Category Archives: Germany

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

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

THE VANISHED (1973) by Bill Pronzini

Bill Pronzini’s “Nameless” private eye first appeared in short stories from the late 1960s, some of which he later expanded into novels from the following decade, beginning with The Snatch (which I previously reviewed here). Our San Francisco private eye now … Continue reading

Posted in 2016 Silver Vintage Scavenger Hunt, Bill Pronzini, Friday's Forgotten Book, Germany, Private Eye, San Francisco | 31 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

THE LITTLE DRUMMER GIRL (1983) by John le Carré

John le Carré remains a true perennial and an astonishing success story. Some 55 years from his debut, he is still a best-selling author and adaptations of his work, like the BBC mini-series of The Night Manager, are big ratings winners and … Continue reading

Posted in 2016 Silver Vintage Scavenger Hunt, England, Espionage, Germany, Greece, John le Carre, Middle East, Switzerland | 32 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

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

DEMIAN (1919, rev. 1960) by Herman Hesse

One of the great author’s defining works, and a crucial German publication in the immediate post-war period, this novel would also, in its revised final form from 1960, prove to be pretty much his last. It is a bildungsroman, the … Continue reading

Posted in Germany, Herman Hesse | 31 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

PURITY by Jonathan Franzen

Welcome, belatedly, to 2016 (and the new site banner). We begin with what might seem like an unexpected choice for a site dedicated to crime and mystery fiction … Jonathan Franzen’s new book is (perhaps inevitably?) challenging, ambitious, long and … Continue reading

Posted in Germany | Tagged | 82 Comments

CASTLE SKULL (1931) by John Dickson Carr

Henri Bencolin visits the Rhine in his third novel, and appropriately enough there are a trio of killings to solve: the impossible attack on a magician in a train carriage under constant supervision, apparently thrown out by an unseen assailant; … Continue reading

Posted in 2015 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Germany, John Dickson Carr, Locked Room Mystery | 55 Comments

The Traitor (1957)

This review is by way of a small tribute to the multi-talented Christopher Lee, whose death at the age of 93 was announced a few days ago. This film, also known as The Accursed (and also, confusingly, The Accused), offers … Continue reading

Posted in Germany, London | Tagged | 33 Comments

THE RINGER (1929) by Edgar Wallace

Like Somerset Maugham, the hugely popular novelist and short story writer Edgar Wallace was for a time even more successful as a playwright, starting with his 1927 smash, The Ringer, adapted from his novel, The Gaunt Stranger. It was so successful … Continue reading

Posted in 2015 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Edgar Wallace, England, Friday's Forgotten Book, Germany | Tagged , | 44 Comments

The Man Who Finally Died (1963)

Stanley Baker stars in this above-average conspiracy thriller that boasts Bavarian locations, some neat twists and a first-rate supporting cast that includes: Peter Cushing as a sinister doctor; Mai Zetterling, in one of her last film acting roles, as a … Continue reading

Posted in Cold War, Espionage, Film Noir, Germany, Spy movies, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged , | 28 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

A MOST WANTED MAN by John le Carré

First published in 2008, this ultra-topical spy thriller by John le Carré (whose work I previously profiled here) deals with money laundering, political asylum, extraordinary rendition and the ambiguities surrounding the tactics used in the ‘war on terror.’ It has … Continue reading

Posted in Espionage, Germany, John le Carre | Tagged | 33 Comments

A SCENT OF NEW-MOWN HAY (1958) by John Blackburn

I’ve been looking to sample this author’s weird fiction for years after hearing him compared with LP Davies, one of my favourite British pulp authors of the 1960s. So I have decided, in my usual fashion, to start at the … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, England, Germany, John Blackburn, LP Davies | 29 Comments

THE SAINT IN EUROPE (1953) by Leslie Charteris

I can’t quite believe it but this may in fact be the first Saint book I have read in about 35 years! I do remember picking up some of the tie-ins reprinted when Return of the Saint premiered on TV in 1978 … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Austria, Friday's Forgotten Book, Germany, Leslie Charteris, Mike Ripley, Paris, Rome, Spain, Switzerland, The Netherlands | Tagged | 59 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

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, TURK! (1986) by Jakob Arjouni

This fast-paced private eye novel stands out in a very crowded field thanks to its originality of tone, theme and setting. The place is Frankfurt and the time is August 1983, well before Germany’s reunification. The protagonist is Kemal Kayankaya and … Continue reading

Posted in Germany, Jakob Arjouni, Private Eye, Scene of the crime | 24 Comments

Stalag 17 (1953) – Tuesday’s Overlooked Christmas Mystery

Now, I know what you’re thinking – isn’t this the Oscar-winning war movie starring William Holden, the one that got ripped off and turned into that silly 1960s sitcom, Hogan’s Heroes? Wasn’t this film a big hit in its day? … Continue reading

Posted in Billy Wilder, Germany, Scene of the crime, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 22 Comments