REEL PUZZLES: The Phantom of Crestwood

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the 1960 Doris Day mystery, Midnight Lace. A discussion about the variety of cinematic mysteries ensued, and my friend Scott K. Ratner kindly offered a list of what he considered to be “the classic whodunnit films” (despite its twists, Midnight Lace is not a “whodunnit” as we think of classic … Continue reading REEL PUZZLES: The Phantom of Crestwood

BOOK REPORT #2: The Red Right Hand

I am a slow reader. I’ll grant you it’s a bit of a liability when you blog about books. I’ve complained about it to my friends, but they aren’t sympathetic. Not the Puzzle Doctor, who posts every day, usually about these big historical mysteries or heavyweight psychological thrillers or dull, er, dense, um . . . John … Continue reading BOOK REPORT #2: The Red Right Hand

A LOOK AT BRIDGERTON: #MeToo with a Dash of Mmm Hmm Hmm

My friends are chattering about Bridgerton, the new Shonda Rhimes-produced series on Netflix. They compare it to Sanditon, the recent series based on an unfinished novel by Jane Austen that recently played on Masterpiece Theatre. There is little, however, of Austen beyond the surface of this new series. Bridgerton is more Agnes Nixon than Jane Austen; it is All My Children wrapped … Continue reading A LOOK AT BRIDGERTON: #MeToo with a Dash of Mmm Hmm Hmm

THE MAN, THE MOUSTACHES, THE MASTERPIECE: Ending the Year on a High Note

On March 14 of this anno horribilus, I suggested to all of you that whatever comes our way could be mitigated by reading a classic mystery. I suggested this because . . . well, that’s kind of what they were written for! Not that Agatha Christie and Freeman Wills Crofts and Sayers and Berkeley and the … Continue reading THE MAN, THE MOUSTACHES, THE MASTERPIECE: Ending the Year on a High Note

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!

REPRINT OF THE YEAR: The Case of the Case of the Case of the . . .

“A murder case is simply a jigsaw puzzle, a lot of things to be put together. If you have the right solution, all of the parts fit into the picture. If some of the parts don’t seem to fit, it’s a pretty good indication you haven’t the right solution.”                         Perry Mason It’s that time of year … Continue reading REPRINT OF THE YEAR: The Case of the Case of the Case of the . . .

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