lyzard's list: Borrowing surcease of sorrow from books in 2022 - Part 3

Talk75 Books Challenge for 2022

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lyzard's list: Borrowing surcease of sorrow from books in 2022 - Part 3

Edited: Apr 19, 6:16pm

The Gouldian finch is found naturally in the far north of Australia, with different subspecies occupying small savanna areas across Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Queensland. Their wild numbers have decreased dramatically over the past century due to habitat destruction, increasing fire risk, susceptibility to a parasitic mite and, until export was banned, the pet trade. Conservation efforts include the purchase of dedicated land, managed burning, and the planting and cultivation of sources of food-seed. However, the species is still considered near-threatened to endangered.

While captive breeding has created a number of new colour variants in the Gouldian finch, in the wild the black-mask variant is the most common. Both sexes display these colours, although in the female, the chest feathers tend to be a lighter shade. Juveniles are brown-grey, and only acquire their colouration upon maturity. Female Gouldian finches can control the sex of their offspring via selective mating with different colour-variant males.


Edited: Jun 22, 6:48pm

As was the case last time, my thread-title is taken from Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven (the full text of which may be found here).

I was really hoping that by the time 2022 rolled around, this wouldn't be an appropriate quote...but here we are:

    Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December;
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
    Eagerly I wished the morrow;---vainly I had sought to borrow
    From my books surcease of sorrow
---sorrow for the lost Lenore---
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore---
        Nameless here for evermore...


Currently reading:

The Mystery Of The Twin Rubies by Armstrong Livingston (1922)

Baksheesh by Esmahan Aykol (2003)

Edited: Apr 19, 6:20pm

2022 reading


1. Tom Cringle's Log by Michael Scott (1833)
2. The Heroine; or, Adventures Of A Fair Romance Reader by Eaton Stannard Barrett (1813)
3. And Now Tomorrow by Rachel Field (1942)
4. The Island Of Fu Manchu by Sax Rohmer (1941)
5. The Mystery Of The Fiery Eye by Robert Arthur (1967)
6. Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach (1970)
7. Royal Escape by Georgette Heyer (1938)
8. The Gutenberg Murders by Gwen Bristow and Bruce Manning (1931)
9. The Box Office Murders by Freeman Wills Crofts (1929)
10. Wheels Within Wheels by Carolyn Wells (1923)
11. The Mystery Of The Burnt Cottage by Enid Blyton (1943)
12. Elsie At The World's Fair by Martha Finley (1894)
13. The Marquis Of Carabas by Elizabeth Brodnax (1991)
14. Hotel Bosphorus by Esmahan Aykol (2001)
15. Roseanna by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö (1965)
16. The Looking-Glass War by John le Carré (1965)


17. The Song Of The Lark by Willa Cather (1915)
18. Glenarvon by Lady Caroline Lamb (1816)
19. Mr Midshipman Easy by Frederick Marrat (1836)
20. Elsie's Journey On Inland Waters by Martha Finley (1895)
21. The Teeth Of The Tiger by Maurice Leblanc (1914)
22. Castle Skull by John Dickson Carr (1931)
23. Dancing Death by Christopher Bush (1931)
24. The Girl In The Cellar by Patricia Wentworth (1961)
25. Fer-de-Lance by Rex Stout (1934)
26. Dangerous Cargo by Hulbert Footner (1934)


27. The Perpetual Curate by Margaret Oliphant (1864)
28. The Tunnel Mystery by J. C. Lenehan (1929)
29. Elsie At Home by Martha Finley (1897)
30. My Lord John by Georgette Heyer (1974)
31. Centennial by James A. Michener (1974)
32. The Mystery Of The Silver Spider by Robert Arthur (1967)
33. Rally Round The Flag, Boys! by Max Shulman (1957)
34. A Man Could Stand Up by Ford Madox Ford (1926)
35. The Casino Murder Case by S. S. Van Dine (1934)
36. Sir John Magill's Last Journey by Freeman Wills Crofts (1930)
37. Rory O'More by Samuel Lover (1837)
38. The Puzzle Of The Pepper Tree by Stuart Palmer (1933)

Edited: Jun 22, 6:28pm

2022 reading:


39. From Man To Man; or, Perhaps Only... by Olive Schreiner (1926)
40. The Red-Haired Girl by Carolyn Wells (1926)
41. Ragtime by E, L. Doctorow (1974)
42. Harrington by Maria Edgeworth (1817)
43. Elsie On the Hudson And Elsewhere by Martha Finley (1898)
44. The Crooked Furrow by Jeffery Farnol (1937)
45. Nemesis At Raynham Parva by J. J. Connington (1929)
46. The Lost Gallows by John Dickson Carr (1931)
47. The Grey Rat by Ottwell Binns (1931)
48. Poison by Lee Thayer (1926)
49. Mr Fortune Objects by H. C. Bailey (1935)
50. Murder Makes Murder by Harriette Ashbrook (1937)
51. Ben Sees It Through by J. Jefferson Farjeon (1934)
52. A Murder Of Quality by John le Carré (1962)
53. When The Bough Breaks by Lewis Padgett (1944)


54. Jack Brag by Theodore Hook (1837)
55. The Mystery Of The Glass Bullet by Bertram Atkey (1931)
56. Dead Man's Music by Christopher Bush (1931)
57. Snowbird by Ottwell Binns (1931)
58. Trinity by Leon Uris (1976)
59. Elsie In The South by Martha Finley (1899)
60. Synnøve Solbakken by Bjornstjerne Bjornson (1857)
61. The Idea Of The Gentleman In The Victorian Novel by Robin Gilmour (1981)
62. The Mystery Of Villa Sineste by Walter Livingston (1931)
63. Murder In The Fisher Library by Stephen Knight (1980)
64. Burglars In Bucks by George and Margaret Cole (1930)
65. The Trailing Of The Picaroon by Herman Landon (1930)
66. The League Of Frightened Men by Rex Stout (1935)
67. The Video Nasties: Freedom And Censorship In The Media by Martin Barker (ed.) (1984)
68. The Mystery Of The Screaming Clock by Robert Arthur (1968)


69. Miss Mackenzie by Anthony Trollope (1865)
70. Nightmare Abbey by Thomas Love Peacock (1818)
71. Maid In Waiting by John Galsworthy (1931)
72. The Silmarillion by J. R. R. Tolkein (1977)
73. Elsie's Young Folks In Peace And War by Martha Finley (1900)
74. The Crime Conductor by Philip MacDonald (1931)
75. Blanche Among The Talented Tenth by Barbara Neely (1994)

Edited: Jun 24, 6:57pm

Books in transit:

To borrow:
Mosquitoes by William Faulkner {Fisher Library}
Corrupt Relations by Richard Barickman {Fisher Library}

On interlibrary loan / branch transfer / storage / stack / Rare Book request:
Chesapeake by James A. Michener {Fisher storage}
Fardorougha The Miser by William Carleton {Fisher storage}

Possible requests:
Don't Stop The Carnival by Herman Wouk {Fisher storage}

On loan:
**The Trailing Of The Picaroon by Herman Landon (20/06/2022)
*The Silmarillion by J. R. R. Tolkein (28/06/2022)
*Dead Man's Music by Christopher Bush (29/06/2022)
*Maid In Waiting by John Galsworthy (29/06/2022)
The Crime Conductor by Philip Macdonald (06/07/2022)
**The Casino Murder Case by S. S. Van Dine (08/07/2022)
**A Murder Of Quality by John le Carré (08/07/2022)
Ripley's Game by Patricia Highsmith (08/07/2022)
The Man On The Balcony by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö (08/07/2022)
Baksheesh by Esmahan Aykol (08/07/2022)
**Trinity by Leon Uris (29/07/2022)
**Synnøve Solbakken by Bjornstjerne Bjornson (29/07/2022)
*The Idea Of The Gentleman In The Victorian Novel by Robin Gilmour (29/07/2022)
*Burglars In Bucks by G. D. H. and M. Cole (31/08/2022)
Incognita by William Congreve (31/08/2022)
*Blanche Among The Talented Tenth by Barbara Neely (06/09/2022)
The Harlem Cycle Vol. 1 by Chester Himes (06/09/2022)

Purchased and shipped:

Edited: Jun 16, 6:35pm

Ongoing reading projects:

Blog reads:
Chronobibliography: Incognita; or, Love And Duty Reconciled by William Congreve
Authors In Depth:
- Adelaide; or, The Countercharm by Catherine Cuthbertson
- Shannondale (aka "The Three Beauties; or, Shannondale: A Novel") by E.D.E.N. Southworth
- Lady Audley's Secret / The White Phantom by Mary Elizabeth Braddon
- Anecdotes Of The Altamont Family by "Gabrielli"
- The Cottage by Margaret Minifie
- The Old Engagement by Julia Day
- The Abbess by Frances Trollope
Reading Roulette: Pique by Frances Notley / Our Mr Wrenn by Sinclair Lewis
Australian fiction: Alfred Dudley; or, The Australian Settlers by Sarah Porter
Gothic novel timeline: Anecdotes Of A Convent by Anonymous
Early crime fiction: The Mysteries Of London by G. W. M. Reynolds
Silver-fork novels: Sayings And Doings; or, Sketches From Life (First Series) by Theodore Hook
Related reading: Gains And Losses by Robert Lee Wollf / The Man Of Feeling by Henry Mackenzie / Le Loup Blanc by Paul Féval / Theresa Marchmont; or, The Maid Of Honour by Catherine Gore

Group reads:

COMPLETED: The Perpetual Curate by Margaret Oliphant {thread here}

NOW: Miss Mackenzie by Anthony Trollope (thread here)

Virago chronological reading project:
Next up: Aurora Floyd by Mary Elizabeth Braddon / Miss Marjoribanks by Margaret Oliphant

General reading challenges:

America's best-selling novels (1895 - ????):
Next up: Chesapeake by James A. Michener

Nobel Prize / fiction challenge:
Next up: Synnøve Solbakken by Bjornstjerne Bjornson

The C.K. Shorter List of the Best 100 Novels:
Next up: Fardorougha The Miser; or, The Convicts Of Lisnamona

A Century Of Reading:
Next up: 1819 - The Vampyre by John William Polidori

Mystery League publications:
Next up: The Hunterstone Outrage by Seldon Truss

Banned In Boston!: (here)
Next up: Mosquitoes by William Faulkner

Rex Stout - Nero Wolfe series (shared reads):
Next up: The League Of Frightened Men

"The Three Investigators" (shared reads):
Next up: The Mystery Of The Screaming Clock by Robert Arthur

The evolution of detective fiction:
Next up: Clement Lorimer by Angus B. Reach

Random reading 1940 - 1969:
Next up: Don't Stop The Carnival by Herman Wouk

Potential decommission / re-shelving:
Next up: ????

Completed challenges:
- Georgette Heyer historical romances in chronological order
- Agatha Christie mysteries in chronological order
- Agatha Christie uncollected short stories
- Patricia Wentworth's Miss Silver series
- Georgette Heyer historical fiction

Possible future reading projects:
- Daily Telegraph's 100 Best Novels, 1899
- James Tait Black Memorial Prize
- Berkeley "Books Of The Century"
- Collins White Circle Crime Club / Green Penguins
- Dell paperbacks
- "El Mundo" 100 best novels of the twentieth century
- 100 Best Books by American Women During the Past 100 Years, 1833-1933
- 50 Classics of Crime Fiction 1900–1950 (Jacques Barzun and Wendell Hertig Taylor)
- The Guardian's 100 Best Novels
- Life Magazine "The 100 Outstanding Books of 1924 - 1944" (Henry Seidel Canby)
- "40 Trashy Novels You Must Read Before You Die" (Flavorwire)
- best-novel lists in Wikipedia article on The Grapes Of Wrath
- Pandora 'Mothers Of The Novel'
- Newark Library list (here)
- "The Story Of Classic Crime In 100 Books" (here)
- Dean's Classics series
- "Fifty Best Australian Novels" (here)
- "The Top 100 Crime Novels Of All Time" (here)
- Haycraft Queen Cornerstones (here)

Edited: Jun 20, 6:52pm

TBR notes:

Rare Books:
Secret Judges by Francis D. Grierson (Sims and Wells #2)
The Double-Thirteen Mystery by Anthony Wynne (Dr Eustace Hailey #2)
Dead Men At The Folly by John Rhode (Dr Priestley #13)
The Rum Row Murders by Charles Reed Jones
The Torch Murder by Charles Reed Jones (Leighton Swift #2)
The Crooked Lip by Herbert Adams (Jimmie Haswell #2)
Death By Appointment by Francis Bonnamy (Peter Utley Shane #1)
The Inconsistent Villains by N. A. Temple-Ellis {Montrose Arbuthnot #1)
The Unexpected Legacy by E. r. Punshon (Carter and Bell #1)
Rope To Spare by Philip MacDonald (Anthony Gethryn #9)

State Library NSW, held:
The White-Faced Man (aka "The Praying Monkey") by Gavin Holt (Luther Bastion #2)
Pitiful Dust by Vernon Knowles
The Brink (aka "The Swaying Rock") by Arthur J. Rees
The Black Joss by John Gordon Brandon
This Way To Happiness (aka "Janice") by Maysie Greig
The Top Step by Nelle Scanlan

Interlibrary loan:
The Case Against Andrew Fane by Anthony Gilbert {JFR / Kindle}
McLean Investigates by George Goodchild {JFR}
The Solange Stories by F. Tennyson Jesse {JFR}
Captain Nemesis by F. Van Wyck Mason {JFR}
The Vagrant Heart by Deirdre O'Brien {JFR}
Jinks by Oliver Sandys {JFR}
Storms And Tea-Cups by Cecily Wilhelmine Sidgwick (Mrs Alfred Sidgwick) {JFR}
Pawns & Kings (aka "Pawns And Kings") by Seamark (Austin J. Small) {JFR}
The Agent Outside by Patrick Wynnton {JFR}

The Wedding March Murder by Monte Barrett (Peter Cardigan #2) {}
Gay Go Up by Anne Hepple {online; possible abridged? / Mitchell Library}
The Whisperer by J. M. Walsh {online; possibly abridged? / Mitchell Lbrary}
About The Murder Of A Night Club Lady by Anthony Abbot {serialised}

CARM / National Library / academic loan:
The Black Death by Moray Dalton {CARM}
The Click Of The Gate by Alice Campbell {CARM}
Storm by Charles Rodda {National Library}
The Trail Of The Lotto by Anthony Armstrong {CARM}

Series back-reading:
All At Sea by Carolyn Wells {Rare Books}
The Creeping Jenny Mystery by Brian Flynn {Kindle / ZLibrary}
The Net Around Joan Ingilby by A. Fielding {Rare Books}
Corpse In Canonicals (aka "The Corpse In The Constable's Garden") by George and Margaret Cole {Rare Books}
Alias Dr Ely by Lee Thayer {Rare Books}
Murder On The Bus by Cecil Freeman Gregg {Rare Books / Kindle}
The Case Of The Marsden Rubies by Leonard Gribble {Rare Books}
The Roman Hat Mystery by Ellery Queen {Rare Books / ILL / Internet Archive / ZLibrary}
A Family That Was by Ernest Raymond {State Library NSW, JFR}
The Cancelled Score Mystery by Gret Lane {Kindle}
Inspector Frost And Lady Brassingham by H. Maynard Smith {Kindle}
Last Post by Ford Madox Ford {}
Jalna by Mazo de la Roche {State Library NSW, JFR / ILL}

Completist reading:
Thieves' Nights by Harry Stephen Keeler (#5) {Rare Books}
The Forsaken Inn by Anna Katharine Green (#8) {Project Gutenberg}
The After House by Mary Roberts Rinehart (#8) {Project Gutenberg}
The White Cockatoo by Mignon Eberhart {Rare Books}

Edited: Jun 18, 7:01pm

A Century (And A Bit) Of Reading:

At least one book a year from 1800 - 1900!

1800: Juliania; or, The Affectionate Sisters by Elizabeth Sandham
1801: Belinda by Maria Edgeworth
1802: The Infidel Father by Jane West
1803: Thaddeus Of Warsaw by Jane Porter
1804: The Lake Of Killarney by Anna Maria Porter
1805: The Impenetrable Secret, Find It Out! by Francis Lathom
1806: The Wild Irish Girl by Sydney Owenson
1807: Corinne; ou, l'Italie by Madame de Staël
1808: The Marquise Of O. by Heinrich Von Kleist
1809: The Scottish Chiefs by Jane Porter
1810: Forest Of Montalbano by Catherine Cuthbertson / Zastrozzi by Percy Bysshe Shelley / St. Irvyne; or, The Rosicrucian by Percy Bysshe Shelley
1811: Self-Control by Mary Brunton
1812: The Absentee by Maria Edgeworth
1813: The Heroine; or, Adventures Of A Fair Romance Reader by Eaton Stannard Barrett
1814: The Wanderer; or, Female Difficulties by Frances Burney
1815: Headlong Hall by Thomas Love Peacock
1816: Glenarvon by Lady Caroline Lamb
1817: Harrington by Maria Edgeworth
1818: Nightmare Abbey by Thomas Love Peacock
1820: The Sketch Book Of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. by Washington Irving
1821: The Ayrshire Legatees; or, The Pringle Family by John Galt / Valerius: A Roman Story by J. G. Lockhart / Kenilworth by Walter Scott
1822: Bracebridge Hall; or, The Humorists by Washington Irving
1823: The Two Broken Hearts by Catherine Gore
1824: The Adventures Of Hajji Baba Of Ispahan by James Justinian Morier
1826: Lichtenstein by Wilhelm Hauff / The Last Of The Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper
1827: The Epicurean by Thomas Moore / The Betrothed by Alessandro Manzoni
1828: The Life Of Mansie Wauch, Tailor In Dalkeith by David Moir
1829: Wilhelm Meister's Travels by Johann Goethe / The Collegians by Gerald Griffin / Louisa Egerton; or, Castle Herbert by Mary Leman Grimstone / Richelieu: A Tale Of France by G. P. R. James
1830: Alfred Dudley; or, The Australian Settlers by Sarah Porter
1832: The Refugee In America by Frances Trollope
1833: Tom Cringle's Log by Michael Scott
1836: Mr Midshipman Easy by Frederick Marrat / The Tree And Its Fruits; or, Narratives From Real Life by Phoebe Hinsdale Brown
1837: Rory O'More by Samuel Lover / Jack Brag by Theodore Hook
1845: Zoe: The History Of Two Lives by Geraldine Jewsbury / The Mysteries Of London (Volume I) by G. W. M. Reynolds
1846: The Mysteries Of London (Volume II) by G. W. M. Reynolds
1847: Agnes Grey by Anne Brontë / The Macdermots Of Ballycloran by Anthony Trollope / The Mysteries Of London: Volume III by G. W. M. Reynolds
1848: The Kellys And The O'Kellys by Anthony Trollope / The Mysteries Of London: Volume IV by G. W. M. Reynolds
1850: Pique by Frances Notley
1851: The Mother-In-Law; or, The Isle Of Rays by E.D.E.N. Southworth
1856: Recollections Of A Detective Police-Officer by "Waters"
1857: The Three Clerks by Anthony Trollope / Synnøve Solbakken by Bjornstjerne Bjornson
1859: The Semi-Detached House by Emily Eden / The Bertrams by Anthony Trollope
1860: The Semi-Attached Couple by Emily Eden / Castle Richmond by Anthony Trollope
1861: The Executor by Margaret Oliphant / The Rector by Margaret Oliphant
1862: Orley Farm by Anthony Trollope / The Struggles Of Brown, Jones, And Robinson by Anthony Trollope
1863: The Doctor's Family by Margaret Oliphant / Marian Grey; or, The Heiress Of Redstone Hall by Mary Jane Holmes / Salem Chapel by Margaret Oliphant
1869: He Knew He Was Right by Anthony Trollope
1873: Had You Been In His Place by Lizzie Bates
1874: Chaste As Ice, Pure As Snow by Charlotte Despard
1877: Elsie's Children by Martha Finley
1880: The Duke's Children: First Complete Edition by Anthony Trollope / Elsie's Widowhood by Martha Finley
1881: Ghosts by Henrik Ibsen / The Beautiful Wretch by William Black / The Autobiography Of Mark Rutherford by William Hale White
1882: Grandmother Elsie by Martha Finley
1883: Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson / Elsie's New Relations by Martha Finley / X Y Z: A Detective Story by Anna Katharine Green
1884: Elsie At Nantucket by Martha Finley
1885: The Two Elsies by Martha Finley / Two Broken Hearts by Robert R. Hoes
1886: The Mill Mystery by Anna Katharine Green / Elsie's Kith And Kin by Martha Finley
1887: Elsie's Friends At Woodburn by Martha Finley
1888: Christmas With Grandma Elsie by Martha Finley
1889: Under False Pretences by Adeline Sergeant / Elsie And The Raymonds by Martha Finley
1890: Elsie Yachting With The Raymonds by Martha Finley
1891: Elsie's Vacation And After Events by Martha Finley
1892: The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman / Elsie At Viamede by Martha Finley / Blood Royal by Grant Allen
1893: Elsie At Ion by Martha Finley
1894: Martin Hewitt, Investigator by Arthur Morrison / The Great God Pan by Arthur Machen / Elsie At The World's Fair by Martha Finley
1895: Chronicles Of Martin Hewitt by Arthur Morrison / Elsie's Journey On Inland Waters by Martha Finley
1896: The Island Of Dr Moreau by H. G. Wells / Adventures Of Martin Hewitt by Arthur Morrison
1897: Penelope's Progress by Kate Douglas Wiggin
1898: A Man From The North by Arnold Bennett / The Lust Of Hate by Guy Newell Boothby / Elsie On The Hudson And Elsewhere by Martha Finley
1899: Agatha Webb by Anna Katharine Green / Dr Nikola's Experiment by Guy Newell Boothby / Elsie In The South by Martha Finley
1900: The Circular Study by Anna Katharine Green / Elsie's Young Folks In Peace And War by Martha Finley

Edited: Apr 19, 6:51pm

Timeline of detective fiction:

An examination of the roots of modern crime and mystery fiction:

Things As They Are; or, The Adventures Of Caleb Williams by William Godwin (1794)
Mademoiselle de Scudéri by E. T. A. Hoffmann (1819); Tales Of Hoffmann (1982)
Richmond: Scenes In The Life Of A Bow Street Officer by Anonymous (1827)
Memoirs Of Vidocq by Eugene Francois Vidocq (1828)
Le Pere Goriot by Honore de Balzac (1835)
Passages In The Secret History Of An Irish Countess by J. Sheridan Le Fanu (1838); The Purcell Papers (1880)
The Murders In The Rue Morgue: The Dupin Tales by Edgar Allan Poe (1841, 1842, 1845)

The Mysteries Of Paris by Eugene Sue (1842 - 1843)
The Mysteries Of London by Paul Feval (1844)
The Mysteries Of London by George Reynolds (1844 - 1848)
- The Mysteries Of London: Volume I
- The Mysteries Of London: Volume II
- The Mysteries Of London: Volume III
- The Mysteries Of London: Volume IV
The Mysteries Of The Court Of London by George Reynolds (1848 - 1856)
John Devil by Paul Feval (1861)

Early detective novels:
Recollections Of A Detective Police-Officer by "Waters" (William Russell) (1856)
The Widow Lerouge by Emile Gaboriau (1866)
Under Lock And Key by T. W. Speight (1869)
Checkmate by J. Sheridan LeFanu (1871)
Is He The Man? by William Clark Russell (1876)
Devlin The Barber by B. J. Farjeon (1888)
Mr Meeson's Will by H. Rider Haggard (1888)
The Mystery Of A Hansom Cab by Fergus Hume (1889)
The Queen Anne's Gate Mystery by Richard Arkwright (1889)
The Ivory Queen by Norman Hurst (1889) (Check Julius H. Hurst 1899)
The Big Bow Mystery by Israel Zangwill (1892)

Female detectives:
The Diary Of Anne Rodway by Wilkie Collins (1856)
Ruth The Betrayer; or, The Female Spy by Edward Ellis (1862-1863)
The Female Detective by Andrew Forrester (1864)
Revelations Of A Lady Detective by William Stephens Hayward (1864)
The Law And The Lady by Wilkie Collins (1875)
Madeline Payne; or, The Detective's Daughter by Lawrence L. Lynch (Emma Murdoch Van Deventer) (1884)
Mr Bazalgette's Agent by Leonard Merrick (1888)
Moina; or, Against The Mighty by Lawrence L. Lynch (Emma Murdoch Van Deventer) (sequel to Madeline Payne?) (1891)
The Experiences Of Loveday Brooke, Lady Detective by Catherine Louisa Pirkis (1893)
When The Sea Gives Up Its Dead by Elizaberth Burgoyne Corbett (Mrs George Corbett)
Dorcas Dene, Detective by George Sims (1897)
- Amelia Butterworth series by Anna Katharine Grant (1897 - 1900)
Hagar Of The Pawn-Shop by Fergus Hume (1898)
The Adventures Of A Lady Pearl-Broker by Beatrice Heron-Maxwell (1899)
Miss Cayley's Adventures by Grant Allan (1899)
Hilda Wade by Grant Allan (1900)
Dora Myrl, The Lady Detective by M. McDonnel Bodkin (1900)
The Investigators by J. S. Fletcher (1902)
Lady Molly Of Scotland Yard by Baroness Orczy (1910)
Constance Dunlap, Woman Detective by Arthur B. Reeve (1913)
Miss Madelyn Mack, Detective by Hugh C. Weir (1914)

Related mainstream works:
Adventures Of Susan Hopley by Catherine Crowe (1841)
Men And Women; or, Manorial Rights by Catherine Crowe (1843)
Hargrave by Frances Trollope (1843)
Clement Lorimer by Angus Reach (1849)
Clara Vaughan by R. D. Blackmore (1864)

True crime:
Clues: or, Leaves from a Chief Constable's Note Book by Sir William Henderson (1889)
Dreadful Deeds And Awful Murders by Joan Lock

Edited: May 3, 7:17pm

Series and sequels, 1866 - 1919:

(1866 - 1876) **Emile Gaboriau - Monsieur Lecoq - The Widow Lerouge (1/6) {ManyBooks}
(1878 - 1917) **Anna Katharine Green - Ebenezer Gryce - The Mystery Of The Hasty Arrow (13/13)
(1896 - 1909) **Melville Davisson Post - Randolph Mason - The Corrector Of Destinies (3/3)
(1894 - 1903) **Arthur Morrison - Martin Hewitt - The Red Triangle (4/4)
(1895 - 1901) **Guy Newell Boothby - Dr Nikola - Farewell, Nikola (5/5)
(1897 - 1900) **Anna Katharine Green - Amelia Butterworth - The Circular Study (3/3)
(1899 - 1917) **Anna Katharine Green - Caleb Sweetwater - The Mystery Of The Hasty Arrow (7/7)
(1899 - 1909) **E. W. Hornung - Raffles - Mr Justice Raffles (4/4)
(1900 - 1974) Ernest Bramah - Kai Lung - Kai Lung: Six / Kai Lung Raises His Voice (7/7)
(1903 - 1904) **Louis Tracy - Reginald Brett - The Albert Gate Mystery (2/2)
(1905 - 1925) **Baroness Orczy - The Old Man In The Corner - Unravelled Knots (3/3)}
(1905 - 1928) **Edgar Wallace - The Just Men - Again The Three Just Men (6/6)
(1907 - 1942) R. Austin Freeman - Dr John Thorndyke - The Jacob Street Mystery (26/26)
(1907 - 1941) *Maurice Leblanc - Arsene Lupin - The Golden Triangle (8/25) {Project Gutenberg}
(1909 - 1942) *Carolyn Wells - Fleming Stone - All At Sea (22/49) {Rare Books}
(1909 - 1929) *J. S. Fletcher - Inspector Skarratt - Marchester Royal (1/3) {Kindle}
(1910 - 1936) *Arthur B. Reeve - Craig Kennedy - The Film Mystery (14/24) {Project Gutenberg}
(1910 - 1946) A. E. W. Mason - Inspector Hanaud - The House In Lordship Lane (7/7)
(1910 - 1917) Edgar Wallace - Inspector Smith - Kate Plus Ten (3/3)
(1910 - 1930) **Edgar Wallace - Inspector Elk - The Twister (4/6) {Roy Glashan's Library}
^^^^^(1910 - 1932) *Thomas, Mary and Hazel Hanshew - Cleek - The Amber Junk (aka Riddle Of The Amber Ship (9/12) {rare, expensive}
(1910 - 1918) **John McIntyre - Ashton-Kirk - Ashton-Kirk: Criminologist (4/4)
^^^(1910 - 1928) **Louis Tracy - Winter and Furneaux - The Black Cat (8/9) {Rare Books}

(1911 - 1935) G. K. Chesterton - Father Brown - The Scandal Of Father Brown (5/5)
^^^(1911 - 1940) Bertram Atkey - Smiler Bunn - Arsenic And Gold (10/11) {Rare Books}
(1912 - 1919) **Gordon Holmes (Louis Tracy) - Steingall and Clancy - The Bartlett Mystery (3/3)
(1913 - 1973) Sax Rohmer - Fu Manchu - The Shadow Of Fu Manchu (11/14) {Rare Books / Internet Archive / ZLibrary}
(1913 - 1952) Jeffery Farnol - Jasper Shrig - Murder By Nail (6/9) {Rare Books / State Library NSW, JFR}
(1914 - 1950) Mary Roberts Rinehart - Hilda Adams - Episode Of The Wandering Knife (5/5)
(1914 - 1934) Ernest Bramah - Max Carrados - The Bravo Of London (5/5)
(1915 - 1936) *John Buchan - Richard Hannay - The Thirty-Nine Steps (1/5) {Fisher Library / Project Gutenberg / branch transfer / Kindle}
(1916 - 1917) **Carolyn Wells - Alan Ford - Faulkner's Folly (2/2) {owned}
^^^(1916 - 1927) **Natalie Sumner Lincoln - Inspector Mitchell - The Moving Finger (3/10) {ManyBooks / Kindle}
^^^^^(1916 - 1917) **Nevil Monroe Hopkins - Mason Brant - The Strange Cases Of Mason Brant (1/2) {expensive}
(1918 - 1923) **Carolyn Wells - Pennington Wise - Wheels Within Wheels (8/8)
(1918 - 1939) Valentine Williams - The Okewood Brothers - The Fox Prowls (5/5)
(1918 - 1944) Valentine Williams - Clubfoot - Courier To Marrakesh (7/7)
(1918 - 1950) *Wyndham Martyn - Anthony Trent - The Mysterious Mr Garland (3/26) {Rare Books / CARM}
(1919 - 1966) *Lee Thayer - Peter Clancy - Alias Dr Ely (8/60) {Rare Books}
(1919 - 1922) **Octavus Roy Cohen - David Carroll - Midnight (4/4)

^^^^^ Remainder of series unavailable
^^^ Incompletely available series
** Series complete pre-1931
* Present status pre-1931

Edited: Jun 20, 6:52pm

Series and sequels, 1920 - 1927:

(1920 - 1948) H. C. Bailey - Reggie Fortune - Clue For Mr Fortune (11/23) {State Library NSW, JFR}
(1920 - 1975) Agatha Christie - Hercule Poirot - Curtain (38/38)
(1920 - 1921) **Natalie Sumner Lincoln - Ferguson - The Unseen Ear (2/2)
(1920 - 1937) *"Sapper" (H. C. McNeile) - Bulldog Drummond - The Third Round (3/10 - series continued) {Roy Glashan's Library}

(1921 - 1929) **Charles J. Dutton - John Bartley - Streaked With Crimson (9/9)
(1921 - 1925) **Herman Landon - The Gray Phantom - Gray Magic (5/5)

(1922 - 1973) Agatha Christie - Tommy and Tuppence - Postern Of Fate (5/5)
^^^^^(1922 - 1927) *Alice MacGowan and Perry Newberry - Jerry Boyne - The Seventh Passenger (4/5) {Amazon}
(1922 - 1931) Valentine Williams - Inspector Manderton - Death Answers The Bell (4/4)
(1922 - ????) *Armstrong Livingston - Jimmy Traynor - The Mystery Of The Twin Rubies (1/?) {Internet Archive / ebook?}

(1923 - 1937) Dorothy L. Sayers - Lord Peter Wimsey - In The Teeth Of The Evidence (14/14)
(1923 - 1924) **Carolyn Wells - Lorimer Lane - The Fourteenth Key (2/2)
(1923 - 1927) Annie Haynes - Inspector Furnival - The Crow's Inn Tragedy (3/3)

(1924 - 1959) Philip MacDonald - Colonel Anthony Gethryn - Rope To Spare (8/24) {Rare Books}
(1924 - 1957) Freeman Wills Crofts - Inspector French - Mystery In The Channel (7/30) {SMSA / Blacktown Library / Rare Books / State Library NSW, JFR}
^^^(1924 - 1935) *Francis D. Grierson - Inspector Sims and Professor Wells - Secret Judges (2/13) {Rare Books}
(1924 - 1940) *Lynn Brock - Colonel Gore - The Mendip Mystery (aka "Murder At The Inn") (5/12) {Kindle}
(1924 - 1933) *Herbert Adams - Jimmie Haswell - The Crooked Lip (2/9) {Rare Books}
(1924 - 1944) *A. Fielding - Inspector Pointer - The Net Around Joan Ingilby (5/23) {Rare Books}
(1924 - 1936) *Hulbert Footner - Madame Storey - The Richest Widow (10/11) {Roy Glashan's Library}
^^^^^(1924 - 1931) R. Francis Foster - Anthony Ravenhill - The Missing Gates (1/7) {unavailable}

(1925 - 1961) ***John Rhode - Dr Priestley - Dead Men At The Folly (13/72) {Rare Books}
(1925 - 1953) *G. D. H. Cole / M. Cole - Superintendent Wilson - Corpse In Canonicals (aka "Corpse In The Constable's Garden") (8/?) {Rare Books}
(1925 - 1932) Earl Derr Biggers - Charlie Chan - Keeper Of The Keys (6/6)
(1925 - 1944) Agatha Christie - Superintendent Battle - Towards Zero (5/5)
(1925 - 1934) *Anthony Berkeley - Roger Sheringham - The Second Shot (6/10) {academic loan / Rare Books / Internet Archive}
(1925 - 1950) *Anthony Wynne (Robert McNair Wilson) - Dr Eustace Hailey - The Double-Thirteen Mystery (2/27) (aka "The Double Thirteen") {AbeBooks / Rare Books}
^^^(1925 - 1939) *Charles Barry (Charles Bryson) - Inspector Lawrence Gilmartin - The Detective's Holiday (2/15) {Rare Books / GooglePlay}
(1925 - 1929) **Will Scott - Will Disher - Disher--Detective (aka "The Black Stamp") (1/5) {HathiTrust}
(1925 - 1927) **Francis Beeding - Professor Kreutzemark - The Hidden Kingdom (2/2)

(1926 - 1968) *Christopher Bush - Ludovic Travers - Cut Throat (7/63) {Kindle / ZLibrary / Fisher Library storage}
(1926 - 1939) S. S. Van Dine - Philo Vance - The Garden Murder Case (9/12) {}
(1926 - 1952) J. Jefferson Farjeon - Ben the Tramp - Little God Ben (5/8) {interlibrary loan / Kindle / ZLibrary}
(1926 - ????) *G. D. H. Cole / M. Cole - Everard Blatchington - Burglars In Bucks (aka "The Berkshire Mystery") (2/6) {Fisher Library}
(1926 - ????) *Arthur Gask - Gilbert Larose - The Lonely House (3/27) {Roy Glashan's Library}
(1926 - 1931) *Aidan de Brune - Dr Night - The Green Pearl (2/3) {Roy Glashan's Library}

^^^(1927 - 1933) *Herman Landon - The Picaroon - The Picaroon: Knight Errant (7/8) {State Library NSW, JFR}
(1927 - 1932) *Anthony Armstrong - Jimmie Rezaire - The Trail Of The Lotto (3/5) {CARM / AbeBooks}
(1927 - 1937) *Ronald Knox - Miles Bredon - The Body In The Silo (3/5) {Kindle / Rare Books}
(1927 - 1958) *Brian Flynn - Anthony Bathurst - The Creeping Jenny Mystery (7/54) {Kindle / ZLibrary}
(1927 - 1947) J. J. Connington - Sir Clinton Driffield - The Boathouse Riddle (6/17) {Kindle / mobilereads / ZLibrary}
(1927 - 1935) *Anthony Gilbert (Lucy Malleson) - Scott Egerton - Mystery Of The Open Window (4/10) {Rare Books}
^^^^^(1927 - 1932) *William Morton (aka William Blair Morton Ferguson) - Kirker Cameron and Daniel "Biff" Corrigan - Masquerade (1/4) {expensive}
^^^^^(1927 - 1929) **George Dilnot - Inspector Strickland - The Crooks' Game (1/2) {AbeBooks / Amazon}
(1927 - 1949) **Dornford Yates - Richard Chandos - Blood Royal (3/8) {State Library, JFR / Kindle / ZLibrary}

^^^^^ Remainder of series unavailable
^^^ Incompletely available series
** Series complete pre-1931
* Present status pre-1931

Edited: Apr 23, 6:32pm

Series and sequels, 1928 - 1930:

(1928 - 1961) Patricia Wentworth - Miss Silver - The Girl In The Cellar (32/32)
(1928 - 1936) *Gavin Holt - Luther Bastion - The White-Faced Man (aka "The Praying Monkey") (2/17) {academic loan / State Library NSW, held}
(1928 - 1936) Kay Cleaver Strahan - Lynn MacDonald - The Meriwether Mystery (5/7) {Kindle / ZLibrary}
^^^^^(1928 - 1937) John Alexander Ferguson - Francis McNab - Death Of Mr Dodsley (5/5) {unavailable}
^^^(1928 - 1960) *Cecil Freeman Gregg - Inspector Higgins - Murder On The Bus (3/35) {Rare Books / Kindle}
(1928 - 1959) *John Gordon Brandon - Inspector Patrick Aloysius McCarthy - The Black Joss (2/53) {State Library NSW, held / JFR}
^^^^^(1928 - 1935) *Roland Daniel - Wu Fang / Inspector Saville - The Society Of The Spiders (1/6)
(1928 - 1946) *Francis Beeding - Alistair Granby - Pretty Sinister (2/18) {academic loan}
(1928 - 1930) **Annie Haynes - Inspector Stoddart - The Crystal Beads Murder (4/4)
(1928 - 1930) **Elsa Barker - Dexter Drake and Paul Howard - The Cobra Candlestick (aka "The Cobra Shaped Candlestick") (1/3) {AbeBooks / Rare Books}
^^^(1928 - ????) Adam Broome - Denzil Grigson - The Queen's Hall Murder (4/10) {Trove}
(1928 - 1931) **John Stephen Strange (Dorothy Stockbridge Tillet) - Van Dusen Ormsberry - The Man Who Killed Fortescue (1/3) {GooglePlay / Internet Archive}

(1929 - 1947) Margery Allingham - Albert Campion - The Case Of The Late Pig (8/35) {interlibrary loan / Kindle /}
(1929 - 1984) Gladys Mitchell - Mrs Bradley - The Devil At Saxon Wall (6/67) {interlibrary loan / Kindle}
(1929 - 1937) Patricia Wentworth - Benbow Smith - Down Under (4/4)
(1929 - ????) Mignon Eberhart - Nurse Sarah Keate - Dead Yesterday And Other Stories (6/8) (NB: multiple Eberhart characters) {expensive / limited edition} / Wolf In Man's Clothing (7/8) {Rare Books / Kindle / ZLibrary}
^^^(1929 - ????) Moray Dalton - Inspector Collier - The Belgrave Manor Crime (5/14) {Kindle}
^^^(1929 - 1930) * / ***Charles Reed Jones - Leighton Swift - The Torch Murder (1/3) {Rare Books}
(1929 - 1931) Carolyn Wells - Kenneth Carlisle - The Skeleton At The Feast (3/3) {Kindle}
(1929 - 1967) *George Goodchild - Inspector McLean - McLean Investigates (2/65) {State Library NSW, JFR}
(1929 - 1979) *Leonard Gribble - Anthony Slade - The Case Of The Marsden Rubies (1/33) {AbeBooks / Rare Books / re-check Kindle}
(1929 - 1932) *E. R. Punshon - Carter and Bell - The Unexpected Legacy (1/5) {Rare Books}

(1929 - 1971) *Ellery Queen - Ellery Queen - The Roman Hat Mystery (1/40) {interlibrary loan / Internet Archive}
(1929 - 1966) *Arthur Upfield - Bony - The Mystery Of Swordfish Reef (7/29) {SMSA}
(1929 - 1937) *Anthony Berkeley - Ambrose Chitterwick - The Piccadilly Murder (2/3) {interlibrary loan / Internet Archive}
^^^^^(1929 - 1940) *Jean Lilly - DA Bruce Perkins - The Seven Sisters (1/3) {rare, expensive}
(1929 - 1935) *N. A. Temple-Ellis (Nevile Holdaway) - Montrose Arbuthnot - The Inconsistent Villains (1/4) {Rare Books}
(1929 - 1943) *Gret Lane - Kate Clare Marsh and Inspector Barrin - The Cancelled Score Mystery (1/9) {Kindle}
(1929 - 1961) Henry Holt - Inspector Silver - The Necklace Of Death (3/16) {Rare Books}
(1929 - 1930) **J. J. Connington - Superintendent Ross - The Two Tickets Puzzle (2/2)
(1929 - 1941) *H. Maynard Smith - Inspector Frost - Inspector Frost And Lady Brassingham (5/7) {Kindle}
(1929 - 1932) Clemence Dane and Helen Simpson - Sir John Saumarez - Re-Enter Sir John (3/3)
(1929 - 1940) *Rufus King - Lieutenant Valcour - Murder By The Clock (1/11) {Rare Books / Kindle / ZLibrary}
(1929 - 1933) *Will Levinrew (Will Levine) - Professor Brierly - For Sale - Murder (4/5) {AbeBooks}
(1929 - 1932) *Nancy Barr Mavity - Peter Piper - The Body On The Floor (1/5) {AbeBooks / Rare Books / State Library NSW, JFR}
(1929 - 1934) *Charles J. Dutton - Professor Harley Manners - The Circle Of Death (4/6) {}
(1929 - 1932) Thomas Cobb - Inspector Bedison - Who Closed The Casement? (4/4)
(1929 - ????) * J. C. Lenehan - Inspector Kilby - The Silecroft Case (2/?) {Kindle}
(1929 - 1936) *Robin Forsythe - Anthony "Algernon" Vereker - The Polo Ground Mystery (2/5) {Kindle}
^^^^^(1929 - 1931) */***David Frome (Zenith Jones Brown) - Major Gregory Lewis - The Murder Of An Old Man (1/3) {rare, expensive}

(1930 - ????) Moray Dalton - Hermann Glide - The Strange Case Of Harriet Hall (4/?) {Kindle}
^^^(1930 - 1960) Miles Burton - Desmond Merrion - Death Of Mr Gantley (3/57) {Internet Archive}
^^^(1930 - 1960) Miles Burton - Inspector Henry Arnold - Death Of Mr Gantley (3/57) {Internet Archive}
(1930 - 1933) Roger Scarlett - Inspector Kane - Murder Among The Angells (4/5) {expensive}
(1930 - 1941) Harriette Ashbrook - Philip "Spike" Tracy - Murder Comes Back (6/7) {Kindle}
(1930 - 1943) Anthony Abbot - Thatcher Colt - About The Murder Of The Night Club Lady (3/8) {AbeBooks / serialised}
^^^^^(1930 - ????) ***David Sharp - Professor Fielding - I, The Criminal (4/?) {unavailable?}
(1930 - 1950) *H. C. Bailey - Josiah Clunk - Garstons (aka The Garston Murder Case) (1/11) {HathiTrust}
(1930 - 1968) *Francis Van Wyck Mason - Hugh North - The Vesper Service Murders (2/41) {Kindle}
(1930 - 1976) Agatha Christie - Miss Jane Marple - Miss Marple's Final Cases (14/14)
(1930 - 1939) Anne Austin - James "Bonnie" Dundee - Murdered But Not Dead (5/5)
(1930 - 1950) *Leslie Ford (as David Frome) - Mr Pinkerton and Inspector Bull - The Hammersmith Murders (1/11) {AbeBooks / Rare Books}
^^^^^(1930 - 1935) *"Diplomat" (John Franklin Carter) - Dennis Tyler - Murder In The State Department (1/7) {Amazon / Abebooks}
(1930 - 1962) *Helen Reilly - Inspector Christopher McKee - The Diamond Feather (1/31) {Rare Books}
(1930 - 1933) *Mary Plum - John Smith - The Killing Of Judge MacFarlane (1/4) {AbeBooks / Rare Books}
(1930 - 1945) *Hulbert Footner - Amos Lee Mappin - The Nation's Missing Guest (3/10) {}
^^^(1930 - 1933) *Monte Barrett - Peter Cardigan - The Wedding March Murder (2/3) {serialised}
(1930 - 1931) Vernon Loder - Inspector Brews - Death Of An Editor (2/2)
^^^^^(1930 - 1931) *Roland Daniel - John Hopkins - The Rosario Murder Case (1/2) {unavailable?}
^^^(1930 - 1961) *Mark Cross ("Valentine", aka Archibald Thomas Pechey) - Daphne Wrayne and her Four Adjusters - The Grip Of The Four (1/53) {Rare Books}
^^^(1930 - 1937) Elaine Hamilton - Inspector Reynolds - Peril At Midnight (6/9) {Kindle}
(1930 - 1932) *J. S. Fletcher - Sergeant Charlesworth - The Borgia Cabinet (1/2) { / Kindle}
(1930 - ????) *Carolyn Keene - Nancy Drew - The Bungalow Mystery (3/?) {original text unavailable}
(1930 - 1937) John Dickson Carr - Henri Bencolin - The Corpse In The Waxworks (aka "The Waxworks Murder") (4/5) {SMSA / Fisher Library / State Library NSW, JFR}

^^^^^ Remainder of series unavailable
^^^ Incompletely available series
** Series complete pre-1931
* Present status pre-1931

Edited: Apr 20, 6:43am

Series and sequels, 1931 - 1932:

^^^(1931 - 1940) Bruce Graeme - Superintendent Stevens and Pierre Allain - Not Proven (5/8) {Trove}
(1931 - 1951) Phoebe Atwood Taylor - Asey Mayo - The Tinkling Symbol (6/24) {Rare Books / academic loan}
(1931 - 1955) Stuart Palmer - Hildegarde Withers - The Puzzle Of The Silver Persian (5/18) {Kindle / ILL / ZLibrary}
(1931 - 1933) Sydney Fowler - Inspector Cleveland - Arresting Delia (4/4)
(1931 - 1934) J. H. Wallis - Inspector Wilton Jacks - The Capital City Mystery (2/6) {Rare Books}
(1931 - ????) Paul McGuire - Inspector Cummings - Daylight Murder (aka "Murder At High Noon") (3/5) {academic loan / State Library NSW, held}
(1931 - ????) Carlton Dawe - Leathermouth - Leathermouth's Luck (4/??) {Trove}
(1931 - 1947) R. L. Goldman - Asaph Clume and Rufus Reed - Death Plays Solitaire (3/6) {Kindle}
^^^(1931 - 1959) E. C. R. Lorac (Edith Caroline Rivett) - Inspector Robert Macdonald - The Affair On Thor's Head (2/46) {State Library NSW, JFR}
(1931 - 1935) Clifton Robbins - Clay Harrison - Methylated Murder (5/5)
(1931 - 1972) Georges Simenon - Inspector Maigret - Le Port des Brumes (15/75) {ILL / ZLibrary}
^^^(1931 - 1942) R. A. J. Walling - Garstang - Murder At Midnight (2/3) {Rare Books}
(1931 - ????) Francis Bonnamy (Audrey Boyers Walz) - Peter Utley Shane - Death By Appointment (1/8) {AbeBooks / Rare Books}
(1931 - 1937) J. S. Fletcher - Ronald Camberwell - Murder In The Squire's Pew (3/11) {Kindle / State Library NSW, held}
(1931 - 1933) Edwin Dial Torgerson - Sergeant Pierre Montigny - The Murderer Returns (1/2) {Rare Books)
(1931 - 1933) Molly Thynne - Dr Constantine and Inspector Arkwright - He Dies And Makes No Sign (3/3)
(1931 - 1935) Valentine Williams - Sergeant Trevor Dene - The Clue Of The Rising Moon (4/4)
(1931 - 1942) Patricia Wentworth - Frank Garrett - Pursuit Of A Parcel (5/5)
(1931 - 1931) Frances Shelley Wees - Michael Forrester and Tuck Torrie - The Mystery Of The Creeping Man (2/2)
(1931 - 1948) Alice Campbell - Tommy Rostetter - The Click Of The Gate (1/?) {CARM}
^^^(1931 - 1939) Roland Daniel - Inspector Walk - The Stool Pigeon (4/8) {Rare Books}

(1932 - 1954) Sydney Fowler - Inspector Cambridge and Mr Jellipot - The Bell Street Murders (1/11) {AbeBooks / Rare Books}
^^^^^(1932 - 1935) Murray Thomas - Inspector Wilkins - Buzzards Pick The Bones (1/3) {AbeBooks, expensive}
(1932 - ????) R. A. J. Walling - Philip Tolefree - The Cat And The Corpse (aka "The Corpse In The Green Pajamas") (6/22) {Kindle / Internet Archive}
(1932 - 1962) T. Arthur Plummer - Detective-Inspector Andrew Frampton - Frampton Of The Yard! (3/50) {Rare Books}
(1932 - 1936) John Victor Turner - Amos Petrie - Who Spoke Last? (2/7) {Kindle}
(1932 - 1944) Nicholas Brady (John Victor Turner) - Ebenezer Buckle - The House Of Strange Guests (1/4) {Kindle}
(1932 - 1933) Barnaby Ross (aka Ellery Queen) - Drury Lane - Drury Lane's Last Case (4/4)
^^^(1932 - ????) Richard Essex (Richard Harry Starr) - Jack Slade - Slade Scores Again (2/?) {Rare Books}
(1932 - 1933) Gerard Fairlie - Mr Malcolm - Shot In The Dark (1/3) (State Library NSW, held}
(1932 - 1934) Paul McGuire - Superintendent Fillinger - Murder By The Law (2/5) {State Library, held}
^^^^^(1932 - 1946) Roland Daniel - Inspector Pearson - The Crackswoman (1/6) {unavailable}
(1932 - 1951) Sydney Horler - Tiger Standish - Tiger Standish (1/11) {Rare Books}

^^^^^ Remainder of series unavailable
^^^ Incompletely available series

Edited: Jun 22, 6:34pm

Series and sequels, 1933 onwards:

(1933 - 1959) John Gordon Brandon - Arthur Stukeley Pennington - West End! (1/?) {AbeBooks / State Library, held}
(1933 - 1940) Lilian Garis - Carol Duncan - The Ghost Of Melody Lane (1/9) { / Internet Archive}
^^^^^(1933 - 1934) Peter Hunt (George Worthing Yates and Charles Hunt Marshall) - Allan Miller - Murders At Scandal House (1/3) {AbeBooks / Amazon}
(1933 - 1968) John Dickson Carr - Gideon Fell - Hag's Nook (1/23) {Better World Books / State Library NSW, interlibrary loan}
^^^^^(1933 - 1939) Gregory Dean (Jacob D. Posner) - Deputy Commissioner Benjamin Simon - The Case Of Marie Corwin (1/3) {AbeBooks / Amazon}
(1933 - 1956) E. R. Punshon - Detective-Sergeant Bobby Owen - Information Received (1/35) {academic loan / State Library NSW, held / Rare Books}
(1933 - 1934) Jackson Gregory - Paul Savoy - A Case For Mr Paul Savoy (1/3) {AbeBooks / Rare Books}
(1933 - 1957) John Creasey - Department Z - The Death Miser (1/28) {State Library NSW, held}
^^^^^(1933 - 1940) Bruce Graeme - Superintendent Stevens - Body Unknown (2/2) {expensive}
(1933 - 1952) Wyndham Martyn - Christopher Bond - The Denmede Mystery (3/8) {State Library NSW, JFR}

^^^^^(1934 - 1949) Richard Goyne - Paul Templeton - Strange Motives (1/13) {unavailable?}
^^^^^(1934 - 1941) N. A. Temple-Ellis (Nevile Holdaway) - Inspector Wren - Three Went In (1/3) {unavailable?}
(1934 - 1953) Carter Dickson (John Dickson Carr) - Sir Henry Merivale - The Plague Court Murders (1/22) {Fisher Library}
(1934 - 1953) Leslie Ford (Zenith Jones Brown) - Colonel Primrose - The Strangled Witness (1/17) {Rare Books}
(1934 - 1975) Rex Stout - Nero Wolfe - The Rubber Band (3/?) {ILL / Internet Archive / ZLibrary}
(1934 - 1935) Vernon Loder - Inspector Chace - Murder From Three Angles (1/2) {Kindle / ????}

(1935 - 1939) Francis Beeding - Inspector George Martin - The Norwich Victims (1/3) {Roy Glashan's Library}
(1935 - 1976) Nigel Morland - Palmyra Pym - The Moon Murders (1/28) {State Library NSW, held}
(1935 - 1941) Clyde Clason - Professor Theocritus Lucius Westborough - The Fifth Tumbler (1/10) {HathiTrust}
(1935 - ????) G. D. H. Cole / M. Cole - Dr Tancred - Dr Tancred Begins (1/?) (AbeBooks, expensive / State Library NSW, held / Rare Books}
(1935 - ????) George Harmon Coxe - Kent Murdock - Murder With Pictures (1/22) {ebook? / AbeBooks}
^^^(1935 - 1959) Kathleen Moore Knight - Elisha Macomber - The Tainted Token (6/16) {Rare Books}

(1936 - 1974) Anthony Gilbert (Lucy Malleson) - Arthur Crook - Murder By Experts (1/51) {Kindle / interlibrary loan}
(1936 - 1940) George Bell Dyer - The Catalyst Club - The Catalyst Club (1/3) {Rare Books}
^^^(1936 - 1956) Theodora Du Bois - Anne and Jeffrey McNeil - Death Dines Out (4/19) {Rare Books}
(1936 - 1945) Charles Kingston - Chief Inspector Wake - Murder In Piccadilly (1/7) {Kindle}
(1937 - 1953) Leslie Ford (Zenith Jones Brown) - Grace Latham - Ill Met By Moonlight (1/16) {Kindle / Internet Archive}
(1938 - 1944) Zelda Popkin - Mary Carner - Time Off For Murder (2/6) {Kindle}
^^^^^(1938 - 1939) D. B. Olsen (Dolores Hitchens) - Lt. Stephen Mayhew - The Clue In The Clay (1/2) {expensive}
(1939 - 1953) Patricia Wentworth - Inspector Lamb - The Vanishing Point (11/11)
^^^(1939 - 1940) Clifton Robbins - George Staveley - Death Forms Threes (2/2) {Rare Books}
(1939 - 1956) D. B. Olsen (Dolores Hitchens) - Rachel Murdock (check Stephen Mayhew) - The Cat Saw Murder (1/12) {Kindle / ZLibrary}

^^^(1940 - 1943) Bruce Graeme - Pierre Allain - The Corporal Died In Bed (1/3) {CARM}
(1941 - 1951) Bruce Graeme - Theodore I. Terhune - Seven Clues In Search Of A Crime (1/7) {Kindle / GooglePlay}
(1943 - 1961) Enid Blyton - Five Find-Outers - The Mystery Of The Disappearing Cat (2/15) {fadedpage}
(1945 - 1952) D. B. Olsen (Dolores Hitchens) - Professor Pennyfeather - Bring The Bride A Shroud (aka "A Shroud For The Bride") (1/6) {Rare Books / National Library}
(1947 - 1953) Michael Gilbert - Inspector Hazelrigg - They Never Looked Inside (2/6) {State Library NSW, JFR}
(1955 - 1991) Patricia Highsmith - Tom Ripley - Ripley's Game (3/5) {SMSA}
(1957 - 1993) Chester B. Himes - The Harlem Cycle - For Love Of Imabelle (aka "A Rage In Harlem") (1/9) {interlibrary loan* / Kindle}
(1961 - 2017) - John le Carré - George Smiley - Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (5/9) {branch transfer / SMSA}
(1964 - 1987) Robert Arthur Jr (and others) - The Three Investigators - The Mystery Of The Moaning Cave (10/43) {freebooklover}
(1965 - 1975) Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö - Martin Beck - The Man Who Went Up In Smoke (2/10) {SMSA}
(1992 - 2000) Barbara Neely - Blanche White - Blanche Cleans Up (3/4) {ILL / Kindle / ZLibrary}
(2001 - 2012) Esmahan Aykol - Kati Hirschel - Baksheesh (2/4) {SMSA}

^^^^^ Remainder of series unavailable
^^^ Incompletely available series

Edited: Jun 18, 7:01pm

Non-crime series and sequels:

(1861 - 1876) **Margaret Oliphant - Carlingford - Miss Marjoribanks (6/7) {Fisher storage}
(1867 - 1905) **Martha Finley - Elsie Dinsmore - Elsie's Winter Trip (26/28) {Project Gutenberg}
(1867 - 1872) **George MacDonald - The Seaboard Parish - Annals Of A Quiet Neighbourhood (1/3) {ManyBooks}
(1893 - 1915) **Kate Douglas Wiggins - Penelope - Penelope's Postscripts (4/4)
(1894 - 1898) **Anthony Hope - Ruritania - Rupert Of Hentzau (3/3)
(1898 - 1918) **Arnold Bennett - Five Towns - Tales Of The Five Towns (3/11) {Fisher storage / Project Gutenberg / Internet Archive}

(1901 - 1919) **Carolyn Wells - Patty Fairfield - Patty And Azalea (17/17)
(1901 - 1927) **George Barr McCutcheon - Graustark - Beverly Of Graustark (2/6) {Project Gutenberg}
(1906 - 1930) **John Galsworthy - The Forsyte Saga - Flowering Wilderness (11/12) {Fisher Library}
(1907 - 1912) **Carolyn Wells - Marjorie - Marjorie's Vacation (1/6) {ManyBooks}
(1908 - 1924) **Margaret Penrose - Dorothy Dale - Dorothy Dale: A Girl Of Today (1/13) {ManyBooks}
(1909 - 1912) **Emerson Hough - Western Trilogy - 54-40 Or Fight (1/3) {Project Gutenberg}
(1910 - 1931) Grace S. Richmond - Red Pepper Burns - Red Pepper Returns (6/6)
(1910 - 1933) Jeffery Farnol - The Vibarts - The Way Beyond (3/3) {Fisher Library storage /}

(1911 - 1937) Mary Roberts Rinehart - Letitia Carberry - Tish Marches On (5/5)
^^^(1911 - 1919) **Alfred Bishop Mason - Tom Strong - Tom Strong, Lincoln's Scout (5/5)
(1913 - 1934) *Alice B. Emerson - Ruth Fielding - Ruth Fielding In The Far North (20/30) {expensive}
(1916 - 1941) John Buchan - Edward Leithen - Sick Heart River (5/5)
(1915 - 1923) **Booth Tarkington - Growth - The Magnificent Ambersons (2/3) {Project Gutenberg / Fisher Library / Kindle}
(1917 - 1929) **Henry Handel Richardson - Dr Richard Mahony - Australia Felix (1/3) {Fisher Library / Kindle}

(1920 - 1939) E. F. Benson - Mapp And Lucia - Trouble For Lucia (6/6)
(1920 - 1952) William McFee - Spenlove - The Adopted - (7/7)
(1920 - 1932) *Alice B. Emerson - Betty Gordon - Betty Gordon At Bramble Farm (1/15) {ManyBooks}
^^^(1923 - 1931) *Agnes Miller - The Linger-Nots - The Linger-Nots And The Secret Maze (5/5) {unavailable}
(1924 - 1928) **Ford Madox Ford - Parade's End - Last Post (4/4) {}
(1926 - 1936) *Margery Lawrence - The Round Table - Nights Of The Round Table (1/2) {Kindle}
(1927 - 1960) **Mazo de la Roche - Jalna - Jalna (1/16) {State Library NSW, JFR /}

(1928 - ????) Trygve Lund - Weston of the Royal North-West Mounted Police - The Vanished Prospector (6/9) {AbeBooks}
(1929 - 1931) *Ernest Raymond - Once In England - A Family That Was (1/3) {State Library NSW, JFR}

(1930 - 1932) Hugh Walpole - The Herries Chronicles - Vanessa (4/4)
(1930 - 1932) Faith Baldwin - The Girls Of Divine Corners - Myra: A Story Of Divine Corners (4/4)
(1930 - 1940) E. M. Delafield - The Provincial Lady - The Provincial Lady In Wartime (4/4)
(1930 - 1937) *Nina Murdoch - Miss Emily - Miss Emily In Black Lace (1/3) {State Library, held}

(1931 - 1951) Olive Higgins Prouty - The Vale Novels - Fabia (5/5)
(1931 - 1934) T. S. Stribling - The Vaiden Trilogy - The Store (2/3) {Internet Archive / academic loan / State Library, held}
(1931 - 1935) Pearl S. Buck - The House Of Earth - A House Divided (3/3)
(1932 - 1932) Lizette M. Edholm - The Merriweather Girls - The Merriweather Girls At Good Old Rockhill (4/4)
(1932 - 1952) D. E. Stevenson - Mrs Tim - Mrs Tim Flies Home (5/5) {interlibrary loan}

(1933 - 1970) Dennis Wheatley - Duke de Richlieu - The Forbidden Territory (1/11) {Fisher Library}
(1934 - 1936) Storm Jameson - The Mirror In Darkness - Company Parade (1/3) {Fisher Library}
(1934 - 1968) Dennis Wheatley - Gregory Sallust - Black August (1/11) {interlibrary loan / omnibus}
(1936 - 1952) Helen Dore Boylston - Sue Barton - Sue Barton, Student Nurse (1/7) {interlibrary loan}

(1947 - 1974) Dennis Wheatley - Roger Brook - The Launching Of Roger Brook (1/12) {Fisher Library storage}
(1948 - 1971) E. V. Timms - The Gubbys - Forever To Remain (1/12) {Fisher Library / interlibrary loan}
(1953 - 1960) Dennis Wheatley - Molly Fountain and Colonel Verney - To The Devil A Daughter (1/2) {Fisher Library storage}
(1955 - 1956) D. E. Stevenson - The Ayrton Family - Summerhills (2/2) {interlibrary loan}
(1989 - ????) Nancy A. Collins - Sonja Blue - Paint It Black (3/7) {Kindle / ZLibrary}

*** Incompletely available series
** Series complete pre-1931
* Present status pre-1931

Edited: May 24, 6:54pm

Unavailable series works (Part 1: series partially available):

John Rhode - Dr Priestley
The Hanging Woman (#11) {rare, expensive}

Miles Burton - Desmond Merrion / Inspector Arnold
The Three Crimes (#2 Merrion / #1 Arnold) {rare, expensive}
The Menace On The Downs (#2 Arnold) {rare, expensive}
Fate At The Fair (#4 Merrion / #4 Arnold) {unavailable}
Tragedy At The Thirteenth Hole (#5 Merrion / #5 Arnold) {unavailable}
Death At The Cross-Roads (#6 Merrion / #6 Arnold) {unavailable}
The Charabanc Mystery (#7 Merrion / #7 Arnold) {unavailable}
To Catch A Thief (#8 Merrion / #8 Arnold) {unavailable}
The Devereux Court Mystery (#9 Merrion / #9 Arnold) {unavailable}
Murder Of A Chemist (#11 Merrion / #11 Arnold) {unavailable}
Where Is Barbara Prentice? (aka "The Clue Of The Silver Cellar") (#13 Merrion / #13 Arnold) {rare, expensive}
Death At The Club (aka "The Clue Of The Fourteen Keys") (#14 Merrion/ #14 Arnold) {unavailable}
Murder In Crown Passage (aka "The Man With The Tattoed Face") (#15 Merrion / #15 Arnold) {unavailable}

Natalie Sumner Lincoln - Inspector Mitchell
The Nameless Man (#2) {expensive}

Louis Tracy - Winter and Furneaux
The Park Lane Mystery (#6) {unavailable}

John Alexander Ferguson - Francis McNab
Death Of Mr Dodsley (#5) {unavailable}

Moray Dalton - Inspector Collier
The Harvest Of Tares (#4) {unavailable}

E. C. R. Lorac - Inspector Robert MacDonald
The Murder On The Burrows (#1) {unavailable}
The Greenwell Mystery (#3) {unavailable}

R. A. J. Walling - Garstang
Stroke Of One (#1) {unavailable}

T. Arthur Plummer - Inspector Frampton
Shadowed By The C.I.D. (#1) {unavailable}
Shot At Night (#2) {unavailable}

Bruce Graeme - Superintendent Stevens
Body Unknown (#?) {unavailable}

Charles Barry (real name: Charles Bryson) - Inspector Gilmartin
The Smaller Penny (#1) {expensive}

Francis D. Grierson - Inspector Sims and Professor Wells
The Double Thumb (#3) {unavailable}

Cecil Freeman Gregg - Inspector Higgins
The Murdered Manservant (aka "The Body In The Safe") (#1) {HathiTrust/not accessible}
The Three Daggers (#2) {HathiTrust/not accessible}

Charles J. Dutton - Harley Manners
The Shadow Of Evil (#2) {rare, expensive}

Elaine Hamilton - Inspector Reynolds
Murder In The Fog (#2) {unavailable}
The Chelsea Mystery (#3) {unavailable}
The Green Death (Reynolds #4?) {unavailable}
The Silent Bell (Reynolds #5?) {unavailable}

Herman Landon - The Picaroon
The Picaroon Does Justice (#2) {CARM}
Buy My Silence! (#3) {rare, expensive}
The Picaroon Resumes Practice (#5) {unavailable}
The Picaroon In Pursuit (#6) {CARM}

Bertram Atkey - Smiler Bunn
The Smiler Bunn Brigade (#2) {rare, expensive}
Smiler Bunn, Man-Hunter (#3) {unavailable}
Smiler Bunn, Gentleman Crook (#4) {unavailable}
The Man With Yellow Eyes (#5) {unavailable}
Smiler Bunn: Byewayman (#6) {unavailable}
Smiler Bunn, Gentleman-Adventurer (#7) {unavailable}
Smiler Bunn, Crook (#8) {unavailable}
Arsenic and gold (#10) {unavailable}
The House Of Clystevill (#11) {unavailable}

Charles Reed Jones - Leighton Swift
The King Murder (#1) {unavailable}
The Van Norton Murders (#3) {Complete Detective Novel Magazine}

Monte Barrett - Peter Cardigan
Murder Off Stage (aka "Knotted Silk") (#2) {expensive shipping}

Roland Daniel - Inspector John Walk
Dead Man's Vengeance (#1) {unavailable}
Ann Turns Detective (#2) {unavailable}
Ruby Of A Thousand Dreams (#3) {Ramble House} (NB: Wu Fang)

George Dilnot - Inspector Strickland
Crooks' Game (#1) {expensive}
The Black Ace (#2) {expensive}

Richard Essex (aka ) - Jack Slade
Slade Of The Yard (#1) {expensive}

Mark Cross aka Archibald Thomas Pechey aka Valentine - Daphne Wrayne and the Four Adjusters
The Shadow Of The Four (#1) {rare, expensive}

Bruce Graeme - Stevens and Allain
Satan's Mistress (#4) {unavailable}

Wyndham Martyn - Christopher Bond
Christopher Bond, Adventurer (#1) {unavailable}
Spies Of Peace (#2) {unavailable}

Clifton Robbins - George Staveley
Six Sign-Post Murder (#1) {expensive}

Edited: Apr 27, 6:47pm

Unavailable series works (Part 2: series effectively unavailable):

R. Francis Foster - Anthony Ravenhill
The Missing Gates (#1) {unavailable}
Anthony Ravenhill, Crime Merchant (#2) {expensive}
The Music Gallery Murder (#3) {unavailable}
The Moat House Mystery (#4) {unavailable}
The Dark Night (#5) {unavailable}

David Sharp - Professor Fielding
When No Man Pursueth (#1) {unavailable}
I, The Criminal (#4) {rare, expensive}
The Inconvenient Corpse (#5 rare, expensive}
Marriage And Murder (#6)

Adam Broome - Denzil Grigson
Crowner's Quest (#2) {rare, expensive}
The Island Of Death (#3) {rare, expensive}
The Crocodile Club (#5) {unavailable}
The Black Mamba (#6) {rare, expensive}
Snakes And Ladders (#7) {unavailable}
The Red Queen Club (#8) {unavailable}
Flame Of The Forest (#9) {rare, expensive}

Roger Scarlett - Inspector Kane
Murder Among The Angells (#4) {expensive}
In The First Degree (#5) {expensive}

Alice MacGowan and Perry Newberry - Jerry Boyne
The Seventh Passenger (#4) {expensive}
Who Is This Man? (#5) {available, expensive shipping}

Roland Daniel - Wu Fang
The Society Of The Spiders (#1) {Ramble House}
Wu Fang (#2) {unavailable}
Ruby Of A Thousand Dreams (#3) {Ramble House}
Wu Fang's Revenge (#4) {unavailable}
The Son Of Wu Fang (#5) {Ramble House}
The Return Of Wu Fang (#6) {Ramble House}

The Hanshews - Cleek
The Amber Junk (aka "Riddle Of The Amber Ship") (#9) {rare, expensive}
The House Of Seven Keys (#10) {rare, expensive}
The Riddle Of The Winged Death (#11) {unavailable}
Murder In The Hotel (#12) {unavailable}

William Morton (aka William Blair Morton Ferguson) - Daniel "Biff" Corrigan / Police Commissioner Kirker Cameron
Masquerade (#1) {expensive}
The Mystery Of The Human Bookcase (#2) {expensive}
The Murderer (aka "The Pilditch Puzzle") (#3) {expensive}
The Case Of Casper Gault ????

Jean Lilly - DA Bruce Perkins
The Seven Sisters (#1) {rare, expensive}
False Face (#2) {rare, expensive}
Death In B-Minor (#3) {rare, expensive}
Death Thumbs A Ride (#4) {rare, expensive}

David Frome (Zenith Jones Brown) - Major Gregory Lewis
Murder Of An Old Man (#1) {rare, expensive}
In At The Death (#2) {rare, expensive}
The Strange Death Of Martin Green (#3) {rare, expensive}

John Franklin Carter (aka "Diplomat") - Dennis Tyler
Murder In The State Department (#1) {unavailable}
Murder In The Embassy (#2) {unavailable}
Scandal In The Chancery (#3) {unavailable}
The Corpse On The White House Lawn (#4) {unavailable}
Death In The Senate (#5) {unavailable}
Slow Death At Geneva (#6) {unavailable}
Brain Trust Murder (#7) {unavailable}

Murray Thomas - Inspector Wilkins
Buzzards Pick The Bones (#1) {unavailable}
Inspector Wilkins Sees Red (#2) {rare, expensive}
Inspector Wilkins Reads The Proofs (#3) {unavailable}

Roland Daniel - John Hopkins
The Rosario Murder Case (#1) {unavailable}
The Shooting Of Sergius Leroy (#2) {unavailable}

Roland Daniel - Inspector Pearson
The Crackswoman (#1) {unavailable}
The Green Jade God (#2) {unavailable}
White Eagle (#3) {unavailable}
The Crimson Shadow (#4) {expensive}
The Gangster's Last Shot (#5) {unavailable}
Murder At Little Malling (#6) {CARM}

Kathleen Moore Knight - Elisha Macomber
Death Blew Out The Match (#1) {expensive}
The Clue Of The Poor Man's Shilling (aka "The Poor Man's Shilling") (#2) {CARM / expensive}
The Wheel That Turned (#3) {expensive}
Seven Were Veiled (#4) {expensive}
Acts Of Black Night (#5) {expensive}

Peter Hunt (aka George Worthing Yates and Charles Hunt Marshall) - Alan Miller
Murders At Scandal House (#1) {expensive}
Murder For Breakfast (#2) {expensive}
Murder Among The Nudists (#3) {expensive}

Gregory Dean (aka Jacob D. Posner) - Benjamin Simon
The Case Of Marie Corwin (#1) {unavailable}
The Case Of The Fifth Key (#2) {unavailable}
Murder On Stilts (#3) {unavailable}

N. A. Temple-Ellis (aka Nevile Holdaway) - Inspector Wren
Three Went In (#1) {unavailable}
Dead In No Time (aka "Murder In The Ruins") (#2) {expensive}
Death Of A Decent Fellow (#3) {unavailable}

Richard Goyne - Paul Templeton
Strange Motives (#1) {unavailable}
Murder At The Inn (#2) {unavailable}
Produce The Body (#3) {unavailable}
Death By Desire (#4) {expensive}
Hanged I'll Be! (#5) {CARM}
Death In Harbour (#6) {unavailable}
Seven Were Suspect (#7) {unavailable}
The Merrylees Mystery (#8) {unavailable}
Who Killed My Wife? (#9) {unavailable}
Fear Haunts The Fells (#10) {unavailable}
Five Roads Inn (#11) {unavailable}
Murder Made Easy (#12) {unavailable}
Murderer's Moon (#13) {expensive}

Theodora du Bois - Anne and Jeffrey McNeill
Armed With A New Terror (#1) {unavailable}
Death Wears A White Coat (#2) {unavailable}
Death Tears A Comic Strip (#3) {expensive}

D. B. Olsen (aka Dolores Hichens) - Stephen Mayhew (overlaps with Rachel Murdock)
The Clue In The Clay (#1) {expensive}
Death Cuts A Silhouette (#2) {expensive}

Alfred Bishop Mason - Tom Strong
Tom Strong, Boy-Captain (#2) {unavailable}
Tom Strong, Junior (#3) {unavailable}
Tom Strong, Third (#4) {unavailable}

Agnes Miller - The Linger-Nots
The Linger-Nots And The Secret Maze (#5) {unavailable}

Edited: May 9, 12:54am

Books currently on loan:




Edited: Jun 16, 6:35pm

Reading projects:




Other projects:



Edited: Apr 19, 7:44pm

Group read news:

Our next group read will be Anthony Trollope's Miss Mackenzie: this will be happening in June.

After that, we will be continuing Margaret Oliphant's 'Chronicles of Carlingford', with Miss Marjoribanks. We do not have a date set for tjis yet, but perhaps September.

Edited: Apr 20, 5:31pm

General comments:

A couple of organisational projects afoot---one of which may be seen in >16 lyzard: and >17 lyzard: above.

I have been going through my series lists and trying to be a bit more realistic (ha!); that is, I have been trying to note where the series works are available, and where they just aren't: noting the next available series work, and crossing off those series where, in practical terms, none of them are.

I can then focus on just those works for which I have identified a source. This in lieu of fretting myself and going around in circles about books I just can't get; but noting them, so that I can re-check at intervals. Because with so much obscure material creeping out into various ebook collections, you never know!

The other thing I have been thinking about, now that my library access has opened up again, is how best to address my various challenges and shared reads.

The best-seller challenge continues to tick along on a one-a-month basis; but for my other projects, they are more reasonably pursued bimonthly. So what I want to do is try to divvy these up, in a way that will allow me to get back into a rhythm.

At the moment my other projects are as follows:

The Nero Wolfe series: shared read
The Three Investigators: shared read
The Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte series: future shared read
The Albert Campion series: future shared read

The C.K. Shorter 'Best 100 Novels' list
A Century Of Reading
Mystery League publications
Banned In Boston!

Looked at like that, there is a reasonably sensible (ha!) breakdown into Month A and Month B:

Month A:

Best-seller challenge
Nero Wolfe series
Three Investigators
C. K. Shorter
Mystery League

Month B:

Best-seller challenge
Napoleon Bonaparte series
Albert Campion series
A Century Of Reading
Banned in Boston!

Designating May and June as A and B, respectively (and noting that we are not yet ready to begin with the Bony and Campion shared reads), that would look as follows:


Trinity by Leon Uris
The League Of Frightened Men by Rex Stout
The Mystery Of The Screaming Clock by Robert Arthur
Jack Brag by Theodore Hook
The Mystery Of Villa Sineste by Walter Livingston


????? {best-seller}
**The Mystery Of Swordfish Reef by Arthur Upfield
**The Case Of The Late Pig by Margery Allingham
Nightmare Abbey by Thomas Love Peacock
Mosquitoes by William Faulkner

There are a few more things to be slotted in - aren't there always? - but that looks like a plan.

Edited: Apr 19, 8:05pm

Enough! Much more than enough. :)

Please come on in and say hi...

Apr 19, 8:10pm

Happy new thread, Liz

Apr 19, 8:11pm

>1 lyzard: Wow what a finch!

Happy new one!

Apr 19, 9:44pm

Pretty, pretty, pretty little birdies!

I must say, for as much as Australia is home to some of the most terrifying fauna on the planet, you've got some beautiful/adorable species to balance things out.

Apr 20, 8:56am

Happy new thread, Liz!

>1 lyzard: Very colorful birds, lovely to see.

>5 lyzard: So A Murder Of Quality by John le Carré will be your next read? I have put it in TIOLI #5, and have it at hand to read. Ended up purchasing a second hand copy, as all library copies nationwide were on lend.

Apr 20, 9:53am

The finches are beautiful! Australia has such interesting wildlife.

Apr 20, 11:53am

Happy new thread, Liz!

Edited: Apr 20, 5:41pm

>23 PaulCranswick:, >24 figsfromthistle:, >25 rosalita:, >26 FAMeulstee:, >27 Matke:, >28 swynn:

Thanks so much for dropping in! :)

This may be my last non-threatening thread-topper for a while so I wanted to make it a good one. :D

>25 rosalita:

We're all about the extremes here. :D

BTW, I don't know if you read any of it (and wouldn't blame you if you didn't!) but some of the blather in >21 lyzard: is relevant to you.

>26 FAMeulstee:

It may not be next but I will definitely be getting to it this month; I saw your TIOLI listing and that's fine. Sorry you had to buy a copy, though, it's frustrating when that happens.

>27 Matke:

Yes, I'm planning to get to some of the really interesting ones... :D

Apr 20, 5:49pm

Well, I wouldn't call it blather, but I did read it! The way you've split the shared reads into alternating month works for me. And I am of course chuffed to see that so many of those shared reads are with me (along with other of your acolytes, of course). :-D

I am starting the final Miss Silver tonight. I realized I hadn't transferred it to my e-reader — or rather I transferred it to my "travel" e-reader but not the one I use here at home, which has a bigger screen and is easier on my poor old eyes. :)

Apr 20, 6:33pm

>30 rosalita:

Excellent, thanks!

Oh, I completely understand and sympathise: I've had to do so much online reading lately, my eyes have just about packed it in. (And they're not so great at the best of times!)

I look forward to comparing notes on...{*sniff*}...The Last Of Maud.

Apr 20, 6:35pm

Finished Poison for TIOLI #10.

Now reading Mr Fortune Objects by H. C. Bailey.

Apr 20, 10:23pm

Lovely new thread! The colorful topper is beautiful. I do admit to a little trepidation about future threads given the warning at the end of your last thread!

Apr 21, 6:01pm

>33 cbl_tn:

Hi, Carrie!

If it makes you feel any better, I'm planning on easing people into it via 'weird'. :D

Edited: Apr 21, 7:47pm

Publication date: 1929
Genre: Mystery / thriller
Series: Inspector Kilby #1
Read for: Mystery League challenge

The Tunnel Mystery - During a violent thunderstorm, a train travelling south through Yorkshire plunges into a dark tunnel; by the time it emerges again, a man in a crowded third-class carriage is dead... Once the train has been brought to an emergency stop, a doctor on board volunteers his services and immediately indicates foul play. Passenger suspicion falls upon the men sitting opposite and next to the victim; and when a schoolboy accuses one of them of picking the dead man's pocket, that individual is confined in the guard's van. The doctor suggests moving the rest of the passengers to another compartment, and stays with the body while the train travels to Blackton, the next stop, where the police may be informed. There, the case falls to Inspector Parker, who learns from the doctor that the victim was shot through the forehead. No gun is found at the scene, but a broken window suggests a manner of disposal. Sure enough, Parker and his subordinate, Constable Brent, find a gun in the tunnel; but when they see how it is lying, and try to re-enact the crime, doubts arise... The first entry in John Christopher Lenehan's series featuring Inspector Kilby of Scotland Yard, The Tunnel Mystery is not particularly well-written, and is built around a highly improbable murder (the more so, the more we find out about it); but it also offers a complicated plot full of intersecting strands, and a few touches not often found in the mysteries of this time, particularly with respect to its denouement. Lenehan is more interested than is usually the case in his characters, with the result that he takes his time over the relationship between Constance Hyde, the daughter of the victim, and Jack Davis, her fiancé, who becomes a suspect; and the tentative courting by Constable Brent of Freda Lowe, one of the compartment passengers, with whom he is in love. Lenehan also delays the introduction of his series protagonist, focusing initially upon the investigation of Parker and Brent as they question the passengers, inspect the compartment, find the weapon---and begin to question the circumstances of the crime. Though it turns out the both John Lofthouse and "Reggie Robinson" - clearly not his real name - are known to the police, neither has a history of violence; though Robinson is held over the matter of the wallet. Meanwhile, the dead man is identified as David Hyde, a London diamond-merchant. Parker's initial suspicions fall upon Jack Davis, who had a violent argument with Hyde and lost his job shortly before the murder, after announcing his wish to marry Constance, and has no alibi. However, the case takes a dramatic turn when Hyde himself is accused of stealing a valuable diamond necklace---and, whether he came by the item dishonestly or not, the fact remains it is now missing... The matter of the necklace brings into the case Inspector Kilby, who for months has been in pursuit of a skilful and ruthless band of jewel thieves. Meanwhile, in self-defence, Jack Davis has turned amateur detective; so too has Richard Lowe, a well-known potter who lives in Blackton, and the uncle of Freda. In trying to impress the latter, Constable Brent is uneasily aware that he has probably talked too much; but he consoles himself that Old Dick's suggestions about the case are shrewd and helpful. The discovery that Hyde was not shot through the forehead at all, but from behind, changes everyone's perception of the case. The investigators try to contact the doctor who initially examined Hyde, but not only can they not find him---it appears that he never existed at all...

    "Ah!" remarked Kilby when the narrative had come to an end. "The case certainly gives us something to bite upon. Suspicion seems to point to Light-Fingered Freddie."
    "That's what I've thought all along." Inspector Parker was gratified to find the Great One agreeing with him.
    "Yes, he seems to be guilty. But---the wrong window was broken."
    Parker stared. "I'm afraid I don't quite follow you," he said.
    "Several reasons occur to me, Parker. Why should Freddie throw the weapon through the window farther from him? The nearer one would have been much more convenient. Moreover, there was a young woman sitting close to the window that was broken. Freddie would surely have had enough common sense to know that she would be almost certain to hear the breaking of the glass."
    "But the fact remains, she didn't hear it," countered Parker.
    "Admitted. And it's rather surprising that she didn't. But to go on. There is a strong probability that the window was broken not by the pistol itself, but by the bullet. Now, Mr Hyde was shot from behind. The bullet entered at the back of the head, slightly towards the left, and came out through the forehead, a little to the right. Freddie would have had considerable difficulty in making the bullet take that course. Remember, I'm assuming that the bullet, after crashing through the man's skull, broke the window opposite. Had Mr Hyde been leaning forward, it might have been possible for Freddie to manage it. I very much doubt it, though. Now, Freddie's job would have been much simpler had the diamond-merchant's face been turned towards the window on his right. But in that case--- Well, you can see why I say that the wrong window was broken."
    "You haven't seen the state that window is in," protested the local inspector. "If you had, you'd hardly have come to the conclusion that it was broken by anything so small as a bullet."
    "True. I haven't. But where is the bullet now if it didn't go out through the window?"

Edited: Apr 21, 8:03pm

The Tunnel Mystery was read for my Mystery League challenge---re-starting after a long pause, after the book became available on Kindle (thank you, Black Heath Editions).

It then seemed that I was about to stall again immediately, but the reopening the Rare Books section makes it possible to keep this challenge ticking over.

Next up:

#19: The Mystery Of Villa Sineste by Walter Livingston (US edition 1931; no British edition; no reissue)

This is Walter Livingston's second appearance in the Mystery League challenge, after The Mystery Of Burnleigh Manor (reviewed here); and on the strength of that, I am not altogether surprised that nobody else seems to have been interested in publishing his books. But perhaps I'm doing him an injustice. We'll see.

Another of Gene Thurston's striking covers (with a rare use of yellow, perhaps suggesting a thriller instead of a mystery): I particularly like the suggestion of SCIENCE!!---

Apr 21, 10:05pm

>36 lyzard: Very cool design! Hope the book lives up to the cover.

Apr 22, 2:05am

>37 kac522:

Hi, Kathy! In this challenge it almost certainly won't, but occasionally I get lucky. :)

Apr 22, 8:45am

>38 lyzard: Is it possible to get lucky when you are living the life of a potato?

Apr 22, 11:06am

Love the colourful birdies.
The mystery series has such great covers.

Apr 22, 5:34pm

>39 rosalita:

Living the life of a potato is my definition of getting lucky. :D

>40 Helenliz:

Hi, Helen! Gorgeous, aren't they? :)

Yes, the textbook example of 'not judging a book'!

Apr 22, 5:35pm


Am I the only one who can't get the ticker to work AT ALL at the moment?

Apr 22, 5:50pm

>41 lyzard: Little did we know when we read that book pre-Covid just how enticing the life of a potato would seem compared to what came next!!

Apr 23, 6:43pm

>43 rosalita:

Truthfully, it always did. :)

Apr 23, 6:43pm

Finished Murder Makes Murder for TIOLI #8.

Now reading Ben Sees It Through by J. Jefferson Farjeon.

Apr 23, 7:13pm

So anyway...

After contemplating how to best divvy up my challenge reading (>21 lyzard:), I began thinking again about whether I need - or "need" - another challenge to replace my completed Georgette Heyer historical fiction challenge.

Long story short, I have decided to add a Nobel Prize for Literature into my lists - BUT - only to include the works of those winners who were novelists.

Of course in doing that, I immediately create a problem for myself, inasmuch as some novelist-winners did not win for their novels. Case in point, the 1903 winner, Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson, who declaredly won "as a tribute to his noble, magnificent and versatile poetry, which has always been distinguished by both the freshness of its inspiration and the rare purity of its spirit."

Well, that's okay: I've decided that if a winner has "novel" as one of their genres on the Wikipedia page for Literature, they qualify.

This also frees up the choice of challenge work: I can just pick whatever sounds appealing or important from their bibliography---or ask for advice from my visitors (turn-of-the-20th-century Norwegian fiction not being my area of expertise).

Like all book prizes, the Nobel is problematic in its choices: there is a very clear European / Scandinavian / male bias in its proceedings; though in context, only the last really bothers me. The former two, on the contrary, actually help in my aim of mixing up my reading.

Apr 23, 7:14pm


Any Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson fans out there? :D

Edited: Apr 24, 12:16am

Having added one further challenge, in the interests of balance I have to add another (of course).

I already have a 'random reading 1940 - 1969' challenge ticking along spasmodically; and I've decided to mix that up with my even more spasmodic 'potential decommission' challenge, in which I'm trying (not altogether successfully) to prune my book piles a bit (or at least shelve the keepers, as is too often the case).

For once I'm not going to be too hard on myself: as long as I get SOMETHING read in either of these categories, that will be good enough.

Technically my next read is Herman Wouk's Don't Stop The Carnival, which like Max Shulman's Rally Round The Flag, Boys! slipped onto my lists via the best-seller challenge; but we'll see.

Apr 23, 11:11pm

>46 lyzard: I'll recommend Sigrid Undset (1928). The Kristin Lavransdotter trilogy is my favorite. I had a tough time with her short novel Jenny; feminist, but depressing.

Apr 24, 12:14am

>49 kac522:

Thanks, Kathy! I already had that in mind as something I should have got to; which is the point of challenges like this, to give me a prod; though of course Ms Undset will have to wait her chronological turn... :)

Apr 24, 12:15am

Apr 24, 12:29am

>50 lyzard: Of course! I guess I was jumping in on the Norwegian theme....

Apr 24, 12:35am

>52 kac522:

And any or all suggestions gratefully received!

Apr 24, 2:27am

>46 lyzard: My Nobel read list starts with Kipling and Lagerlöf, so can't advise on Bjørnson or Sienkiewicz.

Apr 24, 6:01pm

>54 FAMeulstee:

I forgot you were doing a Nobel challenge too; what are your parameters?

Steve and I read Quo Vadis? for the best-seller challenge so I might let myself off the hook with Sienkiewicz.

Apr 24, 6:09pm

>55 lyzard: Whatever I can find at the library in Dutch translation, which means mostly more recent winners.
And if I like what I read, I look out for more. I just started the 3rd book by Olga Tokarczuk.

the complete list is at my LT-wiki:

Edited: Apr 25, 6:24pm

>56 FAMeulstee:


Yes, it can be difficult. Apparently there was a 13-volume English-language translation of Bjørnson's novels undertaken in 1895, most or some of which is fairly readily accessible (and might dictate what I end up reading); but for some of the early winners that's something I might struggle with too.

I haven't read Tokarczuk, but I fairly recently saw Spoor, which is the adaptation of Drive Your Plow Over The Bones Of The Dead.

Apr 25, 6:53pm

Here I go down the rabbit hole...

I have been researching Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson, who apparently wrote 27 26 novels between 1856 and 1906. Which doesn't make picking one particularly easy.

I have been hesitating between Synnøve Solbakken, from 1857, the first of Bjørnson's so-called "peasant novels", a subset of his writing that seems to have been particularly important to him; and Mary, his last work, from 1906, which has a rare female protagonist.

Though of course, me being me, I have also been eyeing what is given in some bibliographies as his first novel, Et Farligt Frieri; only it turns out to be a short story instead.

Which was filmed in 1919.

And the film is available online...

Apr 25, 7:18pm

Oddly enough, I've just been watching a Danish silent movie from 1917: Verdens Undergang (aka "The End Of The World"): considered the first cinematic venture into apocalyptic science fiction. Obviously the film was a major influence upon Abel Gance's La Fin du Monde from 1931; though that was supposedly based upon Camille Flammarion's 1893 novel, La Fin du Monde; which was translated into English in 1894 as Omega: The Last Days Of The World...

...which is surprisingly easily available.

Oh these rabbit holes...

Apr 26, 10:46am

Forget the rabbit-proof fences; what Australia really needs is a Liz-proof fence around all the rabbit holes! :-P

Apr 26, 6:28pm

>61 rosalita:

Life would be a lot simpler if one thing did not invariably lead to another... :D

Apr 26, 7:21pm

Finished Ben Sees It Through for TIOLI #7.

Now reading A Murder Of Quality by John le Carré.

Apr 27, 7:11pm

Finished A Murder Of Quality for TIOLI #5...

Apr 27, 7:20pm

...and still pondering whether to try and squeeze in one more this month, or let things roll over into next.

Under my 'Month A' plan (into which I have decided to slot my new Nobel Prize challenge), my May reading looks like this:

Trinity by Leon Uris {best-seller-challenge}
Jack Brag by Theodore Hook {C. K. Shorter challenge}
Synnøve Solbakken by Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson {Nobel Prize challenge}
The Mystery Of Villa Sineste by Walter Livingston {Mystery League challenge}
The League Of Frightened Men by Rex Stout {shared read}
The Mystery Of The Screaming Clock by Robert Arthur {shared read}

I'm still working out my series and/or TIOLI reading; though this will undoubtedly include me gritting my teeth and tackling the next Elsie book.

Apr 27, 7:22pm

>65 lyzard: I am planning to join you for The League of Frightened Men. Do you have a TIOLI challenge in mind for it? It seems like there is more than one challenge it will fit.

Apr 27, 8:01pm

>66 cbl_tn:

Excellent! I haven't thought about TIOLI yet, beyond noting that at least it fits the 5-title-word challenge so we're good to go. So if you have a preference there, let me know.

Apr 27, 8:17pm

>67 lyzard: The 5-word challenge is fine with me since it's my challenge! It also fits the challenge to read a book where every title word starts with a different letter.

Apr 27, 8:56pm

>67 lyzard: >68 cbl_tn: I have also owned my copy for more than 5 years.

Apr 27, 10:06pm

Any of those three is fine, Carrie: i could do the last as a shared read (I don't own it).

Apr 27, 10:19pm

>70 lyzard: It's the only one I have that will fit the more than 5 year challenge so I think I'll put it there.

Apr 27, 11:14pm

>71 cbl_tn:

I'm just checking that shared reads are okay, if that's a 'yes' we're good to go. :)

Apr 28, 6:24am

>72 lyzard: If not I will move it to one of the other challenges it fits!

Apr 28, 7:45am

>73 cbl_tn:

We have clearance, it's all good. :)

Apr 28, 8:52am

>74 lyzard: Woohoo! My first priority is to finish a book before an online book discussion on the 8th of May. I'll be ready for Nero and Archie any time after that.

Apr 28, 3:20pm

Just popping in to leave a marker about Taken at the Flood for later reference when I finish the book, but first I want to say all this chatter about Archie and Nero is making me very happy. :-)

OK, on to Poirot: I am going to call it now (about halfway through) that I am fairly confident I can see how the romantic subplot is going to work itself out. If this were Patricia Wentworth writing and not Agatha Christie, I would say I am absolutely certain, but Dame Agatha has a way of making me eat those words time and again (although usually in relation to the main murder solution, not the sideshows) The "simpletons" Rowley and Rosaleen end up happily ever after on the farm, and Rowley's putative fiancee Lynn hits the road with that rogue David Hunter in search of adventure. I'll be back when I've finished it to either crow in triumph or eat crow in defeat.

Apr 28, 5:39pm

>75 cbl_tn:

I won't be getting to it for a while either: I have a 900-page best-seller to get through first, and that's when I get my hands on it.

>76 rosalita:

I'm just happy I'll be getting another visit. :)

Edited: Apr 28, 11:01pm

Anyway...ended up reading When The Bough Breaks, a short story by Lewis Padgett, because I didn't want to skip the 'Star Trek' challenge. :)

That will be a line under April.

Now reading Jack Brag by Theodore Hook.

Apr 29, 12:45am

I think I completely missed your last thread, Liz, so I am getting in on this one before I miss it too!

Have a fantastic Friday!

Apr 29, 8:44am

Chiming in to mention that I too have a copy of TLOFM in a pile beneath a very heavy bestseller.

Apr 29, 6:20pm

>79 alcottacre:

Hi, Stasia! Thanks for tracking me down. :)

>80 swynn:


I won't be able to pick up a copy of Trinity before next Wednesday so I need to think how best to fit my other reading around it.

Apr 29, 6:22pm

Yes. I've had a notification from my academic library to say they've dug a copy of Trinity out of storage for me.

They seem to be having a bit more trouble finding a copy of Synnøve Solbakken. :D

Edited: May 2, 2:38am

Publication date: 1937
Genre: Historical romance
Series: Jasper Shrig #5
Read for: Series reading / TIOLI (closed compound noun in title)

The Crooked Furrow - Both orphans, the cousins Oliver Dale and Roland Verinder were raised by their cold, distant uncle, Sir Everard Matravers. Physically and temperamentally unalike, the boys grew up heartily disliking one another, and to very different fates: with dashing Roland joining the army, and steadfast Oliver choosing to support himself by farming his small property. One day, however, both young men were summoned by Sir Everard to face a stunning situation: they they were both to be stripped of their supports and turned out upon the world for a year with only a pittance to maintain them---so that he, Sir Everard, can find out what they are made of before he makes his will... Such is the framework of Jeffery Farnol's The Crooked Furrow; although the initial impetus that throws the cousins out of their homes and forges a temporary alliance between the antagonistic pair quickly becomes lost in the shuffle of Farnol's increasingly melodramatic plot. This is not as enjoyable a work as the earlier entries in this series: it is overlong, and overdoes everything: from the exchange of insults that comprises most of Oliver and Roland's dialogue when they are together, to the insistence that a fist-fight is the best answer to all of life's problems. Farnol also piles on with his love of dialect, with variants stretching all the way from Scotland to Sussex---and including, of course, the tortured Cockney of his series figure. However, there are also some surprising touches here, including the muted and relatively minor romantic subplot, which comes to an unexpected conclusion; though the counter-plot, involving the passionate devotion towards Oliver of a young girl, Clia, whom he rescues, actually gets a little creepy. Though both cousins play their part, Oliver Dale remains the focus of The Crooked Furrow, which follows Farnol's usual pattern of introducing a new protagonist, but having him encounter the series' recurrent supporting characters: Jessamy Todd, prize-fighter turned self-appointed minister, now fighting for souls; Jerry Jarvis, the poetry-writing tinker; and most importantly, Bow Street Runner Jasper Shrig. But while he makes these new friends, and learns to understand and respect his cousin Roland, Oliver also makes some dangerous enemies when he becomes involved in Shrig's pursuit of two criminals: a matter which eventually hits very close to home. Progressively, Oliver and Roland learn not only of their own unhappy pasts, which saw them placed as children in their uncle's care, but of the personal tragedy that has blighted Sir Everard's own life---and has now come back to haunt him. Dismayed as they are to discover that their uncle is in danger of his life, the cousins are hardly prepared for the further revelation that the threat comes from Sir Everard's long-lost son...

    " So you received my message, Jasper," said Oliver.
    "Ay, I did, sir. And since you axed me to be at the 'Vaterman' I guess you know as my two precious birds ain't so werry distant."
    "Yes, Jasper."
    "And I guess you know this same, per Lady M. alias Mrs Maxton."
    "How should you know this?"
    "Dee-duction, sir. And I'm guessing again as you've come on the part o' your respected uncle, Sir E. Matravers, to drop this 'ere case agin' his son, your cousin, Number Vun and Viskers, Number Two."
    "Precisely, Jasper, and you've mentioned the reason."
    "Ah!" sighed Mr Shrig. "Fambly reasons, sir. But sich reasons ain't reasons in the eyes o' The Law. No, Mr Dale,---The Law don't never heed personal considerations. Verefore and therefore, I'm agoin' to proceed again 'em as dangerous malefactors and proceed---prompt!"
    "Then, Shrig, I must beg you'll do nothing of the kind,---indeed, protest most strongly against your taking any further action in this matter whatsoever."
    "Speaking, sir, for your respected uncle!"
    "Of course. He bade me tell you his orders are that all proceedings must be stopped at once."
    "Mr Dale, sir, I hears, disobeys said order and proceeds notwithstanding. For, sir, a malefactor is a criminal, the law is The Law and Jasper is---Shrig, sir, Shrig o' Bow Street!"

Edited: May 2, 6:14pm

Publication date: 1926
Genre: Contemporary drama
Read for: Virago reading / Banned in Boston challenge

From Man To Man; or, Perhaps Only... - Olive Schreiner's final novel was published posthumously, constructed by her husband from the incomplete, unedited manuscript and copious notes left behind, and thus may or may not represent Schreiner's actual intentions. As it stands, this is less a novel than a lengthy treatise upon numerous troubling aspects of the contemporary world, and as such is not always an easy read. Nevertheless, it is a work that marks Schreiner as, in many respects, very much ahead of her time. The framework of From Man To Man is the story of two sisters, Rebekah and Bertie, who grow up on an isolated South African farm: through the two, Schreiner tackles the position of women in a patriarchal society. After repeated proposals, Rebekah marries her cousin, Frank, who tires of her as soon as she ceases to resist him and becomes a serial adulterer; while Bertie is seduced by her tutor when she is barely old enough to understand what is happening and, pursued by gossip about her "ruin", is finally hounded out of "polite society". As she raises her children, often left with only them for company for weeks on end, the imaginative, bookish Rebekah ponders the world as she finds it, and tries to express her thoughts in writing... For all its challenges, From Man To Man is in many respects a remarkable work---though also one that presents difficulties for the modern reader. For all its forward-thinking, this is still a novel of its time and reflects some unfortunate attitudes and practices: in particular, Schreiner uses a particular term for the indigenous South African population that is now considered highly derogatory. However, it is evident that no malice was intended; and on the contrary, through Rebekah, her alter-ego, Schreiner dwells upon the injustices of contemporary race relations, and argues not merely for greater social equality but for the inescapable interconnectedness of humankind, and the obligations of the powerful towards the disadvantaged: that man can only move forward if everyone moves forward. Meanwhile, via Rebekah's dissection of her marriage when it reaches a point of final crisis, Schreiner also analyses in detail the unequal standing of men and women, the nature of marriage itself, the need for personal and financial independence, and above all the untapped potential of the female sex; and while her position is certainly feminist, it is a conception of feminism very much built around the power of motherhood. As an unfinished work, From Man To Man is necessarily frustrating; while the use of the novel format to present what is, in effect, a series of lectures is disconcerting and occasionally tiresome; but there is also a forthright courage here, and a generosity of thought, that are admirable.

    She rested her fingers on the paper as she spoke. He had an unpleasant sensation as he looked at her that she was growing physically taller and larger at that moment.
    "Either," she said, looking at him, "you must procure a legal divorce from me; in which case, both you and I will be free and may marry again, or not, as we wish. I would take the children to my farm, or to my parents; if you wish it, I will support them; if, as I hope you do, you feel it is your duty, you can assist in their support. Under any conditions, we shall be free, and I think this is the best course; it is the one I prefer...
    "If, on the other hand, you do not like these conditions, if you are afraid of what the world will say, then there is another course." She looked at him, but, as though absorbed in her own thought, she hardly seemed to see him: "I will, if you wish, continue to live in this house. I will look after your children and will attend to your material wants; I will provide for my personal needs as I have already done for some years; but you will understand that, from tonight, you and I will never again be anything more to one another than any man or woman who pass each other in the street for the first time. You will be free to lead your own life, to think your own thoughts, to form your own friendships; but you will understand that I also am equally free..."
    He looked down at her; for a moment he thought of bursting into a fit of rage such as had always silenced her; he would say he was shamefully treated, swear at her, and violently close the door; but that intuitive perception, which in him took the place of reason and was almost preternaturally keen where his own interests were concerned, told him it would be useless now.
    He looked down at her curiously. "Oh, it's all too ridiculous, Rebekah; what do you mean? You are tired, little woman"---he spoke gently---"your condition makes you take these silly fancies into your head..."

Edited: May 1, 8:56pm

From Man To Man; or, Perhaps Only... was read for the Banned In Boston! challenge, and that review and quote should make it fairly evident why the book fell out of favour.

This is one of those works that would have been anathema to the censors in its entirety, given its subject matter and attitudes; but which also offers any number of the specific triggers that tended to get a work banned, including overt feminism, a (fairly) frank discussion of sexual matters, a positive attitude to divorce, and a questioning of religion amounting to agnosticism if not atheism.

Sadly, however, I suspect it may have been the argument for greater racial equality that was the book's real death-knell.


Next up:

Mosquitoes by William Faulkner (1927)

Edited: May 2, 3:16am

Still reading Jack Brag by Theodore Hook; but I needed a bath book; so---

As I said up above, with respect to my reorganised series lists, I am trying to be better about skipping past unavailable works; further, I want to wrap up those very incomplete series for which only certain books are accessible.

Case in point: the "Smiler Bunn" series by Bertram Atkey.

I read the first work, short stories collected as The Amazing Mr Bunn, some years ago. Smiler is a crook, sure enough, but a crook who prays upon other crooks, and is therefore rarely troubled by complaints made to the police. Meanwhile, when not committing fraud or robbery, he occasionally dabbles in amateur detection, or even the doing of good deeds. The original stories were intended humorously, and some of that is still effective; but there is also a high level of casual racism, and mockery (and trickery) of "foreigners": too much for easy enjoyment.

Perhaps others agreed with me, because the next seven works in the series are either rare and expensive, or outright unavailable.

However, for no discernible reason, the 8th entry - just that one - was serialised in the Australian newspapers; and so there are now free ebook copies of it about.

(Also for no discernible reason, copies of the penultimate and final entries are held by Rare Books.)

So anyway---

Now reading The Mystery Of The Glass Bullet by Bertram Atkey.

May 2, 10:09am

>84 lyzard: Yes to everything. Nice review.

May 2, 6:15pm

>87 swynn:

Thanks! :)

I currently have Faulkner slated for next month; does that suit you?

May 2, 6:33pm

Liz! I am here to report that I watched my first cricket match over the weekend. It was a T20 (or 20/20 or however it's properly called) match in the India Premier League between the (checks notes) Lucknow Super Giants and the Delhi Capitals. Lucknow won 195-3 to Delhi's 189-7 (not sure that's how you actually list a cricket score).

Interesting things I noticed: Lucknow batted first and I thought it was a bit anticlimactic because their first three batters played most of the overs. Two of them scored at least a half-century. I was disappointed because there were a lot of singles (or is the term properly "ones"?), only a handful of doubles (twos?) and then a fair number of fours and sixes, with very few dots and of course only 3 wickets.

But then Delhi came to bat and things really picked up, in the sense that the rhythm of their batting was much, much different. For one thing, they got 3 wickets right away and ended up with 7 altogether. And the way they got them was varied: Where Lucknow's wickets were all caught fly balls, Delhi had those plus the stumps getting knocked off the wickets during an at-bat, and also I think a runner getting caught short of the crease on a hit. Much more interesting! And they hit a few threes, which I wasn't sure was even a thing until they did it.

I thought the action was pretty easy to follow — really, the hardest part was figuring out to decode the score bug graphic with all the match details. But I pieced it together bit by bit, with the help of that video I mentioned a while back, explaining cricket to baseball fans, which had a whole section specifically about the score bug.

Let me know what I got wrong or missed in my rookie viewer mode. And I have a question for you: Do you, or people in general, watch cricket attentively for the whole match, or is it on in the background and people check in when the sound of the announcing makes it clear something exciting has happened? Because I gotta tell you, more than 4 hours straight of cricket was a bit much for me, as interesting as it all way to a newcomer. I mean, that's even longer than a major-league baseball game on television, although I will say the commercial breaks, while pretty frequent, were short and it felt like the game moved fairly briskly compared to baseball, where there are lulls in the action after every pitch and worse when pitchers are substituted and between half innings. So that part was a definitely improvement!

OK, that's my sports report for today. :-D

May 2, 9:33pm

>88 lyzard: Sure. I'll probably get to it later this month or early next.

Edited: May 3, 12:47am

>89 rosalita:

You've got most of that right (told you it wasn't difficult!). Noting that here we tend to give the scores as wickets / runs (e.g. 3-100), whereas other places give them as runs / wickets (100-3). 'Singles' is correct, though we tend to just say 'two' rather than doubles. The term 'fly' isn't used but everyone would know what you meant by that. :)

If there were a lot of singles and twos it was a bit of an unusual T20 match, where 4s and 6s more often predominate. (The size of the ground can influence that: that will change from place to place, and larger grounds will have more 1s and 2s.)

How many wickets fall and therefore how many different players bat is in the lap of the cricket gods. Sometimes only a couple of wickets fall and sometimes they all do. One of the attractions of test (i.e. 5-day) cricket is that most of the time (not always), Team A bats until 10 wickets have fallen, and then Team B bats until 10 wickets have fallen; so you do see everyone bat. Though of course the aim of the batting team is always that no-one gets out! Also getting 50 or 100 is a big landmark.

The stumps being hit is called 'bowled' or 'bowled out': the ball must not only hit the stumps (the upright things) but dislodge the little wooden bails that sit on top of them. There is also 'leg before wicket' (or 'LBW'), which is when the batter is hit on the pad, and the umpire decides that the ball would have hit the stumps otherwise. (That one is rather technical and complicated, angle of delivery, etc.) Being caught short of the crease (the line they have to cross) is being run out.

4 hours is long for a match of this kind and sounds like they might be drawing it out for more ads or other TV stuff: 3 hours is closer to the mark for most games. Or maybe the break in between innings was longer?

As with baseball, people watch cricket all sorts of different ways---according to who is batting or bowling, or if a particular team is playing, or as background. Lots of people do watch every delivery but I'll confess I haven't been doing that recently (more likely to if the Australian women are playing!). Test matches can be very soothing to have on while you're doing something else like crafts.

Well done you!! It's great that you gave it a go (and no obligation to do it again!). :D

May 3, 12:48am

>90 swynn:


I've found Faulkner a bit easier to get hold of than Schreiner was. :)

Edited: May 3, 9:31am

>91 lyzard: The YouTube video did mention that Australia gives the score the other way around, so I did know that. I didn't want to confuse myself by translating the Indian scores into Australian scores, and I knew you would understand it either way. :-)

The announcers seemed to think this ground was fairly small, for whatever reason the first team batting just didn't hit a lot of fours and sixes. But the second team definitely loaded up on those, which sounds like much more the norm. I knew from the explainer video that the batters don't have to run after they hit the ball, but at the very end of the second innings the team batting was down by 13 runs with 3 balls left. The batter hit a weakish ball that would have only resulted in a single, and he yelled at the other batter not to run, because (as the announcers explained) he was the stronger batter and had a better shot at making two sixes, which apparently would have triggered an extra ball (is that called a "super-over," maybe?) The announcers, of course, broadcasting to experienced cricket fans, did not really explain how that works.

I don't think there were any LBWs in the match, although there were a couple of "instant" replays where I think they were trying to determine if the ball had hit the batter on the way past. The replays were nicely brisk, and I liked that the person making the decision was broadcast into the stadium, so everyone could hear them calling for different angles (which I assume were replayed on the video screens just as they were for us watching at home). A nice transparent process that didn't drag on too long, which is something baseball could definitely learn from!

I will make a note of "bowled out" and "run out" for future spectating. As well as stumps and bails, which I knew but forgot in my excitement to report back. :-) I don't know if it's usual but on this ground not only did the bails fall off when the stumps were hit, but the stumps lit up, which was very festive.

I expect I'll watch more cricket, especially if I can catch a women's game or an international event. I'll have to work my way up to having the stamina to watch test cricket!

May 3, 6:18pm

>93 rosalita:

Yes, since it's all about who scores the most runs (losing more wickets doesn't matter), in T20 cricket, if the scores are equal at the end of regular play, each side sends out two batters for one "super-over", where the result is decided by who scores the most in that over.

This isn't done in the other forms of the game, where it is just left as a tie. (Different from a draw, which is one of the things about test cricket that drives some people crazy, i.e. you can play for five days and not get a result!)

The coloured stumps are one of the things they do to jazz up T20 cricket, along with fireworks and music and so on. Things that make test cricket aficionados shudder and shake their heads sadly. :D

Nice reporting! I look forward to future updates. :)

May 3, 7:30pm

Finished Jack Brag for TIOLI #3.

Also, thanks - or "thanks" - to one of my insomniac nights, finished The Mystery Of The Glass Bullet for TIOLI #1.

Now reading Dead Man's Music by Christopher Bush.

May 5, 12:46am

Finished Dead Man's Music for TIOLI #13.

Now reading Snowbird by Ottwell Binns.

May 6, 1:43am

Ran into Rare Books today and made a start on The Mystery Of Villa Sineste by Walter Livingston, for the Mystery League challenge.

Also picked up a couple of holds...

May 6, 1:48am


They've dug me out of storage a copy of Trinity that has seen better days, particularly with respect to its fold-out maps.

It's also HEAVY.

I think I'm going to need a bath book, to go along with this baby:

Meanwhile, they've also found me an 1895 edition of Synnøve Solbakken that is literally being held together with elastic bands (and comes with a 'Damaged, use with care' notice: yeah, no kidding).

Nowhere near the bath for this one, either!---

May 6, 1:52am

I also borrowed a copy of Robin Gilmour's The Idea Of The Gentleman In The Victorian Novel, to try and get some non-fiction reading happening again.

You know what's annoying?

There's precisely one online image of the first edition cover for this book---and whoever took the shot, took it like this:

May 6, 3:35am

So that's reading as weight training?
Poor book. I love it when particularly old books come out from the stacks; that one seems to have led a rather adventurous life.
mmm. Better reader than photographer?

May 6, 10:05am

>99 lyzard:

Hm. I've seen something recently, what was it? Oh yes:

If you've been insulated from the latest American nuttiness then I'm sorry to have, um, exposed you to that. But after all, it was made possible by Rupert Murdoch so I'm not *that* sorry ...

May 6, 6:09pm

>100 Helenliz:

The recent reissue is held by my local library, but someone was ahead of me in the queue so I wasn't going to get hold of it this month. That, I gather, has been re-done in the same light-paper format as the Micheners; this, alas, is the old-fashioned 'crushed by a book' structure. :(

I'm always surprised when they continue to lend books this old. Though I'm not complaining.

Would have to be. :D

>101 swynn:

Not that particular subset of nuttiness, no; so, um, thanks?

(Hey, your citizen, not ours.)

Edited: May 6, 6:37pm

>98 lyzard: Our copy (my husband's, actually) looks pretty much like this image, although a bit more worn for wear:

It's from 1976. The maps are NOT fold out, but are two-pages, bound at the beginning of each chapter, so 7 in all (Ballyutogue, Belfast Lough and Weed Works, Ulster, Derry, Belfast, Dublin, The Raid). If you'd like a scan of them, let me know.

May 6, 6:54pm

Publication date: 1934
Genre: Mystery / thriller
Series: Philo Vance #8
Read for: Series reading / TIOLI (numbers 0314 in the ISBN)

The Casino Murder Case - Philo Vance receives an anonymous, typewritten letter insisting that tragedy is brewing within the prominent Llewellyn family, and pleading for his assistance: it begs him to visit the private gambling-club run by Richard Kincaid the following night, and to watch Kincaid's nephew, Lynn Llewellyn, who the letter swears is in danger. The letter seizes Vance's attention, though not entirely as the writer expected, perhaps: after analysing both its language and the typing, Vance calls his friend and occasional colleague, District Attorney John Markham, and tries to interest him in the letter;however, he dismisses it as the work of an hysteric. Vance, however, goes to the casino as requested, and is a witness to the sudden, dramatic collapse of Lynn Llewellyn, who he insists has been poisoned. Quick action saves the young man; but when Vance goes to the Llewwllyn house to break the news, he learns that Lynn's wife is dead---having collapsed at almost the same moment as her husband... The preceding entry in the Philo Vance series, The Dragon Murder Case, was nearly all smoke and mirrors; and The Casino Murder Case suffers from the same shortcoming; in fact, more so. It is hard to believe that any experienced mystery reader would be much fooled by its scenario, for all that the narrative starts out declaring the case to be "probably the subtlest and most diabolical criminal problem of his career" (they all are); and matters aren't helped by the fact that, as Vance himself points out smugly at the end, the murderer probably would have gotten away with it, if only their particular kink hadn't led them to involve Vance in the first place. The other issue, as it often is in this series, is a dearth of viable suspects. In addition to Richard Kincaid, the family consists of his sister, Mrs Llewellyn, from whom he is estranged despite being forced by circumstances to share her house; young Lynn; his wife, the former stage-star, Virginia Vale; and his sister, Amelia. Other interested parties include Morgan Bloodgood, a brilliant mathematician hired by Kincaid to oversee the running of his games of "chance"; and Dr Rogers, a young physician: both men are clearly interested in Amelia. And it is Amelia who is the poisoner's next victim, she too having a narrow escape after drinking from a water carafe in her mother's bedroom. Water, in fact, becomes a recurrent and insistent motif in the case---and a clue that increasingly points at one particular suspect...

    We took our leave and Vance drove us direct to his apartment. He was quiet and apparently absorbed in thought. Moreover, he appeared troubled, and Markham made no attempt at conversation until we had settled ourselves in the library. Currie came in and lighted a fire in the grate, and Vance ordered a service of Napoléon cognac. It was then that Markham put his first question to Vance since leaving the doctor’s apartment.
    “Did you learn anything---that is, did anything new suggest itself to you during your interview with Hildebrandt?”
    “Nothing definite,” Vance replied unhappily. “That’s the queer part of this case. I feel as though I were almost touching something vital, and then it eludes me. Several times this afternoon, as the doctor dissertated, I felt that he was telling me something that I needed to know---but I couldn’t put my finger on it. Ah, Markham, if only I were psychic!”
    He sighed and warmed his cognac between his hands, inspiring its fumes through the narrow opening of the large pot-bellied inhalateur.
    “But there’s one motif that runs all through the events of last night---the water motif.”
    Markham looked at him thoughtfully. “I noticed that several of your questions were centred about that theme.”
    “Oh, yes. Yes. They would be, y’ know. Water runs through every act of this devilish drama. Llewellyn orders a whisky and insists upon plain water; but he doesn’t drink it when it’s brought to him. Later Bloodgood orders it for him, and Kinkaid sends the boy to his office to get the water. Then Kinkaid himself wants a drink of water, and the carafe’s empty; so he sends it to the bar to be filled. Virginia Llewellyn’s carafe is empty when we arrive at the house. Amelia Llewellyn takes the last glass of water from her mother’s carafe and collapses. Her own carafe is later found to be empty---though she explained that point. Then Bloodgood gets emotional and enters the silence at the mere mention of water. Everywhere we turn---water! ’Pon my soul, Markham, it’s like some hideous charade...”

Edited: May 6, 7:04pm

>103 kac522:

Thanks, Kathy! I'll see how I get on with my copy and let you know. It sounds like your arrangement is the more practical one, though.

ETA: If it's 1976, it's a first edition (or an early reprint). I assume you have an American release? - the fold-out maps may have been a British thing.

May 6, 8:07pm

>105 lyzard: Yes, 1976 Doubleday, New York. My husband says it was his dad's, which was purchased in 1976.

Edited: May 6, 8:46pm

Publication date: 1962
Genre: Mystery / thriller
Series: George Smiley #2
Read for: Series reading / TIOLI (author called 'John')

A Murder Of Quality - Miss Ailsa Brimley, editor of the tiny Christian Voice magazine, receives a worrying letter from a woman who claims that her husband is planning to kill her. Unsure what to do, but unable to do nothing, Miss Brimley carries the letter to George Smiley, with whom she worked in the Intelligence service during the war. Noting that the woman, Stella Rode, is married to the science teacher at Carne, a well-known public school, the two see a potential foot in the door: another master there is Terence Fielding, a brother of one of their war-time colleagues. Smiley telephones to Fielding, planning to put out a feeler---only to learn that Stella Rode was savagely beaten to death in her own home the night before... Like its predecessor, Call For The Dead, A Murder Of Quality is far more a conventional mystery than an espionage thriller, in spite of the presence of George Smiley; in fact, in this case Smiley's background is only tangentially relevant, in that it is his connection to Adrian Fielding (missing, presumed dead, during the war) that allows him an entrée of sorts into the rigidly exclusionary world of Carne. John le Carré is on record as considering A Murder Of Quality to be a flawed work and, with respect to its mystery plot, he was correct: focusing on his social criticisms, and his excoriating portrait of Carne, with its desperate clinging to the social mores of the past and its propagation of class snobbery, le Carré does not play fair with the reader with regards to the solving Stella Rode's murder. In particular, the late-narrative revelation about one character that turns the mystery on its head comes almost out of nowhere, with insufficient preparation. However, as always with le Carré, there are many compensatory pleasures: the writing itself; the development of the character of George Smiley who, like so many of his author's people, is unhappily drifting without the anchor of his war-work; a rather daring subplot dealing with one schoolmaster's homosexuality; and, above all, the savagery of the attack upon a failing education system as exemplified by Carne. When Smiley arrives in the nearby town, having paved the way with the pulling of some official strings, he finds Stella Rode's murder in the charge of Inspector Rigby, a shrewd and open-minded man. To his surprise, Rigby hails his coming almost with relief: Smiley learns that police access to Carne is limited, with the school closing ranks; and Smiley's contact with Terence Fielding is, to Rigby, a godsend. Furthermore, the local Chief Constable is pressing for rapid closure and the arrest of the most obvious suspect, a local homeless woman, "Mad Janie", who was certainly at the scene. Rigby must follow orders, but Smiley is a free agent; and it is not long before he, too, is sure that the solution to the murder lies somewhere behind the walls of Carne...

    D'Arcy turned to Smiley and addressed him with cloying intimacy.
    "Do forgive my deplorable descent into Carne gossip. You find us a little cut off here, do you not? We are often held to be cut off, I know. Carne is a 'Snob School', that is the cry. You may read it every day in the gutter press. And yet, despite the claims of the avant-garde," he said, smiling slyly at Fielding, "I may say that no one could be less of a snob than Felix D'Arcy."
    Smiley noticed his hair. It was very fine and ginger, growing from the top and leaving the pink neck bare.
    "Take poor Rode, for instance. I certainly don't hold Rode's background against him in any way, poor fellow. The Grammar Schools do a splendid job, I am sure. Besides, he settled down here very well. I told the Master so. I said to him that Rode had settled down well; he does Chapel duty quite admirably---that was the very point I made. I hope I have played my part, what is more, in helping him to fit in. With careful instruction, such people can, as I said to the Master, learn our customs and even our manners; and the Master agreed."
    Smiley's glass was empty and D'Arcy without consulting Fielding, filled it for him from the decanter. His hands were polished and hairless, like the hands of a girl.
    "But," he continued, "I must be honest. Mrs Rode did not adapt herself so willingly to our ways." Still smiling, he sipped delicately from his glass. He wants to put the record straight, thought Smiley.
    "She would never really have fitted in at Carne; that is my opinion---though I'm sure I never voiced it while she was alive. Her background was against her. The fault was not hers---it was her background which, as I say, was unfortunate. Indeed, if we may speak frankly and in confidence, I have reason to believe it was her past that brought about her death."
    "Why do you say that?" asked Smiley quickly, and D'Arcy replied with a glance at Fielding, "It appears she was expecting to be attacked."

May 6, 9:40pm

Publication date: 1935
Genre: Mystery / thriller
Series: Reggie Fortune #10
Read for: Series reading / TIOLI (set in a country that is a member of the British Commonwealth)

Mr Fortune Objects - After his first venture into novel-writing, Shadow On The Wall, this tenth entry in the series featuring Scotland Yard medical consultant, Reggie Fortune, finds H. C. Bailey stepping back into the short-story format with which he was evidently more comfortable. Mr Fortune Objects consists of six long-ish case histories, each of which - per the title - finds Reggie somewhat at loggerheads with his police colleagues for one reason or another. The stories themselves are fairly grim, justice is not always being served - or served in a backhanded way - and the disputes between the parties unnerving, particularly the willingness of Sidney Lomas, head of the C.I.D., to ignore the medical evidence if it doesn't happen to suit his theory; and indeed, the misconduct or incompetence of the police and medical men involved in criminal investigation is a recurrent theme here. As a result, Reggie is somewhat more isolated and subdued than usual...though that doesn't put a stop to the moaning speech and reproachful gazing that is his stock-in-trade. In The Broken Toad, a police constable is found dead in the road from what Reggie determines to be a large dose of arsenic. The tracing of the man's last movements leads the investigators to a serial poisoner who has been getting away with it for years... In The Angel's Eye, Reggie's unwilling participation in a country house party means that he is already familiar with the people involved when Clarence Burchard, the new owner of Letley Hall, is found shot dead; but though he identifies the killer, outside interference wrecks Reggie's carefully built-up case... In The Little Finger, Reggie must fight against a local police officer's aggressive determination to pin a case of burglary and assault upon a local ne'er-do-well; and their conflict reaches a new level when arson is added to the mix... In The Three Bears, when two deaths are linked to the same knife, Reggie must fight to prove, firstly, that they are a suicide and a murder, not two murders; and secondly, that the cases are tied to one victim's daughter and her three admirers... In The Long Dinner, the disappearance of an artist leads Reggie from the formal homes of an English coastal resort into the wilds of Brittany---and finds him stumbling into a chilling case of serial child murder... In The Yellow Slugs, Reggie intervenes in a case that involves a boy's apparent attempt to drown his young sister, and then himself. It seems at first that the children may have been guilty of theft---but a far worse possibility raises its head when an elderly woman, who boarded with their parents, is found dead near their favourite play-area...

    "Attempt to murder sister may be connected with consciousness of sin. I should say it was. However. Other possibilities. He's a poor little mess of nerves; he's unsound, physically, mentally, spiritually. He may not have meant to murder her at all; may have got in a passion and not known what he was doing."
    "Ah. That's more likely." Bell was relieved.
    "You think so? Then why did he tell everyone he did mean to murder her?"
    "Well, he was off his head, as you were saying. That's the best explanation of the whole thing. It's really the only explanation. Look at your first idea: he wanted to kill her so that she couldn't tell about some crime he'd done. You get just the same question, why did he say he meant murder? He must know killing is worse than stealing. However you take the thing, you work back to him being off his head."
    Reggie's eyelids drooped. "I was brought here to say he's mad. Yes. I gather that. You're a merciful man, Bell. Sorry not to satisfy your gentle nature. I could swear he's mentally abnormal. If that would do any good. I couldn't say he's mad. I don't know. I can find you medical experts who would give evidence either way."
    "I know which way a jury would believe," Bell grunted.
    "Yes. So do I. Merciful people, juries. Like you. Not my job. I'm lookin' for the truth..."

May 6, 10:44pm

>107 lyzard: I read that one just before we read The Spot Who Came in From the Cold for the bestseller project. I was satisfied with the mystery, but agree that it's stronger as social criticism. And think it's altogether better for literary history that le Carré turned to spy novels.

Edited: May 6, 11:29pm

>109 swynn:

Agreed, though I've enjoyed both mysteries. I've been all over the place with these---not like me at all!---started with 'The Spy', then went back to Call For The Dead as "the beginning", then read The Looking-Glass War for TIOLI, not realising it was a Smiley novel (though he's only a minor character). But I'm back to Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy now, so on an even keel in both respects.

Have you read The Looking-Glass War? Fascinating to learn that le Carré was so exasperated that 'The Spy' was being misinterpreted and romanticised (somehow!), he decided to write something as ugly and cynical as possible, so there could be no more mistake about his intentions.

May 7, 12:45am

Finished Snowbird for TIOLI #6.

Now reading---

{*girds loins*}

---Trinity by Leon Uris.

But since, as I say, I need a bath book, also reading---


---Elsie In The South by Martha Finley.

Edited: May 7, 1:16am

>111 lyzard: Those are ... choices ....

I'm about 200 pages into Trinity and finding it difficult to engage with the story. Which surprises me, because it wasn't a problem with Exodus. I'm assigning myself 25 pages a day (which will have me finish by the end of the month), and I'm finding very little motivation to exceed that goal.

But my other reads are more entertaining. One chore-read at a time is enough. (OTOH, I suppose making Elsie your bath-read reduces the impulse to bathe afterward ...)

May 7, 1:14am

>110 lyzard: I haven't read The Looking Glass War. A long time ago I read The Little Drummer Girl and another one, I think The Honorable Schoolboy. Next up is A Small Town in Germany, but I don't know how soon I'll get to it.

Edited: May 7, 2:07am

>112 swynn:

I'll consider myself warned. I'll probably aim at 100 pages a day, to push through it; breaking it up with more bath books; hopefully more appealing than this one. I was going to read The Mystery Of The Screaming Clock, but then I thought I'd save that for a palate cleanser. :D

(Lots of bath oil helps: everything just sliiiiiides off...)

>113 swynn:

Once I realised I was out of order, I was pushing to get through them; but from here it will probably just be as TIOLI dictates.

May 7, 3:19am

>110 lyzard: I enjoyed the Smiley mysteries too, Liz.
Next in line for me is The Honourable Schoolboy, the only one I do not own (yet).

May 7, 6:25pm

>115 FAMeulstee:

I was surprised at how (relatively) conventional those two are, but as with so many different writers in the 20s and 30s who wrote a mystery first, it was probably a way of increasing the chances of getting published.

Edited: May 8, 5:41pm

Best-selling books in the United States for 1975:

1. Ragtime by E. L. Doctorow
2. The Moneychangers by Arthur Hailey
3. Curtain by Agatha Christie
4. Looking for Mr Goodbar by Judith Rossner
5. The Choirboys by Joseph Wambaugh
6. The Eagle Has Landed by Jack Higgins
7. The Greek Treasure by Irving Stone
8. The Great Train Robbery by Michael Crichton
9. Shōgun by James Clavell
10. Humboldt's Gift by Saul Bellow

The 1975 list is an odd mixture, with historical fiction making a resurgence.

Saul Bellow's Humboldt's Gift is about two writers, one a genuine artist who dies in poverty, the other whose commercial success ruins his career and his life.

Agatha Christie made her only appearance on the American best-seller lists in 1975 with Curtain, the final novel to feature Hercule Poirot. A very different sort of crime novel is Joseph Wambaugh's The Choirboys, about five pairs of partnered cops working the night shift in Los Angeles.

Arthur Hailey's The Moneychangers, another of his "how things work" novels, pits two men and their competing ethics against each other in a story of banking operations and financial management.

Judith Rossner's thriller, Looking for Mr Goodbar, is about a damaged young woman who seeks increasingly dangerous ways to fill the voids in her life.

Jack Higgins' The Eagle Has Landed is a mixture of thriller and historical novel, about a Nazi plot to kidnap Winston Churchill.

The Greek Treasure is one of Irving Stone's "biographical novels", the story of the 19th century amateur archaeologists, Heinrich and Sophia Schliemann, who set out to prove that Troy was historical fact. Michael Crichton's The Great Train Robbery uses the meticulously planned heist of a bullion shipment as a framework for a dissection of social conditions in 19th century. England. James Clavell's Shōgun is the story of an English sailor driven ashore in 16th century Japan, who in his quest for personal fortune finds himself caught up in the country's bitter struggle for power.

The year's best-selling novel is also historical fiction, of a kind: E. L. Doctorow's Ragtime.

Edited: May 8, 6:15pm

Edgar Lawrence Doctorow was born in the Bronx in 1931, the son of Russian Jewish immigrants who named him after Edgar Allan Poe. He pursued a writing career from an early age, editing his high school's magazine, in which he also published, before enrolling in journalism classes. However, his college career at the University of Ohio strangely blended philosophy and drama. He had begun doctorate studies in English drama when he was drafted in 1954, serving in the signal corps in West Germany.

Upon his return to the US, Doctorow worked as a reader in the film industry, an assignment that led to his first major published work, Welcome To Hard Times, a reimagining of the western. Despite its success, including adaptation for the screen, Doctorow's writing stalled again while he worked as an editor at the New American Library and the Dial Press.

In 1969, Doctorow accepted a position as Visiting Writer at the University of California, and there completed The Book Of Daniel, a fictionalised account of the trial and execution of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg. The novel was a significant success with critics, though less so with the public.

However, Doctorow's next work of fiction achieved an unqualified success: published in 1974, Ragtime is likewise fictionalised American history, blending real events into an examination of the divides in contemporary society via a setting at the turn of the 20th century. The novel became America's best-selling book of 1975, and won the National Book Critics Circle Award that year, and the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Award the year after. In 1998, Ragtime was placed #86 on the Modern Library's list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century.

Ragtime was adapted for the screen in 1981, and became the basis of the Broadway musical of the same name in 1988.

Doctorow continued to publish novels and short story collections, finding both critical and popular success, and receiving numerous awards including the National Book Critics Circle Award for Billy Bathgate in 1990 and for The March in 2005. He was the first recipient of the Kenyon Review Award for Literary Achievement, in 2002; was inducted into the New York State Writers Hall of Fame in 2012; received the American Academy of Arts and Letters Gold Medal for Fiction in 2013; and the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction in 2014.

Doctorow died of lung cancer in New York in 2015.

Edited: May 8, 8:44pm

Publication date: 1974
Genre: Historical drama
Read for: Best-seller challenge

Ragtime - At the turn of the 20th century, a white family lives in wealth and comfort in New Rochelle, secure that their privileged existence can never be threatened, or even changed. But strange forces are in the air... While New York society at all levels is gripped by the shocking murder of architect Stanford White, and while Harry Houdini pushes himself desperately to ever-greater risks in order to hold his public, open warfare breaks out between the existing political and legal powers and a conglomerate of social reformers and agitators; with the revolution finding its way into the confines of New Rochelle via an abandoned black baby... As this brief and entirely unsatisfactory synopsis makes clear, E. L. Doctorow's Ragtime is very difficult to describe. The novel is a work of "fictionalised history", blending fact with fiction, real-life incidents with invented absurdities---and daring the reader to find the seams. It is a tapestry work, weaving together the extremes of American society: the hollow glitter of the "Gilded Age" with the desperate struggle of the immigrant, the non-white and the worker; with the music known as ragtime operating as a metaphor for the disparate forces gathering to challenge the status quo. Though real people abound in its narrative, including J. P. Morgan, Henry Ford, Robert Peary, Emma Goldman, Evelyn Nesbit and Booker T. Washington, Ragtime revolves around the members of a generic white American family: so very generic, indeed, that Doctorow doesn't bother to give them names. The family fortune, built upon fireworks and celebratory banners (a secure source of income, Americans being what they are), Father, Mother, The Boy and Mother's Younger Brother live in comfort in Westchester County, untouched by the rumblings of a changing world, until the day that Mother finds a baby in the family's garden. Over the objections of Father, she not only keeps the child, but locates and takes in its mother; and this in turn brings the family into contact with Coalhouse Walker Jr, who introduces them to an unfamiliar form of music---and to many other unsettling things... Ragtime is a remarkably effective and clever novel: in less skilled hands it could have been annoying, or twee, but Doctorow handles his material with extraordinary confidence---and with an air of wry humour that almost disguises the fact that this is a very angry book indeed. Though set at the turn of the century, the issues it tackles were those rending American society no less in the mid-70s, and which, alas, are no less urgent today: its gender, racial and financial divides. Doctorow allows the reader some relief in the generous imagination of The Boy, who has yearnings that his rigidly confined life has little outlet for, and above all in the quietly successful rebellion of Mother who, in the absence of Father (who goes off to the pole with Peary), takes over the running of the family business, defies all opposition in the matter of Sarah and her baby, and finally, after being widowed, finds a new and far more equal relationship. However, Doctorow's focus remains upon the parallel, but doomed, rebellion of Coalhouse Walker. Intelligent and talented, Coalhouse is a man of pride and dignity, who introduces the family to all sorts of unfamiliar concepts, such as the daily fight for survival that is the reality for himself and people like him. When Coalhouse is subjected to a humiliating racist attack, his determination to win vindication and legal redress becomes the trigger for an escalating conflict...

    The musician turned again to the keyboard. "Wall Street Rag," he said. Composed by the great Scott Joplin. He began to play. Ill-tuned or not the Aeolian had never made such sounds. Small clear chords hung in the air like flowers. The melodies were like bouquets. There seemed to be no other possibilities for life than those delineated by the music. When the piece was over Coalhouse Walker turned on the stool and found in his audience the entire family, Mother, Father, the boy, Grandfather and Mother's Younger Brother, who had come down from his room in shirt and suspenders to see who was playing. Of all of them he was the only one who knew ragtime. He had heard it in his nightlife period in New York. He had never expected to hear it in his sister's home.
    Coalhouse Walker Jr turned back to the piano and said "The Maple Leaf." Composed by the great Scott Joplin. The most famous rag of all rang through the air. The pianist sat stiffly at the keyboard, his long dark hands with their pink nails seemingly with no effort producing clusters of syncopating chords and the thumping octaves. This was a most robust composition, a vigorous music that roused the senses and never stood still a moment. The boy perceived it as light touching various places in space, accumulating in intricate patterns until the entire room was made to glow with its own being...
    The piece was brought to a conclusion. Everyone applauded. Mother then introduced Mr Walker to Grandfather and to Younger Brother, who shook the black man's hand and said I am pleased to meet you. Coalhouse Walker was solemn. Father cleared his throat. Father was not knowledgeable in music. His taste ran to Carrie Jacobs band. He thought Negro music had to have smiling and cakewalking. Do you know any coon songs? he said.

May 8, 7:48pm

Just checking in about my boast in >76 rosalita: that I knew how Taken at the Flood would resolve its romantic subplots: Nope! Never mind that one of the pairings kinda sorta did come true, although not in the way I imagined at all. When it turns out one of your "happily ever afters" killed the other, that pretty much means by defaults means you lost the bet.


May 8, 8:40pm

>120 rosalita:

Yeah, you were a little off the track with that one. :D

May 8, 8:50pm

>121 lyzard: Just a little! Sheesh. You must have been laughing uncontrollably when you read my bold prediction!

May 9, 6:02pm

>122 rosalita:

Well, yeah; BUT---I'm too gutless to declare myself publicly like that so there was admiration too. :D

May 9, 6:21pm

>119 lyzard: Yes. I kept thinking it shouldn't be working but it did, and points to some really disturbing things.

May 10, 6:32pm

>124 swynn:

It's a very strange book but honestly, I enjoyed it more than any of our best-sellers for quite a while.

May 10, 9:12pm

>125 lyzard: I read it in 2015 and enjoyed it as well. He effectively weaves all the disparate stories together. My comment at the time was that I read it fast to get to the story, and that I need to re-read it, to understand all the themes and references. One of these days I'll have to follow-up on that. From my little summary, this is the quote from the book that stood out for me--about Henry Ford and his assembly line:

By controlling the speed of the moving belts he could control the workers' rate of production. He did not want a worker to stoop over or to take more than one step from his work site. The worker must have every second necessary for his job but not a single unnecessary second. From these principles Ford established the final proposition of the theory of industrial manufacture--not only that the parts of the finished product be interchangeable, but that the men who build the products be themselves interchangeable parts.
(emphasis mine).

May 14, 6:19pm

>126 kac522:

"Final proposition" is a bit creepily close to "final solution", too, probably intentionally. Doctorow chooses to put racial conflict front and centre but there is plenty in there about working conditions and the treatment of the workers, which that phrase pretty much sums up.

May 14, 6:22pm

Finished Trinity for TIOLI #8.

And yeah, I'm gunna do it:

Still reading Elsie In The South by Martha Finley; and The Mystery Of Villa Sineste by Walter Livingston.

May 14, 6:23pm

...and I may say that I am simultaneously stunned, appalled and delighted by next month's best-seller...

May 15, 3:19am

Finished Elsie In The South for TIOLI #3.

And yeah---

Now reading Synnøve Solbakken by Bjornstjerne Bjornson; still reading The Mystery Of Villa Sineste by Walter Livingston.

May 15, 11:03am

>129 lyzard: you can't leave it at that?!
Glad you're enjoying reading at the moment. >;-)

May 15, 6:22pm

>131 Helenliz:

There's not much more to say, granted! - though these ones aren't hard to review, complaining is always easy. :D

The last week has been a bit of a slog: I think a few comfort reads might be in order. :)

May 16, 1:24am

May 16, 6:43pm

Finished Synnøve Solbakken For TIOLI #9.

Now reading The Idea Of The Gentleman In The Victorian Novel by Robin Gilmour; still reading The Mystery Of Villa Sineste by Walter Livingston.

May 18, 6:34pm

Finished The Idea Of The Gentleman In The Victorian Novel for TIOLI #14.

Now reading Burglars In Bucks by George and Margaret Cole; still reading The Mystery Of Villa Sineste by Walter Livingston.

May 19, 10:21am

>128 lyzard: I'm still plugging away, and am on schedule for finishing this month. As you noticed, it's ... long.

>129 lyzard: I have peeked ahead, so knew June's bestseller was on its way. I've never read it, and haven't read the preceding books since high school, so I have been preparing with a re-read.

Edited: May 19, 6:12pm

>136 swynn:

It's not so much the length as the inescapability of it all. I was thinking, though, that this becoming America's best-seller is like the modern equivalent of the emigrants sending money home in lieu of ever going back. :D

Ah! - yes, I hadn't joined those dots. I think I read this once, or tried to, but I really don't remember anything and don't have much feel for how I'm going to get along with it this time.

May 20, 7:35pm

An interesting reading day yesterday:

Finished Burglars In Bucks for TIOLI #7.

Also returned to my academic library for a Rare Books session, and finished The Mystery Of Villa Sineste for TIOLI #12.

And also accessed a reprint copy of an article that appeared in the journal Australian Academic & Research Libraries in 1980:

Murder In The Fisher Library by Stephen Knight, a distinguished Australian academic who is (among many other things) an expert in the history of crime fiction. The paper in question discusses the crime and detective fiction collection in the Rare Books section of Fisher Library at the University of Sydney, and justifies it as an area for library spending in terms of sociological research.

So---also finished Murder In The Fisher Library for TIOLI #2.

May 20, 8:52pm

Another of my incomplete series, for which I am forcing myself to skip and move on, is Herman Landon's series featuring Martin Dale, aka "The Picaroon", a Robin Hood-esque figure who, through no fault of his own, has ended up on the wrong side of the law, but who intervenes to help other people (usually beautiful young women) in spite of a harassing police officer determined to catch him out in something.

The first work in the series, The Green Shadow, is readily available, having been widely serialised in the 1920s and turned into ebooks since.

However, the second entry, The Picaroon Does Justice, is only available here via an academic loan and accompanying fees ($34.00 total), and I didn't like The Green Shadow well enough to find that reasonable. The third entry, Buy My Silence!, is rare and even more expensive.

So I have moved onto the fourth entry, which fortunately is available here via straight ILL:

Now reading The Trailing Of The Picaroon by Herman Landon.

May 20, 9:41pm

>119 lyzard: Struggling to catch up but I did want to add that I thought Ragtime was an excellent novel and quite possibly the best thing that E.L. Doctorow wrote.

May 21, 7:17pm

>140 PaulCranswick:

Don't worry, not sure there's an awful lot that needs catching up with. :D

Yes---and it's interesting that we both feel that way: its framework is so aggressively American yet the themes it's actually dealing with are (unfortunately?) universal.

May 21, 7:20pm

Like the man said---


There are probably more formally correct and detailed graphics out there, but I think this one captures it quite nicely:

Edited: May 23, 7:14am

>142 lyzard: Well done, Aussies! Next up: Perhaps the moptop across the pond?

May 23, 12:19am

>143 rosalita:

It's such a relief! That's what everyone keeps saying, that it feels like the weight of the world has been lifted. And I guess it has, actually. :)

Kind of sad that having a decent human being in charge should seem like such a quantum shift, though.

And all this in the face of absolutely relentless, absolutely shameless propaganda from the Murdoch press day in, day out for months on end---and guess what? - no-one'ss listening any more. (You can imagine how the Sky News psychos are reacting!)

So moptop better watch out... :D

May 23, 12:42am

In other vitally important news---we now have a First Dog.

This is Toto, a cavoodle (!):

Edited: May 23, 4:58am

>142 lyzard: Such a relief!

>145 lyzard: Even two first dogs? I saw a photo of Albanese with this dog and a similair brown dog.

May 23, 4:51am

>145 lyzard: well that does look like good news. Every country needs a first dog. >;-)
Cavoodle - Cavalier poodle?

May 23, 7:17am

>145 lyzard: OK, Toto is adorable. I appreciate that his(?) neckerchief and leash/lead are color-coordinated.

May 23, 8:35am

>142 lyzard: Congratulations! Also: what Julia said.

May 23, 6:34pm

>146 FAMeulstee:

HUGE, yes. :)

Pretty sure they only have one dog: it may have been someone else's dog in the pic. The morning after - and truly, I love this - they went for their usual dog walk / coffee, but got mobbed, and there are a lot of shots from that floating around.

>147 Helenliz:

We can stand to have the good news keep coming, there's a lot of ground to make up. :)


>148 rosalita:

She. Out in her party colours. (Uh, political, not PAR-TEY.)

>149 swynn:

Thank you! :)

May 24, 6:05pm

Yup. :D

May 24, 6:16pm

>151 lyzard: I wonder if PM Albanese and President Biden chatted about the ins and outs of having a First Dog?

May 24, 6:19pm

>152 rosalita:

Or having the First Pets steal your thunder? :)

May 24, 6:19pm

While you're here---

Finished The Trailing Of The Picaroon for TIOLI #12.

Now reading The League Of Frightened Men by Rex Stout.

May 24, 8:11pm

May 24, 8:58pm

>154 lyzard: Yay! I will be off for several days starting on Thursday, and I've been saving it for my vacation.

May 24, 11:17pm

>155 rosalita:, >156 cbl_tn:

Had meant to get to it earlier but book access has been a bit tricky. But plenty of time still this month! (Also for The Mystery Of The Screaming Clock...)

May 25, 6:22pm

Okay. My brain has been all over the place for the past week (first in trepidation, then in gleeful disbelief), and my reviewing has fallen off a cliff again as a consequence, though hopefully I can reel some of that back in over the weekend.

Also---I'm late in trying to get next month's reading organised.

Following my Month B plan, I'm currently looking at the following:

Miss Mackenzie by Anthony Trollope {group read}
The Silmarillion by J. R. R. Tolkien {best-seller challenge}
Nightmare Abbey by Thomas Love Peacock {A Century Of Reading}
Mosquitoes by William Faulkner {Banned in Boston}

At the moment, neither of my potential shared mystery reads are ready to go (I don't think---Julia? Helen?), so I should have some flexibility about filling out the month; perhaps fitting in some in-library reading.

Edited: May 26, 7:24pm

I will stop doing this, I promise...but this is just a bit too perfect.

Excerpts from this week's First Dog On The Moon:




May 26, 8:14pm

>159 lyzard: That's great!

May 27, 3:40am

Congratulations on the election result! We always keep a bit of an eye on Australian politics as Mr SandDune’s best friend in Uni went into state politics (Labour) immediately on graduating and Mr SandDune helped with his first election campaign when he visited Australia. And they both knew Tony Abbott, who was at Oxford at the same time. Neither of them had a good thing to say about him!

May 27, 7:30am

Hi Liz!

>1 lyzard: What lovely birds, and so interesting!

Congrats on the election victory. Well done, Australia!

I have starred your thread, looking forward to the weird ones you promised.

May 27, 9:05pm

>160 rosalita:


Schadenfreude beyond our wildest dreams

Yeah. We need to be a bit careful about that. Hard not to participate tho'...

>161 SandDune:

Hi, Rhian - thanks! Ooh, can I ask a name or would that be indiscreet??

And they have even less now, ugh!

May 27, 9:08pm

>162 EllaTim:

Hi, Ella - thanks so much for visiting! And yes, definitely a weird one next time. :)

Thank you, hopefully we can start fixing the many things that need it!

May 28, 9:43am

>163 lyzard: David Hamill - he had a number of positions in the Queensland government at one stage - but retired now.

Edited: May 28, 6:03pm

>165 SandDune:

Ah, yes, I remember; Beattie government I think.

May 29, 4:38am

>165 SandDune: Yes that’s the one. Pre-covid we used to see him quite regularly (well, every couple of years anyway) and so Mr SandDune’s Australian political knowledge gets updated!

May 29, 6:27pm

>167 SandDune:

Should be an interesting conversation next time. :)

May 29, 6:28pm

May 29, 7:00pm

>169 lyzard: I enjoyed The League of Frightened Men. I figured part of it out, and Stout surprised me with a few things.

May 29, 8:00pm

>170 cbl_tn:

I figured out most of it, though of course the narrative keeps changing what "it" is! :D

May 29, 8:59pm

>171 lyzard: So cynical! Tsk, tak.

May 30, 1:06am

Edited: May 30, 4:52am

Lizard alert!

(I guess that may not work as well as 'sloth alert', but it's what I got!)

(Though you probably will get a sloth - or two - if you stick around...)

May 30, 4:52am

May 30, 5:45am

Yes, yes, there you go---

Sloth alert!

May 30, 11:24am

>176 lyzard: Oh wow, I never knew sloths could look so happy and goofy!

May 30, 12:29pm

>176 lyzard: Sloths are excellent, as ever. We must be due some 2022 sloths soon.
(she says with no confidence of that what so ever)

May 30, 6:29pm

>177 EllaTim:

Looking happy and goofy is what sloths do! :)

>178 Helenliz:

March sloths, yes...

(Ironically enough, My Lord John is next in line. :D )

May 30, 6:46pm

Finished The Mystery Of The Screaming Clock for TIOLI #4.

Now reading Miss Mackenzie by Anthony Trollope.

May 30, 6:48pm

Regarding the group read of Miss Mackenzie, I will probably put the thread up on Thursday, and we can make a proper start over the weekend.

I will post around and let people know when we are ready to go.

All welcome, of course. :)

May 30, 7:45pm

>181 lyzard: Looking forward to it! I'm thinking about trying the LibriVox recording so I can knit while I listen. Do you think that will work, or is this one of the Trollopes with different versions of the text?

May 30, 8:17pm

>182 cbl_tn:

Looking forward to seeing you there. :)

No, that should be fine with this one, as long as you can find a reader that suits. From memory it's quite an "interior" novel, if I can put it that way.

May 30, 8:57pm

>183 lyzard: Wonderful! I sampled a couple of minutes and I think the reader is adequate. I'll give it a try. If I find the audio doesn't suit after all then I will switch to an ebook version.

May 31, 1:47am

>184 cbl_tn:

Good luck!

Edited: May 31, 1:51am

I spoil you people, I really do;

Quokka alert!

Jun 2, 8:21pm

The thread is now up for the group read of Anthony Trollope's Miss Mackenzie:


I will hope to see you there! :)

Jun 4, 6:05pm

Finished Miss Mackenzie for TIOLI #9.

Now reading Nightmare Abbey by Thomas Love Peacock.

Jun 4, 10:18pm

Well. I haven't managed to get any book writing done around here (obviously), but I have managed to get some film writing done for the first time in forever - yay!

Verdens Undergang - or The End Of The World - is a 1916 proto-science fiction / disaster movie from Denmark that uses a predicted comet strike as an allegory for the destruction of WWI.

Jun 5, 6:07pm

Finished Nightmare Abbey for TIOLI #17.

Now reading Maid In Waiting by John Galsworthy.

Jun 5, 6:09pm

Nightmare Abbey was my 1818 work for 'A Century Of Reading'.

My next gap year is 1819, for which significant choices are a bit thin on the ground. Probably I should go with Walter Scott's The Bride Of Lammermoor...but I really can't go past John Polidori's The Vampyre.

Jun 9, 7:15pm

Finished Maid In Waiting for TIOLI #3.

Now reading The Silmarillion by J. R. R. Tolkein.

Jun 10, 8:50pm

Publication date: 1975
Genre: Historical drama
Read for: Georgette Heyer straight historical fiction challenge

My Lord John - Georgette Heyer's great late-career dream was a trilogy of novels about the House of Lancaster, using the life of John, Duke of Bedford, as its connecting thread. However, while she undertook her usual meticulous research to support her project, her dream never came fully to fruition: the combined pressures of family finances and publisher demands, plus the relative unpopularity of Heyer's straight historical fiction, meant that she was forced repeatedly to put her project aside while she completed another Regency romance. Such was the case right up to the time of her death in 1974; after which her husband and son compiled her uncompleted project into a single, unfinished novel---which, rather poignantly, ends literally in mid-sentence. My Lord John consequently covers the life of John, the third son of Henry Bolingbroke - in course of time, Henry IV - from his early childhood in the reign of Richard II, through to his adult military career as Lord Warden of the East Marches and Constable of England, when he was tasked with defending England against the incursions of the Scots. Though John, and John's perspective - and how he differs from his brothers in character and ways of thinking is one of Heyer's points - remains as the centre of the novel, the overarching narrative traces the struggle for power and position by the family patriarch, John of Gaunt, the overthrow of the increasingly unstable Richard by the forces led by Henry, and the subsequent establishment of the House of Lancaster. However - as Shakespeare would later put it in this precise context - uneasy lies the head that wears a crown... My Lord John is by no means an easy read, not just because of its complex subject matter, but in light of the dizzying array of variant names that each of its characters bears, and the equally bewildering network of blood relationships and marriages by which they are connected; plus the use of accurate but anachronistic language (for which a glossary is appended). It also suffers from dealing with the early life of its protagonist, in which he is often an outsider or an onlooker to the main action. Yet for all this, there is an ease about Heyer's writing here that is conspicuously absent from most of her earlier historical writing: her understanding of her enormous topic, and her grasp of these very points, is patent. And while John is sometimes marginalised, he is (unlike the subjects of Heyer's other straight histories) a likeable protagonist, albeit one shaped by the harsh realities of his time and the ongoing and often bloody struggle for power that marked his family's ascension to the throne of England. For all his military competence, John is an amusing anomaly: his leading skills are those of organisation and administration, which not infrequently give him the advantage over those who think purely in terms of force of arms. Similarly, his care for the men under his command and his honourable dealings with his enemies win him a measure of authority denied to those with more overt power. But in spite of his own detachment, John's deep and abiding affection for his brother, the young Prince Harry, draws him into the latter's more emotional and questioning view of life: his abiding unease over the questionable fate of the deposed Richard, the legitimacy of his father's seizing of the throne, and the nature of the deeds to which they must all resort, to hold the family's new power...

    "You have stained your knighthood!"
    John was very pale, but he answered steadily: "It is well-worth, since you are here to tell me so."
    His words fell heavily, and were not immediately answered. Harry's fierce eyes stared up at him; he said, after a moment: "For my sake, this deed? For my sake?"
    "For your sake, and all our sakes."
    Harry flung out a hand, as though to thrust the thought away. "No! Not unfaith!"
    "Content you, never to you! You bade me hold the North for you, and it is held."
    "Holy Rood, did I bid you use such arts as those?"
    "You didn't know, Harry, nor I indeed, that it would come to this: that I must betray you or our enemies."
    "Not betrayal of me, to keep your knightly faith!"
    "Not betrayal, to have the means to save you from neck-break, and to put them from me? God shield you, Harry, do you rate my love so low? There was no other way---or if there was I did not see it."
    There was a strange, haggard look to Harry's face. He sprang up, and lunged away to the window, muttering: "This throne, this throne! Jesu defend!"

Jun 10, 9:50pm

Publication date: 1967
Genre: Young adult
Series: The Three Investigators #8
Read for: Series reading / shared read

The Mystery Of The Silver Spider - A narrowly avoided car accident introduces the Three Investigators - Jupiter Jones, Pete Crenshaw, Bob Andrews - to the young Prince Djaro of Varania. Much to their surprise, the encounter leads to an invitation to Varania, for the prince's coronation; they are even more taken aback when Bert Young, a government official, tells them their trips will be paid for, if in exchange they agree to report back to him anything questionable they might observe: explaining that trouble is brewing in Varania, and for Djaro in particular... After taking up residence in the palace, the three boys can see for themselves that Djaro's uncle and regent, Duke Stefan, resents their presence; but they are hardly expecting the form his attempt to get rid of them takes. Before they know it, the boys have been framed for the theft of the Silver Spider, the Varanian symbol of power; accused of espionage; and are of the run with members of the Varanian underground... The Mystery Of The Silver Spider is the shortest so far of the Three Investigators mysteries, but it crams a lot into its few pages---with two genuine points of interest woven into its plot: first, the bad guys' plan to turn Varania into an extradition haven, and to make a fortune charging wanted criminals for the country's services; and secondly, that the Three Investigators are, in actual fact, guilty of espionage, right down to transmitting reports to a foreign agency; albeit for the best of reasons. It is soon clear that a faction led by Duke Stefan has no intention of allowing Djaro's coronation to take place, and the "theft" of the Silver Spider, and its planting on the young prince's American friends, is all part of a conspiracy to keep him from the throne. The three boys end up collaborating with a resistance movement that supports Djaro, and fighting back against the conspiracy; but ultimately, Djaro needs to be in possession of the Silver Spider if he is to take power. The boys managed to rid themselves of the incriminating item before it could be found in their possession by Stefan's men, but now there's a problem: having suffered a head knock during their wild escape, Bob can't remember what he did with it...

    "Maybe Bob did hide it after all. Can you remember perhaps hiding it, Bob?"
    Bob shook his head. He just couldn't remember a thing about the silver spider.
    "Well, we'll look," Rudy said... Pete and Jupiter examined the suitcases. Elena felt under the mattress, the sheets, the pillows. The result was still nothing.
    They gathered again in the middle of the room.
    "It isn't here," Rudy said, his voice puzzled. "We didn't find the spider, the soldiers didn't find the spider, yet it is gone. I am afraid that when Bob ran out on the balcony, he still had it. As he climbed over the side to get to the ledge he must have dropped it. Though I still cannot think why it was not found in the courtyard."
    "What shall we do now, Rudy?" Jupiter asked. Usually Jupe was the leader in anything they did, but now Rudy, being older, and knowing his way around the ancient palace, was definitely in charge.
    "Get you to safety," Rudy murmured. "That is all we can do. So we must go back and---"
    At that moment the door burst open. Electric lights blazed on. Two men in the scarlet uniforms of palace guards rushed in.
    "Stay where you are!" they shouted. "You are under arrest! We have caught the American spies!"

Jun 10, 9:52pm

I thought at first that The Mystery Of The Silver Spider was the first of the Three Investigators mysteries that I hadn't read before, because I really didn't remember it...until we got to one detail.

Perversely enough, the one thing I did remember was where Bob hid the spider! :D

Edited: Jun 12, 4:00pm

>194 lyzard: I am skipping this review for now because I am several books behind, having just posted my review of The Mystery of the Fiery Eye. I've now gone back to your review posted in January and see that you also made note of the Rolls Royce situation. Frankly, Jupiter's logic should have prevailed, but I have faith that something else will happen to further extend their access in a later book.

Also, I don't like to brag but I think the cover on my edition is much better than the one you were stuck with:

Jun 12, 7:52pm

>196 rosalita:


Who ARE those people and what are they doing on my book cover??

I love modernisations! - but c'mon, we all know Bob is blond...

Gus's arrangement re: the Rolls is permanent, so that takes care of that.

Jun 12, 8:08pm

>197 lyzard: Not only that (I assume the boy on the far left is meant to be Bob because glasses), none of them remotely resemble a boy who was a child actor known as Baby Fatso! The nip-and-tuck surgery on Jupiter is especially egregious on the cover for this book, where he deliberately puts on the persona of, as I think the author described it, a "fat moron." None of those boys credibly pass for anything close to that.

But they did get the plaster bust on there. ;-)

Jun 13, 6:05pm

>199 lyzard:

I'm pretty sure Jupe would rather be "Baby Fatso" than whoever the hell THAT is supposed to be (nip-and-tuck, yes!).

But yes, nice bust-smashing. :D

Jun 16, 6:13pm

Finished The Silmarillion for TIOLI #8.

It doesn't quite get my 'crushed by a book' logo but my goodness me...

What it has done, though, is completely mess up my brain with respect to what my other reading plans were this month (and not just because it's taken me about a week to read it).

I think I need a coffee and a quiet reassess...

Edited: Jun 16, 6:27pm

Um. Well.

While I get reorganised, I'm just going to do this:

Now reading Elsie's Young Folks In Peace And War by Martha Finley.

Fun fact: the LT member numbers have been dropping off right through this series (yeah, you'd think), but for this one, I was the first person to add it!

Also can't find a proper cover image for it, though there's one out there under its shortened reissue title, "Elsie's Young Folks" (which is misleading, since I gather it deals with the Spanish-American War...and which in turn gives me hope it might have something resembling a plot!).

Jun 16, 6:34pm

As for the next best-seller---


I mean, yeah, okay; but noooooo...

I get the feeling that, after The Silmarillion, people wanted some Good Solid Writing. :D

Jun 16, 6:39pm

>202 lyzard: I've peeked ahead, so I know what's coming and, yeah: no please. But also: okay.

Jun 16, 7:07pm

>203 swynn:

Yes, exactly. :D

BTW re: The Silmarillion, I found it something of a bell-curve: it starts out a hard slog, but there's a point about halfway through where suddenly there's a greater ease about the writing (and the reading). The appendixed stories are in the earlier style, but by then we're more used to it.

I'm interested to see how you go with it.

Jun 18, 7:02pm

Finished Elsie's Young Folks In Peace And War for TIOLI #12.

Turns out I was a little optimistic about this having a plot...

Now reading The Crime Conductor by Philip MacDonald.

Edited: Jun 19, 8:57pm

Publication date: 1857
Genre: Classic
Read for: Nobel Prize fiction challenge

Synnøve Solbakken - A remote Norwegian valley is dominated by the farms of two families. On one side, in full sun, is that of the Solbakken: its favoured position makes it prosperous and successful. On the other side, sometimes cast under the shade of the fir forest that rises up the surrounding slopes, is that of the Granliden, where life is more of a struggle. In other ways, too the families contrast: there are numerous Granliden children, causing difficulties of various kinds for their harassed parents; while at Solbakken there is only one, Synnøve, a daughter. Karen Solbakken is rigidly devout, and looks with disapproval upon the more haphazard ways of the Granliden. As the years pass, Synnøve becomes the most courted girl in the valley - courted for herself, without the further attraction of being heiress to the most valuable property - and it is with dismay that Karen sees her daughter's eyes turned towards the erratic and troublesome Thorbjörn Granliden... Published in 1857, Synnøve Solbakken was the first full-length work by the Norwegian author, Bjornstjerne Bjornson, and his first attempt at so-called "pastoral" writing, by which he hoped to capture the essence of Norwegian country life. The novel is simple enough in its outlines, a gentler Romeo-and-Juliet story of mismatched lovers and disapproving parents; but surrounding this is a rumination upon the lives of the farming families, controlled by the seasons and the weather, both contained and buttressed by their faith, and made joyful - for some - by regular social gatherings, and by their deep connection to their soil and to the natural world around them. The allegorical nature of the two properties at the heart of the story is carried over into the natures of its young protagonists---though in Synnøve, both beautiful and good, her "sunny" nature reveals itself in ways that her mother tries to crush, and which leads her to evading Karen's scrutiny and teachings (her best friend, Ingrid Granliden, is astonished when she discovers that, somehow, somewhere, Synnøve has learned how to waltz). But Synnøve no less than her mother is troubled by her feelings for Thorbjörn, who is, in a word, trouble---though we may question how far this is his own fault. The tradition of the Granliden family insists of alternating generations of fathers and sons - Samunds and Thorbjörns - and also that each second generation must bring unhappiness to himself and others. Samund cannot quite bring himself to break the chain in the naming of his son, but he tries to forestall fate by, as it were, beating the devil out of Thorbjörn before he can even enter---such that the beleaguered boy becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. As a young man, Thorbjörn's temper often gets the better of him: his rivals for Synnøve delight in baiting him into fights, knowing that these will be reported to Karen, who in turn will offer them as warnings to her daughter. A crisis in the affairs of the valley is finally reached when Thorbjörn, for all his efforts at reformation and forbearance, is drawn into a fight not of his own making, that may cost him not just Synnøve, but his life...

    She was considered to be the best match far and wide, and long gazes followed her as she came to church---the only place where she could ever be seen, except at home; for her parents being Haugists, she never went to join a dance or any other amusement.
    Thorbjörn sat in the pew opposite hers. People never saw them talking to each other, either before or after church, yet everybody seemed to know that there was some understanding between the two; but as they did not appear to behave to one another like other lovers in the valley, people talked about them, and all sorts of stories were current...
    Autumn and winter passed away, the spring was coming, and yet people knew nothing. There were so many stories afloat of rejected suitors, that Synnøve was considered to have a mind of her own. Ingrid was her constant companion. The two also were to go this summer in company to the säter, for Guttorm Solbakken had bought part use of the Granliden hill pasture. Thorbjörn was heard singing on the mountain-side, making preparation there towards the girls' coming.
    One afternoon, as he had done his work, and the evening was closing in upon what had been a perfect day, he sat down thinking of all that was being said in the valley. He was lying on his back, on the ruddy heather, resting his head in his hands behind him, and looking up into the heaven as it rose a deep blue dome, beneath which the tree-tops went swaying to and fro. The foliage of the birch and pine flowed into one another, forming one heaving cloud, through which the branches made a fantastic drawing of their own...

Edited: Jun 19, 9:13pm

As noted up-thread, I have begun a Nobel Prize for Literature challenge, of a sort: I am not reading every winner, but one work for each of the winners who have "fiction" listed as one of their literary achievements.

The winners were as follows:

1901: Sully Prudhomme (France) - poetry, essay
1902: Theodor Mommsen (Germany) - history, law
1903: Bjornstjerne Bjornson (Norway) - poetry, novel, drama
1904 (joint winner): Frédéric Mistral (France) - poetry, philology
1904 (joint winner): José Echegaray (Spain) - drama
1905: Henryk Sienkiewicz (Poland) - novel

Now...I'm hesitating here, because I have read Sienkiewicz: his novel, Quo Vadis?, topped the best-seller lists in 1897, and Steve and I tackled it right back at the beginning of that challenge.

On the other hand, having undertaken this challenge in the first place, I also feel like that's a bit of a cop-out.

In fact, having read a bit more about Sienkiewicz's works, I feel like I need to undertake at least the first book in his trilogy of historical novels about Poland, which seem the most representative of what he was trying to achieve as a novelist.

Problem is...With Fire And Sword is well over 1000 pages long...and I have quite enough of that in my life at the moment, thank you very much James A. Michener.

But---not only is there a fairly recent English-language translation of With Fire And Sword, but I have library access to it; so I don't even have that as an excuse.


Edited: Jun 20, 7:01pm

Finished The Crime Conductor for TIOLI #2.

The good news there is that I'm finally through that phase of Philip MacDonald's writing wherein he not only wrote about eight books across 1931, but they were published in different orders in the UK and the US (and in some cases, with title changes, of course)---gahhh!!

Now reading Blanche Among The Talented Tenth by Barbara Neely.

Jun 22, 6:51pm

Finished Blanche Among The Talented Tenth for TIOLI #13.

That is #75, and puts me on track for reading 150 in the year.

My reviewing, as always, remains another matter. :)

Now reading The Mystery Of The Twin Rubies by Armstrong Livingston; however, that's an online copy, and I'm going to need a bath book at some point.

So also now reading Baksheesh by Esmahan Aykol.

Jun 22, 8:40pm

>209 lyzard: Congrats!

Jun 23, 7:50am

>209 lyzard: Congratulations on reaching 75, Liz!

Jun 23, 9:27am


Jun 23, 11:43am

>209 lyzard: Congratulations on 75, Liz!

Jun 23, 12:19pm

Congrats on reaching the magic number!

Jun 23, 6:04pm

>210 figsfromthistle:, >211 FAMeulstee:, >212 drneutron:, >213 swynn:, >214 MickyFine:

Thanks, everyone! It feels good to be getting back to some kind of normality with my reading. :)

Jun 23, 7:47pm

Best-selling books in the United States for 1976:

1. Trinity by Leon Uris
2. Sleeping Murder by Agatha Christie
3. Dolores by Jacqueline Susann
4. Storm Warning by Jack Higgins
5. The Deep by Peter Benchley
6. 1876 by Gore Vidal
7. Slapstick or Lonesome No More! by Kurt Vonnegut
8. The Lonely Lady by Harold Robbins
9. Touch Not the Cat by Mary Stewart
10. A Stranger in the Mirror by Sidney Sheldon

Historical fiction won out in 1976, but trash gave it a run for its money.

Sidney Sheldon's A Stranger in the Mirror is about two damaged people seeking Hollywood fame while dealing (or not) with their personal traumas. Harold Robbins' The Lonely Lady is another horrors-of-fame story, about a young woman struggling with the world and her own self-destructive impulses to make it as a writer. Jacqueline Susann's Dolores is, in effect, a roman à clef about Jackie Kennedy. Peter Benchley's The Deep is about a honeymooning couple in Bermuda who get caught up in the fight for a lost cache of drugs.

Kurt Vonnegut's Slapstick or Lonesome No More! is a bizarrely constructed parable about society, family, human connections and loneliness.

Mary Stewart's Touch Not The Cat is a Gothic thriller built around a creepy, decaying estate and a telepathic heroine. Sleeping Murder, Agatha Christie's posthumously published final novel, has Miss Marple helping a young woman whose purchase of a house in the country triggers memories of childhood trauma.

Jack Higgins' Storm Warning is a WWII-set thriller which has its characters and their various missions converging upon the Inner Hebrides just in time for "the storm of the century".

Published in 1976, Gore Vidal's 1876 is about America's first centenary---but paints a portrait of a country struggling in the wake of the Civil War and its aftermath, beset by political and other corruption, and deeply divided over race.

However, the year's best-seller was Leon Uris's historical novel about Northern Ireland, Trinity.

Edited: Jun 23, 7:54pm

This was Leon Uris's second time at the top of the best-seller lists, after Exodus in 1959.

A sketch of Uris's career may be found here.

Edited: Jun 23, 9:05pm

Publication date: 1976
Genre: Historical fiction
Read for: Best-seller challenge

Trinity - Another of Leon Uris's huge, and hugely complicated, works of historical fiction, Trinity traces the struggle for Irish independence from the 1880s through to the Easter Rising of 1916---though its background takes us much further, all the way back the colonisation of Ireland by the English after the Battle of the Boyne in 1690, and to its "present" via the devastating potato famine of the 1840s. The focus of the novel is the Larkin and O'Neill families, Catholic hill farmers scratching a bare living in a (fictional) region of County Donegal; but set against them - and, significantly, outnumbering them - are the Hubbles, the Earl of Royce and his connections, an Anglo-Irish family that owns a huge tract of the countryside around Derry, and the MacLeods, a Protestant shipbuilding family that has built its fortune by controlling employment in Belfast. When the latter two join forces upon the marriage of Caroline MacLeod and Roger Hubble, their grip upon Ulster is complete... Trinity is a difficult novel to assess, with its virtues and its flaws almost perfectly balanced. It is also a difficult novel to read: at some 900 pages, the problem is not just its length but the inescapable grimness of its material, with the Irish, and in particular the Irish Catholics, being beaten down again and again, and any tiny victory along the way invariably tainted by tragedy; with "glorious defeat" the best they have to hope for. Uris begins and ends his novel by quoting Eugene O'Neil---"There is no present or future, only the past happening over and over again." As we have seen before with Uris, his strength is in his presentation of history itself---here, in his tracing of the brutalisation and exploitation of the Irish by the English, and above all his understanding that of the pragmatic financial motivations at work behind something too often viewed and depicted as primarily a matter of religious conflict. That the conflict existed is not denied; but Uris also shows how it was one more weapon in the armory of the English, brought into play whenever the Catholics showed signs of organising, or the workers on both sides of finding common ground. The passages of the novel set in Derry, with the unemployed Catholics confined to the horrors of the Bogside slums, and the Protestants on bare survival wages, kept in line through enforced memberships in "Orange" organisations and the threat of "Catholics taking your jobs", are sickening in their relentlessness and cynicism. The framework of Trinity, as it were, is therefore a success; where the novel fails, as seems to be often the case with Leon Uris, is on the level of character. At the centre of the novel is Conor Larkin, the son of a Ballyutogue hill farmer, who is torn between his feeling for the land and his increasing sense that his destiny lies elsewhere---in a word, in revolution. Conor becomes the face of what Ireland could be, a living refutation of the English propaganda that excused the colonisation of Ireland by depicting the Irish as savage, stupid, incompetent: incapable of looking after themselves, still less of governing their own country. The problem is, however, that Uris never succeeds in making Conor a real person: handsome, brilliant, a poet as well as a warrior, irresistible to women, a master of anything he turns his hand to, cowing the English with his grasp of history and his impassioned speech-making---in short, he is never other than an artificial construct. Tacitly conceding this, Uris rarely allows us inside Conor's head during the innumerable crises of his life, but instead resorts to showing him from outside, with all the other characters tasked with convincing us of his perfections...which, naturally, they don't. Conor is, ultimately, a symbol and not a human being; and this leaves a hole in the centre of this novel that the strength of the straight historical writing cannot overcome.

    I went on to explain the rest of it. The treachery of Dixie O'Brien, which he already suspected, and the secret negotiations with the British...
    "I understand the Brotherhood's problems," Conor whispered. "But I understand my own problem even more clearly. I understand it all, the days and nights of reading, the wandering and the pondering. All the years of groping. I understand it."
    "What are you going to do!" I cried, frightened.
    "I'm not completely sure. I am sure of what I'm not going to do. You see, runt, you can't just wait until the stars are in their right orbit to make your move in life, whether it's marriage or planting crops or having babies...or staging a rising. Oh, we can fool ourselves and say we'll wait till things are right but, believe me, they can outwait us. We can negotiate but they'll outnegotiate us. After three hundred years of our faces in the mud and three hundred years of talking in circles, we've got to draw the line and test our mettle as a people. You see, we may not even prove ourselves worthy of freedom. We may not have what it takes. But we've got to find out. Maybe I'm not a good man for the Brotherhood because I can't still the anger in me any longer, no matter what my orders are."
    "Look, you're not yourself. They've beaten you daft. Trust in me enough for guidance this once, Conor."
    His black stare went right through me. "Look at me man, look at me and tell me I don't know what I'm about. I'm Conor Larkin. I'm an Irishman and I've had enough..."

Jun 24, 2:52pm

>218 lyzard: Yes to all that, and nicely put.

Jun 24, 6:12pm

>219 swynn:

Thank you!

I was thinking afterwards---you know how the point is made that emigrants never come back, they assuage their guilt through St Patrick's Day parades and paying for tombstones? - I wondered whether reading this book wasn't a bit like that too. :D

Edited: Jun 24, 6:55pm

Publication date: 1930
Genre: Mystery / thriller
Series: The Elusive Picaroon #4
Read for: Series reading / TIOLI (5-word title)

The Trailing Of The Picaroon - Like his earlier series featuring "The Gray Phantom", Herman Landon's stories about Martin Dale, aka "The Elusive Picaroon", are more fun in conception than execution. Framed for a crime he didn't commit by his former employer, Dale emerges from his stint in prison with a chip on his shoulder generally and a grudge against the police, which he takes out by turning crook---sort of: Dale's trick is to rob those he conceives deserve it - actual criminals, dishonest businessmen, other shady types the law can't touch - and then offer to give the stolen item back in exchange for a hefty donation to an animal protection league. See? - ought to be fun; but Dale is uninteresting, and the thread that holds the series together, his ongoing battle with his frenemy, Inspector Summers, is tiresome in the extreme: just constant repetition of I'll-get-you-one-day / I-don't-know-what-you're-talking-about conversations; while Dale "retires" from crime in pretty much every story. The Trailing Of The Picaroon consists of three novellas, the middle one long enough almost to qualify as a short novel. In The Picaroon's Vengeance, Dale takes a vicious dislike to his new neighbour after seeing him kick a puppy and, after concluding that someone who would do that is probably doing other dirty things, decides to break into his house and see what he can discover. The venture leads to Dale helping himself to a valuable pearl necklace---but also coming into possession of what turns out to be a clue to murder... In The Picaroon Turns Detective - which transports Dale and Summers to London and turns them English for no readily apparent reason; Summers, both in conduct and vocabulary, makes the least likely Scotland Yard detective in history - the one-year anniversary of an unsolved murder sees history repeat, with a second victim found dead in the same house and under the same circumstances. Dale becomes intrigued by the case, which seems to turn on one odd clue: why - both times - was an umbrella left at the murder scene, and on a dry day...? In The House Of Mirrors - also set in London - after giving up his criminal ways at the beset of Cora Stillman, the woman he loves, Martin Dale finds himself being led to hell by his good intentions. During a wave of jewel robberies, Dale is entrusted with a valuable necklace by an acquaintance, to be held for her in his safe. However, when she comes to retrieve the item, Dale is confronted by an empty safe, and one of his own "business cards", announcing robbery by the Elusive Picaroon...

    Dale fell to inspecting his looted safe. There was not a scratch or blemish anywhere. The burglar had done a neat and workman-like job. The Elusive Picaroon himself, Dale reflected, could not have performed a better one...
    He heard Bilkins gently reprimanding the exchange for giving him the wrong number, and then a gasp of surprise signified that the servant had made a startling discovery.
    "Look!" he exclaimed, pointing to something lying on a corner of the table.
    Dale came forward. A glint of white caught his eye. He saw a square of paper, slightly larger than a visiting card, with several lines engraved on it. He stared at it, struck by a bewildering sense of familiarity, then picked it up and ran his dazed eyes over the inscription. He knew it by heart, yet he read it to the end:
    "I trust you will pardon my little joke and excuse the liberty I have taken with your property. It will be returned to you as soon as you have presented ten per cent. of its value to the Society for the Protection of Animals---The Elusive Picaroon"
    The engraved characters dissolved into blots and blurs before Dale's eyes. It was The Elusive Picaroon's card. In texture as well as in printing it matched exactly the taunting little bits of paste-board he had been in the habit of leaving behind him at the scene of his exploits...