Category Archives: France

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

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

The Marseille Contract (1974)

This unpretentious thriller, running just under 90 minutes and released in the US as The Destructors, was shot on location in France and features Michael Caine as a professional assassin, Anthony Quinn as a US intelligence agent and James Mason … Continue reading

Posted in Film Noir, France, Noir on Tuesday, Paris, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 28 Comments

OUR GAME (1995) by John le Carré

After several globe-trotting excursions, including The Little Drummer Girl (1983), The Russia House (1989) and The Night Manager (1993), John le Carré got back to basics in this very compact spy novel which doesn’t set foot outside UK until the very … Continue reading

Posted in England, Espionage, France, John le Carre, London, Russia | 37 Comments

DEATH IN THE CLOUDS (1935) by Agatha Christie

I rarely review Christie’s books, mainly because her work is already so well covered out there on the blogosphere. But now that my amazing oldest niece (of two, by 12 minutes) is getting into crime fiction, its time for one … Continue reading

Posted in 2017 Golden Age Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt, Agatha Christie, England, France, Friday's Forgotten Book, Poirot | 81 Comments

The romance of Brian De Palma

The following revisit of a favourite film and director is offered for the Brian De Palma Blogathon being hosted by Ratnakar Sadasyula at his site, Seetimaar – Diary of a Movie Lover from 11 to 21 September to celebrate the great filmmaker’s birthday … Continue reading

Posted in 'In praise of ...', Brian de Palma, Chicago, Cuba, Florida, France, Germany, Hollywood, Italy, London, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Paris, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Tuesday's Overlooked Film, Vietnam, Washington DC | 37 Comments

And Soon the Darkness (1970) – Tuesday’s Overlooked Movie

Made on location in the  Loire Valley in France, this 99-minute thriller takes a simple, stripped down  concept – two people on a biking holiday become isolated and fear they are being stalked by a killer –  and then stretches … Continue reading

Posted in Brian Clemens, France, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged , , | 42 Comments

Hitchock in the 60s and 70s – time to vote

Hitchcock’s life and career changed forever with the release of Psycho in 1960. Made on a tight budget, its enormous success made him a very wealthy man and saw him change studios to Universal for the rest of his career. … Continue reading

Posted in 'In praise of ...', Alfred Hitchcock, Amnesia, Boston, Cold War, Cuba, Daphne Du Maurier, Ed McBain, Espionage, Film Poll, France, Germany, London, New York, Norway, Paris, Psycho, Robert Bloch, San Francisco, Spy movies, Sweden, Washington DC | 63 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

PHOENIX FROM THE ASHES (1961) by Hubert Monteilhet

I recently went to see Phoenix, Christian Petzold’s new film starring Nina Hoss. Despite it being rather heavy-going I found much to ponder in its strange story of lost identities in post-war Germany, but had a weird, niggling sensation that … Continue reading

Posted in 2016 Silver Vintage Scavenger Hunt, France, Germany, Paris, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged , | 32 Comments

THE GARDEN PARTY AND OTHER STORIES by Katherine Mansfield

Here is a brief review for a title that might seem like an unexpected choice for a blog mostly dedicated to crime and mystery fiction, but … A good mate of mine gave me this book as a present in … Continue reading

Posted in England, France, Germany, New Zealand | Tagged | 22 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

Top 25 Courtroom Movies

As I have blogged before, I love legal drama on the screen. Maybe it’s because I trained to be a lawyer (in the interests of full disclosure, my legal background informs the work I do in education in terms of … Continue reading

Posted in 'Best of' lists, Australia, California, England, France, India, Scott Turow, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 73 Comments

DEAD MAN’S BAY (1953) by Catherine Arley

This tale of psychological suspense marked the literary debut of Catherine Arley (the pen name of Pierrette Pernot), who celebrated her 90th birthday last December. Originally published in France as Tu Vas Mourir (and later reissued as Mourir sans toi), it appeared … Continue reading

Posted in 2015 Vintage Mystery Challenge, France, Friday's Forgotten Book | 49 Comments

The Full Treatment (1960) – Tuesday’s overlooked film

This tale of psychological turmoil is fairly intriguing to start with but does get a bit bogged down before becoming thrillerish a bit too late in the game. It was the last in a run of popular films that writer-director … Continue reading

Posted in Film Noir, France, Hammer Studios, Tuesday's Overlooked Film, Val Guest | Tagged | 18 Comments

HE WHO WHISPERS (1946) by John Dickson Carr

This classic Golden Age detective story features a seemingly impossible murder and came top of the 2014 John Dickson Carr poll, somewhat to my surprise. I hadn’t read it in a while (well, try 30 years actually, and only in … Continue reading

Posted in 2015 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Audio Review, England, Five Star review, France, Gideon Fell, John Dickson Carr, Locked Room Mystery, London | 65 Comments

The Man on the Eiffel Tower (1949)

Charles Laughton plays Inspector Maigret in this highly atypical Hollywood movie, shot in colour and on location in Paris. Despite a cast that includes Franchot Tone and Burgess Meredith (who also took over as director at the last-minute), this is … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, France, Georges Simenon, Maigret, Paris, Scene of the crime, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged | 38 Comments

Fedora (1978) – Tuesday’s Overlooked Film

I had to review this film for its title alone! But it’s also a great movie, well worth 2 hours of your time (it’s just been released on Blu-ray). Based on the eponymous novella by Thomas Tryon – the actor-turned-author … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Billy Wilder, France, Germany, Greece, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged , | 27 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

Top 20 Amnesia Mystery Movies

Whether it’s the intrigue of Jason Bourne adventures or the farcical escapades of the Hangover films, memory loss remains a popular narrative device in fiction in general and at the cinema in particular. Here is a guide to my top 20 favourite … Continue reading

Posted in 'Best of' lists, Alfred Hitchcock, Amnesia, Billy Wilder, Boileau-Narcejac, Charlie Chan, England, Eric Ambler, France, Greece, Hammer Studios, James Hilton, Jimmy Sangster, John Frankenheimer, Len Deighton, London, Los Angeles, LP Davies, New York, Orson Welles, San Francisco, Spain, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged | 87 Comments

Mr Arkadin (1955) – Tuesday’s Overlooked Film

In considering this quirky and delirious movie and book by Orson Welles, I am reminded of Winston’s Churchill’s quote about pre-war Russia: “It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma; but perhaps there is a key.” Arkadin tells … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Amnesia, France, Italy, Mexico, New York, Novelisation, Orson Welles, Spain, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 27 Comments

Police Python 357 (1976) – Tuesday’s Overlooked Film

Also known as The Case Against Ferro, this French policier was adapted (uncredited) from Kenneth Fearing’s classic suspense novel, The Big Clock. It stars Yves Montand as a cop who carries the eponymous Colt Magnum once favoured by law enforcement … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, France, Kenneth Fearing, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged , , | 38 Comments

The Sicilian Clan (1969) – Tuesday’s Overlooked Film

As a youngster this thriller really got my attention. Sure, the fleeting nudity probably had something to do with it and the hypnotic Ennio Morricone score is truly unforgettable but this was a film where crooks, thieves, murderers and cops all … Continue reading

Posted in Ennio Morricone, France, Jean Gabin, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged , , , , | 26 Comments

The Passion of Brian De Palma

Well, there is a slight change to our usual schedule today as it’s my birthday, which means I am officially in my mid forties … good grief! So I could commemorate this august moment just by joining a gym (of … Continue reading

Posted in Alfred Hitchcock, Brian de Palma, Chicago, England, Film Noir, France, Germany, Hollywood, London, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Paris, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Scene of the crime, Tuesday's Overlooked Film, Washington DC | 35 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 | 35 Comments

MAIGRET SETS A TRAP (1955) by Georges Simenon

A psychopath is stalking the women of a small district in Paris and Jules Maigret of the Police Judiciaire is under pressure to find the culprit. Pretty soon, after a failed attack, an arrest is made – but then another … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, 2013 Vintage Mystery Challenge, France, Friday's Forgotten Book, Georges Simenon, Maigret, Paris, Police procedural, Scene of the crime | 44 Comments

In Your Hands – Tuesday’s Forgotten Film

Kristin Scott Thomas is the woman in jeopardy in this unusual suspense movie. It opens with a nervy bravura sequence, dialogue-free and shot hand-held, charting her return home in a highly agitated state. She is days late getting back from … Continue reading

Posted in France, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged | 14 Comments

Les Seins de glace (1974) – Tuesday’s Forgotten Film

On Friday I reviewed Richard Matheson’s debut novel Someone is Bleeding (click here to read it), a pretty decent whodunit spiced up with some less convincing post-war cod Freudian psychologising. The novel was filmed in France and released there in … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, France, Richard Matheson, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 13 Comments

Fedora’s 200,000 visits

Where does the time go? This site just passed another milestone at the beginning of this week with its 200,000th visit! Flabbergasting is the word. To celebrate, here is Alain Delon sporting one of my favourite fedoras in action in … Continue reading

Posted in 'In praise of ...', France, Scene of the crime | 34 Comments

THE YELLOW DOG (1931) by Georges Simenon

This is one the first Maigret novels. Georges Simenon chronicled some 100 of his cases over a period of 40 years but initially churned them out in a blaze of activity – indeed this was the first of seven Maigret … Continue reading

Posted in 2012 Alphabet of Crime, Crime Fiction Alphabet, France, Friday's Forgotten Book, Georges Simenon, Maigret, Police procedural, Scene of the crime | 51 Comments