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Les Blatt
Interests: Classic mystery stories, communications, writing, podcasting, blogging, traveling, social media, web 2.0
Recent Activity
Thanks, Jon, and I'm glad you are enjoying the blog. Crispin has long been one of my favorites - I've reviewed ten of his eleven books (counting the two collections of short stories). The only one I've missed so far is "The Glimpses of the Moon," his last novel. My favorite is "Swan Song," but they're all excellent. Glad you enjoy him as well!
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Thanks, Jason. Please let me know when you publish your review and I'll add a link from here.
Toggle Commented Feb 26, 2020 on "Good by Stealth" at Classic Mysteries
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Im going to have to dig that one up - I dont think Ive ever read it. Good by Stealth would be a horror story if the central character wasnt so totally out of touch with reality. Its VERY dark humor, but its still quite funny!
Toggle Commented Feb 24, 2020 on "Good by Stealth" at Classic Mysteries
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Thanks, Bill, and thanks for the link to your site. We've met and talked, I know - I think at Deadly Ink. Lindbergh's historic flight was in 1927, which was the year after "Clouds of Witness" was first published, but she might well have known of the earlier attempts. They were certainly risky!
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I think it does show what Christie was able to accomplish at the height of her abilities, Colin. And thanks for the good wishes - I wish you and yours all the best!
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Steve Barge, who has written the introduction for Dean Street Press for this book and other Brian Flynn titles, blogs as "Puzzle Doctor" at the In Search of the Classic Mystery blog, which you'll find in my blogroll on the lower right hand column on this page. If you don't already read PD on a regular basis - well, you should, that's all. https://classicmystery.blog/ . I recommend him very highly!
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Constant Suicides and Crooked Hinge were both published in the US by the Rue Morgue Press, now sadly out of business. Most of the really good ones still are awaiting their turn. I've always assumed it was a rights problem. I certainly hope it gets cleared up!
Toggle Commented Jul 16, 2019 on "The Mad Hatter Mystery" at Classic Mysteries
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I keep hearing rumblings about more of Carr's work (as both Carr and Dickson) being due for re-publication, Colin. I certainly hope that's true. Too many of the best titles have been completely unavailable for a long while. Let's hope it happens soon.
Toggle Commented Jul 15, 2019 on "The Mad Hatter Mystery" at Classic Mysteries
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I agree, Colin, the Maigret books can indeed be more than a little dour. I like him best when he shows some basic feelings, as he does in this one, even if he doesn't always understand the source of those feelings.
Toggle Commented Jun 9, 2019 on "Maigret Goes to School" at Classic Mysteries
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I agree, Colin. The problem, I think, is that Christie really was trying to merge two dissimilar stories. I don't think she succeeded very well.
Toggle Commented May 30, 2019 on From the Vault: "The Clocks" at Classic Mysteries
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I think it's definitely worth rereading, Colin!
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I would have to agree that the theatrical part of the mystery was more fun than the "scientific" investigations of Manson. But I thought there was enough balance there to make it worth reading, and I probably will try another of their books.
Toggle Commented Mar 25, 2019 on "Who Killed Dick Whittington?" at Classic Mysteries
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She certainly had a real talent for misdirection, didn't she, Colin? I do think it's one of her best.
Toggle Commented Mar 25, 2019 on "Five Little Pigs" at Classic Mysteries
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It's been a few years since I read and reviewed "No Wind of Blame," but I did enjoy the book. It may be the funniest of Heyer's books. If you're still looking at some of her other titles, you might consider "Envious Casca" - again, as I recall, I liked that one a lot; it may be her best.
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I'm glad you did enjoy it, Colin. I understand your feeling a bit let down by the ending - I felt an awful lot got thrown at us in the last few pages - but I did think the Wainwrights were an interesting lot of people.
Toggle Commented Jan 27, 2019 on "The Belting Inheritance" at Classic Mysteries
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Agreed, Colin. As a general rule, the novellas are written more tightly, there's no need to be padding out the story with extra deaths for example. But the real selling point for all the Nero Wolfe books is the whole 35th street group of characters. We keep going back to visit the brownstone and to catch up on the people who live or work there. I find re-reading these books to be as enjoyable as reading them for the first time.
Toggle Commented Jan 17, 2019 on "Trouble in Triplicate" at Classic Mysteries
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Thank you for the catch, Jon. I can't believe I did that. It's a useful lesson to me about NOT trying to write and type on the morning after a too-large holiday weekend dinner the night before. In my own defense, at least I DID get the name right on the podcast version. And, yes, she is available on Kindle - that's the version I read as well. Again, thanks - I think I've corrected it now.
Toggle Commented Dec 25, 2018 on "Death of an Old Girl" at Classic Mysteries
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Oh, Gladys Mitchell is an acquired taste - no argument - but it's a taste I have found I can enjoy. My favorite (should you want to try her again) would be "A Hearse on May-Day," where the sharp contrasts between Mitchell's bizarre humor and some fairly horrifying scenes really do play well together.
Toggle Commented Sep 21, 2018 on "The Widow's Cruise" at Classic Mysteries
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I think you'd enjoy this one, Colin. I've read others of Blake's books and would recommend him as an author of unusually good plots in well-written books - probably not a surprise coming from a man who became the Poet Laureate of Britain. I haven't been to the Greek islands, but this book makes me realize some of what I missed. Have you read Gladys Mitchell's "Come Away Death" by the way? Mrs. Bradley meets the Mysteries at Eleusis...
Toggle Commented Sep 18, 2018 on "The Widow's Cruise" at Classic Mysteries
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Colin, I'm delighted to see Moyes's books coming back and made available to new readers. It's been a while since I read "Third Dog," but I remember it as being very well written, with good twists and a vaguely-recalled ending which left me cheering for the dog. I'll be reading more of hers, as the series re-appears.
Toggle Commented Sep 14, 2018 on "Murder à la Mode" at Classic Mysteries
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I've heard a lot of people say they prefer Woman in White, Colin. It's been so long since I last read it, I'm not qualified to comment - looks like I should put that back on the To Be Read pile. Thanks.
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As it happens, mystery historian Curtis Evans posted an interesting and quite relevant entry about Sgt. Beef (and Sgt. Cribb and others) on his blog, The Passing Tramp (at http://thepassingtramp.blogspot.com/2018/04/some-time-for-sergeants-consideration.html ). As always with his posts, it is well worth your reading time.
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"The Murder of my Aunt" is due out in the States in September, and I'm looking forward to it - it seems to follow the same general pattern you mention. That's what I like best about Hull's books, and you're right - it's a great way to reveal a character's character, so to speak.
Toggle Commented Apr 9, 2018 on "Murder Isn't Easy" at Classic Mysteries
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For more info day-of (such as, maybe, when will this be over) you can go to http://status.typepad.com
Toggle Commented Apr 7, 2018 on Building Repairs on Monday at Classic Mysteries
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Yes, it was released in 1954, 14 years after the first book. As far as I can tell, these two were the only mysteries Shepherd ever wrote. I haven't read the sequel yet, but if it's anywhere close to the quality of the first book, I'll have to add it to my TBR pile - and soon.
Toggle Commented Feb 20, 2018 on "Murder in a Nunnery" at Classic Mysteries
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