Gladys Mitchell "The Dancing Druids" First U.K. edition published by Michael Joseph, 1948, p239.
Tuesday, 30 December 2008
Gladys Mitchell "The Dancing Druids" First U.K. edition published by Michael Joseph, 1948, p239.
Saturday, 27 December 2008
Christmas has now come and gone and Santa bought me a wonderful present this year, that was a new Margery Allingham first edition whose cover will adorn this Blog shortly. In the meantime and as a special treat for Kay.
Charlotte Armstrong, "The Case of the Weird Sisters" First U.K. edition published by John Gifford Ltd, 1943, p191.
FORWARD:_When wealthy James Whitlock decides to marry his secretary, he did not take into consideration the reaction of his three sisters, all of whom are suffering from some sort of affliction. His amazing escapades and the ultimate entrance of MacDougal Duff, one time school teacher, but now solver of murder cases, will hold the readers attention absolutely to the end.
Gladys Mitchell "Noonday and Night" First U.K. edition published by Michael Joseph, 1977, p191.
FORWARD:_Called upon to probe the mysterious disappearance of two touring motor coach drivers, Dame Beatrice, Lestrange Bradley uncovers a racket which involves stolen antiques, smuggling and murder.
Later a third driver is missing, but reappears to tell a tale which Dame Beatrice suspects is only partly true. The story moves from a stately home in Derbyshire to a Cathedral town in West Wales and finishes in a loch-side hamlet not far from Fort William. One slender clue leads to another until the drama is played out and the murderer named.
Coach-party addicts may be able to recognise the various locations and those who contemplate their first coach tour may be reassured by the fact that, according to the story, only the driver-couriers get murdered, never do the passengers.
Sunday, 21 December 2008
Gladys Mitchell, "Lovers Make Moan" first U.K. edition published by Michael Joseph, 1981, p192, jacket Graham Rogers.
Gladys Mitchell, "Death of a Burrowing Mole" first U.K. edition published by Michael Joseph 1982, p204, jacket Graham Rogers.
Anthony Gilbert, "Riddle of a lady" first U.K. edition published for the Crime Club by Collins, 1956, p192.
Tuesday, 16 December 2008
Gladys Mitchell "Death of a Delft Blue" first U.K. edition published by Michael Joseph 1964, p240, jacket by Broom Lynne.Gladys Mitchell, "Here Lies Gloria Mundy" first U.K. edition published by Michael Joseph 1982, p182, jacket by Mark Wilkinson.
Thursday, 4 December 2008
Marion Babson "The Twelve Deaths of Christmas" First U.K. edition published by Collins 1979. p180, cover photograph by Margaret Murray.
Gladys Mitchell "Cold, Lone and Still" First U.K. edition published by Michael Joseph, 1983, p190. Jacket by Graham Rogers.
Gladys Mitchell "The Crozier Pharaohs" First U.K. edition published by Michael Joseph 1984, p189. Jacket by Graham Rogers. This is notable for being the last book Gladys wrote and the third and last to be published posthumously.
Saturday, 15 November 2008
Ngaio Marsh "Opening Night" First U.K. published by Collins for the Crime Club 1951, p256.
Ngaio Marsh " Off with his head" First U.K. published by Collins for the Crime Club, 1957, p287.
Monday, 3 November 2008
Josephine Bell "Death in Clairvoyance" first U.K. edition published by Longmans Green and Co 1949, p244.
Finished this book this morning and to be honest it was a bit of an anti climax to say the least. Recently I have lost my ability in identifying guilty parties, but in this case either everything fell in to place or it was ridiculously easy. All I was originally missing was a motive, but even that became glaringly obvious when first introduced. No quality characterisation, muddlesom rambling ons about psychic powers. The only times I found myself enjoying any parts of the book were when the heroes children got involved. Alright enough, maybe I've been spoilt recently with good choices and was due a downer, but someone else has also been disappointed with a Bell book, so maybe it's not just me. A disappointing 5 out of 10.
So, what's next? Well David Roberts has just released his 9th and penultimate book containing his protagonists Lord Edward Corinth and Verity Brown. Although the previous eight sit upstairs proudly on a makeshift book shelve, I have so far only read the first book.
David Roberts "Sweet Poison" first U.K. edition pub' by Constable 2001, p277, jacket by Ken Leeder.
David Roberts "Bones of the Buried" first U.K. edition pub' by Constable 2001, p342, jacket by Ken Leeder.
The forward to "Bones of the Buried"
Lord Edward Corinth returns to London after six months in New York to find his old sleuthing partner and friend, journalist Verity Browne, insisting he investigate a murder in Madrid. It is 1936 and Spain is about to erupt into civil war. Verity is now correspondent for a national newspaper and passionately committed to defending the Spanish Republic against the Fascist threat. Her lover, David Griffiths-Jones, a senior figure in the Communist Party, has been convicted of murder and Verity appeals to Edward to help save him from the the firing squad, even though she knows he sees him as his rival in love.
Against the odds, he succeeds, but is suddenly called back to England before he can tidy up all the loose ends, in London, Edward becomes embroiled in the investigation of a second murder, that of a banker who had been his contemporary at Eton. Edward uncovers a connection between his dead friend and the victim of the unsolved murder in Spain. Both had been to school with him and there is a third man - another Eton contemporary - whose earlier death in a shooting accident on safari in Kenya now arouses his suspicions.
Lord Edward Corinth and Verity Browne, attracted to each other but at odds politically, join in an awkward alliance to discover the truth. Political and personal danger surrounds them and there is no guarantee that justice will be done and murder avenged.
Tuesday, 28 October 2008
Ghost number 2 showed up a day or two later. This was Mark, a very good friend whom again I had gone school with. He made contact with me through "Friends reunited" and has now e-mailed me and told me a little of what he has done with his life. Although from the outside looking in, everything seems to be rosy in his garden, he has hinted at one or two hurdles that he and his family have had to go through. Whilst i am delighted to have heard from Mark, I know that it won't be as easy for me to communicate with him as it is with either Shell or Kay. Another unfortunate trait I suffer from all in the glorious name of Aspergers. So why more trouble with Mark, well it's got to have something to do with a sense of common ground not shared. We will see where we go with that one.
Ghost number 3, a much more recent acquaintance made, this being the both intelligent and informed Shelly from Minnesota. Jayne and I met Shelly in Ireland and we exchanged e-mail addresses, but for one reason or another I made a mess of writing Shelly's down. I then consigned Shelly to the "Met on holiday, we'll keep in touch, but never do" pile. Oh Shelly I cannot say sorry enough, "Oh yea of little faith" I should have realised that you were sincere when you said you wished to stay in touch.
Cliffs of Moher, beautifully spectacular.
The beach on Inisheer, the smallest of the Aran islands.
Scary monster, just before "All Hallows Eve".
Gladys Mitchell, "The Twenty-Third Man", U.K. first edition published by Michael Joseph, 1957. p 247. Jacket by Kennith Farnhill. A little sub note to this book and that is , it is the only one of Glady's books that I own that carries her signature. It also has an inscription in Latin.
Answers on a post card.
Saturday, 18 October 2008
Anthony Gilbert "The Finger print" U.K. first edition, printed by Collins, 1964, pages256.
My second Gilbert book and it just confirms what I already knew, that these books are well worth both my time and money. Gilbert is a pseudonym for the British author, Lucy Beatrice Malleson 1899-1973. Her first book was published in 1925 under another pseudonym, that of J. Kilmeny Keith. Her first book carrying the name of Anthony Gilbert was published in 1927 "The Tragedy at Freyne ". In total Malleson had 70 books published.Patricia Wentworth "The Finger print" U.K. first edition, printed by Hodder and Stoughton, 1959, pages 254.
This was my first attempt at Patricia Wentworth, and the "blurb" gave me every reason to be optimistic about it.
"The fingerprint was the pride and joy of Jonathan Field's collection, and he enjoyed telling the story of how he acquired it from a self-admitted murderer who was probably still at large. When he himself was murdered, the print was torn from his album."
However, I felt slightly let down at the conclusion of the book. Well worth a read, however given a choice between the two finger prints, I know which one I'd choose.
"And now for something completely different" as somebody said before. I finally got an appointment through to see a psychiatrist, not before time, as it has been 8 months in coming. It will be interesting to see whether there will be any benefit to gain from any consultations.
Thursday, 16 October 2008
Me slurping away at more coffee, in Doolin's Magnetic Music Cafe. A super little stop off.
Sunday, 5 October 2008
Anthony Gilbert has managed to rise to the top of my to read list, however it isn't "Riddle of a lady" as was listed 31/08. No, the one that has fell in to my hands is "The fingerprint". More will follow when read. Meanwhile some Gladys.
Gladys Mitchell, No winding-sheet, first U.K. edition published by Michael Joseph 1984, p208, jacket Graham Rogers.
Gladys Mitchell, Uncoffin'd Clay, first U.K. edition published by Michael Joseph 1980, p189, jacket Graham Rogers.
Baseball final positions; Fleckney Flyers, 201 overall, in the 8 BJ div'
Nice 'n' Sleazy, 161 overall, in the 6 BJ div'
Wednesday, 24 September 2008
Gladys Mitchell, "The Man who grew Tomatoes" first U.K. edition published by Michael Joseph 1959, p248. Wrapper by Kenneth Farnhill.
Gladys Mitchell "Twelve Horses and the Hangmans Noose" first U.K. edition published by Michael Joseph, 1956, p236. Wrapper by Peter Curl.
Wednesday, 17 September 2008
Now I know someone who also found themselves in a rut and has taken huge strides to "reinvent" themselves. Unfortunately I don't think this is within my grasp. The only way I can see myself going forward is to take short little steps. We talked about an issue that's typical for me and occured today. We were at a shop and I stood at the counter quite happy in myself, but Jayne who stood to one side observed that my demeanor gave off what she describes as a menacing and aggressive look. Now certain people react to this demeanor in negative manners and this can then effect me and escalation can follow. I then find myself having an experience that will stay with me for sometimes hours, days or weeks. One of the curses of Aspergers.
Anyway, enough moaning, some covers. Gladys Mitchell's two 1974 publications.
" A Javelin for Jonah ", U.K. first edition, published by Michael Joseph, 1974, p200.
"Winking at the Brim", U.K. first edition, published by Michael Joseph,1974, p192
Saturday, 6 September 2008
Dame Beatrice Lestrange Bradley is invited to visit a man named Romilly Lestrange who claims kinship with her through her first husband. He wants her to examine his young wife, who, he states, has contracted a strange habit of throwing inanimate and also animate objects into the sea off a place called Dancing Ledge.
Dame Beatrice soon decides that there is little substance in the tale. Moreover, the girl denies that she is married to Lestrange and declares that he has kidnapped her in order to cheat her out of her inheritance.
Dame Beatrice is convinced that neither of these accounts covers the facts, and the sudden and unaccountable death of a younger member of the Lestrange family causes her to begin a serious search for the truth and for the murderer. This results in a story directly descended from victorian melodrama, with an urban villain and a modest hero in the best melodramatic tradition, with Dame Beatrice, as usual, the dea ex machina.
On page 50 already, and can safely say that i am thoroughly enjoying every word and nuance. This is one of Glady's most highly rated. I will reserve judgement for now.
Baseball latest, Fleckney Flyers, 108 overall, 4 in the BJ div.
Nice 'n' Sleazy, 205 overall, 9 in the BJ div.
Sunday, 31 August 2008
Sunday, 24 August 2008
Tiger in the Smoke, U.K. first edition, 1952, published Chatto & Windus, p272. Jacket by Youngman Carter.The Beckoning Lady, U.K. first edition, 1955, published by Chatto & Windus, p244.
Hide My Eyes, U.K. first edition, 1958, published by Chatto & Windus, p219. Jacket by Youngman Carter.
Friday, 22 August 2008
Baseball latest, Fleckney Flyers, 85 overall, 4 in the BJ div.
Nice 'n' sleazy, 185 overall, 7 in the BJ div.
U.K. first edition, Published for the Crime Club by Collins, 1963, P256. Jacket by Brian Russell.
U.K. first edition. Published for the Crime Club by Collins, 1964, P256.
U.K. first edition. Published for the Crime Club by Collins. 1958. P256.
U.K. first edition. Published for the Crime Club by Collins. 1955. P192.
Tuesday, 19 August 2008
Died in the wool, U.K. first edition, 1945, pub for the crime club by Collins. P256
Thursday, 7 August 2008
The forward reads;
The unusual background for Gladys Mitchell's new novel is two Agricultural Colleges, one for men and the other for women. A woman student is missing and a corpse wearing her clothes is discovered, but the corpse springs a surprise. The scene changes to a holiday camp and then to a hotel in Italy, and after the victim's real identity has been established the murderer has to be tracked down.
Dame Beatrice Lestrange Bradley is called in because her pig-farming nephew holds a temporary post at the College. As always she is well to the fore and her penetrating investigations make Spotted Hemlock an uncommonly entertaining detective novel.
I did enjoy this gladys, although the fate of the murderer was rushed and almost seemed like an inconvenience that had to dealt with. It reminded me very much of another of her later entries; The Death-Cap Dancers, first published 1981, by Michael Joseph, p192, jacket by Graham Rogers.
I have managed to get Jayne hooked onto M.C. Beaton and her Agatha Raisin series of books. Jayne even woke Chelsey up one morning as she howled with laughter, she is now reading the third book in the series whilst I am just starting the second one, The Vicious Vet. Having only read the first in the series, along with Jaynes addiction, I can positively recommend them.
Baseball latest; Fleckney Flyers, 69 overall, 4 in the BJ div
Nice 'n' Sleazy, 259 overall, 10 in the BJ div.
Saturday, 2 August 2008
For my first Anthony Gilbert book, this turned out to be a bit of a treat. I am seriously now going to be after more of the same. It started for me as a bit of a disappointment. I have never read any of the Mickey Spillane type of thriller before, but if I would have to imagine what the characters in those books would be like, then the first chapter of this book would not be out of place. Fortunately the Americanism's either dissipated or I became acclimatised to them. The humour was excellent, the menace was palpable, excitement and adventure was plentiful, and it also contained a surprise or two. Highly recommended. 8 out of 10.
The forward reads as such.
As Arthur Crook came home to Brandon Street he complained to himself that crime and murder were not what they used to be. He was wrong. At that very moment he was heading straight for a case which would call for every weapon in his armoury: deduction, quick thinking, guile and fast action. The rumbustious, red haired solicitor had his curiosity aroused by the odd circumstances of the death of the milliner's budgerigar. It was but a short step from there to wondering where the bird's owner had gone and, with Arthur Crook, to wonder means to run and find out. The more he found out about the quiet, retiring Miss Chisholm the more suspicious he became about what had happened to her, and why. There was no evidence for the police, at that stage. But there was quite enough for Arthur Crook to get into top gear and so give his army of admirers another fast moving story, told with a light touch and allied to a clever plot, which make Out For The Kill a vintage Anthony Gilbert.
Fleckney flyers, 95 overall, 4 in the BJ div.
Nice 'n' sleazy, 304 overall, 11 in the BJ div.