ON THE CLEVERNESS OF CONSTANCE CULMINGTON: Eighty Years of And Then There Were None

This is an analysis/reflection of a classic piece of mystery literature. Be warned that the identity of the murderer and other details salient to the plot will be revealed and discussed. Do not read this post if you have not already read the book. I wonder. I wonder if Collins Crime Club sensed when it … Continue reading ON THE CLEVERNESS OF CONSTANCE CULMINGTON: Eighty Years of And Then There Were None

RICH MAN/POOR MAN/BEGGAR MAN/THIEF: Only One Can Crack the Closed Circle

The butler did it. A few years ago, in what turned out to be a hopeless attempt to keep up with Curtis Evan’s rapid-fire re-introduction of forgotten GAD crime authors to modern audiences, I downloaded works by several of these august personages. My method of choosing was non-scientific: either the title or the blurb caught … Continue reading RICH MAN/POOR MAN/BEGGAR MAN/THIEF: Only One Can Crack the Closed Circle

THE MEN WHO TOOK A BREAK FROM EXPLAINING MIRACLES (The Second Conversation)

On the last day of June this year, I had the great good fortune to spend hours and hours in the company of two learned friends talking about Agatha Christie. If you turned into last week's episode of The Men Who Explained Miracles, JJ and Dan's blog about impossible crimes, JJ and I discussed the impossible … Continue reading THE MEN WHO TOOK A BREAK FROM EXPLAINING MIRACLES (The Second Conversation)

“ALL BIOGRAPHY IS STORY-TELLING” – Agatha Christie, A Mysterious Life

“And so the story endures, infinitely fascinating; and those who would lay it to rest, who would destroy its beauty by ‘solving’ it, are defeated at every turn.” This key statement comes at the center of Agatha Christie, A Mysterious Life, Laura Thompson’s remarkable biography of the author, which was published last year and which … Continue reading “ALL BIOGRAPHY IS STORY-TELLING” – Agatha Christie, A Mysterious Life

FALLING STAR/RISING STAR: The Opening Night Murders by James Scott Byrnside

For a long time, my pal JJ has taken a strong interest in modern authors who self-publish impossible crime mysteries. Sometimes things do not work out so well, but once in a while an author hits the mark. Clearly the most exciting discovery JJ has made thus far has been James Scott Byrnside. If you … Continue reading FALLING STAR/RISING STAR: The Opening Night Murders by James Scott Byrnside

THE EYES HAVE IT: Christie and Hitchcock and the Point of View

So much has been written about my favorite filmmaker, Alfred Hitchcock – more than any other director, living or dead – that I would be hard-pressed to come up with any original thoughts about his life or work. That's because the French, including fellow auteur Francois Truffaut, elevated Hitchcock’s oeuvre from “mere” entertainment to art. … Continue reading THE EYES HAVE IT: Christie and Hitchcock and the Point of View

HONING YOUNG MINDS . . . TO MURDER!!!!!! – The 2019 Mystery Project

I have spoken before in this space about how every spring I twist my drama students’ arms offer my drama students a wonderful opportunity to create their own GAD-styled mystery plays! or else! This year is no exception. After whetting their script-writing whistles on the Peter Ustinov version of Evil Under the Sun (nobody in either class … Continue reading HONING YOUNG MINDS . . . TO MURDER!!!!!! – The 2019 Mystery Project