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Les Blatt
Interests: Classic mystery stories, communications, writing, podcasting, blogging, traveling, social media, web 2.0
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I can't think of very many non-murder plots off-hand, Margot. I guess, murder being the ultimate crime, that's what most readers want. But it's good to read something like The Red Thumb Mark to see how interesting a mystery without a murder can be.
Toggle Commented 1 hour ago on "The Red Thumb Mark" at Classic Mysteries
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You're welcome, Bev. I learned a good deal from the panelists. I'm looking forward to trying the new names on the list - noting that one is from France and the other from Japan!
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Thanks, Margot. I think this is one of her best thrillers.
Toggle Commented 7 days ago on "Look to the Lady" at Classic Mysteries
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I think I do remember the movie, Yvette - wasn't that the one shot in first person (the only time you see Robert Montgomery's (I think) face is in a mirror? Little Sister is more intense in some ways - worth re-reading!
Toggle Commented Nov 15, 2014 on "The Little Sister" at Classic Mysteries
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Yvette, there are so many books that most of us ship them home - UPS or FEDex usually set up shop in the hotel for us. You're missed. Gotta get to one of these, you know!
Toggle Commented Nov 15, 2014 on We're Here... at Classic Mysteries
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Gardner was a good plotter, Margot. I haven't read nearly enough to make many judgments, but the ones I have read have been quite cleverly done. This one, in particular, is most ingenious in showing how the crime really happened (as opposed to the way it was set up to look).
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John, that's why I linked to your review so my readers could get a second opinion. I agree with you - the department store setting is excellent. I'm willing to admit I may just have had a bad morning, or a stomach ache, or whatever - it just didn't seem to recover from what I felt was a major plot failing. Your mileage obviously may vary! :-)
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Margot, it's still fun to walk around the flagship Macy's store on Herald Square in Manhattan, which is still said to be the largest store in the world - I seem to recall there are up to 11 sales floors and the building fills a complete city block. As for believability, as I said in the post, don't necessarily rely on me - I'd suggest you check out that link to the review on the Pretty Sinister blog, as he seems to have enjoyed the book far more than I did.
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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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