She Died a Lady

Juliet died a lady I don’t know why, but I love the name of this novel.  I’ve seen it placed high on top 10 Carr lists and was curious to see if it would live up to its reputation.  Short answer – mmm, I don’t know.  The puzzle is fascinating, yet the solution wasn’t quite … Continue reading “She Died a Lady”

A Graveyard to Let – Carter Dickson (1949)

My three remaining Carter Dickson novels all find me towards the end of the Sir Henry Merrivale series.  The very best of Merrivale’s work is unfortunately at the opposite end – the run of macabre impossible crimes spanning The Plague Court Murders (1934) through Nine – And Death Makes Ten (1940).  The mysteries published in … Continue reading “A Graveyard to Let – Carter Dickson (1949)”

And So to Murder – John Dickson Carr (1940)

This was the final novel that I had left in what I regard to be Sir Henry Merrivale’s classic run from The Plague Court Murders (1934) through Nine – And Death Makes Ten (1940).  Many would argue that Merrivale’s best two stories were yet to come, with She Died a Lady (1943) and He Wouldn’t … Continue reading “And So to Murder – John Dickson Carr (1940)”

Getting started with John Dickson Carr

Ok, so you saw something that got you interested in John Dickson Carr.  Perhaps he was repeatedly featured in a list of top impossible crime novels, or maybe you saw him labeled as the king of golden age detective fiction.  The later description would be more appropriate – despite his name being synonymous with the … Continue reading “Getting started with John Dickson Carr”

The Poisoned Chocolates Case – Anthony Berkeley (1929)

From time to time I’ll mention my To Be Read pile – a stack of books that I plan to read next.  It’s positioned on the desk that I work at so I can gaze longingly at it throughout the day and imagine the mysteries awaiting within all of those titles.  Ok, ok, it’s actually … Continue reading “The Poisoned Chocolates Case – Anthony Berkeley (1929)”

The Tragedy of Y – Barnaby Ross (1932)

Ok Ellery Queen, you finally won me over.  I’ve been your critic up to now, but from this day forward, some part of me will always be your fan.  The Tragedy of Y did something for me that none of your books have ever accomplished – it kept me engaged from cover to cover.  More … Continue reading “The Tragedy of Y – Barnaby Ross (1932)”

Death in Five Boxes – Carter Dickson (1938)

When I look back at my early days of reading John Dickson Carr’s work, it’s almost obscene.  Hit after hit after hit after hit.  This wasn’t exactly an accident – I had done my research on the author.  At the same time, I wasn’t exactly being greedy.  My goal was to mix up the consensus … Continue reading “Death in Five Boxes – Carter Dickson (1938)”

Suddenly at His Residence – Christianna Brand (1947)

I’ll always tout Christianna Brand as an author who can deliver an emotional blow.  Green for Danger, Fog of Doubt – even less known books like Alas for Her Who Met Me – all have a way to draw you in to the lives of a cast of characters.  Perhaps it’s her informal turn of … Continue reading “Suddenly at His Residence – Christianna Brand (1947)”

The Hollow – Agatha Christie (1946)

My last encounter with Agatha Christie, Five Little Pigs (Murder in Retrospect), really stuck with me.  There was something that she captured between those pages that my mind couldn’t leave alone – the tragedy of it all.  It’s been several months, and yet my thoughts continually drift back to the characters, the setting, and paint … Continue reading “The Hollow – Agatha Christie (1946)”

Time Lines – John Dickson Carr edition

With over 70 books under his belt, John Dickson Carr has a career as a GAD novelist that surpasses most of his peers.  Across the span of 42 years are littered a respectable number of classics, a handful of lowlights, and a whole slew of books you really should read if you enjoyed the classics.  … Continue reading “Time Lines – John Dickson Carr edition”

Solving the Mystery of Murder

Investigating how classic crime writers plot their mysteries.

Long Live The Queens!

About Ellery Queen and other GAD authors

James Scott Byrnside

Author of impossible-crime murder mysteries

Countdown John's Christie Journal

A review of Agatha Christie's crime novels and short stories from beginning to end

Dead Yesterday

Classic Mysteries and Domestic Suspense

Noirish

The annex to John Grant's *A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Film Noir*

Justice for the Corpse

Reviews of classic fair-play mystery fiction - spoiler-free unless otherwise noted

Composed Almost Entirely of Books

Books read, books written, books I just spotted and covet like an ox

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Detecting Great Crime Fiction

Only Detect

Book Reviews, Mostly

Past Offences: Classic crime, thrillers and mystery book reviews

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