1938 classic English detective fiction; sixth of Marsh's novels of
Inspector Roderick Alleyn. At an informal residential art school, the
model has been murdered – by a method all the students had talked
about some days before.
Fifth in this series of one-day conventions in bustling metropolitan
Baildon (suburban Bradford). All images are
2011 historical mystery; third in Bradley's series about Flavia de
Luce, young amateur sleuth in 1950s Britain. A missing baby, an
assault on a Gypsy (sic) fortune-teller, and a murder in Flavia's own
home will all turn out to be connected.
Back to the boardgame café again,
on my birthday. There may have been beer beforehand. With images;
1907 mystery. Mlle Stangerson, daughter of the famous scientist,
locked herself into her bedroom… then came the sound of a struggle,
shouts of "Murder", and gunfire. When her father broke down the door,
she was seriously injured and the only person there – and the
window-bars had not been moved.
Well, everyone has a terrible customer service story.
1938 classic English detective fiction; tenth of Allingham's novels of
Albert Campion. Georgia Wells, actress and femme fatale, attracts
men like moths. But somehow, just as they start to get troublesome,
they seem to die. Is Georgia less silly, and more dangerous, than she
2010 historical mystery; second in Bradley's series about Flavia de
Luce, young amateur sleuth in 1950s Britain. Rupert Porson, the famous
puppeteer (at least to those who have televisions), was passing
through the village of Bishop's Lacey when his van broke down; since
he's stuck there overnight, he might as well put on a show. But it's
all going to go horribly wrong.
There aren't many interesting-looking new series coming up this year.
Here are a few I've glanced at. (Reviews based on first episodes
1981 somewhat parodic cosy detective fiction; second of Anderson's
novels of the Earl of Burford and Inspector Wilkins. After the last
one, the Earl swore off house-parties, but it seems it's all happening
again. Including the murder.
2014 military SF, first book of the Alexis Carew series. Barred by her
sex from inheriting the family estates, Carew signs aboard a ship of
the Royal Navy as a midshipman… in space.
1937 classic English detective fiction; fifth of Marsh's novels of
Inspector Roderick Alleyn. This time he's on holiday in New Zealand,
sharing an overnight train with a touring theatrical troupe also from
England, when the manager says that someone's tried to murder him. The
next day, someone will succeed.
Having been evicted from the Two Brewers for not drinking enough, we
gathered at the Marlow Donkey for the fourth meeting of this
1916 thriller; second of Buchan's books about Richard Hannay. Richard
Hannay and Sandy Arbuthnot are convalescing from wounds received at
the Battle of Loos
when word comes from Sir Walter Bullivant of the Foreign Office: the
Germans have some kind of trump-card with which they're planning to
set the Moslem world on fire.
Getting "favourites" (stored locations) on and off the Garmin Drive
navi is slightly more fiddly than it needs to be, but doesn't require
Windows even slightly. Here's what worked for me.
1982 mystery; second in Muller's series about Sharon McCone, private
investigator in San Francisco. One of Sharon's neighbours in her
apartment building is strangled, and it looks worryingly as if
Sharon's house-guest, who's prone to alcoholic amnesia, might have
As part of a sparsely-attended ThamesValley.pm meet, I got some
boardgaming done in my local.
2008 mystery, fourteenth in Barr's Anna Pigeon series, murder
mysteries in US National Parks. Anna returns to Isle Royale, this time
in winter, to join the wolf/moose wildlife study; it's disrupted by an
observer from Homeland Security, who clearly has a brief to shut it
down and instead open the park in winter to "beef up security". Then
traces of an unexpected large predator show up. Then people start to
Pyramid, edited by Steven Marsh, is the monthly GURPS supplement
containing short articles with a loose linking theme. This time it's a
third issue on the general theme of Spaceships (the GURPS subsystem as
well as the overall concept).
2015 science-fantasy. The world known as the Stillness is wracked by
tectonic activity; only the earth-shapers, the orogenes, can hold
things together. So naturally they are slaves.
1977 mystery; first in Muller's series about Sharon McCone, private
investigator in San Francisco. Sharon's been looking into arson and
vandalism on a street of junk and antique shops that's in the
crosshairs of gentrification. But now one of the shop owners has been
1937 classic English detective fiction; ninth of Allingham's novels of
Albert Campion. Campion is called to the village of Kepesake as the
recent rich incomer has clearly been murdered… but when Campion sees
the body, he realises he went to the same man's funeral five months
2003 military SF, second book of Succession. Captain Laurent Zai
tries to win a space battle; Senator Nara Oxham tries to survive
Back to the boardgame café again,
on a sweaty evening when we didn't feel like anything terribly
complicated. With images;
1994 historical detection, sixth in Greenwood's Phryne Fisher series
(1920s flapper detective in Australia). Phryne goes undercover in a
circus to try to find out who's sabotaging it; and a performer who's
moved on from it is accused of murder.
2009 non-fiction. Oates recounts the twenty cases in London during
these two decades which were treated as murder, but never solved.
2003 military SF, first book of Succession. Captain Laurent Zai of
the Imperial frigate Lynx is attempting to rescue the Child Empress
from invading cyborgs. Only that makes it sound dire, and it's
actually rather good.
1993 historical detection, fifth in Greenwood's Phryne Fisher series
(1920s flapper detective in Australia). During a dance competition at
the Green Mill, a figure slumps to the ground. Was he the target of
his attacker – or was it Phryne? And why has her partner for the
1937 classic English detective fiction; eighth of Allingham's novels
of Albert Campion. Someone's playing silly pranks on Jimmy Sutane,
star of a successful musical; he invites Campion to look into it. But
then one of Sutane's house-guests dies: accident, suicide, murder?
Later US vt Who Killed Chloe?.
Some trailers I've seen recently, and my thoughts on them. (Links are
to youtube. Opinions are thoroughly personal.)