Friday, February 29, 2008
Thursday, February 28, 2008
FELINE FOXINESS: REVIEW OF THE CAT TRAP
Investigative reporter Emma Boylan left her husband and is living with Detective Inspector Jim Connolly. Iseult, Connolly's ex-wife asks him to visit her at precisely mid-day at the house that her father bought them as a wedding present. There is no answer at the door and Connolly lets himself in and wanders through the house eventually discovering the body of Iseult in the garage, an apparent suicide.
This is the start of a complex, exciting story set among the beautiful people of Dublin. Well the women are beautiful; the only thing attractive about most of the male characters is their wealth.
Jim Connolly is arrested for the murder of both Iseult and her friend Nuala Buckley whose badly beaten body is found later on the property, and Emma begins an investigation to find the real culprit among the cast of larger than life characters.
I don’t want to go into the plot any more and would advise readers to avoid reading the front flap which I think reveals too much.
Ireland is apparently awash with European Union grants and the economic boom is delivering wealth into the hands of those who probably had a strict Catholic upbringing in convent schools or Jesuit boarding schools.
This is a heady cocktail and KT McCaffrey, who has written six previous Emma Boylan novels, has produced a really good mystery, with some social commentary on the various ills and excesses of the modern age; drugs, ostentatious wealth, the fear of old age, colonic irrigation, anal bleaching, and rich trophy wives with too much time on their hands.
This is a well written real page turner, and while I found his strong female characters great fun to read about I would probably run a mile if I met them in real life. You don’t meet many wealthy women in dark glasses when you drive a Nissan Micra, apart from my 96 year old mother in law of course.
Murder, sex, wealth, glamorous but sinister women, and the glossy world of the Celtic Tiger makes a pretty unbeatable combination for good crime fiction.
The book's cover is both eye catching and a good introduction to the story.
“I firmly believe they over-prescribed anti-depressants for Nuala; the doctors seemed to rely way too readily on handing out pills to those they considered mentally ill.”
“His grandiose vision for Emma saw her as a latter-day John the Baptist, her mission to prepare the way and spread the gospel of the new political Messiah.”
For another more erudite review and to learn more about Emma Boylan go to:
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Sunday, February 24, 2008
CONTROVERSY FROM THE TELEGRAPH
A SICILIAN VIEW
Saturday, February 23, 2008
FIFTY PLUS ONE GREATEST CRIME WRITERS FROM THE TELEGRAPH
Read the full post at:
NEW CARE BLACKERTON OPEN FORUM
Friday, February 22, 2008
THE WORLD HAS COME TO OSLO:THE NESBO INTERVIEW
See Karen's post here:
It is an incredibly honest interview that does not pull any punches especially about the Norwegian participation in the Second World War.
PETITION WATCH:SAVE CARE BLACKERTON
You can also link to my other posts putting the case to keep Blackerton at:
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
THEMES: TWO MORE CRIMINI STORIES
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Jo Nesbø is the recipient of many prestigious awards including:
CONVOLUTED QUESTION:THE ANSWER
I may have to institute two prizes for this forthcoming quiz, one for anyone domiciled or born in Canada, and one for the rest of the world.
The question was:
What is the link between a cinematic recreation of a Roman slave revolt, a Turkish museum, Dr Albert Hirsch, and the odd son of antiques dealer Mogscha Rosenberg?
The cinematic recreation of a Roman slave revolt was the film Spartacus, in which Peter Ustinov won the Oscar for best supporting actor.
The Turkish museum was the Topkapi, the film of which based on an Eric Ambler story produced yet another Oscar for Peter Ustinov.
Dr Albert Hirsch was the character in the film The Bourne Ultimatum played by Albert Finney, hence the references to Saturday Night and Sunday Morning a film he starred in way back in 1960.
The "odd" son of Mogscha Rosenberg was Alfred Leonard Rosenberg, also known as Tony Randall. Tony played opposite Jack Klugman in 114 episodes of The Odd Couple.
Peter Ustinov, Albert Finney and Tony Randall all played the part on screen of Agatha Christie's detective Hercule Poirot.
"And since then -I know very well what you will say-I am like a prima donna who makes positively the farewell performance! That farewell performance, it repeats itself an indefinite number of times!" Hercule Poirot in The ABC Murders
Sunday, February 17, 2008
REVIEWS ON EURO CRIME: A VENGEFUL LONGING
My review of A Vengeful Longing by R.N.Morris is up on Euro Crime at:
I really enjoyed this excellent historical crime novel set in 1868 St Petersburg which featured Porfiry Petrovich the detective created by Dostoevsky.
Also featured this week were a review by Karen Meek [Euro Crime herself] of the Crimini short stories, which made me want to dive into the remaining stories that I have not had time to read.
Fiona Walker confirmed once again just how much the modern Nordic crime writers owe to the masters Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo. I know am a bit of a bore about this subject but it is true.
And Maxine Clarke writes an intriguing review about a complex book.
Friday, February 15, 2008
RETIRED BUT NOT RETIRING: THE CONVOLUTED QUESTION
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Joel and Ethan Coen will write and direct the Alaskan murder mystery, set in a fictional Jewish settlement, after Columbia Pictures acquired the rights.
The Coens' current film No Country for Old Men, which earned the brothers a Bafta for best director at the weekend, is nominated for eight Academy Awards.
Its producer Scott Rudin has also signed up for the new project.
WAITING FOR ERLENDUR
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Many thanks to everyone who has signed the petition. We have reached fifty signatures so far and in the circumstances I think that is a pretty good start, but we do need a lot more people to sign.
You can sign the on line petition to save CARE village Blackerton at: http://www.gopetition.com/online/16709.html
You can also link to my other posts putting the case to keep Blackerton at:
And a special vote of thanks to author Declan Burke, and fellow blogger crimficreader who kindly posted about the petition on their blogs.
You can follow the links below to their excellent and informative comments.
and crimficreader, who must take the credit for the idea of a petition, here:
Sunday, February 10, 2008
TRUE GLOIRE: FRED VARGAS
They include my own review of This Night's Foul Work at:
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
QUIRKY QUIZ: WINTER EDITION: THE ANSWERS
Monday, February 04, 2008
MORE FROM CRIMINI
EDUCATION IS VITAL
Schools Minister Jim Knight wants the chosen teenagers to educate their classmates about the Holocaust when they return.
Each will meet an Auschwitz survivor, be shown around the camp's barracks and crematoria and see the registration documents of inmates and piles of hair, shoes, clothes and other items seized by the Nazis.
The DVD, which took four years to develop, features 18 witnesses to the Holocaust and survivors of the associated Nazi eugenics programme including Roma and Sinti gypsies, Jehovah's Witnesses and political prisoners.
Sunday, February 03, 2008
IT'S A CRIME (OR A MYSTERY....) ADDS SUPPORT
THE THEMES IN CRIMINI
Saturday, February 02, 2008
HATE CRIMES: ON LINE PETITION TO SAVE CARE BLACKERTON
The recent events in Iraq show how vulnerable people are who have learning disabilities.
The treatment handed out to Steven Hoskin in Truro, and Brent Martin in Sunderland was equally as disgusting and a blot on our society. Care in the community is not the answer when it puts vulnerable people in danger. There are successful alternatives that have operated for 40 years, such as CARE village at Blackerton.
Thanks to Crimfic reader [a lady with a beautiful Welsh accent] for steering me to the Go Petition site. And what a fantastic second half comeback by the Welsh rugby team today in their first victory over England at Twickenham for twenty years.
You can sign the on line petition to save CARE village Blackerton at:
And read my posts on this matter at the following links:
Friday, February 01, 2008
The preface by De Catlado discusses the three themes of the stories, corruption, foreigners, and the obsession with individual success.
I have only read the first tale by Niccolo Ammaniti and Antonio Manzini, and the start of the second by Carlo Lucarelli, but the writing in both stories has been exceptionally sharp, and incisive. I may save the rest after I finish the Lucarelli for another day, I don't want to spoil myself.
THE P.I. NOVEL: SPENSER
I shall be delving into these books from time to time, and last week I finished Looking for Rachel Wallace by Robert B. Parker. I had read some Spenser novels before but this one was new to me, and reminded me why I like crime fiction.
It was fast paced easy to read with crackling dialogue, a good but simple plot, and it dealt with discrimination against gay women in the workplace at a time when it was not being discussed. The clash between militant lesbian feminism and extremist right wing groups, and gender stereotyping are the book's other themes.
The fact that it was written way back in 1980 is a tribute to the ability of the crime novel to tackle subjects that are considered controversial.
But it is the sharp dialogue that gripped me in this PI novel.
"What did you think of it?"
"I thought Simone de Beauvoir already said most of it."
"Have you read The Second Sex?"
"Don't tell the guys down the gym," I said.........
"I also have an active sex life. Not only active but often diverse. You'll have to be prepared for that, and you'll have to conceal whatever hostility you may feel toward me or the women I sleep with."
"Do I get fired if I blush?"
"And she hasn't read the book."
Linda smiled and shook her head."Almost none of them ever do.You can't blame them. Sometimes you get several authors a week plus all the other stuff."
The pressure must be fearful," I said. "To spend your working life never knowing what you're talking about."
"I had always thought," she said, her face still pressed in my shoulder,"that men of your years had problems of sexual dysfunction."
"Oh, we do," I said. "I used to be twice as randy twenty years ago."
Full list of the Essential Mystery Library at: