The Endless Poisoned Chocolates Case

Anthony Berkeley's Poisoned Chocolates Case has gotten a lot of praise over the years, and deservingly so - but no reviewer to my knowledge has ever noticed what in my opinion makes it a truly unique experiment.   Mysteries aim at finitude - the story is over once the puzzle is solved; there is nothing … Lire la suite The Endless Poisoned Chocolates Case

The Dull Genius of Roderick Alleyn

  Warning: The following essay heavily borrows from, and expands on, this earlier one. It doesn't mean that you can skip either or both, but we warned if you proceed that you may find some familiar arguments here and there. Ngaio Marsh's placing in the Pantheon of Golden Age writers is a paradoxical one. She … Lire la suite The Dull Genius of Roderick Alleyn

Les Deux Centenaires

Nous commémorons cette année le centenaire de la première publication de "La Mystérieuse affaire de Styles" d'Agatha Christie, un livre fondamental dans l'histoire de la littérature criminelle, d'abord parce qu'il s'agit de la première apparition d'un certain limier belge voué à devenir l'une des vedettes du genre, ensuite parce qu'il marque aux yeux de la … Lire la suite Les Deux Centenaires

Title Matters. Kind of.

Genre fiction overall, not just crime fiction, has become more "respectable" in recent years. Sure it hasn't yet reached the same level of "respectability" as proper "literary" fiction but the days when it was seen as disposable, trivial entertainment-only stuff are long gone. Don't worry: I'm not about to embark again on a long-winded jeremiad … Lire la suite Title Matters. Kind of.