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J. J. Connington yay or nay

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  • Allan Griffith
    What do people here think of J. J. Connington s crime fiction? Worth seeking out or not? Al
    Message 1 of 23 , Sep 16, 2013
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      What do people here think of J. J. Connington's crime fiction? Worth seeking out or not?

      Al
    • Bob Houk
      I just finished The Case with Nine Solutions. I was quite underwhelmed -- I doubt I ll ever read another, and would not recommend him. Very dry, totally
      Message 2 of 23 , Sep 16, 2013
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        I just finished The Case with Nine Solutions. I was quite underwhelmed -- I doubt I'll ever read another, and would not recommend him.

        Very dry, totally one-dimensional characters, and an unpleasant detective -- an example of the 'never wrong about anything' variety.

        Bob


        To: GAdetection@yahoogroups.com
        From: dfordoom@...
        Date: Tue, 17 Sep 2013 00:10:39 +1000
        Subject: [GAdetection] J. J. Connington yay or nay

         

        What do people here think of J. J. Connington's crime fiction? Worth seeking out or not?

        Al

      • Patrick O
        I would disagree entirely, especially with regards to NINE SOLUTIONS. The plot is ingenious, full of surprising developments, and the denouement is a shocking
        Message 3 of 23 , Sep 16, 2013
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          I would disagree entirely, especially with regards to NINE SOLUTIONS. The plot is ingenious, full of surprising developments, and the denouement is a shocking moment when you realize the importance of a clue that has been mentioned time and time again. I thought it was terrific stuff, highly entertaining, extremely ingenious, and I thought that the detective's ascerbic sarcasm and dark sense of humour was terrific as well.



          From: Bob Houk <bobhouk@...>
          To: "GAdetection@yahoogroups.com" <gadetection@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Monday, September 16, 2013 10:21:39 AM
          Subject: RE: [GAdetection] J. J. Connington yay or nay

           
          I just finished The Case with Nine Solutions. I was quite underwhelmed -- I doubt I'll ever read another, and would not recommend him.

          Very dry, totally one-dimensional characters, and an unpleasant detective -- an example of the 'never wrong about anything' variety.

          Bob


          To: GAdetection@yahoogroups.com
          From: dfordoom@...
          Date: Tue, 17 Sep 2013 00:10:39 +1000
          Subject: [GAdetection] J. J. Connington yay or nay

           

          What do people here think of J. J. Connington's crime fiction? Worth seeking out or not?

          Al



        • Mike Detlefsen
          ... Yep. I just read Nine Solutions last month as my first Connington. I enjoyed it, and will read more by the author. Mike
          Message 4 of 23 , Sep 16, 2013
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            On 16 Sep 2013, at 10:38 , Patrick O wrote:

             

            I would disagree entirely, especially with regards to NINE SOLUTIONS. The plot is ingenious, full of surprising developments, and the denouement is a shocking moment when you realize the importance of a clue that has been mentioned time and time again. I thought it was terrific stuff, highly entertaining, extremely ingenious, and I thought that the detective's ascerbic sarcasm and dark sense of humour was terrific as well.


            Yep. I just read Nine Solutions last month as my first Connington. I enjoyed it, and will read more by the author.

            Mike


          • prettysinister
            As usual I disagree with Bob completely. I m with Patrick and Mike. I have read four Conningtons (not ...NINE SOLUTIONS) and each of them was gripping and
            Message 5 of 23 , Sep 16, 2013
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              As usual I disagree with Bob completely.  I'm with Patrick and Mike. I have read four Conningtons (not ...NINE SOLUTIONS)  and each of them was gripping and clever. THE SWEEPSTAKES MURDER in particular has some ingenious scientific detection.  His first book DEATH AT SWAYTHLING COURT is very atypical for him in that it is almost a spoof of the detective novel. It's often very funny, has some loopy characters, and a trick ending that lampoons the whole idea of fair play detection.
               
              John


              --- In GAdetection@yahoogroups.com, <gadetection@yahoogroups.com> wrote:


              On 16 Sep 2013, at 10:38 , Patrick O wrote:

               

              I would disagree entirely, especially with regards to NINE SOLUTIONS. The plot is ingenious, full of surprising developments, and the denouement is a shocking moment when you realize the importance of a clue that has been mentioned time and time again. I thought it was terrific stuff, highly entertaining, extremely ingenious, and I thought that the detective's ascerbic sarcasm and dark sense of humour was terrific as well.


              Yep. I just read Nine Solutions last month as my first Connington. I enjoyed it, and will read more by the author.

              Mike


            • curt evans
              Gosh, you got me:
              Message 6 of 23 , Sep 16, 2013
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                Sent: Monday, September 16, 2013 9:10 AM
                Subject: [GAdetection] J. J. Connington yay or nay
                 
                 

                What do people here think of J. J. Connington's crime fiction? Worth seeking out or not?
                 
                Al
              • lesblatt
                I have read four Conningtons and enjoyed them all, including THE CASE WITH NINE SOLUTIONS. I would say that of the one I ve read so far, my favorite is MURDER
                Message 7 of 23 , Sep 16, 2013
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                  I have read four Conningtons and enjoyed them all, including THE CASE WITH NINE SOLUTIONS. I would say that of the one I've read so far, my favorite is MURDER IN THE MAZE, which builds a really terrifying atmosphere around a crime in a double-centered maze, where a couple of sympathetic characters are trying to avoid the footsteps of a murderer.
                • Allan Griffith
                  Connington was actually better known for his one and only science fiction novel, NORDENHOLT S MILLION. Although he gained a lot of recognition from it he also
                  Message 8 of 23 , Sep 16, 2013
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                    Connington was actually better known for his one and only science fiction novel, NORDENHOLT'S MILLION. Although he gained a lot of recognition from it he also attracted some criticism, even being accused of being a fascist. Published in 1923, it's an interesting very early example of post-apocalyptic science fiction.

                    Of his crime fiction I've read only THE CASE WITH NINE SOLUTIONS. I had slightly mixed feelings about it although on the whole I liked it well enough. My slightly ambivalent feelings about were the reason for my asking for other opinions on him. I intend to give him another go.

                    Al
                  • Anita Hoffman
                    I agree with Patrick completely. Although not all his books are winners, I can recommend the following titles definitely worth reading... IMHO. Murder in the
                    Message 9 of 23 , Sep 16, 2013
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                      I agree with Patrick completely. Although not all his books are winners, I can recommend the following titles definitely worth reading... IMHO.

                      Murder in the Maze, Mystery at Lynden Sands, Sweepstakes Murders, Ha-Ha-Case aka The Brandon Case (one of his best), The Castleford Conundrum, A Minor Operation, The Four Defences, The 21 Clues and Jack-in-the -Box.

                      I think it is a mistake to judge any author by just one book, but of course it is your decision.


                      Anita






                      On Sep 16, 2013, at 11:38 AM, Patrick O <go_leafs_nation@...> wrote:

                       

                      I would disagree entirely, especially with regards to NINE SOLUTIONS. The plot is ingenious, full of surprising developments, and the denouement is a shocking moment when you realize the importance of a clue that has been mentioned time and time again. I thought it was terrific stuff, highly entertaining, extremely ingenious, and I thought that the detective's ascerbic sarcasm and dark sense of humour was terrific as well.



                      From: Bob Houk <bobhouk@...>
                      To: "GAdetection@yahoogroups.com" <gadetection@yahoogroups.com>
                      Sent: Monday, September 16, 2013 10:21:39 AM
                      Subject: RE: [GAdetection] J. J. Connington yay or nay

                       
                      I just finished The Case with Nine Solutions. I was quite underwhelmed -- I doubt I'll ever read another, and would not recommend him.

                      Very dry, totally one-dimensional characters, and an unpleasant detective -- an example of the 'never wrong about anything' variety.

                      Bob


                      To: GAdetection@yahoogroups.com
                      From: dfordoom@...
                      Date: Tue, 17 Sep 2013 00:10:39 +1000
                      Subject: [GAdetection] J. J. Connington yay or nay

                       

                      What do people here think of J. J. Connington's crime fiction? Worth seeking out or not?

                      Al





                    • Monica Van oostrom
                      I am reading The Two Tickets Puzzle at the moment, and finding it only so-so.  I really enjoyed Murder in the Maze (4/5). The Case With Nine Solutions, In
                      Message 10 of 23 , Sep 16, 2013
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                        I am reading The Two Tickets Puzzle at the moment, and finding it only so-so.  I really enjoyed Murder in the Maze (4/5). The Case With Nine Solutions, In Whose Dim Shadow (aka The Tau Cross Mystery), and The Case with Nine Solutions were also good - 3.5/5.  Mystery at Lyndon Sands I rated at 3/5.

                        I'll happily keep reading this author - I have another six books or so in my collection.

                        Regards,
                        Monica


                        From: Allan Griffith <dfordoom@...>
                        To: GAdetection@yahoogroups.com
                        Sent: Tuesday, 17 September 2013 2:10 AM
                        Subject: [GAdetection] J. J. Connington yay or nay

                         
                        What do people here think of J. J. Connington's crime fiction? Worth seeking out or not?

                        Al


                      • curt evans
                        I like Clinton Driffield, in the sense that he’s a distinct personality (he makes Dr. Priestley look cuddly). I missed him in Two Tickets. I find the
                        Message 11 of 23 , Sep 16, 2013
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                          I like Clinton Driffield, in the sense that he’s a distinct personality (he makes Dr. Priestley look cuddly).  I missed him in Two Tickets.  I find the “always right” detective distinction interesting.  Who is the head of that brigade, Sherlock Holmes?
                           
                          Of course one can read  a lot more about Connington in Masters of the Humdrum Mystery.  It was marked down to $32 but is now back up to $45, sadly.  Then there’s always a university library, mostly in the U. S. and Canada.
                           
                          Curt
                           
                          Sent: Monday, September 16, 2013 4:03 PM
                          Subject: Re: [GAdetection] J. J. Connington yay or nay
                           
                           

                          I am reading The Two Tickets Puzzle at the moment, and finding it only so-so.  I really enjoyed Murder in the Maze (4/5). The Case With Nine Solutions, In Whose Dim Shadow (aka The Tau Cross Mystery), and The Case with Nine Solutions were also good - 3.5/5.  Mystery at Lyndon Sands I rated at 3/5.

                          I'll happily keep reading this author - I have another six books or so in my collection.

                          Regards,
                          Monica
                           

                          From: Allan Griffith <dfordoom@...>
                          To: GAdetection@yahoogroups.com
                          Sent: Tuesday, 17 September 2013 2:10 AM
                          Subject: [GAdetection] J. J. Connington yay or nay
                           
                           
                          What do people here think of J. J. Connington's crime fiction? Worth seeking out or not?
                           
                          Al


                        • Mike Detlefsen
                          ... Or someone can buy the Kindle version for $24. :-) Mike On 16 Sep 2013, at 16:38 , curt evans wrote: Of course one can read a lot more about Connington in
                          Message 12 of 23 , Sep 16, 2013
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                            On 16 Sep 2013, at 16:38 , curt evans wrote:

                             


                             
                            Of course one can read  a lot more about Connington in Masters of the Humdrum Mystery.  It was marked down to $32 but is now back up to $45, sadly.  Then there’s always a university library, mostly in the U. S. and Canada.


                            Or someone can buy the Kindle version for $24. :-)


                            Mike
                          • Enrique F Bird
                            Curt, Actually, unless my memory is faulty, Holmes fails in a few stories, beginning with “A Scandal in Bohemia”. Best regards, Enrique F. Bird From:
                            Message 13 of 23 , Sep 16, 2013
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                              Curt,

                               

                              Actually, unless my memory is faulty, Holmes fails in a few stories, beginning with “A Scandal in Bohemia”.

                               

                              Best regards,

                               

                              Enrique F. Bird

                               

                              From: GAdetection@yahoogroups.com [mailto:GAdetection@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of curt evans
                              Sent: Monday, September 16, 2013 5:38 PM
                              To: GAdetection@yahoogroups.com
                              Subject: Re: [GAdetection] J. J. Connington yay or nay

                               

                               

                              I like Clinton Driffield, in the sense that he’s a distinct personality (he makes Dr. Priestley look cuddly).  I missed him in Two Tickets.  I find the “always right” detective distinction interesting.  Who is the head of that brigade, Sherlock Holmes?

                               

                              Of course one can read  a lot more about Connington in Masters of the Humdrum Mystery.  It was marked down to $32 but is now back up to $45, sadly.  Then there’s always a university library, mostly in the U. S. and Canada.

                               

                              Curt

                               

                              Sent: Monday, September 16, 2013 4:03 PM

                              Subject: Re: [GAdetection] J. J. Connington yay or nay

                               

                               

                              I am reading The Two Tickets Puzzle at the moment, and finding it only so-so.  I really enjoyed Murder in the Maze (4/5). The Case With Nine Solutions, In Whose Dim Shadow (aka The Tau Cross Mystery), and The Case with Nine Solutions were also good - 3.5/5.  Mystery at Lyndon Sands I rated at 3/5.

                              I'll happily keep reading this author - I have another six books or so in my collection.

                              Regards,
                              Monica

                               


                              From: Allan Griffith <dfordoom@...>
                              To: GAdetection@yahoogroups.com
                              Sent: Tuesday, 17 September 2013 2:10 AM
                              Subject: [GAdetection] J. J. Connington yay or nay

                               

                               

                              What do people here think of J. J. Connington's crime fiction? Worth seeking out or not?

                               

                              Al

                               

                            • Ronald Smyth
                              I quite enjoy Connington. His books are puzzle plots written in an era where the characterization was less important that it is today where half of most
                              Message 14 of 23 , Sep 16, 2013
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                                I quite enjoy Connington. His books are puzzle plots written in an era where the characterization was less important that it is today where half of most mysteries is about the lead's background and family life. Still Driffield is more than a blank slate and his ability to make genuine deductions from evidence
                                is rather impressive. I intend to read them all, at least of his mystery fiction.
                                 
                                Ron Smyth
                                From: Allan Griffith <dfordoom@...>
                                To: GAdetection@yahoogroups.com
                                Sent: Monday, September 16, 2013 10:10:39 AM
                                Subject: [GAdetection] J. J. Connington yay or nay
                                 
                                What do people here think of J. J. Connington's crime fiction? Worth seeking out or not?

                                Al
                              • Bob Houk
                                Ron Smith: I quite enjoy Connington. His books are puzzle plots written in an era where the characterization was less important that it is today where half of
                                Message 15 of 23 , Sep 16, 2013
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                                  Ron Smith: "I quite enjoy Connington. His books are puzzle plots written in an era where the characterization was less important that it is today where half of most mysteries is about the lead's background and family life."


                                  True. But others writing in the same era (e.g., Christie and Carr) managed to strike a good balance -- creating interesting and/or sympathetic characters without letting characterization be the focus of their books. The closest there was to a character I could give a darn about was Doctor Ringwood, who totally disappears after the first fifty pages or so.

                                  Yes, the puzzle was good, and it gave me a reason to finish the book. But just barely -- it was a hard slog. 

                                  Oh well, we all have different tastes.

                                  Bob 




                                  To: gadetection@yahoogroups.com
                                  From: bobhouk@...
                                  Date: Mon, 16 Sep 2013 22:21:39 +0800
                                  Subject: RE: [GAdetection] J. J. Connington yay or nay

                                   

                                  I just finished The Case with Nine Solutions. I was quite underwhelmed -- I doubt I'll ever read another, and would not recommend him.

                                  Very dry, totally one-dimensional characters, and an unpleasant detective -- an example of the 'never wrong about anything' variety.

                                  Bob


                                  To: GAdetection@yahoogroups.com
                                  From: dfordoom@...
                                  Date: Tue, 17 Sep 2013 00:10:39 +1000
                                  Subject: [GAdetection] J. J. Connington yay or nay

                                   

                                  What do people here think of J. J. Connington's crime fiction? Worth seeking out or not?

                                  Al


                                • curt evans
                                  Enrique, That’s why Driffield stayed away from women! From: Enrique F Bird Sent: Monday, September 16, 2013 9:48 PM To: GAdetection@yahoogroups.com Subject:
                                  Message 16 of 23 , Sep 16, 2013
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                                    Enrique,
                                     
                                    That’s why Driffield stayed away from women!
                                     
                                    Sent: Monday, September 16, 2013 9:48 PM
                                    Subject: RE: [GAdetection] J. J. Connington yay or nay
                                     
                                     

                                    Curt,

                                    Actually, unless my memory is faulty, Holmes fails in a few stories, beginning with “A Scandal in Bohemia”.

                                    Best regards,

                                    Enrique F. Bird

                                    From: GAdetection@yahoogroups.com [mailto:GAdetection@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of curt evans
                                    Sent: Monday, September 16, 2013 5:38 PM
                                    To: GAdetection@yahoogroups.com
                                    Subject: Re: [GAdetection] J. J. Connington yay or nay

                                     

                                    I like Clinton Driffield, in the sense that he’s a distinct personality (he makes Dr. Priestley look cuddly).  I missed him in Two Tickets.  I find the “always right” detective distinction interesting.  Who is the head of that brigade, Sherlock Holmes?

                                    Of course one can read  a lot more about Connington in Masters of the Humdrum Mystery.  It was marked down to $32 but is now back up to $45, sadly.  Then there’s always a university library, mostly in the U. S. and Canada.

                                    Curt

                                    Sent: Monday, September 16, 2013 4:03 PM

                                    Subject: Re: [GAdetection] J. J. Connington yay or nay

                                     

                                    I am reading The Two Tickets Puzzle at the moment, and finding it only so-so.  I really enjoyed Murder in the Maze (4/5). The Case With Nine Solutions, In Whose Dim Shadow (aka The Tau Cross Mystery), and The Case with Nine Solutions were also good - 3.5/5.  Mystery at Lyndon Sands I rated at 3/5.

                                    I'll happily keep reading this author - I have another six books or so in my collection.

                                    Regards,
                                    Monica


                                    From: Allan Griffith <dfordoom@...>
                                    To: GAdetection@yahoogroups.com
                                    Sent: Tuesday, 17 September 2013 2:10 AM
                                    Subject: [GAdetection] J. J. Connington yay or nay

                                     

                                    What do people here think of J. J. Connington's crime fiction? Worth seeking out or not?

                                    Al

                                  • curt evans
                                    “his ability to make genuine deductions from evidence is rather impressive” So true, but so many people don’t care about this anymore, even among
                                    Message 17 of 23 , Sep 16, 2013
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                                      “his ability to make genuine deductions from evidence
                                      is rather impressive”
                                       
                                      So true, but so many people don’t care about this anymore, even among classical mystery fans.  I think analysis offers some of the most interesting parts of detective novels.
                                       
                                      Curt
                                       
                                      Sent: Monday, September 16, 2013 9:58 PM
                                      Subject: Re: [GAdetection] J. J. Connington yay or nay
                                       
                                       

                                      I quite enjoy Connington. His books are puzzle plots written in an era where the characterization was less important that it is today where half of most mysteries is about the lead's background and family life. Still Driffield is more than a blank slate and his ability to make genuine deductions from evidence
                                      is rather impressive. I intend to read them all, at least of his mystery fiction.
                                       
                                      Ron Smyth
                                      From: Allan Griffith <dfordoom@...>
                                      To: GAdetection@yahoogroups.com
                                      Sent: Monday, September 16, 2013 10:10:39 AM
                                      Subject: [GAdetection] J. J. Connington yay or nay
                                       
                                      What do people here think of J. J. Connington's crime fiction? Worth seeking out or not?
                                       
                                      Al
                                    • curt evans
                                      In Carr and Christie youÆve named the two individuals regarded by many as the two greatest mystery writers in the history of the genre. ThatÆs a high
                                      Message 18 of 23 , Sep 16, 2013
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                                        In Carr and Christie you’ve named the two individuals regarded by many as the two greatest mystery writers in the history of the genre. That’s a high standard.
                                         
                                        I loved Carr back in the 1990s and I still like a lot of his work—he’s unquestionably brilliant in many ways--but I have become more attuned to slower-paced writers in middle age.   And I disagree that Carr never lets other elements interfere with the puzzle.  The emotional antics in books like The Problem of the Wire Cage and The Dead Man’s Knock, for example, I find quite tiring.  Cage was the first Carr book I had no interest in finishing.
                                         
                                        That said, if you read Masters of the Humdrum Mystery, you will find Arnold Bennett (who hated Golden Age detective novels in general), agreed with you about Nine Solutions.  He called it inhuman.  Oddly, perhaps, some of the unhappy, unlikable characters reminded me of P. D. James.
                                         
                                        Curt
                                         
                                        From: Bob Houk
                                        Sent: Monday, September 16, 2013 11:02 PM
                                        Subject: RE: [GAdetection] J. J. Connington yay or nay
                                         
                                         

                                        Ron Smith: "I quite enjoy Connington. His books are puzzle plots written in an era where the characterization was less important that it is today where half of most mysteries is about the lead's background and family life."
                                         
                                         
                                        True. But others writing in the same era (e.g., Christie and Carr) managed to strike a good balance -- creating interesting and/or sympathetic characters without letting characterization be the focus of their books. The closest there was to a character I could give a darn about was Doctor Ringwood, who totally disappears after the first fifty pages or so.
                                         
                                        Yes, the puzzle was good, and it gave me a reason to finish the book. But just barely -- it was a hard slog.
                                         
                                        Oh well, we all have different tastes.
                                         
                                        Bob
                                         
                                         
                                         

                                        To: gadetection@yahoogroups.com
                                        From: bobhouk@...
                                        Date: Mon, 16 Sep 2013 22:21:39 +0800
                                        Subject: RE: [GAdetection] J. J. Connington yay or nay

                                         
                                         
                                        I just finished The Case with Nine Solutions. I was quite underwhelmed -- I doubt I'll ever read another, and would not recommend him.
                                         
                                        Very dry, totally one-dimensional characters, and an unpleasant detective -- an example of the 'never wrong about anything' variety.
                                         
                                        Bob


                                        To: GAdetection@yahoogroups.com
                                        From: dfordoom@...
                                        Date: Tue, 17 Sep 2013 00:10:39 +1000
                                        Subject: [GAdetection] J. J. Connington yay or nay

                                         
                                         
                                        What do people here think of J. J. Connington's crime fiction? Worth seeking out or not?
                                         
                                        Al
                                         
                                         
                                      • Ronald Smyth
                                        I certainly enjoy Christie, and Carr is my favourite mystery writer, but Poirot remains nothing but vanity and a set of mustaches and Fell too is no more than
                                        Message 19 of 23 , Sep 16, 2013
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                                          I certainly enjoy Christie, and Carr is my favourite mystery writer, but Poirot remains nothing but vanity and a set of mustaches and Fell too is no more than a couple of mannerisms. Driffield is at least as genuine as that. Still, as you say we all have different tastes. Certainly Christie in particular made me care about her characters in a way that I have never quite been able to put my finger on while her plotting was superb. There is a reason why she was the great success that she was. I think in some way she was able to grasp how her readers would think and then use that to manipulate their expectations better than anyone else so that they (we) quite enjoy being made fools of.
                                           
                                          Ron Smyth
                                           
                                          From: Bob Houk <bobhouk@...>
                                          To: "GAdetection@yahoogroups.com" <gadetection@yahoogroups.com>
                                          Sent: Tuesday, September 17, 2013 12:02:52 AM
                                          Subject: RE: [GAdetection] J. J. Connington yay or nay
                                           
                                          Ron Smith: "I quite enjoy Connington. His books are puzzle plots written in an era where the characterization was less important that it is today where half of most mysteries is about the lead's background and family life."


                                          True. But others writing in the same era (e.g., Christie and Carr) managed to strike a good balance -- creating interesting and/or sympathetic characters without letting characterization be the focus of their books. The closest there was to a character I could give a darn about was Doctor Ringwood, who totally disappears after the first fifty pages or so.

                                          Yes, the puzzle was good, and it gave me a reason to finish the book. But just barely -- it was a hard slog. 

                                          Oh well, we all have different tastes.

                                          Bob 



                                          To: gadetection@yahoogroups.com From: bobhouk@... Date: Mon, 16 Sep 2013 22:21:39 +0800 Subject: RE: [GAdetection] J. J. Connington yay or nay 
                                          I just finished The Case with Nine Solutions. I was quite underwhelmed -- I doubt I'll ever read another, and would not recommend him.

                                          Very dry, totally one-dimensional characters, and an unpleasant detective -- an example of the 'never wrong about anything' variety.

                                          Bob
                                          To: GAdetection@yahoogroups.com From: dfordoom@... Date: Tue, 17 Sep 2013 00:10:39 +1000 Subject: [GAdetection] J. J. Connington yay or nay 
                                          What do people here think of J. J. Connington's crime fiction? Worth seeking out or not?

                                          Al
                                        • curt evans
                                          I’ve never cared much for Dr. Fell because he seems nothing but mannerisms and throat clearings. Carr’s narrative verve and sense of atmosphere are
                                          Message 20 of 23 , Sep 16, 2013
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                                            I’ve never cared much for Dr. Fell because he seems nothing but mannerisms and throat clearings.  Carr’s narrative verve and sense of atmosphere are extraordinary, but how great are his characters, I don’t know.  I do love Merrivale, I think he’s one of the great comic detectives.  But then you have the nice young man, the nice young girl, the sneering guy, the hypocritical prig, the antiquarian....There are some obvious exceptions that come to mind, like He Who Whispers, where the central female character is rather interesting, and The Devil in Velvet, say.
                                             
                                            Christie varies too.  When I reread Murder on the Orient Express I was surprised how uninvolving the characters were, given the story, ripped from the headlines.  But she had a good sense of dialogue and a lively pace, which make her wonderfully readable.  And some of the novels have greater depth.
                                             
                                            Alfred Walter Stewart, the man behind Connington, had rather a jaundiced view of humanity, which shows up both in Nordenholt’s Million and in his sleuth Clinton Driffield.  But it’s certainly a different take, one I find refreshing as such.
                                             
                                            Curt
                                             
                                            Sent: Monday, September 16, 2013 11:57 PM
                                            Subject: Re: [GAdetection] J. J. Connington yay or nay
                                             
                                             

                                            I certainly enjoy Christie, and Carr is my favourite mystery writer, but Poirot remains nothing but vanity and a set of mustaches and Fell too is no more than a couple of mannerisms. Driffield is at least as genuine as that. Still, as you say we all have different tastes. Certainly Christie in particular made me care about her characters in a way that I have never quite been able to put my finger on while her plotting was superb. There is a reason why she was the great success that she was. I think in some way she was able to grasp how her readers would think and then use that to manipulate their expectations better than anyone else so that they (we) quite enjoy being made fools of.
                                             
                                            Ron Smyth

                                             
                                            From: Bob Houk <bobhouk@...>
                                            To: "GAdetection@yahoogroups.com" <gadetection@yahoogroups.com>
                                            Sent: Tuesday, September 17, 2013 12:02:52 AM
                                            Subject: RE: [GAdetection] J. J. Connington yay or nay
                                             
                                            Ron Smith: "I quite enjoy Connington. His books are puzzle plots written in an era where the characterization was less important that it is today where half of most mysteries is about the lead's background and family life."
                                             
                                             
                                            True. But others writing in the same era (e.g., Christie and Carr) managed to strike a good balance -- creating interesting and/or sympathetic characters without letting characterization be the focus of their books. The closest there was to a character I could give a darn about was Doctor Ringwood, who totally disappears after the first fifty pages or so.
                                             
                                            Yes, the puzzle was good, and it gave me a reason to finish the book. But just barely -- it was a hard slog.
                                             
                                            Oh well, we all have different tastes.
                                             
                                            Bob
                                             
                                             
                                             
                                            To: gadetection@yahoogroups.com From: bobhouk@... Date: Mon, 16 Sep 2013 22:21:39 +0800 Subject: RE: [GAdetection] J. J. Connington yay or nay 
                                            I just finished The Case with Nine Solutions. I was quite underwhelmed -- I doubt I'll ever read another, and would not recommend him.
                                             
                                            Very dry, totally one-dimensional characters, and an unpleasant detective -- an example of the 'never wrong about anything' variety.
                                             
                                            Bob
                                            To: GAdetection@yahoogroups.com From: dfordoom@... Date: Tue, 17 Sep 2013 00:10:39 +1000 Subject: [GAdetection] J. J. Connington yay or nay 
                                            What do people here think of J. J. Connington's crime fiction? Worth seeking out or not?
                                             
                                            Al
                                          • Allan Griffith
                                            ... That s one of the things that attracts me in any writer - a distinctive worldview. In fact it s one of the reasons I prefer the fiction of the first half
                                            Message 21 of 23 , Sep 17, 2013
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                                              On 17 September 2013 15:10, curt evans <praed_street@...> wrote:


                                              Alfred Walter Stewart, the man behind Connington, had rather a jaundiced view of humanity, which shows up both in Nordenholt’s Million and in his sleuth Clinton Driffield.  But it’s certainly a different take, one I find refreshing as such.
                                               
                                              Curt

                                              That's one of the things that attracts me in any writer - a distinctive worldview.

                                              In fact it's one of the reasons I prefer the fiction of the first half of the 20th century rather than the fiction of today (and I'm talking about all genres, not just crime fiction). They're books that depict a society that sees things differently from the way most people see things today. The characters have different motivations. Some motivations remain eternal - jealousy, revenge, greed. But characters in novels of the early 20th century are motivated to do extraordinary things for the sake of honour, or patriotism. You just can't imagine any character in a modern book doing that.

                                              Modern fiction seems to me to be becoming more and more rigidly conformist. The range of acceptable opinion has become very narrow.

                                              Connington is the kind of writer who could never get published today. He'd be considered too controversial, too abrasive, too idiosyncratic. He seemed to have a habit of thinking for himself, a habit that would make him very unpopular indeed today.

                                              Al
                                            • Wendy Hess
                                              I liked The Case With Nine Solutions too. That was the first Connington title I read. Next I read The Castleford Conundrum and I thought it was awful. I hated
                                              Message 22 of 23 , Sep 22, 2013
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                                                I liked The Case With Nine Solutions too. That was the first Connington title I read. Next I read The Castleford Conundrum and I thought it was awful. I hated all the characters and was disappointed when they didn't all meet a bad end. The only other title of his I've read is The Sweepstakes Murders. I liked it but I felt the solution was too complicated for the murderer to have pulled off.
                                                 
                                                I'm willing to read another title if I can find one. Recommendations? Murder in the Maze?
                                                 
                                                Wendy


                                                On Mon, Sep 16, 2013 at 11:38 AM, Patrick O <go_leafs_nation@...> wrote:
                                                 

                                                I would disagree entirely, especially with regards to NINE SOLUTIONS. The plot is ingenious, full of surprising developments, and the denouement is a shocking moment when you realize the importance of a clue that has been mentioned time and time again. I thought it was terrific stuff, highly entertaining, extremely ingenious, and I thought that the detective's ascerbic sarcasm and dark sense of humour was terrific as well.



                                                From: Bob Houk <bobhouk@...>
                                                To: "GAdetection@yahoogroups.com" <gadetection@yahoogroups.com>
                                                Sent: Monday, September 16, 2013 10:21:39 AM
                                                Subject: RE: [GAdetection] J. J. Connington yay or nay

                                                 
                                                I just finished The Case with Nine Solutions. I was quite underwhelmed -- I doubt I'll ever read another, and would not recommend him.

                                                Very dry, totally one-dimensional characters, and an unpleasant detective -- an example of the 'never wrong about anything' variety.

                                                Bob


                                                To: GAdetection@yahoogroups.com
                                                From: dfordoom@...
                                                Date: Tue, 17 Sep 2013 00:10:39 +1000
                                                Subject: [GAdetection] J. J. Connington yay or nay

                                                 

                                                What do people here think of J. J. Connington's crime fiction? Worth seeking out or not?

                                                Al






                                                --

                                                What the world really needs is more love and less paper work.  ~Pearl Bailey


                                              • Monte Herridge
                                                Murder in the Maze is a good one. I bought my copy on Amazon.com. Monte Herridge ... From: Wendy Hess I liked The Case With Nine Solutions too. That was the
                                                Message 23 of 23 , Sep 22, 2013
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                                                  Murder in the Maze is a good one. I bought my copy on Amazon.com.

                                                  Monte Herridge

                                                  ----- Original Message -----
                                                  From: Wendy Hess

                                                  I liked The Case With Nine Solutions too. That was the first Connington
                                                  title I read. Next I read The Castleford Conundrum and I thought it was
                                                  awful. I hated all the characters and was disappointed when they didn't all
                                                  meet a bad end. The only other title of his I've read is The Sweepstakes
                                                  Murders. I liked it but I felt the solution was too complicated for the
                                                  murderer to have pulled off.

                                                  I'm willing to read another title if I can find one. Recommendations? Murder
                                                  in the Maze?

                                                  Wendy
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