I haven't done very well at blogging this week so I thought I would post more about some older books I got at the book sale. They are not all forgotten, but three of them I haven't gotten around to reading yet.
Edmund Crispin: The Moving Toyshop (1946)
A copy of the US edition of The Moving Toyshop with damaged dust jacket. And it has a skull on the cover.
Richard Cadogan, a poet, is in Oxford for a short holiday. He finds a dead woman in a room over a toyshop, then he is hit on the head. When he comes to, he returns to the building with policemen, only to find that the toyshop and the dead woman have both vanished. He appeals to Gervase Fen, an Oxford Don, for help.
This is the only book in this group I have read and I did like it a lot. I have only sampled a few of Crispin's series about Gervase Fen and this was my favorite so far.
John Buchan: The Thirty-Nine Steps (1915)
Summary at Fantastic Fiction:
John Buchan wrote "The Thirty-Nine Steps" while he was seriously ill at the beginning of World War I. In it, he introduces his most famous hero, Richard Hannay, who, despite claiming to be an "ordinary fellow", is caught up in the dramatic race against a plot to devastate the British war effort. Hannay is hunted across the Scottish moors by police and a pitiless enemy in the corridors of Whitehall and, finally, at the site of the mysterious 39 steps. The best-known of Buchan's thrillers, this novel has been continuously in print since first publication and has been filmed three times.See this article about the book by John Buchan's grandson. And there is a very nice review at Col's Criminal Library.
Dell reprint edition, F75.
Description of the film at Wikipedia:
Anatomy of a Murder is a 1959 American courtroom crime drama film. It was directed by Otto Preminger and adapted by Wendell Mayes from the best-selling novel of the same name written by Michigan Supreme Court Justice John D. Voelker under the pen name Robert Traver. Voelker based the novel on a 1952 murder case in which he was the defense attorney.The film stars James Stewart, Lee Remick, Ben Gazzara, Eve Arden, and George C. Scott. The title sequence is by Saul Bass and the musical score by Duke Ellington.
Yvette recently reviewed the film at In So Many Words, with lots of details.
I should know more about this book and its movie adaptation, but I don't. I am happy to keep it that way, until I have read the book and watched the movie. It is a very long book, over 500 pages, and the print in my copy is fairly small.
Ursula Curtiss: So Dies the Dreamer (1960)
Hardcover, book club edition.
From the book flap:
A sane, happily married man does not throw himself out of a twelfth-story window. Nor could Sarah Trafton accept the psychiatrist's monstrous theory that her husband Charles had been driven to kill himself before she could kill him. That his dreadful nightmares, his strange panic, had been caused by fear of her.
There had to be a rational reason for his suicide. To find it Sarah returned to the pheasant farm she had inherited from Charles-the farm with the brilliant fairy-tale birds which was managed by his autocratic Aunt Bess, with the help of her taciturn son Hunter, her owl-like nephew Milo, and his fluttery wife Evelyn.
These relatives warned Sarah against probing into Charles past. Even Kate Clemence who had loved Charles, and Harry Brenden who obviously liked Sarah, implied that for Charles' sake it would be better if she did not discover too much. And they were all curiously evasive about the death of Charles' beautiful stepmother Nina.
Here is an absorbing story of a young widow who learns that her questions have forced her into a duel with a murderer. That her only hope of survival is to identify her deadly antagonist.I have heard of this author before. She is the daughter of mystery writer Helen Reilly, who wrote the Inspector McKee mystery novels, starting in 1931. But it was only recently that I read a review of another novel by this author, The Deadly Climate, at John's Pretty Sinister Books blog, which spurred me on to looking for books by Curtiss.