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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 2017-09-18 20:13
Review: Be My Best Man by Con Riley
Be My Best Man - Con Riley

 

Gosh, this was different.

During the book I couldn't make my mind up if I liked this or not. But I was so in love with Vanya. He was such a broken character. Broken may not be the correct word because he was also so hopeful. Being litterly thrown out of his own country, Russia he awaits his asylum to legally stay in Brittain. Meanwhile he tries to stay safe and scrapes by with the money he receives from the government. He is not allowed to make money of his own so he's forced to live in cheap hostels.

Vanya

 

 

Life is bad. He's working hard to improve his English. He has not a lot to do otherwise during day so he often visits his frend Kasper at his working place. It's there where he meets Jason and gets mistaken for a personal shopper. Jason is 20 years his senior but needs help at the shopping department because he needs to make amends with his brother. He has to make a perfect impression to his brother's financé, Chantelle who he still has to meet.

I really loved Vanya. I loved his way of speech. His character really makes us realise how comfortable we are having a roof over our heads, food to fill our stomachs. Just being unsafe all the time like Vanya felt was horrific. Really makes you think.....

Vanya and Jason's romance is not the usual romance we read about. Both have trust issues and of course you know Vanya's secret will come out to Jason and you worry what effect Vanya's white lies will have for their relationship.

But it's all worth it. This book will keep you thinking and feel very fortunate and that's always good IMO.

 

 

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review 2017-09-16 22:58
Death of an Airman
Death of an Airman - Christopher St. John Sprigg

The two detectives looked at each other, and, after thanking Lady Laura, walked over to the hangars. “An intelligent girl,” said Creighton. “I don’t know why one is surprised when a good-looking woman has brains.

 

What a fun murder mystery! Death of an Airman had everything I like about Golden Age mysteries: eccentric characters, humour, technical detail that makes it fun to follow the puzzle,  red herrings galore, and a solution to the mystery that made it difficult to book down the book before the last page.

 

My favourite part was when Scotland Yard followed a lead that involved the covert sale of a French newspaper to "special order" customers in Glasgow which ended with the policemen being thrown out of the newsagents... I literally read this, giggled, and hoped that this would be more than a red herring.

A similar turn of plot in Death in the Tunnel had frustrated my reading experience of that book and I was relieved to find out that although there were a lot of similarities between the books, Death of an Airman was taking itself less seriously and, in consequence, was a much more enjoyable read. I laughed on several occasions, but I was also enjoying the hunt for clues and trying to figure out the mystery of how the victim was killed - because that was a real mystery for most of the book.

 

I wish we had many more works by Sprigg that we could discover, but Sprigg died at the age of 30 after had joined the Spanish Civil War. Had he lived, I wonder whether he would have injected some more of that irreverence and fun that made Death of an Airman such a joy into the rest of the mystery genre. Don't get me wrong, I love the Golden Age mystery reads, but instead of the xenophobia and snobbery that sometimes seems to run through these books, I would have loved to have seen more of Sprigg's tone of voice:   

"Any convictions against the woman in your records?”

“Nothing serious. Dangerous driving, of course, and a narrow escape from a manslaughter conviction, but this type of reckless individual may always get involved in that kind of thing. They think it’s their duty to drive about the streets like maniacs. Oh, there’s a fine for assault when she bashed a fellow over the head with her ice-hockey stick for making some uncomplimentary remark about the sportsmanship of women players. It was perhaps excusable.”

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