KRIMES FOR KIDS, DOWN UNDER EDITION: Sabotage on the Solar Express

After dragging myself through a Book Club selection that aimed for the moon but sputtered at take-off, I wanted a read that would take me for a wild ride. Thankfully, the latest chapter in the Adventures in Trains series had only recently arrived at my door. Those masters of ferroequinology, Mara Leonard, Sam Sedgman and Elisa Paganelli … Continue reading KRIMES FOR KIDS, DOWN UNDER EDITION: Sabotage on the Solar Express

BOOK CLUB BLUES: Bristow/Manning Sequel Drags the Marsh

Three months after the fact, the world is still reeling from my extraordinary upset win in the 2021 Reprint-of-the-Year Awards, when Gwen Bristow and Bruce Manning’s 1930 debut novel, The Invisible Host, beat out J.D. Carr’s Till Death Do Us Part for the grand prize, (a deluxe lounge suite from Broyhill). The folks over at Dean Street Press … Continue reading BOOK CLUB BLUES: Bristow/Manning Sequel Drags the Marsh

“Inhuman, indecent, and the quintessence of gruesomeness . . . “Our Final Noir Triple-Bill

For our final 1950’s film noir class, our teacher Elliot Lavine handed us three films, and all I can say is . . . nobody said making it to the end in a noir world would be easy. First of all, these films are not all late examples; rather they span most of the decade, from 1953 – 1958, so you … Continue reading “Inhuman, indecent, and the quintessence of gruesomeness . . . “Our Final Noir Triple-Bill

” . . . there are matters of which no jest can be made:” THE RED DEATH MURDERS

Well, it was bound to happen! A pandemic comes along, and you stop teaching. There’s nothing to do but stare at the walls, studiously avoid that mountain of books comprising  your TBR pile, and desultorily post in your blog about this or that mediocre novel that you read in Book Club. And then – inspiration! You … Continue reading ” . . . there are matters of which no jest can be made:” THE RED DEATH MURDERS

THE EVIL THAT MEN DO: Kiss Me Deadly and The Big Combo

It’s hard to pinpoint precisely when film noir began and ended. Its antecedents lie in the silent era, in German Expressionism and in the Warner Brothers crime dramas of the 30’s. Our teacher Elliot Lavine offers a specific starting point – 1940’s Stranger on the Third Floor (which I discussed here) – and will rattle off a title or … Continue reading THE EVIL THAT MEN DO: Kiss Me Deadly and The Big Combo