Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Woman on the Run (1950).

A man witnesses a murder and goes on the run, pursued by his wife (Ann Sheridan), the police (Robert Keith), the media (Dennis O'Keefe), and the murderer. The film is based on the short story "Man on the Run" (1948) by Sylvia Tate. One of the screenwriters is Alan Campbell, husband of Dorothy Parker; the other is Norman Foster, who also directed the film.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Murder with Pictures (1936).

Lew Ayres and Gail Patrick
in Murder with Pictures
In Murder with Pictures, newspaper photographer Lew Ayres looks into the murder of a lawyer and encounters complications when he falls for the suspected perpetrator (Gail Patrick). The film is based on the book of the same name (1935) by MWA Grand Master George Harmon Coxe.

Monday, December 18, 2017

In praise of Oppenheim.

E. Phillips Oppenheim
Melody of the Redeeming Qualities blog pens an appreciation of the E. Phillips Oppenheim works The Long Arm of Mannister (1909; "he likes to take his victims to dinner and toy with them") as well as Mr. Billingham, the Marquis and Madelon (1927; "[e]veryone drinks lots of champagne cocktails"). She especially likes private inquiry agent and baroness Clara Linz of Advice Limited (1936; "most of her work has the potential to cause scandals and international financial crises"). Although she is no fan of The Deliberate Detective (1914; "this book is Bad"), she declares, "you can pry The Great Impersonation from my cold, dead hands."

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Murder by Contract (1958).

Proficient hit-man Claude (Vince Edwards) experiences difficulties when he learns about his next assignment: killing a female witness about to testify in a trial.

Monday, December 11, 2017

McFarland's holiday sale.

In a holiday sale, McFarland is offering a 30 percent discount on two or more books ordered from its new true crime and mystery catalog. These include the McFarland Companions to Mystery Fiction series that I edit.

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

The 39 Steps (1959).

Taina Elg and Kenneth More in The 39 Steps (1959)

In the second film version of The 39 Steps, Kenneth More takes on the role of John Buchan's game-hunter hero who becomes embroiled in espionage.

Monday, December 04, 2017

"As Far as They Had Got"
(round-robin mystery, 1911).

"There, in the middle of the upper panel, was the print of a human hand—in blood!"
Arthur Morrison, "As Far as They Had Got" 1911
Long before the Detection Club's round-robin mystery The Floating Admiral (1931), there was "As Far as They Had Got," which appeared in the September 1911 issue of The Strand magazine and included Richard Marsh (The Beetle), Arthur Morrison (Martin Hewitt, Investigator), and spy novel pioneer E. Phillips Oppenheim among its authors. The Strand dubbed it a "Follow-My-Leader Story." Most of the authors provided a footnote that outlined an ending to the story, but they did not have access to these proposed endings as they wrote their particular section.

The story centers on two men out for sail on a river who become ensnared in the aftermath of the Moorgate Street robbery. The story takes a number of twists and turns.