• I love opera, bluegrass, burger joints and fictional detectives. Mostly, but not always, in that order. Formerly of Dunedin, formerly of Sydney, now travelling the world with the tenor in my life (Stuart Skelton) and blogging as I go.
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Monday, September 10, 2012



Brilliant post. I was also very late to the discovery of Edmund Crispin, but the Beloved Flatmate gave me this book as an introduction, and I've been recommending him to other people ever since. I think you must have mentioned Gladys Mitchell to me before, because the name seems familiar, but I still need to find her books. I presume you know Colin Dexter's novels... are you not fond of Morse, despite his identity as a fellow opera-lover?


You can see how someone might grow tired of being taken for an idiot and go into a technical profession, one where it is immediately apparent who are the idiots and who are not.


Lucy: I'm ambivalent about Morse - I applaud his cultural proclivities but I do prefer my detectives in the slightly-too-perfect Lord Peter/Roderick Alleyn/Christopher Foyle mode. That said, I must confess my impressions of Morse are entirely based on the TV shows; I should try the books at some point. (Same goes for Caroline Graham's Barnaby series.)
Gladys, I'm learning, was hugely prolific and almost as hugely hit and miss: some of them are gems, some not so much. But her detective, Mrs Bradley, is a fantastic creation. (Though why a woman repeatedly described as reptilian and witch-like in appearance was played on TV by Diana Rigg, I've no idea.) I think I blogged about her - or at least, how much prettier the UK editions of her books are than their US counterparts - on the short-lived Vocal Supporter, which might be why she rings a bell.
OK, super long reply, time to stop.


Long reply (replete with info on detective novels and their TV serializations, no less!) appreciated! Thanks for the further info on Gladys Mitchell. Colin Dexter, like Sayers and Marsh, obviously enjoys playing with language for the fun of it, but Morse is still--fascinatingly, to me--decidedly less admirable than the noble triumvirate you mention, whom I also adore.

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