Mike Ripley's latest "Getting Away With Murder" column for the Shots Crime & Thriller Ezine has now been posted on the Shots website.
As usual, it's an eclectic mix of notes from Mike, who appears (among many other photos) in his special elf's hat for Christmas. Parental guidance suggested. He also announces several Shots of the Year Awards in several categories, including a Reissue Shot award to a 1963 mystery called Blue Octavo, by John Blackburn, an author I must admit I don't know. Looks like I may have to rectify my omission in the near future - it sounds intriguing. At any rate, go enjoy Ripley's comments, serious and humorous.
We interrupt the normal posts here to remind you that this blog and this blogger are Amazon Associates. So if you are planning to buy anything online through Amazon.com - whether on Cyber Monday or for any other time - I would greatly appreciate it if you would please use this link to reach Amazon.com, or, if you prefer, use the Amazon search box on the right side of your screen. Doing so will not cost you anything, but I will receive (from Amazon) a very small percentage of your purchase.
A word about books and booksellers: if you have a local independent bookseller - especially one who specializes in mysteries - or if you regularly deal with one by mail order, please continue to do so. I support my own local booksellers and want to keep them in business. If they cannot help you, then by all means try Amazon through one of my links.
Amazon, of course, also sells the Kindle (and if you don't have one, perhaps this would be a good time to discover the pleasures of e-books) and all kinds of non-book merchandise, including music, games, electronic gear, computers, even clothing. By all means, please use this link to explore the possibilities.
Thanks for your consideration. Happy Chanukah, Merry Christmas, and best wishes for whatever you may celebrate in this holiday season. We now return you to your regularly scheduled blog posts.
Here we go again! Each year, Bev - the keeper of the keys at the marvelous blog called My Reader's Block - sponsors a reading challenge involving vintage mysteries. Not one to rest on her laurels for long, Bev has announced plans to hold two vintage mystery reading challenges in 2014 - one "Gold" and the other "Silver."
Both of the challenges will be in the form of a Bingo game. The Gold and Silver cards are identical: each consists of 36 squares, in a six-by-six grid (regular Bingo is played on a card with 25 squares in a five-by-five grid). Each square contains a "rule" - in order to get credit for that square, you must read a mystery that meets the criteria set by that rule. For example, one of the squares says, "Read one book with a color in the title." When you do, you can claim the square. There are all different ways to win - fill in a row or column of six squares, for example.
So what's the difference between the Golden and Silver challenges? Well, for the Golden challenge, all the books must have been first published before 1960. And for the Silver challenge, the books must have been first published between 1960 and 1989. The challenge begins on January 1, 2014, and runs all the way through the year.
For full details, including copies of the Golden and Silver Challenge Cards, be sure to check out the registration site at Bev's blog, where you'll find all the rules, get an idea about the prizes, and register for the challenge. You do NOT have to be a blogger to join in the fun - and to win some books, while you're at it! I'll certainly be going for the Gold...and may try to fill in some squares on the Silver card as well!
Due to some personal conflicts in my schedule, next week's (Monday 10/28) podcast and blog post will happen a day early, on Sunday, 10/27. We'll be back to normal (or as normal as this blog gets) next week. We now return you to your regularly scheduled posts.
It's October, and a new month, once again, brings a new "Getting Away with Murder" column from Mike Ripley in the Shots eZine.
This month, in addition to reflections about, and mini-reviews of, several new books, Ripley also offers us: an account new to me, at least, of the too-close similarities between a Nicholas Blake novel and one by Patricia Highsmith; a farewell tribute to the late Robert Barnard; the possibility of a new crime festival happening in Prague; Margery Allingham (and her book covers) revisited; a look at some new books to be published shortly by John Grisham, Ian Rankin and Michael Connelly; and a contest whose prize is some of the very excellent mysteries by the late Edmund Crispin. What's not to like?
Still on my way home from Bouchercon. Today's podcast and new post will be posted later this afternoon (Monday). Sorry for the delay...
Another month, another new "Getting Away With Murder" column by the irrepressible Mike Ripley in Shots Crime & Thriller eZine.
Among Mike's topics this month: the first Chianti Crime Fest; the deaths of Elmore Leonard and Richard Matheson; e-books for libraries; Nordic crime as written by an Australian author; brief reviews of several books on Ripley's shelves; spies of the 1960s; word of some non-Campion novels by Margery Allingham which, I must confess, comes as news to me; word about a couple of classic mysteries being reissued this fall with new introductions by Ripley; and more. Eclectic? Sure. That's why I read his column. Now go and do likewise.
My review of "Hamlet, Revenge!" (next post) is the review and podcast for the week of August 5. Next one will be posted on August 12, if all goes according to plan. I'm pretty much off the grid for a few days.
We are about to hit the official "dog days" of August. For me, that means some minor schedule shifts for this blog - hopefully nothing to cause any of you dismay.
The main change, at the moment, is that next week's review and podcast, normally sent out on Mondays, will be sent out two days early, on Saturday, August 3. (It will be a review of Hamlet, Revenge!, by Michael Innes, so please do come back to learn more.) The next week's review will be back on the regular schedule, appearing on Monday, August 12.
As I'll be in and out this month, working on a few points of interest as well as my summer tan, I may be a bit slow in responding to your comments. Have no fear - I'll see them all ASAP and will respond. There, I'll bet that makes you sleep better at night, doesn't it?
Anyway, if you have anything interesting you're planning to do in August, I hope you'll enjoy it - and come back refreshed. That's part of my own plan.
If you have been following my blog so far this year, you know that I have been taking part in the Vintage Mystery Reading Challenge which has been under way at the My Reader's Block blog. The idea was to read mysteries, all written by 1960 or earlier, and post reviews of them, along with links to (and from) the challenge page. The moderator, Bev Hankins, provided a list of "scattergories" - 37 in all - in which our vintage books might be classified.
We are now a little more than halfway into the year, and I am pleased to say that I have completed sixteen reviews for the challenge. While participants were only required to make sure that each of the first eight books completed fit into one of those "scattergories," I am happy and proud to say that each of the sixteen books I have read so far falls into a different category.
For the record, here are the books (in the order in which I read them), together with their categories:
- No Coffin for the Corpse, by Clayton Rawson (1942). In category 21. Things That Go Bump in the Night: a mystery with something spooky, creepy, gothic in the title.
- Gaudy Night, by Dorothy L. Sayers (1936). In category 20. Murder Is Academic: a mystery involving a scholar, teacher, librarian, etc. OR set at a school, university, library, etc.
- The Fingerprint, by Patricia Wentworth (1960). In Category 4, Leave it to the Professionals: a book featuring cops, private eyes, secret service, professional spies, etc.
- The Chinese Orange Mystery, by Ellery Queen (1934). In Category 35, Genuine Fakes: Authors who wrote under a pseudonym.
- The Case of the Gilded Fly, by Edmund Crispin (1944). In Category 16, Locked Rooms.
- Blind Drifts, by Clyde B. Clason (1937). In Category 3, Amateur Night: a book with a "detective" who is not a P.I., police officer, official.
- Vultures in the Sky, by Todd Downing (1935). In Category 7, World Traveler: one mystery set in any country except the US or Britain.
- Vintage Murder, by Ngaio Marsh (1937). In Category 13, Staging the Crime, a mystery set in the entertainment world.
- Murder at Cambridge, by Q. Patrick (1933). In Category 5, Jolly Old England, one mystery set in Britain.
- Fatal Descent, by John Dickson Carr and Cecil Street (1939). In Category 24, A Mystery By Any Other Name, any book that has been published under more than one title.
- Revelation of a Lady Detective, by William Stephens Hayward (1864). In Category 10, Wicked Women, a book with a woman in the title.
- The Puzzle of the Happy Hooligan, by Stuart Palmer (1941). In Category 6, Yankee Doodle Dandy, one mystery set in the United States.
- The Thin Man, by Dashiell Hammett (1934).In Category 34, Somebody Else's Crime, read one book that someone else has already reviewed for the Vintage Mystery Challenge.
- The Corpse Steps Out, by Craig Rice (1940). In Category 29, The Old Bailey (it features lawyer John J. Malone), a mystery featuring a judge, lawyer, barrister, D.A., etc.
- The Case with Nine Solutions, by J. J. Connington (1928). In Category 2, Murder by the Numbers, a book with a number, quantity in the title.
- The Lodger, by Marie Belloc Lowndes (1913). In Category 28, Book to Movie, one vintage mystery that has appeared on screen.
The links will take you back to my original blog post for each of the titles.
So...read any good books lately?
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