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Search tags: Golden-Age-mystery-reading-binge
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review 2020-02-03 17:35
Bodies from the Library
Bodies from the Library - A.A. Milne,Georgette Heyer,Christianna Brand,J.J. Connington,Roy Vickers,Nicholas Blake,H.C. Bailey,John Rhode,Anthony Berkeley,Ernest Bramah,Agatha Christie,Leo Bruce,Tony Medawar

This collection of short stories from various Golden Age mystery writers was a mixed bag. I mean, they all are but this one struck me as more so than others. Maybe this was because there was no overarching theme to this collection.

 

And it somehow felt as if the story by Agatha Christie was only added to carry the rest of the book.

Dame Agatha's contribution was interesting, but not a favourite.

 

One thing that I have taken away from this is that Cyril Hare is definitely becoming one of my favourite GA mystery writers. His works tend to have a dark side, but with quite a bit of humor and irony, too.

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review 2020-01-29 16:20
Murder - Nine and Out
Murder - Nine and Out: An Amos Petrie Mystery (Black Heath Classic Crime) - Turner Publishing Company

I'm not sure that ending even made sense. 

 

And the original murder ... Dame Agatha used something similar by way of setting and light switch action, but to much greater effect and in a much more memorable way. 

So, unfortunately, this story kinda fell flat for me.

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review 2020-01-05 16:51
Grey Mask
Grey Mask - Patricia Wentworth

Well, well. I had low expectations for this book and only really looked forward to it because it was planned buddy read with Lillelara

So, imagine my surprise when I actually enjoyed this story despite its entirely bonkers plot and even despite its utterly, utterly stupid main character. Margot really was the epitome of an obnoxious airhead and I am still amazed that she actually survived the plot without being killed off. 

I certainly hoped for this on every single page. 

 

To be fair, imagining plot twists in which Margot met with an untimely end was part of the fun of reading the story. 

 

Luckily, there were some other characters that I actually liked reading about: Margaret was one of them. She had some depth. 

Archie was another. He had some spirit. Even tho his choice of love interest is beyond my ability to understand. Why, Archie? Why?

 

As for the plot itself? It was bonkers. There was a time I got completely lost, but I think at that time I had already given up on The Grey Mask featuring any credible or logical train of thought. And sometimes this is just the kind of book one needs. 

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review 2019-12-20 21:29
One, Two, Buckle My Shoe
One, Two, Buckle My Shoe (Poirot) - Agatha Christie

I think I need to update my rating for this book. I enjoyed this slow re-read immensely: Not only is the murder mystery pretty good, there is also a serious, dare I say, thoughtful undertone to it. I'm not sure if Dame Agatha intended this, but it just really works for me. 

 

And, yet, the book is also riddled with humor and references to other books in the Christie-verse... I laughed so hard at Poirot's pining over the memory of the Countess, and at the mention of "Herzoslovakia", which is a bonkers invention of Christie's from The Secret of Chimneys.

 

Yes, I really, really like this one a lot.

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review 2019-12-09 23:41
The Christmas Egg
The Christmas Egg - Mary Kelly,Martin Edwards

The bitter cold could not neutralise the café-emanations of fish and chips and vinegar, in which the road seemed steeped; but it served to enhance the seasonable contents of the shops—tangerines, nuts, fir trees, boxes of frilly crackers, row on row of trussed turkeys lit by a ghastly glare of fluorescence. Nature, in awe to Him, Had doffed her gaudy trim. Human nature was more than making up for climate deficiencies, and preparing to commemorate the event with its customary wallowing. Brett looked along a chain of windows, gaudy with red and silver, dabs of cotton wool, strings of fairy lights.

I want to read more by Mary Kelly. This was a fantastic find among the re-discovered BLCC titles, and I already look forward to the re-issue of The Spoilt Kill in May. 

 

Brett Nightingale is investigating the death of Olga Karukhin, a Russian Princess, whose backstory alone is worth the read of this book. She was hard as nails. Who could have had any designs on her life? Or did anyone? 

 

Without getting entangled in pointless chases of dead ends and red herrings, Kelly actually created a mystery that primarily relied on police interviews and the clues given to the reader during the investigation. And what made it better is that we had investigators who were utterly human. No superheroes here, but fully fleshed-out characters, who were able to hold conversations with other characters, even those of the other sex, without sounding like a stereotype. 

 

It made the book for a thoroughly enjoyable read, except for one thing: the ending.

 

I am not entirely what happened at the ending, but we suddenly had characters kidnapped and bound and gagged and so much action - car chases and everything - that I had to check whether I was still reading the same book. Did it make sense?  I suppose. But it didn't make for great reading. 

 

This however is my only criticism of the book, and as mentioned above, I really want to read more by this author. Well done to Martin Edwards and the BLCC for unearthing Mary Kelly's work for today's readers.

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