I’ll bet everyone misses the blissful idylls of summer vacation after school lets out . . . except for the parents, who can’t wait for the hallowed halls of academia to take their kids back in September. As scholars go, so go we teachers, riding the waves of a much-needed break from school routine. Summer … Continue reading WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE SEASON OF BUFFY?
“A family united all together under the same roof, in an old manor, with a generous and very rich man. If this were a novel, it would end in tragedy.” It would seem that the madman here is yours truly. My problematical relationship with author Paul Halter has been well documented on this site. And … Continue reading PUZZLING PUDDLES: Paul Halter’s The Madman’s Room
The mystery equivalent of the question, “Are you a dog person or a cat person?” is “Do you fancy Poirot or Miss Marple?” (Well, actually, it’s “Classic detection or hardboiled?” but that’s not where we’re going today.) I’m a cat person because I live with cats and love the ones I live with, but I’d … Continue reading IN THE END IS MY BEGINNING: Agatha Christie’s Nemesis
In the world of locked room mysteries, everyone’s always talking about tracks. Tracks on the sand (The Problem of the Wire Cage), footprints in the herbaceous border (The Murder of Roger Ackroyd), tracks in a courtyard thick with mud (The Plague Court Murders). And don’t get me started on snow! I trekked in the snow … Continue reading DEAD MAN WALKING, PART ONE: Hake Talbot’s Rim of the Pit
One of the things I love about John Dickson Carr is that he is the perfect meta-author! He never pretends that what he is writing takes place in the world around him. In fact, throughout his career, he eschewed realism for a healthy dose of melodrama and mayhem and then called attention to the very … Continue reading ENTER SIR HENRY: The Plague Court Murders
“ You do the darndest things! You’re half saint and half devil! There isn’t any middle ground – you go to both extremes!” That’s Della Street, confronting her boss, Perry Mason, at the end of his sixth adventure, 1935’s The Case of the Counterfeit Eye, for playing as much the morally ambiguous action hero as … Continue reading EYEBALL THIS, PAL! The Case of the Counterfeit Eye
Summer vacation goal #2: Read a lot and get some blogging in. Ah, the best laid plans . . . yada yada . . . gang aft a-gley.” With a TBR pile fairly bursting with juicy titles by authors both familiar and new, you’d think this goal would be a cinch. But I’ve had an … Continue reading BACK TO BEFORE: Carr’s The Emperor’s Snuff-Box