TIME by Julian Barnes

Julian Barnes is a celebrated author of novels, short stories and literary criticism. He also wrote four thrillers (1980-87) as ‘Dan Kavanagh’ (named for his late wife, Pat Kavanagh), featuring bisexual private eye Duffy. Though recently reprinted by Orion, you … Continue reading

Posted in Julian Barnes, Moscow, New York, Russia | 22 Comments

Terror by Night (1946)

The Holmes and Watson series picked itself right up again with this train-bound adventure that comes as very welcome after the disappointment of Pursuit to Algiers. It was also the swansong for Dennis Hoey’s Lestrade. Holmes: The Inspector’s going to … Continue reading

Posted in Arthur Conan Doyle, London, Scotland, Sherlock Holmes, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged , | 20 Comments

PAST TENSE by Margot Kinberg

You all know Margot Kinberg, the indefatigable mystery author and academic who blogs over at Confessions of a Mystery Novelist and who cheerleads for the detective genre here, there and everywhere. Past Tense is the third in her series of … Continue reading

Posted in Campus crime, Friday's Forgotten Book, Margot Kinberg, Pennsylvania | 16 Comments

TILL DEATH DO US PART (1944) by John Dickson Carr

This classic Golden Age detective story tends to get a little lost among the multitude and enthralling mysteries that John Dickson Carr was producing at such a prodigious rate at that time. It begins with a superb set piece in … Continue reading

Posted in 2017 Golden Age Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt, Audio Review, England, Five Star review, Gideon Fell, John Dickson Carr, Locked Room Mystery, London, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 65 Comments

EIGHT MILLION WAYS TO DIE (1982) by Lawrence Block

This fine private eye novel is first and foremost a powerful character study, depicting the slow recovery of an alcoholic but it also provides the requisite crime thrills too. It was the fifth in the Matthew Scudder series of New … Continue reading

Posted in 2017 Silver Age Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt, Lawrence Block, New York, Private Eye | 23 Comments

PIETR THE LATVIAN (1931) by Georges Simenon

This novel marked the official literary debut of Detective Chief Inspector Jules Amédée François Maigret of the Paris Police Judiciaire when it first appeared in serial form in the summer and autumn of 1930. It was however the fifth in … Continue reading

Posted in France, Friday's Forgotten Book, Georges Simenon, Maigret, Normandy, Paris, Police procedural, Scene of the crime | 30 Comments

HARK! (2004) by Ed McBain

The Deaf Man, the cold-blooded super-criminal whose antics plagued the boys and girls of the 87th Precinct for decades was last seen, in 1993’s Mischief, being tied naked to a bed and being shot twice in the chest by Gloria, his … Continue reading

Posted in 87th Precinct, Ed McBain, Friday's Forgotten Book, New York, Police procedural | 18 Comments

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

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

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 | 32 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