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  • Xavier Lechard
    2004 for several reasons was a very weak year for me, so only twenty picks instead of the usual thirty: 1. DEATH TAKES SMALL BITES by George H. Johnston 2.
    Message 1 of 6 , Jan 1 10:56 AM
      2004 for several reasons was a very weak year for me, so "only" twenty picks instead of the usual thirty:

      1. DEATH TAKES SMALL BITES by George H. Johnston
      2. SHADOW OF A DOUBT by June Thomson
      3. THE DOUBLE DEATH OF FREDERIC BELOT by Claude Aveline
      4. THE FRANCHISE AFFAIR by Josephine Tey
      5. LES USINES DE L'EFFROI by Gaston Boca
      6. DEATH MY DARLING DAUGHTERS by Johnathan Stagge
      7. FOR POORER, FOR RICHER, TILL DEATH by Patricia McGerr
      8. A JUDGEMENT IN STONE by Ruth Rendell
      9. LET THE DEAD PAST by John Stephen Strange
      10. DEATH IN SANCTUARY by Ivon Baker
      11. MISSING OR MURDERED? by Robin Forsythe
      12. DEAD LION by John and Emery Bonnett
      13. DEATH IN A MILLION LIVING-ROOMS by Patricia McGerr
      14. THE PALE HORSE by Agatha Christie
      15. THE PRISONER'S FRIEND by George Goodchild & Carl Eric Roberts
      16. THE GUN IN DANIEL WEBSTER'S BUST by Margaret Scherf
      17. LA MORT MEDECIN by Michel Cousin
      18. L'ARBRE AUX DOIGTS TORDUS by Paul Halter
      19. WHAT OF TERRY CONNISTON? by Brian Garfield
      20. LES MESSIEURS DE DELFT tied with LE VOYAGE INUTILE by Charles Exbrayat

      "Stop looking daggers at me, Justin, or I will return your glance thus!"
      - Carolyn Wells

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    • Xavier Lechard
      1. Dominic M. Devine - Three Green Bottles 2. Frédéric Dard - L Homme de l Avenue (French book) 3. Martin Russell - Backlash 4. Henry Woodfin - Virginia s
      Message 2 of 6 , Jan 2 10:04 AM
        1. Dominic M. Devine - Three Green Bottles
        2. Frédéric Dard - L'Homme de l'Avenue (French book)
        3. Martin Russell - Backlash
        4. Henry Woodfin - Virginia's Thing
        5. Miles Burton - Not A Leg To Stand On
        6. Peter George - Cool Murder
        7. John Blackburn - Colonel Bogus
        8. Frédéric Dard - La Pelouse (French book)
        9. John Evans - Halo in Blood
        10. Pierre Salva - Mes Trois Nuits Infernales (French book)
        11. Miles Burton - Mr. Babbacombe Dies
        12. Frédéric Dard - Le Monte-Charge (French book)
        13. Agatha Christie - N or M?
        14. Agatha Christie - By The Pricking of My Thumbs
        15. Leslie Ford - The Girl from the Mimosa Club
        16. Loup Durand - Un Amour d'Araignée (French book)
        17. Jean-Pierre Ferly - Variations sur un massacre (French book)
        18. Emily Thorne - The House on the 17th Street
        19. Madeleine Coudray - Le Serpent dans la ville (French book)
        20. Dominic M. Devine - Dead Trouble

        Friendly,
        Xavier
      • mike5568
        Who is Dominic Devine? I see the 2 books you mention and more by him are available on ABE. What kind of writer is he? Thanks, MikeB
        Message 3 of 6 , Jan 2 10:50 AM
          Who is Dominic Devine? I see the 2 books you mention and more by
          him are available on ABE. What kind of writer is he? Thanks, MikeB
          > 1. Dominic M. Devine - Three Green Bottles
          > 2. Frédéric Dard - L'Homme de l'Avenue (French book)
          > 3. Martin Russell - Backlash
          > 4. Henry Woodfin - Virginia's Thing
          > 5. Miles Burton - Not A Leg To Stand On
          > 6. Peter George - Cool Murder
          > 7. John Blackburn - Colonel Bogus
          > 8. Frédéric Dard - La Pelouse (French book)
          > 9. John Evans - Halo in Blood
          > 10. Pierre Salva - Mes Trois Nuits Infernales (French book)
          > 11. Miles Burton - Mr. Babbacombe Dies
          > 12. Frédéric Dard - Le Monte-Charge (French book)
          > 13. Agatha Christie - N or M?
          > 14. Agatha Christie - By The Pricking of My Thumbs
          > 15. Leslie Ford - The Girl from the Mimosa Club
          > 16. Loup Durand - Un Amour d'Araignée (French book)
          > 17. Jean-Pierre Ferly - Variations sur un massacre (French book)
          > 18. Emily Thorne - The House on the 17th Street
          > 19. Madeleine Coudray - Le Serpent dans la ville (French book)
          > 20. Dominic M. Devine - Dead Trouble
          >
          > Friendly,
          > Xavier
          >
        • Xavier Lechard
          ... A good one, judging from the two books of his that I read last year. He belongs to the British neo-classic boom that occurred in the late sixties but
          Message 4 of 6 , Jan 2 3:57 PM
            --- In GAdetection@yahoogroups.com, "mike5568" <mike5568@y...> wrote:
            >
            > Who is Dominic Devine? I see the 2 books you mention and more by
            > him are available on ABE. What kind of writer is he? Thanks, MikeB

            A good one, judging from the two books of his that I read last year.
            He belongs to the British neo-classic boom that occurred in the late
            sixties but unlike contemporaries Peter Lovesey, Reginald Hill or P.D.
            James he never made it big and fell into oblivion after his untimely
            death. His books have no series characters, focusing instead on people
            who get personally involved in criminal investigation. "Three Green
            Bottles" for an example is about a man trying to clear his late
            brother's memory from suspicion of being a child-murderer. The
            characterization is quite good and the plots more than adequate, and
            Devine is not afraid to experiment with narration.

            Friendly,
            Xavier
          • Nicholas Fuller
            Yeah, I read Illegal Tender late last year, and thought it was pretty good. Interesting setting (Scottish Town Council offices); and good characterisation.
            Message 5 of 6 , Jan 2 10:47 PM
              Yeah, I read Illegal Tender late last year, and thought it was pretty good. Interesting setting (Scottish Town Council offices); and good characterisation. The murderer was well hidden, although the main clue was a bit slight.

              Nick


              "a citizen of the Universe, and a gentleman to boot"





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            • Xavier Lechard
              First I want to wish everyone a happy new year. May you get the best of everything and avoid the worst of the rest. This year s Top 20 is some particular since
              Message 6 of 6 , Jan 1 5:40 PM
                First I want to wish everyone a happy new year. May you get the best of everything and avoid the worst of the rest.

                This year's Top 20 is some particular since two novels are tied for first place. As a result, there is no #2.

                More explanations as well as my comments on the lucky winners can be found on my blog.


                1. An English Murder (Cyril Hare)
                The Beckoning Dream (Evelyn Berckman)
                3. The Extravagant Life of Balthazar (Maurice Leblanc)
                4. L'Estompe (Pierre Darcis)
                5. Room for Murder (Doris Miles Disney)
                6. Dear Laura (Jean Stubbs)
                7. Piano Nobile (Michel Guibert)
                8. Don't Open the Door (Ursula Curtiss)
                9. While the Light Lasts and other stories (Agatha Christie)
                10. Curse of a Thousand Kisses and other stories (Sax Rohmer)
                11. Les Larmes de Sibyl (Paul Halter)
                12. The Old Man in the Corner (Baroness Orczy)
                13. The Green-Eyed Monster (Patrick Quentin)
                14. As Lonely as the Damned (Michael Halliday)
                15. The Punch and Judy Murders (John Dickson Carr)
                16. The Frightened Fiancee (George Harmon Coxe)
                17. Le roi du désordre (Paul Halter)
                18. L'inconnue de la Seine (Sarah Cohen Scali)
                19. The Bog (Michael C. Talbot)
                20. Debout les morts (Fred Vargas)

                Disappointments:

                A Place of Execution (Val McDermid) Competent, but ideologically dubious and nothing to write home about overall
                Sous les vents de Neptune (Fred Vargas) Overlong and lacking the originality of her earlier works
                Marx et Sherlock Holmes (Alexis Lecaye) Interesting premise, poor execution

                Absolute nadir:

                Case Histories (Kate Atkinson) Annoying, annoying, annoying and annoying. Have I said it's also extremely annoying?





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