Detection Club

Cats Literature Reviews

June 2021 and Mid-Year Reading Recap

Sigh.  Well, I think posting a monthly (and even half-year) reading recap a full three weeks into the next month has to be some sort of record, even for me, but here we are.  And I admit that at this point I’d even been contemplating holding off another week so as to combine this with […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

Dorothy L. Sayers: The Five Red Herrings

Dorothy L. Sayers is occasionally accused of having gotten too caught up in her research for a given book; and the two mysteries that routinely come up in this context are The Nine Tailors (bell ringing, published in 1934) and, well, The Five Red Herrings (1931), which, although chiefly concerned with fishing and painting, also […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

Molly Thynne: He Dies and Makes No Sign

One of the standout books of last year’s holiday reading was Molly Thynne’s The Crime at the ‘Noah’s Ark’, the first of her three Dr. Constantine books, and I instantly resolved to read more books by her.  It turns out, though, that POV may be important to my enjoyment of a book (who knew?!), and […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

Agatha Christie: The Seven Dials Mystery

The Seven Dials Mystery marks our second (and in Bundle’s case, alas, final) meeting with Lady Eileen “Bundle” Brent and Scotland Yard Superintendent Battle, both of whom we first encountered in The Secret of Chimneys.  While they both were (key) supporting characters there, here Bundle gets star billing, and that’s a very good thing, because […]

Read More
Literature Reblogs Reviews

Georgette Heyer: Duplicate Death

This is the penultimate of Georgette Heyer’s Inspector Hemingway mysteries, and while in other books Hemingway and his former boss, D.I. Hannasyde — as whose sergeant Hemingway appears in the first four novels of the eight-book arc — occasionally make reference to previous cases they’ve been involved in, outside of the fact that the four […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

Dorothy L. Sayers: Clouds of Witness

June being Dorothy L. Sayers’s birthday, a revisit of her books was in the cards anyway — and speaking of which, the topic of this year’s summer reading project pretty quickly also determined which books I would be picking: Clouds of Witness, where card sharping is a key plot element, and The Five Red Herrings, […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

Ellen Wilkinson: The Division Bell Mystery

The Division Bell Mystery is one of my favorite BLCC republications to date — though not on account of the actual mystery, which, setting (The Houses of Parliament) aside, doesn’t have much going for it: the “locked room” / impossible crime scenario has (as even series editor Martin Edwards acknowledges in his introduction) a plot […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

Harriet Rutland: Blue Murder

Harriet Rutland (real name: Olive Shimwell née Seers) only published three novels: I had (largely) enjoyed, even without being overly impressed with them, her first two ventures into detective fiction, Knock, Murderer, Knock and Bleeding Hooks, both of which feature a sort of “extracurricular” Scotland Yard detective named Winkley, but I had decided to leave […]

Read More
Literature Music Reviews

May 2021 Reading Recap

Still a lot of work on the back end of the blog, including on my “featured authors” pages (see the right column on the main Literature page and the introduction of my April 2021 recap post).  So, contrary to plans, still no new posts in my alphabet blogging series in May.  However, the time-consuming back end […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

Agatha Christie: The Mystery of the Blue Train

Agatha Christie hated this book.  While she was trying to write it, her little daughter kept distracting her and demanding her attention.  The plot is not an original idea but, for the first time (of what would eventually be multiple repeat occasions), she had chosen to expand an idea first used years earlier in a […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

Joanna Cannan: Murder Included

Joanna Cannan was chiefly known, until her death in 1961, for three types of books: her novels examining British interwar society, the mysteries she published from the early 1930s onwards, and her pony books for young readers.  A keen horsewoman herself, Cannan passed her love of all things equine on to her daughters Josephine, Diana […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

Joanna Cannan: They Rang Up the Police

They Rang Up the Police was Joanna Cannan’s first-ever mystery.  It is one of only two books featuring Inspector Guy Northeast, an investigator forming, as indicated in my review of Murder Included, the polar opposite of that book’s D.I. Price: Of humble rural origin, Northeast is the perpetual, quintessential outsider in Scotland Yard; he is […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

Arthur Conan Doyle: Sherlock Holmes

My May 2021 reading included one totally predictable binge: It’s Arthur Conan Doyle’s birth month, and I still had the complete Sherlock Holmes Canon as read by Stephen Fry that I’d acquired long ago sitting in my Audible app, waiting for the perfect moment to indulge … well, I figured this was it.  However, I […]

Read More
Cats Literature Reviews

April 2021 Reading Recap

First things first: The persistent bug preventing followers / readers to comment on my posts straight off the post (i.e., other than by using the WP Reader) has finally been weeded out, thanks to my hosting service’s IT team … so you can, at last, comment even if you’re not using the WP Reader.  (I […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

Agatha Christie: The Regatta Mystery and Other Stories

As I already said elsewhere, this is one of my go-to comfort reading palate cleanser books; just reliably enjoyable: a mix of short stories featuring Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple, and Parker Pyne, alongside a few nonseries short story mysteries.  As I’ve also noted in the past, I could do without Simon Vance being one of […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

Ngaio Marsh: The New Zealand Books, plus Grave Mistake

The first book by Ngaio Marsh that I ever read happened to be her very last one, Light Thickens, which is as much concerned with a production of Shakespeare’s Macbeth as it is with the murder of one of the cast members.  To a mystery fan without any Shakespearean inclinations, this might have proved fatal, […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

Harriet Rutland: Knock, Murderer, Knock!

Harriet Rutland (real name: Olive Shimwell née Seers) is one of many Golden Age detective novelists benefiting from the recent wave of republications — her body of work, which, like that of Mavis Doriel Hay, consists of all of three novels, had fallen into near-complete oblivion by the time it was dug out of the […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

Christianna Brand: Death of Jezebel

Print copies of Christianna Brand’s fourth Inspector Cockrill mystery, Death of Jezebel, are notoriously hard to come by even at collectors’ prices, never mind within the price range affordable to the average reader, and it baffles me why that should be the case — it’s easily one of the strongest entries in the series.  Luckily, […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

Patricia Wentworth: The Key

Like virtually all of the Appointment with Agatha side reads so far (except for Ellis Peters’s Fallen into the Pit), The Key was a reread for me, but a thoroughly enjoyable one.  This is a fairly early book in the context of Wentworth’s Miss Silver series and one of her first really solid books, chiefly relying […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

Agatha Christie: The Big Four

Ugh.  Well, let’s just say this one will never be one of my favorite Christies and I’m very glad we put this one behind ourselves in the Appointment with Agatha group read project — things can only get better from here on out, and fortunately, they do.  The Big Four is one of Agatha Christie’s […]

Read More