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review 2018-04-19 15:32
The Nursing Home Murder by Ngaio Marsh
The Nursing Home Murder - Ngaio Marsh

Because this one involves the murder of the Home Secretary, which is apparently a cabinet level position in the British Government (it seems to correspond loosely to a combination of the Secretary of State and the Head of Homeland Security, near as wikipedia can help me to figure out), it is one of the featured books in Chapter 12 of TSCC100, Playing Politics. 

 

This is also the third Inspector Alleyn mystery, but is the first one that I've read. I am reserving judgment overall because it was obvious to me that there was a backstory to the characters that I didn't have.

 

The mystery itself was fun - by the time Inspector Alleyn gets called out to the deceased Home Secretary, who died on the operating table from a septic appendix, pretty much everyone is a suspect. He's been getting threatening letters from the local anarchists and Bolsheviks, and he's broken it off with a mistress who is taking it badly and who just happens to be, along with his former friend and hopeful swain of the above mentioned mistress, the nurse and surgeon, respectively. They've both recently threatened him because the nurse is not handling the rejection with equanimity. And then we have his rather bizarre wife, a Leninst nurse, and an anesthetist who is disturbingly fond of a hands on approach to eugenics.

 

I didn't get the relationship between Alleyn and Nigel Bathgate at all, and the relationship with his fiancee, the fair Angela even less. I think I need more data in order to draw any conclusions. It was enjoyable, but a bit farcical.

 

Unfortunately, the solution to the crime was just plain bad. I had to read the last two chapters three times before I was able to really absorb what had happened, and at the end I was still just puzzled about the entire thing.

 

 

Allrighty then.

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text 2018-04-16 21:08
Updates: Serpents in Eden, edited by Martin Edwards
Serpents in Eden (British Library Crime Classics) - Martin Edwards

I'm reading this collection for The Detection Club. I will update this post as I read the stories.

 

Table of Contents:

 

The Black Doctor by Arthur Conan Doyle: This is a non-Holmes story about a doctor of color (from the Argentine, so the precise racial background is undefined) practicing in a small rural community. It's interesting for the off-hand manner in which the doctor's minority status is addressed, as it is not a barrier to his ultimate engagement to a prominent white woman in town. The mystery is sort of obvious. 3 stars.

 

Murder by Proxy

The Fad of the Fisherman

The Genuine Tabard

The Gylston Slander

The Long Barrow

The Naturalist at Law

A Proper Mystery

Direct Evidence

Inquest

The Scarecrow

Clue in the Mustard

Our Pageant

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review 2018-04-14 17:11
A very strange book
The Mayfair Mystery - Frank Richardson

I can't quite figure out what to say about this book. It is an incredibly weird little tale, and, to be honest, it isn't really much of a mystery. 

 

Here is the note about the author from Goodreads:

 

Frank Collins Richardson, barrister, and novelist, was educated at Marlborough and Christ Church, Oxford, afterwards entering the Inner Temple and being called to the Bar. But there, as he admitted, he was a failure, and he took in consequence to writing, his "King's Counsel," a novel, appearing in 1902. It was followed by some dozen others. His peculiar topic of humour was the subject of whiskers, which he discovered by accident, and perhaps worked for rather more than it was worth. But his treatment of it was hailed at the time as an amusing innovation, and by pen and pencil, and by judging at seaside male "beauty-shows," it cannot be said that he was wholly unsuccessful in his peculiar hobby. (from obituary in "The Times", August 2, 1917) 

 

I added the bold.

 

Which brings me to one of the weird elements, which is, of course whisker humor. Who would've thought, really, that whisker humor was a thing. I would certainly agree that he worked it for rather more than it was worth - I was tired of it about ten seconds after it was introduced. Obviously, times have changed, although in this era of peak hipster beard (estimated to have occurred in 2014), I suppose that there could be some mileage to be gathered.

 

Moving on.

 

There were elements of this book that were interesting, and could make for a fine study of gender crossing, queer theory, and whatever else one might be looking for. I was, however, looking for a mystery and with that, I cannot recommend this book.

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text 2018-04-08 13:30
Detection Club Bingo: My Progress So Far
The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books - Martin Edwards
The Golden Age of Murder - Martin Edwards
Lonely Magdalen: A Murder Story - Henry Wade
Margery Allingham Omnibus: Includes Sweet Danger, The Case of the Late Pig, The Tiger in the Smoke - Margery Allingham
The Franchise Affair - Josephine Tey
Family Matters (British Library Crime Classics) - Anthony Rolls
Death on the Cherwell - Mavis Doriel Hay
The Hog's Back Mystery - Freeman Wills Crofts
The Red House Mystery - A.A. Milne
The Lake District Murder - John Bude

 

First bingo (bottom row) and three more in the making (second column from right, diagonal top left to bottom right, and 4 corners + central square).  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

4. 'Play Up! Play Up! and Play the Game!': Freeman Wills Crofts - The Hog's Back Mystery
5. Miraculous Murders: Anthony Wynne - Murder of a Lady
6. Serpents in Eden: John Bude - The Lake District Murder
7. Murder at the Manor:
Ethel Lina White - The Spiral Staircase (aka Some Must Watch)
8. Capital Crimes
9. Resorting to Murder
10. Making Fun of Murder
11. Education, Education, Education:
Mavis Doriel Hay - Death on the Cherwell
12. Playing Politics
13. Scientific Enquiries
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
20. Fiction from Fact: Josephine Tey - The Franchise Affair

21. Singletons
22. Across the Atlantic
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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text 2018-02-22 20:07
TBR Thursday: February 22, 2018

Instead of doing a Friday reading post, I'm going to combine my "reading/listening" section with a haul post & call it "TBR Thursday," which means that I will be using the TBR tag!

 

Haul/Inbox:

 

It's a mystery week!

 

 

1. F is For Fugitive by Sue Grafton: I'm looking forward to continuing with the Kinsey Milhone series! 2. Poison in the Pen by Patricia Wentworth: this one will satisfy Chapter 6 - Serpents in Eden - of Detection Club bingo. 3. Trent's Last Case by E.C. Bentley: Chapter 2 - The Birth of the Golden Age - of Detection Club Bingo. 4. Death Comes to Cambers by E.R. Punshon: Chapter 7 - Murder at the Manor - of Detection Club Bingo. 5. Death on the Cherwell: Chapter 11 - Education, Education, Education - of Detection Club Bingo.

 

Read/Outbox:

 

I had a solid reading week, finishing 5 books! I finished the Adventure Quilt and gifted it at the party, so I've taken a bit of a break from sewing/stitching.

 

 

Bluebird, Bluebird was my favorite of the five, and was one of my favorite reads of the year. The others were all solid reads, and E is for Evidence is my favorite Kinsey Millhone so far.

 

Reading/listening:

 

I'm still listening to Crooked House, Crooked House, although, as I mentioned above, my audiobook consumption has pretty much ground to a halt. I've also made some progress in A World Undone, and will be continuing to work on that one.

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