Category Archives: Mexico

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

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 … 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

BADGE OF EVIL (1956) by Whit Masterson

The team of Robert Wade and Bill Miller produced nearly three dozen crime novels between 1946 and 1961, mainly as ‘Wade Miller’ and (in hardback) ‘Whit Masterson’. Badge of Evil served as the basis for the Orson Welles classic Touch … Continue reading

Posted in 'Best of' lists, 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, 2013 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Film Noir, Mexico, Scene of the crime, Wade Miller, Whit Masterson | 25 Comments

Top 12 Mystery Movie Remakes

As the movie summer starts to wind down, the sheer number of sequels, remakes and ‘reboots’ certainly can make for a dispiriting summing up. But it is worth remembering that, at least in our genre, there are a great many great … Continue reading

Posted in 'Best of' lists, 'In praise of ...', Chicago, Ernest Hemingway, Film Noir, James M. Cain, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Mexico, Miami, Michael Curtiz, New York, Noir on Tuesday, Parker, Philip Marlowe, Private Eye, Raymond Chandler, Richard Stark, San Francisco, Texas, Top 10, Washington DC | 52 Comments

Top 20 TV Spies

Not everyone agrees, but for me the spy story is definitely a subset of the crime and mystery genre. However, tales of espionage do come in all shapes and sizes: from contemporary to historical, deadly serious like Tinker Tailor Soldier … Continue reading

Posted in Espionage, George Smiley, John le Carre, Len Deighton, London, Mexico, Robert Culp, Rome, Scene of the crime, The Sandbaggers | 61 Comments

THE ZEBRA-STRIPED HEARSE (1962) by Ross Macdonald

This review is my final contribution to Kerrie’s 2012 Alphabet of Crime community meme for her Mysteries in Paradise blog, which this week reaches the letter Z. It’s been an amazing ride for six months and I am pleased as … Continue reading

Posted in 2012 Alphabet of Crime, Crime Fiction Alphabet, Los Angeles, Mexico, Private Eye, Raymond Chandler, Ross Macdonald, Scene of the crime, William Goldman | 51 Comments

I Spy (1965-68)

In 1965 President Lyndon B. Johnson bravely intoned, “We shall overcome” and enacted legislation finally enfranchising black American voters, knowing full-well that he was handing the South to the Republicans for decades to come. Within a month the Watts riots … Continue reading

Posted in Espionage, Greece, Hong Kong, Japan, Los Angeles, Mexico, Robert Culp, Rome, Scene of the crime | 38 Comments

Plunder of the Sun (1953) – Tuesday’s Forgotten Film

This is one of a small number of films produced in the early 1950s by John Wayne’s company (originally ‘Wayne-Fellow’, later ‘Batjac’) in which the star did not himself appear. Some became unavailable for several year and fell into relative … Continue reading

Posted in Film Noir, John Farrow, Jonathan Latimer, Mexico, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 35 Comments

Touch of Evil (1958) – Tuesday’s Forgotten Film

For many, Orson Welles’ 1958 film Touch of Evil marks the end of classic Film Noir. It certainly marked the end of Welles’ Hollywood directing career, though it had to wait some forty years before it could finally be seen … Continue reading

Posted in Film Noir, Los Angeles, Mexico, Noir on Tuesday, Orson Welles, Scene of the crime, Tuesday's Overlooked Film, Wade Miller, Whit Masterson | 21 Comments

V is for … THE VIKING FUNERAL (2002) by Stephen J. Cannell

The Alphabet of Crime community meme over at the Mysteries in Paradise blog is nearing its end as it reaches the letter V – and my first nomination this week is …

THE VIKING FUNERAL by Stephen J. Cannell

“What happened next made no sense at all”

Graham Greene’s The Third Man is combined with a James Ellroy-style exposé involving corrupt politicians and rogue cops in the second of Stephen J. Cannell’s series featuring 20-year LA Homicide Squad veteran Shane Scully. Following directly from The Tin Collectors (2001), masterfully reviewed by Margot Kinberg over at her Confessions of a Mystery Novelist blog, we find Scully undergoing mandatory psychiatric evaluation after he took some highly ‘unorthodox’ methods to unravel a giant conspiracy to cover up a land grab involving a Hollywood mogul, the LA Mayor and his Chief of Police. He also fell in love with Alexa Hamilton, rising star of Internal Affairs (the eponymous ‘tin collectors’) and discovered he was the father of Charles ‘Chooch’ Sandoval. Continue reading

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