MIDNIGHT LACE or, You Can’t Go Home Again

Growing up, I watched so much television that it’s a wonder I can form words into sentences. Today, with cable and streaming services, we have access to four hundred options at any given minute, and yet all too often I find there’s nothing to watch. In the 1960’s, we had six or seven stations to … Continue reading MIDNIGHT LACE or, You Can’t Go Home Again

REPRINT OF THE YEAR: Paging Doctor Death! Doctor Death? Paging Doctor Death!

“And what a simple explanation, if that were all of it! Simple and natural – and surprising. The good old formula. The sort of thing that lay concealed beneath the red-herring trickery of all good fictional problems, then bobbed up at the end to knock the cock-eyed reader cold with astonishment..” It’s Week Two of … Continue reading REPRINT OF THE YEAR: Paging Doctor Death! Doctor Death? Paging Doctor Death!

FUN WITH CELERY: The Further Misadventures of Ellery Queen

In 2018, when I took part in the ROY awards, that annual celebration by crime bloggers of republished classic mysteries, one of the books I entered for consideration was a The Misadventures of Ellery Queen, collection of stories about the great American detective Ellery Queen that had been compiled by two of his greatest fans, … Continue reading FUN WITH CELERY: The Further Misadventures of Ellery Queen

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

A HUNDRED YEARS OF CHRISTIE, PART SIX: Requiem and Rebirth in the 70’s

“What can I say at seventy-five? ‘Thank God for my good life, and for all the love that has been given to me.’”                                                                                                 Agatha Christie: An Autobiography “It’s sad really, but nowadays one is only interested in the deaths!”                                                                                                 Nemesis (1971) Six Novels Passenger to Frankfurt (1970) Nemesis (1971) Elephants Can Remember (1972) Postern of Fate (1973) Curtain (1975) * Sleeping … Continue reading A HUNDRED YEARS OF CHRISTIE, PART SIX: Requiem and Rebirth in the 70’s

A CENTURY OF AGATHA CHRISTIE, PART FIVE: The Pendulum Swings in the Swinging 60’s

“You know . . . I really can’t think how anyone ever gets away with a murder in real life. It seems to me that the moment you’ve done a murder the whole thing is so terribly obvious. . . The murder part is quite easy and simple. It’s the covering up that’s so difficult. … Continue reading A CENTURY OF AGATHA CHRISTIE, PART FIVE: The Pendulum Swings in the Swinging 60’s

A CENTURY OF AGATHA CHRISTIE, PART THREE: Death – and Depth – in the 1940’s

“There is sometimes a deep chasm between the past and the future. When one has walked in the valley of the shadow of death, and come out of it into the sunshine – then, mon cher, it is a new life that begins . . . The past will not serve . . . “                         Sad Cypress (1940) Thirteen … Continue reading A CENTURY OF AGATHA CHRISTIE, PART THREE: Death – and Depth – in the 1940’s

A CENTURY OF AGATHA CHRISTIE, PART TWO: The Glittering 1930’s

“They say all the world loves a lover – apply that saying to murder and you have an even more infallible truth. No one can fail to be interested in a murder.”                                                                              The Murder at the Vicarage (1930) WORKS Seventeen Novels (as Agatha Christie) The Murder at the Vicarage (1930) The Sittaford Mystery (1931) Peril at End House (1932) … Continue reading A CENTURY OF AGATHA CHRISTIE, PART TWO: The Glittering 1930’s