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Search tags: British-classic
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review 2018-08-28 14:25
Death Spins the Wheel - George Bellairs

An elderly French lady,after spending some pleasant time in the Isle of Man's brand new casino ,is found shot on the beach. Inspector Littlejohn ,while helping the Archdeacon assembling a conservatory,is asked by the local force to give a helping hand. It is clear that part of the solution is to be found in France,to be precise, in Evian. And everybody knows that old sins have long shadows..think Résistance ,betrayal,passion...
The storyline is undoubtedly good,but what makes Bellairs such a wonderful, relaxing read is the rather benign atmosphere,great characters and a sniff of a bygone era.

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review 2018-08-18 18:00
Weekend at Thrackley - Alan Melville

Six people,five of them lucky proprietors of some fabulous jewellery, and one out of job,out of luck outsider are invited for a weekend at a remote and rather gloomy country house by a mysterious, wealthy collector of jewels and precious stones. They are an Ill-assorted lot waited on by a very lugubrious butler. And then things start to happen,of course...one of the servants is not who he seems to be,a guest disappears,there is a very interesting and well appointed cellar...This is not so much a" who done it" but more of a "how is it going to end".

But notwithstanding  the great setting(an isolated country house always works for me) it did not impress me all that much. It feels like a not so successful imprint of P.G.Wodehouse. One expects to hear tally-ho any moment. No,not entirely my cup of tea...

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review 2018-07-30 13:43
Satire at its best
Scoop - Evelyn Waugh

So let's just acknowledge two things.  First, Evelyn Waugh was not a pleasant person.  Anything you read about him makes that clear.  Second, this book is full of racism.  There's no way to get around that.

 

Once you've acknowledged those two issues, this book is fabulous.  Satire at its best!  William Boot, a country squire who writes the column Lush Places about tiny furry creatures, is sent to cover a war in Africa in place of another Boot who writes much more progressive stuff.  Hilarity ensures.  I'm not saying that sarcastically like I usually am when I use that phrase.  This is genuinely funny stuff about the cut-throat world of journalism and what happens when you HAVE to get a story, no matter what.  It would be fascinating to see what Waugh would do with the 24 hour news cycle. 

 

Once I accept the first two issues I mentioned, I was completely caught up in Boot's adventures in Ishmaelia.  It's not hard to see why Scoop is often considered the best satirical novel of the 20th century.

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review 2018-07-24 08:42
Murder in Keswick - William Todd

Holmes needs some rest,at least Watson thinks so. So they(Watson )decide to spend some time in Keswick, a village in the beautiful Lake District. On their arrival at the station they are confronted with some agitated travellers. Apparently a beheaded body has been found along the road. The body seems to belong to Mr. Darcy,a well respected local gentleman. Holmes and Watson visit the local constable who is more than delighted to have the masterly mystery solver by his side. For once ,the local village constable is not depicted as a slow thinking idiot who can not take an initiative. And so they solve this crime with Holmes his usual panache.

There have been quite a lot of Holmes stories published of late,but to be fair not all of them recreate the right feeling...but this one does,the setting (Holmes in the countryside)is believable,Holmes and Watson their attitude is what it is,the characters and their behaviour is consistent with the original stories,the lenght(178 pages)is just right and the crime and its solution is reminiscent of A.C. Doyle.

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text 2017-10-01 17:03
A mini-project: Capital Crimes
Murder in the Museum (British Library Crime Classics) - John Rowland
Capital Crimes: London Mysteries: A British Library Crime Classic (British Library Crime Classics) - Martin Edwards
Lord Edgware Dies - Agatha Christie
The Tiger in the Smoke - Margery Allingham

I decided to do a little mini-exploration of vintage mysteries set in London, to go along with my read of Murder in Piccadilly! I snagged this one, & also bought the "Capital Crimes" BLCC anthology edited by Martin Edwards.

 

I already own Lord Edgware Dies, which takes place in London, so I'm going to give that one a reread as well, and possibly Margery Allingham's The Tiger in the Smoke, also mentioned by Edwards in the chapter on murders set in London, to round out the group.

 

In the middle of this, I'll also still be joining in the buddy read for Murder of a Lady late this week! Can't wait!

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