Smack dab in the middle of The Tragedy of X, the 1930 debut of mystery writer Barnaby Ross, detective Drury Lane, a retired Shakespearean actor who is stone deaf, resides in a castle called The Hamlet, and employs a hunchback dwarf named Falstaff as a butler, is philosophizing with a group of men – one … Continue reading I SUSPECT MICE: A Discourse on the Dying Message
Over at The Invisible Event, JJ has compiled a list, voted on by an erudite assortment of fans, consisting of twelve titles that purportedly demonstrate the best qualities of a “fair play” mystery. It’s a list that does what these sorts of lists are supposed to do: it provides a jumping off point for arguments … Continue reading NILE vs. SUN: Fair Play With Spoilers
This classic mystery fan is always grateful when the modern press pays attention to anything related to the Golden Age, so it was with great delight that I received my latest issue of Entertainment Weekly, only to find the cast of the upcoming remake of Murder on the Orient Express splashed across the cover. Kenneth … Continue reading BRANAGH TO THE RESCUE: “Not Your Granny’s Christie”
In a previous post, I confessed (as we mystery lovers tend to do) that every year I force my drama students to submit to honoring my passion for classic mysteries by engaging them to come up with an original mystery play of their own. It’s a complex and difficult project, and many tears are shed … Continue reading WHERE OCCUPATION MEETS OBSESSION: The Mystery Project Continues
It’s a fine thing for a reader to expand his tastes, isn’t it? Having focused on classic mystery novels my entire life – and almost exclusively so over the past two years – it seemed like a good idea at the time to sign up for that Nordic Crime Fiction course at Stanford University. If you … Continue reading CHRISTIE, CAMILLA AND THE CONCEPT OF FAIR PLAY
My life changed significantly on November 19, 2014, when I joined a group on Facebook called Golden Age Detection. It is one of the few events of my life connected to the Internet whose effect on me I cannot overdramatize. I have been reading classic murder mysteries for nearly fifty years, and I had experienced the … Continue reading HELEN: What’s In a Name?
Omigosh! I am so sorry, people! I was supposed to post this yesterday, as JJ so graciously reminded me this morning. (“Hey, um . . . so are you gonna post, or what?”) My excuse is that I’ve spent the weekend at work, producing the spring play. But here you go, as promised: the sequel to … Continue reading CHRISTIE/CARR SCATTERGORIES