THE LAST TANGO OF DOLORES DELGADO (1992) by Marele Day

Day_Delgado_coronetI really enjoyed this Australian private eye mystery from the 1990s, especially for its gender-bending sensibility, though it remains otherwise comparatively conservative in terms of  its genre boundaries. What it did do though was make me ponder on the kind of detectives we admire and the ones we actually like and would want to be friends with. I would love to be pals with Archie Goodwin and Tuppence Beresford, but I suspect Philip Marlowe would be a bit of a drag and Miss Marple could prove a slight knitting bore. So how about Claudia Valentine, the protagonist of Delgado?

I offer the following review for Friday’s Forgotten Books meme run by Patti Abbott at her fab Pattinase blog.

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Posted in Australia, Friday's Forgotten Book, Private Eye, Sydney | 34 Comments

Blind Terror (1971) – Tuesday’s Overlooked Film

Blind-Terror_spanish-smallNews of a possible remake (see here) made me to look again at this suspenser in which Mia Farrow plays the resourceful heroine on the run from a killer. Released in the US as See No Evil, this underrated thriller benefits from a taut script by Brian Clemens and well-calibrated direction from Richard Fleischer and has a great leading lady in Farrow, who brings resilience and vulnerability to her playing of Sarah Rexton, who after being blinded in an accident returns home to recover but becomes the target of a psychopath.

I offer this review for Todd Mason’s Tuesday’s Overlooked Movie meme at his fab Sweet Freedom blog.

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Posted in Brian Clemens, Richard Fleischer, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged | 38 Comments

The Augustus Mandrell Mysteries by Frank McAuliffe

Cover[5]News reaches us at Fedora of a terrific rediscovery, the Edgar-winning  misadventures of Augustus Mandrell, the creation of Frank McAuliffe. The first three volumes are now, after decades of neglect, to be returned to print on both sides of the Atlantic by Ostara Publishing, The three volumes are out later this month and are:

  1. Of All the Bloody Cheek (1965)
  2. Rather A Vicious Gentleman (1968)
  3. For Murder I Charge More (1971)

I hope to be reviewing the first of these shortly, but in the meantime, here (below) is a word from Top Notch Thrillers series editor Mike Ripley:

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Posted in Ostara Publishing | 20 Comments

SCRATCH A THIEF (1961) and HOUSE OF EVIL (1962) by John Trinian

Trinian_Thief-Evil_starkhouseThis omnibus volume brings together two distinctive thrillers by John Trinian (aka Zekial Marko), courtesy of those very nice people at Stark House Press. The first is set in San Francisco and is a classic tale of an ex-con who tries to go straight but is hounded by vengeful cops and his old criminal associates. Will he succumb to the temptations of the old life? The second is a bit more on the bizarre side, featuring a B-movie actor on the skids who inadvertently falls in with a Satanic cult in Hollywood …

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

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Posted in 2016 Silver Vintage Scavenger Hunt, Hollywood, San Francisco, Stark House Press | 34 Comments

Fear is the Key (1972) – Tuesday’s Overlooked Film

Maclean_Fear-is-the-Key_fawcettWith news of a possible remake, the time seemed right to take a look at this adaptation of Alistair MacLean’s 1961 novel, my favourite of the slew of films made from his books in the 70s. It stars Barry Newman, who was not yet Petrocelli on TV, so at the time was best-known for Vanishing Point (1971). And like that film, he plays quite an enigmatic character and a proficient driver, though this movie has much more plot. We begin with an air attack heard but not seen and then segue to several years later with our protagonist behaving very badly …

This review is offered for Tuesday’s Overlooked Film meme hosted by Todd Mason over at Sweet Freedom; and Bev’s Silver Age Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt

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Posted in 2016 Silver Vintage Scavenger Hunt, Alistair MacLean, Film Noir, Louisiana, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged , | 34 Comments

MURDER IN MINIATURE by Leo Bruce

Bruce_Murder-in-MiniatureThis 1991 collection brought together all the (then) known uncollected short stories by Leo Bruce, the pseudonym used by Rupert Croft-Cooke (1903-1979) for his murder mysteries, which first featured Sergeant (later Inspector) Beef (1936-1952) and later the amateur sleuth Carolus Deene (1955-1974). Beef appears in ten of the stories in this collection, which otherwise features another detective, Sergeant Grebe  (who however never appeared in any of the novels), along with a variety of ironic tales with no series character.   

I submit this review for Bev’s 2016 Vintage Scavenger Hunt; and Friday’s Forgotten Books meme hosted today by Todd Mason at his fab Sweet Freedom blog.

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Posted in 2016 Golden Age Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt, England, Friday's Forgotten Book | 26 Comments

Strait-Jacket (1964) – Tuesday’s Overlooked Film

Despite the lurid (and irrelevant) title and advertising campaign to match, this is a pretty typical late Joan Crawford vehicle, a bit camp and over-the-top, but full of interest none the less. Robert Bloch’s tale of a convicted axe-murderer who returns home after 20 years in an asylum is handled by producer-director William Castle without recourse to any of his usual gimmicks, though there is plenty of deception here – indeed, this is a very good example of a film marketed as a Grand Guignol horror that is actually a whodunit.

This review is offered for Tuesday’s Overlooked Film meme hosted by Todd Mason over at Sweet Freedom.

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Posted in Robert Bloch, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged , | 64 Comments