THIS TIME CARR DRIVES THE BUS: The D.A. Draws a Circle
Ah Sweet Mystery
by Brad
9h ago
It’s Leap Day, everyone! Every four years, we gather together 1440 minutes and set them before the people. It’s a gift of time! It’s an acknowledgement of our limitations at monitoring the whirl of planets and the time flow of the cosmos. To me, it’s more unnerving than Halloween and more deserving of celebration.  When I’m unnerved these days, I turn to Erle Stanley Gardner. Oh, but I promised that I would give a pause to all the Perry Mason I’ve been reading. No problem – there’s always the hilarity of Cool and Lam, whom I have visited only once before and to whom far more attention mus ..read more
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MY YEAR WITH BRITBOX: The Arrow Points to Sherwood
Ah Sweet Mystery
by Brad
1w ago
This was supposed to be a post about Sherlock Holmes. Recently, while ranking the Basil Rathbone/Nigel Bruce Sherlock Holmes movies with my buddies Sergio Angelini and Nick Cardillo, I admitted that I had never watched the series starring Jeremy Brett, arguably the David Suchet of Holmeses! I must say that the boys took me to task, and I promised that when the opportunity arose, I would get right to it. And now, thanks to My Year with Britbox, I can fulfill my promise.  Only . . . not yet.  This weekend was a rainy one, thanks to a series of atmospheric rivers pelting California, and ..read more
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THE BIG FOUR: Podcasts About Christie
Ah Sweet Mystery
by Brad
2w ago
It was twenty years ago today . . .  Well, okay, twenty years ago last Monday when Ben Hammersley coined the term “podcast” in The Guardian. And I paid no attention. Maybe that’s because ten years passed before podcasting really took off with the debut (in October 2014) of Serial. And everyone listening in their cars or through their earbuds on morning walks became obsessed with true crime. Except for me.  Yes, true to form, I ignored the whole podcast phenomenon – until my younger, hipper teacher friends said, “What’s wrong with you?” And truth to tell, I was getting tire ..read more
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CONSPIRACY THEORY: The Seven Dials Mystery
Ah Sweet Mystery
by Brad
2w ago
“’It’s impossible . . . The beautiful foreign adventuress, the international gang, the mysterious No. 7, whose identity nobody knows – I’ve read it all a hundred times in books.’ ’Of course you have. So have I. But it’s no reason why it shouldn’t really happen . . . After all – I suppose fiction is founded on the truth. I mean unless things did happen, people couldn’t think of them.’” Yes, we’re talking about Agatha Christie today, but first let’s mention Edgar Wallace. From 1905 until his death in 1932, Wallace wrote novels (170+), short stories (957 of them!) and plays founded on the convict ..read more
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WEDDING BELLE BLUES: The Case of the Curious Bride
Ah Sweet Mystery
by Brad
2w ago
“I’ll never forget the way he kissed me just before he beat it with all of my money.” On a fateful day in 1930, a young woman walked into the San Francisco offices of private detectives Sam Spade and Miles Archer. Miss Wonderley asked them to find her missing sister, who had gotten herself involved with a cad named Floyd Thursby. Spade and Archer liked the money she offered; they also liked her legs, and so they took the case. By the next morning Miles Archer would be dead, and Sam would come to realize what he had already suspected: everything about “Miss Wonderley” – her sister, her story, e ..read more
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BOOK CLUB STICKS TO PROCEDUR-AL: Exit Lines by Reginald Hill
Ah Sweet Mystery
by Brad
2w ago
When it comes to procedural mysteries, I’d rather watch ‘em than read ‘em, although there was a time when I read quite a few of them. I had a good long run with Ed McBain more years ago than I can remember, and I think that around the same time I read one or two of Reginald Hill’s amusing procedurals about the team of Superintendent Dalziel and Inspector Pascoe. But tastes evolve, due to time and circumstances.  Now, though, thanks to the machinations of my Book Club, which has decided we read altogether too much “old traditional mystery stuff,” I’m returning to Hill once again with ..read more
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KNOX, KNOX! WHO’S THERE? CRIPPEN & LANDRU!
Ah Sweet Mystery
by Brad
1M ago
Let me be among the first to wish a happy thirtieth anniversary to one of our most beloved small presses, Crippen & Landru. Founded in 1994 by author and scholar Douglas Greene and his wife Sandi, and named after two of the most deliciously infamous murderers in history, C&L has spotlighted the best in short crime fiction from authors both classic and contemporary. This Golden Age aficionado is particularly grateful for the many rare or lost works by GAD authors published under C&L’s Lost Classics series. My passion for old radio mystery series has been fed by collections of scrip ..read more
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MY YEAR WITH BRITBOX: The Clergyman in the Cathedral with the Candlestick . . .
Ah Sweet Mystery
by Brad
1M ago
Thanks to the recommendations you have sent my way, I have compiled the following watch list for my new Britbox subscription: Death in Paradise – beloved of the Puzzle Doctor, recommended by many – I watched several Season One eps when the show was on Netflix, but I’m willing to take a deeper dive . . . and maybe it’ll goose me into reading that Thorogood novel that’s been sitting on my shelf for three years Vera (the early seasons) – it’s my friend Viv’s favorite public TV comfort food Brokenwood Mysteries – according to Bill, it’s New Zealand’s answer to Midsomer Murders ..read more
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MY YEAR WITH BRITBOX: Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?
Ah Sweet Mystery
by Brad
1M ago
Perhaps you’ve heard me complain (of course you have) about the current state of pay-TV. In my day (cue the cliched old-person talk), watching television cost you nothing. Sure, there were only twelve channels (fourteen, if you could convince your little brother to maneuver the antenna back and forth while you tried to watch Shock Theatre on Channel 44). And sure, water-cooler conversation centered around the age-old question:  Addams Family or Munsters? And yet, buried under a plethora of hayseed comedies, there was always something good and/o ..read more
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ACDC, PART TWELVE: (Thumbs) Up Periscope for Nine- and Death Makes Ten
Ah Sweet Mystery
by Brad
1M ago
Considering how much I have loved John Dickson Carr for the past fifty years, it never ceases to baffle me that I purposefully, and with extreme prejudice, decided to ignore the work of one Carter Dickson. It was nothing more than a childish whim, one that in 2018 I began to rectify by tackling the Dickson novels in chronological order. And I have to say that my youthful folly was a boon in disguise! Christie’s all read (and re-read multiple times), Queen’s all read, Brand is all read . . . but with Carr/Dickson, there’s a whole stack of wonderful crime fiction still awaiting me in my dotage ..read more
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