THREE WEEKS UNTIL PATRICIA HIGHSMITH DAY!!
George MacDonald Fraser, Flashman series (Jeff Meyerson)
Fraser’s conceit is that a Watson-like box of papers has been discovered and is being serially published retailing the autobiographical adventures of the cowardly - yet wildly successful - rogue as he traveled the world in and out of the 19thCentury British Army. Each book covers a series of adventures in the rogue’s life, including his meeting with most of the important figures of the period, including Lords Raglan and Cardigan at The Charge of the Light Brigade, John Brown at Harpers Ferry, Queen Victoria (who knights him), a young Congressman named Lincoln who saves him from slave traders, and George Armstrong Custer at the Little Bighorn.
Flashman makes no bones about his character. He is a coward who doesn’t hesitate to run away in the face of danger yet he is a wily fighter, a drinker and gambler and carouser with women (he claims to have slept with 480) who somehow manages to use his riding, shooting and linguistic skills (and yes, his skills with the ladies) to save the day and the British Empire.
THE HOURS BEFORE DAWN, Celia Fremlin (Patti Abbott)
Onto the scene comes Vera Brandon, a teacher who is eager to board in a third floor room. She is able to talk intelligently to Mark Henderson, a source of jealousy for Louise. The new boarder does not seem disturbed the infant's constant crying at all. Although she's supposedly employed, Louise begins to wonder just how often she actually leaves the house.
As Louise tiredness mounts, little things begin to go wrong, mostly issues with the baby. Much of the trouble seems to come from that quiet woman on the third floor--someone that seems vaguely familiar to nearly everyone.
Fremlin does a terrific job of giving the reader the domestic details that make this familial portrait come to life.This is a subtle mystery. At times is is funny and at other times suspenseful. And Fremlin gets nearly everything right. This was her first novel, but it seems like the work of a seasoned professional. Obviously she mined a terrain familiar to her.
Fremlin won the Edgar for THE HOURS BEFORE DAWN in 1958. She went on to write 15 more novels. I am pretty sure I read one or two of them back in the day. I will be looking for more.
Sergio Angelino, BADGE OF EVIL,Whit Masterson
Joe Barone, KING'S RANSOM, Ed McBain
Bill Crider, NIGHTMARE AGE, Frederick Pohl
Martin Edwards, THE MISSING LINK, Katherine Farrer
Curt Evans, MISCHIEF IN THE OFFING, Clifford Witting
Jeff Flugel, THE BIG BOOK OF ADVENTURE STORIES, edited by Otton Penzler
Ray Garraty, STRANGERS ON A TRAIN, Patricia Highsmith
Jerry House, THE SCIENCE FICTIONAL SHERLOCK HOLMES, edited by THE COUNCIL OF FOUR
Randy Johnson, THE FORAGERS, Ben Haas
George Kelley, ALL ABOUT COLLECTING BOYS' SERIES and GIRLS' SERIES, John Axe
Margot Kinberg, THE SAVAGE ALTAR, Asa Larsson
B.F. Lawson, THE MYSTERY OF THE HIDDEN ROOM, Marion Harvey
Evan Lewis, AN ORCHID FOR A KILLER, Tod Hunter
Steve Lewis, MURDER GONE MINOAN, Clyde B. Clason
Todd Mason, IN SEARCH OF WONDER, Damon Knight
James Reasoner, OFF THE MANGROVE COAST, Louis L'Amour
Kelly Robinson, SOMEONE IS BLEEDING, Richard Matheson
Gerard Saylor, DR. WHO; THE MOONBASE, Kit Pedler
Ron Scheer, RICH MAN'S RANGE, John Reese
Kerrie Smith, THE GREEN MILL MURDER, Kerry Greenwood
Kevin Tipple/Patrick Ohl/Barry Ergang, STRIP FOR MURDER, Richard S. Prather
Prashant Trikannad, THE GIRL FROM SUNSET RANCH, Amy Bell Barlow
TomCat, THE POISON ORACLE, Peter Dickinson
James Winter, INSOMNIA, Stephen King, MICK JAGGER, Philip Norman