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 IRONIC FRAGILITY OF THE JAW-DROPPER ENDING

They are the solutions that you can’t forget, no matter how much you try. You desperately want to re-read and experience that delicious jolt you got the first time, but you can’t. There’s something so original or special or boundary-breaking about these books that often they end up at the top of many “best of” … Continue reading THE IRONIC FRAGILITY OF THE JAW-DROPPER ENDING

ACDC, PART FOUR: “Don’t Wanna Be in the Room Where It Happened” in The Red Widow Murders

Before I conceived of this chronological Carter Dickson celebration, my experiences with Sir Henry Merrivale were more piecemeal. Even when I spotted and grabbed a lot of Carter Dickson novels on eBay and placed them carefully on my shelf in order of publication, I grabbed down She Died a Lady first because . . . well, … Continue reading ACDC, PART FOUR: “Don’t Wanna Be in the Room Where It Happened” in The Red Widow Murders

ACDC, PART THREE: Footprints and Fade-Outs in The White Priory Murders

“The first thing is to determine the murderer’s motive. I don’t mean his motive for murder, but for creating an impossible situation. That’s very important, son, because it’s the best kind of clue tothe motive for murder. Why’d he do it? Nobody but a loony is goin’ to indulge in a lot of unreasonable hocus-pocus … Continue reading ACDC, PART THREE: Footprints and Fade-Outs in The White Priory Murders

ACDC, PART TWO: HM = History + Mystery in The Plague Court Murders

“Logic and reason, when not tempered with imagination and sympathy and even childlikeness, produce ruthlessness.” (Douglas Greene) A Carter Dickson Celebration continues – some would say has its legitimate beginning – with 1934’s The Plague Court Murders. After all, as I discussed in our first installment, The Bowstring Murders, written on the fly for quick … Continue reading ACDC, PART TWO: HM = History + Mystery in The Plague Court Murders

ACDC, PART ONE: Medieval Ho Hum, er, Mayhem in The Bowstring Murders

And so we begin. A Carter Dickson Celebration has been a long time coming. As I explained before, when I first began to embrace the works of John Dickson Carr, my youthful stubbornness caused me to opt for Gideon Fell and reject Sir Henry Merrivale. Was this foolish of me? Perhaps. Am I unhappy about … Continue reading ACDC, PART ONE: Medieval Ho Hum, er, Mayhem in The Bowstring Murders

“IT’S CLOUDS’ ILLUSIONS I RECALL . . . “: The Latest from Paul Halter

I can hardly begin to sort the barrage of thoughts and feelings that have swirled around me like the wind while reading The Man Who Loved Clouds, the latest novel by French author Paul Halter to be translated into English courtesy of John Pugmire and Locked Room International. The announcement several months ago of its … Continue reading “IT’S CLOUDS’ ILLUSIONS I RECALL . . . “: The Latest from Paul Halter