This was first published in 1940 using the pseudonym Raymond Marshall, and published again in 1961 with the name James Hadley Chase to bring it under the name where he did most of his writing. Neither of these were his real name. René Lodge Brabazon Raymond was his real name, but we all know him ...

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The title of this book refers to The Monkey’s Mask by Dorothy Porter, a hard-boiled detective book written in poetry rather than prose. I’m not saying this book is poetical as it’s written in prose but it’s just a nod to the Porter book. Having said that there’s a quote from ...

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There must be something in this book to keep me reading through to the end, it might have been that I wanted to find out if the protagonist actually managed to retire in one piece or it might have been the writing. Bumper Morgan is an LAPD patrolman, he’s decided he’s ...

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The Murder Game – Joan Flanagan The premise of this book is interesting. You’ve got a rather demented host, both he and his family enjoy playing practical jokes on each other and their guests. This has been going on since the year dot and when host Bart decides to host ...

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I’ve been collecting Agatha Christie for a very long time, if you’ve been reading here since the beginning you’ll have seen this little thought where I confessed they belonged to my sister first. I have a couple still to collect but they’re only three short stories so I’m just about there. I ...

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Picked this book up in an op shop in Frankston. I bought it for the cover and the age of the book, it’s very distinctive as having been published in the early 1960s. I love it for that alone, everything else is a bonus. Ed McBain published under several pseudonyms, including that ...

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My brilliantly aptly named new series continues. Where I randomly select two books from my shelves and attempt to find a link. I do not promise it will be a good link, only that it will be a link. It might be anything at all. One thing I do promise is that ...

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Knights of Madness by Peter Haining Peter Haining is my all-time favourite editor, he’s put together so many of my favourite anthologies that I wouldn’t know where to begin to choose just one. Instead I’ll talk about the latest one I’ve read. Haining has been putting together anthologies for longer than I ...

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The Cat Who Saw Red by Lilian Jackson Braun This is the fourth book in the Cat Who series. There’s only 29 mysteries in this series and unlikely to be more. Number 30 was cancelled when Braun died in 2011. You’ll find I scribbled a few words about the second book ...

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The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith I knew I’d read some of J. K. Rowling’s more adult work at some stage, I was just waiting for the right time to buy and the right time to read. I was early for lunch with some new friends a few weeks ago and ...

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Angels of Death: Disturbing real-life cases of nurses and doctors who kill. Yes, this is exactly what it says and it’s what the doctor ordered…now, after that corny line I’m continuing with some real phrases. Sent to me by the author and I’m very grateful as I’ve only recently gotten ...

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In the Kitchen With a Knife by Susan Wright Caroline is running, escaping her abusive husband and looking for a place to finish her book, Riverbank Cottage seems ideal despite the murders. When she gets there she can’t concentrate on her writing, her neighbours are only too happy to talk ...

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