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Re: Brand's "Fog of Doubt" and more Brand

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  • monescu4
    Enrique: I m not too crazy about many of her short stories either. However, Murder Game (also titled The Geminy Crickets Murder Case ) is a *major*
    Message 1 of 10 , Sep 3, 2008
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      Enrique:

      I'm not too crazy about many of her short stories either.
      However, "Murder Game" (also titled "The Geminy Crickets Murder
      Case") is a *major* exception. It may be my favorite detective
      short story of all time... something of a cross between John Dickson
      Carr and "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari"! I also like "After the
      Event" (I believe that is the title of it).

      - Scott

      --- In GAdetection@yahoogroups.com, "Enrique F. Bird" <enfbirdp@...>
      wrote:
      >
      > Henrique (this time I spelled it correctly!) and other friends,
      >
      >
      >
      > Do not miss ""Fog of Doubt" – it is one of Brand's 2 masterpieces.
      And try
      > to get one of the several editions with Brand's own introduction.
      >
      >
      >
      > I must confess to mixed feelings on Brand. I rate both "Green for
      Danger"
      > and "Fog of Doubt"/"London Particular" as all-time masterpieces.
      Yet I do
      > not like her short stories. I have both the Crippen & Landru and
      the
      > Southern Illinois University collections of these.
      >
      >
      >
      > In her 2 masterpieces Brand reveals herself as a specialist at
      what might be
      > called a mini-sub-genre: the small (7 or 8!) number of characters
      which
      > include both the murderer and victims. She even playfully informs
      you in the
      > introductions! Then she yet manages to both keep her word and
      provide fair
      > play, bafflement, and surprises as only the greatest masters can
      do.
      >
      >
      >
      > Best regards,
      >
      >
      >
      > Enrique F. Bird Picó
      >
      >
      >
    • monescu4
      Henrique: I concur with Enrique in his recommendation of Fog of Doubt. I also agree with your assessment of Brand s self-assessment: Green for Danger seems
      Message 2 of 10 , Sep 3, 2008
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        Henrique:

        I concur with Enrique in his recommendation of "Fog of Doubt." I
        also agree with your assessment of Brand's self-assessment: Green
        for Danger seems to me vastly superior to Heads You Lose, and I take
        your word that Death in High Heels is as well (I've actually never
        read it, though I have a copy of the obscure 1947 film version of
        the book, a quicky low budget follow-up to the successful [and much
        superior] film version of Green for Danger).

        - Scott

        --- In GAdetection@yahoogroups.com, Henrique Valle
        <vallehenrique@...> wrote:
        >
        > Scott,
        > Heads you lose is mentioned as "her own favourite" in the back
        cover of the 1950 (1st) Penguin edition. I should have noticed this -
        by 1950 she had written only 8 books, less than half of her total.
        Anyway, it's at least a curious self-assessment: Brand valued Heads
        higher than Death in High Heels and Green for Danger, which seem to
        me to be much better books. Unfortunately I haven't read Fog of
        Doubt.
        > Henrique
      • Henrique Valle
        Enrique, Could you please indicate an edition of Fog of Doubt which includes the introduction you ve mentioned? None of the Internet sellers I ve searched
        Message 3 of 10 , Sep 4, 2008
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          Enrique,
          Could you please indicate an edition of Fog of Doubt which includes the introduction you've mentioned? None of the Internet sellers I've searched state this. Thanks in advance.
          Henrique


          ----- Original Message ----
          From: Enrique F. Bird <enfbirdp@...>
          To: GAdetection@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Wednesday, September 3, 2008 1:36:29 PM
          Subject: [GAdetection] Brand's "Fog of Doubt" and more Brand


          Henrique (this time I spelled it correctly!) and other friends,

          Do not miss ��Fog of Doubt� � it is one of Brand�s 2 masterpieces. And try
          to get one of the several editions with Brand�s own introduction.

          I must confess to mixed feelings on Brand. I rate both �Green for Danger�
          and �Fog of Doubt�/�London Particular� as all-time masterpieces. Yet I do
          not like her short stories. I have both the Crippen & Landru and the
          Southern Illinois University collections of these.

          In her 2 masterpieces Brand reveals herself as a specialist at what might be
          called a mini-sub-genre: the small (7 or 8!) number of characters which
          include both the murderer and victims. She even playfully informs you in the
          introductions! Then she yet manages to both keep her word and provide fair
          play, bafflement, and surprises as only the greatest masters can do.

          Best regards,

          Enrique F. Bird Pic�

          _____

          From: GAdetection@ yahoogroups. com [mailto:GAdetection@ yahoogroups. com] On
          Behalf Of Henrique Valle
          Sent: Wednesday, September 03, 2008 7:50 AM
          To: GAdetection@ yahoogroups. com
          Subject: Re: [GAdetection] Re: Holiday GAD readings

          Scott,
          Heads you lose is mentioned as "her own favourite" in the back cover of the
          1950 (1st) Penguin edition. I should have noticed this - by 1950 she had
          written only 8 books, less than half of her total. Anyway, it's at least a
          curious self-assessment: Brand valued Heads higher than Death in High Heels
          and Green for Danger, which seem to me to be much better books.
          Unfortunately I haven't read Fog of Doubt.
          Henrique

          ----- Original Message ----
          From: monescu4 <monescu4@yahoo. <mailto:monescu4% 40yahoo.com> com>
          To: GAdetection@ <mailto:GAdetection %40yahoogroups. com> yahoogroups. com
          Sent: Wednesday, September 3, 2008 4:30:55 AM
          Subject: [GAdetection] Re: Holiday GAD readings

          Henrique:

          Agree with your assessment (and criticism) of HEADS YOU LOSE, but am not
          aware of Brand
          ever calling it her favourite among her works. She did refer to FOG OF DOUBT
          (LONDON
          PARTICULAR) as her very favourite, however, in a forward found in reprints
          of that book,
          which is indeed a much finer work.

          - Scott

          --- In GAdetection@ yahoogroups. com, Henrique Valle <vallehenrique@ ...>
          wrote:
          >
          > Holiday GAD
          > readings and re-readings (some spoilers but no strict disclosures) :
          >
          > John Dickson Carr, Captain Cut-Throat (4/5). Combines historical romance,
          high
          > adventure and detection, masterful storytelling. Nice impossible murder,
          > unusually (for Carr) underplayed. Balloon scene superb. Found it much
          better
          > than 10 years ago. Best historical Carr along with Fear is the Same.
          >
          > Fernando Pessoa, Quaresma, Decifrador [Quaresma, decipherer] (4/5).
          Unfinished
          > and until 2008 unpublished detective novels written circa 1907-1935 by
          major
          > 20th Century poet (http://en.wikipedia .org/wiki/ Fernando_ Pessoa) whose
          > favourite writers included Poe, Doyle, Morrison, Crofts and Rhode.
          Armchair
          > detective, impossible crimes and strictly (sometimes glacially) logical
          > deduction. If finished, these novels would put Pessoa on the same level as
          his
          > British and American contemporaries. A quote from the author: �One of the
          few
          > intellectual enjoyments that are left for what's left of the intellectual
          in
          > humankind is the reading of detective stories�.
          >
          > Agatha Christie, The Sittaford Mystery (3/5). Plot coherent but thin,
          decisive
          > clues revealed early and narrative artificially extended from then on.
          Last
          > clue is totally unfair, its meaning is not clear and the deductions made
          from
          > it are illogical (anyway, it is superfluous and merely a device to
          disguise the
          > fact that the story has gone for too long). Some aspects uncanilly close
          to
          > Rhode, Crofts: "humdrum" detective in the beggining of the book,
          > "humdrum" method of detection throughout (successive and exhaustive
          > interrogations of all witnesses), train timetables, unbreakable alibi.
          Village
          > setting, underplayed spiritualist and supernatural elements approached in
          > similar way to Rhode's The House on Tollard Ridge (below).. All of this
          with
          > typical early 30's Christie liveliness, high spirits and adept
          storytelling.
          > Paul Halter's murder method in Le Roi du D�sordre is a variation of this
          in an
          > impossible crime context. Minor but interesting and entretaining Christie.
          >
          > Christianna Brand, Heads you lose (3/5). Brand's own favourite. Good
          > storytelling, interesting and ambivalent characters, gruesome crimes.
          Multiple
          > solutions tend to confuse plot development. Obvious murderer (it could be
          no
          > one else). Motive is so absurd that author had to make the criminal turn
          out to
          > be insane, but in an absurd way (and epileptic is considered "mad"
          > and is supposed to have repeatedly become a throat-slashing maniac during
          > fits). Ambiguous depiction of Jewish character that turns out to be the
          most
          > intelligent character in the book. Black dog called Esmiss Esmoore likely
          and
          > somewhat reasonably to infuriate some readers.
          >
          > John Rhode, The House on Tollard Ridge (2/5). Disconcerting book.
          Coherently
          > constructed fair-play plot - but culprit, motive and modus operandi too
          easily
          > guessable, and course of future events too predictable, from very early
          on.
          > Apparently supernatural background could have made a great atmosphere -
          but is
          > downplayed. Potentially interesting characters - but depicted from too
          great a
          > distance, narrator doesn't care about them. 3 great chapters (VIII - life
          in a
          > steamer; XII - adult discussion between a couple about to divorce; XIII -
          a
          > night at a supposedly haunted house) - but the rest flatlessly, if
          competently,
          > written. Hadn't read Rhode for a long time, must get back to him soon.
          >
          > Pierre V�ry, Le testament de Basil Crookes [Basil Crookes' will] (1/5).
          > Over-prized, critically inflated, irritatingly absurd, partially unfair
          and
          > illogical 1930 puzzle plot novel by French master. If a book can ever be
          called
          > "unrealistic" as an offense, this is the book.
          >
          > In a stroke of good luck I've recently bought, in highly unlikely places,
          first
          > hardcover editions of books by Queen, Fielding, Wallace, Dickson, Marsh,
          > Gardner, Jepson, Wallace, Carolyn Wells, some of them with dust-jackets.
          From
          > the same sources, also bought more than 100 crime Penguins at 1 euro each,
          some
          > of them hard to find (at least for me and at this price): Rhode,
          Connington,
          > Crofts, Keverne, Hare, Bush, A. Gilbert, Punshon, McCloy, Bramah. I
          already
          > owned 2 or 3 copies of some of the books bought, but cannot resist a green
          > Penguin. Has someone mentioned borderline OC behaviour a few weeks ago...?
          >
          > Henrique
          >

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]






          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • gazianteptabip
          I red Carr s The Judas Window yesterday and today I read White Priory Murders.
          Message 4 of 10 , Sep 4, 2008
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            I red Carr's The Judas Window yesterday and today I read White Priory
            Murders.
          • Enrique F. Bird
            Henrique, The Gregg Press harscover edition from 1980, and the Carroll & Graf paperback edition from 1995. Incidentally, I noticed that it is the Outlook
            Message 5 of 10 , Sep 4, 2008
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              Henrique,

              The Gregg Press harscover edition from 1980, and the Carroll & Graf
              paperback edition from 1995.

              Incidentally, I noticed that it is the Outlook editor who automatically
              changes Henrique to Enrique in my emails!

              Best regards,

              Enrique F. Bird Picó


              -----Original Message-----
              From: GAdetection@yahoogroups.com [mailto:GAdetection@yahoogroups.com] On
              Behalf Of Henrique Valle
              Sent: Thursday, September 04, 2008 11:45 AM
              To: GAdetection@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: Re: [GAdetection] Brand's "Fog of Doubt" and more Brand


              Enrique,
              Could you please indicate an edition of Fog of Doubt which includes the
              introduction you've mentioned? None of the Internet sellers I've searched
              state this. Thanks in advance.
              Henrique


              ----- Original Message ----
              From: Enrique F. Bird <enfbirdp@...>
              To: GAdetection@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Wednesday, September 3, 2008 1:36:29 PM
              Subject: [GAdetection] Brand's "Fog of Doubt" and more Brand


              Henrique (this time I spelled it correctly!) and other friends,

              Do not miss “”Fog of Doubt” – it is one of Brand’s 2 masterpieces. And try
              to get one of the several editions with Brand’s own introduction.

              I must confess to mixed feelings on Brand. I rate both “Green for Danger”
              and “Fog of Doubt”/”London Particular” as all-time masterpieces. Yet I do
              not like her short stories. I have both the Crippen & Landru and the
              Southern Illinois University collections of these.

              In her 2 masterpieces Brand reveals herself as a specialist at what might be
              called a mini-sub-genre: the small (7 or 8!) number of characters which
              include both the murderer and victims. She even playfully informs you in the
              introductions! Then she yet manages to both keep her word and provide fair
              play, bafflement, and surprises as only the greatest masters can do.

              Best regards,

              Enrique F. Bird Picó

              _____

              From: GAdetection@ yahoogroups. com [mailto:GAdetection@ yahoogroups. com]
              On
              Behalf Of Henrique Valle
              Sent: Wednesday, September 03, 2008 7:50 AM
              To: GAdetection@ yahoogroups. com
              Subject: Re: [GAdetection] Re: Holiday GAD readings

              Scott,
              Heads you lose is mentioned as "her own favourite" in the back cover of the
              1950 (1st) Penguin edition. I should have noticed this - by 1950 she had
              written only 8 books, less than half of her total. Anyway, it's at least a
              curious self-assessment: Brand valued Heads higher than Death in High Heels
              and Green for Danger, which seem to me to be much better books.
              Unfortunately I haven't read Fog of Doubt.
              Henrique

              ----- Original Message ----
              From: monescu4 <monescu4@yahoo. <mailto:monescu4% 40yahoo.com> com>
              To: GAdetection@ <mailto:GAdetection %40yahoogroups. com> yahoogroups. com
              Sent: Wednesday, September 3, 2008 4:30:55 AM
              Subject: [GAdetection] Re: Holiday GAD readings

              Henrique:

              Agree with your assessment (and criticism) of HEADS YOU LOSE, but am not
              aware of Brand
              ever calling it her favourite among her works. She did refer to FOG OF DOUBT
              (LONDON
              PARTICULAR) as her very favourite, however, in a forward found in reprints
              of that book,
              which is indeed a much finer work.

              - Scott

              --- In GAdetection@ yahoogroups. com, Henrique Valle <vallehenrique@ ...>
              wrote:
              >
              > Holiday GAD
              > readings and re-readings (some spoilers but no strict disclosures) :
              >
              > John Dickson Carr, Captain Cut-Throat (4/5). Combines historical romance,
              high
              > adventure and detection, masterful storytelling. Nice impossible murder,
              > unusually (for Carr) underplayed. Balloon scene superb. Found it much
              better
              > than 10 years ago. Best historical Carr along with Fear is the Same.
              >
              > Fernando Pessoa, Quaresma, Decifrador [Quaresma, decipherer] (4/5).
              Unfinished
              > and until 2008 unpublished detective novels written circa 1907-1935 by
              major
              > 20th Century poet (http://en.wikipedia .org/wiki/ Fernando_ Pessoa) whose
              > favourite writers included Poe, Doyle, Morrison, Crofts and Rhode.
              Armchair
              > detective, impossible crimes and strictly (sometimes glacially) logical
              > deduction. If finished, these novels would put Pessoa on the same level as
              his
              > British and American contemporaries. A quote from the author: «One of the
              few
              > intellectual enjoyments that are left for what's left of the intellectual
              in
              > humankind is the reading of detective stories».
              >
              > Agatha Christie, The Sittaford Mystery (3/5). Plot coherent but thin,
              decisive
              > clues revealed early and narrative artificially extended from then on.
              Last
              > clue is totally unfair, its meaning is not clear and the deductions made
              from
              > it are illogical (anyway, it is superfluous and merely a device to
              disguise the
              > fact that the story has gone for too long). Some aspects uncanilly close
              to
              > Rhode, Crofts: "humdrum" detective in the beggining of the book,
              > "humdrum" method of detection throughout (successive and exhaustive
              > interrogations of all witnesses), train timetables, unbreakable alibi.
              Village
              > setting, underplayed spiritualist and supernatural elements approached in
              > similar way to Rhode's The House on Tollard Ridge (below).. All of this
              with
              > typical early 30's Christie liveliness, high spirits and adept
              storytelling.
              > Paul Halter's murder method in Le Roi du Désordre is a variation of this
              in an
              > impossible crime context. Minor but interesting and entretaining Christie.
              >
              > Christianna Brand, Heads you lose (3/5). Brand's own favourite. Good
              > storytelling, interesting and ambivalent characters, gruesome crimes.
              Multiple
              > solutions tend to confuse plot development. Obvious murderer (it could be
              no
              > one else). Motive is so absurd that author had to make the criminal turn
              out to
              > be insane, but in an absurd way (and epileptic is considered "mad"
              > and is supposed to have repeatedly become a throat-slashing maniac during
              > fits). Ambiguous depiction of Jewish character that turns out to be the
              most
              > intelligent character in the book. Black dog called Esmiss Esmoore likely
              and
              > somewhat reasonably to infuriate some readers.
              >
              > John Rhode, The House on Tollard Ridge (2/5). Disconcerting book.
              Coherently
              > constructed fair-play plot - but culprit, motive and modus operandi too
              easily
              > guessable, and course of future events too predictable, from very early
              on.
              > Apparently supernatural background could have made a great atmosphere -
              but is
              > downplayed. Potentially interesting characters - but depicted from too
              great a
              > distance, narrator doesn't care about them. 3 great chapters (VIII - life
              in a
              > steamer; XII - adult discussion between a couple about to divorce; XIII -
              a
              > night at a supposedly haunted house) - but the rest flatlessly, if
              competently,
              > written. Hadn't read Rhode for a long time, must get back to him soon.
              >
              > Pierre Véry, Le testament de Basil Crookes [Basil Crookes' will] (1/5).
              > Over-prized, critically inflated, irritatingly absurd, partially unfair
              and
              > illogical 1930 puzzle plot novel by French master. If a book can ever be
              called
              > "unrealistic" as an offense, this is the book.
              >
              > In a stroke of good luck I've recently bought, in highly unlikely places,
              first
              > hardcover editions of books by Queen, Fielding, Wallace, Dickson, Marsh,
              > Gardner, Jepson, Wallace, Carolyn Wells, some of them with dust-jackets.
              From
              > the same sources, also bought more than 100 crime Penguins at 1 euro each,
              some
              > of them hard to find (at least for me and at this price): Rhode,
              Connington,
              > Crofts, Keverne, Hare, Bush, A. Gilbert, Punshon, McCloy, Bramah. I
              already
              > owned 2 or 3 copies of some of the books bought, but cannot resist a green
              > Penguin. Has someone mentioned borderline OC behaviour a few weeks ago...?
              >
              > Henrique
              >

              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]






              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


              ------------------------------------

              Yahoo! Groups Links
            • Henrique Valle
              Thanks a lot, Enrique (oops, I was about to write Henrique!). Don t worry about the H, it s silent anyway. Best regards, Henrique ... From: Enrique F. Bird
              Message 6 of 10 , Sep 4, 2008
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                Thanks a lot, Enrique (oops, I was about to write Henrique!).
                Don't worry about the H, it's silent anyway.
                Best regards,
                Henrique



                ----- Original Message ----
                From: Enrique F. Bird <enfbirdp@...>
                To: GAdetection@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Thursday, September 4, 2008 5:23:01 PM
                Subject: RE: [GAdetection] Brand's "Fog of Doubt" and more Brand


                Henrique,

                The Gregg Press harscover edition from 1980, and the Carroll & Graf
                paperback edition from 1995.

                Incidentally, I noticed that it is the Outlook editor who automatically
                changes Henrique to Enrique in my emails!

                Best regards,

                Enrique F. Bird Pic�

                -----Original Message-----
                From: GAdetection@ yahoogroups. com [mailto:GAdetection@ yahoogroups. com] On
                Behalf Of Henrique Valle
                Sent: Thursday, September 04, 2008 11:45 AM
                To: GAdetection@ yahoogroups. com
                Subject: Re: [GAdetection] Brand's "Fog of Doubt" and more Brand

                Enrique,
                Could you please indicate an edition of Fog of Doubt which includes the
                introduction you've mentioned? None of the Internet sellers I've searched
                state this. Thanks in advance.
                Henrique

                ----- Original Message ----
                From: Enrique F. Bird <enfbirdp@onelinkpr. net>
                To: GAdetection@ yahoogroups. com
                Sent: Wednesday, September 3, 2008 1:36:29 PM
                Subject: [GAdetection] Brand's "Fog of Doubt" and more Brand

                Henrique (this time I spelled it correctly!) and other friends,

                Do not miss ��Fog of Doubt� � it is one of Brand�s 2 masterpieces. And try
                to get one of the several editions with Brand�s own introduction.

                I must confess to mixed feelings on Brand. I rate both �Green for Danger�
                and �Fog of Doubt�/�London Particular� as all-time masterpieces. Yet I do
                not like her short stories. I have both the Crippen & Landru and the
                Southern Illinois University collections of these.

                In her 2 masterpieces Brand reveals herself as a specialist at what might be
                called a mini-sub-genre: the small (7 or 8!) number of characters which
                include both the murderer and victims. She even playfully informs you in the
                introductions! Then she yet manages to both keep her word and provide fair
                play, bafflement, and surprises as only the greatest masters can do.

                Best regards,

                Enrique F. Bird Pic�

                _____

                From: GAdetection@ yahoogroups. com [mailto:GAdetection @ yahoogroups. com]
                On
                Behalf Of Henrique Valle
                Sent: Wednesday, September 03, 2008 7:50 AM
                To: GAdetection@ yahoogroups. com
                Subject: Re: [GAdetection] Re: Holiday GAD readings

                Scott,
                Heads you lose is mentioned as "her own favourite" in the back cover of the
                1950 (1st) Penguin edition. I should have noticed this - by 1950 she had
                written only 8 books, less than half of her total. Anyway, it's at least a
                curious self-assessment: Brand valued Heads higher than Death in High Heels
                and Green for Danger, which seem to me to be much better books.
                Unfortunately I haven't read Fog of Doubt.
                Henrique

                ----- Original Message ----
                From: monescu4 <monescu4@yahoo. <mailto:monescu4% 40yahoo.com> com>
                To: GAdetection@ <mailto:GAdetection %40yahoogroups. com> yahoogroups.. com
                Sent: Wednesday, September 3, 2008 4:30:55 AM
                Subject: [GAdetection] Re: Holiday GAD readings

                Henrique:

                Agree with your assessment (and criticism) of HEADS YOU LOSE, but am not
                aware of Brand
                ever calling it her favourite among her works. She did refer to FOG OF DOUBT
                (LONDON
                PARTICULAR) as her very favourite, however, in a forward found in reprints
                of that book,
                which is indeed a much finer work.

                - Scott

                --- In GAdetection@ yahoogroups. com, Henrique Valle <vallehenrique@ ....>
                wrote:
                >
                > Holiday GAD
                > readings and re-readings (some spoilers but no strict disclosures) :
                >
                > John Dickson Carr, Captain Cut-Throat (4/5). Combines historical romance,
                high
                > adventure and detection, masterful storytelling. Nice impossible murder,
                > unusually (for Carr) underplayed. Balloon scene superb. Found it much
                better
                > than 10 years ago. Best historical Carr along with Fear is the Same.
                >
                > Fernando Pessoa, Quaresma, Decifrador [Quaresma, decipherer] (4/5).
                Unfinished
                > and until 2008 unpublished detective novels written circa 1907-1935 by
                major
                > 20th Century poet (http://en.wikipedia .org/wiki/ Fernando_ Pessoa) whose
                > favourite writers included Poe, Doyle, Morrison, Crofts and Rhode..
                Armchair
                > detective, impossible crimes and strictly (sometimes glacially) logical
                > deduction. If finished, these novels would put Pessoa on the same level as
                his
                > British and American contemporaries. A quote from the author: �One of the
                few
                > intellectual enjoyments that are left for what's left of the intellectual
                in
                > humankind is the reading of detective stories�.
                >
                > Agatha Christie, The Sittaford Mystery (3/5).. Plot coherent but thin,
                decisive
                > clues revealed early and narrative artificially extended from then on.
                Last
                > clue is totally unfair, its meaning is not clear and the deductions made
                from
                > it are illogical (anyway, it is superfluous and merely a device to
                disguise the
                > fact that the story has gone for too long). Some aspects uncanilly close
                to
                > Rhode, Crofts: "humdrum" detective in the beggining of the book,
                > "humdrum" method of detection throughout (successive and exhaustive
                > interrogations of all witnesses), train timetables, unbreakable alibi.
                Village
                > setting, underplayed spiritualist and supernatural elements approached in
                > similar way to Rhode's The House on Tollard Ridge (below).. All of this
                with
                > typical early 30's Christie liveliness, high spirits and adept
                storytelling.
                > Paul Halter's murder method in Le Roi du D�sordre is a variation of this
                in an
                > impossible crime context. Minor but interesting and entretaining Christie.
                >
                > Christianna Brand, Heads you lose (3/5). Brand's own favourite. Good
                > storytelling, interesting and ambivalent characters, gruesome crimes.
                Multiple
                > solutions tend to confuse plot development. Obvious murderer (it could be
                no
                > one else). Motive is so absurd that author had to make the criminal turn
                out to
                > be insane, but in an absurd way (and epileptic is considered "mad"
                > and is supposed to have repeatedly become a throat-slashing maniac during
                > fits). Ambiguous depiction of Jewish character that turns out to be the
                most
                > intelligent character in the book. Black dog called Esmiss Esmoore likely
                and
                > somewhat reasonably to infuriate some readers.
                >
                > John Rhode, The House on Tollard Ridge (2/5). Disconcerting book.
                Coherently
                > constructed fair-play plot - but culprit, motive and modus operandi too
                easily
                > guessable, and course of future events too predictable, from very early
                on.
                > Apparently supernatural background could have made a great atmosphere -
                but is
                > downplayed. Potentially interesting characters - but depicted from too
                great a
                > distance, narrator doesn't care about them. 3 great chapters (VIII - life
                in a
                > steamer; XII - adult discussion between a couple about to divorce; XIII -
                a
                > night at a supposedly haunted house) - but the rest flatlessly, if
                competently,
                > written. Hadn't read Rhode for a long time, must get back to him soon.
                >
                > Pierre V�ry, Le testament de Basil Crookes [Basil Crookes' will] (1/5).
                > Over-prized, critically inflated, irritatingly absurd, partially unfair
                and
                > illogical 1930 puzzle plot novel by French master. If a book can ever be
                called
                > "unrealistic" as an offense, this is the book.
                >
                > In a stroke of good luck I've recently bought, in highly unlikely places,
                first
                > hardcover editions of books by Queen, Fielding, Wallace, Dickson, Marsh,
                > Gardner, Jepson, Wallace, Carolyn Wells, some of them with dust-jackets.
                From
                > the same sources, also bought more than 100 crime Penguins at 1 euro each,
                some
                > of them hard to find (at least for me and at this price): Rhode,
                Connington,
                > Crofts, Keverne, Hare, Bush, A. Gilbert, Punshon, McCloy, Bramah. I
                already
                > owned 2 or 3 copies of some of the books bought, but cannot resist a green
                > Penguin. Has someone mentioned borderline OC behaviour a few weeks ago...?
                >
                > Henrique
                >

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