Thursday, December 12, 2013

Curiosity Might Kill Cats but not Mr. Tarrant

By C. Daly King. Edited by Edward D. Hoch.
Crippen & Landru.
2003. 215 pages.
"If King genuinely believed this claptrap then he needed psychiatric help himself—not the first psychologist to do so by any means. If he didn't then he has short-changed his readers with patronising nonsense." — Jon (GAD Wiki)
One thing's for sure: King's mystery fiction polarizes readers in ways he might (or might not) have intended.

Here is Martin Edwards (DO YOU WRITE UNDER YOUR OWN NAME?, 8 October 2010):
The original book of stories about Trevis Tarrant were not published in King’s native US until the 70s, but they deserved a better fate, and the expanded book, dating from 2003, contains four additional tales – fascinating finds, making the collection a true cabinet of curiosities. There is a nice introduction by the late Edward D. Hoch, who speaks fondly of King’s ingenuity, and his penchant for impossible crime stories . . . These stories are dated and sometimes quite barmy, but for me they have an irresistible appeal.
Mike Grost (GAD Wiki review of THE CURIOUS MR. TARRANT):
King is far from being my favorite author. Just as in Clayton Rawson, there is something distasteful about King. King's strongest suit is his ability to create suspense. His better tales sweep one along as a reader, and show some real excitement, as well as some creepiness in the horror department. But they often turn upon clichés, including the disagreeable ethnic stereotypes of their era. And their mystery plots tend to be obvious, and easily figured out.
Nick Fuller (GAD Wiki):
In many of these [stories], as in the Sherlock Holmes tales, there is little mystery of who the villains are; the main problem is how.

Category: Detective fiction

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