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"Golden Age" Detective Fiction

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Now I have finished what can be considered the second Campion volume by Margery Allingham, entitled "Mystery Mile."  Unlike "Black Dudley," this tale definitely involves Campion at every step, and has a number of surprising twists.  The manservant/factotum Lugg makes a significant appearance here.  I thought it was a darned good whodunit all told, and I will commend it to anyone who may have interest.

I am now going to switch over to Edmund Crispin's Gervase Fen novel entitled "The Case of the Gilded Fly."  (The library does not carry the next book in the Campion series, although it  is the basis for the initial episodes 1 and 2 of the Peter Davison television series, so I can watch that at some point.)  Will report back in due course, most likely.

R

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10 hours ago, Cole Parker said:

With all those authors, R, I've seen no mention of Leslie Charteris and his Saint character.  Beguiling.

 

My only knowledge of The Saint comes from the cheesy television series with Roger Moore, which I have watched an embarrassingly large number of times.  My sense is that he is more of a Robin Hood character, kind of like The Equalizer or the gang in Leverage.  I have not read any of the books.  Are there any titles that actually fall into the detective/mystery genre?

R

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Oh, come on!  Lady Felicia is delightful, and while Bunty can be annoying, calling her a pain in the ass is a bit overboard, don't you think.  Mrs. McCarthy, on the other hand . . .

I will admit to enjoying the show more before when Lady Felicia was more prominent and the advent of Bunty hadn't occurred.

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I like Mrs. McCarthy and her award-winning strawberry scones.  Bunty seems the most annoying to me.

BTW, I have made scones a number of times with blueberries, cranberries, or currants, but never with strawberries.  I may have to try it some time.

R

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I should also note that there is an earlier Father Brown series, from the early 1970s, that stars Kenneth More in the title role.  It exudes its low-budget origins but I believe it is much truer to the actual G.K. Chesterton short stories that are depicted.

R

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I just finished "Overture to Death" by Ngaio Marsh, one of the Inspector Roderick Alleyn series.  I had a sense of who the culprit was fairly early on, but it's possible that I read this book back in the 1980s when I was checking out Ngaio Marsh (and Rex Stout and Agatha Christie) titles from the main LA Public Library, which was literally across the street from my office.  It's a decent whodunit with lots of suspects and misdirection.

I have placed library holds on the next three Alleyn volumes, and there is no telling when they will land on my electronic doorstep.

Meanwhile, I am able to return to the Edmund Crispin "Gilded Fly" novel mentioned above, after having to battle with Amazon over the Kindle library loan.  I successfully renewed the book, but Amazon refused to let me see it because it insisted my loan had ended.  Well, yes, the first one had ended, but renewal is a new loan, right?  Took a few days to get straightened out.

R

 

 

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I have been remiss in not mentioning two current mystery writers I find topnotch.  It's also somewhat intriguing that both are Americans, yet both set their mysteries in England.  One is Elizabeth George, whose main character is Thomas Linley, the other is Deborah Crombie who has two main characters, Gemma James and Duncan Kincaid.  The George books are very long, very detailed, and expertly written.  The Crombie books are a bit more accessible.  George has 20 Linley novels written which should be read in order and they grow sequentially.  Crombie's 17 books do the same.  All the books are very good. 

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I have heard of Elizabeth George but not Deborah Crombie.  At first I was thinking of Elizabeth Peters who writes the Egypt-based Amelia Peabody series, but quickly realized my confusion.  I will have to look into these suggestions.

Today I finished the Gervase Fen story "The Case of the Gilded Fly" by Edmund Crispin.  It certainly was littered with literary references and words that sent me to the dictionary.  One tiny piece of the solution occurred to me as the story progressed, but the overall solution was not at all obvious -- that tiny piece was relatively inconsequential overall.  And the Gervase Fen character was difficult to fathom somehow.  But I'm glad I read this one.  I'm just not sure if I'll tackle another one.

I hope others are finding value in this discussion, and my thanks again to Cole for his suggestions.

R

UPDATE:  I have managed to track down a Kindle version of "A Great Deliverance" by Elizabeth George, which appears to be the first Inspector Lynley novel in that series.  Will give it a look.

UPDATE 2:  I have also managed to track down "A Share in Death" by Deborah Crombie, which says on the cover that it's the first Kincaid and James mystery.  So I can check both authors out.

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I started in on the Elizabeth George book mentioned above but I found it unsatisfying . . . I'm not sure why.  I'll probably try again, but in the meantime I picked up the next Inspector Littlejohn story by George Bellairs, entitled "Death on the Last Train."  It was just what I needed.

I also have the next Ngaio Marsh/Inspector Alleyn book teed up -- it is mystifyingly entitled "Surfeit of Lampreys."  

R

 

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Well, I finished the Inspector Alleyn tale "Surfeit of Lampreys."  It really was full of surprises, including the final revelation of whodunit.  I have started the next book in the series, "Death and the Dancing Footman."  I know that I have read this before, but it was so long ago that I don't remember it at all (except the character names seem familiar).  I think I was in high school when I first read it -- my family was traveling across the country in a motor home, and I found a paperback copy at a rest stop along an interstate highway with a note saying that it was being left there for someone else to read since the original owner had finished it.  I accepted the offer!

I also finished "Outrage on Gallows Hill" by George Bellairs, another Inspector Littlejohn story.  This was a good read also, and again full of surprises.  Unlike the Ngaio Marsh Alleyn stories, which all seem to be available at the LA Public Library, only a smattering of the Bellairs books are in the library's collection.  So I can't read them in sequence (unless I want to -- gasp! -- pay money for them on Amazon.)  

R

 

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