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text 2017-09-19 23:23
Classic Crime Club?
Death of an Airman - Christopher St. John Sprigg
The Red House Mystery - A.A. Milne
The Tiger in the Smoke - Margery Allingham
Resorting to Murder: Holiday Mysteries: A British Library Crime Classic (British Library Crime Classics) - Martin Edwards
Ask A Policeman - Dorothy L. Sayers,Gladys Mitchell,Detection Club,Anthony Berkeley,John Rhode,Milward Kennedy,Helen de Guerry Simpson

I'm considering starting a classic crime book club. We have a number of mystery/crime readers here on booklikes, and I'm wondering if there is enough interest to do a monthly book club?

 

Parameters:

 

One book per month, chosen by the club members;

Published between 1900 and 1960

Starting in October

 

Is anyone interested?

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review 2017-09-19 21:41
Does what it does well
The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books - Martin Edwards

This is a book about books. Specifically, this is a book about a specific type of book written during a specific time period. I expect that I will refer to it, and have decided that I really need to buy in a physical book as well as have it on my kindle.

 

Themis-Athena did us all a solid by creating, at this point, two separate lists of the books that Edwards mentions in his book:

 

The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books (this list is 100 books long)

Books Mentioned - Chapters 1 through 5 (this list presently has 107 books on it)

 

This has been a huge undertaking, and I am so grateful that she has taken the time to do it! Now, to read!

 

 

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text 2017-09-19 14:27
Reading progress update: I've read 98 out of 357 pages.
The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books - Martin Edwards

Well, I've read chapters 1 through 5, and I suppose this is what it sounds like when you get a walking encyclopedia talking. Even though it's, in a way, the print equivalent of having your favorite actor reading the phone book (which I expected going in -- the format itself suggests as much), it's addictively compelling, and I am racing through this book much more than I expected I would.  I also know I'll be revisiting it often for reference in the future.

 

When reading the chapters on the beginning of the Golden Age and on the Great Detectives, I also dipped into Edwards's Golden Age of Murder for further background, "met" the members of the Detection Club ... and learned that Ngaio Marsh was not a member (which I admit I'd heretofore taken almost for granted she was), but rather, "dined for weeks" on the experience of her one invitation to a Detection Club dinner.

 

Incidentally, for those who are interested, I've created a reading list for the "100 [main] Books" presented by Martin Edwards in "The Story of Classic Crime" here:

 

Martin Edwards: The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books -- the "100 Books" Presented

 

I've also started a listing of the other books mentioned by way of further reference in the individual chapters.  As Edwards easily manages to toss in an average of 20+ extra books per chapter, I've decided to break up the "other books mentioned" listing into several parts, with the first list going up to the end of chapter 5 (i.e., as far as I've read at present):

 

Martin Edwards: The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books -- Other Books Mentioned; Part 1 (Ch. 1-5)

 

I'm reading The Story of Classic Crime for the free (center / raven) bingo square, as well as by way of a buddy read.

 

 

Merken

Merken

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review 2017-09-17 16:01
The Thin Man by Dasheill Hammett
The Thin Man - Dashiell Hammett

Julia Wolf is dead, shot no less than four times. Secretary to the somewhat infamous inventor and all-together missing, Clyde Wynant, everyone is looking to him for answers - his lawyer, the police, his ex-wife, his children...and by plea of letter (and Nora's pushing) Nick Charles, once private detective, current moneyed-by-marriage lush.

 

As a mystery goes this book was kind of a mess, no? It was always to be thus, most of the players are completely unreliable - the pathological liar, the silly girl, the morbid boy, the two-faced, the greedy, the down-right stupid, the love-sick...there's not a one among them with their head on their shoulders, or with their head in the game so to say. Poor Nick and Nora, surrounded by fools wrecking their drinking holiday, having to put it all together for everyone.

 

I didn't end up enjoying it for the mystery. I did enjoy it for the humor and banter. Nick and Nora's jovial teasing and Nick's sometimes sarcastic wit directed to those stumbling around him, made the book.

 

Set during the end days of prohibition, I can only imagine that Nick and Nora were on a holiday to drink, where speaks were a plenty and everyone had closeted booze. I'm sure it was a bit of a social status to have a bottle or two in your home, in your desk drawer, in your boudoir - and all these people were so silly. It certainly read like a comedy to me at those times and I didn't take it very seriously. And I'd have to leave it like that instead of acknowledging that Hammett had his own battles with drink and tumultuous relationships -that he chose to only show the 'best of' in his fictional writing makes a sad sort of sense.

 

Over all, I will probably read more of Dasheill Hammett - at least his two more popular works, The Maltese Falcon and Red Harvest. I have a hunch those will be more oriented to the genre. The saving grace for me and The Thin Man is that I didn't have any story expectations, just that I knew that Nick and Nora were characters not to be missed.

 

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review 2017-09-17 11:33
The Thin Man-Buddy Read for Halloween Bingo 2017
The Thin Man - Dashiell Hammett

Lost my review twice now so I'm ready to spit nails.

 

I was happy to read the comments from those that did this buddy read. Other than that, if this is an example of Classic Noir, I don't think I'm going to be a fan. I didn't like anyone. The writing at times was hard to understand since it was written in another time and place. A couple of things I had to go and look up and realized it would have been better for me to just watch an old black and white movie instead.

 

 

"The Thin Man" follows Nick Charles, a former PI who is dragged into looking for a missing man he used to know, Clyde Wynant. Wynant goes missing after a former mistress/lover of his is found murdered. Clyde's terrible ass family shows up and asks him to find Clyde and or just act genuinely annoying. Someone else called them sociopaths in one of the updates and honestly I agree. 

 

Nick Charles is the main character in "The Thin Man." I assume the movies make him and Nora (his wife) more partner like. But besides Nora calming down people, ordering Nick food, and making Nick a drink, there wasn't much for her to do. Oh yeah, she laughed about her husband being flirted with right in front of her. 

 

The other characters are cringe worthy individuals. 

 

Mimi Wynant is a terrible mother to her two kids, Dorothy and Gilbert. She's obsessed with finding her ex husband to see what money she can shake out of him. In a crazy scene she loses it and goes incoherent with rage. She also beats her daughter and everyone acts like that's cool.

 

 

Dorothy is a low rent Lolita wannabe.

 

Gilbert is obsessed with his sister (yeah not in a good way) gives her drugs and talks about taking cocaine to make himself sharper. As one does.

 

There's the guy having an affair, but that's okay cause his wife is awful. Shakes head. 

 

Nick is thrown up against criminals and cops and finally announces who did it. I didn't follow the clues at all. So it was a surprise to me. 

 

The writing was typical of the 1930s. I didn't care for it much though. The flow was awful. It was just people drinking and shouting at each other. There's also a random story about cannibalism I'm still confused about including. 

 

The setting of New York during the Christmas holiday didn't feel realistic at all. Did any character mention cold or snow? New York during the last days of Prohibition should have been awesome as a setting.

 

The ending as I said was just a sad trombone sound come to life. Nick explains to Nora the who and the why. She argues with him, he ignores her, and they talk about New Year's Eve.

 

The end.

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