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Les Blatt
Interests: Classic mystery stories, communications, writing, podcasting, blogging, traveling, social media, web 2.0
Recent Activity
Thanks for the suggestions, John. And I too am VERY unhappy with the number of sloppy scanning jobs that are ruining too many e-book reprints. It's not necessary - there are a lot of e-book publishers who do a good job at it - in my experience, Felony & Mayhem and Open Road/Mysterious Press certainly are conscientious. I just finished reading a Resurrected Press e-book of Arthur Rees's "The Hand in the Dark" which had, as best as I could tell, just ONE typo in the entire book. It CAN be done properly. Now I'll get off MY soapbox too.
Toggle Commented 2 days ago on "At 1:30" at Classic Mysteries
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Thanks, Margot. Publishers are starting to find earlier authors, many of whom were quite popular in their day but who are now forgotten, and getting the rights to republish those books. It's a bonanza for those of us who love traditional mysteries. Tom Schantz of the Rue Morgue Press calls it rescuing them from biblioblivion.
Toggle Commented 4 days ago on "At 1:30" at Classic Mysteries
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Thank you, Joan!
Toggle Commented Jan 21, 2015 on AHMM and the Red Dot at Classic Mysteries
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Thanks, Bev and Sam!
Toggle Commented Jan 21, 2015 on AHMM and the Red Dot at Classic Mysteries
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As a matter of fact, John, my review of "At 1:30" is scheduled for next week - should be posted here and on the podcast on Monday. Gaunt's a fascinating character; speaking of hair, I also love how he asked one female character why her hair is wet - when he cannot see it - and explains that wet hair has a distinctive odor. The book is full of similar touches.
Toggle Commented Jan 20, 2015 on New Year, Centennial Challenge at Classic Mysteries
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Margot and Bev, agreed (again) on all points, particularly on the wit. And this is, I think, one of the most sympathetic of Marsh's victims. Too many Golden Age novelists used the victim pretty much as a colorless starting point (or the character was unpleasant enough that the reader wouldn't care about him/her). Not so in this case, where Marsh takes some time to build that character and to make us care about him, as the other characters in the book cared about him.
Toggle Commented Jan 19, 2015 on "Death in a White Tie" at Classic Mysteries
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I really enjoy Daly, Bev. Her first couple of books weren't as strong, IMHO, as her later ones, but she quickly became expert at fooling readers and hiding clues in plain sight. My favorite, I think, is still Book of the Dead - a final confrontation scene that really took my breath away. (And I've just sent you an e-mail with my choices... ?-)
Toggle Commented Jan 13, 2015 on "Night Walk" at Classic Mysteries
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Agreed, Tom Cat. "Cake in the Hat Box" is another very good one. So is "The Mystery of Swordfish Reef," which has some interesting similarities to "Man of Two Tribes." And another favorite is "The Clue of the New Shoe." Most of the books, in fact, are terrific; Bony is a fascinating character. I must admit I hadn't thought of the similarities to the Queen book, but it's been a long time since I read that one...sigh...may be time for another re-read...
Toggle Commented Jan 6, 2015 on "Man of Two Tribes" at Classic Mysteries
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Bev, I really think you would enjoy this one. Not only is Bony at his best in the outback and the wilderness of the Nullarbor Plain, his discoveries as he searches for the missing woman are really unforeseen and his reaction...well, pure Bony.
Toggle Commented Jan 6, 2015 on "Man of Two Tribes" at Classic Mysteries
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It's a first rate series, Margot, and I do plan to review more of them as we move ahead.
Toggle Commented Jan 5, 2015 on "Man of Two Tribes" at Classic Mysteries
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There are a lot of people, Tracy, who don't like Facebook. And there's no question that it can eat time. On the other hand, I enjoy the GAD group very much - there are a lot of very good people (including some fine authors, such as Martin Edwards) who are eager to discuss books, answer questions, etc. (Though I must admit that being retired has helped me deal with the time problem!)
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Yvette, the same to you and yours in the new year. I'll keep an eye out for new entries at your blog. I hope the new art project will be enjoyable and successful!
Toggle Commented Jan 4, 2015 on Forward with Resolution at Classic Mysteries
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Thanks, Joan, and the same wishes back to you and yours!
Toggle Commented Jan 2, 2015 on Forward with Resolution at Classic Mysteries
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Margot, I never miss your posts on http://margotkinberg.wordpress.com/ - folks, if you don't visit Margot's blog, Confessions of a Mystery Novelist you're really missing out.
Toggle Commented Jan 1, 2015 on Forward with Resolution at Classic Mysteries
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Bev, I enjoyed the last challenge thoroughly - and I'm looking forward to starting in on the new one!
Toggle Commented Jan 1, 2015 on Forward with Resolution at Classic Mysteries
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Donna and Tracy, welcome to you both - be sure to register over at My Reader's Block (full instructions at the link above). I do try to limit my reviews to books that are currently in print or in e-book format, so they should be available to you pretty easily. I think you'll find the challenge is a lot of fun.
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Margot, when I am told by some critics that Christie neglected creating full characters, this is one of the books I use to argue that she was a lot better at it than she is usually given credit for.
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Thanks, Tracy. I hope the commenting isn't too difficult - sometimes Typepad's systems can be challenging for me too! Anyway, welcome, and I look forward to hearing more from you.
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Thanks, Margot. Need I say how much fun I had in doing it?
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Thanks to you too, Bev, for all the work you put into organizing (and supervising) these challenges!
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I've reviewed several Leo Bruce books (see the backlist, linked on the right) - the Sergeant Beef books are both funny and very good mysteries, particularly the "Case for Three Detectives." I have "Dead Man's Shoes" on my list to be read and reviewed, probably in the new year.
Toggle Commented Dec 2, 2014 on More E-books Today Only! at Classic Mysteries
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As I say, Margot, it's out of my usual comfort zone - but I thoroughly enjoyed it anyway!
Toggle Commented Dec 1, 2014 on "A Coffin for Dimitrios" at Classic Mysteries
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Sergio points out that today is the anniversary of Carr's birth - 108 years ago today. Happy birthday, JDC!
Toggle Commented Nov 30, 2014 on A Ride in the Carr at Classic Mysteries
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There are a few Carrs - mostly from his later writing - that aren't as good. But you're right, there are easily another 20 worth reading beyond these.
Toggle Commented Nov 30, 2014 on A Ride in the Carr at Classic Mysteries
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British crime writer Mike Ripley has contributed a personal reminiscence and an obituary for P. D. James in the Shots eZine that is very much worth your reading time. http://wwwshotsmagcouk.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/p-d-james-1920-2014-personal.html
Toggle Commented Nov 29, 2014 on P. D. James at Classic Mysteries
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