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Colin McGuigan
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Well, Constant Suicides came out in the UK not long ago and Crooked Hinge, She Died a Lady and It Walks by Night are all due quite soon. Just scratching the surface of course but every bit helps!
Toggle Commented Jul 15, 2019 on "The Mad Hatter Mystery" at Classic Mysteries
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I like this novel. I reread it a couple of years ago and had a good time with it. No, it's not an impossible crime (but Carr is about more than just that subset anyway) but that's no criticism of it. The atmosphere is fine, as it generally was in these early stories, less pronounced than the sometimes overwrought Bencolin tales yet still rich. I coming towards the end of a reread of Death-Watch at the moment and it creates a typically creepy atmosphere in a non-impossible situation. Some will tell you these early Fell stories are a bit weaker overall but, Blind Barber aside, I like them quite a bit and it's great to see more of Carr's work back in print.
Toggle Commented Jul 15, 2019 on "The Mad Hatter Mystery" at Classic Mysteries
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I just finished this, Les, and quite liked it. Maigret gets very nostalgic and consumes an awful lot of wine! I return to Maigret from time to time but like to space them out as the books can be a bit dour - this one was OK in that respect though.
Toggle Commented Jun 9, 2019 on "Maigret Goes to School" at Classic Mysteries
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This book disappointed me, Les. It has a great setup and there is promise there as well as a handful of interesting sequences. However, the way it goes in the end is not satisfying, and that espionage aspect just doesn't work, which is so often the case with Christie when she tried to add in spy story trappings. It simply wasn't an area she ever nailed and it almost always comes across as unconvincing.
Toggle Commented May 30, 2019 on From the Vault: "The Clocks" at Classic Mysteries
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I have to agree with your positive assessment of this book, Les. I picked it up as a blind buy and read it when Pan reissued it as part of their classic crime series back in 2001 or 2002 and powerful atmosphere stuck with me ever since.
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It's been a long time since I read this and I've been thinking of revisiting it soon, maybe over the Easter break when I have a bit of time to lose myself in it.
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I'm not sure if I'll read more by the Radfords, to be honest. I liked the theatrical setting and all the parts involving the performers - I found that a lot of fun and hoped it would continue in that vein. However, once Manson appeared on the scene, I had a different reaction. The scientific stuff was just too dry and dull, or at least I found the way it was presented saw me tuning out too often - I reckon R Austin Freeman blended that material in much more successfully.
Toggle Commented Mar 25, 2019 on "Who Killed Dick Whittington?" at Classic Mysteries
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A superb book, Les, and one I only got round to finally reading at the beginning of this year. I had a very good time with it and thought I knew exactly where it as all heading, till Christie hoodwinked me quite comprehensively.
Toggle Commented Mar 25, 2019 on "Five Little Pigs" at Classic Mysteries
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I just finished this the other day and found it pretty good, Les. OK, the ending is a bit on the weak side, not quite living up to the build up in my opinion but it's an excellent page turner overall and Symon's writes extremely smoothly.
Toggle Commented Jan 27, 2019 on "The Belting Inheritance" at Classic Mysteries
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I thought this was just OK but no more than that. I found the characters became increasingly annoying as the story went on and by the end they were grating. I also think the plot just drifted too much and the mystery was altogether too slight to be sustained for as along as it was. So, I didn't find it all that great but it still interested me enough to try another Heyer mystery, No Wind of Blame. That's a better book, if still somewhat flawed, and I'll definitely try more by this author.
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Les, I'm very fond of Stout and there's a good argument to be made for his novellas representing some of his best work. Anyway, whether it's novels or the shorter form, there's something infinitely refreshing about Wolfe, Archie and the whole brownstone setup. I find these stories a great pick-me-up, something sure to restore my good humor and make everything feel just that bit better - I think that's a particularly welcome quality these days!
Toggle Commented Jan 16, 2019 on "Trouble in Triplicate" at Classic Mysteries
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No, not read that one, Les. I knew it also uses a Greek backdrop but I'll have to own up and admit that, from fairly limited exposure I suppose, I've found I don't really get along with Mitchell's style of writing. I know she has her fans but I tend to avoid her.
Toggle Commented Sep 19, 2018 on "The Widow's Cruise" at Classic Mysteries
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This all sounds superb, Les. I've only read The Beast Must Die by Blake, and that was years ago. I recall I quite enjoyed that and I'm not sure why I've neglected him, I do have a few more of his titles on the shelf, including this one. I'm going to try and get to it sooner rather than later based on this recommendation, and of course the fact I've lived in Athens myself for many years and have visited quite a few of the islands.
Toggle Commented Sep 18, 2018 on "The Widow's Cruise" at Classic Mysteries
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I read my first novel by Moyes about a month or so ago. It was a later book - Curious Affair of the Third Dog - and had a pretty good time with it. I liked the characters and how Moyes wrote in general. I can see myself coming back to her work as it definitely appeals - good puzzles and cluing combined with entertaining characters and a smooth writing style.
Toggle Commented Sep 9, 2018 on "Murder à la Mode" at Classic Mysteries
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It's been a long time since I last read this too. I remember thinking it OK but some of the sniffy attitudes of the time, not least the idea that well-bred types need have no truck with the likes of policemen if they didn't feel like it, grated a bit. I know this is more of a proto-detective novel but i think I had a better time with the author's Woman in White. I can see myself giving this book another look at some point and I may also find myself liking it a bit more now I have a better idea of what to expect. Colin
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Sep 1, 2018