Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Agatha Christie exhibition coming to Derby, UK.

Agatha Christie, 17 Dec 1964.
Anefo, Dutch Natl Archives
Pickford's House in Derby, United Kingdom, is hosting the exhibition "Agatha Christie: Mysteries, Murder, and More" from June 2 to November 3, 2018. The exhibition will feature books and objects related to Christie's life and work.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

The Stolen Jools (1931).

This short comedy film involving the theft of Norma Shearer's jewelry was produced to benefit the National Variety Artists tuberculosis sanitarium, with stars such as Wallace Beery, Joe E. Brown, Maurice Chevalier, Gary Cooper, Joan Crawford, Irene Dunne, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Hedda Hopper, Buster Keaton, Laurel and Hardy, Victor McLaglen, Edward G. Robinson, Barbara Stanwyck, Fay Wray, Loretta Young, and Petey the Dog.

Monday, May 21, 2018

New edition, Blood on Their Hands
(with Foxwell short story).
The MWA Classics edition of Blood on Their Hands has been published and is now available in paperback and ebook from amazon. Edited by Lawrence Block, the collection focuses on characters who take the law into their own hands. "No Man's Land," my Agatha-winning and Macavity-nominated short story set in World War I, is included in the collection, along with stories by Rhys Bowen, Marcia Talley, Elaine Viets, and the late Jeremiah Healy and Henry Slesar.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

The Green Scarf (1936).

In The Green Scarf, Michael Redgrave defends a deaf, dumb, and blind man accused of murder.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys exhibition.

On view until June 8 at the Lawrence Library in Pepperell, MA, is "Mysteries Revealed Book Illustration: Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys," an exhibition of original cover art and first editions of both children's series.

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

"Murderers' Meeting" (1951).

In this episode of Suspense directed by Robert Stephens and aired on 24 April 1951, a killer (Jackie Cooper) tries to escape from a building after a botched robbery, only to encounter the eccentric members of the "International Association of Assassins" (possibly suggesting the Mystery Writers of America. Blacklisted writer Alvin Sapinsley, who wrote the screenplay, later received an Edgar Award for "Sting of Death," the TV adaptation of H.F. Heard's A Taste for Honey). Mildred Natwick (clutching a cat) and Wally Cox costar.

Monday, May 07, 2018

Boucher picks the best mysteries of 1951.

In the 2 Dec 1951 New York Times, author-critic Anthony Boucher (aka William Anthony Parker White) listed "Boucher's Choices"—his selections for the best mysteries of 1951. They were:
  • John Dickson Carr, The Devil in Velvet. "swashbuckling romance . . . strict detection." 
  • Agatha Christie, They Came to Baghdad, . "adept . . . spy thriller."
  • Dorothy Salisbury Davis, A Gentle Murderer. "distinguished."
  • Cyril Hare [Alfred Alexander Gordon Clark], An English Murder . "adroit . . . social satire."
  • Geoffrey Household, A Rough Shoot and A Time to Kill. "realistic political melodrama."
  • Michael Innes, The Paper Thunderbolt. "funny and chilling."
  • Eric Linklater, Mr. Byculla. "Deft."
  • John Ross Macdonald [Ross Macdonald, Kenneth Millar], The Way Some People Die. "a worthy successor to Dashiell Hammett."
  • William McGivern, Shield for Murder. "Complex and memorable study of a rogue cop."
  • Ngaio Marsh, Night at the Vulcan. "Marsh's best to date."
  • Elliott Paul, Murder on the Left Bank. "Fun."
  • Ellery Queen, The Origin of Evil.  "intricate ingenuity."
  • John Sherwood, Mr. Blessington's Imperialist Plot. "Ruritanian spy-melodrama."
  • Bart Spicer, Black Sheep, Run and The Golden Door.  "appealing variants on the hardboiled story."
  • Julian Symons, The 31st of February. "Striking satire."
  • Lawrence Treat, Big Shot. "A notable novel about detectives."

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Woolrich's Street of Chance (1942).

Claire Trevor, Sheldon Leonard, and
Burgess Meredith in Street of Chance (1942)
In Street of Chance, Burgess Meredith is accused of murder, but he has no memory of the crime or of his past. The film is based on The Black Curtain by Cornell Woolrich. Costars include Claire Trevor, Sheldon Leonard, and Jerome Cowan.