Golden Age Mysteries

Literature Reviews

Anthony Berkeley: Murder in the Basement

This is middling Berkeley, not as problematic as The Wychford Poisoning Case or The Silk Stockings Murders, but OTOH also a fair way from the (mostly) enjoyable and intelligent writing that are The Poisoned Chocolates Case and Trial and Error. I rather like the setup — a body found by accident in a place where […]

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Literature Reviews

Phoebe Atwood Taylor: The Cape Cod Mystery

The Appointment with Agatha group’s January 2022 side read: my first book by Atwood Taylor (though I’d heard her name before) and almost certainly not my last one. I’m not entirely sold on the main investigator, Asey Mayo; he comes across as rather too mannered and the book might have benefitted if the first person […]

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Literature Reviews

Agatha Christie: Three-Act Tragedy

The Appointment with Agatha group’s January 2022 book; a reread for me and a reminder how comparatively early in Christie’s career essentially her entire pantheon of recurring characters had come into being. Of course 14 years, all told, would not be anywhere near “early” in most every other writer’s career, but this is Christie we’re […]

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Fun and Games Literature Music Reviews

Ngaio Marsh: Off With His Head (Death of a Fool)

Festive Tasks Master Update Post HERE Festive Tasks, Door 19 — Community Traditions & Folklore: Read a fairy tale, or folklore story, or books based on either.   Marsh’s third (de facto) holiday mystery, though not exactly set on Christmas but on and around Winter Solstice — because here her focus is on creating (with […]

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Fun and Games Lifestyle Literature Movies

Holiday Movies

Festive Tasks Master Update Post HERE Festive Tasks, Door 24 — Cherished Memories, Task 4: What’s your favorite Christmas/holiday movie that you can watch again and again? (This can be any movie that takes place during the holiday season, whether or not it’s in the ‘spirit’ of the season (i.e. Die Hard or Lethal Weapon). […]

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Fun and Games Literature Reviews

Two Christmas Mystery Short Story Anthologies

Festive Tasks Master Update Post HERE Festive Tasks, Door 21 — Good Luck Charms and Traditions: Read a book from the fantasy genre, or one with something on the cover that refers to “luck”. Festive Tasks, Door 24 — Cherished Memories: Read a book with a split timeline, one that takes place in the present […]

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Fun and Games Literature Reviews

Agatha Christie: Murder on the Orient Express

Festive Tasks Master Update Post HERE Festive Tasks, Door 20 — Travel: Read a book that involves the main character travelling, or a story involving pilgrims on a journey of faith, be it personal, or religious. (For example: Eat, Pray, Love would be about a woman on a journey of self realisation.)   The Appointment […]

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Fun and Games Literature Reviews

Ngaio Marsh: Death and the Dancing Footman

Festive Tasks Master Update Post HERE Festive Tasks, Door 15 — Correspondence: Read a book that includes a billionaire, a villain, or some other character who is especially smug or pretentious.   This isn’t strictly a Christmas mystery — the holiday never gets an express mention — but it has all the trappings of a […]

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Fun and Games Literature Reviews

Ngaio Marsh: Tied Up in Tinsel

Festive Tasks Master Update Post HERE Festive Tasks, Door 22 — Iconic Figures: To celebrate Santa Claus: read a book that qualifies as a comfort read for you.   In a year of revisiting the better part of Marsh’s canon, what book could possibly qualify better as a comfort read?  Seeing as this year might […]

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Fun and Games Literature Reviews

Anthony Berkeley: The Wintringham Mystery

Festive Tasks Master Update Post HERE Festive Tasks, Door 23 — Personal Traditions: Read a book that involves big changes for the main character.   This is relatively early book by Berkeley based on a premise that, if I hadn’t found it in a novel actually published in the interwar era, I’d have declared flat-out […]

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Fun and Games Literature

Rupert Latimer: Murder After Christmas

Master Update Post HERE   Festive Tasks, Door 2 – Holiday Books: Read a holiday themed book.  Sigh. This is the first year in which I’m slightly underwhelmed with the BLCC Christmas selection — though conceivably this is largely an “it’s not you, book; it’s me” type of situation.  If you like the sort of […]

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Literature Reviews

Moray Dalton: The Night of Fear – Buddy (Re)Read

After a late start into this buddy read (and a first evening where I was too wiped out to reread more than the two introductions and the first 15 pages), I ended up essentially whipping through the whole book in two installments of roughly two hours each. I found that I still remembered virtually everything […]

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Fun and Games Linked Items Literature

Crossexaminingcrime: Murder Stalks the Village

A puzzle featuring 36 classic mysteries (or their titles) represented pictorially. Original post HERE. How many can you guess? (Solutions to be posted on Crossexaminingcrime next month.)

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Fun and Games Literature

Festive Tasks: Door 12, Task 2 – Snow Covers

Festive Tasks Master Update Post HERE   Task 2: Make us a collage or display of your favorite snowy book covers. Prepare to be snowed in …

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Fun and Games Literature Reviews

Martin Edwards: Gallows Court

Festive Tasks Master Update Post HERE Festive Tasks, Door 9 – Cycles: Read a book that has something lucky on the cover or in the title; or that has a cover that is more than 50% red, yellow and or green, which are considered lucky colors in China. Gallows Court was a book I’d been […]

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Fun and Games Literature

Festive Tasks: Door 2, Task 4 – Six Degrees of Literation

Master Update Post HERE Task 4: Let’s play Six Degrees of Literation! Start with the book that you are reading right now and make a chain of six books, linked in however you want to link them, to one of the classic holiday reads mentioned in this Guardian article. My brain started going into nonstop […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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