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book: The Gray Flannel Shroud (1959) by Henry Slesar

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Oct 31, 2019

A lightweight, lighthearted piece of slick 1950s crime/mystery fiction that deservedly earned the author the 1960 Edgar Award for Best First Novel — I say “deservedly” even though I imagine there’ll be many a modern reader who’ll be incredulous about the lack of intros read more

book: Jemima Shore’s First Case, and Other Stories (1986) by Antonia Fraser

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Oct 30, 2019

I read a couple of Antonia Fraser’s Jemima Shore mysteries back in the day, and remember them as modestly entertaining. I didn’t catch the TV serialization of Quiet as a Nun, and at most I saw a single episode of the later TV series Jemima Shore Investigates, with Patricia Hodge in the read more

Der Raub der Mona Lisa (1931)

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Oct 30, 2019

Germany / 87 minutes / bw / Tobis-Klangfilm, Super-Film Dir: Géza von Bolváry Pr: Julius Haimann Scr: Walter Reisch Cine: Willi Goldberger Cast: Willi Forst, Trude von Molo, Gustav Gründgens, Max Gülstorff, Anton Pointner, Rosa Valetti, Fritz Odemar, Roda-Roda, Fritz Grünbaum, Paul Kemp, Fritz read more

book: After I’m Gone (2014) by Laura Lippman

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Oct 29, 2019

The last two Laura Lippman books I’ve read I enthused about. Although I enjoyed After I’m Gone a fair amount, it didn’t seem to me to hit those same heights. In 1976 Baltimore numbers crook Felix Brewer fled a hefty prison rap, leaving behind his beloved bride Bambi, their three s read more

book: The Nightspinners (2003) by Lucretia Grindle

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Oct 29, 2019

I was recently completely bowled over by Grindle’s later novel Villa Triste , and so was naturally eager to try her other work. My hopes were amply satisfied by The Nightspinners. It’s a very different novel, but it’s every bit as superbly written. Susannah and Marina grew up as read more

book: The Art of Arrow Cutting (1997) by Stephen Dedman

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Oct 29, 2019

Lurking somewhere between magic realism and urban fantasy, though heavily more toward the latter than the former, this is an agreeable romp that begs not to be taken too seriously. By its end you’ll know more about the monsters (and mobsters) of Japanese folklore than perhaps you did before y read more

Beast (2017)

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Oct 26, 2019

UK / 107 minutes / color / Stray Bear, Agile, Film 4, BFI, Altitude Dir & Scr: Michael Pearce Pr: Ivana MacKinnon, Lauren Dark, Kristian Brodie Cine: Benjamin Kračun Cast: Jessie Buckley, Johnny Flynn, Geraldine James, Trystan Gravelle, Shannon Tarbet, Charley Palmer Rothwell, Hattie Gotobed, Ol read more

The Happytime Murders (2018)

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Oct 23, 2019

US, China / 91 minutes / color / STX Entertainment, Huayi Brothers, Black Bear, TMP, On the Day, Henson Alternative, Jim Henson Company Dir: Brian Henson Pr: Brian Henson, Jeffrey Hayes Scr: Todd Berger Story: Todd Berger, Dee Austin Robertson Cine: Mitchell Amundsen Puppetry: Kevin Clash (Puppet Ca read more

book: Criminal Damage (1992) by Margaret Yorke

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Oct 21, 2019

Margaret Yorke’s work is an acquired taste that I never fully acquired, and so, when I saw this novel for sale (with its fabulous cover, by Merrit Deckle), I thought I should revisit her to see if my tastes might have changed after a gap of very many years. The answer is sort of yes . . . and read more

book: Ghost Wall (2018) by Sarah Moss

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Oct 21, 2019

I would probably have loved this had I listened to an audiobook version (not that I ever do listen to audiobooks, but this is just a hypothetical, you understand). As it was, I read the book in the print version and so had to cope with the author’s idiosyncratic ideas on punctuation, which me read more

Skumtimmen (2013)

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Oct 19, 2019

Sweden / 98 minutes / color / Sveriges Television, Nouvago, 5ta Avenida, Svenska Filminsitutet, Nordisk, Yellow Bird, Fundament Dir: Daniel Alfredson Pr: Søren Stærmose, Lars Pettersson Scr: Daniel Alfredson, Birgitta Bongenhielm Story: Skumtimmen (2007; vt Echoes from the Dead) by Johan Theorin Cin read more

book: Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead (20009; trans 2018 Antonia Lloyd-Jones) by Olga Tokarczuk

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Oct 17, 2019

Tokarczuk received the Nobel Literature Prize the other day, and so I scuttled along to my local library to borrow this book, which was the only one of hers they had. For once the dearth of an author’s books was actually rather cheering: Tokarczuk’s English-language translation have app read more

book: The Reluctant Fundamentalist (2007) by Mohsin Hamid

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Oct 16, 2019

I picked up this shortish book on impulse recently and am very glad I did so. It was only when I got it home that I noticed (duh) that it had been shortlisted for the Man Booker back in the day — presumably 2007 or 2008. Somewhat to my shame, I found myself wondering if spotting the relevant read more

Section des Disparus (1956)

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Oct 16, 2019

vt Seccion Desaparecidos; vt Of Missing Persons France, Argentina / 80 minutes / bw / Guaranteed, CICC, Borderie, Discifilm Dir: Pierre Chenal Pr: Jaime Cabouli, Raymond Borderie Scr: Pierre Chenal, Domingo Di Núbila, Agustín Cuzzani Story: Of Missing Persons (1950) by David Goodis Cine: Américo read more

wildly o/t book: Finn Family Moomintroll (1948; trans 1958 Elizabeth Portch) by Tove Jansson

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Oct 13, 2019

This is actually a reread for me. However, since I romped through all the Moomin books when I was about ten or twelve, I don’t think it really counts as such. That said, I was astonished by how much I remembered from well over a half-century ago. (My wife suggests I may have read it to my dau read more

book: The Chalk Man (2018) by C.J. Tudor

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Oct 13, 2019

Set partly in 1986 and partly in 2016, this sees reclusive schoolteacher Ed Adams reminisce about the events of the summer and fall when he was twelve and ran around the small town of Anderbury, not far from Bournemouth, with his little gang of pals: Fat Gav, Hoppo, Metal Mickey (whom no one really read more

Devil’s Bait (1959)

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Oct 12, 2019

UK / 56 minutes / bw / Independent Artists, Rank Dir: Peter Graham Scott Pr: Julian Wintle, Leslie Parkyn Scr: Peter Johnston, Diana K. Watson Cine: Michael Reed Cast: Geoffrey Keen, Jane Hylton, Gordon Jackson, Dermot Kelly, Shirley Lawrence, Eileen Moore, Molly Urquhart, Rupert Davies, Gillian Vau read more

book: The Dogs of Babel (2003) by Carolyn Parkhurst

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Oct 10, 2019

Linguistics prof Paul Iverson comes home one evening to discover that his beloved artist wife Lexy is dead, having fallen from the top of the tall apple tree in their back yard. The only witness was their Rhodesian Ridgeback, Lorelei, adopted as a stray puppy by Lexy sometime before she and Paul me read more

book: Two Murders in My Double Life (1996) by Josef Škvorecký

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Oct 10, 2019

An interesting novel that I didn’t feel quite pulled together, and I’m not sure why. Josef Škvorecký is one of those widely praised writers whose work, to my shame, I haven’t read (until now). This novel, first published in Canada in 1999 (whatever Goodreads might have you think), read more

Last Call (2012)

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Oct 9, 2019

US / 24 minutes / color / Broken Box Dir: Jim Chaliz Scr: Stephen Herman, David Chin Cine: Bill Saxelby (or Saxleby, in closing credits) Cast: Anna Konkle, Christopher Schram, Joe Maloney, Maria Bardina, David Chin, Sophia Nelson. Professional woman Kristin (Konkle) is phoned late one night by a ma read more
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