Christianna Brand has long been one of my favorite mystery writers. After Christie and Carr, Brand and Ellery Queen were the most formative authors of my lifelong obsession with all things GAD. The truth is, however, that I devoured the ten mystery novels Brand wrote over thirty years ago, and I never returned. Now that … Continue reading PUTTING MORE BRAN(D) IN MY GAD(IET)
Dale Carnegie said: “When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but with creatures of emotion.” Try applying this truism to the classic mystery, and you can perhaps see why some people turn away from the tendency of these stories to shortchange the emotional aspects of murder, while others are … Continue reading I SECOND THAT EMOTION: Mysteries That Make You Feel
About six weeks ago, I invited the blogosphere to suggest GAD topics for a mammoth group discussion between my blogging buddies Noah, JJ and me. The response was staggering. Okay, three people replied, but they were great suggestions, and I thank you! One of them came from my online friend rkottery: “How about the role … Continue reading READER’S CHOICE: The Detective or the Egg?
The Golden Age of Detective Fiction, which was essentially borne out of the chaos of the First World War and began its slow decline partway through World War II, had a function beyond its power to entertain. The classic murder mystery served as a metaphor for war itself: a disruption of social order that tested … Continue reading POINT ME IN THE RIGHT MISDIRECTION (Part One: The Knave of Clubs and the Queen of Hearts)
Summer is winding down, and the hallowed halls of education will soon be opening their doors. Except for me, who has been stuck in the classroom for nearly three weeks now. Whatever happened to the agrarian calendar? At the beginning of August, Ben, that scintillating John Dickson Carr enthusiast over at The Green Capsule, presented … Continue reading FIVE BOOKS TO READ BEFORE THEY’RE SPOILED FOR YOU – The Random Edition
Has anyone ever seen the 1969 comedy, If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium, about the misadventures of a group of tourists on a 19-day trip through Europe? It certainly put me off the concept of conducted tours, and it reminded me that no matter how hard you may try, even the best-laid plans for … Continue reading IF IT’S TUESDAY, THIS MUST BE . . . MURDER! Crime on Vacation
My non-West Coast friends may not be aware that, for the past several years, the Golden State has been stricken by drought. This has meant day after day of beach weather, shorts and sandals, rising air toxicity, dead lawns, and alarming produce prices at the market. But now, we Californians are taking heart (with some … Continue reading THE EL NINO SCREENING ROOM – PART ONE: Comfort Films for the Approaching Storm