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A String of Beads (1954 TVM)

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Jul 14, 2019

US / 25 minutes / bw / Everest, CBS Dir: William Cameron Menzies Pr: William Frye, Ronald Colman Scr: Don Ettlinger Story: “Pearls” (1927 in Hearst’s International Combined with Cosmopolitan; vt “A String of Beads”) by W. Somerset Maugham Cine: George E. Diskant Cast: Angela Lansbury, Ronald read more

book: Touch Not the Cat (1976) by Mary Stewart

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Jul 11, 2019

Bryony Ashley, aged 22 and currently the last in her branch of an uppercrust English family, has experienced telepathic episodes since childhood; it’s a family trait, apparently. In particular, she frequently exchanges thoughts with an unidentified “lover” whom she assumes to be o read more

Hello Out There (1949)

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Jul 10, 2019

US / 31 minutes / bw / Huntington Hartford Dir: James Whale Pr: Huntington Hartford Scr: George W. Tobin Story: Hello Out There! (1941 play, staged 1942) by William Saroyan Cine: Karl Struss Cast: Marjorie Steele, Harry Morgan, Lee Patrick, Ray Teal. Created as a segment of an anthology feature read more

book: The Red Widow Murders (1935) by John Dickson Carr writing as Carter Dickson

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Jul 8, 2019

Not so long ago the young Lord Mantling inherited his title and the family estate, and soon his townhouse in London is due to be pulled down. This means he can open a room that’s been boarded up for years, a room that the terms of inheritance insist must be kept sealed until such time as the read more

Criminal Passion (1994 DTV)

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Jul 6, 2019

US / 97 minutes / color / Planet, DreamLogic, Trimark Dir: Donna Deitch Pr: Donald P. Borchers Scr: Max Strom, John Allen Nelson Cine: Joey Forsyte Cast: Joan Severance, Anthony John Denison, John Allen Nelson, David Labiosa, Wolfgang Bodison, Shannon Wilcox, Henry Darrow, Rachel Ticotin, Janet MacL read more

Alias Mr. Twilight (1946)

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Jul 3, 2019

US / 69 minutes / bw / Columbia Dir: John Sturges Pr: John Haggott Scr: Brenda Weisberg, Malcolm Stuart Boylan Story: Arthur E. Orloff Cine: Vincent Farrar Cast: Michael Duane, Trudy Marshall, Lloyd Corrigan, Rosalind Ivan, Alan Bridge, Gi-Gi Perreau, Jeff York, Peter Brocco, Torben Meyer, Olaf Hytt read more

book: The Burglar (2019) by Thomas Perry

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Jul 2, 2019

A book that I read almost overnight and thoroughly enjoyed, although I found it had its flaws and the handling of the conclusion seemed a bit clumsy. Elle Stowell is a house burglar in LA. Because she’s petite and pretty and young (though not as young as she looks), she adopts the role of a w read more

book: The Governesses (1992; trans 2018 Mark Hutchinson) by Anne Serre

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Jul 2, 2019

An odd little novella that I read avidly while at the same time having no idea why on earth I was so enthralled. There are clearly subtexts going on in the tale, but I was uncertain what they actually were. There are lots of little anecdotes but almost nothing by way of plot, except in the concludi read more

book: The Department of Sensitive Crimes (2019) by Alexander McCall Smith

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Jun 30, 2019

I’ve enjoyed watching the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series on TV but so far as I can recall I’ve never actually read anything by Alexander McCall Smith before. I may have to change my ways because, while I was far from blown away by The Department of Sensitive Crimes, I found read more

book: The Black Widow (1988) by Carolyn Keene

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Jun 30, 2019

My first experience of a Nancy Drew novel, this is #28 in the spinoff Nancy Drew: Files series featuring a rather older Nancy (she’s 18 here). The Black Widow was published in 1988, long after the original Carolyn Keene, Mildred Wirt Benson, had ceased contributing to the saga. And, to be read more

Angel in Exile (1948)

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Jun 29, 2019

vt Dark Violence US / 86 minutes / bw / Republic Dir: Allan Dwan, Philip Ford Scr: Charles Larson Cine: Reggie Lanning Cast: John Carroll, Adele Mara, Thomas Gomez, Barton MacLane, Alfonso Bedoya, Grant Withers, Howland Chamberlin, Art Smith, Paul Fix, Tom Powers, Ian Wolfe, Elsa Lorraine Zepeda, Ma read more

book: Black Widow (2008) by E.Duke Vincent

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Jun 27, 2019

I’ve gotta be honest. In the midst of reading this book I underwent a relatively minor surgical operation (a follow-up from the more major one I had a few weeks ago), and so I wasn’t in the best of humors at the time. Y’know: effing hospitals. That said, if ever you have to go und read more

Secret in Their Eyes (2015)

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Jun 26, 2019

US, Spain / 112 minutes / color / IM, Route One, Union Investment, Gran Via, Moot Point, SITE, Willies, Ingenious, STX Dir & Scr: Billy Ray Pr: Mark Johnson, Matt Jackson Story: La Pregunta de sus Ojos (2005; vt The Secret in Their Eyes) by Eduardo Sacheri and the screenplay for El Secreto de su read more

book: Fireside Gothic (2016) by Andrew Taylor

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Jun 25, 2019

Three novellas that have in common that they’re ghost stories but, more important for this reader, that they’re superb pieces of storytelling. There’s a sense of M.R. James about them (indeed, I spotted a “visual quote” from James at one point, albeit involving a cat r read more

book: Lady Living Alone (1945) by Peter Curtis (pseudonym of Norah Lofts)

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Jun 23, 2019

I’d forgotten until reminded recently that, relatively early in her career, Norah Lofts wrote four novels that could be loosely described as suspensers under the pseudonym Peter Curtis; in fact, one of them, You’re Best Alone (1943), is mentioned in my Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Film read more

The Uninvited Ghost (2010)

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Jun 22, 2019

US, Canada / 18 minutes / color / Echo North Dir, Scr: Heather Schmidt, Birgit U.E. Doll Pr: Heather Schmidt Cine: Gabriele Kislat Cast: Bob Bancroft, Clare Salstrom, Emory Murchison. A completely charming short that almost certainly doesn’t belong here but that I liked so much I persuaded myself read more

The Book of Henry (2017)

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Jun 22, 2019

US / 105 minutes / color / Sidney Kimmel, Double Nickel, Focus Dir: Colin Trevorrow Pr: Sidney Kimmel, Carla Hacken, Jenette Kahn, Adam Richman Scr: Gregg Hurwitz Cine: John Schwartzman, Jack Donnelly Cast: Naomi Watts, Jaeden Lieberher, Jacob Tremblay, Sarah Silverman, Lee Pace, Maddie Ziegler, Dea read more

book: Who Else but She? (1934; vt Black Widow) by S. Fowler Wright

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Jun 20, 2019

Originally published in 1934 as Who Else but She?, this is I think the first S. Fowler Wright book that I’ve read, although a vague memory nags that I may have read one of his adventure novels forty or fifty years ago. I do remember that, when I was a callow youth (as I still am, although tim read more

Women from Headquarters (1950)

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Jun 19, 2019

US / 47/60 minutes / bw / Republic Dir: George Blair Assoc Pr: Stephen Auer Scr: Gene Lewis Cine: John MacBurnie Cast: Virginia Huston, Robert Rockwell, Barbra Fuller, Norman Budd, Frances Charles, K. Elmo Lowe, Otto Waldis, Grandon Rhodes, Jack Kruschen, Bert Conway, Marlo Dwyer, Sid Marion, John D read more

book: Behind Her Eyes (2017) by Sarah Pinborough

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Jun 19, 2019

Sometimes it’s hard to understand the minds of fiction publishers. These past few years, every novel that could be deemed even vaguely thrillerish, from The Wind in the Willowsto The Kama Sutra, has seemed to bear the promise “The Next Gone Girl!!!” or “The Next Girl on the read more