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text 2018-10-06 19:55
Detection Club Bingo: My Progress So Far
The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books - Martin Edwards
The Golden Age of Murder - Martin Edwards
The Hollow Man - John Dickson Carr
Poison In The Pen - Patricia Wentworth
File on Fenton & Farr - Q. Patrick
Mystery in the Channel (British Library Crime Classics) - Freeman Wills Crofts
The Wychford Poisoning Case - Anthony Berkeley
Penhallow - Georgette Heyer
Murder Underground - Mavis Doriel Hay
Murder at the Vicarage - Agatha Christie

 

First five bingos (bottom row, second column from right, center column, diagonal top left to bottom right, and 4 corners + central square) -- plus two more in the making (top row and diagonal top right to bottom left).  Not that it greatly matters, but still. :D  Progress!

 

The Squares / Chapters:

1. A New Era Dawns: Ernest Bramah - The Tales of Max Carrados;

Emmuska Orczy - The Old Man in the Corner

2. The Birth of the Golden Age: A.A. Milne - The Red House Mystery
3. The Great Detectives:
Margery Allingham - The Crime at Black Dudley, Mystery Mile, Look to the Lady, Police at the Funeral, Sweet Danger, Death of a Ghost, Flowers for the Judge, The Case of the Late Pig, Dancers in Mourning, The Fashion in Shrouds, Traitor's Purse, and The Tiger in the Smoke;

Anthony Berkeley - The Poisoned Chocolates Case

Patricia Wentworth - Miss Silver Intervenes, Latter End, The Watersplash, and The Traveller Returns;

Agatha Christie - Murder at the Vicarage (reread)

4. 'Play Up! Play Up! and Play the Game!': Freeman Wills Crofts - The Hog's Back Mystery;

Dennis Wheatley and J.G. Links - Murder off Miami

5. Miraculous Murders: Anthony Wynne - Murder of a Lady;

John Dickson Carr - The Hollow Man

6. Serpents in Eden: Agatha Christie - The Moving Finger (reread);

John Bude - The Lake District Murder;

Patricia Wentworth - Poison in the Pen

7. Murder at the Manor: Mavis Doriel Hay - The Santa Klaus Murder;

Ethel Lina White - The Spiral Staircase (aka Some Must Watch);

Georgette Heyer - Penhallow

8. Capital Crimes: Mavis Doriel Hay - Murder Underground

9. Resorting to Murder
10. Making Fun of Murder:
Edmund Crispin - The Moving Toyshop;

Alan Melville - Quick Curtain

11. Education, Education, Education: Mavis Doriel Hay - Death on the Cherwell
12. Playing Politics
13. Scientific Enquiries:
Christopher St. John Sprigg - Death of an Airman;

Freeman Wills Crofts - Mystery in the Channel

14. The Long Arm of the Law: Henry Wade - Lonely Magdalen
15. The Justice Game
16. Multiplying Murders
17. The Psychology of Crime
18. Inverted Mysteries:
Anne Meredith - Portrait of a Murderer

19. The Ironists: Anthony Rolls - Family Matters;

Anthony Berkeley - The Wychford Poisoning Case

20. Fiction from Fact: Josephine Tey - The Franchise Affair

21. Singletons
22. Across the Atlantic: Patricia Highsmith - The Talented Mr. Ripley (reread);

Q. Patrick (Richard Wilson Webb and Hugh Wheeler) - File on Fenton and Farr;

Mary Roberts Rinehart - Locked Doors

23. Cosmopolitan Crimes: Georges Simenon - Pietr le Letton (Pietr the Latvian)
24. The Way Ahead

 

Free Square / Eric the Skull: Martin Edwards - The Golden Age of Murder

 

The book that started it all:

Martin Edwards - The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books

 

The Detection Club Reading Lists:
The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books: The "100 Books" Presented
The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books: Other Books Mentioned, Chapters 1-5

The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books: Other Books Mentioned, Chapters 6 & 7
The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books: Other Books Mentioned, Chapters 8-10
The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books: Other Books Mentioned, Chapters 11-15
The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books: Other Books Mentioned, Chapters 16-20
The story of Classic Crime in 100 Books: Other Books Mentioned, Chapters 21-24

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review 2018-03-29 15:33
An Excellent Golden Age Mystery
Latter End - Patricia Wentworth

A special thank you to Tigus who steered me towards this particular Miss Silver mystery, as it is by far the best of the three that I've read so far. 

 

The set up for Latter End has been used dozens of times before - Lord of the Manor (Jimmy Latter) marries Lois, a jumped up younger woman slash self-centered floozy who decides to be the new broom that sweeps out the old. She proceeds to throw out the old retainers and impoverished relatives, then gets into a blazing row with the husband after he finds her trying to rekindle an old flame with his cousin, Antony, who is having none of it, realizing that he made a narrow escape indeed, and ends up dead of poison in her Turkish coffee. The suspect list is loooooong, indeed, because everyone had cause to hate Lois. Including Jimmy, he's just too obtuse and taken with her fragile form to figure it out. She was truly awful. 

 

Not Mrs. Boynton from Appointment With Death awful. More like "I'm so pretty and young and everyone should do exactly what I demand otherwise I will get bored and mope around and behave generally like a spoiled child. Oh, and I'm the center of the universe, so no one else's needs are important at all."

 

Frank Abbott, one of Miss Silver's old pupils who is now the younger half of a Scotland Yard detective team shows up with DI Lamb to investigate the crime. Jimmy, distraught, hires Miss Silver to come to the country house and dig around because he is convinced that the lovely Lois committed suicide because she was upset about the fact that he'd been giving her the silent treatment for two days after he found her practically mauling cousin Antony in her negligee. Did I mention that Jimmy is obtuse? Jimmy is obtuse.

 

Miss Silver's contribution to the mystery is very Marple-esque - she uses her knowledge of human nature and her sharp eyes to figure out when the various and sundry occupants aren't telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth and then worms it out of them in the nicest way possible. I am pretty sure at this point that I like Miss Silver more than I like Miss Marple, although continued investigation is required to confirm.

 

I came up with a solution at 70%, which turned out to be right on. It was a pleasing solution because this is one of those mysteries where the victim is extremely hateable, and everyone else actually seems pretty nice, if a bit dramatic at times. 

 

The Miss Silver mysteries do not seem to need to be read in order, so I'd recommend this one over either of the other two I read. 

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text 2018-03-28 23:23
Reading progress update: I've read 50%.
The Secret Adversary - Agatha Christie

I'm sorry, but did Mr. Herscheimmer just seriously suggest re-enacting the sinking of  The Lusitania in an effort to cure someone of amnesia? 

 

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text 2018-03-28 19:33
Reading progress update: I've read 5%.
The Secret Adversary - Agatha Christie

"'Two young adventurers for hire. Willing to do anything, go anywhere. Pay must be good. No unreasonable offer refused.' How would that strike you if you read it?"

 

I think that Tommy & Tuppence are the final recurring Christie characters that I've never read. I'm skeptical of this one, but it looks like a bit of a romp, and might be fun.

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review 2018-03-28 16:46
The Golden Age of Murder by Martin Edwards
The Golden Age of Murder - Martin Edwards

I read this for the free square in Detection Club bingo. 

 

This makes a great companion to Martin Edwards other "encyclopedia" style book about classic crime, The Story of Classic Crime in 100 books. Between the two of them, they are roughly 900 pages of information about classic crime writers and their books. 

 

tGAoM takes a deep dive in to the three primary members of The Detection Club - Dorothy Sayers, Agatha Christie and Anthony Berkeley Cox. We also get information about many of the additional members, both early and late, including Christopher Bush, E.L. Punshon, Christianna Brand, E.C. Lorac, Nicholas Blake and John Dickson Carr, among many, many others.

 

The approach is somewhat scattershot - definitely not chronological - and Edwards takes anecdotes and weaves them into concepts and then name checks and book checks his way through the section. This doesn't always work perfectly, but overall, he does an unbelievably skilled job of keeping the book moving forward at a good clip. I never got either bored or bogged down.

 

Martin Edwards has been almost single-handedly responsible for igniting my interest in classic crime fiction. Both tGAoM and TSoCCi100B, along with his wonderful anthologies published as part of the British Library Crime Classics series, have appeared at precisely the right moment that publishers like the British Library, Mysterious Press, and Harper Collins have begun reissuing books that are long out of print - many of them for less than the cost of a cup of coffee. This serendipitous fact, coupled with the Poirot project from a few years ago which rekindled my love of Agatha Christie (even her bad books are better than much of the tripe that is published today. Except for Passenger to Frankfurt. That book is an abomination), means that I've been obsessively seeking out and finding new authors to read, many of whom I had never heard of until I read Edwards two non-fiction additions to classic crime canon.

 

I'm not sure that this book will have wide appeal. I think it is more likely that it will have strong appeal to a narrow audience. As part of that narrow audience, I found it so much fun - like sitting down with a friend for a good gossip about some people whom we admire but who are altogether human, flawed, interesting, strange and occasionally brilliant.

 

 

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