Category Archives: London

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

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

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

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

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

RIVERS OF LONDON by Ben Aaronovitch

I first read this urban fantasy / police procedural hybrid several years ago and really enjoyed it, but for various reasons stopped there with the series. Recently a couple of friends of mine mentioned they had been reading the later … Continue reading

Posted in Ben Aaronovich, Doctor Who, Friday's Forgotten Book, London, Police procedural, Scene of the crime | 32 Comments

THE RIDDLE OF THE THIRD MILE (1983) by Colin Dexter

This book in the Inspector Morse series generally sees little love from either critics or fans  – and was changed greatly when adapted for TV (even the title, to ‘The Last Enemy’). Is this a book that is worth reclaiming? … Continue reading

Posted in 2017 Silver Age Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt, Colin Dexter, England, Inspector Morse, London, Oxford, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 15 Comments

The Woman in Green (1945)

This film marked the final (re) appearance of Professor Moriarty (or, rather, as credited, ‘Moriarity’) in the Universal Holmes and Watson series, this time in the chilly, smooth-tongued form of Henry Daniell (who was said to be Rathbone’s favourite). And this … Continue reading

Posted in Arthur Conan Doyle, London, Sherlock Holmes, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged , | 30 Comments

The House of Fear (1945)

Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson are off to a remote part of Scotland to investigate the peculiar goings on at Drearcliff House, a gloomy old mansion where its inhabitants are all starting to receive mysterious threats before dying. Has their … Continue reading

Posted in Arthur Conan Doyle, London, Scotland, Sherlock Holmes, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged , | 48 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 TUNNEL (1936) by Miles Burton

This is a bit of a special post – I have so far managed to get through life without reading a single novel by John Rhode, who often published as Miles Burton and whose real name was Cecil John Street. … Continue reading

Posted in 2017 Golden Age Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt, England, Friday's Forgotten Book, John Rhode / Miles Burton, Locked Room Mystery, London | 77 Comments

PAINKILLER by NJ Fountain

“You wrote my note! My suicide note! You want to kill me!” Although the term ‘gaslighting’ has existed for decades, it is very popular at present to describe stories in which men manipulate the minds of women – and this … Continue reading

Posted in Alfred Hitchcock, Amnesia, Boileau-Narcejac, England, Film Noir, Hammer Studios, Jimmy Sangster, London, Nev Fountain, Patrick Hamilton, Robert Bloch, Ruth Rendell | 42 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 SECRET AGENT (1907) by Joseph Conrad

Subtitled ‘A Simple Tale’ and dedicated to HG Wells, Conrad’s novel of anarchists, spies, treachery and a terror campaign gone wrong was based on the Greenwich bombing of 1894, though it is actually set eight years before that. Recently adapted for … Continue reading

Posted in 2016 Golden Age Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt, Alfred Hitchcock, Crime of the Century, Joseph Conrad, London, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 28 Comments

DANGEROUS DAVIES: THE LAST DETECTIVE (1976) by Leslie Thomas

Today I thought I would post something on the lighter side of the mystery genre, a potentially grim story of a cold case told with bawdy humour and plenty of vim and vigour. Leslie Thomas (1931–2014) came to prominence in … Continue reading

Posted in 2016 Silver Vintage Scavenger Hunt, London, Tuesday's Overlooked Film, Val Guest | Tagged | 24 Comments

CAKES AND ALE (1930) by W. Somerset Maugham

Late in life, Somerset Maugham claimed that this was the favourite among his novels and it is easy to see why, with its wit and provocative themes handled with consummate skill. It is certainly among his most autobiographical, resurrecting the … Continue reading

Posted in Five Star review, Kent, London, Somerset Maugham | 42 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

Scream and Scream Again (1969) – Tuesday’s Overlooked Film

The big selling point for this movie was the presence of Vincent Price, Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing, though in fact the three never appear on-screen at the same time. And despite the title it’s not much of a horror … Continue reading

Posted in Amicus, Christopher Lee, England, London, Peter Cushing, Science Fiction, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged , , | 34 Comments

The Pearl of Death (1944)

After the rousing success of The Scarlet Claw, could Universal’s Holmes and Watson series continue at the same fever pitch? Well, no, not quite, but this breezy thriller, kicking off the next trio of Holmesian adventures for Basil Rathbone and … Continue reading

Posted in Arthur Conan Doyle, London, Sherlock Holmes, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged , | 31 Comments

What Have You Done to Solange? (1972) – Tuesday’s Overlooked Film

In the 1960s two film companies made a long series of films using the Edgar Wallace byline – the UK thrillers were made for Anglo Amalgamated (my microsite devoted to these is here), while Rialto filmed their own in Germany, though … Continue reading

Posted in Edgar Wallace, Giallo, London, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 28 Comments

Jason Bourne – cinema review

Regular Fedora visitors will know that I love spy movies and am a sucker for stories about amnesia, so the Bourne saga – about a spy who forgets who he is and searches for answers from his old employers at the … Continue reading

Posted in Espionage, Greece, Las Vegas, London, Reykjavik, Rome, Spy movies, Tuesday's Overlooked Film, Washington DC | 84 Comments

THE CLUE OF THE SILVER KEY (1930) by Edgar Wallace

Why should someone go to the trouble of assassinating petty thief Horace Tom Tickler and leaving his body inside a taxi with £100 in his pocket? This is the problem that Surefoot Smith of Scotland Yard has to clear up, … Continue reading

Posted in 2016 Golden Age Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt, Edgar Wallace, London | 20 Comments

THE CLUE OF THE NEW PIN (1923) by Edgar Wallace

In 1961 Clue of the New Pin became one of the first of the Edgar Wallace Mysteries series made at Merton Park studios to sit on the lower birth of a cinema double bill. Originally released in Britain at a rate of roughly … Continue reading

Posted in 2016 Golden Age Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt, Edgar Wallace, Locked Room Mystery, London, Scene of the crime, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 41 Comments

And your favourite Hitchcock movies are …

Drum roll please … Having gone through a week of voting for the favourite films directed by Alfred Hitchcock on a decade by decade basis, this was meant to lead to a top 10, though we ended up with a … Continue reading

Posted in 'In praise of ...', Alfred Hitchcock, Boileau-Narcejac, California, Cold War, Cornell Woolrich, Ed McBain, England, Espionage, Film Noir, Film Poll, London, New York, San Francisco, Scotland, Spy movies, World War II | 51 Comments

Results for the Hitchcock poll

Well, the polls are now closed and the results are in. First things first though – the response to this celebration of the 53 films directed by Alfred Hitchcock was really gratifying, so special thanks to everyone who joined in. … Continue reading

Posted in 'In praise of ...', Alfred Hitchcock, Amnesia, Arizona, Boileau-Narcejac, Cold War, Cornell Woolrich, Ed McBain, England, Espionage, Film Noir, Film Poll, London, New England, New York, Psycho, Robert Bloch, San Francisco, Scotland, Spy movies | 45 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

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

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

Jago & Litefoot – Series 1

Hurrah – theatre impresario Henry Gordon Jago and pathologist Professor George Litefoot, those two fruity Victorian investigators created by Robert Holmes and played to perfection by Christopher Benjamin and Trevor Baxter, are back this month for their eleventh series! The … Continue reading

Posted in Andy Lane, Audio Review, Big Finish, Jago & Litefoot, Jonathan Morris, London, Scene of the crime, Steampunk | 13 Comments