THROUGH A GLASS, DARKLY (1950) by Helen McCloy

McCloy_Glass-Darkly_dellpbPoor mousey little Faustina Crayle! An apparently mild, self-effacing art teacher with no axe to grind and perfect manners, she has somehow become an object of horror. Everybody, it seems, is frightened to death of her, yet she has no idea why. When she loses her second teaching position in a row in mysterious circumstances, she turns to psychologist and sleuth Dr Basil Willing for help. What he discovers points to both the presence of a doppelgänger and the possibility of telepathy as a murder method.

I offer this review as part of Bev’s 2015 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Patti Abbott’s Friday’s Forgotten Books meme over at her fab Pattinase blog.

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Posted in 2015 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Connecticut, Friday's Forgotten Book, Helen McCloy, New York | 40 Comments

The City of the Dead (1960) – Tuesday’s Overlooked Film

City-of-the-Dead_posterThe late Sir Christopher Lee stars in this creepy chiller from the pen of Fedora favourite, George Baxt. Although a story of the occult, it is much subtler than the woeful US title, Horror Hotel, might suggest. Indeed, I think it bares comparison with its better-known contemporaries like Hitchcock’s Psycho and Bava’s Black Sunday (all released in 1960) while also looking forward to Lee’s later classic, The Wicker Man. Like that film, this is a movie that feels scarily plausible, a modern day story of people who still believe in ancient supernatural forces.

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

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Posted in Christopher Lee, George Baxt, John Llewellyn Moxey, New England, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged | 46 Comments

GHOSTS (1980) by Ed McBain

McBain_Ghosts_panA heavy emphasis on the supernatural takes the 87th Precinct series into uncharted waters with this volume. It may be Christmas but Carella and Hawes are investigating the fatal stabbing of two residents of a new and highly secure apartment block, one outside and one inside. The one outside was killed in the getaway but the only person who visited the original victim at the time of the murder can prove he was not there at the time – could he be in two places at once? Then the victim’s psychic girlfriend gets involved …

I submit this review for  Bev’s Vintage Mystery Challenge; and Patti Abbott’s Friday’s Forgotten Books meme, hosted today by Evan Lewis at Davy Crockett’s Almanack.

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Posted in 2015 Vintage Mystery Challenge, 87th Precinct, Ed McBain, Friday's Forgotten Book, New York, Police procedural | 40 Comments


Ray_Strange-World-of-Planet-X_digitAnd now for a change of pace here at Fedora, featuring a novel by Irene Creese (1911-1993), better known as actress Rène Ray, who later became Countess of Midleton after marrying her longtime partner, George St John Brodrick, 2nd Earl of Midleton (1888-1979). Originally written as a TV serial, Planet X was later published as a novel, coinciding with the release of the movie adaptation (which was released in the US under various guises including, The Cosmic Monsters). It tells the story of a woman and two scientists …

This review is offered for Todd Mason’s Tuesday’s Overlooked Film meme at his fab blog, Sweet Freedom; and Bev’s Vintage Mystery Challenge.

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Posted in 2015 Vintage Mystery Challenge, England, Science Fiction, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged | 36 Comments

Going walkabout

Fedora will be going ‘dark’ for the next few weeks while I catch up with la famiglia in Umbria.

Arrivederci – and hope to see you all again in late July.


Posted in Italy | 26 Comments

Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon (1943)

SH-and-the-Secret-Weapon_posterAfter the slightly uncertain beginning of Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror (1942), things get a bit more on track with the second of the Universal series of contemporary Sherlock Holmes adventures. Yes, we still have a propaganda story of espionage in which the great detective has to fight off the Nazis … but it also brings back Inspector Lestrade from the Doyle canon as well as his ultimate nemesis, Professor Moriarty (or rather, as he is billed perhaps tellingly in the credits, ‘Moriarity’). We begin in neutral Switzerland …

The following is offered for Todd Mason’s Tuesday’s Overlooked Film meme at his fab Sweet Freedom blog.

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Posted in Arthur Conan Doyle, England, Film Noir, Sherlock Holmes, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged , | 36 Comments

NOTHING CAN RESCUE ME (1943) by Elizabeth Daly

Daly_Nothing-Can-Rescue-Me_bantamDon’t you just hate it when a book you think you’re really going to like just doesn’t ‘do it’ for you? This is such a case …It is one of 16 detective novels by Elizabeth Daly (1878-1967), who was said to be Agatha Christie’s favourite American mystery author. Antiquarian sleuth Henry Gamadge is investigating what might be a nasty prank or something darker. His old friend Florence, rich and recently married to a younger man, has been writing a novel, but someone is adding increasingly nasty comments to the typescript when she isn’t looking …

I offer this review for Bev’s Vintage Mystery Challenge; and Friday’s Forgotten Books meme, hosted today by Todd Mason at Sweet Freedom. Continue reading

Posted in 2015 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Friday's Forgotten Book, New York | 36 Comments