I may be knee deep in my monthlong survey of Agatha Christie (the 70’s drop tomorrow!), but I’m still trying to carve out the time and energy to read other authors. Seven months of lockdown have admittedly done a number on me, concentration-wise, so bare with me if after a long fallow period, I attempt … Continue reading HOW HELEN MCCLOY HELPED RID ME OF MY OCD
I have to admit I’ve been stressed for about . . . three and a half years. Bernie Sanders said recently that the current health crisis is “on the scale of major war,” but I’ve felt battle-scarred, mostly by tweet, for some time now. And now, thanks to COVID-19, I’m in exile: our schools have … Continue reading MAY I SUGGEST YOU READ A MURDER MYSTERY?
Author and blogger Margot Kinberg, who comes up with something thought-provoking every . . . single . . . day . . . recently offered up a tantalizing article about illusion. Her focus was on characters in mysteries whose lives, built to varying degrees around an illusory view of the world around them, form the … Continue reading “THESE PRECIOUS ILLUSIONS IN MY HEAD DID NOT LET ME DOWN . . . “
I have just come off reading Noel Vindry’s The Howling Beast: very French, very chauvinistic, and very 1934 puzzle-beats-all. That means that the characters were basically cardboard cutouts, and there’s no good bemoaning this fact, it’s the way things are with most Golden Age detective fiction. If you want more focus on character, you need … Continue reading PUBLISH OR PERISH: Helen McCloy’s Two Thirds of a Ghost
Whenever Rich over at Past Offenses - - announces his monthly exploration into the mystery fiction and films of a specific year, I always check the writers who most intrigue me to see what I can review. This month, the year is 1945, and one of my favorite recent finds, Helen McCloy, penned a mystery that … Continue reading MURDER ON THE MOORS: Helen McCloy’s The One That Got Away
The year is 1941, and the shadow of war encroaches on our nation from both sides. Paris has fallen, and in a few short months the Japanese will bomb Pearl Harbor. You wouldn’t know this, however, if you peeked into the windows at Blessingbourne, the Long Island estate where society hostess Claudia Bethune and her … Continue reading DO YOU SWEAR TO TELL . . . ?:Helen McCloy’s The Deadly Truth
Thanks to a sale on Kindle, I snatched up about a half dozen titles by Helen McCloy and have been enjoying them like literary bonbons ever since. I previously reviewed two of her titles, Through a Glass, Darkly and Mr. Splitfoot, here. Both of these novels feature her sleuth, Dr. Basil Willing, a psychologist, allowing … Continue reading THE DARKER REACHES: Helen McCloy’s The Slayer and the Slain
We can have a political discussion about Amazon.com at another time. Right now, I feel grateful to the mega-company because, unlike most major publishers, Amazon has found value in providing access for readers to the work of past mystery authors. When I walk into a bookstore – and these days, that is getting harder and … Continue reading A TOUCH OF THE CREEPS: Two by Helen McCloy