Category Archives: Mysteries/Crime

To Fear a Painted Devil

This 1965 Ruth Rendell novel is more of a whodunit than I’m used to from her. It’s set in a neighborhood called Linchester, built on the site of what was once a large manor house and park. The families that … Continue reading

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Secret House of Death

Ruth Rendell, y’all. She’s just so good. I’ve read almost all of the books she wrote as Barbara Vine and a lot of the standalone books she wrote under her own name, as well as a smattering of the Inspector … Continue reading

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Beast in View

This old-school 1955 suspense novel by Margaret Millar features a fractured family whose secrets are being pulled out of the darkness by a resentful woman whose feelings have bred a sort of madness that makes her a danger to everyone … Continue reading

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The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes

I became interested Sherlock Holmes mostly through Laurie King’s Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series. Prior to reading those books, I’d read maybe a handful of Conan Doyles’s short stories and The Hound of the Baskervilles. But I’m enjoying slowly working through the originals. … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction, Mysteries/Crime, Short Stories/Essays | 4 Comments

Bluebird, Bluebird

Darren Matthews had every intention of becoming a lawyer, but, while he was in law school in Chicago, the lynching of James Byrd Jr., in Jasper, Texas, drew him back to his home state and a career as a Texas … Continue reading

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Nothing That Meets the Eye

I read Patricia Highsmith’s Ripley novels (there are five of them, starting with The Talented Mr. Ripley, and they go by the collective name of the Ripliad) years and years ago, before I started this blog. Ever since, I’ve wanted … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Mysteries/Crime, Short Stories/Essays | 10 Comments

Death in Ecstasy

This is the fourth of Ngaio Marsh’s detective novels starring DI Roderick Alleyn, the smooth, nobly-born, well-educated man who actually works for the police force rather than being a private detective who generously contributes his services. I have to say … Continue reading

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Island of the Mad

As the 15th (!) book in the Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series opens, Russell and Holmes are dealing with a minor domestic crisis—an indirect outcome of their previous adventures in The Murder of Mary Russell. But domesticity never lasts long for this … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Mysteries/Crime, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Vanity Dies Hard

Sometimes, when I’m reading a novel by Ruth Rendell, I wonder why I even try reading modern mysteries and thrillers by anyone else. Sure, I’ve found a few people I like, but let’s get real — you never have to … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Mysteries/Crime | 9 Comments

Clouds of Witness

I began reading Dorothy Sayers about thirty years ago. Maybe even a little longer, actually, when I was around eleven or twelve. I started reading detective fiction with an alarming Agatha Christie binge and some of those Alfred Hitchcock story … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction, Mysteries/Crime | 13 Comments