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Les Blatt
Interests: Classic mystery stories, communications, writing, podcasting, blogging, traveling, social media, web 2.0
Recent Activity
Margot, the disappearance in this one is very clever indeed. I think you'll enjoy it.
Toggle Commented 4 days ago 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 6 days ago 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 7 days ago 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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I have done a few of the silver challenge slots (those are for books originally published between 1960 and 1980), but realized that I probably needed to concentrate on just one of them...which I'm doing with the golden challenge. I'd be willing to bet that you do complete them both! (Folks, check out Sergio's blog, Tipping My Fedora - it's in the blogroll on the lower right side of this page.)
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Thanks, Margot. Halfway there...and a pretty solid list set for the next 18 weeks. And away we go...
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There were a lot of believers in those days, Margot - Conan Doyle one among them. And a fair number of people like Harry Houdini who debunked the fake mediums and showed how their tricks were worked. It makes for fascinating reading.
Toggle Commented Jul 20, 2014 on "A Case of Spirits" at Classic Mysteries
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You're welcome, John. I enjoyed the book - particularly the second half, where she seemed to tire of Captain Strawn and pretty much sidelined him for the rest of the book!
Toggle Commented Jul 18, 2014 on "One Drop of Blood" at Classic Mysteries
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Margot, I am amazed at his 35-year publication streak in EQMM. That's a remarkable statistic and a testimony to his skill.
Toggle Commented Jul 14, 2014 on "Nothing Is Impossible" at Classic Mysteries
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Whoops. That's one of the dangers, I suppose, for a Yank doing audio reviews of British mysteries! Thanks for the catch, Brian - and my apologies.
Toggle Commented Jul 7, 2014 on "Death on the Cherwell" at Classic Mysteries
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Thanks for the kind words, Margot, but our mutual friend John Norris at Pretty Sinister Books deserves the credit for finding this one. His review made it sound pretty interesting, so I found it online. I'd love to see a post from you on the one simple mistake, by the way - it happens pretty frequently in fiction!
Toggle Commented Jul 7, 2014 on "One Drop of Blood" at Classic Mysteries
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Margot, closer to your home, there will be a Wolfe banquet in Long Beach this year, during Bouchercon on Friday, November 14 - it's an "outside" event. Details on the Wolfe Pack's home page (see the link above). Love to see you there!
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"Footsteps in the Dark" is indeed more of a thriller than a detective story, Cath, but as you say it's really huge fun to read. I'd suggest you might try "They Found Him Dead" as a "proper" crime novel (though I'm not sure I could define that!) - and it's also a lot of fun. I feel that way about all the Heyer mysteries that I've read, and plan to continue working my way through them.
Toggle Commented Jul 1, 2014 on "They Found Him Dead" at Classic Mysteries
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Margot, even the generous ones run a considerable risk! And I do enjoy Heyer's mysteries - I think this is one of her best.
Toggle Commented Jun 30, 2014 on "They Found Him Dead" at Classic Mysteries
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Margot, it is quite good, and I hope you enjoy it if you get a chance to read it!
Toggle Commented Jun 23, 2014 on "Death on the Cherwell" at Classic Mysteries
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Margot, I agree with you - and I think "The Three Coffins" is probably Carr's best, overall. But I also enjoy many of the H.M. books, and I think "The Judas Window" and "The Plague Court Murders" are among the best of those.
Toggle Commented Jun 21, 2014 on Follow That Carr! at Classic Mysteries
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