Category Archives: New York

FIDDLERS (2005) by Ed McBain

So six years and 55 books later, we come to the end of the road. This would prove to be the final 87th Precinct mystery by Ed McBain and was released posthumously. It was rumoured that he had, in advance, … Continue reading

Posted in 87th Precinct, Ed McBain, Friday's Forgotten Book, New York, Police procedural | 30 Comments

I AM MARY DUNNE (1968) by Brian Moore

Karen of Kaggsy’s Bookish Ramblings and Simon of Stuck in a Book regularly celebrate work published in a particular year. And this time it’s 1968, which I couldn’t resist as it’s when I was born. My choice is the thirteenth … Continue reading

Posted in Brian Moore, New York | 25 Comments

THE NOISE OF TIME by Julian Barnes

Julian Barnes is a celebrated author of novels, short stories and literary criticism. He also wrote four thrillers (1980-87) as ‘Dan Kavanagh’ (named for his late wife, Pat Kavanagh), featuring bisexual private eye Duffy. Though recently reprinted by Orion, you … Continue reading

Posted in Julian Barnes, Moscow, New York, Russia | 22 Comments

EIGHT MILLION WAYS TO DIE (1982) by Lawrence Block

This fine private eye novel is first and foremost a powerful character study, depicting the slow recovery of an alcoholic but it also provides the requisite crime thrills too. It was the fifth in the Matthew Scudder series of New … Continue reading

Posted in 2017 Silver Age Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt, Lawrence Block, New York, Private Eye | 23 Comments

HARK! (2004) by Ed McBain

The Deaf Man, the cold-blooded super-criminal whose antics plagued the boys and girls of the 87th Precinct for decades was last seen, in 1993’s Mischief, being tied naked to a bed and being shot twice in the chest by Gloria, his … Continue reading

Posted in 87th Precinct, Ed McBain, Friday's Forgotten Book, New York, Police procedural | 18 Comments

HARDBOILED, NOIR AND GOLD MEDALS by Rick Ollerman

Bringing together new essays with material published over the last decade, this new volume in the Stark House Reference range more than lives up to its subtitle: Essays on Crime Fiction Writers from the ’50s through to the 90s. Part of … Continue reading

Posted in Charles Williams, Donald Westlake, Ed Gorman, Friday's Forgotten Book, Harlan Ellison, Hollywood, Los Angeles, New York, Noir, Stark House Press, Wade Miller | 17 Comments

THE FRUMIOUS BANDERSNATCH (2003) by Ed McBain

Cultural appropriation is the theme and the music biz the scene for this unusual entry in the 87th Precinct series. ‘Bandersnatch’ is the name of a new album, taken of course from Lewis Carroll, and initially there is more than … Continue reading

Posted in 87th Precinct, Ed McBain, Friday's Forgotten Book, New York, Police procedural | 14 Comments

FAT OLLIE’S BOOK (2002) by Ed McBain

Ed McBain decided that ultra-bigot Detective/First Grade Oliver Wendell Weeks – known colloquially (if not to his face) as ‘Fat Ollie’ – somehow merited having his own 87th Precinct mystery, even though he’s from the 88th! But what about Roger … Continue reading

Posted in 87th Precinct, Ed McBain, Friday's Forgotten Book, New York, Police procedural | 32 Comments

MONEY, MONEY, MONEY (2001) by Ed McBain

Steve Carella is paired with Fat Ollie Weeks in this unusual entry in the 87th Precinct series. Shifting away from the whodunit formula, this is a contemporary thriller involving drug trafficking, counterfeiting and the secret service and featuring a rogue’s … Continue reading

Posted in 87th Precinct, Ed McBain, Friday's Forgotten Book, New York, Police procedural | 19 Comments

THE LAST DANCE (2000) by Ed McBain

Given the title and the fact that it was the fiftieth entry in the 87th Precinct series, it is possible, just maybe, that this was envisaged as the last one – or maybe McBain was just toying with us. Certainly, … Continue reading

Posted in 87th Precinct, Ed McBain, Friday's Forgotten Book, New York, Police procedural | 25 Comments

ANGEL’S FLIGHT (1960) by Lou Cameron

This dynamic piece of jazz noir was the debut novel of Lou Cameron (1924–2010), an author who would later establish himself as the ultra prolific authors of hundreds of Westerns. First published as a Gold Medal original, it spins the … Continue reading

Posted in 2017 Silver Age Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt, Friday's Forgotten Book, Hollywood, Los Angeles, New York, Stark House Press | 30 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

Johnny Staccato

Today’s post is dedicated to a show that lasted just one season but which deserves to be remembered. Filmed in LA but set in New York, the half-hour adventures of Johnny Staccato (Revue/NBC; US 1959-60) featured great jazz music, some amazing … Continue reading

Posted in Film Noir, New York, Noir on Tuesday, Private Eye | 48 Comments

NOCTURNE (1997) by Ed McBain

Cotton Hawes finally comes (slightly) out of the background for the 47th book in the 87th Precinct series, which as the title suggests all takes place in the course of a couple of nights (around the 21st of January) and … Continue reading

Posted in 87th Precinct, Ed McBain, Friday's Forgotten Book, New York, Police procedural | 27 Comments

ROMANCE (1995) by Ed McBain

There was a two-year break following the publication of Mischief (1993), but McBain picks up directly from the end of the previous volume – indeed, the first 5 pages of this new novel are taken from the end of the … Continue reading

Posted in 87th Precinct, Ed McBain, Friday's Forgotten Book, New York, Police procedural | 22 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

MISCHIEF (1993) by Ed McBain

The Deaf Man, that arch nemesis of the 87th Precinct and in particular thorn in the side of detective Steve Carella, is back again for a Springtime caper, here passing himself as Sanson, one of his many daft and transparent pseudonyms. … Continue reading

Posted in 87th Precinct, Ed McBain, Friday's Forgotten Book, New York, Police procedural | 33 Comments

KISS (1992) by Ed McBain

The 44th entry in the Ed McBain series of police procedurals offers two main storylines. In the first, Carella and Meyer investigate two cases of attempted murder against one person and two related deaths; in the second we carry on … Continue reading

Posted in 87th Precinct, Ed McBain, Friday's Forgotten Book, New York, Police procedural | 22 Comments

RUNNING DOG (1978) by Don DeLillo

Don DeLillo has a new book out but I don’t have it yet – so I am looking at one of his first, instead. A darkly comic conspiracy thriller, it involves murder, transvestitism, radical journalists, art dealers, a US Senator, … Continue reading

Posted in 2016 Silver Vintage Scavenger Hunt, Don DeLillo, New York | 31 Comments

WIDOWS (1991) by Ed McBain

And … we’re back. In the opening scene from this busy novel, Homicide dicks Monoghan & Monroe get into a spat, signalling that this might be a more domestic case than usual. Indeed, Steve Carella’s family takes centre-stage when news reaches … Continue reading

Posted in 87th Precinct, Ed McBain, Friday's Forgotten Book, New York, Police procedural | 34 Comments

HE WON’T NEED IT NOW (1939) and THE DEAD STAY DUMB (1939) by James Hadley Chase

This pair of ultra-hardboiled thrillers were the first two books published by James Hadley Chase following the huge success of his controversial gangster story No Orchids for Miss Blandish (which I recently reviewed right here). Well, actually, He Won’t Need it Now … Continue reading

Posted in 2016 Golden Age Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt, James Hadley Chase, Kansas City, New York, Stark House Press | 32 Comments

THE WAR OF THE WORLDS MURDER by Max Allan Collins

If, like me, you are a devoted fan of the amazing writer-director-producer-actor-showman Orson Welles, a sucker for magic tracks, love listening to Old Time Radio, and enjoy the pulp adventures of The Shadow, then this book is most definitely for … Continue reading

Posted in Friday's Forgotten Book, New York, Orson Welles, The Shadow, Walter B Gibson | 31 Comments

THREE BEDROOMS IN MANHATTAN (1946) by Georges Simenon

Recently reprinted with an appreciative intro by Joyce Carol Oates, this is one of Simenon’s ‘Romans durs’ – that is to say, a mainstream stand-alone fiction that does not include Maigret (though some of his subalterns occasionally appear). Instead we … Continue reading

Posted in Georges Simenon, Joyce Carol Oates, New York, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 20 Comments

NO ORCHIDS FOR MISS BLANDISH (1939) and TWELVE CHINAMEN AND A WOMAN (1940) by James Hadley Chase

No Orchids for Miss Blandish is a famous book that for years only aficionados have been able to read in its original, unexpurgated version, and the same goes for its less well-known follow-up, Twelve Chinks and a Woman (as it … Continue reading

Posted in 2016 Golden Age Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt, Florida, James Hadley Chase, Kansas City, New York, Stark House Press | 34 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

VESPERS (1990) by Ed McBain

A priest is murdered n his own church and Carella and Hawes get tangled in a case involving drugs, blackmail, street gangs and, bizarrely, Satanism. At the same time, Hal Willis’ relationship with love-of-his-life Marilyn Hollis comes under strain when … Continue reading

Posted in 87th Precinct, Ed McBain, Friday's Forgotten Book, New York, Police procedural | 35 Comments