Category Archives: Scene of the crime

TRIAL AND ERROR (1937) by Anthony Berkeley

It’s time for a guest post from my blogging buddy Livius, who writes about movies at his marvellous blog, Riding the High Country. And now it’s over to the man himself: The inverted crime story is one where the perpetrator … Continue reading

Posted in 2017 Golden Age Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt, Anthony Berkeley, Columbo, Courtroom, England | 29 Comments

Death Valley (2011)

At least in popular culture, one might think that zombies really have inherited the earth. At least this hybrid cop show has a sense of humour and doesn’t get too bogged down in the morbidity of it all. Indeed this … Continue reading

Posted in California, Police procedural, Postmodern | 10 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 | 25 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 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

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 SILENT WORLD OF NICHOLAS QUINN (1977) by Colin Dexter

This was the third book in the Inspector Morse series, and is perhaps my favourite of them all (well, it is either this one or Service of All the Dead, I always struggle a bit between the two). Not only is the … Continue reading

Posted in 2017 Silver Age Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt, Colin Dexter, Crime of the Century, England, Five Star review, Inspector Morse, Oxford, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 38 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

The Marseille Contract (1974)

This unpretentious thriller, running just under 90 minutes and released in the US as The Destructors, was shot on location in France and features Michael Caine as a professional assassin, Anthony Quinn as a US intelligence agent and James Mason … Continue reading

Posted in Film Noir, France, Noir on Tuesday, Paris, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 28 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

The House that Dripped Blood (1971)

Robert Bloch (1917-1994) is one of my favourite writers. I discovered him at a very early age and I doubt I’ll ever be able to let him go – but how can you not love an author who once quipped, … Continue reading

Posted in Amicus, England, Robert Bloch, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged , , | 52 Comments

Colin Dexter, requiescat

Colin Dexter has died aged 86. To crime fiction fans he will of course be remembered as the creator of Inspector More and Sergeant Lewis, two of Oxford’s finest detectives. Dexter was also an educator and a crossword buff, and … Continue reading

Posted in 'Best of' lists, 'In praise of ...', Colin Dexter, Inspector Morse, Oxford | 39 Comments

Smile Jenny, You’re Dead (1974)

This is was the second of two feature-length TV Movies that ultimately served to launch the short-lived private eye series Harry O (1974-76) starring David Janssen, which in its first season may have got as good as this genre ever … Continue reading

Posted in California, Film Noir, Noir on Tuesday, Private Eye | Tagged | 33 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 … Continue reading

Posted in England, Espionage, France, John le Carre, London, Russia | 37 Comments

THE DEMON OF DARTMOOR (1993) by Paul Halter

Sometime in the 1930s, Dr Allan Twist and Inspector Archibald Hurst are called in when theatre star Nigel Manson is seemingly pushed off a window ledge to his death, even though he was surrounded by several apparently impartial witnesses none … Continue reading

Posted in England, John Dickson Carr, Locked Room Mystery, Paul Halter | 81 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

WOMAN ON THE ROOF (1954) by Helen Nielsen

This books starts off with a premise reminiscent of the Hitchcock movie Rear Window (or rather, the short story on which it was based, ‘It Had to Be Murder’ by Cornell Woolwich / William Irish): looking through a window a … Continue reading

Posted in 2017 Golden Age Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt, California, Friday's Forgotten Book, Helen Nielsen, Stark House Press | 58 Comments

DEATH IN THE CLOUDS (1935) by Agatha Christie

I rarely review Christie’s books, mainly because her work is already so well covered out there on the blogosphere. But now that my amazing oldest niece (of two, by 12 minutes) is getting into crime fiction, its time for one … Continue reading

Posted in 2017 Golden Age Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt, Agatha Christie, England, France, Friday's Forgotten Book, Poirot | 81 Comments

THE GETAWAY (1959) by Jim Thompson

This tale of thieves falling out is lifted out of the ordinary by  Thompson’s uncanny ability to create chillingly credible portraits of criminals, misfits, felons and psychopaths at the extremes of human behaviour. He then caps it all with a … Continue reading

Posted in 2017 Golden Age Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt, Jim Thompson, Texas, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 56 Comments

FROZEN CHARLOTTE by Alex Bell

This is one of a series of books published under the ‘Red Eye’ banner from Little Tiger/Stripes Publishing and aimed at young adults. I picked this one up for my amazing niece (youngest of the two by 12 minutes) while … Continue reading

Posted in Five Star review, Friday's Forgotten Book, Gothic, Scotland | Tagged | 52 Comments

Fedora heads down under

The blog will be quiet for the next few weeks as I head off to see the family in Sydney for the New Year. As always, special thanks to my followers (apparently several hundred of you!) and all my great … Continue reading

Posted in Australia, Sydney | 34 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

Justified (Season 1)

While we now live in the era of binge viewing with ‘box sets’ available from Netflix, Prime etc, I have been watching this show steadily in weekly episodes when I go visit my folks. Its mixture of a modern-day Western … Continue reading

Posted in Elmore Leonard, Film Noir, Kentucky, Noir on Tuesday, Scene of the crime, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged , | 26 Comments

THE LAST BEST HOPE (1998) by Ed McBain

This was designed as the last in the series of 13 Florida-based thrillers featuring lawyer Matthew Hope and to celebrate, Ed McBain turned it into a cross-over with his 87th Precinct mysteries, producing an entertaining legal-procedural-caper hybrid. For the purposes … Continue reading

Posted in 87th Precinct, Ed McBain, Florida, Friday's Forgotten Book, Police procedural | 46 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

HAG’S NOOK (1933) by John Dickson Carr

Today would have been John Dickson Carr’s 110th birthday and JJ, over at his blog, The Invisible Event, is celebrating the great writer’s work. So I thought I should chip in, as Carr is my favourite Golden Age detective story … Continue reading

Posted in 2016 Golden Age Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt, England, John Dickson Carr | 45 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