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 the tent of a fortune-teller at the end of a village fete that is being enveloped by thunder and lightning. Before long a shot is fired, a recently engaged couple find their happiness under threat and Gideon Fell has to investigate a complex locked room mystery. As a reader, I couldn’t be happier …

I submit this review for Bev’s 2017 Golden Age Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt; and Todd Mason’s Tuesday’s Overlooked Media meme over at his fab Sweet Freedom blog.

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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 | 44 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 York mysteries and something of a breakthrough for the author. It was also loosely adapted into a problematic movie starring Jeff Bridges, Rosanna Arquette and Andy Garcia, which recently made its way to Blu-Ray in a special edition.

I submit this book and film review for Bev’s 2017 Silver Age Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt; and Tuesday’s Overlooked Film meme hosted by Todd Mason over at his Sweet Freedom blog.

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Posted in 2017 Silver Age Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt, Lawrence Block, New York, Private Eye | 22 Comments

PIETR THE LATVIAN (1931) by Georges Simenon

This novel marked the official literary debut of Detective Chief Inspector Jules Amédée François Maigret of the Paris Police Judiciaire when it first appeared in serial form in the summer and autumn of 1930. It was however the fifth in order of book publication when the series started to appear at the extraordinary rate of one a month the following year. But that is but one of the many headaches that befall anyone trying to keep chronological sense of the series of 75 novels, especially in translation.

I offer this review for Bev’s Golden Age Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt; and Todd Mason’s Tuesday’s Overlooked Film meme over at his fab Sweet Freedom blog.

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Posted in France, Friday's Forgotten Book, Georges Simenon, Maigret, Normandy, Paris, Police procedural, Scene of the crime | 30 Comments

NINE-AND DEATH MAKES TEN (1941) by Carter Dickson

I fell in love with John Dickson Carr’s work via his  ‘Carter Dickson’ alter ego when I chanced across his classic The Reader is Warned back when I was 14. Nine and Death Makes Ten (aka Murder in the Submarine Zone) was the next book of his I was able to find, and it confirmed for me what a great author he was. Here’s why (without spoilers):

“They are not the finger-prints of anybody aboard this ship”

I submit this review for Bev’s Golden Age Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt; and Friday’s Forgotten Books meme run by Patti Abbott at her fab Pattinase blog.

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Posted in 2017 Golden Age Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt, Carter Dickson, Five Star review, Friday's Forgotten Book, Henry Merrivale, John Dickson Carr, Locked Room Mystery | 92 Comments

DEATH IN PARADISE (2001) by Robert B. Parker

The next year should be a good one for fans of Jesse Stone on screen and on the printed page as we are promised two brand new entries in these parallel series.

Jesse is a compelling character, built along traditionally heroic lines redolent of the Old West. Formerly a Homicide Detective in LA, when his wife cheated on him his drinking got worse until he had to resign in disgrace. But he has been given one last chance, as Chief of Police in the small (fictional) town of Paradise in north Massachusetts.

The following book vs movie review is offered as part of the Tuesday’s Overlooked Film meme hosted by Todd Mason over at his Sweet Freedom blog.

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Posted in Jesse Stone, Police procedural, Robert B. Parker | 14 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 two-timing confederate. But it seems that you just can’t keep a good arch-nemesis down, and after a decade to recuperate he returned for what would prove to be his final appearance, in the penultimate book in the series. And this time he teases and frustrates the squad by quoting from the works of Shakespeare. But what is he really up to?

I submit this review for  Patti Abbott’s Friday’s Forgotten Books meme over at her fab Pattinase blog.
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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 the material first appeared as introductions to earlier Stark House reprints for such hardboiled authors as James Hadley Chase, Peter Rabe, Wade Miller, Charles Williams, WR Burnett and the recently departed Ed Gorman. But it is also a personal look at the trials and tribulations experienced writing such material .

I submit this review for Friday’s Forgotten Books meme run by Patti Abbott at her fab Pattinase blog.

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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