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
I love prolific authors. Agatha Christie, John Dickson Carr, Ellery Queen, and Ngaio Marsh basically got me through my teens and 20’s and taught me the ABC’s of classic mystery fiction. Yes, each of them had their share of clunkers, but, by and large, their output was brilliant. Of course, other mystery writers made their … Continue reading MISS SILVER AND THE GREAT CONFLUENCE OF 1937
All this month, the Tuesday Night Bloggers are talking about "firsts," famous and otherwise. After writing about the first detectives in literature and the first Christie, it suddenly occurred to me that, if you're going to take a purely historical approach to a theme, you had better know a damn sight more about mystery history than … Continue reading WHO’S ON FIRST? A Man, a Mug, and a Da Vinci, That’s Who!
Happy New Year, everyone! As a new blogger, I have only just become aware of the tradition in this community for those who blog about books to reflect on the past year in reading. Yes, let’s focus on the reading because in most other respects, for me at least, 2016 was not a keeper! So … Continue reading MY READINGS (AND REVISITINGS) OF 2016
“There was a table set out under a tree in front of the house, and the March Hare and the Hatter were having tea at it: a Dormouse was sitting between them, fast asleep, and the other two were using it as a cushion, resting their elbows on it, and then talking over its head. … Continue reading CURIOUSER AND CURIOUSER: The Best Short Adventure of Ellery Queen
Coming up just ahead of my first birthday as a blogger, I am excited to present my one hundredth post. A mere eleven and a half months ago, I was a mere shlub brimming with excitement to have discovered a community of readers, writers and thinkers who were just as obsessed with a love for … Continue reading A CENTENARY CELEBRATION (with special guests!)
In the early 1960’s, Dell’s Four Color Series experimented with giving some of the great detectives the Superman treatment by trying them out as comic books. The newsstands’ luster was raised by the appearance of original stories featuring Sherlock Holmes and Ellery Queen. Unfortunately, these experiments did not bear fruit, and neither detective earned enough … Continue reading KA-POOWW! KA-BOOOM! Holmes and Queen in Four Colors