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Les Blatt
Interests: Classic mystery stories, communications, writing, podcasting, blogging, traveling, social media, web 2.0
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JJ, I'm really not sure why Catherine Aird hasn't really developed an enthusiastic following in the U.S. Her traditional mysteries are generally well-plotted (including some fine "locked room" type mysteries); she writes with wit and good humor; her main series characters, Sloan, Crosby and Leeyes, are well-defined and generally very likeable, even if Crosby and Leeyes are sore trials to Sloan; and she's still writing her mysteries. I'm glad you're enjoying her books! (And, folks, if you wonder about JJ's likes and dislikes as a fellow-blogger, check out his site, The Invisible Event, which offers lots of reviews of mysteries and locked room stories, and a lot more. https://theinvisibleevent.wordpress.com/
Toggle Commented Nov 22, 2016 on "Slight Mourning" at Classic Mysteries
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I am constantly fighting that urge to binge, Yvette - in fact, there are one or two JDCarr books I still haven't read because when I have read them, there will be no more Carrs to discover. I'm also glad that I've reached an age where the details blur in memory - adds to my re-reading enjoyment!
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Glad you enjoy them, Joe. And, yes, by all means try to get this one - as I said, it's my own favorite.
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I haven't read any of the short stories, Ron (may have to add them to my to-be-read pile). I have read a few of the novels. I enjoyed this one, as well as "Mr. Splitfoot," "Through a Glass Darkly," and "Panic." She has a good feeling for atmospherics, of that feeling of evil that writers such as Carr were able to develop so well. I do recommend the books.
Toggle Commented Oct 10, 2016 on "Cue for Murder" at Classic Mysteries
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Yes he was, Yvonne. Actually, most of the books we are told that Nero Wolfe was reading are/were real books, though few with the political punch delivered by THE FBI NOBODY KNOWS.
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"Guilty as charged," he said, with an evil grin... ;-)
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Joe, all of this is reminding me that it's been a while since I read the short stories. Time to expand the TBR pile again...
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The pace overall is a bit slower, Joe, but I find the style elegant, and I think there is still a lot of enjoyment for today's readers to find in these books.
Toggle Commented Aug 30, 2016 on "A Silent Witness" at Classic Mysteries
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Great minds and all that, Bev. ;-) But seriously, folks, check out Bev's review - the link in her post above needs to have the parentheses taken out; here's another version of the link that works: https://myreadersblock.blogspot.com/2016/08/the-silent-witness-review.html/ . While you're over there, take a look at her other reviews and the reviews and comments posted by some of her regular visitors - they're excellent! By the way, Bev, I agree with you that Dr. Jardine could easily have been one of those Had I But Known heroines who insist on wandering into danger without thinking about it...
Toggle Commented Aug 29, 2016 on "A Silent Witness" at Classic Mysteries
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Thanks, Curt. I haven't read that many Punshons (yet), but fine art is a major factor in several of the ones that I have read, such as Diabolic Candelabra and Triple Quest and, of course, this one. Fascinating field!
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Glad you can access the site again. I'm guessing it was a Typepad glitch of some sort - those do happen, happily quite infrequently, and I appreciate the alert when/if something like that affects you. Thanks!
Toggle Commented Jul 30, 2016 on "There Is No Return" at Classic Mysteries
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I can't seem to duplicate the problem with last week's entry (Death of a Bovver Boy). The direct link (which is to http://www.classicmysteries.net/2016/07/death-of-a-bovver-boy.html ) seems to be working properly. The link from my home page also seems to be working. What note did you see from Typepad? It might have been a temporary problem?
Toggle Commented Jul 29, 2016 on "There Is No Return" at Classic Mysteries
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Agreed, John - I'm the same way about rereading many of the Christies without remembering too many spoilers. I don't think I had read Toward Zero before, though, because none of it stuck in my head, and the misdirection is so well handled. 'Nuff said.
Toggle Commented Jul 15, 2016 on "Towards Zero" at Classic Mysteries
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I must admit I rather enjoyed the ending, which really grows out of the misdirection. Any good magician relies on skillful misdirection, so I agree with you completely - Christie was one of the best at sending readers off in the wrong direction!
Toggle Commented Jul 14, 2016 on "Towards Zero" at Classic Mysteries
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Can't believe that I did that...but I did. Thanks for the catch!
Toggle Commented Jul 1, 2016 on "Calendar of Crime" at Classic Mysteries
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That's great news, Yvette. It's an excellent collection and it keeps on growing. Enjoy!
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I really think you would enjoy it, JJ.
Toggle Commented Jun 9, 2016 on More of Mr. Gamadge at Classic Mysteries
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Ron, I'd suggest jumping around a bit - I think Daly really hit her stride with the third or fourth novel. I think you'd enjoy any of the three I mentioned above. Actually, I think you might enjoy any of hers, but I'm particularly confident about these. If you have The Book of the Dead, as I said, it's my favorite. But I'm really not comparing her to Carr overall - it's just that she uses misdirection extremely well, as Carr and Christie did, but in her own way.
Toggle Commented Jun 9, 2016 on More of Mr. Gamadge at Classic Mysteries
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Yvette, I must admit I've never really gotten interested in Pinterest - I don't have enough time to really explore the site, and I'm not sure it's very useful to me. As for locked rooms, you know that I'm definitely a fan - although I'd have to agree that "contrived" is a fair adjective to describe some of them!
Toggle Commented May 20, 2016 on "Death in the Tunnel" at Classic Mysteries
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JJ, I think you'll enjoy this one. There's a great deal of interplay between Arnold and Merrion, and both contribute to the ultimate solution of the problem.
Toggle Commented May 20, 2016 on "Death in the Tunnel" at Classic Mysteries
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I neglected to mention in my post the fact that the "Amelia" in the award's name is for Amelia Peabody, the anthropologist-protagonist of 19 first-rate and very popular mysteries by the late Elizabeth Peters (Barbara Mertz). Peters was a long-time member and leader of Malice Domestic, a person dearly beloved of the membership. The Amelia honors her character and her name.
Toggle Commented May 2, 2016 on Something About Amelia at Classic Mysteries
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It was fascinating, JJ. They swapped reminiscences about everything from the start of Crippen & Landru to anecdotes from The Detection Club. And, for the record, they are two of the nicest and most generous people you could ever want to meet.
Toggle Commented May 2, 2016 on Something About Amelia at Classic Mysteries
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I agree. Just picked up a copy of "Thus was Adonis Murdered," and it's high on the TBR pile. Fascinating discussion of the books and of Caudwell today at Malice Domestic.
Toggle Commented Apr 30, 2016 on "The Sirens Sang of Murder" at Classic Mysteries
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Agreed, Joe. Dean Street and the rest of the small-to-midsize presses who are now searching out long-neglected Golden Age authors have rejuvenated the field. I'm delighted that so many potential new fans are being exposed to the joys of the traditional puzzle-plot mystery.
Toggle Commented Apr 19, 2016 on "Richardson's First Case" at Classic Mysteries
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I do really like this one too, John, although I think my favorite still remains "Green for Danger," because of its lovely twisted ending. Not that the surprises in "Tour de Force" are less powerful - but, like you, I think I spotted the major plot twist somewhat earlier in this one. The one in GFD caught me by surprise, and I like that. And I like your choice of the word "outrageous." Yes it is indeed.
Toggle Commented Apr 15, 2016 on "Tour de Force" at Classic Mysteries
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