CORPUS DELECTABLE: Giving Agatha Christie’s Victims Their Due

Neither S.S. Van Dine’s Twenty Rules nor Ronald Knox’s Ten Commandments of Detective Fiction were manifestos so much as commentaries on what constitutes a good crime novel. Written in 1928 and 1929 respectively, halfway through the Golden Age, these documents reflected with some mirth the “authority” bestowed upon two authors who were at the height … Continue reading CORPUS DELECTABLE: Giving Agatha Christie’s Victims Their Due

BOOK REPORT #7: The Wychford PoiZZZZZZZZ——-

In 1929, Anthony Berkeley published The Poisoned Chocolates Case, the fifth of his ten mystery novels featuring dilettante sleuth Roger Sheringham. In that book, a group of friends gather together to play armchair detective, each proposing a different solution to a current murder case. We never actually meet the main players in that case; instead, the members … Continue reading BOOK REPORT #7: The Wychford PoiZZZZZZZZ——-

KRIMES FOR KIDS: Two Series of Unfortunate Events!

Everyone loves serials these days. You might blame this on television, what with so many of us stuck inside with Netflix, bleary-eyed from binge-watching the latest imported telenovela (sapopera if you’re watching Scandi-noir; merodorama if it’s a nice juicy anime series). But TV series deserve no credit for inventing series characters. Back in the 16th century, traveling theatre troupes performed commedia dell’arte for … Continue reading KRIMES FOR KIDS: Two Series of Unfortunate Events!

REEL LAUGHS: Mrs. O’Malley and Mr. Malone

“Forward: The producers of this picture feel that the attorney depicted herein should be disbarred and strongly suggest that the American Bar Association do something about it.” Recently, my friend Scott K. Ratner made the claim that the wild success of the film version of Dashiell Hammett’s The Thin Man (1934) did much to waylay the popularity … Continue reading REEL LAUGHS: Mrs. O’Malley and Mr. Malone

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

BOOK REPORT #3: The Condamine Case

Perhaps it was because last month’s Book. Club selection, Joel Townsley Roger’s The Red Right Hand (1945) caused some rancor among our company for its unusual narrative style and noir atmosphere which delighted some and confounded others – at any rate, our February pick brings us back to more familiar territory. This month’s title was actually written two years … Continue reading BOOK REPORT #3: The Condamine Case