Christmas seems like such a perfect time for a murder, doesn’t it? All the suspects, uh, I mean relatives, are gathered together in what is supposed to be, but seldom is, a joyous occasion. Perhaps that’s why there are so many whodunits centered around a Christmas theme. Including this little gem by little-known author Rupert … Continue reading Murder After Christmas
I’ve been hearing a lot of mentions of William Faulkner in recent months, and as I’ve managed to reach my maturity without reading any of his books, I’ve decided to try to rectify that. Given that even his longest novels are only a fraction of the length of Warren Pease, maybe I’ll have more success. … Continue reading The Biblical Absalom
Once there was a bad little boy whose name was Jim—though, if you will notice, you will find that bad little boys are nearly always called James in your Sunday-school books. It was strange, but still it was true, that this one was called Jim. He didn’t have any sick mother, either—a sick mother who … Continue reading The Bad Little Boy
In 2013 I found myself moving from a house in the Wissahickon neighborhood back into an apartment in Center City Philadelphia, and sadly one of the casualties of that move was the need to rid myself of most of the 2,000 plus books that I had acquired. Included in that hoard were the almost complete … Continue reading The James Joyce Murder
I don’t like stupid people. And when I say that, I mean I don’t like them in real life (I do my best to avoid them, although sometimes that’s just not possible), and I don’t like them in works of fiction. Of course, I make an exception for comic characters, who can be equal parts … Continue reading Fatal Detective
While it’s hard to pick a favorite book among Robert Heinlein’s works, The Door Into Summer is most definitely right there near the top. It’s sort of a Count of Monte Cristo meets H.G. Wells’s The Sleeper Awakes, if I had to come up with a capsule description of it. Daniel Boone Davis, the narrator/protagonist of The Door … Continue reading The Door Into Summer
“I recommend all screenwriters spend time reading Agatha Christie. Just pick a sampling of two Poirots and two Marples. And just see how she does it. And see how clever she is. And see how much logical insight and brilliance is involved in designing these things, particularly in such a fashion where it works … Continue reading Advice for Screenwriters
I’m reading a biography of a famous composer (after finishing ones on Beethoven and Mozart), and while I sort of knew the following information about him, I must have forgotten just how young he was when he experienced it. Can you name this 19th century composer? Answer at the bottom of this post. I’m omitting … Continue reading Can You Name Him?
As I’ve mentioned previously, one of my favorite writers during my teen years was Robert A. Heinlein. He really knew how to spin a spell-binding tale. In addition to many standalone novels, such as The Puppet Masters, Door Into Summer, Double Star, Between Planets, and Red Planet (to name some of my favorites), and short stories such as “—All You … Continue reading Not So Outlandish Now, Is It?
I’ve been a fan of Agatha Christie’s whodunits ever since I was a teenager, and I’ve probably read 90% or more of her mystery novels, many of them more than once. One way of dividing up her stories is to classify them as those where I forget most of the plot (including whodunit) after a … Continue reading Anyone For Tennyson?