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You ought to read the first one THUS WAS ADONIS MURDERED. Julia is such a great character. The plot is complex and she uses a hoary Golden Age trick in the finale yet absolutely fooled me. When these books first came out they were likened to Jane Austen's novels. This was decades before so many middling writers were emulating Austen and stealing her characters and putting them in tepid mysteries. I think it's one of the few Austen analogies that is very fitting and hugely complimentary. Caudwell's tone and prose style (one of the few times I'd ever use that term for a mystery writer) is completely different from any other contemporary book I had read at the time. Of course, now I've read many vintage writers who have a similar arch sense of humor and a dense writing style. Caudwell's books were to me highly sophisticated and miles above the quality of most of what was being published at the time.
Toggle Commented Apr 29, 2016 on "The Sirens Sang of Murder" at Classic Mysteries
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This is probably my favorite of all of Brand's mystery novels. It's witty and original and the outrageous plot can exist only in the world of detective fiction. The first two chapters satirizing the package tours and tourists in general are spot on. I also loved that even with the complicated plot I managed to figure out the major plot twist using the well planted but not so obvious clues.
Toggle Commented Apr 15, 2016 on "Tour de Force" at Classic Mysteries
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This is my favorite of the later Basil Willing books. It's almost like McCloy wrote this one in the 1940s and shoved it in a trunk to produce later when her publisher wanted a traditional mystery. She had been writing so many suspense thrillers and this was a real throwback to her early career when she focussed on fair play detective novels with her series detective. Apart from the precocious teens and the talk of infidelity it's so retro for something published in 1968. The haunted room gimmick is something I've never come across before and borders on genius. I doubt anyone will be able to figure it out.
Toggle Commented Feb 11, 2016 on "Mr. Splitfoot" at Classic Mysteries
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Feb 10, 2016