Monday, November 30, 2020

Starrett spoofs Christie.

Vincent Starrett
On the Studies in Starrett blog, Ray Betzner discusses "The Other Woman," Vincent Starrett's 1927 parody of Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot. In it, Alexandre Dulau attempts to help Mrs. Hopewell Grange, whose husband is behaving oddly.  Says Dulau, "It is possible I have done Mr. Hopewell Grange a great disservice. On the other hand, it is possible that I have acted with my usual intelligence."

Monday, November 23, 2020

Erle Stanley Gardner and the wrongly convicted Native American.

Erle Stanley Gardner
In the December 2020 Smithsonian Magazine, Jack El-Hai discusses author Erle Stanley Gardner's taking up the case in the 1950s of Silas John Edwards, a member of the White Apache tribe who was convicted of killing his wife. It was consistent with the lawyer Gardner's concern with injustice (such as his Court of Last Resort).

Monday, November 16, 2020

Rex Stout and radio.

Rex Stout by Arnold Genthe, 1931.
Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Div.

Matt Barton, curator of the Library of Congress' Recorded Sound Section, discusses author Rex Stout's roles on the radio that are reflected in more than 40 LOC holdings. These encompass various incarnations of Stout's sleuth Nero Wolfe, Stout's appearances on Information Please, his hosting duties for Speaking of Liberty, and his participation in an episode about the detective story on the NBC program Conversation with critics Clifton Fadiman and Jacques Barzun. Said Stout in the Conversation program, "They're pretty bum stories, the Sherlock Holmes stories. . . . at least two thirds are pretty doggone silly." (It should be noted that Stout wrote the infamous essay "Watson Was a Woman.")

Monday, November 09, 2020

Penumbra debuts.

Gertrude Atherton, ca. 1906–12.
Library of Congress, Prints and
Photographs Div.

S. T. Joshi, known for his work on H. P. Lovecraft, recently announced the debut of Penumbra, a new annual journal on weird fiction that features fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. The first issue includes a reprint of Gertrude Atherton's "The Caves of Death" (1886) and articles such as the following:

• "The Terror of Solitude": The Supernatural Fiction of Edith Wharton
by John C. Tibbetts

• Finding Sherlock Holmes in Weird Fiction by Nancy Holder

• "The Weird Dominions of the Infinite": Edgar Allan Poe and the Scientific Gothic by Sorina Higgins

Monday, November 02, 2020

The real-life Marie Roget.

"Mary Rogers, The Cigar Girl." NYPL

On Nov 7 at 4 pm, the Hoboken Historical Museum will host a virtual presentation by Montclair State University professor emerita Amy Gilman Srebnick on "The Mysterious Death of Mary Rogers,” the case that inspired Edgar Allan Poe's "The Mystery of Marie Roget."