Friday, December 27, 2013

the corpse in the waxworks

Next up in this stack of dusty paperbacks is The Corpse In The Waxworks by John Dickson Carr. Unlike the previous two Carr penned entries (see here and here), not one of the 23 novels by the Pennsylvania native featuring detective Dr. Gideon Fell but one of the five featuring crime solving magistrate Monsieur Henri Bencolin.

It's also one in a series of two Carr books with Schongut covers sleuthed out by the husband over the Summer; tune in next week for the second.

Friday, December 20, 2013

the mirror crack'd

Following in the footsteps of our previous post, tonight's entry is another by the grande dame of mystery novels, Agatha Christie; this time not featuring famously moustachioed Belgian detective Hercule Poirot but another of well known characters, the presumably facial hair free Miss Jane Marple, aka Miss Marple.

Originally titled The Mirror Crack'd From Side To Side, this is the eighth of the twelve books starring the spinster turned sleuth and, apparently, inspired by the true, tragic story involving the birth of Gene Tierney's first child. (A portion of the plotline is at least. I won't spoil it for you by detailing the whole story but, if you're into that sort of thing, this page will.)

Anywhoo, like many of her books, The Mirror Crack'd was later adapted for film. Thanks to the wonders of You Tube, here's the trailer for the 1980 version starring Angela Lansbury as Miss Marple and an ensemble cast featuring (among other less famous people) Elizabeth Taylor, Kim Novak, Richard Burton and Tony Curtis.

And yes, I will totally be watching this later to see what other sort of awesome, horrific, awesomely horrific and / or horrifically awesome outfits Taylor and Novak sport during the course of the film. Although I doubt anything will top Liz's purple and white flower hat.

Friday, December 13, 2013

an overdose of death

Continuing our leisurely stroll through this pile of pulp fiction found by the husband over the course of a couple of leisurely strolls around one or more local flea markets this past Summer, tonight's entry is An Overdose Of Death by Agatha Christie. Interestingly, one of only a handful of Christie novels to appear on the blog over the years and only the second featuring famously moustachioed Belgian detective Hercule Poirot.

A trivial fact made slightly more interesting, to me at least, based on the fact this single book has been published under at least three titles. (According to Wikipedia The Patriotic Murders is the second; One, Two, Buckle My Shoe was it's original title.)

Cover illustration by Adams

Naturally this knowledge led to a brief flickr search for examples of other editions / titles. Not so surprisingly, I found three. Interested parties can check out an alternate but similarly minded Dell edition here; a Pocket Books edition of The Patriotic Murders here; and a Fontana edition with the original title and cover sure to make anyone with a dentist phobia feel slightly uncomfortable, here.

(The Pocket Books one is my favorite of the bunch.)

Friday, December 6, 2013

the maltese falcon

Next up in this stack of thrifted / flea marketed paperbacks is one of the most revered novels of the crime fiction genre, The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett.

Cover by Harry Bennett

As a fan of crime fiction novels, crime fiction films, film adaptations of crime fiction novels and TCM, needless to say, I've seen the 1941 movie version quite a few times. Yet for some reason, it's never occurred to me to track down a copy of the original novel. (Or rather a copy of the collected original installments; from what I understand most of Hammett's novels were first published as serials.) Now that one has essentially dropped into my lap I'm definitely moving it to the top of my reading pile.

(Sorry The Corpse Steps Out! And yes, I'm referring to the same euphemistic vacation reading pile referenced in our previous post. Even though I still have no plans for a vacation any time soon.)