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{ Tag Archives } mystery

Sheep in books

In the last six months, I read three different mysteries (loosely defined) centered on sheep. Three Bags Full – a murder mystery in which a flock of sheep tries to find out who killed their shepherd.  The author does a great job channeling the sheepish worldview, imagining what it’s like to be a constrained, fenced […]

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Dead Man’s Diary and A Taste for Cognac

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The Innocence of Father Brown

by G.K. Chesterton; Narrated by Brian Roberg for Librivox.org Obviously, I enjoy mystery stories.  And I understand that G.K. Chesterton is a revered and honored British writer, and that his father brown mysteries are most enduring and likeable.  But they didn’t do much for me. Don’t get me wrong, they were clever enough, with some […]

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Storm Storm Bang Bang

Storm Front bv Jim Butcher; Kiss Kiss Bang Bang For today’s double review, I thought I’d write about two texts I’d just finished, both of which I’m returning to.  Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is a postmodern detective story with cool humor and wacky narration, a solid film.  Storm Front is Jim Butcher’s first book in […]

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That’s a lot of detectives!

The Longman Anthology of Detective Fiction edited by Deane Mansfield-Kelley and Lois A Marchino I’m using this book in my Literary Genres: Detective Fiction class this semester, so I skimmed it to determine which readings to assign, and now I’ve been reading it thoroughly as the class works their way through it. Lots of good […]

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The challenges of group work

During a student presentation in my Detective fiction class today, the small groups were assigned to come up with the idea for a police procedural novel.  One of the groups proposed a story involving a “cat lady” who was murdered in her home by a mysterious killer.  As they finished their description, one member of […]

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The hat makes the detective

We finished watching “Death at the Bar” last night. A good installment, but without much that really stands out as excellent. This punnily-named episode tells the story of a lawyer murdered at a pub (double-play on bar. Get it? GET IT?), perhaps with a poisoned dart. A few thoughts: CID Alleyn’s assistant, Inspector Fox, scowls […]

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The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

by Stieg Larsson I’m torn here, because there’s a lot I like about this book, but I’m not sure how to talk about it without ruining it, and if you like mysteries, I want you to go read it. Larsson’s mystery involves several stories on top of one another, each with its own intricacies and […]

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Arsene Lupin: the George Lasenby of Gentleman Burglars

The Hollow Needle: The Further Adventures of Arsene Lupin by Maurice LeBlanc; narrated for Librivox by various readers The second novel in the Arsene Lupin series by Maurice LeBlanc finds the master thief and head of a criminal underground hunted not only by his old police nemesis and by the copyright-avoidingly-named Homlock Shears, but also […]

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The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

by Agatha Christie The only Christie novel to make the 1000 books you must read before you die list, Ackroyd serves as a metonym for every Christie novel, or at least every Poirot novel. It’s skillfully written, with a wide net of characters, an intriguing puzzle mystery with plenty of side distractions (affairs, debts, scoundrels, […]

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Campion: Look to the Lady

To further cement my place in your heart as a big ol’ nerd, I’ve started watching another BBC mystery adaptation series. This time it’s Campion, starring Peter Davison. Look to the Lady is the first in the series, and was made in 1989. Davison and Brian Glover are a winning combination as the dashing, jaunty, […]

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Crusader’s Cross

by James Lee Burke; narrated by Will Patton Crusader’s Cross is another Dave Robichaux novel, the one before Tin Roof Blowdown, I believe. It’s only the second of the series I’ve read, but delightful still. The novel focuses on two cases: the 30-year-old disappearance of Dave’s brother’s hooker girlfriend and a series of murders occurring […]

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Harper’s Island

I just finished watching our TiVO backlog of Harper’s Island: The DVD Edition, a “whodunit” involving plenty of bloody murder and a “mystery” to solve. While I did enjoy the show quite a bit, it felt more like watching a television version of I Know What You Did Last Summer than a whodunit. It had […]

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Foul Play

We enjoyed this outing from early in the careers of both Goldie Hawn and Chevy Chase. It’s a strange movie, with a schizophrenic attitude that’s hard to place. Foul Play tells the story of a lonely librarian and a police detective who fall in love as they try to uncover the assassination plot in which […]

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Dividend on Death

A Mike Shayne Detective Story by Brett Halliday Dividend on Death is the first Mike Shayne detective novel (I believe there were some short stories before this book). Its central mystery involves an elderly man on the brink of death, his wife (who’s murdered), and her daughter by a previous marriage who may or may […]

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