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Les Blatt
Interests: Classic mystery stories, communications, writing, podcasting, blogging, traveling, social media, web 2.0
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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 5 days ago 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 7 days ago 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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Yvette, it's been a long time since I read Castle Skull, and I just found my copy of Night at the Mocking Widow is missing - that was a very good one, as I recall, with the key clues hidden in one of those slapstick comedy scenes in which H.M. always got involved. At any rate, I find Carr (as Carr or as Dickson) is almost always worth rereading!
Toggle Commented Jun 21, 2014 on "And So to Murder" at Classic Mysteries
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I know you're on that other coast, Margot...but let me remind you that Bouchercon this year will be in your neighborhood... ;-)
Toggle Commented Jun 18, 2014 on Deadly in the Northeast at Classic Mysteries
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Margot, Carr also referred to his movie project as "thrice-accursed." Writers do have a way of taking their revenge... ;-)
Toggle Commented Jun 16, 2014 on "And So to Murder" at Classic Mysteries
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I agree completely about Lord Peter's development, Margot - The Nine Tailors is one of my favorites, along with Murder Must Advertise (and Strong Poison's pretty good too). But Whose Body? is a pretty impressive beginning!
Toggle Commented Jun 9, 2014 on "Whose Body?" at Classic Mysteries
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To tell the truth, Puzzle Doctor, it was your reviews of Paul Doherty's books that led me to try the first Brother Athelstan book last year. I liked it well enough to want to take a shot at Candle-Flame this year. Folks, if you're not familiar with Puzzle Doctor's blog, In Search of the Classic Mystery - http://classicmystery.wordpress.com/ - you should be; he reviews far more recent books for the most part than I can, and his reviews are both enticing and spoiler-free. Give him a try!
Toggle Commented Jun 8, 2014 on Extra: "Candle-Flame" at Classic Mysteries
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The Campion books are definitely a mixed bag, Yvette. Some are mysteries, others more along thriller lines. I tend to prefer the former. I think this new one is fun - again, there are thriller elements as part of the book, and Campion's personality, now augmented by a third writer, seems to me to have aged rather gracefully. More than I can say about myself, come to think of it. Ha!
Toggle Commented Jun 6, 2014 on "Mr. Campion's Farewell" at Classic Mysteries
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Margot, Doherty writes several different series of historical mysteries. Friends who read his other books tell me that his mysteries are always rewarding, well-plotted, very well researched, and all in the very-good-to-excellent range. I know Candle-Flame is well and fairly clued. I do intend to read more of his books.
Toggle Commented Jun 5, 2014 on Extra: "Candle-Flame" at Classic Mysteries
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Yvette, I think it's outrageous that more of Carr isn't available to a new generation of readers. He could write very funny scenes...and at the same time provide moments of genuine terror - and, through it al, he excelled at what he called "the grandest game" of wits between author and reader. There are some Carrs that I like less than others - particularly some of his late work - but I'd still take him over a lot of what's out there today.
Toggle Commented May 24, 2014 on "Death-Watch" at Classic Mysteries
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Delighted to hear that Typepad appears to be working again - having it down again over the weekend was not very helpful. Carr was indeed a master of atmospherics. It's particularly evident, I think, in the early novels about Bencolin as well as early Dr. Fell and even H. M. books.
Toggle Commented May 23, 2014 on "Death-Watch" at Classic Mysteries
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Signed in via Typepad this time - perhaps we're back to normal!
Toggle Commented Apr 23, 2014 on Sorry... at Classic Mysteries
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Yvette, I have always enjoyed these mysteries. Van Gulik's first Judge Dee book, "Celebrated Cases of Judge Dee," was actually a translation of an old Chinese story. At the end of that book, Van Gulik challenged mystery writers to try to write new mysteries in the spirit of the old Chinese stories. When nobody took him up on it, he wrote his own, which is how we have the Judge Dee books. Try "Necklace and Calabash" - it's still in print (as are all the Judge Dee books, I think), and I believe you would enjoy it!
Toggle Commented Apr 14, 2014 on "Necklace and Calabash" at Classic Mysteries
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Margot, 4MA (the abbreviated version of their name, For Mystery Addicts), has been around for about a decade, I think. They do book discussions by email every month, and members are encouraged to share information about the crime fiction they're reading. Every kind of crime fiction is covered here. I'm leading the discussion on "Necklace and Calabash" starting this Sunday and running for 10 days - by all means, stop by. I enjoy all the Judge Dee mysteries (though some do get pretty dark!), but "Necklace and Calabash" is really my favorite. I think it's the most accessible to a modern audience.
Toggle Commented Apr 14, 2014 on "Necklace and Calabash" at Classic Mysteries
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There's one already on my TBR pile, Yvette, and I think there's a third being published as well. He's an interesting writer and deserves to be brought back for a new generation of mystery readers.
Toggle Commented Apr 6, 2014 on "The Cornish Coast Murder" at Classic Mysteries
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Margot, the publishers have released another one of Bude's books, "The Lake District Murder," which is now in my TBR pile - I'll be reviewing it several weeks down the road.
Toggle Commented Mar 31, 2014 on "The Cornish Coast Murder" at Classic Mysteries
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I have friends on Cape Cod, Joan, but I haven't visited in years. I love seeing it through the eyes of Asey and the other characters in these books - although I'm not sure how peaceful Asey Mayo finds it; he gets hit on the head an awful lot... ;-)
Toggle Commented Mar 26, 2014 on "Going, Going, Gone" at Classic Mysteries
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