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Les Blatt
Interests: Classic mystery stories, communications, writing, podcasting, blogging, traveling, social media, web 2.0
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Glad you enjoyed him. Folks, you can read Tom Cat's new review of Upfield's "The Bone Is Pointed" at http://moonlight-detective.blogspot.com/2014/10/the-shadow-of-civilization.html#comment-form_4637919498370790143
Toggle Commented Oct 19, 2014 on Bony's Back! at Classic Mysteries
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Thanks for the kind words, Joan, and I'm glad you enjoy the blog and podcasts. I don't think I've read Above Suspicion; I believe The Watersplash is in my ever-growing TBR pile. Be forewarned that there's a fair amount of gore in The Egyptian Cross Mystery, though the violence remains offstage. I hope you'll enjoy it.
Toggle Commented Oct 7, 2014 on "The Egyptian Cross Mystery" at Classic Mysteries
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You'll be missed, Yvette. One of these days, the conference will be close enough to where you live for you to attend - I think you'd love it!
Toggle Commented Oct 2, 2014 on The Bouchercon 2014 Lineup at Classic Mysteries
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It's worth noting that Chief Inspector Hemingway, Yvette, started out in earlier books as SERGEANT Hemingway, working with DCI Hannasyde. Another H indeed!
Toggle Commented Oct 2, 2014 on "Detection Unlimited" at Classic Mysteries
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Bev, as I said, this is by far the most farcical of any of the Carr novels - even more so than some of the H.M. books. I agree it's overdone. And I think it's more Three Stooges even than Scooby Doo...assaulting the captain with bug spray? But the mystery is so cleverly done, the impossible situation so clearly laid out, that I still enjoy rereading it.
Toggle Commented Sep 22, 2014 on "The Blind Barber" at Classic Mysteries
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Margot, this one is so purely armchair detective, too - Fell literally solves it by listening to an account of what happened and spotting the clues. My edition, in fact, contains footnotes at the end referring you to the page on which a particular clue was given. Now THAT's rubbing your nose in it!
Toggle Commented Sep 22, 2014 on "The Blind Barber" at Classic Mysteries
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I must admit I've enjoyed what I've read of hers - haven't read My Kingdom for a Hearse, but I did enjoy The Corpse Steps Out. There are some nice plot twists in 8 Faces at 3; it's probably worth another try.
Toggle Commented Sep 19, 2014 on "8 Faces at 3" at Classic Mysteries
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Bev, I blush to admit that I haven't read them all either. So far, of the ones I HAVE read, this is certainly one of the better ones!
Toggle Commented Sep 19, 2014 on "The Kennel Murder Case" at Classic Mysteries
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Rebecca, I'm sure you would enjoy it, but California is a long way from the UK. Bouchercon is back on the east coast next year (Raleigh, North Carolina), and there is a fairly large contingent traveling from the UK to the conference every year - it would be great if you could come along one year!
Toggle Commented Sep 14, 2014 on Bouchercon Assignments at Classic Mysteries
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Bev, I think the Wolfe-Goodwin partnership really hits its stride in this one. I'm glad you like it as well.
Toggle Commented Sep 8, 2014 on "Too Many Cooks" at Classic Mysteries
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Margot, I think Stout used the racism that does exist in the book as a way to attack racism; the only character who really spouts racist nonsense - the local sheriff, as I recall - is portrayed as an ignorant buffoon. Wolfe's speech on the subject is really quite well done, I think. And, as you say, the premise the tension and the solution are all very well handled.
Toggle Commented Sep 8, 2014 on "Too Many Cooks" at Classic Mysteries
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Yvette, I do think you'd enjoy it. As I've said, the impossible disappearance here has a very clever solution - I think you would appreciate it.
Toggle Commented Aug 30, 2014 on "Tragedy at Ravensthorpe" at Classic Mysteries
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Margot, the disappearance in this one is very clever indeed. I think you'll enjoy it.
Toggle Commented Aug 24, 2014 on "Tragedy at Ravensthorpe" at Classic Mysteries
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Yvette, this is another of those cases where I wish more publishers would make their out-of-print backlists available in electronic format. Granted, a lot of the problem seems to come from authors' agents and/or estates that have little interest in republishing. I can't understand that attitude, frankly, and would love to see some kind of change in copyright law to encourage rights-holders to "use it or lose it."
Toggle Commented Aug 22, 2014 on "The Lake District Murder" at Classic Mysteries
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The two I've read so far, BV, are relatively new (last April) reprints from British Library. They're being distributed in North and South America by the University of Chicago Press. They're also available as ebooks - or at least I see them listed on Kindle. I'm not sure that I see much of that theatrical background in the two books I've read. If BL republishes more of Bude, I'm very willing to read more.
Toggle Commented Aug 21, 2014 on "The Lake District Murder" at Classic Mysteries
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Margot, I've only read two novels by Bude - the two reissued by British Library - but I've enjoyed them very much. If there are future re-releases, I'll be in line for them!
Toggle Commented Aug 18, 2014 on "The Lake District Murder" at Classic Mysteries
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Margot, to me, the possibility that publishers and authors could very easily keep "backlist" books available in ebook format is the strongest argument in favor of ebook readers and ebook publishing.
Toggle Commented Aug 13, 2014 on Looking Back: Oh, Brother! at Classic Mysteries
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I'm not sure, Yvette, even if Miss Marple knows. I didn't see the Joan Hickson version, but I think Lucy is such a great character that it's hard to see how the story would work without her.
Toggle Commented Aug 11, 2014 on "4:50 from Paddington" at Classic Mysteries
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Lucy really is a great character, isn't she? I think this is one of the best of the Marples.
Toggle Commented Aug 11, 2014 on "4:50 from Paddington" at Classic Mysteries
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It was brand new to me too, Yvette - I never heard of them until this book arrived from the publisher!
Toggle Commented Aug 5, 2014 on "Aristotle Detective" at Classic Mysteries
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Margot, Margaret Doody certainly puts a lot of historical detail into her writing. I learned a good deal about criminal and legal procedure in ancient Greece. It's a good read, I think.
Toggle Commented Aug 4, 2014 on "Aristotle Detective" at Classic Mysteries
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You're welcome, Cath. Fer-de-Lance, as the first Nero Wolfe book, is not my favorite. I don't think the characters had developed enough in that book. I'd suggest you try some of the later ones, from the 1940s and 1950s. I love The Doorbell Rang, where Wolfe takes on the FBI. I hope you enjoy all the reading for the vintage challenge.
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It's a good group of people, Yvette - fine authors, avid readers. Many of them are the same people I meet at similar (but larger) conferences, and it's good to have a chance to talk with them all in a more relaxed setting.
Toggle Commented Aug 1, 2014 on Deadly Delights at Classic Mysteries
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I agree completely about the darkness of some of the early Maigrets, Margot. As a general rule, I don't enjoy noir. As you point out, however, Simenon doesn't overburden the reader with it, and I do enjoy the Maigrets overall. And, yes, translations do matter. They're quite difficult to do well; often the translator must decide whether to go with a literal translation of the author's words or be a little more colloquial in English. It's not always a clear or easy choice.
Toggle Commented Jul 28, 2014 on "The Late Monsieur Gallet" at Classic Mysteries
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Cath, there are several possibilities. Most of Craig Rice's books or Phoebe Atwood Taylor's Asey Mayo mysteries combine a lot of humor with their plots, and they're all set in America. There's always Ellery Queen - I'd suggest the early ones as being the best plotted, although many readers like "middle period" Queens. Stuart Palmer's books about New York City schoolteacher Hildegard Withers are still very enjoyable, although some of those are set outside the US. I'd also strongly recommend some of Elizabeth Daly's titles (all but her first couple, which are not as well done, IMHO), set in and around New York City. I'm curious about which of Stout's books you read, as I'm very much a Nero Wolfe fan - or, more correctly, an Archie Goodwin fan. As for MY comfort zone book, I think I've pretty well settled on an early espionage thriller, Eric Ambler's "The Coffin of Dimitrios." I'm not big on espionage thrillers, but this one does come recommended.
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