Category Archives: London

WHOSE BODY? (1923) by Dorothy L. Sayers

It has been years since I read anything by Sayers and I thought it would be interesting to go back to the debut of Lord Peter, who initially is very much presented as belonging to the ‘silly ass’ school of … Continue reading

Posted in 2016 Golden Age Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt, Dorothy L. Sayers, England, London, Lord Peter Wimsey, Philo Vance, Radio, SS Van Dine, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 79 Comments

TO WAKE THE DEAD (1937) by John Dickson Carr

John Dickson Carr is my favourite Golden Age mystery author and this entry, featuring his titanic sleuth Gideon Fell, was published when he was at the height of his powers. However, this one isn’t as well-known as many of the … Continue reading

Posted in 2016 Golden Age Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt, Audio Review, England, Gideon Fell, John Dickson Carr, London | 79 Comments

POST MORTEM by Kate London

This crime novel has just been published in paperback and marks the debut of Kate London, who until 20014 was a member of the Metropolitan Police Service. I posted a short piece about the book a little while ago, offering … Continue reading

Posted in England, London, Police procedural | 20 Comments

The Spider Woman (1944)

Possibly the least ‘Sherlockian’ of all the films in Universal’s Holmes and Watson series, this is also terrifically entertaining, not least for the screen-grabbing performance by Gale Sondegaard as the eponymous femme fatale. A delightful pastiche of Doyle elements filtered through … Continue reading

Posted in Arthur Conan Doyle, London, Sherlock Holmes, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged , , | 29 Comments

ALL-CONSUMING FIRE by Andy Lane

This audio production is an adaptation of the 1994 novel by Andy Lane that brought  together Sherlock Holmes and, wait for it, Doctor Who. In addition there are also elements of the HP Lovecraft Cthulhu mythos too. Now, I realise … Continue reading

Posted in Andy Lane, Audio Review, Big Finish, Doctor Who, England, India, London, Scene of the crime, Sherlock Holmes, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 24 Comments

Can you follow the clues?

Post Mortem is a new Police Procedural by Kate London, an eight-year veteran of the London Metropolitan Police Service. The publishers are releasing tasters from the novel to those who can follow the clues and pick up the trail of … Continue reading

Posted in London, Police procedural | 9 Comments

The Notorious Landlady (1962)

Kim Novak is the beautiful landlady accused of killing her nasty husband and Jack Lemmon is the new lodger who falls madly in love with her in this quirky thriller-cum-farce. Recently transferred to London, his State Department career may very well … Continue reading

Posted in Blake Edwards, London, Richard Quine, Scene of the crime, Screwball, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 24 Comments

Top 25 TV Detectives

Well, I have been watching the BBC’s new police drama River starring Stellan Skarsgård and Nicola Walker. Whether it will be a one-off or continue I don’t know but I think it is as good as Cracker ever was and … Continue reading

Posted in 'Best of' lists, Agatha Christie, Albert Campion, Columbo, Dorothy L. Sayers, Ellery Queen, Inspector Morse, Inspector Wexford, London, Lord Peter Wimsey, Los Angeles, Margery Allingham, Miss Marple, Nero Wolfe, New York, Oxford, Paris, Poirot, Rex Stout, Ruth Rendell, San Francisco, Sherlock Holmes, TV Cops | 162 Comments

A THREE PIPE PROBLEM (1975) by Julian Symons

When is a Sherlock Holmes pastiche not a Sherlock Holmes pastiche? Well, when the great detective does not in fact appear … This is the clever conceit of this mystery by poet, critic, novelist and editor Julian Symons, who brings … Continue reading

Posted in 2015 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Julian Symons, London, Sherlock Holmes | 31 Comments

Sherlock Holmes in Washington (1943)

Holmes and Watson leave the semi-Victorian comforts of Baker Street far behind and head off to 1940s America in search of a microfilm hidden inside a matchbook and which ends up doing the rounds of Washington’s high and low society … Continue reading

Posted in Arthur Conan Doyle, London, Sherlock Holmes, Tuesday's Overlooked Film, Washington DC | Tagged , | 42 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

HOSTILE WITNESS (1968) by Jack Roffey

Simon Crawford is a highly successful barrister whose world comes crashing down when his daughter Joanne is killed in a hit-and-run accident. He suffers a nervous breakdown when he is unable to find out who was responsible and spends months … Continue reading

Posted in 2015 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Courtroom, London, Ray Milland, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged | 28 Comments

PATTERN RECOGNITION by William Gibson

This tale of industrial espionage, set shortly after the World Trade Center attack, features a heroine with a most bespoke fashion sense and the search for a movie – one that may be a work of genius but which is … Continue reading

Posted in Friday's Forgotten Book, Japan, London, Moscow | Tagged | 28 Comments

The Vicious Circle (1957) – Tuesday’s overlooked movie

This highly entertaining puzzler was scripted by Francis Durbridge (1912-1998), who adapted it from his six-part BBC TV serial, My Friend Charles. John Mills stars as the Harley Street doctor who returns home one evening and there finds the dead … Continue reading

Posted in Film Noir, Francis Durbridge, London, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged , | 33 Comments

SPEAK OF THE DEVIL (1941) by John Dickson Carr

This historical mystery, set around the battle of Waterloo and involving a locked room murder, a phantom woman who only our hero believes exists, a mysterious ‘man in black’ and a duel in a hot air balloon, was for decades a … Continue reading

Posted in 2015 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Audio Review, England, John Dickson Carr, Locked Room Mystery, London | 41 Comments

Portrait of Alison (1956)

Also known as Postmark for Danger, this  is a typically engaging thriller by Francis Durbridge (1912-1998), for many the heir to Edgar Wallace’s thriller crown. He first came to prominence with his hugely popular Paul Temple serials for BBC radio. … Continue reading

Posted in Film Noir, Francis Durbridge, Italy, London, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 41 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 JUDGEMENT OF SHERLOCK HOLMES by Jonathan Barnes

Sherlock Holmes had many secrets. This is the greatest of them. This collection of four new audio adventures by Jonathan Barnes follows on from his very conspicuous success with The Adventure of the Perfidious Mariner and The Ordeals of Sherlock Holmes for Big Finish … Continue reading

Posted in Audio Review, Big Finish, Jonathan Barnes, London, Sherlock Holmes | 28 Comments

LIGHTS, CAMERA, ANGEL by Mike Ripley

Fitzroy Maclean Angel is the driver of a de-licensed taxi who doubles as an unofficial private eye and triples as an occasional musician. Which is to say that he does a bit of this and a bit of that, surviving … Continue reading

Posted in London, Mike Ripley, Scene of the crime | 28 Comments

The Jigsaw Man (1983) – Tuesday’s Overlooked Film

This spy thriller was inspired by the exploits of double agent Kim Philby. Indeed the author went so far as to cheekily dedicate the book to him, and all her ‘dear friends in the KGB’ including those, ‘not yet surfaced.’ … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Cold War, England, Espionage, London, Moscow, Spy movies, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 36 Comments

FALSE SCENT (1960) by Ngaio Marsh

I’ve been meaning to give Ngaio Marsh ‘another try’ for ages as I keep being told that my rather negative impressions, formed many moons ago, should be re-assessed. So here goes, with this comparatively late entry in her series of … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, England, London, Ngaio Marsh, Roderick Alleyn | 62 Comments

Farewell, My Lovely (1975) – Tuesday’s Overlooked Film

Robert Mitchum plays Raymond Chandler’s immortal private eye Philip Marlowe in this beguiling valentine to the classic 1940s detective yarn. Charlotte Rampling is the beautifully coiffed leading lady who is more than she seems, David Shire supplies the lustrous musical … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Film Noir, London, Noir on Tuesday, Philip Marlowe, Private Eye, Raymond Chandler, Scene of the crime, Tuesday's Overlooked Film, Uncategorized | 57 Comments

THE ABC MURDERS (1936) by Agatha Christie

I realise this might be a bit controversial but I am here to praise both Christie’s classic ABC mystery and The Alphabet Murders, the zany 1965 movie version starring an improbably skinny Tony Randall as Poirot. Yes, it’s a broad comedy and … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Agatha Christie, Amnesia, London, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 46 Comments

Circus of Fear (1966) – Tuesday’s Overlooked Film

Christopher Lee and Klaus Kinski co-star in this Anglo-German whodunit marketed as a sensational Edgar Wallace thriller. Some sources claim the story of bank robbers hiding out with a travelling circus was based on Wallace’s The Three Just Men, while others credit … Continue reading

Posted in Edgar Wallace, England, Harry Alan Towers, London, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged , | 30 Comments

THE TAMARIND SEED (1971) by Evelyn Anthony

Evelyn Anthony (pen-name of Evelyn Ward-Thomas) turned 86 this month. She began writing historical romances in the Coronation year of 1953 but by the late 1960s had switched to topical suspense mixed with romance. The Tamarind Seed is a perfect example … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Barbados, Blake Edwards, Cold War, Espionage, Evelyn Anthony, London, Paris, Spy movies | 40 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 | 88 Comments

Women of Twilight (1953) – Tuesday’s Overlooked Film

Nothing to do with Stephenie Meyer, this stark social drama (aka Twilight Women) was based on Sylvia Rayman’s groundbreaking all-female play. The up-and-coming Lois Maxwell and Laurence Harvey co-star, though the film is dominated by René Ray as unlikely heroine Viviane and Freda Jackson … Continue reading

Posted in Film Noir, Hammer Studios, London, Noir on Tuesday, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 24 Comments

THE ORDEALS OF SHERLOCK HOLMES by Jonathan Barnes

This collection of four new audio adventures follows the threads of a single case across 40 years in the career of Conan Doyle’s consulting detective. Following on from the conspicuous success of The Adventure of the Perfidious Mariner, Jonathan Barnes … Continue reading

Posted in Audio Review, Big Finish, Jonathan Barnes, London, Scene of the crime, Sherlock Holmes, Sussex | 26 Comments

Blind Date (1959) – Tuesday’s Overlooked Film

This above average whodunit was directed with style and conviction by Joseph Losey, an American émigré in London who brought much of his own feelings of cultural and social displacement to bear. Hardy Kruger is the foreigner in London who gets framed for … Continue reading

Posted in England, Film Noir, Georges Simenon, Joseph Losey, Leigh Howard, London, Scene of the crime, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged | 24 Comments

The Edgar Wallace Anthology

This is a bit of an indulgence I realise but I just got myself this massive box set and wanted to tell everybody about it … The following overview is offered as part of the Tuesday’s Overlooked Film meme hosted … Continue reading

Posted in 'In praise of ...', Edgar Wallace, London, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 20 Comments