Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Mystery Junction (1951).

In Mystery Junction, a mystery writer encounters murder on a train.

Monday, October 28, 2019

Knopf and Cain tussle over The Postman Always Rings Twice.

James M. Cain with Lana Turner
On the Library of Congress blog, former Washington Post reporter Neely Tucker discusses the evolution of the title of James M. Cain's The Postman Always Rings Twice, based on the Cain papers in the LOC. The work began life with the unpromising title BAR-B-Que.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Yellow Canary (1943).

Richard Greene and Anna Neagle
in Yellow Canary (1943)
In Yellow Canary, a well-to-do Nazi sympathizer (Anna Neagle) traveling to Canada becomes a focus of both British and Nazi agents, with the fate of a British convoy in the balance. The film is based on a story by Pamela Bower (daughter of the film's director, Herbert Wilcox, and stepdaughter of Neagle) and a screenplay cowritten by actor-screenwriter Miles Malleson. Costars include Richard Greene, Margaret Rutherford, and Valentine Dyall.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Crime Unlimited (1935).

In Crime Unlimited, a Scotland Yard detective (Esmond Knight) goes undercover in a gang of jewel thieves, seeking to unmask its mysterious leader. The film is based on the 1933 book of the same name by David Hume (aka former journalist John Victor Turner). Costars include Lilli Palmer as a Russian dancer associated with the gang.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Restored 1954 recording of Ngaio Marsh.

Ngaio Marsh companion
Ngaio Marsh companion (2019)
published by McFarland
In a restored recording from 1954, Ngaio Marsh speaks about her first novel, A Man Lay Dead (1934); relates her "odd" (in her view) process of writing detective fiction; and provides her eyewitness account of the eventful inauguration of E. C. Bentley as Detection Club president in 1936 with Dorothy L. Sayers and John Rhode, among others. "I screamed," notes Marsh. Other topics include her involvement in theater in New Zealand. (Read about the recording's restoration process.)

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

The Seventh Survivor (1942).

In The Seventh Survivor, World War II secret agents square off after a ship is torpedoed.

Monday, October 07, 2019

Sherlock Holmes essay contest for students.

Joseph Pennell, "Baker Street," ca. 1908.
Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Div.
The Beacon Society is sponsoring an essay contest for US and Canadian students in 4th to 12th grades that focuses on the Sherlock Holmes stories The Adventure of the Red-Headed League,“The Adventure of the Copper Beeches,” and “The Greek Interpreter.” There are cash prizes for first to third place. The submission deadline is February 1, 2020. (Thanks to the podcast I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere.)

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Strangers in the Night (1944).

In this film adaptation of a story by Philip MacDonald, a Marine looks into the identity of a mysterious woman who has been writing letters to him.