BOOK REPORT #5: The Flynn Dilemma

“Let me admit, first of all, that I am a perfectly rotten hand at telling a story.” Truer words have never been stated. Dr. Michael Bannerman, the narrator of Brian Flynn’s 11th (or is it 12th) Anthony Bathurst myustery, The Edge of Terror, is a terrible narrator. He uses twelve words where one would suffice. He out … Continue reading BOOK REPORT #5: The Flynn Dilemma

UN VOYAGE DANS LES TENEBRES: Week 2 – Film Noir Lite?

Warning: SPOILERS ahead!! Not all noir films are whodunnits, but I Wake Up Screaming and Laura most definitely are. If you haven’t watched either film yet . . . well, WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU?!!? Put this down, and go watch these films immediately. Then we’ll talk! The two films we watched for our second Film Noir class with Elliot Lavine through Stanford University … Continue reading UN VOYAGE DANS LES TENEBRES: Week 2 – Film Noir Lite?

REEL LAUGHS: Mrs. O’Malley and Mr. Malone

“Forward: The producers of this picture feel that the attorney depicted herein should be disbarred and strongly suggest that the American Bar Association do something about it.” Recently, my friend Scott K. Ratner made the claim that the wild success of the film version of Dashiell Hammett’s The Thin Man (1934) did much to waylay the popularity … Continue reading REEL LAUGHS: Mrs. O’Malley and Mr. Malone

BEATING PUZZLE DOCTOR AND KATE TO THE PUNCH: The 2021 Mystery of the Year

It’s February 28, and I know exactly what you’re doing: you’re waiting with bated breath for 306 more days to go by, the amount of time it will for the Puzzle Doctor and Kate at Cross Examining Crime to finish sifting through the respective books they’ve read all year (about 2000 for PD, and 6953 … Continue reading BEATING PUZZLE DOCTOR AND KATE TO THE PUNCH: The 2021 Mystery of the Year

BOOK REPORT #3: The Condamine Case

Perhaps it was because last month’s Book. Club selection, Joel Townsley Roger’s The Red Right Hand (1945) caused some rancor among our company for its unusual narrative style and noir atmosphere which delighted some and confounded others – at any rate, our February pick brings us back to more familiar territory. This month’s title was actually written two years … Continue reading BOOK REPORT #3: The Condamine Case

COFFEE TABLE BOOK TALES: Everson’s Trio of Crime Film Classics

William K. Everson (1929 – 1996) was a film historian, educator and archivist who was one of the guiding lights in preserving films from the silent period through the 1940’s. Born in England, he emigrated to the U.S. in 1950 where he put his experience in film publicity to use for Monogram Pictures, a small, … Continue reading COFFEE TABLE BOOK TALES: Everson’s Trio of Crime Film Classics

REEL PROCEDURALS: From Headquarters (1933)

Without a doubt, the most prestigious film studio during Hollywood’s Golden Age was Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Under the auspices of its leader, Louis B. Mayer, MGM adapted classics and concentrated on wholesome family fare and “big pictures.” This was the era when actors were mostly shackled to one studio, and MGM boasted of having “more stars than … Continue reading REEL PROCEDURALS: From Headquarters (1933)