Saturday, December 12, 2015


Autumn 2015. Issue #40.
Editor: Arthur Vidro.
Old-Time Detection Special Interest Group of American Mensa, Ltd.
40 pages (including covers). $6.00
Cover image: Ellery Queen's Cat of Many Tails (1949).

Arthur Vidro's Old-Time Detection never disappoints. In this issue, as in every number, you will find highly perceptive commentary about the mystery field in book and movie reviews, old and new. The breadth of coverage is impressive and the insights are, at times, genuinely thought provoking. Not many publications are capable of such. (We've added some off-site links to whet your appetite.)


~ FROM THE EDITOR: "As for the most popular Golden Age authors in India, I'd say Christie, Gardner, Queen, and Marsh."

~ HERBERT ADAMS (Charles Shibuk, 1991): "Several of his works would bear, and deserve, revival today."
   *** GAD Wiki HERE- FictionMags HERE ***

~ AT THE CINEMA (William K. Everson, 1993): "Film noir peaked in 1947, both qualitatively and quantitatively, but thereafter maintained itself on a fairly high plateau, diminishing slowly as increasing color production and the virtual elimination of censorship removed both the stylistics and the moral attitudes that were essentials."
   *** Mystery Street (1950) - IMDb HERE ... The Undercover Man (1949) - IMDb HERE ***
~ MEGA-REVIEW (Michael Dirda, 2015): A review of Curtis Evans's Clues and Corpses: The Detective Fiction and Mystery Criticism of Todd Downing (2014): "Not just well read and literate, but also devoted to the fair-play puzzle in which the reader can match wits with the detective over who done it and how."
   *** Mystery Scene HERE - GAD Wiki HERE - FictionMags HERE ***
~ NON-FICTION (Art Taylor, 2015): A review of The Lost Detective: Becoming Dashiell Hammett (2015) by Nathan Ward: "The Lost Detective is less a formal biography than a loose, entertaining exploration of the many intersections of fact and fiction in the creation of a persona and a literary legacy."
   *** Wikipedia HERE - GAD Wiki HERE - FictionMags HERE ***
~ AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT (Michael Grost): Concerning Father Ronald A. Knox: "None of the Knox novels I've read is a gem, the kind of book you want to recommend to other people to rush out and read. But the best things in them are worth remembering."
   *** Wikipedia HERE - GAD Wiki HERE - FictionMags HERE ***
~ "LOST" FICTION (William Brittain): "The Girl Who Read John Creasey" (First appearance: EQMM, March 1975): "Emil and Dorothy both turned to stare at their daughter. Marilee was sitting bolt upright in her chair. Both hands were clapped over her mouth, and her eyes were big and round."
   *** Wikipedia HERE - FictionMags HERE ***
~ SPECIAL FEATURE (Charles Shibuk, Marvin Lachman, and Arthur Vidro): Presenting "The Aucott-Breen-Lachman-Nevins-Nieminski-Shibuk Indefinite Library of Detective-Crime-Mystery Fiction Since 1949 [to 1975]," the title pretty much explaining itself, wouldn't you agree?
Winner of a Major Award
~ LOOKING BACKWARD (Charles Shibuk): "These reviews by Mr. Shibuk were published decades ago but remain pertinent today."
   *** The books: Mad Hatter's Holiday (1973) - Wikipedia HERE ... The Grouse Moor Mystery (1934) - GAD Wiki HERE ***
"...another smoothly flowing and well-researched period detective novel..."
"...a thundering disappointment..."
~ 30-PLUS YEARS AGO (Jon L. Breen): "This column reproduces mystery news of 30-plus years ago. Mr. Breen's original audience was his fellow librarians."
" of the best books I have ever read about writing in a popular genre..."
"...displays his mastery of pace, suspense, and the creation of a vivid historical background..."
"...Best bet for private eye fans..."
~ MINI-REVIEWS (Ruth Ordivar, Amnon Kabatchnik, Charles Shibuk, and Arthur Vidro): 
   *** The books: The John Dickson Carr Companion (2015) ... The Clue in the Air (1917) plus The Twenty-Six Clues (1919) - GAD Wiki HERE ... Hide and Go Seek (1932) - FictionMags HERE ... Thursday the Rabbi Walked Out (1978) - Wikipedia HERE and GAD Wiki HERE ... Storm Against the Wall (1931) - GAD Wiki HERE and FictionMags HERE ... The Siamese Twin Mystery (1933) - Wikipedia HERE, GAD Wiki HERE, and FictionMags HERE ***
" encyclopedia-sized repository..."
"...The writing is a bit overblown..."
"...a little too easy to solve..."
"...early Queen at his most accessible..."
~ PAPERBACK REVOLUTION (Charles Shibuk, 1969): "Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin are both endearing and welcome protagonists in Rex Stout's long series of cases featuring the elephantine investigator and his brash assistant. It is unfortunate that most of Stout's puzzles and plots have been among the major disappointments of the contemporary detective novel."

~ THE READERS WRITE: "By the way, I think resorting to the Internet [to solve the puzzle in each issue] is cheating; the idea is to use your mind; any fool can look something up."

~ PUZZLE: "Here are pictures of two old-time detective-fiction authors. Can you identify either?"

- ONTOS covered the Summer 2015 issue of OTD HERE.

~ ~ ~

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 or cash or U.S. postage stamps.
Mailing address:
Arthur Vidro, editor
Old-Time Detection
2 Ellery Street
Claremont, New Hampshire 03743
Web address:

The bottom line: "For some of us, the history of crime fiction provides a bonus that increases the pleasure of our current reading."
— Marvin Lachman

No comments:

Post a Comment