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Search tags: golden-age-mystery
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text 2020-05-31 23:04
Antidote
Clouds of Witness - Dorothy L. Sayers

I need a great book to make up for my last reading experience. I also feel like re-reading the Wimsey stories in order, this time including the short stories, which I've so far neglected or rather saved up for special circumstances. I guess, a pandemic should qualify as "special circumstances".

 

In any case, a visit to Duke's Denver is on the cards.

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review 2020-05-30 18:47
The Terror & White Face
The Terror - Edgar Wallace,Martin Edwards

Ah, this was such a nice surprise...there are two stories in this book The Terror and White Face

I seriously should maybe think about reading book descriptions rather than just be seduced by the pretty covers of books.

 

Anyway, The Terror was your typical Edgar Wallace thriller focused on madness, crime, and darkest London. To me Wallace didn't write noir as much as a special kind of Gothic crime, including damsels in distress, castles, secret passages, ... oh, and a mad monk.

 

Yes, the plot is silly, the characters are two-dimensional, and many of the other aspect are utterly ridiculous, but this is just the sort of crime caper one sometimes needs. So, what if it made me laugh out loud that one of the characters suffers from insanity for only exactly 2 hours every day? (Or was it 2 hours of sanity? Does it matter?)

 

I really liked this one. It reminded me a lot of the German screen adaptations of Wallace's work - they are hilariously, charmingly.....dated but they are great guilty pleasures.

 

White Face took a different approach to the "typical" Wallace story. Yes, this story is also based on organised crime at it's heart, but this one here seemed to be a lot close some of the stories written by Arthur Conan Doyle. There is a great twist, but there are also elements that seems to portray some of the crimes as the characters only choice, so almost ask for sympathy from the reader. 

 

It was an interesting change from other works by Wallace that I am familiar with and I love that the story was included in this book (edited by Martin Edwards) but the story was also quite long and drawn out, which didn't work well for me.

 

(Scene from the German screen adaptation of The Terror. Unfortunately, there are not many similarities between the film and the book.)

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text 2020-05-29 21:34
Reading progress update: I've read 1 out of 304 pages.
The Terror - Edgar Wallace,Martin Edwards

Such is the plight of the mood reader that I've been wondering for the last hour or so which book to pick for tonight. 

 

I really want to start Timm's Halbschatten but I need something light and easy to switch off from work. I really also want to start A Scream in Soho, but I don't think I want to read that one as a "quick fix". 

So, I found The Terror in the vaults of my audible library, which should be an adequately entertaining story.

 

Oh, and incidentally, this like the disappointing Murder by Matchlight is also set in black-out London. Maybe the book gods wanted to make up for something?

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text 2020-05-26 22:23
Reading progress update: I've read 34%.
Murder by Matchlight (British Library Crime Classics) - E.C.R. Lorac,Martin Edwards

Reeves threw his cigarette away and a few seconds later lighted another match. As he bent over the flame his face was brilliantly lighted, and then he lifted his head and waved the match in the air. Instantly, like some fantastic illusion, another face appeared, some twelve inches above Reeves’, and Mallaig suddenly shouted, as though his strung-up nerves impelled him to give voice. “There’s the third chap… look,” but even as he spoke the match went out and there was a dull thud and a heavy fall. Mallaig jumped up, dropped his torch, fumbled for it and at last turned it on. In the beam of light a man could be seen astride the bridge rail and another lay on the ground. Mallaig sprang forward, but Macdonald’s voice came out of the darkness:

“Steady on, laddie. It’s only a reconstruction you know.”

Mallaig halted with a rather uncertain laugh.

“That was pretty grim, you know. It was exactly what happened last night—except the faces were different. The third chap—he was the same in a way—dark coat and cap—but his face wasn’t like the one I saw last night. What’s so amazing was the way you could see just in the light of one match.”

 

Yup. This is my last E.C.R. Lorac. 

This story focuses on repetitive plodding police work (not my favourite kind of mystery) and inane conversations between characters who lack individuality and ... character.

 

 

 

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text 2020-05-26 21:02
Reading progress update: I've read 16%.
Murder by Matchlight (British Library Crime Classics) - E.C.R. Lorac,Martin Edwards

“Pop in!” she adjured him.

“Landing blackout’s N.B.G. I do like a bit of light. This dark business is enough to give a girl the creeps. Come right in. That’s better, isn’t it?”

“Much better,” replied Macdonald cheerfully, blinking a little in the strong light. His first impression was of a prevailing pinkness: pink walls, pink curtains, pink cushions: artificial pink roses stood in ornate vases, artificial cherry blossoms trailed over mirrors and peeped coyly round elaborately framed photographs. Macdonald disliked pink as a colour, and this room seemed to him to resemble pink blanc-mange. He turned in some relief to study the owner of all this roseate effect—a neat little black-coated figure, she stood and returned his stare sedately.

This is my second attempt at E.C.R. Lorac's works. I didn't enjoy my first attempt - Bats in the Belfry - much, and it took me 4 attempts so far to get into this story without drifting off.

 

It's not looking good for E.C.R. Lorac's books to make any further appearances on my TBR. 

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