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

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

FANGS FOR THE MANORYS: The Strange Case of the Barrington Hills Vampire

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

IT’S BAAAAAAACK! My First Nominee for “Reprint of the Year”

In this perilous age of political craziness, where most of us are shaking our heads and muttering that invaluable Latin phrase, “What the fuuuuuu - ?” (translation: “I am stymied, Marcus Aurelius”), it behooves us to be grateful for small matters. For instance, it’s turning out to be a great time to be alive if … Continue reading IT’S BAAAAAAACK! My First Nominee for “Reprint of the Year”

THE REIGN OF PAIN STAYS MAINLY IN THE PLANE: Franco Vailati’s The Flying Boat Mystery

Trains and boats and planes are passing by They mean a trip to Paris or Rome For someone else but not for me The trains and the boats and planes Took you away, away from me                                             I’m sure when Burt Bacharach wrote this melancholy song, he never imagined that the thing that “took you away … Continue reading THE REIGN OF PAIN STAYS MAINLY IN THE PLANE: Franco Vailati’s The Flying Boat Mystery