THE INVISIBLE HOST (And the Many Mysteries Surrounding It)

Here’s the first mystery . . .  How does it happen that, on this day of all days, two men on opposite sides of the Atlantic decided to spend part of their Sunday writing a review of this book? That the Puzzle Doctor In Search of the Classic Mystery Novel got his review out before mine can … Continue reading THE INVISIBLE HOST (And the Many Mysteries Surrounding It)

READING BETWEEN THE LINES: Spellbound and Suspicion

Fans of classic crime fiction – and I count these among the majority of my visitors – are unlikely to make a favorite double bill out of today’s two Alfred Hitchcock films. Yes, both are adapted from mystery novels by Golden Age writers: Spellbound from Francis Beeding’s The House of Dr. Edwardes and Suspicion from Before the Fact by Francis Iles, pseudonym for … Continue reading READING BETWEEN THE LINES: Spellbound and Suspicion

RISING (FROM THE UNDEAD) CLIMAX: Murder on the Way – The End

It’s the moment that you’ve both all been waiting for: the chance to see me (and hear Flex and Herds, fellow sleuths and hosts of the Aussie podcast Death of the Reader) prove our mettle as armchair sleuths – or fall on our faces before the annoying superiority of blogger, podcaster and two-time book editor JJ McJJ of The … Continue reading RISING (FROM THE UNDEAD) CLIMAX: Murder on the Way – The End

MAGUFFIN AT SEA: Alfred Hitchcock’s Lifeboat

During the 1940’s, Alfred Hitchcock did his bit to help the war effort by filming several propaganda films, two of them – Aventure Malgache and Bon Voyage - at the behest of the British War Ministry. In addition, four of the dozen feature films were connected in some way with the war. Of these, only one, Notorious (1946) can be called … Continue reading MAGUFFIN AT SEA: Alfred Hitchcock’s Lifeboat

“MURDER ON THE WAY” PLAY-ALONG: Chapters 6 – 9

“The whole thing was as unbelievable as Episode Six of The Perils of Pauline.” Greetings, ghoul lovers! If you were with me at this same time last week, you know that I am playing along with Flex and Herds, the genial and tack-sharp hosts of Death of the Reader, the Australian podcast dedicated to reading and unpacking … Continue reading “MURDER ON THE WAY” PLAY-ALONG: Chapters 6 – 9

CLAP HANDS, HERE COMES CHARLIE: Hitchcock’s Shadow of a Doubt

Alfred Hitchcock arrived in Hollywood in 1939 under most auspicious circumstances. Fifteen years of work in his native England had produced over two dozen films, including future classics such as The Lodger (1927), The 39 Steps (1935), and The Lady Vanishes (1938), establishing the 40-year old as Europe’s premiere director. The three films mentioned, along with Blackmail (1929), The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934) … Continue reading CLAP HANDS, HERE COMES CHARLIE: Hitchcock’s Shadow of a Doubt

AT PLAY WITH FLEX, HERDS AND JJ: Murder on the Way

Yesterday at Book Club, we made mincemeat short work of our latest selection and got down to talking. I meet monthly with a distinguished group of folks. There’s Kate, from Cross Examining Crime, who has published two insanely enjoyable puzzle books through the British Library. And we have the Puzzle Doctor, from Classic Mysteries, who single-handedly has … Continue reading AT PLAY WITH FLEX, HERDS AND JJ: Murder on the Way

WEDNESDAYS AT THE MOVIES: Murders and Maguffins from the Master of Suspense

I’m a mystery book blogger by trade, but I warned you in my very first post that, from time to time, I would also talk about films – mystery films in particular. And who epitomizes such a film better than the Master of Suspense, and my favorite film director – Alfred Hitchcock?  I often tell … Continue reading WEDNESDAYS AT THE MOVIES: Murders and Maguffins from the Master of Suspense

IT’S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE CHRISTMAS: Death Among the Undead

Like the holiday displays at Hallmark Cards, Locked Room International has delivered the perfect Halloween murder mystery two months early. Publisher John Pugmire and translator Ho-Ling Wong have teamed up to unleash the latest example of shin honkaku mystery fiction on the English-speaking world. And this one is something extra special. It’s another debut novel along the lines of … Continue reading IT’S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE CHRISTMAS: Death Among the Undead