Day: September 24, 2017

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Halloween Bingo 2017: Update 3, Part 2 — Catching up on Reviews

  The “bingo” squares and books read:      My Square Markers and “Virgin” Bingo Card: “Virgin” card posted for ease of tracking and comparison. Black Kitty: Read but not called Black Vignette: Called but not read Black Kitty in Black Vignette: Read and Called Black Kitty Center Square: Read = Called Current Status of […]

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Literature Reviews

Ngaio Marsh: Five Assorted Roderick Alleyn Mysteries

A five-volume foray into Ngaio Marsh’s Roderick Alleyn series: next to Agatha Christie’s, Dorothy Sayers’s, Margery Allingham’s and Patricia Wentworth’s one of the major Great Detective series of the Golden Age; taken together, these five writers are unquestionably the era’s “Queens of Crime.”  (I own print versions of all of Marsh’s novels, too, and pulled […]

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Literature Reviews

Dick Francis: Knockdown

I love horses and used to be an enthusiastic horseback rider throughout my entire school years, and I also love mysteries, so Dick Francis’s books were a natural go-to choice for me once upon a time.  Having revisited a Dick Francis novel after many years, though, I find that this, too, hasn’t weathered the passage […]

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Literature Reviews

Agatha Christie: Endless Night (BBC full cast dramatization)

I said not so long ago that (barring Christie’s overwhelmingly abysmal final books) Endless Night isn’t exactly my favorite book by her and that I probably wouldn’t revisit it anytime soon — then this CD crossed my path for a song during a recent book store browse, and I figured it had to be karma, […]

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Literature Reviews

Edgar Allan Poe: The Dupin Stories — The Murders in the Rue Morgue / The Mystery of Marie Rogêt / The Purloined Letter

I already knew these stories and chiefly bought this CD for Kerry Shale’s narration: Ever since I first listenend to his audio versions of Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance cycle, I’ve been on the lookout for further recordings featuring him. Edgar Allan Poe is credited with having created the first professional detective in C. Auguste Dupin — […]

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Literature Reviews

Various Authors: Murder Most Foul

This is a collection of eight short stories by different authors, read with great aplomb by five well-known British actors.  It starts of with Bluebeard’s Bath by Margery Allingham — read by Patrick Malahide –, a “non-Campion” twist on the black widow trope (the twist being, as the title implies, that here it’s a black […]

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Literature Reviews

Shirley Jackson: We Have Always Lived in the Castle

Terrifying women all around with this one — Shirley Jackson delivers every single time when it comes to sheer psychology-based horror; and so, for that matter, do her characters.  You’re barely ten minutes into the story, and you’re already supremely uneasy — and boy, does this ever have a slow, peeling-away-layer-by-layer burn ending in a […]

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Literature Reviews

The Medieval Murderers: House of Shadows

The Medieval Murderers round robin series is, literally, one of those products of an idle evening at the pub — I guess that’s what you’ll get when you have five authors of medieval whodunits talking shop over a pint or two (or three …) of ale.  Permanent members of the group, which itself goes by […]

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Literature Reviews

Simon Brett: An Amateur Corpse

  An actor and BBC broadcast journalist in addition to being a writer, Simon Brett is one of Martin Edwards’s predecessors as President of the Detection Club.  In the early 1970s he began writing a series of mysteries centering on an actor named Charles Paris; this is the fourth of these books.  Paris is invited […]

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Literature Reviews

Emily Brontë: Wuthering Heights

It’s with no small amount of surprise that I find myself registering a 4 1/2 star rating and a “favorite” check for this audio recording of Emily Brontë’s one and only novel. Though I didn’t have any doubts that the mother and son team of Prunella Scales and Samuel West would pull off a stellar […]

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Literature Reviews

Martin Edwards: The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books

The standout read among the books I read in the third week of September; a tour de force parcours through 50 years of British crime writing (from 1900 to 1950), with sidelights on authors and books published in the U.S., continental Europe, Argentina and Japan.  Martin Edwards is concurrently President of the Crime Writers’ Association […]

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