It is July 12, and my summer vacation is flying by. As I gear up for one more month of joy, freedom, relaxation, I have been reading up a storm, something that is hard to do when I’m teaching and directing. But just in case you’re imagining me to be a one-note fella, I wanted … Continue reading KEEPING UP WITH POPULAR CULTURE
“Burn me, you’ve been leaving things behind in a way that’s scandalous. All anybody’s got to do to follow your trail across England is just to walk behind and pick up the pieces . . .” (H.M. to Ken Blake in The Punch and Judy Murders) We begin with a quiz. Can you identify the … Continue reading ACDC, PART SIX: L Is For Laughter in The Punch and Judy Murders
This is really a special event! For the first time, Paul Halter is releasing his newest work in English before it is published in French. And while the new book, The Gold Watch, er, clocks in at a typical 178 pages, its scope is nothing short of epic. Divided into two narratives - yet essentially … Continue reading TIC-TAC! TIC-TAC!: Paul Halter’s The Gold Watch
Post Number Three Hundred brings out the big existential question. The one you ask on your deathbed . . . the one you ask after you’ve shelled out fifty bucks on eBay for an obscure 1940’s mystery that some wanker said on his blog was a “must have” and “worth the search and expense” and … Continue reading AND WAS IT ALL WORTH IT IN THE END?
“And so the story endures, infinitely fascinating; and those who would lay it to rest, who would destroy its beauty by ‘solving’ it, are defeated at every turn.” This key statement comes at the center of Agatha Christie, A Mysterious Life, Laura Thompson’s remarkable biography of the author, which was published last year and which … Continue reading “ALL BIOGRAPHY IS STORY-TELLING” – Agatha Christie, A Mysterious Life
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
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