2016 Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt

Vintage Scavenger HuntFor 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 eras, Golden (up to 1959) or Silver (1960 to 1989) and then post the links to these over at her site, My Reader’s Block (which is a very ironic name when you see just how many book reviews she posts there).

Here’s how it went for me this year:

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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

pronzini_vanished_rhhbBill 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 returns for his second full-length case, investigating the disappearance of a man who just got out of the army with seemingly everything to live for.

I offer this review for Bev’s Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt; and Patti Abbott’s Friday’s Forgotten Books meme, which today celebrates the work of Bill Pronzini and Marcia Muller over at her fab Pattinase blog.

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Posted in 2016 Silver Vintage Scavenger Hunt, Bill Pronzini, Friday's Forgotten Book, Germany, Private Eye, San Francisco | 31 Comments

Justified (Season 1)

justified1_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 with extended character arcs and season-long plots has proved very entertaining to them, so I thought I’d share some thought on it, though with one caveat: we have been watching it dubbed into Italian. So it’s kind of like a modern-day ‘spaghetti western’ to us …

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

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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

mcbain_last-best-hope_nel 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 of this blog, I am treating it as the 48th book in the 87th Precinct series. Hope is recovering from a shooting which left him in a coma and in unsure about where his life might lead. In the meantime he gets involved with a wife, Jill, who is looking for her errant husband, Jack, last seen in Isola …

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 87th Precinct, Ed McBain, Florida, Friday's Forgotten Book, Police procedural | 41 Comments

Johnny Staccato

staccatoToday’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 actors and was an unusually intense production, as befitting its extraordinary lead actor.

The following review is offered as part of Tuesday’s Overlooked Film meme hosted by Todd Mason over at his Sweet Freedom blog, who also celebrates great music on his blog, so I’m hoping he’ll be doubly interested in this particular post!

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Posted in Film Noir, New York, Noir on Tuesday, Private Eye | 48 Comments

COP OUT (1969) by Ellery Queen

queen_cop-out_mpWelcome to something a bit special today folks. After years of pleading and cajoling, our pal Colin (aka ‘Livius’) of the mighty fine Riding the High Country blog has agreed to write a guest post for us here at Fedora. As befits such a special occasion, we have a very unusual book from one of the great names of Golden Age detective fiction. Published to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the first Queen novel, this is a non-series novel that is often overlooked. Let’s see how well it holds up – over to you Livius, me old china:

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 2016 Silver Vintage Scavenger Hunt, Ellery Queen, Police procedural | 32 Comments

HAG’S NOOK (1933) by John Dickson Carr

Carr HagToday 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 author of all time, after all. This was the book that marked the debut of Dr Gideon Fell, the longest-serving of all of Carr’s detectives, ultimately appearing in 23 novels between 1933 and 1968 as well as a handful of short stories and radio dramas too. Set in Lincolnshire in 1930, this clever detective story is also a love letter to the English character, its history and its landscape, as experienced by a young American.

I submit this review for Bev’s Vintage Mystery Challenge.
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Posted in 2016 Golden Age Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt, England, John Dickson Carr | 41 Comments