The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett (1930)

I kept coming across the description ‘hard-boiled’ applied to a certain type of detective/crime novel, but although I sort of understood the description, I couldn’t think of anything I’d read that would fit the category. And then I saw The Maltese Falcon in a secondhand book shop and as I’m happy to try just about … Continue reading The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett (1930)

Murder in Mesopotamia by Agatha Christie (1936)

Murder in Mesopotamia is another book that came out of Christie's first-hand experience of working on archaeological sites with her husband. The setting of this book is the excavation a large Assyrian city about a day and a half’s journey from Baghdad. The book is narrated by Miss Amy Leatheran, a thirty-two year old nurse … Continue reading Murder in Mesopotamia by Agatha Christie (1936)

Trent’s Last Case by E.C. Bentley (1913)

E.C. Bentley wrote Trent’s Last Case as a reaction against the artificial type of detective stories popular in the early 1900’s which portrayed detectives as almost superhuman. He believed it was possible to have a detective who was recognisable as a human being with human emotions and not someone who was a perfect reasoning machine, … Continue reading Trent’s Last Case by E.C. Bentley (1913)

Keeping Notebooks & a Bookish Update

I started a monthly or thereabouts Charlotte Mason newsletter about 18 months ago. Since moving to WordPress the link to request the newsletter doesn't work. I've had a few queries about Notebooks recently but it's a topic that comes up quite often so I've started writing about Notebooks in a Charlotte Mason education and sending … Continue reading Keeping Notebooks & a Bookish Update

Colour Scheme by Ngaio Marsh (1943)

  Colour Scheme by Ngaio Marsh (1895-1982) is a WWII crime mystery set in a fictional spot on the North Island of New Zealand similar to the geothermal area of Rotorua with its distinctive sulphurous odour.Colonel Edward Claire, his wife, and their two adult children, are incompetently running the mud bath resort. Mrs Claire’s brother, … Continue reading Colour Scheme by Ngaio Marsh (1943)

The Franchise Affair by Josephine Tey (1948)

Josephine Tey has just shot to the top of the list of my favourite authors. Inspector Alan Grant of Scotland Yard was already up there as the most humane and likeable literary detective of my reading to date, but although he does play a (very minor) role in this novel, it is an unqualified, unlikely, … Continue reading The Franchise Affair by Josephine Tey (1948)