NIGHT OF THE HORNS (1958) and CRY WOLFRAM (1959) by Douglas Sanderson

Sanderson_Horns-Wolfram_starkThis volume, reprinting a pair of hitherto hard-to-find mysteries by Douglas Sanderson (1920-2002), comes from those very nice people at Stark House Press. Both originally appeared under multiple titles and bylines: Night of the Horns was known as Murder Comes Calling by ‘Malcolm Douglas’ in the US while Cry Wolfram was printed in France as Mark it for Murder by ‘Martin Brett.’ Both are action-packed thrillers narrated by an innocent man accused of murder and caught between two women.

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

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Posted in 2015 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Friday's Forgotten Book, Stark House Press | Tagged | 94 Comments

HOSTILE WITNESS (1968) by Jack Roffey

Roffey_Hostile-Witness_arrowSimon Crawford is a highly successful barrister whose world comes crashing down when his daughter Joanne is killed in a hit-and-run accident. He suffers a nervous breakdown when he is unable to find out who was responsible and spends months in a clinic. He is eventually declared fit to return to work, but shortly after is accused of murdering the man who may have killed his daughter. But did he do it? Is he going mad? Or has he been set up? Even some of his friends and colleagues aren’t so sure – in fact, neither is he.

The following review is offered for Bev’s Vintage Mystery Challenge and Tuesday’s Overlooked Film meme hosted by Todd Mason at his unmissable Sweet Freedom blog.

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Posted in 2015 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Courtroom, London, Ray Milland, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged | 24 Comments

CALLAN UNCOVERED 2 by James Mitchell

Callan2Following on from the success of the first collection of James Mitchell’s long-thought lost short stories about his classic Cold War secret agent David Callan, here’s comes a very welcome and unexpected surprise – a sequel! The diffident protagonist was created for television, thriving in the shape of the late Edward Woodward, but eventually also moved into the cinema and in print. Editor Mike Ripley thought he had collected all of the stories, but has subsequently found another 15 missing ‘files,’ which he has brought together with a pair of scripts by Mitchell for TV episodes that are currently missing believed wiped.

I submit this review for Bev’s Vintage Mystery Challenge.

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Posted in Cold War, David Callan, Espionage, James Mitchell, Mike Ripley, Ostara Publishing | Tagged | 16 Comments

CALYPSO (1979) by Ed McBain

McBain_Calypso_panCarella and Meyer of the 87th get involved in the music world in this, the 33rd entry in this amazingly long-lived series of police procedurals. “King George’ was a Trinidadian singer-songwriter of calypso songs dealing with hot topic issues, from graft in the mayor’s office to the exploitation of black women. On his way home from a concert, he and his manager are shot. His manager barely got away with his life when the killer’s gun ran out of bullets, but the King was not so lucky.

I submit this review for  Bev’s Vintage Mystery Challenge; and Patti Abbott’s Friday’s Forgotten Books meme over at her fab Pattinase blog.

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Posted in 2015 Vintage Mystery Challenge, 87th Precinct, Ed McBain, Friday's Forgotten Book, New York, Police procedural | 34 Comments

Into the Night (1985) – Tuesday’s Overlooked Film

Into-the-Night-poster2This genuinely quirky thriller stars Jeff Goldblum as an insomniac and cuckolded husband who goes on the run with unlikely femme fatale Michelle Pfeiffer. Pratfalls and violent death co-exist in this blackly comic adult Neo Noir that works like a dream. Though some were distracted by a plethora of star cameos, ranging from director John Landis himself (as a bungling Iranian assassin) to the likes of David Bowie (as a happy British hitman) and a surprised Jim Henson, helping to hold it all together is a killer soundtrack by the late, great BB King. We begin at LAX …

The following review is offered for Todd Mason’s Tuesday’s Overlooked Film meme over at his fab Sweet Freedom.
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Posted in Film Noir, Hollywood, John Landis, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 64 Comments

CAROL (1952) by Patricia Highsmith

Highsmith_Carol_penguinThis was Highsmith’s second novel and superficially is quite different from her usual tales of tortured suspense. It first appeared as by ‘Claire Morgan’ under the title The Price of Salt, the switch in identity due to the fact that it depicted a fairly unorthodox romance. Its love story between two women was perhaps a bit racy for its day though, given the author’s generally morbid proclivities, what really surprises is how generally upbeat it is. We begin at Christmas in a Manhattan department store a bit like Bloomingdale’s …

I offer the following reviews as part of Bev’s 2015 Vintage Mystery Challenge; and Friday’s Forgotten Books meme run by Patti Abbott at her fab Pattinase blog.

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Posted in 2015 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Friday's Forgotten Book, New York, Patricia Highsmith | 76 Comments

THE LITTLE SISTER (1949) by Raymond Chandler

This is one of my favourite Raymond Chandler novels but I’m probably in a minority on this. In fact, even the author professed to dislike it! I loved this book when I first read it as a kid but wondered how it might seem some three decades hence. Is my affection only due to my exposure to it as an impressionable teen? After all, it seems that the critical consensus is not with me … So, a contender as the greatest novel in the Philip Marlowe pantheon? Or should we set childish things aside? Time to tell …

I submit this review for Bev’s Vintage Mystery Challenge; Rich Westwood’s celebration of 1949 at Past Offences; and Tuesday’s Overlooked Film meme over at Sweet Freedom.

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Posted in 2015 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Five Star review, Friday's Forgotten Book, Hollywood, Los Angeles, Philip Marlowe, Private Eye, Raymond Chandler, Scene of the crime | 63 Comments