lyzard's list: Reading many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore in 2021 - Part 4

Diskutera75 Books Challenge for 2021

Bara medlemmar i LibraryThing kan skriva.

lyzard's list: Reading many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore in 2021 - Part 4

Redigerat: jun 9, 7:14pm

The marbled cat is found across Asia, from the foothills of the Himalayas, into India and China, and across to the jungles of Borneo. It is about the size of a domestic cat, and is known for its small, rounded ears, the patterning of its coat, which comes in a range of greys and browns, and its extraordinary tail. Data on its biology and ecology are limited, but the marbled cat appears to produce 1-4 kittens after a (for a small cat species) relatively protracted pregnancy.

Despite its wide distribution, like the sand cat the marbled cat is vulnerable because of its naturally low and scattered numbers. Habitat destruction disrupts the species' interactions, and its coat make it the target of poachers (though in some areas, it is hunted legally).


Redigerat: jul 21, 6:40pm

Last year's thread title was taken from a relatively obscure poem by Edgar Allan Poe. It was some time later before it occurred to me that - duh - I had overlooked a perfectly apt line from Poe's most famous poem:

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore
    While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—
        Only this and nothing more...”

Probably no-one needs this but just in case, the full text of The Raven may be found here.



Currently reading:

Perfume: The Story Of A Murderer by Patrick Süskind (1985)

Redigerat: jun 9, 7:20pm

2021 reading:


1. The Pelham Murder Case by Monte Barrett (1930)
2. Mystery At Lynden Sands by J. J. Conningtion (1928)
3. Dead Man Twice by Christopher Bush (1930)
4. Eight To Nine by R. A. J. Walling (1934)
5. The Secret Of The Old Clock by Carolyn Keene (1930)
6. The Van Diemen's Land Warriors, or The Heroes Of Cornwall by "Pindar Juvenal" (1827)
7. The Reviv'd Fugitive: A Gallant Historical Novel by Peter Belon (1690)
8. The Land Of Laughs by Jonathan Carroll (1980)
9. Patty Blossom by Carolyn Wells (1917)
10. Miracle Creek by Angie Kim (2019)
11. Fools' Gold by Dolores Hitchens (1958)
12. Beast In View by Margaret Millar (1955)
13. The Blunderer by Patricia Highsmith (1956)
14. Cause Of Death by Cyril H. Wecht with Mark Curridan and Benjamin Wecht (1993)
15. The Secret Of Terror Castle by Robert Arthur Jr (1964)


16. Orley Farm by Anthony Trollope (1862)
17. The Benevent Treasure by Patricia Wentworth (1953)
18. Patty--Bride by Carolyn Wells (1918)
19. Lost Boy Lost Girl by Peter Straub (2003)
20. Call For The Dead by John le Carré (1961)
21. 813 by Maurice Leblanc (1910)
22. Blanche On The Lam by Barbara Neely (1992)
23. The Autobiography Of Mark Rutherford by William Hale White (1881)
24. The Adventuress by Arthur B. Reeve (1917)
25. The Secret History Of The Four Last Monarchs Of Great Britain by "R. B." (1691)


26. The Source by James A. Michener (1965)
27. The Mystery Of The Stuttering Parrot by Robert Arthur Jr (1964)
28. Gray Dusk by Octavus Roy Cohen (1920)
29. Mr Jelly's Business by Arthur Upfield (1937)
30. Death Comes To Perigord by John Alexander Ferguson (1931)
31. Simon The Coldheart by Georgette Heyer (1925)
32. Patty And Azalea by Carolyn Wells (1919)
33. The Recess: A Tale Of Other Times by Sophia Lee (1785)
34. Anecdotes Of A Convent by Anonymous (1771)

Redigerat: jun 28, 7:07pm

2021 reading:


35. The Observations by Jane Harris (2006)
36. Valley Of The Dolls by Jacqueline Susann (1966)
37. The Executor by Margaret Oliphant (1861)
38. The Rector by Margaret Oliphant (1861)
39. The Panama Plot by Arthur B. Reeve (1918)
40. Elsie And The Raymonds by Martha Finley (1889)
41. The Murder Of Sigurd Sharon by Harriette Ashbrook (1933)
42. The Wraith by Philip MacDonald (1931)
43. Poison In The Pen by Patricia Wentworth (1954)
44. President Fu Manchu by Sax Rohmer (1936)
45. Midnight by Octavus Roy Cohen (1922)
46. Sing Sing Nights by Harry Stephen Keeler (1927)
47. Missing Or Murdered by Robin Forsythe (1929)


48. The Arrangement by Elia Kazan (1967)
49. The Mystery Of The Whispering Mummy by Robert Arthur (1965)
50. The Doctor's Family by Margaret Oliphant (1863)
51. Beauvallet by Georgette Heyer (1929)
52. The Great Impersonation by E. Phillips Oppenheim (1920)
53. The Life Of Mansie Wauch, Tailor In Dalkeith by David Moir (1828)
54. Elsie Yachting With The Raymonds by Martha Finley (1890)
55. The Window At The White Cat by Mary Roberts Rinehart (1910)
56. The Case With Nine Solutions by J. J. Connington (1928)
57. The High Adventure by Jeffery Farnol (1925)
58. Winds Of Evil by Arthur Upfield (1937)
59. Six Minutes Past Twelve by Gavin Holt (1928)


60. Mr Fortune Wonders by H. C. Bailey (1933)
61. X Y Z: A Detective Story by Anna Katharine Green (1883)
62. Murder In A Library by Charles J. Dutton (1931)
63. Airport by Arthur Hailey (1968)
64. The Sea Mystery by Freeman Wills Crofts (1928)
65. The Spider's Touch by Valentine Williams (1936)
66. The Soul Scar by Arthur B. Reeve (1919)
67. Crumpled Lilies by W. Carlton Dawe (1933)
68. The Kennel Murder Case by S. S. Van Dine (!933)
69. The Drums Of Fu Manchu by Sax Rohmer (1939)
70. The Vanishing Of Betty Varian by Carolyn Wells (1922)
71. Where There's A Will by Mary Roberts Rinehart (1912)
72. The Listening Eye by Patricia Wentworth (1955)
73. The Marquise Of O. by Heinrich Von Kleist (1808)
74. The Foundling by Francis Spellman (1951)

Redigerat: jul 21, 6:40pm

2021 reading:


75. The Struggles Of Brown, Jones, And Robinson by Anthony Trollope (1862)
76. Blood Money by John Goodwin (1931)
77. Inspector Frost In The City by Herbert Maynard Smith (1930)
78. The Mill Mystery by Anna Katharine Green (1886)
79. Elsie's Vacation And After Events by Martha Finley (1891)
80. The House Of Peril by Louis Tracy (1922)
81. The Choice by Philip MacDonald (1931)
82. The Swimming Pool by Mary Roberts Rinehart (1952)
83. The Mystery Of The Green Ghost by Robert Arthur (1965)
84. Courier To Marrakesh by Valentine Williams (1944)
85. Mind Hunter: Inside The FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit by John Douglas and Mark Olshaker (1995)
86. No More Parades by Ford Madox Ford (1925)

Redigerat: jul 9, 8:02pm

Books in transit:

On interlibrary loan / branch transfer / storage / Rare Book request:
Portnoy's Complaint by Philip Roth {Sutherland}
The Secret Of The Old Clock / The Hidden Staircase by Carolyn Keene {Menai / Engadine}
The Conqueror by Georgette Heyer {ILL}
McLean Of Scotland Yard by George Goodchild {JFR}
Richelieu: A Tale Of France by G. P. R. James {JFR}

On loan:
**The High Adventure by Jeffery Farnol (02/07/2021)
*The Drums Of Fu Manchu by Sax Rohmer (16/07/2021)
*The Sea Mystery by Freeman Wills Crofts (20/07/2021)
**Poison In The Pen by Patricia Wentworth (31/07/2021)
**Winds Of Evil by Arthur Upfield (31/07/2021)

Purchased and shipped:

Redigerat: jul 20, 9:18pm

Ongoing reading projects:

Blog reads:
Chronobibliography: Incognita; or, Love And Duty Reconciled by William Congreve
Authors In Depth:
- Forest Of Montalbano by Catherine Cuthbertson
- Shannondale (aka "The Three Beauties; or, Shannondale: A Novel") by E.D.E.N. Southworth
- Lady Audley's Secret / The White Phantom by Mary Elizabeth Braddon
- Ellesmere by Mrs Meeke
- The Cottage by Margaret Minifie
- The Old Engagement by Julia Day
- The Abbess by Frances Trollope
Reading Roulette: Pique by Frances Notley / Our Mr Wrenn by Sinclair Lewis
Australian fiction: Louisa Egerton by Mary Leman Grimstone / Alfred Dudley; or, The Australian Settlers by Sarah Porter
Gothic novel timeline: Anecdotes Of A Convent by Anonymous
Early crime fiction: The Mysteries Of London by G. W. M. Reynolds
Silver-fork novels: Sayings And Doings; or, Sketches From Life (First Series) by Theodore Hook
Related reading: Gains And Losses by Robert Lee Wollf / The Man Of Feeling by Henry Mackenzie / Le Loup Blanc by Paul Féval / Theresa Marchmont; or, The Maid Of Honour by Catherine Gore

Group / tutored reads:

COMPLETED: Orley Farm by Anthony Trollope (thread here)
COMPLETED: The Executor / The Rector by Margaret Oliphant (thread here)
COMPLETED: The Doctor's Family by Margaret Oliphant (thread here)
COMPLETED: The Struggles Of Brown, Jones And Robinson by Anthony Trollope (thread here)

General reading challenges:

America's best-selling novels (1895 - ????):
Next up: Portnoy's Complaint by Philip Roth

Georgette Heyer: straight historical fiction:
Next up: The Conqueror

Patricia Wentworth's Miss Silver series (shared reads):
Next up: The Gazebo

"The Three Investigators" (shared reads):
Next up: The Mystery Of The Vanishing Treasure

Virago chronological reading project:
Next up: Aurora Floyd by Mary Elizabeth Braddon / Salem Chapel by Margaret Oliphant

The C.K. Shorter List of Best 100 Novels:
Next up: Richelieu: A Tale Of France by G. P. R. James

Mystery League publications:
Next up: The Gutenberg Murders by Gwen Bristow and Bruce Manning

Banned In Boston!: (here)
Next up: From Man To Man by Olive Schreiner

The evolution of detective fiction:
Next up: The Mysteries Of London (Volume III) by G. W. M. Reynolds

Random reading 1940 - 1969:
Next up: To The Islands by Randolph Stow

Potential decommission / re-shelving:
Next up: Mind Hunter by John Douglas

Completed challenges:
- Georgette Heyer historical romances in chronological order
- Agatha Christie mysteries in chronological order
- Agatha Christie uncollected short stories

Possible future reading projects:
- Nobel Prize winners who won for fiction
- Daily Telegraph's 100 Best Novels, 1899
- James Tait Black Memorial Prize
- Berkeley "Books Of The Century"
- Collins White Circle Crime Club / Green Penguins
- Dell paperbacks
- "El Mundo" 100 best novels of the twentieth century
- 100 Best Books by American Women During the Past 100 Years, 1833-1933
- 50 Classics of Crime Fiction 1900–1950 (Jacques Barzun and Wendell Hertig Taylor)
- The Guardian's 100 Best Novels
- Life Magazine "The 100 Outstanding Books of 1924 - 1944" (Henry Seidel Canby)
- "40 Trashy Novels You Must Read Before You Die" (Flavorwire)
- best-novel lists in Wikipedia article on The Grapes Of Wrath
- Pandora 'Mothers Of The Novel'
- Newark Library list (here)
- "The Story Of Classic Crime In 100 Books" (here)
- Dean's Classics series
- "Fifty Best Australian Novels" (here)
- "The Top 100 Crime Novels Of All Time" (here)

Redigerat: jul 17, 7:09pm

TBR notes:

Currently 'missing' series works:

Dead Men At The Folly by John Rhode (Dr Priestley #13) {Rare Books}
The Robthorne Mystery by John Rhode (Dr Priestley #17) {Rare Books / State Library NSW, held / Internet Archive / Kindle}
Poison For One by John Rhode (Dr Priestley #18) {Rare Books / State Library NSW, held}
Shot At Dawn by John Rhode (Dr Priestley #19) {Rare Books}
The Corpse In The Car by John Rhode (Dr Priestley #20) {CARM}
Hendon's First Case by John Rhode (Dr Priestley #21) {Rare Books}
Mystery At Olympia (aka "Murder At The Motor Show") (Dr Priestley #22) {Kindle / State Library NSW, held / Internet Archive}
In Face Of The Verdict by John Rhode (Dr Priestley #24) {Rare Books / State Library NSW, held / Internet Archive}

The White-Faced Man (aka "The Praying Monkey") by Gavin Holt (Luther Bastion #2) {State Library NSW, held}

Secret Judges by Francis D. Grierson (Sims and Wells #2) {Rare Books}

The Platinum Cat by Miles Burton (Desmond Merrion #17 / Inspector Arnold #18) {Rare Books}

The Double-Thirteen Mystery by Anthony Wynne (Dr Eustace Hailey #2) {Rare Books}

The Black Death by Moray Dalton {CARM}


The Crime Conductor by Philip MacDonald {JFR}
The Sealed Envelope by Ben Bolt {serialised}
The Grey Rat (aka "The Shuyler Mystery") by Ottwell Binns {mobilereads}
Snowbird by Ottwell Binns {serialised}
Gay Go Up by Anne Hepple {online; possible abridged? / Mitchell Library}
The Mystery Mission And Other stories by Sydney Horler {Internet Archive}
Murder In Earl's Court by A. G. MacDonell (aka Neil Gordon) {Kindle}
Pitiful Dust by Vernon Knowles {Mitchell Library}
The Brink (aka "The Swaying Rock") by Arthur J. Rees {Mitchell Library}
The Solange Stories by F. Tennyson Jesse {JFR / Rare Books}
The Whisperer by J. M. Walsh {online; possibly abridged? / Mitchell Lbrary}
Captain Nemesis by F. Van Wyck Mason {JFR}
The Vesper Service Murders by F. Van Wyck Mason {Kindle}
The Vagrant Heart by Deirdre O'Brien {JFR}
The Black Joss by John Gordon Brandon {Mitchell Library}
Jinks by Oliver Sandys {JFR}
About The Murder Of A Night Club Lady by Anthony Abbot {serialised}
This Way To Happiness (aka "Janice") by Maysie Greig {Mitchell Library}
Storms And Tea-Cups by Cecily Wilhelmine Sidgwick (Mrs Alfred Sidgwick) {JFR}
Pawns & Kings (aka "Pawns And Kings") by Seamark (Austin J. Small) {JFR}
The Agent Outside by Patrick Wynnton {JFR}

The Matilda Hunter Murder by Harry Stephen Keeler {Kindle}

Storm by Charles Rodda {National Library, ILL?}
The Hangman's Guests by Stuart Martin {NLA / CARM}
The Lap Of Luxury by Berta Ruck {NLA}

NB: Rest of 1931 listed on the Wiki

Series back-reading:

The Red-Haired Girl by Carolyn Wells {Rare Books}
Invisible Death by Brian Flynn {Kindle}
Murder At Fenwold (aka "The Death Of Cosmo Revere") by Christopher Bush {Kindle}
The Clifford Affair by A. Fielding {Kindle / Roy Glashan's Library}
Burglars In Bucks by George and Margaret Cole {Fisher Library}
The Case With Nine Solutions Nemesis At Raynham Parva by J. J. Connington {mobilereads}
Poison by Lee Thayer {AbeBooks / Amazon}
A Family That Was by Ernest Raymond {State Library NSW, JFR}
The Cancelled Score Mystery by Gret Lane {Kindle}

Completist reading:

Thieves' Nights by Harry Stephen Keeler (#5) {Rare Books}
The Forsaken Inn by Anna Katharine Green (#8) {Project Gutenberg}
The Case Of Jennie Brice by Mary Roberts Rinehart (#7) {Project Gutenberg}
The White Cockatoo by Mignon Eberhart {Rare Books}

Unavailable / expensive:

The Amber Junk (aka The Riddle Of The Amber Ship) by Hazel Phillips Hanshew (Cleek #9)
The Hawkmoor Mystery by W. H. Lane Crauford
The Double Thumb by Francis Grierson (Sims and Wells #3)
The Shadow Of Evil by Charles J. Dutton (Harley Manners #2)
The Seventh Passenger by Alice MacGowan and Perry Newberry (Jerry Boyne #4)
The Hanging Woman by John Rhode (Dr Priestley #11)
The Park Lane Mystery by Louis Tracy (Winter and Furneaux # 6)

Redigerat: jul 9, 7:56am

A Century (And A Bit) Of Reading:

At least one book a year from 1800 - 1900!

1800: Juliania; or, The Affectionate Sisters by Elizabeth Sandham
1801: Belinda by Maria Edgeworth
1802: The Infidel Father by Jane West
1803: Thaddeus Of Warsaw by Jane Porter
1804: The Lake Of Killarney by Anna Maria Porter
1805: The Impenetrable Secret, Find It Out! by Francis Lathom
1806: The Wild Irish Girl by Sydney Owenson
1807: Corinne; ou, l'Italie by Madame de Staël
1808: The Marquise Of O. by Heinrich Von Kleist
1809: The Scottish Chiefs by Jane Porter
1812: The Absentee by Maria Edgeworth
1814: The Wanderer; or, Female Difficulties by Frances Burney
1815: Headlong Hall by Thomas Love Peacock
1820: The Sketch Book Of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. by Washington Irving
1821: The Ayrshire Legatees; or, The Pringle Family by John Galt / Valerius: A Roman Story by J. G. Lockhart / Kenilworth by Walter Scott
1822: Bracebridge Hall; or, The Humorists by Washington Irving
1823: The Two Broken Hearts by Catherine Gore
1824: The Adventures Of Hajji Baba Of Ispahan by James Justinian Morier
1826: Lichtenstein by Wilhelm Hauff / The Last Of The Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper
1827: The Epicurean by Thomas Moore / The Betrothed by Alessandro Manzoni
1828: The Life Of Mansie Wauch, Tailor In Dalkeith by David Moir
1829: Wilhelm Meister's Travels by Johann Goethe / The Collegians by Gerald Griffin / Louisa Egerton; or, Castle Herbert by Mary Leman Grimstone
1830: Alfred Dudley; or, The Australian Settlers by Sarah Porter
1832: The Refugee In America by Frances Trollope
1836: The Tree And Its Fruits; or, Narratives From Real Life by Phoebe Hinsdale Brown
1845: Zoe: The History Of Two Lives by Geraldine Jewsbury / The Mysteries Of London (Volume I) by G. W. M. Reynolds
1846: The Mysteries Of London (Volume II) by G. W. M. Reynolds
1847: Agnes Grey by Anne Brontë / The Macdermots Of Ballycloran by Anthony Trollope / The Mysteries Of London: Volume III by G. W. M. Reynolds
1848: The Kellys And The O'Kellys by Anthony Trollope
1850: Pique by Frances Notley
1851: The Mother-In-Law; or, The Isle Of Rays by E.D.E.N. Southworth
1857: The Three Clerks by Anthony Trollope
1859: The Semi-Detached House by Emily Eden / The Bertrams by Anthony Trollope
1860: The Semi-Attached Couple by Emily Eden / Castle Richmond by Anthony Trollope
1861: The Executor by Margaret Oliphant / The Rector by Margaret Oliphant
1862: Orley Farm by Anthony Trollope / The Struggles Of Brown, Jones, And Robinson by Anthony Trollope
1863: The Doctor's Family by Margaret Oliphant / Marian Grey; or, The Heiress Of Redstone Hall by Mary Jane Holmes
1869: He Knew He Was Right by Anthony Trollope
1873: Had You Been In His Place by Lizzie Bates
1874: Chaste As Ice, Pure As Snow by Charlotte Despard
1877: Elsie's Children by Martha Finley
1880: The Duke's Children: First Complete Edition by Anthony Trollope / Elsie's Widowhood by Martha Finley
1881: Ghosts by Henrik Ibsen / The Beautiful Wretch by William Black / The Autobiography Of Mark Rutherford by William Hale White
1882: Grandmother Elsie by Martha Finley
1883: Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson / Elsie's New Relations by Martha Finley / X Y Z: A Detective Story by Anna Katharine Green
1884: Elsie At Nantucket by Martha Finley
1885: The Two Elsies by Martha Finley / Two Broken Hearts by Robert R. Hoes
1886: The Mill Mystery by Anna Katharine Green / Elsie's Kith And Kin by Martha Finley
1887: Elsie's Friends At Woodburn by Martha Finley
1888: Christmas With Grandma Elsie by Martha Finley
1889: Under False Pretences by Adeline Sergeant / Elsie And The Raymonds by Martha Finley
1890: Elsie Yachting With The Raymonds by Martha Finley
1891: Elsie's Vacation And After Events by Martha Finley
1892: The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
1894: Martin Hewitt, Investigator by Arthur Morrison / The Great God Pan by Arthur Machen
1895: Chronicles Of Martin Hewitt by Arthur Morrison
1896: The Island Of Dr Moreau by H. G. Wells / Adventures Of Martin Hewitt by Arthur Morrison
1897: Penelope's Progress by Kate Douglas Wiggin
1898: A Man From The North by Arnold Bennett / The Lust Of Hate by Guy Newell Boothby
1899: Agatha Webb by Anna Katharine Green / Dr Nikola's Experiment by Guy Newell Boothby
1900: The Circular Study by Anna Katharine Green

Redigerat: jun 9, 7:45pm

Timeline of detective fiction:

An examination of the roots of modern crime and mystery fiction:

Things As They Are; or, The Adventures Of Caleb Williams by William Godwin (1794)
Mademoiselle de Scudéri by E. T. A. Hoffmann (1819); Tales Of Hoffmann (1982)
Richmond: Scenes In The Life Of A Bow Street Officer by Anonymous (1827)
Memoirs Of Vidocq by Eugene Francois Vidocq (1828)
Le Pere Goriot by Honore de Balzac (1835)
Passages In The Secret History Of An Irish Countess by J. Sheridan Le Fanu (1838); The Purcell Papers (1880)
The Murders In The Rue Morgue: The Dupin Tales by Edgar Allan Poe (1841, 1842, 1845)

The Mysteries Of Paris by Eugene Sue (1842 - 1843)
The Mysteries Of London by Paul Feval (1844)
The Mysteries Of London by George Reynolds (1844 - 1848)
- The Mysteries Of London: Volume I
- The Mysteries Of London: Volume II
- The Mysteries Of London: Volume III
- The Mysteries Of London: Volume IV
The Mysteries Of The Court Of London by George Reynolds (1848 - 1856)
John Devil by Paul Feval (1861)

Early detective novels:
Recollections Of A Detective Police-Officer by "Waters" (William Russell) (1856)
The Widow Lerouge by Emile Gaboriau (1866)
Under Lock And Key by T. W. Speight (1869)
Checkmate by J. Sheridan LeFanu (1871)
Is He The Man? by William Clark Russell (1876)
Devlin The Barber by B. J. Farjeon (1888)
Mr Meeson's Will by H. Rider Haggard (1888)
The Mystery Of A Hansom Cab by Fergus Hume (1889)
The Queen Anne's Gate Mystery by Richard Arkwright (1889)
The Ivory Queen by Norman Hurst (1889) (Check Julius H. Hurst 1899)
The Big Bow Mystery by Israel Zangwill (1892)

Female detectives:
The Diary Of Anne Rodway by Wilkie Collins (1856)
Ruth The Betrayer; or, The Female Spy by Edward Ellis (1862-1863)
The Female Detective by Andrew Forrester (1864)
Revelations Of A Lady Detective by William Stephens Hayward (1864)
The Law And The Lady by Wilkie Collins (1875)
Madeline Payne; or, The Detective's Daughter by Lawrence L. Lynch (Emma Murdoch Van Deventer) (1884)
Mr Bazalgette's Agent by Leonard Merrick (1888)
Moina; or, Against The Mighty by Lawrence L. Lynch (Emma Murdoch Van Deventer) (sequel to Madeline Payne?) (1891)
The Experiences Of Loveday Brooke, Lady Detective by Catherine Louisa Pirkis (1893)
When The Sea Gives Up Its Dead by Elizaberth Burgoyne Corbett (Mrs George Corbett)
Dorcas Dene, Detective by George Sims (1897)
- Amelia Butterworth series by Anna Katharine Grant (1897 - 1900)
Hagar Of The Pawn-Shop by Fergus Hume (1898)
The Adventures Of A Lady Pearl-Broker by Beatrice Heron-Maxwell (1899)
Miss Cayley's Adventures by Grant Allan (1899)
Hilda Wade by Grant Allan (1900)
Dora Myrl, The Lady Detective by M. McDonnel Bodkin (1900)
The Investigators by J. S. Fletcher (1902)
Lady Molly Of Scotland Yard by Baroness Orczy (1910)
Constance Dunlap, Woman Detective by Arthur B. Reeve (1913)
Miss Madelyn Mack, Detective by Hugh C. Weir (1914)

Related mainstream works:
Adventures Of Susan Hopley by Catherine Crowe (1841)
Men And Women; or, Manorial Rights by Catherine Crowe (1843)
Hargrave by Frances Trollope (1843)
Clement Lorimer by Angus Reach (1849)

True crime:
Clues: or, Leaves from a Chief Constable's Note Book by Sir William Henderson (1889)
Dreadful Deeds And Awful Murders by Joan Lock

Redigerat: jul 17, 7:04pm

Series and sequels, 1866 - 1919:

(1866 - 1876) **Emile Gaboriau - Monsieur Lecoq - The Widow Lerouge (1/6) {ManyBooks}
(1878 - 1917) **Anna Katharine Green - Ebenezer Gryce - The Mystery Of The Hasty Arrow (13/13)
(1896 - 1909) **Melville Davisson Post - Randolph Mason - The Corrector Of Destinies (3/3)
(1894 - 1903) **Arthur Morrison - Martin Hewitt - The Red Triangle (4/4)
(1895 - 1901) **Guy Newell Boothby - Dr Nikola - Farewell, Nikola (5/5)
(1897 - 1900) **Anna Katharine Green - Amelia Butterworth - The Circular Study (3/3)
(1899 - 1917) **Anna Katharine Green - Caleb Sweetwater - The Mystery Of The Hasty Arrow (7/7)
(1899 - 1909) **E. W. Hornung - Raffles - Mr Justice Raffles (4/4)
(1900 - 1974) Ernest Bramah - Kai Lung - Kai Lung: Six / Kai Lung Raises His Voice (7/7)

(1903 - 1904) **Louis Tracy - Reginald Brett - The Albert Gate Mystery (2/2)
(1905 - 1925) **Baroness Orczy - The Old Man In The Corner - Unravelled Knots (3/3)}
(1905 - 1928) **Edgar Wallace - The Just Men - Again The Three Just Men (6/6)
(1907 - 1942) R. Austin Freeman - Dr John Thorndyke - The Jacob Street Mystery (26/26)
(1907 - 1941) *Maurice Leblanc - Arsene Lupin - The Crystal Stopper (5/25) {Project Gutenberg}
(1909 - 1942) *Carolyn Wells - Fleming Stone - The Red-Haired Girl (21/49) {Rare Books}
(1909 - 1929) *J. S. Fletcher - Inspector Skarratt - Marchester Royal (1/3) {Kindle}
(1910 - 1936) *Arthur B. Reeve - Craig Kennedy - The Film Mystery (14/24) {Project Gutenberg}
(1910 - 1946) A. E. W. Mason - Inspector Hanaud - The House In Lordship Lane (7/7)
(1910 - 1917) Edgar Wallace - Inspector Smith - Kate Plus Ten (3/3)
(1910 - 1930) **Edgar Wallace - Inspector Elk - The Twister (4/6) {Roy Glashan's Library}
(1910 - 1932) *Thomas, Mary and Hazel Hanshew - Cleek - The Amber Junk (9/12) {AbeBooks}
(1910 - 1918) **John McIntyre - Ashton-Kirk - Ashton-Kirk: Criminologist (4/4)
(1910 - 1928) **Louis Tracy - Winter and Furneaux - The Second Baronet (akaThe Pelham Affair") (7/9) {Trove}

(1911 - 1935) G. K. Chesterton - Father Brown - The Scandal Of Father Brown (5/5)
(1911 - 1940) *Bertram Atkey - Smiler Bunn - The Smiler Bunn Brigade (2/10) {rare, expensive}
(1912 - 1919) **Gordon Holmes (Louis Tracy) - Steingall and Clancy - The Bartlett Mystery (3/3)
(1913 - 1973) Sax Rohmer - Fu-Manchu - The Island Of Fu Manchu (10/14) {ILL / JFR}
(1913 - 1952) *Jeffery Farnol - Jasper Shrig - The Crooked Furrow (5/9) {Fisher Library}
(1914 - 1950) Mary Roberts Rinehart - Hilda Adams - Episode Of The Wandering Knife (5/5)
(1914 - 1934) Ernest Bramah - Max Carrados - The Bravo Of London (5/5)
(1915 - 1936) *John Buchan - Richard Hannay - The Thirty-Nine Steps (1/5) {Fisher Library / Project Gutenberg / branch transfer / Kindle}
(1916 - 1917) **Carolyn Wells - Alan Ford - Faulkner's Folly (2/2) {owned}
(1916 - 1927) **Natalie Sumner Lincoln - Inspector Mitchell - The Nameless Man (2/10) {AbeBooks}
(1916 - 1917) **Nevil Monroe Hopkins - Mason Brant - The Strange Cases Of Mason Brant (1/2) {Coachwhip Books}
(1918 - 1923) **Carolyn Wells - Pennington Wise - The Affair At Flower Acres (7/8) {mobilereads}
(1918 - 1939) Valentine Williams - The Okewood Brothers - The Fox Prowls (5/5)
(1918 - 1944) Valentine Williams - Clubfoot - Courier To Marrakesh (7/7)
(1918 - 1950) *Wyndham Martyn - Anthony Trent - The Mysterious Mr Garland (3/26) {CARM}
(1919 - 1966) *Lee Thayer - Peter Clancy - Poison (7/60) {AbeBooks / Amazon}
(1919 - 1922) **Octavus Roy Cohen - David Carroll - Midnight (4/4)

*** Incompletely available series
** Series complete pre-1931
* Present status pre-1931

Redigerat: jul 11, 6:48pm

Series and sequels, 1920 - 1927:

(1920 - 1948) H. C. Bailey - Reggie Fortune - Shadow On The Wall (9/23) {Internet Archive / State Library NSW, JFR}
(1920 - 1975) Agatha Christie - Hercule Poirot - Curtain (38/38)
(1920 - 1921) **Natalie Sumner Lincoln - Ferguson - The Unseen Ear (2/2)
(1920 - 1937) *"Sapper" (H. C. McNeile) - Bulldog Drummond - The Third Round (3/10 - series continued) {Roy Glashan's Library}

(1921 - 1929) **Charles J. Dutton - John Bartley - Streaked With Crimson (9/9)
(1921 - 1925) **Herman Landon - The Gray Phantom - Gray Magic (5/5)

(1922 - 1973) Agatha Christie - Tommy and Tuppence - Postern Of Fate (5/5)
(1922 - 1927) *Alice MacGowan and Perry Newberry - Jerry Boyne - The Seventh Passenger (4/5) {Amazon}
(1922 - 1931) Valentine Williams - Inspector Manderton - Death Answers The Bell (4/4)

(1923 - 1937) Dorothy L. Sayers - Lord Peter Wimsey - In The Teeth Of The Evidence (14/14)
(1923 - 1924) **Carolyn Wells - Lorimer Lane - The Fourteenth Key (2/2)
(1923 - 1927) Annie Haynes - Inspector Furnival - The Crow's Inn Tragedy (3/3)

(1924 - 1959) Philip MacDonald - Colonel Anthony Gethryn - The Crime Conductor (8/24) {State Library NSW, JFR}
(1924 - 1957) *Freeman Wills Crofts - Inspector French - The Box Office Murders (5/30) {Rare Books / State Library NSW, JFR / ILL / Kindle /}
(1924 - 1935) * / ***Francis D. Grierson - Inspector Sims and Professor Wells - The Smiling Death (6/13) {AbeBooks, expensive}
(1924 - 1940) *Lynn Brock - Colonel Gore - The Dagwort Coombe Murder (5/12) {Kindle}
(1924 - 1933) *Herbert Adams - Jimmie Haswell - The Crooked Lip (2/9) {Rare Books}
(1924 - 1944) *A. Fielding - Inspector Pointer - The Clifford Affair (4/23) {Roy Glashan's Library}
(1924 - 1936) *Hulbert Footner - Madame Storey - The Casual Murderer (8/14) {Roy Glashan's Library}

(1925 - 1961) ***John Rhode - Dr Priestley - Dead Men At The Folly (13/72) {Rare Books}
(1925 - 1953) *G. D. H. Cole / M. Cole - Superintendent Wilson - Burglars In Bucks (aka "The Berkshire Mystery") (7/?) {Fisher Library}
(1925 - 1932) Earl Derr Biggers - Charlie Chan - Keeper Of The Keys (6/6)
(1925 - 1944) Agatha Christie - Superintendent Battle - Towards Zero (5/5)
(1925 - 1934) *Anthony Berkeley - Roger Sheringham - The Second Shot (6/10) {academic loan / Rare Books}
(1925 - 1950) *Anthony Wynne (Robert McNair Wilson) - Dr Eustace Hailey - The Double-Thirteen Mystery (2/27) (aka "The Double Thirteen") {AbeBooks / Rare Books}
(1925 - 1939) *Charles Barry (Charles Bryson) - Inspector Lawrence Gilmartin - The Smaller Penny (1/15) {AbeBooks / Amazon}
(1925 - 1929) **Will Scott - Will Disher - Disher--Detective (aka "The Black Stamp") (1/3) {AbeBooks, expensive}
(1925 - 1927) **Francis Beeding - Professor Kreutzemark - The Hidden Kingdom (2/2)

(1926 - 1968) *Christopher Bush - Ludovic Travers - Murder At Fenwold (aka "The Death Of Cosmo Revere") (4/63) {Kindle / Rare Books}
(1926 - 1939) S. S. Van Dine - Philo Vance - The Dragon Murder Case (7/12) {}
(1926 - 1952) J. Jefferson Farjeon - Ben the Tramp - Ben Sees It Through (4/8) {interlibrary loan / Kindle}
(1926 - ????) *G. D. H. Cole / M. Cole - Everard Blatchington - Burglars In Bucks (aka "The Berkshire Mystery") (2/6) {Fisher Library}
(1926 - ????) *Arthur Gask - Gilbert Larose - The Dark Highway (2/27) {University of Adelaide / Project Gutenberg Australia / mobilereads}
(1926 - 1931) *Aidan de Brune - Dr Night - Dr Night (1/3) {Roy Glashan's Library}
(1926 - 1931) * / ***R. Francis Foster - Anthony Ravenhill - Anthony Ravenhill, Crime Merchant (1/?) {expensive}

(1927 - 1933) *Herman Landon - The Picaroon - The Picaroon Does Justice (2/7) {Book Searchers / CARM}
(1927 - 1932) *Anthony Armstrong - Jimmie Rezaire - The Trail Of The Lotto (3/5) {CARM / AbeBooks}
(1927 - 1937) *Ronald Knox - Miles Bredon - The Body In The Silo (3/5) {Kindle / Rare Books}
(1927 - 1958) *Brian Flynn - Anthony Bathurst - Invisible Death (6/54) {Kindle}
(1927 - 1947) *J. J. Connington - Sir Clinton Driffield - Nemesis At Raynham Parva (aka "Grim Vengeance") (5/17) {mobilereads}
(1927 - 1935) *Anthony Gilbert (Lucy Malleson) - Scott Egerton - Mystery Of The Open Window (4/10) {Rare Books}
(1927 - 1932) *William Morton (aka William Blair Morton Ferguson) - Kirker Cameron and Daniel "Biff" Corrigan - Masquerade (1/4) {expensive}
(1927 - 1929) **George Dilnot - Inspector Strickland - The Crooks' Game (1/2) {AbeBooks / Amazon}
(1927 - 1949) **Dornford Yates - Richard Chandos - Blood Royal (3/8) {State Library, JFR / Kindle*}

*** Incompletely available series
** Series complete pre-1931
* Present status pre-1931

Redigerat: jul 4, 7:24pm

Series and sequels, 1928 - 1930:

(1928 - 1961) Patricia Wentworth - Miss Silver - The Gazebo (29/33) {}
(1928 - 1936) *Gavin Holt - Luther Bastion - The Garden Of Silent Beasts (5/17) {academic loan / State Library NSW, held}
(1928 - 1936) Kay Cleaver Strahan - Lynn MacDonald - The Meriwether Mystery (5/7) {Kindle}
(1928 - 1937) John Alexander Ferguson - Francis McNab - The Grouse Moor Mystery (4/5) {HathiTrust}
(1928 - 1960) *Cecil Freeman Gregg - Inspector Higgins - The Murdered Manservant (aka "The Body In The Safe") (1/35) {rare, expensive}
(1928 - 1959) *John Gordon Brandon - Inspector Patrick Aloysius McCarthy - The Black Joss (2/53) {State Library NSW, held / JFR}
(1928 - 1935) *Roland Daniel - Wu Fang / Inspector Saville - Wu Fang (2/6) {expensive}
(1928 - 1946) *Francis Beeding - Alistair Granby - Pretty Sinister (2/18) {academic loan}
(1928 - 1930) **Annie Haynes - Inspector Stoddart - The Crystal Beads Murder (4/4)
(1928 - 1930) **Elsa Barker - Dexter Drake and Paul Howard - The Cobra Candlestick (aka "The Cobra Shaped Candlestick") (1/3) {AbeBooks / Rare Books}
(1928 - ????) Adam Broome - Denzil Grigson - Crowner's Quest (2/?) {AbeBooks / eBay}
(1928 - 1931) **John Stephen Strange (Dorothy Stockbridge Tillet) - Van Dusen Ormsberry - The Man Who Killed Fortescue (1/3) {Amazon}

(1929 - 1947) Margery Allingham - Albert Campion - The Case Of The Late Pig (8/35) {interlibrary loan / Kindle /}
(1929 - 1984) Gladys Mitchell - Mrs Bradley - The Devil At Saxon Wall (6/67) {interlibrary loan / Kindle}
(1929 - 1937) Patricia Wentworth - Benbow Smith - Down Under (4/4)
(1929 - ????) Mignon Eberhart - Nurse Sarah Keate - Dead Yesterday And Other Stories (6/8) (NB: multiple Eberhart characters) {expensive / limited edition} / Wolf In Man's Clothing (7/8) {Rare Books / Kindle}
(1929 - ????) Moray Dalton - Inspector Collier - The Belgrave Manor Crime (5/14) {Kindle}
(1929 - ????) * / ***Charles Reed Jones - Leighton Swift - The King Murder (1/?) {AbeBooks}
(1929 - 1931) Carolyn Wells - Kenneth Carlisle - The Skeleton At The Feast (3/3) {Kindle}
(1929 - 1967) *George Goodchild - Inspector McLean - McLean Of Scotland Yard (1/65) {State Library NSW, held}
(1929 - 1979) *Leonard Gribble - Anthony Slade - The Case Of The Marsden Rubies (1/33) {AbeBooks / Rare Books / re-check Kindle}
(1929 - 1932) *E. R. Punshon - Carter and Bell - The Unexpected Legacy (1/5) {expensive, omnibus / Rare Books}
(1929 - 1971) *Ellery Queen - Ellery Queen - The Roman Hat Mystery (1/40) {interlibrary loan / Internet Archive}
(1929 - 1966) *Arthur Upfield - Bony - The Bone Is Pointed (6/29) {SMSA}
(1929 - 1937) *Anthony Berkeley - Ambrose Chitterwick - The Piccadilly Murder (2/3) {interlibrary loan}
(1929 - 1940) *Jean Lilly - DA Bruce Perkins - The Seven Sisters (1/3) {AbeBooks / expensive shipping}
(1929 - 1935) *N. A. Temple-Ellis (Nevile Holdaway) - Montrose Arbuthnot - The Inconsistent Villains (1/4) {Rare Books}
(1929 - 1943) *Gret Lane - Kate Clare Marsh and Inspector Barrin - The Cancelled Score Mystery (1/9) {Kindle}
(1929 - 1961) Henry Holt - Inspector Silver - The Necklace Of Death (3/16) {Rare Books}
(1929 - 1930) **J. J. Connington - Superintendent Ross - The Two Tickets Puzzle (2/2)
(1929 - 1941) *H. Maynard Smith - Inspector Frost - Inspector Frost And Lady Brassingham (5/7) {Kindle}

(1929 - ????) *Armstrong Livingston - Jimmy Traynor - The Doublecross (1/?) {AbeBooks}
(1929 - 1932) Clemence Dane and Helen Simpson - Sir John Saumarez - Re-Enter Sir John (3/3)
(1929 - 1940) *Rufus King - Lieutenant Valcour - Murder By The Clock (1/11) {AbeBooks, omnibus / Kindle}
(1929 - 1933) *Will Levinrew (Will Levine) - Professor Brierly - For Sale - Murder (4/5) {AbeBooks}
(1929 - 1932) *Nancy Barr Mavity - Peter Piper - The Body On The Floor (1/5) {AbeBooks / Rare Books / State Library NSW, held}
(1929 - 1934) *Charles J. Dutton - Professor Harley Manners - The Circle Of Death (4/6) {}
(1929 - 1932) Thomas Cobb - Inspector Bedison - Who Closed The Casement? (4/4)
(1929 - ????) * J. C. Lenehan - Inspector Kilby - The Tunnel Mystery (1/?) {Kindle}
(1929 - 1936) *Robin Forsythe - Anthony "Algernon" Vereker - The Polo Ground Mystery (2/5) {Kindle}
(1929 - 1931) */***David Frome (Zenith Jones Brown) - Major Gregory Lewis - The Murder Of An Old Man (1/3) {rare, expensive}

(1930 - ????) Moray Dalton - Hermann Glide - The Strange Case Of Harriet Hall (4/?) {Kindle}
(1930 - 1960) ***Miles Burton - Desmond Merrion - The Platinum Cat (17/57) {Rare Books}
(1930 - 1960) ***Miles Burton - Inspector Henry Arnold - The Platinum Cat (18/57) {Rare Books}
(1930 - 1933) Roger Scarlett - Inspector Kane - Murder Among The Angells (4/5) {expensive}
(1930 - 1941) Harriette Ashbrook - Philip "Spike" Tracy - A Most Immoral Murder (4/7) {Kindle}
(1930 - 1943) Anthony Abbot - Thatcher Colt - About The Murder Of The Night Club Lady (3/8) {AbeBooks / serialised}
(1930 - ????) ***David Sharp - Professor Fielding - I, The Criminal (4/?) {unavailable?}
(1930 - 1950) *H. C. Bailey - Josiah Clunk - Garstons (aka The Garston Murder Case) (1/11) {HathiTrust}
(1930 - 1968) *Francis Van Wyck Mason - Hugh North - The Vesper Service Murders (2/41) {Kindle}
(1930 - 1976) Agatha Christie - Miss Jane Marple - Miss Marple's Final Cases (14/14)
(1930 - 1939) Anne Austin - James "Bonnie" Dundee - Murdered But Not Dead (5/5)
(1930 - 1950) *Leslie Ford (as David Frome) - Mr Pinkerton and Inspector Bull - The Hammersmith Murders (1/11) {AbeBooks / Rare Books}
(1930 - 1935) *"Diplomat" (John Franklin Carter) - Dennis Tyler - Murder In The State Department (1/7) {Amazon / Abebooks}
(1930 - 1962) *Helen Reilly - Inspector Christopher McKee - The Diamond Feather (1/31) {Rare Books}
(1930 - 1933) *Mary Plum - John Smith - The Killing Of Judge MacFarlane (1/4) {AbeBooks / Rare Books}
(1930 - 1945) *Hulbert Footner - Amos Lee Mappin - The Nation's Missing Guest (3/10) {CARM / NLA /}
(1930 - 1933) *Monte Barrett - Peter Cardigan - Murder Off Stage (2/4) {Amazon}
(1930 - 1931) Vernon Loder - Inspector Brews - Death Of An Editor (2/2)
(1930 - 1931) *Roland Daniel - John Hopkins - The Rosario Murder Case (1/2) {unavailable?}
(1930 - 1961) *Mark Cross ("Valentine", aka Archibald Thomas Pechey) - Daphne Wrayne and her Four Adjusters - The Adjusters (1/53) {rare, expensive}
(1930 - ????) *Elaine Hamilton - Inspector Reynolds - Some Unknown Hand (aka "The Westminster Mystery") (1/?) {Kindle}
(1930 - 1932) *J. S. Fletcher - Sergeant Charlesworth - The Borgia Cabinet (1/2) { / Kindle}
(1930 - ????) *Carolyn Keene - Nancy Drew - The Hidden Staircase (2/?) {}
(1930 - 1937) *John Dickson Carr - Henri Bencolin - It Walks By Night (1/5) {State Library ebook}

*** Incompletely available series
** Series complete pre-1931
* Present status pre-1931

Redigerat: jun 17, 2:21am

Series and sequels, 1931 - 1932:

(1931 - 1940) Bruce Graeme - Superintendent Stevens and Pierre Allain - Satan's Mistress (4/8) {expensive / National Library of Australia, missing??}
(1931 - 1951) Phoebe Atwood Taylor - Asey Mayo - The Tinkling Symbol (6/24) {Rare Books / academic loan}
(1931 - 1955) Stuart Palmer - Hildegarde Withers - Murder On The Blackboard (3/18) {Kindle / Internet Archive, borrow}
(1931 - 1933) Sydney Fowler - Inspector Cleveland - Arresting Delia (4/4)
(1931 - 1934) J. H. Wallis - Inspector Wilton Jacks - The Capital City Mystery (2/6) {Rare Books}
(1931 - ????) Paul McGuire - Inspector Cummings - Daylight Murder (aka "Murder At High Noon") (3/5) {academic loan / State Library NSW, held}
(1931 - ????) Carlton Dawe - Leathermouth - Leathermouth's Luck (4/??) {Trove}
(1931 - 1947) R. L. Goldman - Asaph Clume and Rufus Reed - Murder Without Motive (2/6) {ordered}
(1931 - 1959) ***E. C. R. Lorac (Edith Caroline Rivett) - Inspector Robert Macdonald - The Murder On The Burrows (1/46) {rare, expensive}
(1931 - 1935) Clifton Robbins - Clay Harrison - Methylated Murder (5/5)
(1931 - 1972) Georges Simenon - Inspector Maigret - Chez les Flamands (14/75) {ILL / Internet Archive}
(1931 - 1942) R. A. J. Walling - Garstang - The Stroke Of One (1/3) {Amazon}
(1931 - ????) Francis Bonnamy (Audrey Boyers Walz) - Peter Utley Shane - Death By Appointment (1/8) {AbeBooks / Rare Books}
(1931 - 1937) J. S. Fletcher - Ronald Camberwell - Murder In The Squire's Pew (3/11) {Kindle / State Library NSW, held}
(1931 - 1933) Edwin Dial Torgerson - Sergeant Pierre Montigny - The Murderer Returns (1/2) {Rare Books)
(1931 - 1933) Molly Thynne - Dr Constantine and Inspector Arkwright - Death In The Dentist's Chair (2/3) {Kindle}
(1931 - 1935) Valentine Williams - Sergeant Trevor Dene - The Clue Of The Rising Moon (4/4)
(1931 - 1942) Patricia Wentworth - Frank Garrett - Pursuit Of A Parcel (5/5)
(1931 - 1931) Frances Shelley Wees - Michael Forrester and Tuck Torrie - The Mystery Of The Creeping Man (2/2)

(1932 - 1954) Sydney Fowler - Inspector Cambridge and Mr Jellipot - The Bell Street Murders (1/11) {AbeBooks / Rare Books}
(1932 - 1935) Murray Thomas - Inspector Wilkins - Buzzards Pick The Bones (1/3) {AbeBooks, expensive}
(1932 - ????) R. A. J. Walling - Philip Tolefree - The Five Suspects (5/22) {Kindle / Rare Books / Internet Archive}
(1932 - 1962) T. Arthur Plummer - Detective-Inspector Andrew Frampton - Shadowed By The C. I. D. (1/50) {unavailable?}
(1932 - 1936) John Victor Turner - Amos Petrie - Death Must Have Laughed (1/7) {Kindle / Rare Books}
(1932 - 1944) Nicholas Brady (John Victor Turner) - Ebenezer Buckle - The House Of Strange Guests (1/4) {Kindle}
(1932 - 1933) Barnaby Ross (aka Ellery Queen) - Drury Lane - Drury Lane's Last Case (4/4) {AbeBooks}
(1932 - ????) Richard Essex (Richard Harry Starr) - Jack Slade - Slade Of The Yard (1/?) {AbeBooks}
(1932 - 1933) Gerard Fairlie - Mr Malcolm - Shot In The Dark (1/3) (State Library NSW, held}
(1932 - 1934) Paul McGuire - Inspector Fillinger - The Tower Mystery (aka Death Tolls The Bell) (1/5) {Rare Books / State Library, held}
(1932 - 1946) Roland Daniel - Inspector Pearson - The Crackswoman (1/6) {unavailable?}
(1932 - 1951) Sydney Horler - Tiger Standish - Tiger Standish (1/11) {Rare Books}

*** Incompletely available series

Redigerat: jun 9, 8:06pm

Series and sequels, 1933 onwards:

(1933 - 1959) John Gordon Brandon - Arthur Stukeley Pennington - West End! (1/?) {AbeBooks / State Library, held}
(1933 - 1940) Lilian Garis - Carol Duncan - The Ghost Of Melody Lane (1/9) {AbeBooks}
(1933 - 1934) Peter Hunt (George Worthing Yates and Charles Hunt Marshall) - Allan Miller - Murders At Scandal House (1/3) {AbeBooks / Amazon}
(1933 - 1968) John Dickson Carr - Gideon Fell - Hag's Nook (1/23) {Better World Books / State Library NSW, interlibrary loan}
(1933 - 1939) Gregory Dean - Deputy Commissioner Benjamin Simon - The Case Of Marie Corwin (1/3) {AbeBooks / Amazon}
(1933 - 1956) E. R. Punshon - Detective-Sergeant Bobby Owen - Information Received (1/35) {academic loan / State Library NSW, held / Rare Books}
(1933 - 1934) Jackson Gregory - Paul Savoy - A Case For Mr Paul Savoy (1/3) {AbeBooks / Rare Books}
(1933 - 1957) John Creasey - Department Z - The Death Miser (1/28) {State Library NSW, held}
(1933 - 1940) Bruce Graeme - Superintendent Stevens - Body Unknown (2/2) {expensive}
(1933 - 1952) Wyndham Martyn - Christopher Bond - Christopher Bond, Adventurer (1/8) {rare}

(1934 - 1949) Richard Goyne - Paul Templeton - Strange Motives (1/13) {unavailable?}
(1934 - 1941) N. A. Temple-Ellis (Nevile Holdaway) - Inspector Wren - Three Went In (1/3) {unavailable?}
(1934 - 1953) Carter Dickson (John Dickson Carr) - Sir Henry Merivale - The Plague Court Murders (1/22) {Fisher Library}
(1934 - 1953) Leslie Ford (Zenith Jones Brown) - Colonel Primrose - The Strangled Witness (1/17) {Rare Books}
(1934 - 1975) Rex Stout - Nero Wolfe - Fer-de-Lance (1/?) {Rare Books / State Library NSW, JFR / Kindle}
(1934 - 1935) Vernon Loder - Inspector Chace - Murder From Three Angles (1/2) {Kindle / ????}

(1935 - 1939) Francis Beeding - Inspector George Martin - The Norwich Victims (1/3) {AbeBooks / Book Depository / State Library NSW, held}
(1935 - 1976) Nigel Morland - Palmyra Pym - The Moon Murders (1/28) {State Library NSW, held}
(1935 - 1941) Clyde Clason - Professor Theocritus Lucius Westborough - The Fifth Tumbler (1/10) {unavailable?}
(1935 - ????) G. D. H. Cole / M. Cole - Dr Tancred - Dr Tancred Begins (1/?) (AbeBooks, expensive / State Library NSW, held / Rare Books}
(1935 - ????) George Harmon Coxe - Kent Murdock - Murder With Pictures (1/22) {AbeBooks}
(1935 - 1959) Kathleen Moore Knight - Elisha Macomber - Death Blew Out The Match (1/16) {AbeBooks / Amazon}

(1936 - 1974) Anthony Gilbert (Lucy Malleson) - Arthur Crook - Murder By Experts (1/51) {interlibrary loan}
(1936 - 1940) George Bell Dyer - The Catalyst Club - The Catalyst Club (1/3) {AbeBooks}
(1936 - 1956) Theodora Du Bois - Anne and Jeffrey McNeil - Armed With A New Terror (1/19) {unavailable?}
(1936 - 1945) Charles Kingston - Chief Inspector Wake - Murder In Piccadilly (1/7) {Kindle}
(1937 - 1953) Leslie Ford (Zenith Jones Brown) - Grace Latham - Ill Met By Moonlight (1/16) {Kindle}
(1938 - 1944) Zelda Popkin - Mary Carner - Death Wears A White Gardenia (1/6) {Kindle}
(1938 - 1939) D. B. Olsen (Dolores Hitchens) - Lt. Stephen Mayhew - The Clue In The Clay (1/2) {expensive}
(1939 - 1942) Patricia Wentworth - Inspector Lamb - The Ivory Dagger (11/?) {}
(1939 - 1940) Clifton Robbins - George Staveley - Six Sign-Post Murder (1/2) {Biblio / rare}
(1939 - 1956) D. B. Olsen (Dolores Hitchens) - Rachel Murdock - The Cat Saw Murder (1/12) {expensive}

(1940 - 1943) Bruce Graeme - Pierre Allain - The Corporal Died In Bed (1/3) {unavailable?}
(1941 - 1951) Bruce Graeme - Theodore I. Terhune - Seven Clues In Search Of A Crime (1/7) {unavailable?}
(1945 - 1952) D. B. Olsen (Dolores Hitchens) - Professor Pennyfeather - Bring The Bride A Shroud (aka "A Shroud For The Bride") (1/6) {National Library}
(1947 - 1953) Michael Gilbert - Inspector Hazelrigg - They Never Looked Inside (2/6) {State Library NSW, JFR}
(1955 - 1991) Patricia Highsmith - Tom Ripley - Ripley Under Ground (2/5) {interlibrary loan / Kindle}
(1957 - 1993) Chester B. Himes - The Harlem Cycle - For Love Of Imabelle (aka "A Rage In Harlem") (1/9) {interlibrary loan / Kindle}
(1961 - 2017) - John le Carré - George Smiley - A Murder Of Quality (2/9) {Fisher Library / Blacktown Library}
(1964 - 1987) Robert Arthur Jr (and others) - The Three Investigators - The Mystery Of The Whispering Mummy (3/43) {freebooklover}
(1992 - 2000) Barbara Neely - Blanche White - Blanche Among The Talented Tenth (2/4) {Fisher Library / Kindle}

*** Incompletely available series

Redigerat: jun 9, 8:08pm

Unavailable series works:

John Rhode - Dr Priestley
The Hanging Woman (#11)

Miles Burton - Desmond Merrion / Inspector Arnold
>everything from #2 - #11 inclusive

Louis Tracy - Winter and Furneaux
The Park Lane Mystery (#6)

Moray Dalton - Inspector Collier
The Harvest Of Tares (#4)

David Sharp - Professor Fielding
When No Man Pursueth (#1)

Francis D. Grierson - Inspector Sims and Professor Wells
The Double Thumb (#3)

Roger Scarlett - Inspector Kane {NB: Now available in paperback, but expensive}
Murder Among The Angells (#4)
In The First Degree (#5)

Charles J. Dutton - Harley Manners
The Shadow Of Evil (#2)

Alfred Bishop Mason - Tom Strong
Tom Strong, Boy-Captain (#2)
Tom Strong, Junior (#3)
Tom Strong, Third (#4)

Roland Daniel - Wu Fang
The Society Of The Spiders (#1)

Agnes Miller - The Linger-Nots
The Linger-Nots And The Secret Maze (#5)

Redigerat: jun 9, 8:08pm

Books currently on loan:



Redigerat: jun 28, 7:30pm

Reading projects:




Other projects:



Redigerat: jun 9, 8:13pm

Group read news:

The next in our series of Anthony Trollope gap-plugging group reads will be happening in July: we will be tackling The Struggles Of Brown, Jones And Robinson, from 1862.

Meanwhile, we have pencilled in Salem Chapel, the first novel in Margaret Oliphant's 'Carlingford' series, for September.

Hope to see you there! :)

Redigerat: jun 9, 8:13pm

I think that will do. Please come on in!---

---those of you who haven't already. :D

jun 9, 7:34pm

Hope it is now the right time to chime in and wish you a happy new thread, Liz.

jun 9, 8:32pm

Happy new thread, Liz!

jun 10, 1:59am

Happy new thread, Liz!

Your link in the last post of the previous thread doesn't bring you here - or that might just have been me. LT been doing odd things to me recently.

jun 10, 5:22am

Happy new thread, Liz, and thanks for introducing me to an other cat species I didn't know about.

Is Portnoy's Complaint the book you were talking about in the previous thread?
I read it last month, not a great book imho (it was probably way more shocking when it was first published), but it did made me laugh a few times.

jun 10, 7:18am

Happy new thread! Love the thread topper cat - that might be the most incredible tail I’ve ever seen.

jun 10, 7:31am

>23 Helenliz: I had problems with that link in last post as well.

>24 FAMeulstee: >25 PawsforThought: What a cat!

jun 10, 7:39am

Happy New thread Liz!

I don't share your aversion to peeking ahead, so I've known that we'd hit PC eventually. Not looking forward to it especially but also kind of curious, honestly.

jun 10, 8:39am

Happy new one!

jun 10, 9:02am

Detta konto har stängts av för spammande.

jun 10, 6:13pm

>20 lyzard:, >21 PaulCranswick:, >22 NinieB:, >23 Helenliz:, >24 FAMeulstee:, >25 PawsforThought:, >27 swynn:, >28 drneutron:

Thank you, Paul, Ninie, Helen, Anita, Paws, Steve and Jim!

Hmm...guess I can't say, "Thanks, Ewan", though I'm not really in a position to be rejecting visitors. :D

>23 Helenliz:, >26 NinieB:

I've fixed that link, thanks! Not sure how that went wrong.

>24 FAMeulstee:, >25 PawsforThought:, >26 NinieB:

Another gorgeous kitty that deserves to be better known. :)

Not sure what's going on with that tail, though!

>24 FAMeulstee:

Yup, that's the one. Encouraging to hear you got something out of it but I am just not in the mood...! :D

>27 swynn:

I don't think I'm the target audience for this, either!

Redigerat: jun 10, 6:52pm

Okay---I know I promised to stop bitching about the weather, but when I got up this morning it was 3C (37F), and I am quite sure it has never hit that low a point here before.

Can I officially call it cold now?? :D

jun 10, 6:51pm

Finished The Sea Mystery for TIOLI #1.

Now reading The Spider's Touch by Valentine Williams.

Redigerat: jun 10, 8:54pm

Publication date: 2006
Genre: Historical drama
Read for: Off the shelf / TIOLI (author / title in white-on-black)

The Observations - Scotland, 1863. Fifteen-year-old Bessy Buckley - not her real name - flees a sordid situation in Glasgow. She is heading for Edinburgh when she has the opportunity to lie herself into a housemaid's position in the house of James and Arabella Reid. Bessy soon discovers that Mrs Reid has strange mood swings, and is given to issuing unexpected orders at unexpected times. On the other hand, Mrs Reid is delighted to discover that Bessie can read and write. She issues her with a notebook, and requests her to record her daily activities and thoughts in detail. Bessie does so---writing down what she believes her mistress wants to hear, and preening herself on the impression she is making. One day, however, Bessy discovers that Mrs Reid is keeping notes of her own - The Observations - a treatise on servants and how they may best be trained to obedience. Here Bessy learns that Mrs Reid has seen through all the lies she has been telling and that, far from considering Bessy "special", as the girl has come to believe, she is obsessed with the memory of an earlier maidservant, Nora, who died under mysterious circumstances. Humiliated, Bessy lashes out... Though The Observations is in many ways a remarkable work of fiction, in the end it is hard not to accuse Jane Harris of trying to do too much in this novel---which is simultaneously a deliberate evocation of the 19th century sensation novel, with Gothic novel touches thrown in; a meta-work, referencing Victorian fiction from Charles Dickens to Charlotte Perkins Gilman; possibly a murder mystery---at least, the story of a mysterious death; an examination of women's lives in the mid-19th century; and a female Bildungsroman. It is not surprising, perhaps, that Harris sometimes struggles to keep all her balls in the air; the result is an occasional slackness in her narrative as she interweaves her various threads, particularly towards the end when things should be roaring to a conclusion. That said, each of the individual aspects of The Observations is very well executed; though its triumph is undoubtedly the voice of Bessy Buckley, from whose youthful yet painfully experienced perspective the story is told. A product of the streets of Dublin and Glasgow, Bessy is given to expressing herself with a bizarre blending of educated-above-her-station (the result of life as a kept woman) and outrageous coarseness; and while we might be inclined to question the historical accuracy of some of her endless stream of scatological slang, the results are a unique and often funny characterisation. Arabella Reid, however, is not evoked with anywhere near the same detail, with some of the ambiguity around her behaviour feeling unintended, which leads to a feeling of imbalance within the novel. However, some of that lack of clarity certainly is intentional, the result of Bessy's imperfect understanding of her mistress, her equally confused understanding of her own motives and emotions, and the easy-to-overlook fact that in spite of her hard-won worldly wisdom, she is still little more than a child---with a child's inability to gauge the consequences of her actions. In particular, Bessy fails to recognise that Arabella's eccentricity is a reflection of her unsteady mental state; and when her mortification and jealousy over the discoveries she makes by reading The Observations provoke her to retaliate by faking a haunting, her actions precipitate a tragedy...

    Somehow I undressed her and got a clean nightgown on her and lifted her into the bed. She weighed no more than a bolster. (Even though I was after carrying her down from the attic I'd been in such a panic that I'd failed to notice how thin and frail she had become.) I wiped the blood and tears from her face and then sank down into a squat wicker chair to watch over her until the doctor came, my legs weak and my mind racing.
    Of course to begin with I had simply wanted to scare the mullacky out of her. And why not, I ask you? Why not indeed, you reply. Well I'll tell you why not. She had misled me and betrayed me and took advantage of me and poked around into my past, moreover she had said some rotten things about me in her scutting book, about my appearance and how I followed her around like a Tantony pig, all this. It seemed to me that a small fright or two here and there was not overmuch to ask in the way of retribution. It was only a cod so it was. And boys oh dear, was it not a lark to see her looking so thrilled and nervy! Every door that banged she leapt about 6 foot in the air. And if ever I happened to emerge suddenly from a place she wasn't expecting, she would shriek and clutch at her chest.
    "Oh, Bessy!" she'd say. "What a fright you gave me! Feel this."
    Then she's take my hand and press it to the place where her heart throbbed beneath her bodice. Well that happened a few times, I daresay I was not averse to it. And it was a laugh that she had got stuck on the notion that the ghost was Nora. I made the most of that with the gloves and hair clasp and honeysuckle and what have you.
    But nothing prepared me for her reaction to the writing in the window. I had put 'My Lady' because according to The Observations that is what Nora called missus...

jun 11, 11:44am

>31 lyzard: You could call 3C cold. I'll just advise not visiting Canada anytime outside of July and August (and those aren't always safe). ;)

jun 11, 7:56pm

>34 MickyFine:

Hi, Micky!

Yeah, somehow I knew that still wasn't going to be cold enough. :D

For the record, I've done Montana in March during a south-east-moving storm out of Alaska and Canada; that will do!

jun 12, 10:18am

>35 lyzard: Oh yeah those spring storms can be doozies.

So what are normal winter temperatures for you?

jun 12, 5:35pm

>36 MickyFine:

I was lucky: it kept moving south-east and the weather cleared up behind it; but for a few days there I was finding out was cold really was! :D

Here it more usually toggles between 15 - 20C in the daytime (59 - 68F) in the daytime, and about 7 - 12C (45 - 54F) overnight; but recently its been about 5 degrees colder all around, with occasional record lows.

jun 12, 6:06pm

A cautious WHOO!!

I haven't made more progress since I started the Nancy Drew series, because I baulked upon finding out that the e-source for the original texts with which I started it is incomplete.

The series was recently reissued by Penguin, however it is unclear from their website which version of the books they were using: there are phrases like "for more than 80 years", which are encouraging, but no outright statement of, These are the original texts.

Now I find out that my local library is acquiring the series, so at worst I can go and find out for myself which version Penguin used; at best I have direct access to at least the next few in the series.

( my brain is baulking at the thought of simultaneously collecting The Hidden Staircase and Portnoy's Complaint.)

Redigerat: jun 12, 6:57pm

Publication date: 1861
Genre: Classic
Series: The Chronicles of Carlingford #1
Read for: Virago chronological read project / group read

The Executor - Margaret Oliphant introduced her 'Carlingford' series through three short works which, though overlapping only at a few small points, serve collectively as an introduction to her fictional community---and also to her writing style, which implies plenty about her characters while leaving room for interpretation and questions. Building her first series work, The Executor, around the reading of a will, she allows reaction and gossip to reveal the nature of her town and its characters. When Mrs Thomson dies she wills her property, not to her relatives, Mrs Christian and her daughter, Bessie, who expected relief from their struggles with poverty, but to her long-estranged daughter, Phoebe, of whose existence the townspeople were unaware. Mrs Thomson appoints her solicitor, John Brown, her executor and residuary legatee, tasked with finding Phoebe, or inheriting the property if he cannot. Brown is infuriated by the charge, but carries it out honestly and thoroughly---and perhaps a little more willingly as it brings him into contact with Bessie Christian...

John Brown was not supposed to be an observant person, but somehow he saw the genteel people of Carlingford about the streets that day in a surprisingly distinct manner---saw them eager to get a little occupation for themselves anyhow---saw them coming out for their walks, and their shopping, and their visits, persuading themselves by such means that they were busy people, virtuously employed, and making use of their life. What was Bessie doing? Mr Brown thought he would like to see her, and that he would not like to see her. It was painful to think of being anyhow connected with an arrangement which condemned to that continued labour such a young soft creature---a creature so like, and yet so unlike, those other smiling young women who were enjoying their youth. And just because it was painful Mr Brown could not take his thoughts off that subject. If Phoebe Thomson turned up he should certainly try to induce her to do something for the relations whom her mother had disappointed so cruelly. If Phoebe Thomson did not turn up---well, what then?---if she didn’t? Mr Brown could not tell: it would be his duty to do something...

jun 12, 6:55pm

Publication date: 1861
Genre" Classic
Series: The Chronicles of Carlingford #2
Read for: Virago chronological read project / group read

The Rector - While Margaret Oliphant's Carlingford series is often compared with Anthony Trollope's Barchester books, the two are significantly different in a critical way: while Trollope avoids the matter of his characters' faith, even with regard to his clergymen, for Oliphant faith was fundamental, and often a significant aspect of her plots. In this second short work - in spirit, a million miles from Trollope - she tackles the issue of a clergyman discovering that he is unfit for his duties. Morley Proctor accepts the living of Carlingford chiefly to provide a comfortable home for his elderly mother. Though ordained, Proctor has since lived a scholarly life at Oxford, mixing very little with the world at large; and has never before held a living. It does not occur to him to wonder if he is qualified for the task ahead; but as he assumes the mantle of Rector of Carlingford, he finds himself uncomfortable with respect to the social demands made upon him by the townspeople, and increasingly self-doubting with respect to his profession. Matters reach a crisis when, for the first time, Proctor is called to the bedside of a dying woman...

    "Miss Wodehouse was here this morning, and was telling me a good deal about the late rector. It's to be expected you should find the difference; but by-and-by, to be sure, you might get used to it, and the people would not expect so much."
    "Did she tell you where we met the other day?" asked the Rector, with a brevity rendered necessary by Mrs Proctor's infirmity.
    "She told me---she's a dear confused good soul," said the old lady---"about the difference between Lucy and herself, and how the young creature was twenty times handier than she, and something about young Mr Wentworth of St Roque's. Really, by all I hear, that must be a very presuming young man," cried Mrs Proctor, with a lively air of offence. "His interference among your parishioners, Morley, is really more than I should be inclined to bear."
    Once more the good Rector shook his head. He had not thought of that aspect of the subject. He was indeed so free from vanity or self-importance, that his only feeling in regard to the sudden appearance of the perpetual curate was respect and surprise. He would not be convinced otherwise even now. "He can do his duty, mother," he answered, sadly.
    "Stuff and nonsense!" cried the old lady. "Do you mean to tell me a boy like that can do his duty better than my son could do it, if he put his mind to it? And if it is your duty, Morley, dear," continued his mother, melting a little, and in a coaxing persuasive tone, "of course I know you will do it, however hard it may be."
    "That's just the difficulty," cried the Rector, venturing on a longer speech than usual, and roused to a point at which he had no fear of the listeners in the kitchen; "such duties require other training than mine has been. I can't!---do you hear me, mother?---I must not hold a false position; that's impossible."

Redigerat: jun 12, 7:33pm

Publication date: 1863
Genre: Classic
Series: The Chronicles of Carlingford #3
Read for: Virago chronological read project / group read

The Doctor's Family - Though only novella length, the third entry in Margaret Oliphant's Carlingford series is a far more substantial work, in which she begins to flesh out her town and her characters. Initially the narrative focuses upon Edward Rider, a young doctor trying to build a practice on the outskirts of Carlingford in the teeth of several hampering obstacles---the most significant of which is the unwelcome presence of his elder brother, Fred. Though a qualified doctor himself, for whom the Rider family made sacrifices not accorded the younger Edward, Fred is a waster given over to self-indulgence and drink; and a burden to his resentful brother both financially and emotionally. Matters go from bad to worse when the wife and children deserted by Fred in Australia follow him to Carlingford, under the care and management of Susan Rider's young sister, Nettie Underwood... Already in this early phase of her series, we have learned to expect from Margaret Oliphant a flawed male protagonist. Edward Rider, introduced in no flattering way in The Executor, is here depicted as a hard-working, well-meaning young man, but one with something of a persecution complex and a tendency to shy away from risk and responsibility. However, despite this novella's title, and despite too the initial antagonism between the Rider brothers, The Doctor's Family is, rather, a study of two very different woman, in the broader context of what was considered - and what actually was - appropriate female conduct in the mid-Victorian era; with the sisters, Susan and Nettie, emerging as, in effect, immovable object and irresistible force. Oliphant has nothing but contempt for Susan, who makes a career out of "helplessness", and is perfectly content to leech off her young sister, whose small personal income is being drained away by her relatives. Nettie is a generous and determined young woman; but even her spirit and courage may not be enough to combat Susan's simple refusal to do anything for herself and her children... Despite her many positive qualities, Nettie herself does not go uncriticised by Oliphant, who turns her into a tacit warning against taking on too much---and in particular, against assuming other people's duties. However, Oliphant's presentation of Nettie is ambiguous in this respect; and she finally leaves it to the reader to draw their own conclusions about "the young Australian's" actions and choices.

    "Mrs Smith was talking to you of us," said Nettie, flashing her penetrating eyes upon the confused doctor. "I know she was---I could see it in her face this morning, and in yours when you came out of her room. Dreadful little dungeon, is it not? I wonder what the man meant, to build such a place. Do they want to turn us out, Dr Edward, or do they want more rent? I am not surprised, I am sure, after last night. Was it not odious of Fred to go and smoke in the parlour, the only place we can have tidy? But it is no use speaking to him, you know; nor to Susan either, for that matter. Married people do stand up for each other so when you say a word, however they may fight between themselves. But is it more rent they want, Dr Edward? for I can't afford more rent."
    "It is an abominable shame---you oughtn't to afford anything. It is too dreadful to think of!" cried the angry doctor, involuntarily touching his horse with his whip in the energy of the moment, though he was indeed in no hurry to reach Carlingford.
    "Hush," said Nettie, lifting her tiny hand as though to put it to his incautious mouth, which, indeed, the doctor would not have objected to. "We shall quarrel on that subject if you say anything more, so it is better to stop at once. Nobody has a right to interfere with me; this is my business, and no one else has anything to do with it."
    "You mistake," cried the doctor, startled out of all his prudences; "it ought to be my business quite as much as it is yours."
    Nettie looked at him with a certain careless scorn of the inferior creature---"Ah, yes, I daresay; but then you are only a man..."

Redigerat: jun 13, 12:09am

Publication date: 1918
Genre: Mystery / thriller
Series: Craig Kennedy #12
Read for: Series reading / TIOLI {3+ words starting with the same letter}

The Panama Plot: Pan-American Adventures Of Craig Kennedy, Scientific Detective - With this 12th entry in his series featuring scientific detective, Craig Kennedy, Arthur B. Reeve reverts to the short-story format through which he originally introduced the character. This is overall a positive move, since Reeve likes to have Kennedy keep quiet about his theories and spring things (including accusations) at the last moment, which in a novel means lots of dead space filled by the blatherings of reporter / sidekick / narrator, Walter Jameson. Not that The Panama Plot is without padding: this is definitely not without blather; while the overarching premise is that Kennedy and Jameson are travelling through South and Central America and the Caribbean, before heading to Washington via the southern states; so that each story has a different setting and its own measure of travelogue-y descriptions. It is a pleasant surprise that on the whole the Americans enjoy their surroundings, rather than reacting with suspicion or contempt to the places in which they find themselves---and of course the "foreigners" they encounter. On the other hand - it is now wartime - Kennedy spends much of his time fretting about not being at home to Do His Bit, begging the question of why they just don't go. (Presumably this is just Reeve excusing his characters' apparent lack of patriotism, taking a holiday at such a time.) As for the stories themselves, as always they are at their strongest when the focus is upon Kennedy's scientific investigation into the various mysteries he encounters. (That said, I found myself more than a little grossed out by a couple of instances where stomach contents are somehow obtained and analysed before the autopsy; ew.) Along the way we deal with various forms of poisoning - including a snake sent in the mail - drug trafficking, espionage and sabotage, and what amounts to biological warfare. The title story, not overall one of the strongest, is interesting for dealing with an attempted attack upon the still-under-construction Panama Canal; while the best of the rest may be The Black Cross, about murder, suicide and a rampant epidemic in an army hospital; and in particular The Phantom Parasite, about a biological attack on America's military food-production farms.

    Kennedy by this time was pacing up and down the room. He paused in the middle of his walk.
    "Don't you see?" he cried, excitedly. "This fellow is using the new science of nematology. Parasitic nemas are responsible for millions of dollars' worth of crop damage yearly. As it is, a large proportion of the crops of the country, if not actually destroyed bythese plant pests, are at least materially impaired.
    "The mutilation of root fibres is what is done by that nema which you see under the microscope. True, when the root is destroyed, the plany throwsout another higher up on the same axis. But if the plant is constantly at the necessity of supplying new roots in placed of those killed, it hurts the aerial crops."
    He gazed fixedly at us. "Now you come and tell me that reports of attacks on farm animals as well as on crops are coming in---that the thing is widespread and growing. Do you realise," he added, dropping his voice and leaning over closer toward us, "we are fighting one of the greatest scientific nations the world has ever produced? Here is a new, an unheard-of attack by science made at our very vitals---food. This figure which we have seen is one, perhaps the head, of a band of parasite-planters!"

Redigerat: jun 13, 1:35am

>39 lyzard:, >40 lyzard:, >41 lyzard: Lovely reviews, Liz.

I am currently reading (and being somewhat overwhelmed) by Birgit Kamper's PhD thesis: Margaret Oliphant's Carlingford Series: An Original Contribution to the Debate on Religion, Class and Gender in the 1860s and 70s.

One tidbit I read is that John Brown's story in The Rector is continued (with a name change) in Oliphant's novel The Brownlows. Don't know how accessible it is, though.

jun 13, 1:56am

>43 kac522:

Hi, Kathy - thank you!

Shame you're not getting along with it better but that's an interesting detail to keep in mind. The Brownlows is on Project Gutenberg, I see; my State Library has an old hard copy but only for access onsite.

jun 13, 1:58am

Finished The Spider's Touch for TIOLI #4.

Now reading Crumpled Lilies by Carlton Dawe; but because I have to read that online, also reading The Soul Scar by Arthur B. Reeve.

jun 13, 1:03pm

>44 lyzard: Well, it's a 300+ page thesis, so there you are. Also, it's arranged by the themes: religion, class and gender, so essentially each section is full of examples from all the books in the series (plus some of Oliphant's other books and articles), and therefore lots of spoilers. I'm probably going to skim these sections and go straight to the "concluding remarks" of each section to get the general ideas. Plus the map of Carlingford, which Kamper put together herself from reading all the books--as far as she knows, there was no map drawn by Oliphant. Probably would be a great book to read AFTER finishing the whole series.

jun 13, 7:16pm

>46 kac522:

Yes, I've done the thesis-turned-into-a-book thing myself at times; always a bit of a lucky dip. This one definitely sounds like it needs to be an after the event read, though if you're good at averting your eyes you might cull some useful information.

jun 14, 10:50am

>37 lyzard: I love that your winter temperatures are a pretty decent summer day here. I'm pretty sure your summer would kill me.

Wishing you much luck in finding original text Nancy Drews.

jun 14, 12:51pm

>48 MickyFine: I was just about to say that those winter temperatures sound just like late spring temps in my world. I get heat exhaustion when it gets to 30°C.

jun 14, 6:00pm

>48 MickyFine:, >49 PawsforThought:

Well, I can feel your "decent summer" and "late spring" days right down in my bones, so no thank you. :D

30C, sigh...

I should perhaps mention, though, that Australian temperatures being what they are overall, we don't generally have central heating, certainly not on the coast. And in fact I've known quite a few American visitors who have found the cold hard to deal with here because they found it cold inside.

At the moment our housing design is only geared for the heat, but since our temperatures are creeping out in both directions, that may change in the future. As it is, we barely get autumn or spring here any more, we just literally go from one extreme to the other.

jun 15, 2:53am

>50 lyzard: I lived with a Ozzie for a while in London and she was surprised that we had central heating almost as standard. She soon fell in love with it once we got into autumn. >:-)

jun 15, 2:16pm

>50 lyzard: Ok, yeah without central heating 15C would be chilly. You're allowed to call it cold now. ;)

jun 15, 5:00pm

OK, I've finally had a a chance to look over the new possible series shared reads that you listed out on your other thread, investigating whether they are readily available here. I'm sorry to say that several of the series (Freeman Wills Crofts, Gladys Mitchell, Stuart Palmer) have only a handful of books each available via Kobo. So that's a drag.

I was intrigued by the mention of John Dickson Carr, because I've heard so much about him and his locked-room puzzles, but again not many of the Bencolin series seems to be readily e-vailable.

Now, the good news: Kobo has the full runs of both the Arthur Upfield/Inspector Bonaparte series AND the Rufus King/Lt. Valcour series. And the Ellery Queens are also readily e-vailable, and often show up on sale. I also already own quite a few either in ebook and paperback.

So I would say we should start with one of those three. I believe you haven't yet started either the Valcour or the Ellery Queen series yet, and you are up to #6 with the Bonaparte so I'd have some catching up to do. But of those three, is there one that jumps out at you?

Of course, we've got loads of time to decide, as we still have 6 Miss Silvers to read, which is a whole year's worth of Maudie goodness!

jun 15, 6:21pm

>51 Helenliz:

I can imagine!

>52 MickyFine:

Why, thank you. :D

Redigerat: jun 15, 10:46pm

>53 rosalita:

I'd forgotten you were on Kobo; that's going to make things more difficult. I know that a lot of these are now available on Kindle but I hadn't thought about other formats.

Obviously I have a personal bias for the Bony books, though apart from the need for you to catch up, they would also need you to be okay with the racial attitudes etc.---which are part of their historical interest but can be off-putting.

In many ways the Ellery Queen books are the obvious choice, but on the other hand it's a 40-book series---seven more than Maudie, in other words! But that might end up being the default choice, for simplicity's sake.

Conversely the relative brevity of the Valcour series makes it appealing.

What I would suggest is that while we're wrapping up Maudie - and as you rightly point out, we have longer to go there than it looks like at first glance - you try one or two of the Bony books and see how you get on with them (as always, the first one is a bit different), and we both try one of the Valcour books---without any commitment. Then we can reassess.

ETA: I can't remember if I said this before, but anyway---if you have a series to suggest, please feel free! It doesn't have to be one of my picks.

jun 15, 6:31pm


I am simultaneously reading two of the most exasperating books... :(

jun 15, 6:41pm

>55 lyzard: rosalita should read the first *two* Bony books before deciding. If nothing else, Upfield's writing improves from book to book.

>56 lyzard: *scrolls up quickly* Good Liz reviews to come, I hope :)

jun 15, 6:50pm

>57 NinieB:

Actually I agree but I didn't want to force too much on her. :D

I hope so too... :)

Redigerat: jun 16, 1:46pm

>50 lyzard: we don't generally have central heating, certainly not on the coast I remember Mr SandDune complaining about being very cold in his friend’s house in Queensland in winter. An old house totally designed for keeping cool, but no central heating.

One of the times that I remember being really cold in my adult life was in Bermuda, for similar reasons. I was there for a number of months and arrived in a particularly cold January. All my work colleagues in London were asking me if I had been to the beach yet, but I was absolutely frozen. It was a maximum temperature of 13°C for a few days, very cold for there, and my apartment had no central heating. I remember going to bed wearing socks, a sweater and my dressing gown. I would have worn a woolly hat if I’d had one!

jun 16, 6:00pm

>59 SandDune:

An old house totally designed for keeping cool


I remember going to bed wearing socks, a sweater and my dressing gown.


'Tis true, there's nowhere in the world colder than places that are always supposed to be hot. :D

jun 16, 6:25pm

Finished The Soul Scar for TIOLI #8...and thank goodness!

Mind you, I'm not sure this is going to be much less painful:

Now reading The Kennel Murder Case by S. S. Van Dine; still reading Crumpled Lilies by Carlton Dawe.

Redigerat: jun 18, 8:03pm

Publication date: 1933
Genre: Mystery / thriller
Series: Philip "Spike" Tracy #3
Read for: Series reading / TIOLI (animal / bird in author's name)

The Murder Of Sigurd Sharon - Philip Tracy is dealing with a broken-down car in the Vermont countryside when he is confronted by a young woman in a state of high nervous excitement, demanding that he drive her to the railway station. When she calms down, she invites him back to her own home, suggesting that the family chauffeur might be able to help with his car. She warns him, however, that he might not be made welcome: and as she describes her elderly guardian, Dr Sigurd Sharon, his nurse, Miss Wilson, and her own twin sister, Mary, he is struck by the bitterness in her voice. Belatedly, she introduces herself as Jill Jeffrey. At the house, over afternoon tea at which a neighbour, Jerome Featherstone, is present, Tracy soon discovers that Jill has not exaggerated: he is struck by the tense atmosphere, and the general air of concern for Mary, who is bedridden, and the seeming lack of care for the vital Jill. His own need for overnight accommodation also seems to cause unusual consternation. Featherstone finally offers his rented cottage, which stands in the grounds. Tracy accepts, but cannot shake a sense of something terribly wrong: a premonition fulfilled when Dr Sharon is found stabbed to death... The third in the series by Harriette Ashbrook featuring "Spike" Tracy, the buttinsky younger brother of the New York District Attorney, is a good-faith attempt at a psychological mystery, depending far more upon the nature of the characters involved than the physical evidence of the crime. While British novels had dealt for some time with aberrant psychology and such phenomena as serial killers, in the early 1930s it was still very unusual to find an American mystery taking that sort of approach; but Ashbrook has not only done her research, she makes sure the reader knows it via her footnotes; and her narrative might well have been an eye-opener in 1933---if not perhaps coming as quite so much a shock today. Alas, however, there is one point in The Murder Of Sigurd Sharon where angels evidently feared to tread: when it is revealed that a woman has had a sexual affair, she is solemnly condemned as "having the soul of a courtesan", of all things; the thought that a woman might have sex because she wants to, or because she enjoys it, was obviously a bridge too far. This eye-roller unfortunately goes some way towards undermining Ashbrook's efforts at a serious psychological mystery, but The Murder Of Sigurd Sharon is still an interesting work. With the members of the peculiar household closing ranks, Spike joins forces with Sheriff Silcox who, secretly thrilled to have a serious crime on his hands for once but afraid that he is out of his depth, swears him in as a special deputy. Spike then learns what the sheriff already knows: that the people of the household kept themselves to themselves, Jill excepted; that Dr Sharon was not a medical doctor, but a Methodist preacher, who invited the girls into his home after their missionary-father died in China. More immediately, the sheriff reports that the previous night, he caught Jerome Featherstone in possession of a blood-stained dressing-gown; while Spike, agreeing that the robe is Jill's, adds that he saw Featherstone wiping fingerprints from the murder scene. However, what catches Spike's attention most is a scrap of writing in the victim's handwriting, speaking of God's vengeance...

    "Writing tallies. It's Sharon's all right."
    "Sounds like something you hear in chrch of a Sunday. What do you figger it means?" and Silcox handed it back.
    "It looks," Spike said slowly, "like part of a letter, abandoned when Sharon accidentally blotted it, wadded it up and flung it into the waste basket, and wrote that sheet over again. It indicates---" He paused and studied the penultimate sentence, repeating the words aloud:
    "'Vengeance is mine,' saith the Lord, 'and I shall be the Lord's instrument and my weapon is at hand.'"
    Slowly there surged into his mind a fragment of the previous day. A girl, her face and voice tense with hatred and fear... "He's smothering me, starving me... I've got as much right to live as... He's trying to kill me. It's just plain murder."
    "It seems to indicate," he went on, "that Sharon harboured a fanatic's hatred of someone and was about to do something about it, something dangerous."
    "But who's the someone?"
    "I rather think it's Jill..."

jun 16, 11:20pm

Publication date: 1954
Genre: Mystery / thriller
Series: Miss Silver #27
Read for: Shared read / series reading / TIOLI (title / author word starting with 'APRIL' letter)

Poison In The Pen - When Frank Abbott returns from one of his rounds of family visiting, he tells Miss Maud Silver that a relative, a young widow called Joyce Rodney, has received two ugly anonymous letters. He is unable to say whether there have been others, or whether Joyce is being specifically targeted; but the question is answered when a young woman from the same village, Tilling Green, commits suicide after receiving such a letter. When it emerges that there was a similar outbreak of poison-pen letters in a nearby village some years before which also ended in tragedy, Miss Silver is asked by the police to take a hand... Given how many British writers turned to such a plot, one wonders just how bad the anonymous letter problem was in the villages of England... In Poison In The Pen, Patricia Wentworth uses this premise as the basis of a slightly different Miss Silver mystery: though a vicious letter may have been the impetus for Doris Pell's suicide, there is no solid basis for police involvement in the matter; though everyone agrees that it needs investigation. Consequently, Miss Silver is dispatched to Tilling Green as an unofficial-official police agent, and asked to do what she does best: ingratiate herself with the villagers, keep her eyes and ears open, and persuade the necessary people to talk... Poison In The Pen is a relatively lengthy mystery: Wentworth takes her time over introducing her setting and her rather extensive cast of characters, and in delineating the relationships and cross-currents that swirl around the village. Conversely, the usual romantic subplot is muted, and in fact becomes only one of the many tangled threads that provide fodder for Tilling Green's outbreak of anonymous letter-writing. Though Frank Abbott sets the plot in motion following yet another visit to yet another round of cousins, he is absent from the main narrative; and it is Chief Constable Randal March with whom Miss Silver ends up collaborating after the village is rocked by a second apparent suicide. However, when gossip is repeated to Miss Silver indicating that, before her death, Connie Brooke was in great distress, and trying to make up her mind whether or not to "say something", it confirms in her mind what she has already come to suspect: that there have been no suicides in Tilling Green. By the third death, there is no doubt about it...

    Miss Silver looked at her gravely. "Miss Pell, you knew, did you not, that Connie Brooke was believed to have told Mr Martin that she knew who had written those letters?"
    "It wasn't Mr Martin who said so."
    "No, it was his housekeeper. It was all over the village that Mr Martin had told her that it might be her duty to go to the police. Do you not think it would have been her duty?"
    "I couldn't say."
    Miss Silver waited for a moment. Then she said, "Connie died the next day, as suddenly as your niece did. If she had told Mr Martin what she knew, I believe that she would be alive today. It was all over the village on Saturday that Colonel Repton had been heard to say that he knew who had written the letters. On Monday afternoon he was dead too. If he had told the police what he knew, he would not have died. Now, Miss Pell, I think you know something, and I think it is of the first importance that you should tell what you know..."

jun 16, 11:21pm

Note to Julia:

NOW you understand why I couldn't say whether or not something happened to the cat...

jun 17, 2:22am

Finished Crumpled Lilies for TIOLI #5.


Still reading The Kennel Murder Case by S. S. Van Dine.

Redigerat: jun 17, 6:56pm

Publication date: 1936
Genre: Mystery / thriller
Series: Fu Manchu #8
Read for: Series reading / TIOLI (Mystery Challenge: Asia)

President Fu Manchu - As Depression era America moves towards its presidential election, a desperate battle takes place behind the scenes. As the populist candidate, Harvey Bragg, continues to gain ground, he campaigns against Dr Orwin Prescott and is opposed by the much-beloved Father Patrick Donegal---both of whom are mysteriously attacked. Assigned to the men's protection, Captain Mark Hepburn is joined by "Federal Agent 56", aka "Smith", aka Sir Denis Nayland Smith, on loan to the Secret Service, and once more hunting his deadly enemy, Dr Fu Manchu, now seeking to be the power behind the US presidency... This eighth entry in Sax Rohmer's series about the brilliant but sinister Dr Fu Manchu is interesting almost in spite of itself. Of course we're confronted by the usual nonsense - traps and escapes, weird science, a beautiful and therefore redeemable female agent - and the usual teeth-clenching race-baiting (reporting how he tricked an underling, Nayland Smith stops to observe that the man is, "Some kind of half-caste"); but beyond this we have Sax Rohmer's outsider eye on the state of American politics during the 1930s---and his recognition of how a desperate people can be blinded by platitudes ("America for every man and every man for America", rather than "Make America great again", but you know...) to the point of inviting fascism into their lives. Meanwhile, the unsubtly named Harvey Bragg seems to be a take on Huey Long; while the saintly Father Donegal is an expy for Father Coughlin, the "radio-priest". President Fu Manchu even manages a piece of pop-cultural prescience when Bragg is assassinated in what now reads like a foreshadowing of The Manchurian Candidate. However, the fact that Rohmer's is an outsider eye finally brings his narrative crashing down: the novel barely acknowledges the existence of an incumbent president (still less one who would win in a landslide the year this book was published), with the plot behaving as if Bragg and Prescott are slugging it out for an unoccupied White House; while hilariously, there's a plot-hole here the size of the Grand Canyon: Rohmer's characters may spend a lot of time fretting over the threat posed to the Constitution, but it is finally obvious that Rohmer himself never bothered to read that particular document. Be that as it may--- Knowledge of the evil organisation behind Harvey Bragg has come into the possession of Dr Prescott and Father Donegal, and they are confident that they need only enlighten the American people to dispose of the threat. It is therefore the goal of Dr Fu Manchu and his followers to ensure that enlightenment can never happen---and the task of Nayland Smith and Hepburn, conversely, to keep the two men safe. When Harvey Bragg is shockingly shot and killed, it seems briefly as if the crisis has passed; but this, too, is part of Fu Manchu's scheme. Having used Bragg to disrupt the American system, Fu Manchu brings forward his real candidate, Bragg's chief of staff, Paul Salvaletti. Known already to the public as Bragg's main supporter, the face of national mourning for assassinated candidate, and with his personal popularity secured by his engagement to beautiful society figure, Lola Dumas - another agent of Fu Manchu - Salvaletti is swept towards the White House on a wave of emotion...

    “Orwin Prescott was either drugged or hypnotised, or both,” rapped Nayland Smith. “It’s the most damnably cunning thing Fu Manchu has ever done. With one stroke tonight, he has put the game into Harvey Bragg’s hands.”
    “I know.” Mark Hepburn ran his fingers through his disheveled hair. “It was pathetic to listen to, and impossible to watch. Abbot Donegal was just quivering. Sir Denis! this man is a magician! I begin to despair.”
    Nayland Smith suddenly grabbed his arm as they walked along the corridor. “Don’t despair,” he snapped, “yet! There’s more to come.”
    They had begun to descend to the floor below when Harvey Bragg, flushed with triumph, already tasting the sweets of dictatorship, the cheers of that vast gathering echoing in his ears, came out into a small lobby packed with privileged visitors and newspapermen.
    His bodyguard, as tough a bunch as any man had ever collected in the United States, followed him in. Paul Salvaletti walked beside him.
    “Folks!” Bragg cried, “I know just how you feel.” He struck his favorite pose, arms raised. “You’re all breathing the air of a new and better America... That’s just how I feel! Another obstacle to national happiness is swept away. Folks! there’s no plan but my plan. At last we are getting near to the first ideal form of government America has ever known.”
    “Which any country has ever known,” said Salvaletti, his clear, musical voice audible above the uproar. “America, Africa, Europe---or Asia.”
    As he spoke the word Asia, Herman Grosset, hitherto flushed with excitement, suddenly became deathly pale. His eyes glared, foam appeared at the corners of his mouth. With that lightning movement which no man of the bodyguard could equal, he snatched an automatic from his pocket, sprang forward and shot Harvey Bragg twice through the heart...

Redigerat: jun 17, 7:35pm

Publication date: 1922
Genre: Mystery / thriller
Series: David Carroll #4
Read for: Series reading / TIOLI (two titles, one word)

Midnight - Near midnight on one of the worst nights he can remember, taxi-driver Spike Walters waits miserably by Union Station for a fare he doubts will come. The local trains bring no customers; the intercities are delayed by the storm. Though he dare not quit early, Spike finally parks his cab down the street and crosses to a diner for hot coffee; returning in time for the next train. He is rewarded when a woman, wrapped in a fur coat and with her face veiled, steps into his vehicle. He is surprised when she gives a low-class neighbourhood as their destination, but obediently sets out. It is a slow journey, hampered by the storm, a lack of visibility, and the passing of a goods train at a crossing, but finally Spike reaches the requested address---only to discover that there is no longer a woman in his cab. There is, however, a dead body... The last entry in Octavus Roy Cohen's short series featuring private investigator, David Carroll, is an impossible-crime story that plays pretty fair with the reader. The investigation becomes a bifurcated one, with the need to discover the identity of the disappearing woman, and also to track the movements of the victim leading up to his death---though neither thread can immediately explain the sleight-of-hand in the back of the cab. Midnight wins good will at the outset when, frightened and bewildered as he is, and fully aware of the nature of the story he will have to tell, Spike Walters controls his panic and sensibly reports his discovery to the police---though, mind you, they repay his honesty by locking him up while they investigate his claims. As so often in American mysteries of this era, the police are deemed not up to the challenge of such a case; and when the matter is reported to Eric Leverage, the Chief of Police, he asks his friend and frequent colleague, David Carroll, to take charge. As it happens, both men are inclined to believe Spike's version of events, though no more than he can they imagine how the situation arose. They do, however, recognise the victim as society figure, Roland Warren: he has been shot through the heart. The detectives think they may have found a valuable clue when they discover in the cab a suitcase that Spike swears the woman was carrying when she got in---only to discover that the suitcase is undoubtedly Warren's own...

    "You have said, Walters, that the passenger you picked up at the Union Station was a woman."
    "Yes, sir, it was a woman."
    "Are you sure?"
    "Why, yes, sir. I couldn't very well be mistaken. You see---o-o-oh! You're thinking maybe it was a man in woman's clothes? Is that it, sir?"
    Carroll smiled. "What do you think?"
    "That's impossible, sir. It was a woman---I'd swear to that."
    "Pretty positive, eh?"
    "Absolutely, sir. Besides, take the matter of the overcoat the---the---body has on. Even if what you think was so, sir---that it was a woman dressed up like a man---and if he had gotten rid of the women's clothes, where would he have gotten the clothes to put on?"
    "H-m! Sounds logical. How about the suit-case you said this woman had?"
    "Yonder it is---right on the front beside me, where it has been all the time."
    "And you tell us that between the time you left the Union Station and the time you got here a man got into the taxicab, was killed by the woman, the woman got out, and you heard nothing?"
    "Yes, sir," said Spike simply. "Just that, sir."

Redigerat: jun 17, 8:31pm

Publication date: 1927
Genre: Weird shit Contemporary drama
Read for: Completist reading

Sing Sing Nights - Basically this is a collection of three novellas; but that wasn't nearly weird enough for Harry Stephen Keeler, who presents his stories in a bizarre and uncomfortable framework---turning his characters into three modern Scheherazades. Three men sit on Death Row; they are allowed to spend their last night together, having been convicted of the same murder---although each of them conceived and committed it separately: they just happened all to shoot at the same moment. The men are visited by the Governor of the state: he tells them that it is known that only two of them are actually guilty of murder; the dead man was shot twice, not three times; therefore, one pardon has been issued---but it is up to the men themselves to decide who gets it. The three men are all professional writers; and so, without revealing the reason, they resolve to each tell their death-watch guard a story---and the one he likes best will save a life... And that's just THE SET-UP!! From here we actually get down to the business of the stories, with the three convicted men having different writing styles, different preferences for material, and a different theory of literature. The three men are also of different nationalities - American, English and Russian - and they also ponder how this impacts their art and their view of the world. In an amusing piece of self-indulgence, the three men are all successful in their own field---each of them writing in a style and a genre that echoes some of the work of one H. S. Keeler. As for the unknowing guard, he just likes a good story... McCaigh, the American, the "Iron Man" of the group, goes first: he tells of The Strange Adventure Of The Giant Moth, a story of crime, of the theft of a fabulous jeweled necklace in the middle of a masquerade party... Krenwicz, the Russian, the internationalist of the group, recounts The Strange Adventure Of The Twelve Coins Of Confucius, in which a Chicago newspaperman is given an ultimatum regarding an interview with a touring Chinese princess---and of the adventure and the improbable romance that result... Eastwood, the Englishman, the idealist, tells of The Strange Adventure Of The Missing Link, a science-fiction story about an unhappy man who suffers a near-fatal accident, the radical experimental surgery that saves his life---and the price he pays for that life...

"We might play your American game of draw-poker---we might even draw straws! But we three are not of the rabble. And so I have a wonderful contest to propose. In a few seconds Shanahan, ignorant prison guard, returns to the death watch. You, Krenwicz, have not only written many stories, you are the author as well of a novel and a successful play. I doubt if there is a mystery writer in America or England who weaves into his plots a love story of such sheer finesse as do you. And you, McCaigh, while not a playwright, have proven yourself such an ingenious craftsman in the literary field that your future was assured, had---had all this not happened. As for me---well, I too have done something in my small way, perhaps, whether worth while or not I do not know, although I fear that my poor efforts have been vastly overrated by my indulgent critics. And so, because of all this, I propose that each of us do his mightiest story now, on his death night; that we spin our stories in words this time, instead of ink; that our sole audience shall be ignorant Shanahan, death watch. Let us spin out our three stories until morning, if needs be; till the coming of the grey dawn, and---and---the death chair. The story that most entertains Shanahan---that Shanahan votes is the best story---shall place its teller's name on the blank pardon..."

jun 17, 9:02pm

>67 lyzard: I was thinking that this is Mystery of a Hansom Cab revisited . . . but if I read your review right, the dead body is apparently a different person than the taxi fare?

>68 lyzard: I've never had the courage to read Keeler . . .

Redigerat: jun 18, 6:11pm

>69 NinieB:

I hadn't made that connection, but I see how it might have been an influence. Yes, the taxi-fare is a woman, the dead body is a man... :D

He's an acquired taste, that's for sure! Of course, the scary thing is that I haven't gotten to the really batty stuff yet...

Redigerat: jun 18, 8:01pm

Publication date: 1929
Genre: Mystery / thriller
Series: Anthony "Algernon" Vereker #1
Read for: Shared read / series reading / TIOLI (animal / bird in author's name)

Missing Or Murdered - When Cabinet Minister Lord Bygrave goes missing, Scotland Yard is notified after days of hesitation and fear of creating embarrassment or scandal. Detective-Inspector Heather interviews Gregory Grierson, Bygrave's chief clerk; but although he tells what he knows, he can add little to the information provided by the minister's butler: Lord Bygrave left London for the village of Hartwood on a Friday afternoon, intending a fortnight's country holiday, and simply disappeared. While Heather is still interviewing Grierson about Bygrave's habits, the two are interrupted by Algernon Vereker, a friend of the missing man, who has himself come to seek information from Grierson. Also Bygrave's trustee and executor, and knowing him well, Vereker is convinced that the disappearance is not a voluntary one. He announces his intention of going to Hartwood, and beginning a search of his own... Missing Or Murdered is the first in Robin Forsythe's series featuring Algernon Vereker - his name is actually Anthony, but Algernon is the nickname he acquired at Oxford - yet another of the silly-ass-who-really-isn't school of British amateur detectives, though thankfully less annoying than most. Though his erratic habits (and conversely the fact that he works seriously as an artist, as did Forsythe) are enough to get Vereker tagged "eccentric" or "foolish" by those who don't know him well, those who do rely upon his judgement and his generosity. Both are sorely tested by his personal investigation into his friend's disappearance... Each with their own views on the case, Vereker and Inspector Heather establish themselves at the White Bear Inn, in Hartwood, where something between a partnership and a rivalry develops between them. Heather is willing enough to share the little he discovers with Vereker, hoping in turn to elicit insights based on personal knowledge; but all that can be established for certain is that, after settling in normally for his holiday on the Friday evening, on the Saturday morning an unwashed, unshaven Lord Bygrave walked out of the inn and vanished. However, investigation of Bygrave's movements prior to his departure from London suggests that his nephew and heir, David Winslade, his secretary, Sydney Smale, and his butler, Farnish, all know something they are reluctant to tell---and not just about events before, but after the supposed time of his disappearance. To the police, Winslade is the obvious suspect; while Vereker, who would have sworn his friend's life was an open book, becomes increasingly disturbed by the realisation that the case may hinge on disreputable secrets in Lord Bygrave's past...

    "Now I'm going to consolidate my conclusions as far as I have gone," said Vereker, refilling his pipe.
    "We know Lord Bygrave left town on Friday night and arrived at Hartwood 9.15. as far as we are aware, no message awaited him here, so that the subsequent events that led to his disappearance must, unless they were purely accidental, have been food for his anticipation on his arrival. That is, he must have had some appointment which he intended to keep on the following day. This, I think, we can almost take for granted. From the fact that he smoked a pipe in his room before he went to bed to soothe himself it is clear that he was worried about the matter, for it is a thing I have never known Lord Bygrave to do, and I have known him very intimately for fifteen years. He was evidently more worried the next morning, for, according to Mary Standish, he did not shave and left the inn unshaven to keep that appointment. I can imagine the degree of his perturbation from this rather startling information alone. He breakfasts, intimates that he will return for lunch at midday, and incontinently vanishes.
    "Now assume that Lord Bygrave went to keep an appointment, and an unpleasant appointment at that---why should he not return? It was his expressed intention. He must have been forcibly deterred, or events occurred which made his return either highly undesirable or altogether impossible. Now of these alternatives I'm inclined to assume that something happened which rendered his return impossible."
    The inspector glanced up quickly. "You infer that he has been killed?" he asked.
    "If my knowledge of Lord Bygrave's manner of life is correct---that is, presuming he is not another Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde---I'm inclined to put a very grave construction on events..."

jun 18, 8:17pm

April stats:

Works read: 13
TIOLI: 13, in 9 different challenges, with 1 shared read

Mystery / thriller: 8
Classic: 2
Contemporary drama: 1
Historical drama: 1
Young adult: 1

Series works: 10
Re-reads: 1
Blog reads: 0
1932: 0
1931: 1
Virago / Persephone: 1
Potential decommission: 1

Owned: 1
Library: 3
Ebooks: 9

Male authors : female authors: 6 : 7

Oldest work: The Executor / The Rector by Margaret Oliphant (1861)
Newest work: The Observations by Jane Harris (2006)


YTD stats:

Works read: 47
TIOLI: 47, in 40 different challenges, with 4 shared reads

Mystery / thriller: 25
Classic: 9
Young adult: 6
Historical drama: 2
Horror: 2
Contemporary drama: 1
Historical romance: 1
Non-fiction: 1

Series works: 28
Re-reads: 7
Blog reads: 5
1932: 0
1931: 2
Virago / Persephone: 2
Potential decommission: 3

Owned: 9
Library: 11
Ebooks: 27

Male authors : female authors: anonymous authors: 27 : 19 : 1

Oldest work: The Reviv'd Fugitive: A Gallant Historical Novel by Peter Belon (1690)
Newest work: Miracle Creek by Angie Kim (2019)

Redigerat: jun 18, 8:19pm

I rather like this "all out there" shot of Hoffmann's two-toed sloth...

Redigerat: jun 18, 10:07pm

Finished The Kennel Murder Case for TIOLI #7...

...another mystery that turns on animal abuse, ugh.

My goodness, I've read some tosh lately; and it doesn't look like that will be changing any time soon---

Now reading The Drums Of Fu Manchu by Sax Rohmer.

Redigerat: jun 18, 10:13pm

Well, this is pretty hilarious:

These are both Cassell releases, on the left the first edition from 1939, on the right the 1956 reissue.

More of a snarl, an extra drum (and what is up with his left eye?)--- But why? Why!?


Redigerat: jun 19, 4:40am

Page 4 of The Drums Of Fu Manchu:


"Instruct Paddington Police Station to send a party in a fast car. They will find two men---dark-skinned foreigners---hanging about about near the corner of Porchester Terrace. They are to arrest them---never mind the charge..."

jun 19, 3:27am

>73 lyzard: SLOTH!

I love the way they're so adapted to hanging around that their fur grows that way. And you can really see it on that picture.

>75 lyzard:, >76 lyzard: It's not pretty, is it? I hope we've moved on, but then I have my doubts.

jun 19, 7:24pm

>77 Helenliz:

Yes, it looks like he's being pulled down under the weight of it, doesn't it?? :D

You'd like to think so, but... :(

I found that particularly infuriating inasmuch as this is 1939 and it's probably the white guys over the channel they really ought to be worrying about. (And don't get me started on the actual plot!!)

Redigerat: jun 19, 8:14pm

Oh, no. Don't think you can get around me like that, Sax Rohmer!

Well...okay, maybe you can...

Page 176 of The Drums Of Fu Manchu:

Seated on Dr Fu Manchu's left shoulder I saw a tiny wizened marmoset. I thought that it peered at me inquisitively...

The silence was broken by shrill chattering from the marmoset. With a tiny hand it patted the cheek of its master...

The marmoset uttered a whistling sound. It was uncannily derisive...

jun 20, 12:04am

Finished The Drums Of Fu Manchu for TIOLI #11.

Oh, boy. Oh, boy, oh, boy, oh, boy...

Now reading The Vanishing Of Betty Varian by Carolyn Wells.

jun 20, 12:11am

>66 lyzard: Yeah, that's a strange one.

>79 lyzard: Drums is strange too, but at least -- as you have discovered -- there is marmoset.

jun 20, 12:34am

>81 swynn:

"Strange" ain't getting the job done any more. :D

My suspicion on the last one is that Rohmer actually agreed with the good doctor but didn't have the guts (or thought it was un-English) to say so.

OTOH, to paraphrase certain of my visitors---MARMOSET!!!!

jun 20, 2:29am

At least the bad book had a redeeming feature.
How many more in the series do you have to wade through?

jun 20, 2:57am

>83 Helenliz:

I even suspect that Rohmer intended it as an apology for the rest, since the marmoset hasn't appeared for several books.

Only five, I think; "only" being a relative term, of course. :D

jun 21, 4:09am

Liz, As a resident in the other side of the world, can you suggest a couple of female authors from the southern hemisphere that are worth exploring? Ones I can get from the library would be even better, but their collection is rather hit and miss. Maybe no-one too obscure then. >:-)
It's a square on the bingo card that I neeeed to fill to complete the card. I know you'll understand that as a motivation.

Redigerat: jun 21, 8:22am

>85 Helenliz:

Any genre or just authors in general? How old or new would you prefer? I can put some author lists together for you if you let me know your preferences.

ETA: This blog post is a couple of years old but it gives you a pretty good selection of Australian writers from recent times---probably better than I could off the top of my head! :D

jun 21, 12:09pm

>85 Helenliz: Jane Harper, Jane Harper, Jane Harper. Assuming you're open to modern authors.

Redigerat: jun 21, 4:14pm

>86 lyzard: thank you, the list will be examined at leisure.

>87 rosalita: I'll read almost anything once*. You might be onto a winner there, The Dry is in the local library branch and there are several more in the system - I just can't get them delivered to my branch quite yet.

* I reserve the right to turn my nose up at blood, gore, rape and anything overly twee

jun 21, 5:31pm

>88 Helenliz: Your qualifications are perfectly reasonable and I'm happy to say I don't think you'll find much of any of those in Harper's books (the precipitating event is a murder but it's already happened when the book opens). I do hope you are able to get hold of The Dry and that you like it. She has become one of my most favorite authors over the past few years.

Redigerat: jun 21, 6:22pm

>87 rosalita:, >89 rosalita:

Oh, yes, yes, yes: I was planning on pointing Helen in your direction if / when I knew that would be appropriate.

Pushy. :D

Helen, are you okay with these recs or would you like a list of NZ authors anyway?

jun 21, 6:54pm

Finished The Vanishing Of Betty Varian for TIOLI #14.

Now reading Where There's A Will by Mary Roberts Rinehart.

jun 21, 8:00pm

>90 lyzard: Not sure if you're saying I'm pushy because I butted into your thread to answer a question not directed at me, but I'll own it. Anytime I can recommend a favorite author I'll take it a d suffer the consequences afterwards. :-D

jun 22, 2:43am

>90 lyzard: if there's a list you've found, please share, but don't put yourself to any trouble over it. I only need 1 book to fill the square.

jun 22, 3:03am

>93 Helenliz:

I was putting something together from a few sources but I'll leave it unless you need backup suggestions.

Though given that it seems to be a case of Jane Harper OR ELSE... :D

jun 22, 7:28am

>94 lyzard: Look, if everyone would just do what I tell them to do, life would be a lot easier for all of us!

jun 22, 4:42pm


Just finished Poison in the Pen. I’m afraid Miss Maude isn’t going to be for me: I found the book singularly humorless.

Call me crazy, but I want some fun with my murders.

jun 22, 4:44pm

>94 lyzard: That's fine by me, I will ask if I need anything else.

>95 rosalita: as a Quality Manager, you're just singing my song. >;-)

jun 22, 5:01pm

>97 Helenliz: I dream of having Quality Manager embedded in my job description/title. Currently it's unofficial which means people find it easier to ignore my "suggestions".

jun 22, 6:47pm

>96 bohemima:

Well, no, probably not the series for you, then. There is some humour around Maudie's relationship with the police, which doesn't really apply in this one, but it never treats its murders lightly.

jun 22, 6:50pm

>95 rosalita:, >97 Helenliz:

I used to be there too. It nearly broke me!

BTW, Miss Julia, I am taking it as a measure of your current obsession with Jane Harper that you didn't even notice my SLOTH!!

Very hurtful... :D

jun 22, 7:20pm

>100 lyzard: Oh! I knew I was forgetting something important. I saw you posted it while I was on my phone and I hate typing on that tiny keyboard so I planned to comment the next time I was at my computer and by then there were enough messages that the dear thing had scrolled up out of sight. So, belatedly ...


He's a bit of an unusual color for sloths, but I like him!

jun 22, 8:37pm

>99 lyzard: Well. Not exactly the death part, but I do like a bit of interplay between the characters. A couple of times Frank (is that his name) made a couple of very mild remarks and Miss Silver squashed him flat.

On the other hand, I enjoyed the extremely old-fashioned and quite formal language that she uses. And the plot was good. But still…not for me.

Redigerat: jun 22, 9:20pm

>102 bohemima:

The relationship between Maudie and Frank is often much more prominent and the squashing is part of their by-play.

This was perhaps an unfortunate introduction for you because the usual character interactions were largely absent. You'd do better with one where Frank is on the scene as the main police officer, I think.

Julia, would you care to weigh in on this?

jun 23, 7:53am

Good information to have, Liz. I didn’t care for Gray Mask but that had nothing to do with the series or characters. I’d be happy to try a couple of others, because like you, I’m mad about series mysteries.

Redigerat: jun 23, 7:11pm

>104 bohemima:

Grey Mask was probably conceived as a standalone thriller, certainly there's a big shift between that and The Case Is Closed (not to mention about ten years passing).

Poison In The Pen is also somewhat anomalous, in that it's doing the 'whole village' thing with lots of characters and subplots, with Maudie isolated by her undercover mission and not interacting naturally with anyone; even discouraging Joyce from talking to her.

It's more usual to find her working in collaboration with (or occasionally in opposition to) the police, whether independently or as their agent.

If you wanted to try again, Julia and I could make a couple of suggestions? Or you could try The Case Is Closed, which points the direction of the series (although at that point the romantic subplot was nearly smothering the mystery, so beware!).

ETA: Anyway, I'll be able to advise you on one more shortly--- :D

Redigerat: jun 23, 7:11pm

Finished Where There's A Will for TIOLI #16.

Now reading The Listening Eye by Patricia Wentworth.

jun 23, 7:26pm

>105 lyzard: By all means, please make recommendations (and Julia too!). I could see some great possibilities in Poison in the Pen, and so felt a little let down. I’d like to find a way in to the series, if I can.

You may remember I had some trouble getting along with Mrs. Bradley, but after about three books I was, and remain, a complete fan. So I’m willing to work a bit on a bookish relationship. ;)

Redigerat: jun 24, 5:13pm

>107 bohemima:

Well, you certainly won't be asked to deal with anything as extreme as in the Mrs Bradleys, though whether these work for you is another matter.

Okay, let's see: off the top of my head I recall Julia and I being in agreement about Miss Silver Comes To Stay and The Case Of William Smith being good blendings of Wentworth's elements, with the romance subplot vital to the overall story instead of just intruding.

The Key is really interesting for its war-time story and its positive attitude towards its Jewish character (as we remarked, that shouldn't be so noteworthy, but...). Quite a few of the series are memorable for their war-time and Austerity Britain details.

Anna, Where Are You? has an unusual set-up; while Through The Wall has a murder victim who needed killing SO BAD--- :D

Lonesome Road is an early one, the first where Maudie picks up a client on the train---you might want to talk to Julia about that!

Ladies' Bane and The Benevent Treasure are Gothic thrillers rather than mysteries, if you like that sort of thing.

The only other thing I would say is that the relationship between Maudie and Frank Abbot (and his superior, Ernest Lamb) evolves through the series so you do get that best - you guessed it! - in order. :)

ETA: Gail, I've just started this month's read, The Listening Eye, and it might be more what you're looking for: lots of character stuff and two murders by the end of Chapter 8. :D

Redigerat: jun 25, 8:12am

Thank you, Liz! It’s really kind of you to take the time to do this.

Several of these are available on US Kindle at friendly prices (two or three are free), so I collected those up yesterday. Others are in the neighborhood of $10(US), which is a little pricey for a book I’ll read so quickly. Still…I’ll see how it goes., and how much my interest increases. And there’s always Better World Books, where used (and new) volumes can be picked up at bargain prices.

While browsing I discovered a three-book omnibus of stories about Abbot and Lamb, without Miss Silver. The book is called The Ernest Lamb Mysteries. Not an original title, but descriptive. That was around $4 so I got that too.
You know me well: The Listening Eye sounds like a perfect mystery for me.

Thanks again, Liz.

jun 25, 5:44pm

>109 bohemima:

No worries, Gail, I hope you enjoy them! :)

Redigerat: jun 25, 7:39pm

Finished The Listening Eye for TIOLI #15.

(Which means I've also finished that "overcommitted" TIOLI list I posted earlier---eep!)

Now reading The Marquise Of O. by Heinrich von Kleist.

jun 25, 7:30pm

REMINDER that there will be a group read of Anthony Trollope's The Struggles Of Brown, Jones And Robinson next month; I will probably put the thread up next Friday for a proper start over the weekend.

All welcome of course. :)

Redigerat: jun 25, 11:27pm

So---July (eep!):

I have ended up being very self-indulgent with mysteries this month, so I want to mix it up a bit more.

The Struggles Of Brown, Jones And Robinson by Anthony Trollope {group read}
Portnoy's Complaint by Philip Roth {best-seller challenge}
The Mystery Of The Green Ghost by Robert Arthur {shared read}

Richelieu: A Tale Of France by G. P. R. James {C. K. Shorter challenge}
The Conqueror by Georgette Heyer {GH historical fiction challenge}
The Foundling by Francis Spellman {random reading}

McLean Of Scotland Yard by George Goodchild {ILL / series reading}
The Hidden Staircase by Carolyn Keene {library book / series reading}

1810 choices:
- in terms of importance it should probably be Percy Shelley's Zastrozzi, but I don't think I can go past Catherine Cuthbertson's Forest Of Montalbano; though I note two other "late Gothic" options, Maria Regina Roche's The Houses Of Osma And Almeria and Catherine George Ward's The Daughter Of St. Omar. I'm tempted to have an 1810-fest!

jun 26, 6:55am

Godammit, we are in lockdown again.

And I didn't get to the library in time! :(

jun 26, 10:20am

>114 lyzard: oh noes!

>113 lyzard: Making a note of The Conqueror. If I've not already over committed in July, I'll see if I can get to it with you.

jun 26, 6:08pm

>115 Helenliz:

That's one of my ILLs that I didn't get the chance to pick up. Hopefully it's still on for July but I'll have to keep you posted.

jun 26, 6:43pm

>103 lyzard: Ack! I went walkabout from LT for a few days and somehow the Sloth Signal did not go up to notify me that I had a question to answer.

Fortunately, I see that you were more than capable of making some fine recommendations yourself, to no one's surprise.

I would agree with all of your suggestions and would only add The Watersplash as the one I rated most highly, and also She Came Back (using the US title as that's the one Gail's likely to see on as one that had an unusual (for the series) mystery.

>109 bohemima: Gail, if you subscribe to the BookBub newsletter for email deals, there will often be Miss Silver titles available for just a couple of dollars. You're more likely to see them if you "follow" Patricia Wentworth on the BookBub website.

jun 26, 7:04pm

>117 rosalita:

Thanks for adding that info! Hopefully between us we haven't overwhelmed Gail and frightened her off. :D

jun 26, 7:05pm

>118 lyzard: That would be unfortunate, but I sense that Gail is made of sterner stuff, if she's willing to dig into lesser-known books with us!

jun 26, 10:20pm

>119 rosalita:

Well! - since we've established that this sort of behaviour isn't frightening or overwhelming, have you had any more thoughts about a potential next series?? :D

jun 26, 10:24pm

Finished The Marquise Of O. for TIOLI #3.

And now I may have to rethink my plans a bit, in light of a fortnight cut off from my library books.

Also the next Elsie book suits July TIOLI too perfectly not to leave it, so, hmm...

(You know that thing where you don't want to start a book for fear of finishing it in the wrong month?? :D )

Oh, well, let's do this thing:

Now reading The Foundling by Francis Spellman.

jun 27, 4:08am

>116 lyzard: I've already read it in publication order, so it would be a re-read to join you. August would possibly suit slightly better, I'm already feeling under pressure to complete the books I've already got for July!

jun 27, 6:23pm

>122 Helenliz:

Best-case scenario, I'll be picking it up on 11th July. Bumping it to August wouldn't be a problem, though, if that suited you better: these situations usually result in a flexible loan period (she said, looking for the silver lining).

Anyway, we can re-visit when I know anything for sure.

Redigerat: jun 27, 7:40pm

Well. This is weird.

I'm looking for another book to squeeze in before the end of the month, partly because I need a portable read, and partly to jiggle my numbers...but everything I've felt an urge over is an online read.

Not that I'm complaining- at least they're available, and free! - but after the seventh book in a row it was starting to freak me out a little... :D

(Ordinarily I'd just settle for another Elsie book, but the next one up fits July TIOLI too perfectly.)

ETA: Okay, then: now reading Blood Money by John Goodwin; still reading The Foundling by Francis Spellman.

Redigerat: jun 29, 2:08am

Finished The Foundling for TIOLI #9.

And, having wriggled and jiggled my numbers enough---

Now reading The Struggles Of Brown, Jones, And Robinson by Anthony Trollope, in preparation for the group read; still reading Blood Money by John Goodwin.

Redigerat: jun 28, 7:41pm

Finishing The Foundling also means that I have finally gotten my random reading self-challenge moving again---whoo!

Though I'd forgotten how frustrating picking a book for this challenge can be.

My first spin of the random number generator landed me on Heir To Lucifer. Ha! - if only that were possible: this is part of the long-running Desmond Merrion series by "Miles Burton" (aka John Rhode aka Cecil John Street), for which it's nearly impossible to get hold of about half the books (most of the 30s ones, in fact). Even skipping the totally unavailable works, I'm currently stalled on #17 in the series, The Platinum Cat, which is in the Rare books section of my academic library and therefore one of the many works just tantalisingly out of reach.

Actually, now that I check---Heir To Lucifer is #18...and it is available via I'll put that on my list where I need to think about skipping one and moving on.

My second spin landed me on The Mountain Lodge by "Rob Eden" (aka Eve and Robert Burkhart), an obscure work now almost impossible to get hold of.

Third time lucky, though: I landed on To The Islands by the Australian author, Randolph Stow---which is on the 1001 Books list and therefore held by my local library.

Not that I can access it just now, but still---whoo!

jun 29, 8:08am

>117 rosalita: , >118 lyzard: , >119 rosalita:
You needn’t think that I can be scared off by long, old, more-or-less obscure book series! Never fear, I’m up for lots of that sort of thing. The obsession er, keen interest I have in mysteries of a certain age is apparently bottomless.

I’ll probably re-subscribe to BookBub. I had it going for a while, but *may* have become overwhelmed by the sheer number of e-books I stuffed into my kindle.

I don’t worry about that anymore. Nobody needs to know that dreadful number but me.

And I think I’ll join the Trollope read. Im in just the mood.

My thanks to you both!

jun 29, 8:15am

I’m sorry; one more request: can you point me toward the July Tioli? I have a difficult time finding them.

Thanks yet again, Liz.

jun 29, 8:18am

Detta konto har stängts av för spammande.

jun 29, 12:30pm

Thank you, Helen!

Redigerat: jun 29, 6:27pm

>127 bohemima:

Excellent! I'm always afraid of overdoing it. :)

We would of course love to have you join in, Gail, but be aware this isn't the usual Trollope novel. (Though it has the possible merit of being shorter than usual, too!)

>130 Helenliz:, >131 bohemima:

Thanks, Helen! Stupid time differences...

jun 29, 6:11pm

See---the problem with meeting your TIOLI overcommitment is that then you just do it again...

However, this month is shaping as useful for slotting in books already on the TBR; though this assumes I'll be able to collect my library books mid-month:

No More Parades by Ford Madox Ford (#1, tagged 'military')
McLean Of Scotland Yard by George Goodchild (#2, a place you could visit)
The Struggles Of Brown, Jones, And Robinson (group read / #3, 2+ characters in title)
Elsie's Vacation And After Events by Martha Finley (#4, 'vacation')
Portnoy's Complaint by Philip Roth (best-seller challenge / #7, acronym)
The Choice by Philip MacDonald (#9, samesies)
The Mystery Of The Green Ghost by Robert Arthur (shared read / #11, adjective)
The House Of Peril by Louis Tracy (#12, dwelling place)

#6, 'three title words or less', looks like being my default at the moment, though there should be more challenges to come.

Redigerat: jun 29, 7:36pm

Publication date: 1965
Genre: Young adult
Series: The Three Investigators #3
Read for: Shared read

The Mystery Of The Whispering Mummy - After their early successes, the fame of The Three Investigators begins to spread. One day, the morning's mail brings them two new cases: the first involves the missing cat of a Mrs Banfry; the second, another mystery sent the boys' way by Mr Alfred Hitchcock, involves the Egyptologist, Professor Yarborough, who has acquired a mummy that whispers to him... The third entry in the series featuring the three young private investigators builds neatly on the earlier ones, with their success during The Mystery Of The Stuttering Parrot earning them the matter of the missing cat, and Alfred Hitchcock sending for them when another of his friends has a problem he doesn't want to take to the police. Similarly, The Mystery Of The Whispering Mummy finds the boys adding another weapon to their investigative armoury, with electronic recording and communication devices (cutting edge in 1965) playing an important part in the plot. Having heard Professor Yarborough's's strange story, including that he has recently avoided serious injury or worse in a series of accidents, Jupiter Jones succeeds in inducing the mummy to whisper to him - and gets a recording of it - by disguising himself as the Professor: a success which indicates, firstly, that nothing supernatural is going on; and secondly, that someone is watching the house... While Jupiter, Bob Andrews and Professor Yarborough work with the latter's colleague, Professor Freeman, to translate the mysterious whispering that Jupiter caught on tape, Pete Crenshaw - much to his indignation - is dispatched to interview Mrs Banfry about her missing cat. When he returns to Professor Yarborough's house, he finds that the others are not there, but a cat looking suspiciously like the missing Sphinx is; while the mummy itself has been stolen. Also on the scene is a young Egyptian boy called Hamid; but even as he and Pete are exchanging accusations, they must hide from the real thieves, who have returned to the scene. They take refuge in the empty sarcophagus... When Professor Yarborough, Jupiter and Bob arrive, they discover the butler, Wilkins, unconscious in the bushes: to their astonishment, when he recovers he swears that the mummy was stolen by the Egyptian god, Anubis. The others hurry to the museum, where they discover that the sarcophagus is now also missing. It is some time before Jupiter and Bob realise that Pete is, too...

    “Ra-Orkon,” Jupiter said loudly. “Speak and I will listen. I will try to understand.”
    It was not in his natural voice that Jupiter spoke, but in quite a good imitation of Professor Yarborough’s voice. Jupiter was wearing the wig, spectacles, and goatee provided for him by Mr Grant, the make-up specialist. He was wearing one of the professor’s linen coats and a tie of the professor’s. As the professor was small and plump, and Jupiter was stocky and muscular, it was not too difficult for the boy to make himself look very much like the famous Egyptologist...
    Jupiter leaned over the mummy-case and said once more: “Great Ra-Orkon, speak to me. Make me understand.”
    Was that a murmur he heard? He turned his head to hear better, and now he heard words. Strange, harsh words in no language he had ever heard before, delivered in a sibilant whisper.
    Startled, Jupiter jerked his head up and looked round the room. He was totally alone. The door into the room where the professor and Bob waited was shut.
    He brought his ear again close to the unmoving lips of the mummy and the whispering continued, urgent, commanding. But---commanding him to do what?
    At least Jupiter knew now that the professor had not been the victim of his own imagination. The mummy really did whisper!

jun 29, 9:18pm

>134 lyzard: Argh! I forgot to read this one. I'll be back to discuss when I've done that.

jun 29, 9:22pm

>135 rosalita:


On your bike, missy, a Green Ghost awaits!

jul 1, 6:56pm

Finished The Struggles Of Brown, Jones, And Robinson for TIOLI #3---

---and that is also #75 for the year!

I'm a bit behind this year in that respect, which is not surprising given the number of chunksters I've had to wrestle with courtesy of the best-seller challenge. However, I'm still on track for a target of 150.

Regarding the group read, I will be setting up the thread tomorrow, and will post around when we're ready to go.

Hope to see you there! :)

jul 1, 6:57pm


Still reading Blood Money by John Goodwin.

jul 1, 7:00pm

Happy 75th, Liz! You have persevered through some tough reads this year, and I'm sure there are more yet to come.

Geez, this message went from congratulatory to gloomy in less than a sentence. I should quit before I get any further behind...

jul 1, 7:03pm

>139 rosalita:

Thanks! - I guess. :D

We certainly know there's at least one more to come, although not until after lockdown. (There you go, a silver lining!)

jul 1, 7:10pm

Well, well:

Speaking as someone who goes out of her way never to have an overdue book...I kind of resent this. :D

Particularly because---

No-one never gives me nuthin'...

Redigerat: jul 1, 8:23pm

Publication date: 1920
Genre: Mystery / thriller
Read for: TIOLI (filmed within 5 years of publication)

The Great Impersonation - German East Africa, 1913. Having been abandoned by his bearers, Sir Everard Dominey staggers half-dead into the camp of Baron Leopold Von Ragastein, military commandant of the colony. Somewhat recovered, he is astonished to recognise in Von Ragastein someone he knew at Eton and Oxford: the two were then friends, and known as 'the twins' for their physical resemblance. As Sir Everard recovers, Von Ragastein conceives an extraordinary plan... Having been banished from Germany after killing the husband of his mistress in a duel, Von Ragastein has bowed under his fate but dreams only of home. A sliver of hope has been held out to him by the Kaiser, in the form of a spying mission to England; but now the Baron sees an opportunity for more: to impersonate Sir Everard, and thus infiltrate British high society and politics. Plying him with the spirits he so desperately craves, Von Ragastein encourages to Sir Everard to speak in detail of his past life... E. Phillips Oppenhein's pre-war-set thriller was hugely popular in its time, and is still a sufficiently gripping work of fiction, albeit an outrageously improbable one. The problem with The Great Impersonation is that Oppenheim tried to do too much. The central plot-thread is quite complicated enough, with "Sir Everard Dominey" astonishing everyone who knew him by returning from Africa hale, hearty and flush with money, and picking up the threads of his old life---and, moreover, taking a wholly new interest in politics, particularly with regard to British attitudes to the prospect of a European war. Oppenheim walks a tightrope here: hindsight allows for a thoughtful examination of the tensions between England and Germany, and the war- and peace-mongers of both countries, in the lead-up to WWI; while he takes the joint risks of making Sir Everard thoroughly unlikable at the outset (though he is more so now, with his bigoted attitude) and conversely drawing the reader into concern for the success of the impersonation---which comes under threat from two very different women. At his country house, Sir Everard reunites with his wife, Rosamund, who startles him by observing calmly that of course, he is not really her husband... Meanwhile, there is an unexpected encounter with the Princess Stephanie Eiderstrom, who now expects Von Ragastein to act on his old passion and marry her---and is dangerously angry when "Sir Everard" refuses even to acknowledge an acquaintance... However---even all this wasn't enough for Oppenheim, who proceeds to surround (and almost smother) his espionage plot what amounts to a Gothic novel. Most of what Von Ragastein learned from Sir Everard concerns his self-exile from England: always selfish and destructive, and a heavy drinker, Sir Everard was finally involved in a violent confrontation with the unbalanced Roger Unthank, who despite her marriage was still devoted to Lady Dominey. Already at the end of her tether with her husband's behavior, when he returned home covered in Unthank's blood it was too much for Rosamund---triggering a breakdown and a state of increasing mental instability which - fostered by Unthank's mother - grew into a state of homicidal rage. Nevertheless, Sir Everard takes up residence at his family estate---where he finds himself in physical danger from Rosamund's obsessive hatred, and where something - locals say, the ghost of Roger Unthank - howls outside the manor-house at night...

    Stephanie, who was seated upon the couch from which her cousin had just risen, held out her hand to Dominey, who made her a very low and formal bow. Her gown was of unrelieved black. Wonderful diamonds flashed around her neck, and she wore also a tiara fashioned after the Hungarian style, a little low on her forehead. Her manner and tone still indicated some measure of rebellion against the situation.
    “You have forgiven me for my insistence this morning?” she asked. “It was hard for me to believe that you were not indeed the person for whom I mistook you.”
    “Other people have spoken to me of the likeness,” Dominey replied. “It is a matter of regret to me that I can claim to be no more than a simple Norfolk baronet.”
    “Without any previous experience of European Courts?”
    “Without any at all.”
    “Your German is wonderfully pure for an untravelled man.”
    “Languages were the sole accomplishment I brought away from my misspent school days.”
    “You are not going to bury yourself in Norfolk, Sir Everard?” the Princess Terniloff inquired.
    “Norfolk is very near London these days,” Dominey replied, “and I have experienced more than my share of solitude during the last few years. I hope to spend a portion of my time here.”
    “You must dine with us one night,” the Princess insisted, “and tell us about Africa. My husband would be so interested.”
    “You are very kind.”
    Stephanie rose slowly to her feet, leaned gracefully over and kissed her hostess on both cheeks, and submitted her hand to the Prince, who raised it to his lips. Then she turned to Dominey. “Will you be so kind as to see me home?” she asked. “Afterwards, my car can take you on wherever you choose to go.”
    “I shall be very happy,” Dominey assented. He, too, made his farewells. A servant in the hall handed him his hat and coat, and he took his place in the car by Stephanie's side. She touched the electric switch as they glided off. The car was in darkness.
    “I think,” she murmured, “that I could not have borne another moment of this juggling with words. Leopold---we are alone!”
    He caught the flash of her jewels, the soft brilliance of her eyes as she leaned towards him. His voice sounded, even to himself, harsh and strident.
    “You mistake, Princess. My name is not Leopold. I am Everard Dominey.”

jul 2, 12:32am

Publication date: 1828
Genre: Classic
Read for: The C. K. Shorter 'Best 100 Novels' challenge

The Life Of Mansie Wauch, Tailor In Dalkeith - Written by the Scottish physician-poet, David Moir, and presented as the memoirs of a country-town tailor, this 1828 novel is an important work blending two genres that were each, at the time, considered fairly radical: it is unabashedly a regional novel, dealing wholly with Scotland and the nature of the Scots; and it has a working-class protagonist whose life is presented as every bit as full of interest and worthy of consideration as anyone of a higher social standing. That said, there is a fair amount of tongue-in-cheek humour surrounding the gap between Mansie's own perception of his life as something out of the ordinary, and the reader's more objective judgement. The memoirs trace Mansie's life across the last decades of the 18th century and into the 19th, describing his early life, his training, and his establishment of himself as a successful tradesman in the town of Dalkeith; his relationships with his family and his townspeople; and his position within his church---the latter occasionally tempered by some irreligious adventures (unwitting or otherwise). The material is presented more or less as a series of self-contained stories, with Mansie sharing his reflections with the reader, seeking a moral in the events described---though not always finding one without some considerable effort---and patting himself on the back where he can get away with it. Despite the - occasionally deceptive - simplicity of its subject matter, however, The Life Of Mansie Wauch is not always an easy read. Most immediately, Mansie tells his story in his own words and style---that is, using dialect and the vernacular (and idiosyncratic spelling) to a degree that occasionally becomes impenetrable to those not familiar with the Scottish idiom; anyone thinking of reading this work might be advised to seek out an annotated edition. Another issue, at least for this reader, is that Mansie's narrative is frequented concerned with something unpleasant happening to an animal; and while we are not, thankfully, expected to find anything funny about these anecdotes, the cumulative effect is rather off-putting. Finally, though this is a matter of personal taste, I finally found this novel a bit overlong; though I gather that David Moir revised and lengthened it from time to time, apparently in response to reader reaction, so I seem to be in the minority on this one.

    Having, within myself, made observation of late years, that all notable characters, whatsoever line of life they may have pursued, and to whatever business they might belong, have made a trade of committing to paper all the surprising occurrences and remarkable events that chanced to happen to them in the course of Providence, during their journey through life---that such as come after them might take warning and be benefited---I have found it incumbent on me, following a right example, to do the same thing; and have set down, in black and white, a good few uncos, that I should reckon will not soon be forgotten, provided they make as deep an impression on the world as they have done on me. To this decision I have been urged by the elbowing on of not a few judicious friends; among whom I would particularly remark James Batter, who has been most earnest in his request, and than whom a truer judge on any thing connected with book-lear, or a better neighbour, does not breathe the breath of life: both of which positions will, I doubt not, appear as clear as daylight to the reader, in the course of the work: to say nothing of the approval the scheme met with from the pious Maister Wiggie, who has now gone to his account, and divers other advisers, that wished either the general good of the world, or studied their own particular profit.
    Had the course of my pilgrimage lain just on the beaten track, I would not---at least I think so---have been o’ercome by ony perswasions to do what I have done; but as will be seen, in the twinkling of half-an-eye, by the judicious reader, I am a man that has witnessed much, and come through a great deal, both in regard to the times wherein I have lived, and the out-o’-the-way adventures in which it has been my fortune to be engaged. Indeed, though I say it myself, who might as well be silent, I that have never stirred, in a manner so to speak, from home, have witnessed more of the world we live in, and the doings of men, than many who have sailed the salt seas from the East Indies to the West; or, in the course of nature, visited Greenland, Jamaica, or Van Diemen’s Land. The cream of the matter, and to which we would solicit the attention of old and young, rich and poor, is just this, that, unless unco doure indeed to learn, the inexperienced may gleam from my pages sundry grand lessons, concerning what they have a chance to expect in the course of an active life; and the unsteady may take a hint concerning what it is possible for one of a clear head and a stout heart to go through with...

jul 2, 1:54am

>137 lyzard: Happy 75th! I'm looking forward to our group read later this month.

>143 lyzard: I would be reading Mansie Wauch (assuming I ever get there) with the OED site at my side. Nice review (of course, all your reviews are gems)!

jul 2, 2:24am

Well done on reaching 75!

>141 lyzard: I can't help but agree with you. hmmm.

jul 2, 12:56pm

>137 lyzard: Congratulations on reaching 75, Liz!

jul 2, 12:57pm

Congrats on reaching the magic number, Liz!

Redigerat: jul 3, 8:31am

>144 NinieB:, >145 Helenliz:, >146 FAMeulstee:, >147 MickyFine:

Thank you! :)

>144 NinieB:

Looking forward to seeing you there! I should be able to get the thread up today.

Aww, thank you! {*blush*} I must admit that between the length and the dialect, I did find it a bit of a struggle.

>145 Helenliz:

I understand what they're trying to do - they're courting occasional and unfamiliar library users, and in particular the kids of non-library-using parents - but given that the fees for the services I do use keep creeping up, it's just a little exasperating...

jul 2, 8:38pm

Congrats on hitting the goal!

jul 2, 11:39pm

>149 drneutron:

Thanks, Jim!

jul 3, 12:25am

The thread is now up for the group read of The Struggles Of Brown, Jones, And Robinson by Anthony Trollope:


All welcome!

jul 3, 12:47am

Finished Blood Money for TIOLI #6.

Now reading Inspector Frost In The City by Herbert Maynard Smith.

jul 3, 5:24pm

Congratulations on 75, Liz! That’s marvelous.

And thanks for starting the thread.

jul 3, 5:59pm

>153 bohemima:

Thank you, Gail, and very glad to hear you'll be joining us! :)

Redigerat: jul 3, 7:14pm

Publication date: 1910
Genre: Mystery / thriller
Read for: Completist reading / TIOLI (animal in title)

The Window At The White Cat - Attorney John Knox is consulted by Margery Fleming, the daughter of Allan Fleming, state treasurer and a member of a powerful - and corrupt - political party. To Knox's astonishment, Margery tells him that her father has been missing for over a week; and that on the day he disappeared, she found a note pinned to his pillow reading 'eleven twenty two'. Later, mentioning Fleming to his brother and sister-in-law, Knox hears from Edith of the tragic death of her cousin's husband, Henry Butler, who was driven to suicide by the political machine headed by Fleming and his co-conspirator, Schwartz. But it is Fred who provides the most surprising information, asserting that he saw Fleming only that day, involved in a carriage accident---which if true means he has gone into hiding of his own volition. Knox is also consulted by Miss Laetitia Maitland, an existing client and Margery's aunt, who tells him that a small number of the loose pearls she kept in her safe have been stolen. With neither lady, for their own reasons, willing to go to the police, Knox finds himself turning detective... The Window At The White Cat is one of Mary Roberts Rinehart's convoluted thrillers, with the disappearance - or "disappearance" - of Allan Fleming at the centre of a series of overlapping mysteries and crimes that culminate in murder. Similarly, John Knox is one of Rinehart's flawed male protagonists, generally doing the right thing for the wrong reason, and getting himself in over his head in the name of love. Smitten by Margery Fleming, albeit painfully conscious of both the difference in their ages and her engagement to Harry Wardrop, her father's secretary, Knox tries his hand at investigation of a mystery that also involves midnight intrusions into the Maitland house, the theft of Wardrop's travelling bag, the discovery of a second note bearing the figures 'eleven twenty two', and the disappearance of the elderly Jane Maitland. Knox's suspicions focus increasingly upon Wardrop, who had access to both the Fleming and Maitland houses; though he is aware that jealousy may be influencing his thoughts. Working in tandem with a police detective, Hunter, Knox is led to a private club called 'the White Cat', where individuals of high social standing go to let their hair down. Hunter tells Knox that, thanks to his information about the carriage-accident, the police have quietly traced Fleming to the White Cat, where he has apparently been in hiding. The two men succeed in gaining entry to the club, where they are greeted by the sight of a frightened Harry Wardrop running down the internal stairs. Their subsequent investigation discovers Allan Fleming in an upstairs room, dead, shot through the head...

    I went across the hall to the room where the noise was loudest. Fortunately, Doctor Gray was out of the game. He was opening a can of caviar at a table in the corner and came out in response to a gesture. He did not ask any questions, and I let him go into the death chamber unprepared. The presence of death apparently had no effect on him, but the identity of the dead man almost stupefied him.
    "Fleming!" he said, awed, as he looked down at the body. "Fleming, by all that's sacred! And a suicide!"
    Hunter watched him grimly. "How long has he been dead?" he asked.
    The doctor glanced at the bullet wound in the forehead, and from there significantly to the group around the couch. "Not an hour---probably less than half," he said. "It's strange we heard nothing, across the hall there."
    Hunter took a clean folded handkerchief from his pocket and opening it laid it gently over the dead face. I think it was a relief to all of us. The doctor got up from his kneeling posture beside the couch, and looked at Hunter inquiringly.
    "What about getting him away from here?" he said. "There is sure to be a lot of noise about it, and---you remember what happened when Butler killed himself here."
    "He was reported as being found dead in the lumber yard," Hunter said dryly. "Well, Doctor, this body stays where it is, and I don't give a whoop if the whole city government wants it moved. It won't be. This is murder, not suicide."
    The doctor's expression was curious. "Murder!" he repeated. "Why---who---"
    But Hunter had many things to attend to; he broke in ruthlessly on the doctor's amazement. "See if you can get the house empty, Doctor; just tell them he is dead---the story will get out soon enough."
    As the doctor left the room Hunter went to the open window, through which a fresh burst of rain was coming, and closed it. The window gave me an idea, and I went over and tried to see through the streaming pane. There was no shed or low building outside, but not five yards away the warehouse showed its ugly walls and broken windows.
    "Look here, Hunter," I said, "why could he not have been shot from the warehouse?"

jul 4, 7:25pm

Finished Inspector Frost In The City for TIOLI #14.

Now reading The Mill Mystery by Anna Katharine Green.

jul 4, 8:16pm

>136 lyzard: Whiskers! I finished The Mystery of the Whispering Mummy and I'm wondering what they used on that poor cat's 🐾 to dye them. Shoe polish?

Redigerat: jul 5, 8:06pm

Publication date: 1928
Genre: Mystery / thriller
Series: Sir Clinton Driffield #4
Read for: Series reading / TIOLI (3-letter phrase in title and author)

The Case With Nine Solutions - In a fog-bound night, Dr Ringwood mistakes one house for another and, instead of attending a maid with scarlet fever, he discovers a young man dying of bullet wounds... An examination gives no hope, but Ringwood learns that the man is Edward Hassendean, who rumour linked with Yvonne Silverdale, the wife of his employer. As the Hassendeans have no phone, Ringwood goes next door - to the Silverdales' house, where he was meant to be in the first place - and from there telephones the Chief Constable, Sir Clinton Driffield. Meanwhile, having treated the maid who is ill, under the guise of infection risk he questions the other servant about the movements of Dr and Mrs Silverdale. When Sir Clinton arrives with Inspector Flamborough, the three men examine to scene next door, and wait to question Hassendean's uncle and aunt, before returning to the Silverdales' to speak to the maid---only to find that in their absence, she has been strangled. Nor is this the end of the tragedies: the next day, the body of Yvonne Silverdale is discovered in a villa outside town, shot through the head---but Dr Ringwood asserts that when she was shot, she was already dead... The fourth entry in the Sir Clinton Driffield series by "J. J. Connington" (Alfred Walter Stewart) is - as that very incomplete synopsis indicates! - an over-complicated and ultimately not entirely satisfactory mystery. This is one of those narratives that depends upon split-second timing, and various people all managing to be at a crime scene at more or less the same critical moment---whether or not aware of one another. There is also, despite the complications of the set-up, ultimately too restricted a cast of suspects, so that in spite of all the smoke and mirrors (and fog), the guilty party is too easily spotted. (Modern sensibilities may also be offended by the casual handling of an attempted date-rape, which almost gets lost in the murder shuffle.) However---complications there certainly are: the novel's title is taken from Sir Clinton's observation that, although the maid's death is definitely a case of murder, their circumstances are such that those of Edward Hassendean and Yvonne Silverdale could be murder - or suicide - or accident...meaning nine possible permutations. The investigation into the three deaths quickly focuses upon the Croft-Thornton Research Institute, where most of those concerned are employed---including Dr Ringwood's friend, Dr Markfield, from whom he first heard most of the gossip surrounding Hassendean and Yvonne, which he repeated to the investigators along with what he gleaned from questoning the maid. Dr Silverdale is the head of Markfield's department, which not only employed Edward Hassendean, but where are also working both Avice Deepcar, who is involved with Silverdale, and Norma Hailsham, who was engaged to Hassendean but broke it off over his relationship with Yvonne. This tangle indicates a crime passionnel - possibly more than one - only for two more complications to arise: the discovery of Yvonne Silverdale's recent inheritance of a fortune, and yet another death...

    "Well, then, what holds in Case A ought to hold also in the other two cases - C and E - where it's also a question of young Hassendean's suicide. So one can score them off as well."
    "Not so fast," Sir Clinton interrupted. "I don't say you're wrong; but your assumption doesn't cover the cases. In Case A you assumed that Mrs Silverdale committed suicide---ergo, she had hyoscine in her possession. But in Case C, the assumption is that she died by accidental poisoning; and before you can eliminate suicide on young Hassendean's part, you've got to prove that he had hyoscine in his possession. I'm not saying that he hadn't. I'm merely keeping you strictly to your logic."
    Flamborough considered this for a few moments. "Strictly speaking, I suppose you're right, sir. And in Case E, I'd have to prove that he poisoned her willfully, in order to cover the case of his having hyoscine in his possession. H'm!"
    After a pause, he took up the table afresh. "Let's go back to case B, then: a double murder. That brings in this third party---the person who did for the maid at Heatherfield, we'll say; and the fellow who broke the window. There were signs of a struggle in that room at the bungalow, you remember. Now it seems to me that Case B piles things on too thick, if you understand what I mean. It means that Mrs Silverdale was murdered by poison and that young Hassendean was shot to death. Why the two methods when plain shooting would have been good enough in both cases? Take the obvious case--- It's been at the back of my mind, and I'm sure it's been at the back of yours too, that Silverdale surprised the two of them at the bungalow and killed them both. Where does the poison come in?... What about Case F, sir? She suicided and he was murdered..."

Redigerat: jul 7, 2:14am

>157 rosalita:

Colouring cat fur isn't that difficult; keeping the cat from licking it off is the tricky part. :D

There sure have been a lot of cats in my recent reading...for better or worse...

jul 6, 6:21pm


Lockdown extended for another week.

Libraries closed for another week.


jul 6, 6:38pm

>159 lyzard: Ha, now that you mention it, I'm surprised Sphinx didn't immediately lick it all off in an epic grooming session.

There have been lots of cats — we had that whole battalion of them in Poison in the Pen as well.

jul 7, 6:54am

>160 lyzard: I can imagine how frustrating the repeated lockdowns are, but living in a state where the government is actively working against increasing vaccination rates and mitigating the spread of the new delta variant, it sounds kind of comforting to think the authorities care whether people live or die. Still, I hope your lockdown accomplishes its goal and you are back roaming the stacks soon!

jul 7, 7:39am

>160 lyzard:
>162 rosalita:

What Julia said. In my state, we have a ventilator shortage due to COVID hospitalizations, mostly among people who have refused vaccinations over political loyalties. Meanwhile, our local hospital does not enforce its own mask & social distancing policies. Yay, rural Midwest. Hoping your lockdown is no longer than it really should be!

Redigerat: jul 7, 6:34pm

>162 rosalita:, >163 swynn:

The problem at the moment is that they should have gone earlier but tried to control it with just local restrictions---so we're now in a much longer phase than otherwise would have been necessary.

If it makes you feel any better, we're battling government reluctance and mishandling of the situation. A big one here is the refusal to build designated quarantine stations: they've persisted with hotel quarantining, which has caused almost as many infections as it has prevented, including our most recent case of airline cabin staff (!!) being allowed to travel.

Meanwhile despite all the promises they've been criminally slow in both acquiring the vaccine and rolling it out. Not to mention they like to prioritise politicians over health workers.

Half our present Federal government are in with the Hillsong mob, so how much of this is "God's will" and how much just incompetence is debatable. (They're also "leading" the world in climate denial, so having to listen to the scientists at all has probably been driving them crazy.)

Redigerat: jul 7, 7:06pm

Finished The Mill Mystery for TIOLI #13.

(These days, "read something that isn't on Project Gutenberg" would have been more of a challenge! :D )

Now reading Elsie's Vacation And After Events by Martha Finley.

(Ahem. Also on Project Gutenberg...)

jul 7, 7:22pm

>164 lyzard: I am always surprised when I hear how slowly vaccinations are rolling out in Australia, Liz. Of course we had our own issues in that area with the former guy, but once President Biden's team took over they really ramped up fast. The problem now where I live (and where Steve lives, too) is the number of people who just refuse to get the vaccine for political reasons. It's maddening.

I wasn't familiar with Hillsong but a little googling clued me in. I'm sorry to hear that sort of thing is plaguing other countries as well. :-(

jul 7, 7:52pm

These days, "read something that isn't on Project Gutenberg" would have been more of a challenge

I am off course shocked at the number of eligible books in your schedule. Shocked, I say.

And yeah, sending sympathy for your COVID and religious cult travails.

Redigerat: jul 7, 8:02pm

Publication date: 1925
Genre: Historical romance
Series: Jasper Shrig #4
Read for: Series reading / TIOLI (starts with a letter in PHOTO)

The High Adventure - After a violent confrontation with his cousin, Arthur Trevor, Jeremy Veryan's uncle and guardian, Sir James Trevor, decides that he must be sent out of the country; perhaps to South America. The pugnacious Jeremy announces coolly that if he is to leave home, it will be his own doing and in his own direction---and for his own reasons, namely, that as he approaches his twenty-fifth birthday and his inheritance, he has fallen foul of a series of accidents...or "accidents"... As good as his word, Jeremy sets out on foot, looking for adventure---and finds it. He acquires a dog, Bill, rescuing the animal from brutal treatment; and he assists a beautiful young woman who, to his astonishment, he finds escaping an inn via the window. He also acquires a dangerous new enemy in the Chevalier de Ravenac, who has plans to use the weak young Richard Armadale as a means of securing the submission of his sister, the beautiful Olivia... This 1925 novel by Jeffery Farnol is, typically, a mixture of Regency romance and mystery---with the latter bringing to the scene Farnol's series character, the Bow Street Runner, Jasper Shrig. However, the novel's focus is the person who becomes the centre of the matter that Shrig is investigating. Jeremy Veryan is not, at first, a particularly likable character, being rough in speech, defensive by nature, and very ready with his fists; as he says himself, an unlikely heir to the proud house of Veryan. But is soon emerges that there is good reason for Jeremy's behaviour: he has dedicated himself to discovering the truth about the deaths of his father and mother when he was only a baby; and, moreover, has concluded that someone is determined he won't live to come into his inheritance... Also typical of Farnol, The High Adventure has a prominent love-plot, with an unlikely romance developing between Olivia Revell - Mrs Olivia Revell, a reluctant wife and a widow on the same day - and Jeremy, whose transparent honesty and courage outweigh his deficiencies in looks and manners. This aspect of The High Adventure is not as well worked out as in some of Farnol's novels, with Jeremy and Olivia being separated for much of the book, and then alienated in an annoyingly artificial manner. On the other hand, Farnol offers the reader a good look at the nastier side of Regency life, with Jeremy attempting to rescue Richard from the consequences of his own folly; while the novel's mystery plot - if not such a mystery with regard to the identity of its villains - is pleasingly complicated and ultimately rather dark---with a recurring character from the Shrig series meeting a grim fate along the way. When Jeremy is assaulted and almost killed, his family lawyer, Mr Gillespie, sends Shrig to investigate. It soon transpires that, one way or another, Shrig knows a great deal about Jeremy's affairs---including his search for Julius Openshaw, the man he believes killed his father, and who subsequently vanished...

    "Having struck you unconscious and thinking you a corp', said party or parties took an' dragged you to a ruinated building and there deposited you? My fax is all correct, sir, I think?"
    "Quite! You've been busy, it seems."
    "As a bee, sir---as a nant! I've took the ewidence o' your respected uncle, Sir James Trevor, Baronet, of your cousin, Mr Arthur Trevor, Esquire, and a good many others, in and out of Weryan, not forgetting your friend Mr Terence O'Leary, such a fine gentleman. A Tippy, a Go---a reg'lar Nob! And so affable an' pleasant spoke!"
    "He is!" growled Jeremy.
    "'T were a j'y to 'ark to 'im, sir."
    "And now what do you know of Julius Openshaw?"
    "Why, Mr Weryan, sir, I'll tell ye, plain and p'inted, I don't know nothing---beyond the plain fax, nothing at all; I only suspects, and suspicions is best not spoke of unless backed up by fax, and fax depends on proof, and though my fax is, my proofs ain't---and there y' are, sir!"
    "Well, what are your facts?"
    "Ugly, sir! In my time, Mr Weryan, I've had the good fortun' to 'andle some ugly cases---murder an' what not, but none uglier than the case o' Mr Julius Openshaw and your unfort'nate father."
    "I know he was killed twenty-three years ago," said Jeremy, "and, as I believe, murdered."
    "Murdered!" repeated Mr Shrig, rolling the word on his tongue...

jul 7, 8:05pm

>166 rosalita:

Unfortunately we're still in our Trump phase.

It's slow because they didn't bother acquiring enough, not because people don't want it---which is something. I've held off because my circumstances make me low priority, but I did look into it this morning and can't get a booking anywhere locally within the next month.

>167 swynn:

...and I've just hopped from one to another. :D

The upside of lockdown is that it gives me an excuse to delay Portnoy's Complaint, which in turn gives you a chance to do a bit more catching up??

jul 8, 1:01am

>169 lyzard: I'd do anything to delay Roth...sorry it has to be a pandemic, though. I've never read him, and have absolutely no desire to.

Redigerat: jul 8, 3:31am

We're in a slightly different situation, we're returning to normal on the 19th July - almost come hell or high water. I'm not sure that I want to go out and sit in close proximity to the general public, most of whom I don't know and don't trust to do the right thing. I've also got used to being able to mutter and swear behind my mask with no-one any the wiser. >;-)
In better news, the library is due to restart reservations as of the beginning of August, so I can go on an ordering spree - and probably feel completely overwhelmed a few weeks later!

Second jab tomorrow, so that's another step in the right direction.

jul 8, 6:58am

>166 rosalita: >171 Helenliz: What Helen says! I’ve been double jabbed but I’m classed in clinically extremely vulnerable and I’m terrified. I will be responding by not going anywhere, I think. At the moment I so wish I didn’t live in England, I’d so like to live in Wales where they have a more sensible approach to this.

jul 8, 9:39am

>169 lyzard: which in turn gives you a chance to do a bit more catching up?

I won't turn it down. I caught up just a little in March, when I read both Shoes of the Fisherman and The Spy Who Came In From the Cold ... then a reading slump took me right back to where I was. I'm hoping to finish both The Arrangement and Airport this month, but we'll see ...

Redigerat: jul 8, 6:19pm

>170 kac522:

Hi, Kathy! Me neither, but it's been that kind of reading year! :D

>171 Helenliz:

As someone who spends most of her time avoiding people anyway, this has been relatively easy on me, but of course I know there are many struggling. Cases are still being diagnosed at the moment so whether it ends next week as it's supposed to remains to be seen.

I do so much habitual talking (and swearing!) to myself now, I'm kind of scared I won't be able to break the habit!

>172 SandDune:

Hi, Rhian! Yes, this is a situation to make the misanthropes feel justified, I'm afraid. I don't blame you at all for feeling like that, though I will say that at the beginning of this current upsurge, we had a group of fifty exposed and the six who weren't infected were vaccinated, so you should be able to have confidence in that, if not the people around you.

>173 swynn:

Yes, I was thinking you're a bit further along than you are, since I've been held up and interrupted so often. I'm very interested to see if you react to The Arrangement as strongly as I did. And while I doubt it was what Arthur Hailey was going for, I found Airport very refreshing! - just a novel, you know?

jul 8, 6:47pm

Finished Elsie's Vacation And After Events for TIOLI #4.

Now reading The House Of Peril by Louis Tracy.

jul 8, 6:49pm

...and am now feeling particularly worried about this lockdown, as I have just realised I have a shot at a TIOLI sweep this month...but only if I can get access to my library books in time.

And yes, I am ashamed of myself...

jul 8, 8:25pm

>174 lyzard: Well right now it's a weird combination of, "This is better writing than average for this project." And also, "Dude. Just. Stop." But it's still early.

jul 8, 11:18pm

>177 swynn:

The Narrator: "He did not stop." :D

Redigerat: jul 9, 8:01pm

Publication date:
Genre: Mystery / thriller
Series: Bony #5
Read for: Series reading / TIOLI (country starts with a vowel)

Winds Of Evil - The small town of Carie, in far-west New South Wales, is tormented by a killer who strikes under cover of the howling sand-storms that arise out of the western desert. Two years before, a part-aboriginal woman, Alice Tindall, was found strangled outside the town; while during the previous March, a young tradesman called Frank Marsh met a similar fate. A police detective was sent from Broken Hill to investigate, but with his heavy-handed methods and ignorance of the outback, he only succeeded in making enemies. Now another young woman, Mabel Storrie, is attacked and left for dead... When the local police learn that a stranger called Joe Fisher was camped near to the site of the latest attack, they think they've found their killer---only to learn that Fisher is really Detective-Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte... Winds Of Evil is an unusual entry in Arthur Upfield's "Bony" series. In effect, it is a serial-killer story, though of course no such term had yet been conceived; and while it is fascinating to discover the mid-30s thinking around such cases, the story turns on some uncomfortable contemporary ideas about hereditary, and about the nature of mental illness. The investigators of the Carie murders are unsure whether the killer is driven to his acts by the extreme weather conditions - the narrative dwells upon the literally electric atmosphere that accompanies the sand-storms, and their often deleterious effects upon the individual - or whether he is shrewd enough to use the storms to cover his tracks---and able to control himself in between them. For it is soon obvious that these crimes are purely a matter of blood-lust: there is no robbery, no assault, no "type"; just a victim's momentary vulnerability and an overwhelming urge to kill... In Winds Of Evil, as in the preceding series entry, Mr Jelly's Business, Arthur Upfield takes his time about describing the town of Carie: its isolated setting, its residents, their usual occupations---and the way in which Bony, still posing as the itinerant Joe Fisher, integrates himself into the community, this time obtaining work clearing boundary fences. The only people who know the truth are Constable Donald Lee and Martin Borradale, the young owner of the Wirragatta Station, who sent for him in the first place; not even Sergeant Simone, who returns from Broken Hill to continue his blustering, ham-fisted investigation, is allowed in on the secret. Bony's investigation has two different phases: he must determine who was in town at the time of all three attacks, and therefore could be guilty; and by examination of the crime scenes, he must discover how the killer was able to take his victims unawares. Despite the destruction caused by the storms, Bony is able to "read" the physical environment of the attacks and learns a great deal about the killer and his movements. But in such an unusual case, even Bony may make mistakes: he - of all people! - allows himself to be influenced by the local feeling against the ugly, physically powerful, bad-tempered station cook, known as "Hang-Dog Jack"; he misinterprets the actions the one of his suspects, and crosses him off his list prematurely; and, growing frustrated while exploring his theory of how the murders were committed, he falls into a momentary period of inattention---a lapse that nearly costs him his life...

    At the foot of this tree Bony determied to spend the night. He sat down with his back against its trunk, facing the north and the township, now masked from him by the intervening bluebush. No one could pass along the creek track without being observed. The circumference of the trunk at his shoulders was about five feet, and the knowledge was comforting that even a gorilla could not attack him from its far side and throttle him. Because of his dark clothes and skin, no one could see him from the branches this black, humid and sinister night. Yet, to him, anyone up among the branches would be silhouetted against the sky.
    When he had taken up this position, Bony's nerves became less taut. He felt much less vulnerable to attack than he had done when walking to and from the leopardwood-tree. He was not a powerful man---not even a very robust one---and he knew that he would be no match for a man who could strangle with his hands a young fellow like Frank Marsh.
    It says much for Bony that he essayed this vigil. The fears and inhibitions of his mother's people were in his blood, and like all clever men his imaginative power was much too strong for this kind of work. Reasoning is for daylight, when the primal man in each of us can be, and is, forced back into the mists of time. Like many a white man who knows his bush, Bony believed in the bush spirit named by the blacks as "bunyip", the spirit that gloats over the unfortunate who, alone, meets with accident, the spirit which lurks close by to a dry waterhole and watches the arrival of men without water. It is everywhere, the bunyip. It watches from the heart of every bush, from behind every tree-trunk, from the summit of every sand-hill and from the foot of every mirage.
    There was something about this foul Strangler which was almost supernatural. In the wind and the dust of night he pounced and slew until his lust was appeased...

Redigerat: jul 10, 7:49pm

Publication date: 1928
Genre: Mystery / thriller
Series: Luther Bastion #1
Read for: Series reading / TIOLI ('x' in title)

Six Minutes Past Twelve - After some strenuous travels, the friends Professor Bastion and Major Ketting-Bevis take a cottage in the country. The declared purpose of this interlude is rest and reading; and the Major is annoyed when Professor Bastion responds to an invitation from Samuel Dubeyne of Penbridge Hall. When he arrives for tea, the Major is even more dismayed: though he plays "the Squire" with some enthusiasm, Dubeyne is an unsavoury type who has filled his house with unlikely country guests. Though Bastion, with his limitless interest in human nature, enjoys the interlude, the Major only wants to put distance between themselves and the Dubeyne menage---a desire destined to be unfulfilled. The next day, the body of Samuel Dubeyne is found lying in a creek bed near his property in what looks like suicide; but Bastion isn't so sure... The first in the series by "Gavin Holt" (Australian author Charles Rodda), Six Minutes Past Twelve acts as a pleasing introduction Professor Luther Bastion. A scientist and author of high standing, Bastion is an anthropologist by profession; though he has interests in many fields, including criminology. However - thankfully - Bastion is not the annoyingly know-it-all type of amateur detective, but a quiet, self-deprecating man with a great interest in people and a lively sense of humour. His methods are chiefly scientific, though his understanding of human nature is also vital; while he has own ideas about the difference between "the law" and "justice"... As it turns out, Professor Bastion has dabbled before in criminal investigation; and while the officious Inspector Kipler wants none of his help in what does indeed turn out to be the murder of Samuel Dubeyne, the Chief Constable, Arthur Warnaple, has worked with him previously and is only too glad of his assistance---particularly when, as it is soon established, there is no shortage of suspects and motives. Dubeyne was involved in corrupt practices in both business and horse-racing; he was dabbling in the sale of political information; he may have been involved in a series of jewel robberies; and he had deserted his wife and daughter, leaving them almost destitute. Indeed---the overriding mystery is really why no-one murdered him sooner... To the exasperation of Inspector Kipler and his subordinate, Sergeant Slattery, almost everything they thought they had determined about Dubeyne's death is contradicted by Bastion's investigation. Even the medical evidence, in addition to a neighbour's report of hearing the fatal shot the night before, is called into question when the butler reports speaking to his employer after that time. While the police work to establish the movements of Dubeyne's house-guests and others with motive on the night of the murder, Bastion's investigation begins to follow a different path, as he conversely tries to establish Dubeyne's own actions, discovering in the process a possible motive for the murder entirely unknown to the police---and to the dismay of the conventional Major Kettering-Bevis, keeping his discoveries entirely to himself...

    "What about the rubbish you picked out of the cracks in the floor?" inquired Bevis, and for answer the Professor went to his microscope. A moment he was busy with his slides. Then he applied himself to the eyepiece. He looked up calmly after his study.
    "Blood," he said quietly. "Particles of human blood! Sammy's blood! Are you satisfied?"
    Bevis was more excitable. "Warnaple and Kilper will have to thank you for this," he declared. "Why, you've done more than any of them. We'd better get right over to the Hall. Kilper may not have left. Let's try."
    Deliberately the Professor shook his head. "I think not," he said. "There's more in this than I can understand. We don't want to be hasty."
    "But heavens, man! It's for the police to follow up this clue."
    "Aren't we capable?" inquired Bastion.
    "Oh, but look here, we can't take the responsibility."
    "We can. We're going to."
    "It's too serious." Bevis snorted angrily and tugged at his moustache. "Why, it's---it's obstructing the police. We can't hold this back from them."
    The Professor was obdurate. He rose from his seat at the desk and strode upstairs towards the bathroom. "I don't do a thing until I know what it is I'm doing," he piped as he went. "We haven't begun to understand this business. I want to understand it---fully."

Redigerat: jul 9, 9:24pm


If you get tired of insulting people by telling them that they're living the life of a potato, I've got another possibility for you:

    "When we took this cottage for the summer," he said, "it was agreed that we should live in strict retirement. I brought down with me from London fourteen volumes of Trollope, to say nothing of the works of Miss Austen..."
    Professor Bastion stood beside the comfortable, hammock-like canvas chair... He addressed the reclining Bevis. "You have all the social proclivities of a duck-billed platypus," he complained.

jul 9, 10:31pm

May stats:

Works read: 12
TIOLI: 12, in 11 different challenges, with 1 shared read

Mystery / thriller: 5
Historical romance: 2
Young adult: 2
Classic: 2
Contemporary drama: 1

Series works: 7
Re-reads: 1
Blog reads: 0
1932: 0
1931: 0
Virago / Persephone: 0
Potential decommission: 0

Owned: 0
Library: 5
Ebooks: 7

Male authors : female authors: 8 : 4

Oldest work: The Doctor's Family by Margaret Oliphant (1863)
Newest work: The Arrangement by Elia Kazan (1967)


YTD stats:

Works read: 59
TIOLI: 59, in 51 different challenges, with 5 shared reads

Mystery / thriller: 30
Classic: 11
Young adult: 8
Historical romance: 3
Contemporary drama: 2
Historical drama: 2
Horror: 2
Non-fiction: 1

Series works: 35
Re-reads: 8
Blog reads: 5
1932: 0
1931: 2
Virago / Persephone: 2
Potential decommission: 3

Owned: 9
Library: 16
Ebooks: 34

Male authors : female authors: anonymous authors: 35 : 23 : 1

Oldest work: The Reviv'd Fugitive: A Gallant Historical Novel by Peter Belon (1690)
Newest work: Miracle Creek by Angie Kim (2019)

Redigerat: jul 9, 10:32pm

Yes, I feel a bit like this too...

jul 10, 5:52am

>183 lyzard: yay! reclining sloth!!

>181 lyzard: *snort*

I enjoy reading your reviews of obscure books that I only rarely feel the need to wish to read myself. >:-)

jul 10, 8:17am

>181 lyzard: Oh, I like that one! "The social proclivities of a duck-billed platypus" just *sounds* mean.

But if duck-billed platypuses (platypi?) like to read, you may need to incorporate them into your goal-reaching celebrations, along with the sloths, lemurs and marmosets...

jul 10, 8:18am

>183 lyzard: SLOTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"!!!!!

Perfect image for a rainy Saturday morning here in Iowa. That's me today.

jul 10, 8:33am

>180 lyzard: Just curious, where did you find this available to read? Sounds like one I would like.

jul 10, 9:51am

>180 lyzard: My favorite kind of murder mystery victim: How on earth did s/he live that long?

>181 lyzard: But, but…fourteen Trollopes and Austen’s six major novels, combined with a summer of “complete retirement”: who wouldn’t want that?

Hmm. Perhaps I’d better look up the platypus. I don’t think I have venom in my toenails, but who can be sure?

It’s probably too late to improve my social proclivities.

Redigerat: jul 10, 4:03pm

>181 lyzard: I'm aware that this is missing the point, but ... are platypuses (platypusses? platypi? platypodes?) generally characterized as a- or antisocial? (Maybe to avoid the embarrassment of choosing the wrong plural? ("Silly human, there *is* no plural.")) I have no sense of cultural references here, and am curious.

I read the Wikipedia article, which is ambiguous on this question -- I infer that platypX are not especially social except during mating season, but also no inference that they're especially reclusive. There is this:

According to one story of the upper Darling River, the major animal groups, the land animals, water animals and birds, all competed for the platypus to join their respective groups, but the platypus ultimately decided to not join any of them, feeling that he did not need to be part of a group to be special, ....

Oh wow, yeah, that fits.

" .... and wished to remain friends with all of those groups."

Or maybe not.

Redigerat: jul 10, 7:47pm

>184 Helenliz:

Thanks. I think? :D

>185 rosalita:, >186 rosalita:

I'm not sure I have any more 'occasions' to fit in another animal!

Ugh! It's been rainy here for days too. it's supposed to be clearing today, and it'd better, because I'm about at the end of my tether.

>187 NinieB:

Oh, Ninie, that's the one I had to read at our State Library. They hold it (and most if not all of the series, I gather / hope) because the author is Australian, but I'm not aware many of these have ever been reissued, unfortunately.

I mean to be plugging away at the series, though - assuming we get library access again at some point - so at least you can keep up with them here.

>188 bohemima:

And then of course there's the actual motive! He wanted shooting, all right...

Yes, I am entirely on the Major's side in that argument!

>189 swynn:

Strictly it should be platypodes, but that just never caught on. Scientists tend to use 'platypus' as both the singular and plural, but generally it's 'platypuses'.

I think it's a reference to the fact that they live in underwater burrows. :)

But what it really is, is one of the Australian allusions that Gavin Holt liked to slip into his books. So while the Major is reading Trollope and Austen, the Professor is busy with "a weighty volume on Australian aborigines". And the first suspect in the case, Dubeyne's horse-trainer, is Australian: he very loudly (and rightly) threatens his employer's life when Dubeyne threatens to shoot one of their horses (so yet another motive!). He didn't do it - the horse isn't hurt, so of course not - but his subsequent behaviour allows the narrator to observe parenthetically, "Oh, these colonials...!" :D

jul 10, 7:46pm

You know what's annoying?

An omnibus without an index of start pages

jul 10, 8:08pm

Finished The House Of Peril for TIOLI #12.

Now reading The Choice by Philip MacDonald.

jul 10, 8:18pm

>191 lyzard: Ugh, so true. I just bought an ebook omnibus of Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan Novels, and there is no Table of Contents at all. Just pages of blurbs and then boom! the first book. If I want to skip to one of the other books I can only page forward by trial and error.

Fortunately I always download my ebooks and back them up in Calibre, which has a tool to easily split the file into separate books. But to not even provide a simple page of links to the first page of each book is baffling. I assume it's because it was originally published as a boxed set of paperbacks so there was no existing ToC. But it's still crappy.

jul 10, 8:32pm

>190 lyzard: Yes, I will keep up here!

jul 10, 11:23pm

>193 rosalita:

The book in question is an Internet Archive scan so I don't have that option in this case, but that's a good tip about Calibre.

>194 NinieB:

I skipped or missed the first two books in this series when I originally started it (probably started on the 1931 entry by accident!) but I will be re-reading those when I've caught up. You know---if and when...

jul 11, 7:02pm

Finished The Choice for TIOLI #9.

Now reading The Swimming Pool by Mary Roberts Rinehart.

jul 12, 9:43am

*tiptoes in*
Technically it would be platypodes, if you want to stay strictly with the Greek origins of the word, but because it's a card-carrying member of the English language, it's also fully legal and correct to make it platypuses. Platypi is just...wrong. (That's a Latin plural noun ending, not a Greek one.)
*tiptoes out*

Redigerat: jul 12, 6:03pm

>197 scaifea:

The rejection of 'platypodes' is aesthetic rather than grammatical, though it's interesting it has no traction even in the scientific community.

Mind you, with an animal as freaky as the platypus, a little mixing of Greek and Latin would have a certain justification. :)

jul 12, 6:11pm

>190 lyzard: Thanks for this. "Underwater burrow" actually sounds appealing ...

>197 scaifea: Then you really won't like what the Oxford English Dictionary has to say:

Plural platypuses, platypi, (rare) platypusses, (rare) platypodes.

>198 lyzard: I do like the argument that with platypuses, the unreasonable has sound reason.

Redigerat: jul 12, 6:59pm

>199 swynn:

Ugh, damn, I hate it when dictionaries give into common word misuse!

Well, considering how many years people in Britain refused to believe that the platypus was real and not just a fake stitched together as a joke---! :D

jul 13, 8:14am

>199 swynn: Meh, what do those OED people know anyway. Pshaw.

jul 13, 5:32pm

The OED is descriptive rather than prescriptive so if enough people are (mis)using a word, they'll document it. It's why "literally" has two definitions that mean the opposite things these days. :)

jul 13, 6:37pm

>202 MickyFine:

It is a very sad day when you can look up the meaning of a word in the dictionary and come away none the wiser. :(

jul 13, 10:11pm

Speaking of sad days...

Lockdown extended to 30th July.

So no library books at all this month.

So no TIOLI sweep either.


I coulda been someone, instead of---well, you know how that quote goes.


jul 13, 10:55pm

>204 lyzard: I'm sorry to hear that, Liz. I hope it's the last time you'll have to do this.

jul 14, 12:53am

>205 rosalita:

It honestly doesn't feel like there's an end in sight. And such a chunk of it is people being stupid and selfish. That's pretty hard to take.

Redigerat: jul 14, 1:05am

Anyway...on top of everything else the weather is foul, so I bundled up in bed and finished The Swimming Pool for TIOLI #8.

Most of the rest of what I planned is now out the window...though of course I do still have a shared read on the table (or at least, I do if the other party remembers!):

Now reading The Mystery Of The Green Ghost by Robert Arthur.

jul 14, 7:34am

>207 lyzard: I do still have a shared read on the table (or at least, I do if the other party remembers!)

Oh hey now, I resemble that remark! Just because I only got around to The Mystery of the Whispering Mummy recently doesn't mean I'm abandoning you!

jul 14, 7:41am

>208 rosalita: I was wondering if she was directing that particularly pointed remark at me! I have a copy of The Conqueror, I just need to fit it into the schedule if someone can get hold of her copy.

Redigerat: jul 15, 5:38am

>208 rosalita:

Just nudging! :D

>209 Helenliz:

Alas, no, quite the other way around: The Conqueror is one of the books sitting off-limits at my library, so I definitely won't be getting to it before August...August hopefully.

If it suits you better to go ahead now, don't wait for me. I'm not in a position to be making any plans or promises that don't involve Green Ghosts... :)

jul 15, 1:16am

>204 lyzard: ahem, that's CONTENDAH.

>206 lyzard: Not fun at all, but one could be on the other spectrum, like England: opening up in 5 days with 32,000+ cases a day and rising. I am so afraid we are going in that direction here in the U.S.

Redigerat: jul 15, 5:41am

>211 kac522:


It's hard to know what the right thing to do is: lockdown feels like the better option (and as I say, the problem was that they didn't go sooner), but you do hear about people struggling with their mental health through this.

It would of course help if you could trust people to follow the rules but apparently that's out of the question...

jul 15, 5:44am

>211 kac522: Oh yes, we're very proud to be blazing a trail here. *SPANG!!!* Sorry, the irony meter has broken under the strain. I'm now double jabbed and still can't see myself going down a pub on a busy Friday night unless I can sit in the garden.

The Conqueror was to share a read with you, so I'll wait until you have it available. I've got The Grand Sophy for this month.

jul 15, 5:48am

>213 Helenliz:

I can't get access to one at the moment so I'm not going anywhere except an occasional grocery dash.


If that works for you, great, but don't feel obliged to wait for me; thanks!

jul 15, 6:05pm

Finished The Mystery Of The Green Ghost for TIOLI #11.

Now reading Courier To Marrakesh by Valentine Williams.

jul 15, 6:17pm

>215 lyzard: Any kitties in disguise in Green Ghost, Liz?

Redigerat: jul 16, 5:32pm

Publication date: 1933
Genre: Mystery / thriller
Series: Reginald Fortune #8
Read for: Series reading / TIOLI (bingo card)

Mr Fortune Wonders - The eighth entry in H. Bailey's series featuring medical detective, Reggie Fortune, is a collection of long-ish short stories that, among other things, illustrate the peculiar and shifting morality of the series as a whole. Most seriously, though Reggie is frequently outraged will be outraged at the thought of someone presuming to take a life, on more than one occasion we find him arranging or allowing a death if he can't resolve a case any other way. Meanwhile, we get the usual surfeit of Reggie's repetitive exclamations, his constant "murmuring" and "moaning", and his tendency to divide everything into "nasty" or "nice"; though the latter irritations are somewhat offset by his fierce championing of the vulnerable, particularly children, and his devotion to his wife (and his cat; see below); while the emphasis upon medical evidence and aberrant psychology was still unusual at this time. In The Cigarette Case, the existing cross-currents in an isolated household consisting of a father and two daughters reach a new peak when the three become acquainted with their parish's new curate---who is soon found dead at the bottom of a cliff... In The Yellow Diamonds Reggie is consulted by a young police officer accused of being drunk on duty, in a case which expands to include false imprisonment, a jewel robbery, an unidentified corpse, and a missing girl in deadly danger... In The Lilies Of St. Gabriel's, Reggie and Joan's visit to Cornwall to see the ancient water-garden of the eccentric and unhappy Lord Colant lands them in the middle of escalating tensions that end in calculated humiliation and attempted murder... In The Gipsy Moth, when an elderly lady is found strangled to death, the police pursue her grandson and heir, while Reggie investigates the presence at the scene of a rare moth... In The Fairy Cycle, a village is plagued by destructive attacks upon the residents' gardens in what looks like simple vandalism, but may be something more serious... In The Oleander Flowers, after a man receives a series of anonymous letters making threats against the life of his infant daughter infant daughter, Reggie's investigation discovers an ongoing campaign against the child's life... In The Love Bird, a request that Reggie investigate why one of a pair of birds has fallen out of love with its mate lands him in the middle of a major financial conspiracy... In The Old Bible, Reggie is called in on a disturbing case of a small boy apparently attempting murder...

    Lomas put up his eyeglass and stared. "I've known you some time, Reginald," he said slowly, "But this is the most impudent thing yet. What about Kendal shooting?"
    "Oh, quite irrelevant. Kendal won't be called. Doctor says he's not well enough. If any officious servant butts in with a story about bein' waked by shots, it doesn't matter. Medical evidence is clear. Doctor had the advantage of Mr Fortune's assistance." He smiled Upon Lomas. "No better opinion."
    "Good Gad!" Lomas exclaimed. "I like your conscience! You're trusted to bring out the truth!"
    "Oh, yes. Yes. So I do. The higher truth. Spiritual truth. Death was accidental. Accidental consequence of her own passions."
    "Accidental!" Lomas flung back in his chair. "What it all comes to is, you arranged for the woman to die."
    "Not me. No. I arranged to prevent a murder," said Reggie, and his blue eyes were calm and cold. After a moment they softened. "My dear chap!" he purred. "You're so superficial. The real issue was the baby's life. Nice baby. I'm going to play with her. She likes me. Babies do..."

Redigerat: jul 15, 7:45pm

Darius is back!

    His hands and his knees were occupied by the splendour of the black Persian cat Darius, who in kind moments permits his affection. The eyes of Darius were no more than two threads of gold as he purred to the skilful fingers. The eyes of Mr Fortune were closed.
    A maid opened the door. Darius shook his head from the fingers and sat up, wide golden eyes blazing wrath. "Beautiful cat," Mr. Fortune murmured pathetically. His eyes remained shut. His hands came back to soothe.
    "Someone to see you, sir," the maid said.
    Darius bit the hands, jumped down, and went to sit in the window with his back to them all...


    On Sunday afternoon, while he sat in his garden and his black Persian cat Darius sang to him from his knee louder and louder as skilful fingers rubbed the black ear, they heard the telephone ring.
    Darius, who objects to telephones, shook off the hand indignantly, sat up and reproached him with large golden eyes. A maid came to announce that Superintendent Bell was asking for Mr Fortune. Darius jumped down and, with tail erect and waving disdain, retired from these human vulgarities. "Darlin'," Reggie sighed...

It occurs to me that Darius is beginning to occupy the same place in this series as Dr Fu Manchu's marmoset...

jul 15, 7:44pm

>216 rosalita:

No, but a dog helps to solve the case this time. :)

Still no shortage of cats in my reading, though, as per >218 lyzard: :D

jul 15, 8:03pm

Publication date: 1883
Genre: Mystery / thriller
Read for: Completist reading

X Y Z: A Detective Story - This standalone short story by Anna Katharine Green is an entertainingly melodramatic piece of writing, but also one with something of a sense of humour. A young Secret Service operative is sent from Washington to a small town in Massachusetts that seems to be at the centre of the distribution of counterfeit money. The only clue, a tenuous one, is a suspicious correspondence addressed to someone calling himself 'XYZ". With the cooperation of the postal officials, the operative sees the individual to whom the letters are addressed and even gets a glimpse of the contents of one, which are suspicious enough: in oblique terms they make reference to a secret meeting and a mask, and the code-word, counterfeit. Investigation determines that the matter involves a masquerade party to be held at the home of the usually reserved and self-contained Benson family. Appropriately disguised, the detective infiltrates the party---where he finds nothing to do with counterfeiting, but everything to do with murder...

    "Now," said I, as soon as I found myself alone, "shall I proceed with this farce, or shall I end it? To go on means to interview Mr Benson, acquaint him with what has come to my knowledge during the last half hour in which I have so successfully personified his son, and by these means perhaps awake him to the truth concerning this serious matter of Joseph's innocence or Hartley's guilt; while to stop now implies nothing more nor less than a full explanation with his son, a man of whose character, manners, and disposition I know little or nothing."
    Either alternative presented infinite difficulties, but of the two the former seemed to me more feasible and less embarrassing. At all events, in talking with Mr Benson, I should not have the sensibilities of a lover to contend with, and however unfortunate in its results our interview might be, would be at the mercy of old blood instead of young, a point always to be considered in a case where one's presumption has been carried beyond the bounds of decorum...

jul 16, 9:00am

>219 lyzard: Oooh, a dog! Much better than a cat. Especially a diva like Darius. :-D

jul 16, 5:29pm

Redigerat: jul 16, 9:48pm

Publication date: 1930
Genre: Mystery / thriller
Series: Harley Manners #3
Read for: Series reading / TIOLI (author's initials alphabetical order)

Murder In A Library - On a miserable afternoon, reporter Carty Rand goes to the public library to kill an hour, it being situated across the street from the police station. Inside he finds that many other people, including the poor, the homeless, and a few criminal types, have also taken refuge there, amongst the regulars. He recognises Joe White, a petty thief, and notices that he seems very interested in the office of Ruby Merton, the senior librarian who has charge of the reading-room. Finally, his professional instincts roused, Rand decides to drop in on Ruby, with whom he is acquainted---only to find her dead, strangled; and from the condition of the body, not long before; and though fifty or sixty people were within earshot, it turns out that no-one heard a thing... I finally compelled myself to skip The Shadow Of Evil, the all-but-unobtainable second book in Charles J. Dutton's Harley Manners series, and move on to the third. The first book in series, Streaked With Crimson (also the last in the John Bartley series), was interesting, with psychologist Harley Manners bringing a new dimension to Dutton's mysteries. However, Murder In A Library was a disappointment for a variety of reasons. It suffers from two frequent faults in American mysteries of this time: its plot gets mixed into the doings of gangsters and bootleggers; and its police are unforgivably sloppy---neither securing the crime scene or even searching it properly, so two more crimes are committed after the first. Moreover, Dutton conceives his police as so stupid, or at least so uncultured, that they are barely able to grasp the thought of a book being so valuable as to be worth committing a crime over---as proves to be the case. In addition we have the fact that Dutton, writing for serialisation, pads his narrative beyond forgiveness, particularly in his minutely circumstantial account of a drive to an isolated spot in the country, which goes on for pages. Things look up a bit when Harley Manners appears, but only a bit: he enters the case when he is consulted by Chief of Police Rogan, with whom he has worked before. However, despite his supposed expertise in aberrant psychology, everything we get from Manners here is very much of the dime-store variety---particularly with respect to the victim, who is stigmatised over and over again as "an old maid", and therefore by definition neurotic, bitter, jealous and generally nasty (because marriage turns everyone into a sweetheart, right? - or maybe it just breaks their spirit); and though the motive for the murder turns out to be the silencing of Ruby Merton before she can reveal the theft of some valuable holdings, Manners, via Dutton, cannot stop dwelling on how unpleasant she was / must have been. And as if this isn't enough, we also get some extremely peculiar observations regarding the nature of librarians (which deserve quoting in full; see below). Apart from these "insights", Manners' investigation focuses upon the motive for Ruby Merton's murder, her discovery that three rare and valuable old pamphlets had been stolen and replaced with reprints. Though it is evident from the crime scene that Ruby must have known her killer, and perhaps admitted him - or her - via the second door to her office, this discovery narrows the field even more---to those who knew about the holdings, and had the knowledge to effect the substitution. When the head librarian, Spicer, is found dead, leaving a letter of confession, it looks like the case has closed itself; but Manners has his doubts...

    "Ten thousand dollars for three old books. That's a lot of money. But there is one flaw in what you say. What was to stop the library from having sold them long ago?"
    "They could not sell them. It's nine years since Rice died---and his will contained a clause that they must not be sold until ten years passed by. They have been stolen, all right."
    "And you think the old lady found that out on the morning she was killed. That was the reason she was all excited and went rushing round."
    Of this Manners felt certain. The early Americana were the most valuable items the library possessed. They were kept in the safe, no doubt were scarcely ever looked at. At long intervals they might be brought out and shown. Ruby Merton must have discovered on the morning of her death that they were gone. What was more, she had an idea who had taken them.
    There seemed no doubt of this, and he went into a long explanation to prove his point. The librarian was a secretive soul, jealous of her position. No one would have been taken into her confidence except Spicer. He, however, had been out of town and did not return until noon. During the afternoon the woman had tried three times to see him. Manners was positive she wished to tell him the pamphlets had been stolen.
    Rogan listened attentively, nodding his head in agreement. They now had a motive for the murder. Yet it was the most absurd motive he had ever stumbled upon...

Redigerat: jul 16, 10:08pm


    "Many of the women in that building have been there for years. Their lives are cramped to the extent that they are a bit unnatural. As they grow older, like all people who have put away from them a home and children, they become a little self-centred. Once, I suppose, there were more jealousies and more neurotics in our public libraries than in any other place, unless in the churches...
    "Once libraries were run only by women and by women who were given the jobs because of two things---family or position. It was thought anyone could hand out books. So the libraries were filled with narrow, repressed, neurotic women, whose outlook on life had become a bit warped and soured. You see, in that case, instead of saying nothing could happen in a library, you should have said, anything might happen."


Could it be anyone on the library staff? As a rule librarians were not bookish people...


The library staff would know they were in the safe, but they would not be very much interested in the safe or its contents. When the day's work was over, books were the last thing they wished to see...

Redigerat: jul 16, 10:11pm

Nota bene:

Neither Manners nor Rogan, to whom he is speaking, is married with children...

jul 17, 6:03am

>225 lyzard: One might wonder why... *rolls eyes*

jul 17, 6:46pm

>226 Helenliz:

Because they're made for each other? :D

jul 17, 7:02pm

Finished Courier To Marrakesh for TIOLI #16...and also FINISHED A SERIES!!

In fact---I think I've finished two. From its beginning, Valentine Williams' Clubfoot series overlapped his stories dealing with Francis and Desmond Okewood of the Secret Service (mostly the latter). However, the Okewoods also appeared in books not featuring Adolph Grundt, and vice-versa. The last real appearance by one of the brothers was in Clubfoot The Avenger; since then there has been a cameo in The Fox Prowls and a name-check in the Spider's Touch; and I suspect that's all there is.

The matter is somewhat confused by an annoying tendency to list Williams' espionage thrillers as a series - "the Secret Service series" - which they are not. (I think his publisher used to list them like that, but just as an ad.) This has been mostly taken care of since the series listing clean-up but you do still find a few stragglers. OTOH I have found no definite reference suggesting another book about the Okewoods, so I'm drawing a line---whoo!

And as it happens, we're at the end of my marmoset species, too: the only ones I haven't shown you yet are so rare, it's hard to find any good photos.

So I guess from here it will just be a matter of finding something cute. :)

There you go: two series, two marmosets!---

jul 17, 7:29pm

...and this takes me to the point where my TIOLI plans fall apart in the absence of my library books {*sob*}.

Actually, that's true in two senses: today was supposed to be the end of lockdown, but now it's not only been extended, some areas have been closed down altogether except for health and grocery services.

(Oh...and liquor stores, of course. You know---just the essentials.)

My problem is that my always uncooperative brain is now refusing to budge from its original plans and move onto other books.

So I'll have to find some way of tricking encouraging it into new lines of thought; maybe another series nearing completion?


jul 17, 8:40pm

>228 lyzard: Awww, buddies.

I looked up Valentine Williams in my copy of Hubin's Crime Fiction II. He apparently published only one more book after Courier to Marrakesh, and that is a Horace Treadgold story, Skeleton out of the Cupboard. I think you're safe to declare the Okewoods done.

jul 18, 4:02am

Hurrah on a double series finish! And a double dose of marmosets!!

Can't really offer any useful suggestion on the book brain. I've been unable to reserve a book from another library branch since March last year, which has restricted my library borrowing. I have this thing that I will only go to my local branch. Which is quite small. I think we probably have as many books as they do. It has meant that I have actually read some books off my shelves, which makes a change.

jul 18, 8:01pm

>230 NinieB:

I'm just a bit concerned about an earlier work slipping through my fingers, since Williams was writing these sorts of novels over a twenty five year period.

Ah, yes! I haven't touched the Treadgold series yet, but I guess now it has to go onto The Lists, at least. :)

>231 Helenliz:

Thank you!

My local library is very full of new stuff, so I hardly use it as anything but a conduit for ILLs---except that, somewhat anomalously, it is also the curator of the 1001 Books collection, and has been of some use to me in that respect.

For the most part my shelves have been singularly unhelpful, TIOLI-wise, though I have finally gone that way for my next read...

jul 18, 8:02pm


Now reading Mind Hunter by John Douglas and Mark Olshaker.

Redigerat: jul 18, 9:02pm

>232 lyzard: Hubin says the following are Desmond Okewood works:
The Man with the Clubfoot (1918)
The Secret Hand (1919)
The Return of Clubfoot (1923)
But he doesn't include the ones you mention as Okewood works.

Of course, Miss Mackenzie isn't considered a Palliser novel, yet Lady Glencora has a cameo appearance.

Redigerat: jul 18, 11:35pm

>234 NinieB:

It makes me feel a bit better if even the experts are confused. :)

The most likely scenario was one or both of the Okewoods showing up in a later Clubfoot book, though I know now that isn't the case.

This makes Clubfoot The Avenger even more important, as it is not only the brothers' last major appearance, but they are both prominent in the narrative; they are both in The Man With The Clubfoot, too, though Desmond is the "star". The Fox Prowls, as I've marked, only offers a cameo from one of them (not specified but presumably career-man Francis); while Desmond is importantly name-checked in The Spider's Touch but doesn't actually appear.

All this said, certainly the most important "appearance" by the Okewoods is via Tommy and Tuppence in Partners In Crime. :D

jul 19, 6:21pm

I've finished The Arrangement, read your comments on the last thread, and agree completely. Thanks for mentioning the thematic link to By Love Possessed because it made me feel a little better about the book -- imagine if we'd put up with all of Eddie/Evan/Evangelos's crap *and* Cozzens's prose. It's a small mercy, but I'll take it.

jul 19, 6:26pm

>228 lyzard: And as it happens, we're at the end of my marmoset species, too: the only ones I haven't shown you yet are so rare, it's hard to find any good photos. So I guess from here it will just be a matter of finding something cute. :)

There's always those duck-billed platypodes ...

jul 19, 6:56pm

>236 swynn:

Ouch, yes! :D

The accidental beneficiary here is Arthur Hailey: I'm sure I enjoyed Airport more than its virtues warrant in comparison; it's just a book, you know?

Speaking of which, you may have seen up-thread that Portnoy's Complaint is off the table for me at least until next month (the silver lining of lockdown), so we're more or less caught up again. And hey, it only took a pandemic!

>237 rosalita:

Well, I meant random cute shots of marmosets but I guess that's something to keep in mind. :)

jul 19, 7:08pm

Finished Mind Hunter for TIOLI #7.

Now reading No More Parades by Ford Madox Ford.

jul 20, 7:06pm


I may have found a way to rework my TIOLI sweep.

Ooh, I'm all quivery!

jul 21, 4:32am

>240 lyzard: Good luck!

jul 21, 6:24pm

>241 FAMeulstee:

Thanks! I'm going to have to get my butt in gear, though, because this plan involves some much longer books and time is running out... :D

jul 21, 6:41pm

Speaking of which:

Finished No More Parades for TIOLI #1.

Now reading Perfume by Patrick Süskind.

jul 21, 6:42pm


Nothing makes you bounce out of bed like '6C; feels like 4C'... :(

jul 21, 8:37pm

New thread time already??

It feels like I just did this.