TBR Thursday 148…

A third batch of murder, mystery and mayhem…

Well, the TBR has leapt up this week by a massive 8 to 224! It’s not as bad as it seems though – in fact, it’s great! It happened because I found a website http://www.fadedpage.com which has downloadable versions of several of the vintage crime books for this challenge that I hadn’t yet obtained. So nine books moved from my wishlist to the TBR. Therefore, as the mathematicians among you will have realised, the underlying trend is down…

And coincidentally I’ve just about finished all the books from the second batch of MMM books, so here goes for the third batch…

The Red House Mystery by A.A. Milne

This one was actually already on my TBR long before I started the challenge – put there following an excellent review from Helen at She Reads Novels

The Blurb says: Milne takes readers to the Red House, a comfortable residence in the placid English countryside that is the bachelor home of Mr. Mark Ablett. While visiting this cosy retreat, amateur detective Anthony Gillingham and his chum, Bill Beverley, investigate their genial host’s disappearance and its connection with a mysterious shooting. Was the victim, whose body was found after a heated exchange with the host, shot in an act of self-defence? If so, why did the host flee, and if not, what drove him to murder?

Challenge details

Book No: 17

Subject Heading: The Birth of the Golden Age 

Publication Year: 1922

Martin Edwards says: “A.A. Milne is now so closely associated with Winnie-the-Pooh and children’s fiction that it comes as a surprise to many readers to learn that. . . he wrote an immensely popular detective novel. The Red House Mystery is a country-house mystery, so deftly written that it achieved widespread acclaim.”

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The Secret of High Eldersham by Miles Burton

Impossible theories, a baffled policeman and a gifted amateur detective. And as if that’s not enough, a touch of romance…

The Blurb says: Samuel Whitehead, the new landlord of the Rose and Crown, is a stranger in the lonely East Anglian village of High Eldersham. When the newcomer is stabbed to death in his pub, and Scotland Yard are called to the scene, it seems that the veil dividing High Eldersham from the outside world is about to be lifted.

Detective-Inspector Young forms a theory about the case so utterly impossible that merely entertaining the suspicion makes him doubt his own sanity. Surrounded by sinister forces beyond his understanding, and feeling the need of rational assistance, he calls on a brilliant amateur and ‘living encyclopaedia’, Desmond Merrion. Soon Merrion falls for the charms of a young woman in the village, Mavis Owerton. But does Mavis know more about the secrets of the village than she is willing to admit?

Challenge details

Book No: 33

Subject Heading: Serpents in Eden

Publication Year: 1930

Edwards says: “…Barzun and Taylor argued that Miles Burton was working in the Gothic tradition of Ann Radcliffe, author of The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794), and was the first of ‘the moderns’ to do so in the detective genre.”

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Bats in the Belfry by E.C.R. Lorac

Courtesy of the British Library. There’s no place quite like foggy old London as a setting for vintage crime… 

The Blurb says: Bruce Attleton dazzled London’s literary scene with his first two novels but his early promise did not bear fruit. His wife Sybilla is a glittering actress, unforgiving of Bruce’s failure, and the couple lead separate lives in their house at Regent’s Park. When Bruce is called away on a sudden trip to Paris, he vanishes completely until his suitcase and passport are found in a sinister artist’s studio, the Belfry, in a crumbling house in Notting Hill. Inspector Macdonald must uncover Bruce’s secrets, and find out the identity of his mysterious blackmailer. This intricate mystery from a classic writer is set in a superbly evoked London of the 1930s.

Challenge details

Book No: 42

Subject Heading: Capital Crimes

Publication Year: 1937

Edwards says: “The plot is elaborate, the characterisation crisp and the atmosphere of the dark London streets well evoked.

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The Dain Curse by Dashiell Hammett

I’ve read and enjoyed a Continental Op short story before so am intrigued to see how well the character works in a full-length novel…

The Blurb says: Everything about the Leggett diamond heist indicated to the Continental Op that it was an inside job. From the stray diamond found in the yard to the eyewitness accounts of a “strange man” casing the house, everything was just too pat. Gabrielle Dain-Leggett has enough secrets to fill a closet, and when she disappears shortly after the robbery, she becomes the Op’s prime suspect. But her father, Edgar Leggett, keeps some strange company himself and has a dark side the moon would envy. Before he can solve the riddle of the diamond theft, the Continental Op must first solve the mystery of this strange family.

Challenge details

Book No: 91

Subject Heading: Across the Atlantic

Publication Year: 1929

Edwards says: “His execution of the concept is artistically flawed, but although the story is eccentric and melodramatic, it is also oddly compelling.”

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NB All blurbs taken from Goodreads. The quotes from Martin Edwards are from his book,
The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books.

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So…what do you think? Do any of these tempt you?

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PS I’ve fallen badly behind with blog reading, review writing, reading and life in general so I’m taking a little break. Back soon! Don’t get up to anything exciting while my back’s turned…

39 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 148…

  1. I borrowed The Red House from the library, but took it back mainly unread. It just didn’t appeal. Enjoy your break … I’m always behind with book reviews etc, so maybe I should join you.

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    • Oh, that’s a pity! I should get to it soon so I’ll keep my fingers crossed it works better for me. Thanks – two weeks off, and I’m still just as much behind… 😉

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  2. Enjoy your break, FictionFan! And thanks for sharing that website! All of these books sound intriguing, and it’s great to have a new resource to explore them. I just won’t tell my TBR… 😉

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  3. A diamond heist sounds intriguing, and I had no idea Winnie-the-Pooh’s creator also wrote adult books, especially a detective novel! I’m wondering if he camouflaged Eyeore somewhere within its pages?! Have a nice break, FF — we’ll miss you!

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  4. I hope you like The Red House Mystery, but the other three books all sound intriguing too. I’ll look forward to hearing more about them when you get round to reading them. Enjoy your break!

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  5. I walk away for a few minutes and your TBR pile grows precipitously. I can no longer afford to take a gander at your temptations. I will not look. No sirree….but it’s hard not to peek at one that stars a failed novelist…..breathes deeply and taps the escape key….

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      • I’m sure I could come up with a calculus equation that describes your rate of interest, rate of accumulation, rate of reading, and rate of ditching (By far the lowest rate in the equation),. It would look something like this F(pile) = di/dt + da/dt – dr/dt – dd/dt where the variables correspond to those mentioned above. Alas, WordPress doesn’t support mathematical notation in comments.

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        • Oooh! I feel as if my TBR has a mathematical inevitability about now – that its exponential growth is part of some great eternal plan ruled by the universal laws of physics! Thank you – I shall feel much better now each time I add another five or six… 😉

          Liked by 1 person

  6. Oooh what a cover for The Dain Curse by Dashiell Hammett. I have promised myself I will read some classic crime fiction as soon as I’m done with my PhD and I might as well start with some classic hard-boiled stories. Added to my TBR wishlist!

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