Currently Reading

The Perfect Crime
Israel Zangwill, Colin Mace
Memories: From Moscow to the Black Sea
Teffi, Irina Steinberg, Anne Marie Jackson, Robert Chandler, Elizabeth Chandler, Edythe C. Haber
The Perfect Crime; aka The Big Bow Mystery
Israel Zangwill
The Inner Life of Cats: The Science and Secrets of Our Mysterious Feline Companions
Thomas McNamee, Bob Reed
The Inner Life of Cats: The Science and Secrets of Our Mysterious Feline Companions
Thomas McNamee
Sherlock Holmes: The Definitive Collection
Arthur Conan Doyle, Stephen Fry
The Woman In White
Wilkie Collins
Merlin Trilogy
Mary Stewart
Progress: 340/928 pages

Recently Added

The Perfect Crime - Israel Zangwill, Colin Mace
Doing Justice: A Prosecutor's Thoughts on Crime, Punishment and the Rule of Law - Preet Bharara
A Spark of Light - Jodi Picoult
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Around the World in 80 Books Mostly by Female Authors: Master Update Post

[World map created with Mapchart.net]


The aim: To diversify my reading and read as many books as possible (not necessarily 80) set in, and by authors from, countries all over the world.  Female authors preferred.  If a book is set in a location other than that of the author's nationality, it can apply to either (but not both).


On the map I'm only tracking new reads, not also rereads.


The Books:



Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: Purple Hibiscus (new)



Elizabeth Peters: Crocodile on the Sandbank (new)

Agatha Christie: Murder on the Nile (new) and Death on the Nile (revisited on audio)



Alexandra Fuller: Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight (new)



Laila Lalami: The Moor's Account (new)



Clea Koff: The Bone Woman (new)



Kofi Annan: Interventions: A Life in War and Peace (new)


Sierra Leone

Aminatta Forna: The Memory of Love (new)








Michelle Obama: Becoming (new)

Mary Roberts Rinehart: The Red Lamp (new)

Nevada Barr: Track of the Cat (new)

Louise Erdrich: The Plague of Doves (new)

* Puerto Rico

Rosario Ferré: The House on the Lagoon (new)



Stef Penney: The Tenderness of Wolves (new)

Margaret Atwood: Hag-Seed (new)



Clarice Lispector: The Hour of the Star (new)



John le Carré: The Night Manager (new)


Dominican Republic

Julia Alvarez: How the García Girls Lost Their Accents (new)








Xinran: The Good Women of China (new)



Shizuko Natsuki: Murder at Mt. Fuji (new)


North Korea

Hyeonseo Lee: The Girl with Seven Names (new)


South Korea

Min Jin Lee: Pachinko (new)


Sri Lanka

Michael Ondaatje: Anil's Ghost (new)



Elif Shafak: Three Daughters of Eve (new)



Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni: Sister of My Heart (new)






Australia / Oceania


Joan Lindsay: Picnic at Hanging Rock (new)


New Zealand

Ngaio Marsh: Vintage Murder and Died in the Wool (both revisited on audio)

Witi Ihimaera: The Whale Rider (new)







United Kingdom

Lorna Nicholl Morgan: Another Little Murder (new)

Stephen Fry, John Woolf, Nick Baker: Stephen Fry's Victorian Secrets (new)

P.D. James: A Taste for Death (revisited on audio)

Agatha Christie: The Big Four, Why Didn't They Ask Evans?, The Unexpected Guest, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, The Secret Adversary (twice), Parker Pyne Investigates, and The Mysterious Mr. Quin (all revisited on audio; The Unexpected Guest also in print); The Lost Plays: Butter in a Lordly Dish / Personal Call / Murder in the Mews (new)

Elizabeth Ferrars: Murder Among Friends (new)

Barbara Pym: Excellent Women, Quartet in Autumn, and An Unsuitable Attachment (all new)

Terry Pratchett: Equal Rites (revisited on audio), Mort, and Sourcery (both new)

Georgette Heyer: Why Shoot a Butler?, They Found Him Dead, and A Blunt Instrument (all new)

Nicholas Blake: A Question of Proof (new)

Joy Ellis: The Murderer's Son (new)

Peter Grainger: An Accidental Death (new)

Elizabeth Gaskell: My Lady Ludlow (new)

Various Authors / Contributors: Agatha Christie Close Up: A Radio Investigation (new)

Virginia Woolf: The String Quartet (new)

John Buchan: The 39 Steps (revisited on audio)

Oscar Wilde: Lord Arthur Savile's Crime (new)

Ellis Peters: The Hermit of Eyton Forest, Dead Man's Ransom, The Leper of Saint Giles, St. Peter's Fair, and The Virgin in the Ice (all revisited on audio)

Patricia Wentworth: The Alington Inheritance, The Gazebo, The Benevent Treasure, Anna, Where are You?, The Key, The Ivory Dagger, Out of the Past, The Silent Pool, The Catherine Wheel, and The Fingerprint (all new)

Dorothy L. Sayers: Whose Body? (twice) and The Five Red Herrings (both revisited on audio)

Martin Fido: The World of Sherlock Holmes (new)

Ian Rankin: In a House of Lies (new)

John le Carré: Our Game (new)

Martin Durrani & Liz Kalaugher: Furry Logic (new)

The Detection Club: The Floating Admiral (reread)

Tony Medawar (ed.) & var. Golden Age mystery writers: Bodies from the Libary (new)

Peter Lovesey: The Last Detective (new)

Colin Dexter: Morse's Greatest Mystery and Other Stories (new)

Miles Burton: The Secret of High Eldersham (new)

Ngaio Marsh: The Nursing Home Murder (revisited on audio)

Ellen Wilkinson: The Division Bell Mystery (new)

Ronald Knox: The Three Taps (new)

Jane Austen: Sense and Sensibility (revisited on audio)

Frank Froest: The Grell Mystery (new)

Julian Symons: The Belting Inheritance (new)



Tana French: The Witch Elm (new)



Stephen Fry: Mythos (new)

Madeline Miller: Circe (new)



Astrid Lindgren: Die Menschheit hat den Verstand verloren: Tagebücher 1939-1945 (A World Gone Mad: Diaries, 1939-45) (new)



Emmuska Orczy: The Elusive Pimpernel (new)



Agatha Christie: Murder on the Orient Express (revisited on audio)

(Note: Yugoslavia at the time of the writing -- but the action is set after the train has passed Vinkovci, aka "The Gateway to Croatia".)



Dolores Redondo: El guardián invisible / The Invisible Guardian (new)




The "Gender Wars" Stats:

Read to date, in 2019:

Books by female authors: 73

- new: 50

- rereads: 23


Books by male authors: 22

- new: 20

- rereads: 2


Books by F & M mixed teams / anthologies: 4

- new: 3

- rereads: 1




The Reading Lists:
















WOMEN WRITERS (global list):


Reading progress update: I've read 100%.

The Memory of Love - Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, Aminatta Forna

Wow.  What a book -- definitely one of the highlights of this year; and I'm glad I took a whole week to finish it.  Nothing short of spectacular -- as is Kobna Holdbrook Smith's narration.

If Muhammad won't come to the mountain ... (the feline version).

While Sunny and Charlie are having great fun helping me pick books for BL-opoly (and enjoying their repeated snack breaks), they've had to do without me in their favorite parts of our home a lot lately because I was spending long hours at my desk.  So they decided they needed to check out what exactly was keeping me away:



Soon they also discovered that there was a new spot with prime view of my desk top where I had removed a couple of binders that I was working with, and which therefore made for an excellent observation post (or, um, daytime bed ...) ...


... until I replaced the binders belonging in that spot.  Charlie in particular was decidedly not amused: He promptly removed the first layer of micro binders in the shelf below, so as to have a ledge to stand on, and then set about restoring the status quo ante:

(I don't know how well you can see this, but in the left photo he actually has his paw inside the binder, reaching in from below -- exactly as you or I might grab it and pull it out.)


He eventually capitulated (with a monstrous grudge), realizing -- or so I hope -- that if the binder had hit his head that might actually have hurt, and has since returned to using the various cat beds in my office (it's not like they don't have a choice of those, after all), or just hanging out next to my desk:


Sunny, meanwhile, has discovered that my office chair (on which he has lately also taken to sleeping at night) makes for an excellent stepping stone to the windowsill, and has appointed himself neighborhood watch and guardian of the minor tools of  my trade:


... if he's not in the mood for a nap, that is.  For which pretty much anything but a kitty bed will do (even if that means he has to squeeze onto the windowsill or next to me on my office chair -- or on my lap / arm / the edge of the desk, in whichever position happens to spring to his mind).



By and large, they still much prefer me to join them elsewhere in our home, though!

BL-opoly: Master Tracking Post

Status Quo of Bank Account: $66

Novelty Card I'm Currently Holding: The Race Car


Currently Reading for:

The Cape-to-Cairo Railway, #23:

A book set in Africa or by an African author.



Aminatta Fornatta: The Memory of Love

Length: 445 pages

=> + $5 upon completion




My marker is based (of course) on my little assistants and good luck charms, Sunny and Charlie, who are again helping me pick my books.



My Progress Spreadsheet



The Books and the Board

The Questions



How?: Julia Alvarez: How the García Girls Lost Their Accents - finished May 26, 2019.



The Railroads

The Silk Road:

The Patagonia Star:

The Cape-to-Cairo Railway: Kofi Annan: Interventions - finished May 30, 2019.

                                                Aminatta Forna: The Memory of Love

The Nordic Express: 


School's Out For Summer

#1: Jane Austen: Sense and Sensibility - finished June 3, 2019.

#3: Frank Froest: The Grell Mystery - finished June 5, 2019.



The Stay-Cation


#7: Miles Burton: The Secret of High Eldersham - finished May 21, 2019.



Beach Week


#11: Julian Symons: The Belting Inheritance - finished June 6, 2019.



Mountain Cabin

#15: Louise Erdrich: The Plague of Doves - finished May 23, 2019.

#16: Ellen Wilkinson: The Division Bell Mystery - finished May 28, 2019.

        Georgette Heyer: A Blunt Instrument - finished June 8, 2019



The Lake House:

#19: Margaret Atwood: Hag-Seed - finished May 25, 2019.




The Summer Blockbuster

#25: Witi Ihimaera: The Whale Rider - finished May 31, 2019.



The Summer Romance




European Vacation

#33: Ronald Knox: The Three Taps - finished May 31, 2019.




The Novelty Cards

The Race Car: Picked up on May 24.

The Robot:

The Cat:

The Dog:


The Four Corners

GO: Collected $20 on May 20; and $5 each on:

May 24

June 1

June 9



Free Parking:

Go to Jail:


BL-opoly: Dice Roll #9 ... Parts a, b, c and d!

The Memory of Love - Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, Aminatta Forna

Today is another roll day for me, and it turns out as a result I'll probably be set, reading-wise, for quite some time! 


Let's take this one step by step ...


Beginning on my just-finished square, #16, my first roll today is a double, which puts me on square 23: The Cape-to-Cairo Railway -- read a book set in Africa or by an African author (a square I've visited before).  My read for this square will be Aminatta Forna's The Memory of Love.


Curiously enough, in a repeat of my Memorial Day results, my next roll again puts me on the BookLikes square.




The Spin-the-Wheel Decide gives me two extra rolls ...


... the first one of which takes me to square 35: The European Vacation -- read a book set in Europe or by a European author, or that involves travel by boat or with a boat on the cover.  There are plenty of choices for this one so I'll make it a spur-of-the-moment pick, which means that for the time being my little helpers get another refreshment break.



And with my final roll I pass GO and finally end up on square 9: The Stay-Cation -- read a book involving a visit to a museum, concert, library or part, or by an author whose first or last name begins with a letter in R-E-L-A-X.  Again plenty of choices, so in the interim more break time for Sunny and Charlie!




Reading progress update: I've read 100%.

A Blunt Instrument - Georgette Heyer, Ulli Birvé

Let's just say this is one of Ms. Heyer's less than stellar efforts.  Also, it didn't age well at all -- and Ulli Birvé hits a new low in the narration.


Oh well.  Two nonseries mysteries to go, and I'll be done with Georgette Heyer's crime fiction!

Good Omens: The Screen Adaptation -- Ten Comments, Two Addenda and a Summary


So, I finally had an opportunity to watch this (binged on the whole thing last night).  A few comments:


1.  The kids: loved them.  The only people in the whole production who were visibly in it for the fun of the thing, not because it was a job.  Sam Taylor Buck was fabulous as Adam, but I almost loved his friends even more.

2.  Obviously a huge star vehicle for Michael Sheen and David Tennant, and both of them used it to the max.  Tennant wins in the coolness department, but then, bad boys who aren't really bad always do.  As does tall, dark and handsome.  (As does, for the same reasons, Crowley in the book.)

3.  God bless Miranda Richardson.  And Jack Whitehall and Michael McKean -- but chiefly, Miranda Richardson.  Besides the kids, the trio that really grounded the whole thing.

4.  Anathema as a mllennial Californian with a Latina mother -- why, oh why???  She's the direct descendant of a 17th century rural English witch, for crying out loud ...

5.  Footnotes from the mouth of God -- and not the Metatron, either, but God (Frances McDormand) herself?  Please.  I mean, I do love Terry Pratchett's footnotes, but jeez.

6.  Adam and Eve: PC casting rather than inspired.

7.  The Four Horsemen: More PC casting, but I loved the looks.

8.  The (arch)angels and demons (except for Hastur):  More PC casting.  (What is one of the hallmarks of PC casting?  It goes to supporting and [relatively] minor characters who make up the background and "feel" of the production, rather than the starring roles.)

9.  Derek Jacobi as the Metatron: What a letdown.  No dice on Nicholas Briggs in the BBC audio production (nor, for that matter, on Alan Rickman in Dogma, but let's not even go there).  The Metatron is many things, but decidedly not an elderly gentleman dragged out of semi-retirement.  Being a huge fan of Jacobi's, it pains me to say this, but there we are.

10.  The Shakespeare scene was inspired.  Particularly so, the allusions to Tennant's previous role as Hamlet and to the Bard's mastery at appropriating source material from brains other than his own.  Loved seeing the actual [reconstructed] Globe Theatre as the setting, too.

11. Addendum 1:  The nurses and the switching scenes were fun.  Also, good old-fashioned stop-motion technology put to great effect in the winking exchange.

12.  Addendum 2: Benedict Cumberbatch was wasted as Satan's voice.


Overall:  Gaahhh, this is slick.  Make no mistake, I instantly downloaded the whole thing so as to be able to watch it again (and again), for Tennant and Sheen alone.  And it's enormous fun.  But it has a glossy, sleek, high tech surface that buries much of the rough, original force of the book under it; never mind that the essential plot remains unchanged and many of the lines are taken straight from the novel: It's the visuals that get in the way.  And while in both the book and the BBC audio adaptation, for all the humor and downright slapstick comedy, there is a real sense of dread and impending doom towards the end, I never once had that feeling while watching this screen adaptation -- even the end left me as cold as just about every blockbuster disaster movie produced ever since the early 2000s (which is why I don't bother watching them).  I'm not sure less would have been more there -- we're literally talking about the end of the world, after all -- but here, too, all I saw was CGI and other high tech effects being showcased for themselves, not in aid of the story.


This adaptation has all the makings of an instant classic, and there is much to love about it.  And most of its audience will probably not even think about, let alone be bothered by the things that are bothering me.  And I enjoyed it enough to want to watch it again, too, probably repeatedly.  And perhaps this is just the sort of production we have to expect, coming out of Hollywood, in this day and age.  Still -- for however much I did enjoy it, for me it's just a tad short of what it could and probably should have been.


BL-opoly: Dice Roll #8

A Blunt Instrument - Georgette Heyer, Ulli Birvé

(Germany is UTC (GMT) +1, so it's already June 7 here and I'm allowed to roll again.)




This takes me to square 16: Mountain Cabin -- read a book classified as mystery or suspense, or whose title contains all the letters in C A B I N.


This is a square I've been on before -- but it's also one of the squares on this board that I'll always find a matching book for.


I'm in the mood for one of my go-to comfort reads, so I picked Georgette Heyer's final Inspector Hannasyde mystery that I haven't read yet, A Blunt Instrument.


Length: 293 pages

=> + $3 upon completion.


BL-opoly: Dice Roll #7

The Grell Mystery - Frank Froest, David Bauckham The Belting Inheritance - Julian Symons, David     Thorpe




I just about made it through Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility in time to still be allowed to roll today on June 3.  Funnily enough, I rolled the same results as with my roll before the last one -- a 1+1 double and a 5+4 -- even though I'd actually not only gone back to start but also refreshed the page before I rolled for the first time.  Oh well -- I guess that comes under the heading of "random", too, then.


So here we go:






My first roll takes took me to square 3: School's Out For Summer -- read a book set in a school or college, or considered a "classic", or that is frequently banned.  I've decided to use this square to start my Summer of Sherlock reading program, though not with a book by ACD but with Frank Froest's Grell Mystery; a crime classic from the early days of the Golden Age of Mysteries.

Length: 304 pages

=> + $3 upon completion

Finished June 5, 2019.


My second roll puts me on square 11: Beach Week -- read a book set in a coastal region that you love or would like to visit, or a book with a beach or ocean on the cover.  This one, I'll have to think about (not that there's a lack of coastlines I love or would like to visit, but anyway), so in the interim it's refreshment break time for the crew again:



Refreshment time over.  Settled on Julian Symons's The Belting Inheritance, which has an image of (what I take to be) the Dover Cliffs and the British Channel coast on the cover.

Length: 240 pages

=> + $3 upon completion

Finished June 6, 2019.


Seeking Beta readers for two short stories.



Seeking Beta readers for two short stories fro The Beta-Earth Chronicles


One is "A Day in the Death of the Magic Mabel" with a Word Count of 10196. Set 40 years in the future on our planet, it's set on a doomed cruise ship with a horrible fear-inducing chemical compound hidden somewhere on board. Can Mary Carpenter find it in time?


The other is "The Alien That Never Was" with a Word Count of 10772. It's set on Beta-Earth during the Alman Civil War with a distinctly WWII flavor. Can sexy special operatives of the Kirippean resistance fool the forces of the power-hungry Lunta?


If interested in an Advanced reader copy PDF, or Word file, of either of these yarns, reply to me here or email me at spywise@verizon.net.


Thanks in advance--


Reblogged from Wesley Britton's blog

Golden Age Mysteries: Further Reading

With my Detection Club Bingo card now blacked out, I'm going to track my reading here.  (Note: for purposes of completeness, this includes books by the below authors already read prior to the creation of this list.)  My priorities are going to be:



Arthur Conan Doyle's / Sherlock Holmes's adventures, biographies, contemporaries and rivals, as included in my 221B Baker Street and Beyond reading list



Agatha Christie's Plays and Romances:

The Stage Plays:

a) Black Coffee
b) And Then There Were None
c) Appointment with Death
d) Murder on the Nile
e) The Hollow
f) The Mousetrap
g) Witness for the Prosecution
h) Spider's Web
i) Towards Zero
j) Verdict
k) The Unexpected Guest
l) Go Back for Murder
m) Rule of Three: Afternoon at the Sea-side / The Patient / The Rats
n) Fiddlers Three
o) Akhnaton
p) Chimneys


The Broadcast Plays:

a) Behind The Screen
b) The Scoop
c) Wasp's Nest
d) The Yellow Iris
e) Three Blind Mice
f) Butter in a Lordly Dish
g) Personal Call


The Romances (writing as Mary Westmacott):

a) Giant's Bread
b) Unfinished Portrait
c) Absent in the Spring
d) The Rose and the Yew Tree
e) A Daughter's a Daughter
f) The Burden


-- as well as Agatha Christie's Secret Notebooks by way of a companion read.



Dorothy L. Sayers's Montague Egg stories, nonfiction and plays:

The Montague Egg stories:

a) Hangman's Holiday

b) In the Teeth of the Evidence


The Nonfiction:

a) The Mind of the Maker

b) Unpopular Opinions

c) Are Women Human?

d) The Lost Tools of Learning

e) The Wimsey Family: A Fragmentary History (with C.W. Scott-Giles)

f) The Letters of Dorothy L. Sayers: 1899-1936: The Making of a Detective Novelist

g) The Letters of Dorothy L. Sayers: 1937–1943, From Novelist to Playwright
h) The Letters of Dorothy L. Sayers: 1944–1950, A Noble Daring
i) The Letters of Dorothy L. Sayers: 1951–1957, In the Midst of Life
j) The Letters of Dorothy L. Sayers: Child and Woman of Her Time


The Plays:

a) The Zeal of Thy House

b) He That Should Come

c) The Devil to Pay

d) The Man Born to be King

e) The Just Vengeance



Patricia Wentworth's Miss Silver series:

1: Grey Mask
2: The Case Is Closed
3: Lonesome Road
4: Danger Point
5: The Chinese Shawl
6: Miss Silver Intervenes (aka Miss Silver Deals With Death)
7: The Clock Strikes Twelve
8: The Key
9: The Traveller Returns (aka She Came Back)
10: Pilgrim's Rest
11: Latter End
12: Wicked Uncle (aka Spotlight)
13: The Case of William Smith
14: Eternity Ring
15: The Catherine Wheel
16: Miss Silver Comes to Stay
17: The Brading Collection
18: The Ivory Dagger
19: Through the Wall
20: Anna, Where Are You?
21: The Watersplash
22: Ladies' Bane
23: Out of the Past
24: The Silent Pool
25: Vanishing Point
26: The Benevent Treasure
27: The Gazebo
28: The Listening Eye
29: Poison in the Pen
30: The Fingerprint
31: The Alington Inheritance
32: The Girl in the Cellar



Josephine Tey's Inspector Grant series:

1. The Man in the Queue
2. A Shilling for Candles
3. The Franchise Affair
4. To Love and Be Wise
5. The Daughter of Time
6. The Singing Sands


-- as well as some of Tey's plays (chiefly written under the pseudonym Gordon Daviot)



Georgette Heyer's mysteries:


a) Footsteps in the Dark

b) Why Shoot a Butler?

c) The Unfinished Clue

d) Penhallow


Inspector Hannasyde & Sergeant Hemingway:

1. Death in the Stocks

2. Behold, Here's Poison

3. They Found Him Dead

4. A Blunt Instrument


Inspector Hemingway:

1. No Wind of Blame

2. Envious Casca (aka A Christmas Party)

3. Duplicate Death

4. Detection Unlimited



A (futher) taste of Gladys Mitchell's Mrs. Bradley series:

1. Speedy Death

2. The Mystery of a Butcher's Shop

4. The Saltmarsh Murders

5. Death at the Opera

18. The Rising of the Moon

23. Groaning Spinney (aka Murder in the Snow)

28. Watson's Choice

(Note to BT: These are the books currently on my TBR based on various recommendations and reviews.  If there are others that I should absolutely be including, by all means let me know!)



By Patricia Highsmith:

a) Strangers on a Train
b) Carol (aka The Price of Salt)
c) The Blunderer
d) The Talented Mr. Ripley
d) Deep Water
e) A Game for the Living
f) This Sweet Sickness
g) The Cry of the Owl
h) The Two Faces of January
i) Plotting and Writing Suspense Fiction

(Note to BT and Lillelara: See my above comments re: Gladys Mitchell -- the same applies here.)



A further taste of E.C.R. Lorac's Robert MacDonald series:

1. The Murder on the Burrows
6. Murder in St. John's Wood
7. Murder in Chelsea
8. The Organ Speaks
13. Bats in the Belfry
25. Murder by Matchlight
26. Fire in the Thatch



A further taste of Nicholas Blake (Cecil Day Lewis)'s Nigel Strangeways series:

1. A Question of Proof

2. Thou Shell of Death

4. The Beast Must Die

12. End of Chapter


-- as well as the nonseries mystery The Private Wound.




By Julian Symons:

Inspector Bland:

1. The Immaterial Murder Case
2. A Man Called Jones
3. Bland Beginning


Sheridan Haynes:

1. A Three-Pipe Problem


Nonseries mysteries:

a) The 31st of February

b) The Belting Inheritance
c) The Man Who Killed Himself
d) The Man Whose Dreams Came True
e) The Players and the Game
f) The Plot Against Roger Rider
g) The Name of Annabel Lee
h) Death's Darkest Face



a) The Great Detectives: Seven Original Investigations

b) Bloody Murder: From the Detective Story to the Crime Novel 



By John Dickson Carr (aka Carter Dickson):

Dr. Gideon Fell:

1. Hag's Nook
2. The Mad Hatter Mystery
4. The Blind Barber
6. The Hollow Man (aka The Three Coffins)
8. The Crooked Hinge
9. To Wake the Dead
13. The Case of the Constant Suicides
15. Till Death Do Us Part
xx Dr. Fell, Detective, and Other Stories


Henri Bencolin:

1. It Walks by Night


Sir Henry Merrivale:

1. The Plague Court Murders

3. The Red Widow Murders
8. The Judas Window
9. The Reader Is Warned
14. She Died a Lady
20. Night at the Mocking Widow


Nonseries mysteries:

a) The Murder of Sir Edmund Godfrey
b) The Burning Court
c) The Hungry Goblin
d) The Door to Doom and Other Detections



John Dickson Carr & Val Gielgud: 13 to the Gallows
John Dickson Carr & John Rhode: Drop to His Death



By J. Jefferson Farjeon:

a) The House Opposite
b) The Z Murders
c) Thirteen Guests
d) Mystery in White
e) Seven Dead




By Cyril Hare:

Inspector Mallett:

1. Tenant for Death
2. Death Is No Sportsman


Francis Pettigrew:

1. Tragedy at Law (also Inspector Mallett #4)
2. With a Bare Bodkin (also Inspector Mallett #5)
3. When the Wind Blows
5. He Should Have Died Hereafter


Nonseries mysteries:

a) An English Murder

b) That Yew Tree's Shade



By Anthony Berkeley:

Roger Sheringham:

1. The Layton Court Mystery
2. The Wychford Poisoning Case
4. The Silk Stocking Murders
5. The Poisoned Chocolate Case
6. The Second Shot
7. Top Storey Murder
8. Murder in the Basement
9. Jumping Jenny
10. Panic Party
11. The Avenging Chance and Other Mysteries from Roger Sheringham


Ambrose Chitterwick:

1. The Piccadilly Murder
2. Trial and Error


Writing as Francis Iles:

a) Before the Fact

b) Malice Aforethought



By Raymond Postgate:

a) Verdict of Twelve
b) Somebody at the Door
c) The Ledger Is Kept





By E.R. Punshon:

Bobby Owen:

1. Information Received
3. Crossword Mystery
5. Death of a Beauty Queen
6. Death Comes to Cambers
10. Dictator's Way
11. Comes a Stranger
16. Ten Star Clues
17. Diabolic Candelabra



By Philip MacDonald:

Colonel Gethryn:

1. The Rasp
4. The Noose
6. The Maze
8. The Crime Conductor
11. The Nursemaid Who Disappeared (aka Warrant for X)
12. The List of Adrian Messenger


Nonseries mysteries:

a) Murder Gone Mad

b) X v. Rex



By Anthony Wynne:

Dr. Hailey:

12. Murder of a Lady

18. Death of a Banker
28. Death of a Shadow






By Edmund Crispin:

Gervase Fen:

1. The Case of the Gilded Fly
2. Holy Disorders
3. The Moving Toyshop
4. Swan Song
5. Love Lies Bleeding
6. Buried for Pleasure



The Detection Club round robins:

a) The Floating Admiral

b) The Sinking Admiral

c) Anatomy of Murder
d) Ask a Policeman
e) Baker Street Studies
f) Detection Medley
g) Double Death
h) No Flowers by Request
i) Six Against the Yard
j) The Scoop / Behind the Screen



The remaining "100 books" from Martin Edwards's list in The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books (in alphabetical order and to the extent not already listed above or in the reading lists linked in this post):

H.C. Bailey: Mr. Fortune, Please (Reggie Fortune #4)
C.E. Bechhofer Roberts: A.B.C. Solves Five
Francis Beeding: Death Walks in Eastrepps
Godfrey R. Benson: Tracks in the Snow
Jorge Luis Borges: Six Problems for Don Isidro Parodi
Christianna Brand: Green for Danger (Inspector Cockrill #2)
Douglas G. Browne: What Beckoning Ghost?
Leo Bruce: Case for Three Detectives (Sergeant Beef #1)
John Bude: The Sussex Downs Murder (Superintendent Meredith #2)
Christopher Bush: The Perfect Murder Case (Ludovic Travers #2)
Joanna Cannan: No Walls of Jasper
Bernard Capes: The Mystery of the Skeleton Key
G.D.H. & Margaret Cole: End of an Ancient Mariner
J.J. Connington: Mystery at Lynden Sands (Sir Clinton Driffield #3)
Freeman Wills Crofts: The Cask
Francis Durbridge: Send for Paul Temple (Paul Temple #1)
Sebastian Farr: Death on the Down Beat
C.S. Forester: Payment Deferred

Val Gielgud: Death at Broadcasting House

Michael Gilbert: Smallbone Deceased (Inspector Hazelrigg #4 / Henry Bohun #1)
Lord R. Gorell: In the Night
Bruce Hamilton: Middle Class Murder
A.P. Herbert: The House by the River
James Hilton: Murder at School (aka Was It Murder?) (originally published as by Glen Trevor)
Roy Horniman: Israel Rank
Richard Hull: My Own Murderer
Michael Innes: Death at the President's Lodging (Sir John Appleby #1)
Romilly & Katherine John: Death by Request
Milward Kennedy: Death to the Rescue
C. Daly King: The Curious Mr. Tarrant
C.H.B. Kitchin: Birthday Party
Ronald Knox: The Body in the Silo (Miles Bredon #3)
George Limnelius: The Medbury Fort Murder
A.E.W. Mason: At the Villa Rose (Inspector Hanaud #1)
Q. Patrick: Murder at Cambridge
Rupert Penny: She Had to Have Gas (Chief Inspector Beale #6)
Eden Phillpotts: The Red Redmaynes
Ellery Queen: Calamity Town (Ellery Queen Detective #16)
John Rhode: Hendon's First Case (Dr. Priestley #20)
Joel Townsley Rogers: The Red Right Hand
Helen Simpson: Vantage Striker
Shelley Smith: Background for Murder (Jacob Chaos #1)
C.P. Snow: Death Under Sail
Stanislas-André Steeman: Six hommes morts (Six Dead Men)
F. Tennyson Jesse: A Pin to See the Peepshow
Roy Vickers: The Department of Dead Ends
Henry Wade: The Duke of York's Steps (Inspector Poole #2)
Edgar Wallace: The Four Just Men (The Four Just Men #1)
Hugh Walpole: The Killer and the Slain
T.H. White: Darkness at Pemberley
Victor L. Whitechurch: The Crime at Diana's Pool
R.C. Woodthorpe: Silence of a Purple Shirt (aka Death Wears a Purple Shirt)


... as well as the re-releases in the ongoing British Library Classic Crime, Collins Crime Club, and Penzler American Mystery Classics series.


Detection Club Bingo: Blackout

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 Bats in the Belfry - E.C.R. Lorac Trial and Error (Arcturus Crime Classics) - Anthony Berkeley Nightmare - Lynn Brock A Question of Proof - Nicholas Blake The Division Bell Mystery - Ellen Wilkinson

With Ngaio Marsh's Nursing Home Murder and Ellen Wilkinson's Division Bell Mystery, both of which I finished in the past 10 days, I have blacked out my bingo card.


Many thanks to Moonlight Reader for creating such a wonderful card in response to my completely off-the-wall idea to track our Detection Club / Golden Age mystery reads this way!


While my bingo card may now be completed, my foray into the world of the Detection Club and Golden Age crime fiction is by far not over -- there are many more books and authors I'm planning to explore; some, but by far not all of them, as part of this year's Summer of Sherlock / 221B Baker Street and Beyond reading project.



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, The Traveller Returns, Poison in the Pen, The Clock Strikes Twelve, The Alington Inheritance, The Gazebo, The Benevent Treasure, Anna Where Are You?, The Key, The Ivory Dagger, Out of the Past, The Silent Pool, The Catherine Wheel, and The Fingerprint;

Agatha Christie - Murder at the Vicarage

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;

Members of the Detection Club - The Floating Admiral

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

John Dickson Carr - The Hollow Man

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

John Bude - The Lake District Murder;

Patricia Wentworth - Poison in the Pen;

Miles Burton - The Secret of High Eldersham

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;

E.C.R. Lorac - Bats in the Belfry

9. Resorting to Murder: Dorothy L. Sayers - Five Red Herrings;

Agatha Christie - Death on the Nile

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:
Ngaio Marsh - The Nursing Home Murder
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: Anthony Berkeley - Trial and Error;

Agatha Christie - Murder on the Orient Express
16. Multiplying Murders:
Anthony Berkeley - The Silk Stocking Murders
17. The Psychology of Crime:
Lynn Brock - Nightmare
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: Ellen Wilkinson - The Division Bell Mystery
22. Across the Atlantic: Patricia Highsmith - The Talented Mr. Ripley;

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

Mary Roberts Rinehart - Locked Doors  and The Red Lamp

23. Cosmopolitan Crimes: Georges Simenon - Pietr le Letton (Pietr the Latvian)
24. The Way Ahead: Nicholas Blake - A Question of Proof


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

Ooooh, I like this one.

Sourcery  - Terry Pratchett Sourcery - Terry Pratchett, Nigel Planer

It's got a "knife to a gun fight" reference (only involving porcupines) and a [literally] kick-ass heroine, takes digs at Aladdin and The Lord of the Rings -- especially The Two Towers --, the Four Horsepersons of the Apothe...ca...thingamagig make an appearance, and the Librarian is taking a stand -- an important one.  (It would be important.)


Also, it's safe to say that by book 5, Pratchett had found his Discworld legs once and for all.


BL-opoly: Dice Roll #6

Sense and Sensibility  - Jane Austen, Juliet Stevenson

(Germany is UTC (GMT) +1, so it's already June 1 here and I'm allowed to roll again.)





This takes me past GO, where I collect $5,


to square 1: School's Out For Summer -- read a book from any school-related summer reading list or characterized as YA or MG.


I had a look at various summer reading lists published on the Web and decided to use the one by Common Sense Media: https://www.commonsensemedia.org/lists/summer-reading-list


And just look, they include Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility, which I had been planning to revisit via Juliet Stevenson's narration anyway.  (There can't ever be too much Austen in your life, can there?  Nor too much of Ms. Stevenson's audio narrations ...)


Length: 368 pages

=> + $3 upon completion.





The Flat Book Society: Open for July nominations!



With the current Flat Book Society read of Napoleon's Buttons (by Penny Le Couteur) on the way, I have cleared the list of votes to make way for new new nominations. 


Please add any titles you'd like the group to vote on as the July group read.


And if you haven't heard of our Flat Book Society and are intrigued, check it out! Everyone is welcome. 


PLEASE DO NOT BE SHY!  If you want a title there, please add it - even if it's been

added and voted on before.


Huggins below links to the current list of nominations/votes.





Note to group: Please remember this is a science book club and we try to stick with books whose primary subject matter is science. Not science fiction, history, or, politics etc. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with any of those subjects, they fall outside the agreed upon scope of this group.

Reblogged from BrokenTune

BL-opoly: Dice Roll #5

The Three Taps - Ronald Knox, Barnaby Edwards The Whale Rider - Witi Ihimaera, Jay Laga'aia




Today is May 30 was a roll day for me, and having finished my previous book, I am was allowed to roll again.


My first roll turned out to be the smallest of doubles, so I rolled again:




My first roll put me on square 25: The Summer Blockbuster -- read a book (standalone or in a series) that has been adopted for film or TV.  Hmm.  Will have to think about that one.  In the interim, my little helpers get another refreshment break ...

Break over.  Decided on Witi Ihimaera's The Whale Rider.

Read and finished on Friday, May 31.


Length: 152 pages

=> + $2 upon completion





... while I move on to square 33: The European Vacation -- read a book set in the UK or by an author whose first or last name begins with any letter in L-O-N-D-O-N.


My last read was very intense, so I need a bit of a change of pace.  Ronald Knox's first Miles Bredon novel, The Three Taps, is set in England and should do the trick in all respects.  Also finished Friday, May 31.


Length: 192 pages

=> + $2 upon completion