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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

book: The Hunter (1996; trans 2006 Juliet Winters Carpenter) by Asa Nonami

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Oct 9, 2019

To use the term “police procedural” to describe this novel might be a little misleading, because the normal implication would be that this is a piece of realism. Yet the truth is that it is a police procedural and even that it’s arguably realism, in that there’s nothing inhe read more

Panther’s Moon (1950)

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Oct 5, 2019

vt Spy Hunt US / 74 minutes / bw / Universal International Dir: George Sherman Pr: Ralph Dietrich Scr: George Zuckerman, Leonard Lee Story: Panther’s Moon (1948; vt Hunter’s Moon) by Victor Canning Cine: Irving Glassberg Cast: Howard Duff, Marta Toren (i.e., Märta Torén), Philip Friend, Robert read more

book: The Villa Triste (2010; US vt Villa Triste 2013) by Lucretia Grindle

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Oct 4, 2019

Just what I needed: a new favorite author. I picked up Villa Triste (original title on its first publication, in the UK although Grindle is a US author, The Villa Triste) as an impulse buy at a library book sale, largely because the sale’s organizer is a friend and I didn’t want to risk read more

Assignment—Paris (1952)

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Oct 2, 2019

vt Assignment: Paris; vt European Edition US, France, Italy / 84 minutes / bw / Columbia Dir: Robert Parrish (plus an uncredited Phil Karlson) Pr: Samuel Marx, Jerry Bresler Scr: William Bowers Story: Trial by Terror (1952 Saturday Evening Post) by Pauline and Paul Gallico, adapted by Walter Goetz, read more

book: Beautiful Bad (2019) by Annie Ward

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Sep 30, 2019

The cops are called to a house in a small Kansas town where they find a traumatized child and two traumatized women, one of whom bears the marks of a violent attempted strangulation. There’s also a dead man in the basement. What could have happened? The two women are longtime best friends Mad read more

Another Face (1935)

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Sep 28, 2019

vt It Happened in Hollywood US / 69 minutes / bw / RKO Dir: Christy Cabanne Assoc Pr: Cliff Reid Scr: Garrett Graham, John Twist Story: Thomas Dugan, Ray Mayer Cine: Jack MacKenzie Cast: Wallace Ford, Brian Donlevy, Phyllis Brooks, Erik Rhodes, Molly Lamont, Alan Hale, Addison Randall, Paul Stanton, read more

book: Ripper (2014) by Isabel Allende, trans 2014 by Ollie Brock & Frank Wynne

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Sep 26, 2019

I bought this a while ago in the form of the Fourth Estate paperback. (Back in the dawn of time, Fourth Estate was a splendid UK indie publisher. I see it’s now just another organism in the Murdoch STD.) It was only when I started reading the book the other day that I registered that (a) the text read more

book: Salvation of a Saint (2008) by Keigo Higashino, trans 2012 by Alexander O. Smith

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Sep 26, 2019

I’m that difficult codger in the corner who, alone in all the world, wasn’t entirely bowled over by the first of Keigo Higashino’s “Detective Galileo” novels to be translated into English, The Devotion of Suspect X: I thought it was okay but nothing more than that. I’ve enjoyed several of read more

A Walk Among the Tombstones (2014)

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Sep 25, 2019

US / 114 minutes / color / Cross Creek, Exclusive Media, Endgame, Jersey, Double Feature, Universal Dir & Scr: Scott Frank Pr: Danny DeVito, Michael Shamberg, Stacey Sher, Brian Oliver, Tobin Armbrust Story: A Walk Among the Tombstones (1992) by Lawrence Block Cine: Mihai Malaimare Jr Cast: Liam read more

The Walking Target (1960)

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Sep 21, 2019

US / 74 minutes / bw / Zenith, UA Dir: Edward L. Cahn Pr: Robert E. Kent Scr: Stephen Kandel Cine: Maury Gertsman Cast: Joan Evans, Ronald Foster, Merry Anders, Harp McGuire, Robert Christopher, Berry Kroeger, Bill Couch, Norm Alden, James Callahan, J. Edward McKinley, William Fawcett, Guy Wilkerson read more

book: This Sweet Sickness (1960) by Patricia Highsmith

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Sep 20, 2019

I’m sure we all at least once in our younger days had the experience of utter incredulity that the current object of our devotion shouldn’t feel the same way about us: it was a mistake in the script, surely, that could be easily corrected if only everyone concerned would see sense. That read more

book: Homicide Trinity (1962) by Rex Stout

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Sep 20, 2019

I was recently reading a rave about Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe stories on the blog of a crime-fiction enthusiast whose views I regard highly, and it reminded me it’s been quite a few years since last I read any Stout. Yes, I know he’s a darling of the critics, but for some reason I read more

Murder on the Campus (1933)

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Sep 18, 2019

vt On the Stroke of Nine US / 73 minutes / bw / Chesterfield Dir: Richard Thorpe Pr: George R. Batcheller Scr: Andrew Moses Story: The Campanile Murders (1933) by Whitman Chambers Cine: M.A. Andersen Cast: Shirley Grey, Charles Starrett, J. Farrell MacDonald, Ruth Hall, Dewey Robinson, Maurice Black read more

book: The Need (2019) by Helen Phillips

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Sep 16, 2019

Whenever terms like “dazzlingly original” appear in the cover quotes for a mainstream novel — in this instance the quote’s from Emily St John Mandel — my first assumption is that the novelist has incorporated some stock premise from science fiction or fantasy, regarded read more

book: The Courilof Affair (1933; trans 2008 Sandra Smith) by Irène Némirovsky

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Sep 15, 2019

An absorbing political novel by the author whose Fire in the Blood I so much enjoyed a couple of months ago. The tale is told in extended flashback toward the end of his life by Léon M (aka Marcel Legrand), who was part of the struggle against Tsarist tyranny in the years before the Russian Revolu read more

The Crime of Helen Stanley (1934)

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Sep 14, 2019

US / 60 minutes / bw / Columbia Dir: D. Ross Lederman Scr: Harold Shumate Story: Charles R. Condon Cine: Al Seigler (i.e., Allen G. Siegler) Cast: Ralph Bellamy, Shirley Grey, Gail Patrick, Kane Richmond, Bradley Page, Vincent Sherman, Clifford Jones (i.e., Phillip Trent), Arthur Rankin, Lucien Priv read more

book: Lisey’s Story (2006) by Stephen King

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Sep 12, 2019

A few days ago I read a Guardian interview with King in which he said that his favorites of his own books were Misery, The Stand and Lisey’s Story. While I’d read and appreciated Misery and The Stand (although not the oh gawd even flippin’ LONGER Director’s Cut version), I&# read more