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Les Blatt
Interests: Classic mystery stories, communications, writing, podcasting, blogging, traveling, social media, web 2.0
Recent Activity
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 yesterday 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 yesterday 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 6 days ago 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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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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