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Bodies from the Library 2: Forgotten Stories of Mystery and Suspense by the Queens of Crime and Other Masters of Golden Age Detection
Helen Simpson, Agatha Christie, Christianna Brand, Peter Antony, Various Authors, Cyril Alington, E.C.R. Lorac, Jonathan Latimer, Clayton Rawson, S.S. Van Dine, Anthony Shaffer, Peter Shaffer, Ethel Lina White, Dorothy L. Sayers, Tony Medawar, Philip Bretherton
Bodies from the Library 2: Forgotten Stories of Mystery and Suspense by the Queens of Crime and other Masters of Golden Age Detection
Helen Simpson, Agatha Christie, Christianna Brand, Peter Antony, Various Authors, Cyril Alington, E.C.R. Lorac, Jonathan Latimer, Clayton Rawson, S.S. Van Dine, Anthony Shaffer, Peter Shaffer, Ethel Lina White, Dorothy L. Sayers, Tony Medawar
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: 612/928 pages

Recently Added

Bodies from the Library 2: Forgotten Stories of Mystery and Suspense by the Queens of Crime and Other Masters of Golden Age Detection - Helen Simpson, Agatha Christie, Christianna Brand, Peter Antony, Various Authors, Cyril Alington, E.C.R. Lorac, Jonathan Latimer, Clayton Rawson, S.S. Van Dine, Anthony Shaffer, Peter Shaffer, Ethel Lina White, Dorothy L. Sayers, Tony Medawar, Philip Bretherton
The Haunted Lady - Otto Penzler, Mary Roberts Rinehart
The Siamese Twin Mystery - Otto Penzler, Ellery Queen
"You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough." ― Mae West


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Project Hamlet

"They seek him here, they seek him there ..."

The Scarlet Pimpernel  - Emmuska Orczy, Gary Hoppenstand The Scarlet Pimpernel  - Stephen Crossly, Emmuska Orczy

Oh, what a glorious prelude to the 2018 Summer of Spies.

 

Maybe not a "spy" novel in a narrower sense, but writing in 1902 and leagues ahead of her time, Orczy created the first book of what would become a series of perfect swashbucklers, starring a power couple in which the heroine is every bit her partner's equal and then some.

 

Indeed, cleverly Orczy even tells this book's story chiefly from Marguerite's point of view, which not only has the benefit of keeping the first-time reader (though ... is there such a creature, in this day and age, when it comes to this particular novel?) unaware of the Scarlet Pimpernel's identity as long as possible, but also gives Marguerite an added reason to hurtle all the way to France in Sir Percy's pursuit once she has cottoned onto (1) his alias, and (2) the fact that Chauvelin has unmasked him as well and is now hunting for him in turn.  After all, the narrative perspective would go to hell in a handbasket if Marguerite were to just stay at home and gnash her teeth, anxiously awaiting her husband's safe return -- whereas this way, Orczy is able to present her as a woman of action ... even if, for the most part, it looks like the much-touted "cleverest woman in Europe" is stumbling blindly after her husband and Chauvelin in their respective tracks and comes darned close to ruining Sir Percy's whole enterprise, not to mention imperiling the life of her beloved brother Armand, to whose assistance Sir Percy had rushed off to begin with (well, that and in order to finish the job of getting the de Tournay family safely across the Channel).

 

No wonder, in any event, that the reading public soon demanded a sequel -- and Marguerite  and Sir Percy would soon also find their way onto the silver screen.  The rest, as they've never said more truly than here, is history ...

 

 

My "Summer of Spies meets Women Writers Project" reading list:

Women of Intelligence

(http://booklikes.com/apps/reading-lists/897/women-of-intelligence)