Here we are at the start of 2021, and the Western world is facing an existential crisis of enormous proportions while the Eastern world seems to have things pretty much under control. I’m speaking, of course, of the efforts of thirty or so bloggers to transform public opinion in America and Europe as to the … Continue reading TOO MUCH META IN MY DIET: Lending the Key to the Locked Room
Growing up, I watched so much television that it’s a wonder I can form words into sentences. Today, with cable and streaming services, we have access to four hundred options at any given minute, and yet all too often I find there’s nothing to watch. In the 1960’s, we had six or seven stations to … Continue reading MIDNIGHT LACE or, You Can’t Go Home Again
My friends are chattering about Bridgerton, the new Shonda Rhimes-produced series on Netflix. They compare it to Sanditon, the recent series based on an unfinished novel by Jane Austen that recently played on Masterpiece Theatre. There is little, however, of Austen beyond the surface of this new series. Bridgerton is more Agnes Nixon than Jane Austen; it is All My Children wrapped … Continue reading A LOOK AT BRIDGERTON: #MeToo with a Dash of Mmm Hmm Hmm
“Life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent.” (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Complete Adventures of Sherlock Holmes) Does anybody want to hear me vent about 2020? Because, you know, I can do it, and I will . . . that is, if anyone wants to listen. To be honest, however, … Continue reading FAST FORWARDING INTO ‘21
On March 14 of this anno horribilus, I suggested to all of you that whatever comes our way could be mitigated by reading a classic mystery. I suggested this because . . . well, that’s kind of what they were written for! Not that Agatha Christie and Freeman Wills Crofts and Sayers and Berkeley and the … Continue reading THE MAN, THE MOUSTACHES, THE MASTERPIECE: Ending the Year on a High Note
“And what a simple explanation, if that were all of it! Simple and natural – and surprising. The good old formula. The sort of thing that lay concealed beneath the red-herring trickery of all good fictional problems, then bobbed up at the end to knock the cock-eyed reader cold with astonishment..” It’s Week Two of … Continue reading REPRINT OF THE YEAR: Paging Doctor Death! Doctor Death? Paging Doctor Death!
“A murder case is simply a jigsaw puzzle, a lot of things to be put together. If you have the right solution, all of the parts fit into the picture. If some of the parts don’t seem to fit, it’s a pretty good indication you haven’t the right solution.” Perry Mason It’s that time of year … Continue reading REPRINT OF THE YEAR: The Case of the Case of the Case of the . . .
In 2018, when I took part in the ROY awards, that annual celebration by crime bloggers of republished classic mysteries, one of the books I entered for consideration was a The Misadventures of Ellery Queen, collection of stories about the great American detective Ellery Queen that had been compiled by two of his greatest fans, … Continue reading FUN WITH CELERY: The Further Misadventures of Ellery Queen
It has been forty-five years since we could all savor the prospect of a “Christie for Christmas.” Alas, that time is passed, so I propose a new tradition: a “Byrnside for Boo-time!” The classic-style impossible crime mysteries penned by modern-day scribe James Scott Byrnside are, by turns, mystifying, sometimes fear-inducing, and most of the time … Continue reading FANGS FOR THE MANORYS: The Strange Case of the Barrington Hills Vampire
“In my end is my beginning.” Many books begin with an epigraph; Agatha Christie’s characters speak in them. The occasion, more often than not, is dark. After all, these people are bearing witness to – or maybe committing – murder. “Who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him?” … Continue reading A HUNDRED YEARS OF CHRISTIE – THE FINAL CHAPTER: The Millennium and Beyond