Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Forgotten Books Not Yet Read

A couple of years ago I did a post on some forgotten books I had recently bought but not yet read. Lacking any other subject for a blog post this week, I thought I would try that again. This time I am featuring recent reprints or omnibus editions of older books.

Death Brings a Storke / 
Cradled in Fear  by Anita Boutell

From the back of the book....
In not at the birth but not long after the death is Dr. Archibald "Archie" Storke, when during a pleasant breakfast one morning with his wife Janey he receives a urgent call from the housekeeper at Whiteleaves,  home of Andrew Herrick, informing him that her employer has been discovered dead in his sitting room, with a ghastly gunshot wound to his head. It is thought Herrick committed suicide, but the doctor is doubtful... A classic tale of detection, Death Brings a Storke (1938) was the first published crime novel by Anita Boutell, an American expatriate chosen by mystery fiction scholar Howard Haycraft in his book Murder for Pleasure (1941) as one if the rising stars of British manners mystery, and has now been reprinted for the first time in nearly eighty years.

In Cradled in Fear. . . After a whirlwind courtship of three weeks, young Molly Nash, mostly alone in the world, married Sheridan "Sherry" Prescott. Now she has traveled with her handsome new husband to the old family mansion at Prescott's Point, Connecticut, a gloomy Victorian edifice clinging to a forbidding cliff overlooking Long Island Sound. But what did Molly really know about Sherry, and just what grim mysteries are hidden behind the walls of the house at Prescott's Point? What Molly does not know could be the death of her. . . .

Cradled in Fear was Anita Boutell's fourth and final crime novel and her only one set in the United States.

In 2014, I reviewed one of Boutell's other two books, Death has a Past. I was thrilled to discover this double volume, with a very detailed introduction, including biographical information, by Curtis Evans. See the post at The Passing Tramp about this book and lots more information about the author.

Poor Poor Ophelia  by Carolyn Weston

Next up is the book that was the basis for the pilot episode of the TV series, The Streets of San Francisco. Poor, Poor Ophelia was the first book in a brief series by Carolyn Weston. The series featured a pair of homicide detectives but in the books they were based in Santa Monica, California. Brash Books has brought these novels back into print. 

Just about a year ago I reviewed the second book in that series, Susannah Screaming. Now I plan to read this book and then re-watch the pilot of The Streets of San Francisco. We are big fans of this show. We have watched all the episodes of the first four seasons over the past year or so.

See this detailed post at the Rap Sheet, and the review at Col's Criminal Library.



David Goodis: Five Noir Novels of the 1940s and 50s  Edited by Robert Polito

Last but far from least is this omnibus of novels, which includes Dark Passage, Nightfall, The Burglar, The Moon in the Gutter, and Street of No Return.

I purchased this book because I have been wanting to read Dark Passage for years... and then watch the movie starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. Every time I look for a copy, everything I find is more expensive than I want to pay. Including this volume. What I really wanted was a vintage paperback, but those were even more expensive. So I finally gave in and now I will have access to four other novels by Goodis. Books that gather several novels in one book are not my favorites because they are heavy and unwieldy to read, but I will admit that the Library of America series of books are very nicely done.

Check out these very interesting posts on this volume:
At Criminal Element
Reviewed by Martin Walker at Mystery*File



24 comments:

  1. Oh, these do sound interesting, Tracy. The Goodis looks especially interesting. I think noir stories of that era have a special sort of 'feel' to them. I'll be interested in what you think when you get to that one.

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    1. I do look forward to reading Dark Passage from the Goodis book, and then following up with some of the other novels, Margot.

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  2. All sound like terrific reads - I need to try Weston and Boutell and know Goodis reasonably well but I've not read STREET OF NO RETURN (I may only have in Italian) - great stuff, thanks Tracy.

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    1. Sergio, I have not read anything by Goodis and am a little daunted by noir, dark stories, but I am sure I will find good things in his writing.

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  3. Cheers for the hat-tip Tracy. I'll get around to trying Goodis one of these years. I have a 4-book omnibus from him.

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    1. Col, I did see various omnibuses (used) that included Dark Passage but all ended up around the same amount. I will be reading that one sometime in Sept. I hope

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  4. I read and reviewed Poor Poor Ophelia a couple of years ago, finding it very enjoyable. I liked the second book as well or better. I've not seen the pilot of the TV series, though I do remember watching a few episodes. Boutell is new to me but sounds like one I should read.

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    1. Glad you enjoyed Poor Poor Ophelia, Richard. I think I will also. That is another one I will be reading in Sept. if I am able.

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  5. All these sound very interesting Tracy. Love your post.

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    1. Thanks, Neer. These books had been sitting on a table together for a while and I decided that since they were all older, they could fit together in a post. And each author is different from the others.

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  6. Good ones, Tracy. You've awakened my nostalgia, as Streets of San Fran was a favorite of our family back in the day. Now I must find Poor Poor Ophelia!

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    1. Mathew, I know I must have watched Streets of San Francisco when it was running and / or maybe in reruns, but my husband is the big fan. He likes the clothes and the cars and the guest stars are fun too.

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  7. I've seen "Dark Passage" many, many times, but would still like to read the book. Those Goodis novels I've so far read include BLACK FRIDAY, CASSIDY'S GIRL, NIGHT SQUAD, NIGHTFALL, and SHOOT THE PIANO PLAYER, and I very much liked every one of them. (Search Goodis's name at Kevin Tipple's blog and you can find my reviews of a couple of them.)

    I think you're gonna like Goodis, Tracy. (If you have a tablet or e-reader, you can find some of his work in e-book editions.)

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    1. I do have copies of BLACK FRIDAY and SHOOT THE PIANO PLAYER, Barry, and I am glad to hear you recommend them. I have seen (and enjoyed) your reviews at Kevin Tipple's blog, and I will check for Goodis reviews there.

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  8. Tracy, I find the Anita Boutell omnibus most tempting of the three. Worth a read, I think.

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    1. I think I am going to enjoy those two books by Boutell, Prashant. They are both a bit different from the first one of her books I read.

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  9. Tracy, they all sound good. I especially would like to read Boutell. I remember watching Streets of San Francisco! Good show.

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    1. I think you would like the books by Boutell, Peggy, based on other books you have reviewed and liked. I hope I do, too.

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  10. I just got that Anita Boutell book too, really looking forward to it. I very much enjoyed the other book by her I read, which I think is the same one you reviewed.

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    1. I think we did read the same book, Moira, and I think it was your review that led me to read that book. Based on the descriptions,I expect that I am going to like both of the books and I appreciated all the work Curt put into the introduction. (I haven't read all of it yet, I usually save introductions until after I read the books.)

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    2. Oh, I thought it might have been yours that led to mine! Maybe it was Martin Edwards who looked at it? Can't remember.

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    3. I think you are right, you saw it at Do You Write Under Your Own Name?, then you did a post. I saw your post, then when I looked for the book, I fell in love with the cover (even with no skulls) and had to buy the book. And that was all over two years ago. Hard to believe.

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  11. I own quite a few ebooks by Goodis and I think from Weston as well. Will have to look. Haven't been reading the older classics of late but hope to get back to it. But then my reading has slowed down significantly. -Keishon

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    1. Keishon, I would be interested in hearing your opinion on books by Goodis. I will go for paper books of his as long as I can find them and afford them, but it is good that his books are also available as e-books. I don't get in as much reading as I would like to lately.

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