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We conclude this summer's Sherlock Selects series with "The Devil's Foot", originally published in 1910 and presented later in Conan Doyle's "His Last Bow" collection. Highlighted by a dastardly villain with a vengeful, colonial mind, this story also features a drug-induced journey into the unknown which tests Holmes and Watson's friendship to the …
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Louise Penny's debut novel transports readers to the Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada, and the fictitious village of Three Pines. The mysterious death of a retired teacher, Jane Neal, sends this secluded community into a fog of suspicion marked by the exhumation of buried secrets, insecurities and dark history. Working the case is Chief Inspecto…
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Josh's selection for this year's "Sherlock Selects" returns us to The Illustrious Client. Marked by the predatory exploits of a dastardly Baron, this later Conan Doyle story (1925) spins its archetypal threads of good vs. evil while promoting emergent themes in context of suffragette and female agency. Our chat, originally recorded in-person during…
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In this installment, Josh presents a clean line through the scandalous phlegm of HUAC and the red scare in Hollywood which served as backdrop for many great film noir productions, including 1948's "Force of Evil". Director Abraham Polonsky fills each frame with atmosphere and suggestive imagery to help convey themes of family conflict and corruptio…
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In this episode, our first in a new branch exploring the continuation novels of James Bond, we look down the literary gunbarrel at "Colonel Sun", written by Robert Markham (Kingsley Amis). Published four years after Ian Fleming's death, Markham's compelling adventure situates agent 007 in a new world of espionage. "Colonel Sun" comes on the heels o…
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"Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again." Thus starts the troubled narrative of Daphne du Maurier's 1938 classic novel. Part mystery story, part Gothic romance, Rebecca manipulates features of both genres to impressive effect. It offers readers a haunting depiction of tormented characters in an eerily prescient country mansion. The novel fol…
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Kami Garcia's "Agent of Chaos" is one of two X-Files origin novels published in 2017. The story is set in 1979 and follows a 17 year-old Fox Mulder. A soon-to-be High School graduate, Mulder is struggling to negotiate the choppy waters of his parents' recent divorce as a spate of child abductions casts an anxious cloud over the D.C. area. Mulder gr…
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Hjalmar Söderberg's compelling novel caused quite a stir in Europe when it was published in 1905. His protagonist - a restless, brooding doctor in Stockholm at the turn of the century - grows obsessive when a patient comes to him with a delicate problem. Written in loose epistolary fashion, the inner monologues of Doctor Glas juxtapose beautiful re…
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In this episode we travel to the Land of the Rising Sun where master detective Akechi Kogoro plays a game of cat and mouse with the titular Black Lizard, a femme fatale unlike we’ve encountered so far! Serialized at the height of Imperial Japan, before its ill-fated bid at Pacific supremacy, this twisted tale by Edogawa Rampo (the pseudonym of Taro…
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Our final episode of 2023 investigates Celia Fremlin's "The Long Shadow" from 1975. Fremlin's text spins an intricate domestic mystery surrounding the recently-widowed character of Imogen Barnicott. Strange things start happening around her home at Christmastime and her late husband's family arrive to spend the holidays with their own baggage weigh…
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In this special episode we polish the dust off our first chat on "The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle" from 2017 and reintroduce the story just in time for the holidays! As the only Holmes story set firmly within the Christmas season, "Carbuncle" occupies a special place in the hearts of many readers. Published in the January 1892 edition of The St…
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1961's "Call for the Dead" was a striking premiere in spy fiction. Not only was it the careful, opening gambit in John le Carré's long and dominating career, it also marked the first appearance of George Smiley, the author's recurring intelligence officer of unlikely composition. Accented by a polite, unassuming conduct, Smiley is slightly overweig…
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In this installment, Josh gets behind the wheel of "Detour" and takes listeners through the hairpin turns of Edgar G. Ulmer's "poverty row" production. When it was released in November 1945, "Detour" exceeded expectations, impressing post-war audiences and critics alike with inspired editing, nihilistic storytelling and a standout performance by An…
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Batman first appeared in the May 1939 edition of "Detective Comics", the creation of Bill Finger and Bob Kane. Since then, the caped crusader and his story have been re-imagined through myriad themes and variations. Arguably the most compelling of these came In 1987, when artist and writer Frank Miller portrayed the first year of Bruce Wayne's acti…
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It's late in 1941. Honolulu basks in Hawaiian warmth and Battleship Row sparkles with military confidence, just weeks before the day that would live in infamy. Downtown, Police Detective Joe McGrady receives a brutal double murder case that's about to change his life. The first victim is the nephew of an Admiral; the second is a young Japanese woma…
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Boileau-Narcejac's novel D'entre les morts (The Living and the Dead) was published in 1954 and served as the inspiration for Alfred Hitchcock's classic psychological thriller. Over the decades, however, the source material with its war-time setting has been largely subsumed by the influence of the Hollywood production. Here, Josh and Scott explore …
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A brief crank call transforms into a lengthy nightmare for spinster Helen Clarvoe and her anxious orbit around family and friends in Los Angeles. By turns evasive and compelling, Margaret Millar proffers a unique psychological thriller with Beast in View, her Edgar Award winning novel from 1956. Working the case on behalf of Helen (and readers) is …
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Robert Siodmak's gem from 1949 goes under the microscope in this episode. Motivations for this classic plot involve an armoured car heist, an old flame and axes to grind. Good natured sap, Burt Lancaster, is the inside man on the job whilst making time with his ex, turned gangster’s moll, Yvonne De Carlo. Unfortunately for him, head-heavy Dan Durye…
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In this episode we hoist, brail and kedge our way through Erskine Childer's 1903 prophetic spy thriller, The Riddle of the Sands. Published in 1903 and foreshadowing the great conflict of nations only a decade away, "Riddle" has held its place among the pantheon of influential spy mysteries for well over a century now. We start our voyage with Josh…
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A staple of the first-person confessional, James M Cain's debut novel has really lasted the test of time. Now knocking on 90 years of age, "The Postman Always Rings Twice" delivers a ruthless plot at an unforgiving pace. Frank Chambers is an unemployed rambler possessed of a loose moral compass and an appetite for opportunity. Once he drifts upon t…
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LTP Noir returns, this time to the mean streets of Samuel Fuller’s New York City at the height of the McCarthy era. Richard Widmark, Jean Peters and Thelma Ritter star in "Pickup on South Street", a brutish and caustic yarn where common criminals are considered heroes compared to those stinking Reds! Collect your tickets, friends, and hop aboard as…
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"The Triumph of the Spider Monkey" is the chaotic narrative of Bobby Gotteson, whose repressive lust and murderous rage reach their fever-pitch following a hubris-led journey to California. All but disowned by its author, Joyce Carol Oates, we crack the covers on a new season of LTP with a look at this stylish, often brutal novel, recently resurrec…
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In 1943, Alfred Hitchcock's "Shadow of a Doubt" delivered a sinister sucker-punch of a conundrum to naïve North American audiences: What happens when the sleepy, mundane routine of a secure society unwittingly welcomes in maniacal, chaotic forces? Playing on one of Hitchcock's favourite themes, this microcosm of a film has aged exceptionally well. …
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“Dark Passage” is one of Film Noir's most unique thrillers. The 1947 film boasts an all-star cast, innovative use of first-person subjective camerawork and some remarkable on-location shooting. What's more, it was the inspiration for "The Fugitive" TV series of the 1960s as well as its 1993 feature film remake (...minus the plastic surgery of cours…
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Our first Agatha Christie read takes us to Gossington Hall where the body of a young woman is found, dead and spread, upon the floor of Colonel Bantry's library. Invited to snoop and sleuth by the Colonel's wife, the quiet and calculating Miss Marple lends her expertise when the investigation moves from country manor to seaside hotel. Published in …
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