Autumn 2016. Issue #43.
Editor: Arthur Vidro.
Old-Time Detection Special Interest Group of American Mensa, Ltd.
36 pages (including covers).
Cover image: Charlie Chan.
In the latest issue of OLD-TIME DETECTION, editor Arthur Vidro and his cohorts have amassed lots of information about the Golden Age of detective fiction, a period which is enjoying a renaissance of sorts thanks to electronic publishing and how it's retrieving these works from undeserved obscurity.
Among the highlights of Issue 43: News about Agatha Christie revivals — a modern review of an eighty-plus-year-old novel — a concise account of a thriller writer with his own unique style — an article about THE Chinese-American detective and his creator — a couple of items concerning detective fiction's Golden Age — two (count 'em, two) pieces of fiction relating to Isaac Asimov as mystery writer, plus an apologia from the Good Doctor justifying his affection for classic detective stories — and other smart reviews scattered throughout.
All in all, a fine issue.
(1) FROM THE EDITOR by Arthur Vidro:
"The very first issue of Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, dated Fall 1941, contained an error on its cover. Your editor created a story around that error."
(2) CHRISTIE CORNER by Dr. John Curran:
". . . the big, and as yet unanswered, question is: 'What will happen to Poirot?' Will a new actor don the spats and moustache? Unthinkable! Or, as in the current French TV series, is he to be excised completely from the plot?"
"Though she lacks magical powers, Greenwood's deadly dowager emerges as one of the great witches of modern literature, insidious, cruel, hypocritical, and inveterately manipu-lative."
"As observers of the book market know, publication patterns have been changing in recent years."
"The books of Dornford Yates are an acquired taste for some readers. His style has an elegance that resembles no other artisan in the English language . . ."
"By now, you'll notice that I've fallen into the trap of discussing the Chan movies, not my intent at all for the books are different — and far better."
"However you date it or define it, the Golden Age was the great period of the detective story, but alas, like all good things it had to come to an end. The reasons for this are
numerous . . ."
Comparing and (more to the point) contrasting Sayers's Busman's Honeymoon (1937) with Evanovich's Top Secret Twenty-One (2014).
"I'm in a terrible situation. I like old-fashioned mysteries."
"Are you telling us you've got the right solution? What are the numbers? How did you get them?"
Breen's pastiche of a typical Asimov Black Widowers story and the Good Doctor's reaction.
(12) ISAAC ASIMOV'S TEN FAVORITE MYSTERY BOOKS and THE REAL BLACK WIDOWERS by Arthur Vidro.
Reviews of recent reprintings of Woolrich, Sayers, Chandler, Carr, and others, plus the six long-out-of-print Charlie Chan books: "This sextet of novels is noted for its quiet humor, its unpretentiousness, and its solid, old-fashioned (only by 1969's standards) storytelling virtues."
~ Full Crash Dive reviewed by Amnon Kabatchnik (1973): ". . . perhaps the best nautical detective novel ever written."
~ Motive reviewed by Charles Shibuk: ". . . an engrossing work, narrated in cold, remorseless prose . . ."
~ The Saint: A Complete History in Print, Radio, Film and Television, 1928-1992 reviewed by Bruce Dettman: ". . . for fans of Simon Templar it's a must."
"I've seen many 'Best Lists' in my time, but the Kabatchnik-Aucott list is the best Best List I've ever seen."
"Below are illustrations of seven all-time detectives, some of them amateur, some of them professional. The question here is for you to identify . . . the talented artist who drew them."
~ ~ ~ ~ ~Subscription information:
- Published three times a year: spring, summer, and autumn.
- Sample copy: $6.00 in U.S.; $10.00 anywhere else.
- One-year U.S.: $18.00 ($15.00 for Mensans).
- One-year overseas: $40.00 (or 20 pounds sterling or 25 euros).
- Payment: Checks payable to Arthur Vidro, or cash from any nation, or U.S. postage stamps.
Arthur Vidro, editor
2 Ellery Street
Claremont, New Hampshire 03743
- Our review of the Summer 2016 issue of OTD is (HERE).