Now go read it!
I have had to resubmit the cover page for TMR because, even though the image I submitted was 300 dpi, it only came out at 158 dpi on the actual cover. The review process will freeze availability for 24 hours for which I apologize.
This follows an earlier delay when a hitherto unknown Gestapo group within Create Space “suppressed” the book for 24 hours without warning until I proved I owned the rights.
Hang in there, The Madman’s Room is well worth it: right up there with The Demon of Dartmoor, in my opinion. The Ginza ghost is a terrific collection of stories also.
I published this back in July, but for some unfathomable reason (sheer sloppiness?) neglected to add it to the Buy Books and eBooks section. Situation rectified.
The French for brain-teaser is ” casse-tete” = head-breaker and that’s the perfect description for the the maestro’s latest, which piles impossibility upon impossibility until your hair starts to hurt. https://www.publishersweekly.com/978-1545568125
The highly influential Otto Penzler, the owner of The Mysterious Bookshop, chose Death in the Dark, first published in 1930, as his July 2017 book-of-the-month! Never say die, or in this case, die three times (that’s the body count, and they’re all impossible) 2017_7_6 DID Otto Penzler Book of the Month
This one’s from the highly reputable CADS magazine 2017_7_7 TGG CADS
One of my favourite blog spots provides a lengthy and very thoughtful review of Keikichi Osaka’s short story collection The Ginza Ghost. The comparison to the turn-of-the-century works by Meade and Eustace is very apt and one that frankly hadn’t occurred to me.
Noel Vindry’s masterpiece (and I do not use the term lightly: one of the greatest locked rooms ever written, with an increasingly excruciating build-up and an impossible murder that even eye-witnesses cannot explain or even believe) The Howling Beast is now available on Kindle.
This is possible because the French publisher Gallimard no longer has the rights and a diligent search has failed to locate a rights owner. If there is one, he or she is invited to come forward.
This is the title of an article in issue 75 of the influential CADS (Crime and Detective Stories) magazine, with a highly knowledgeable readership. It can be found here: CADS75p41-44
It points out that the French novel Maximilien Heller, which preceded the first appearance of Sherlock Holmes by 16 years, featured a drug-taking private detective with acute analytic and deductive powers, a profound knowledge of the forensic science of the day, and a facility for disguise. He was frequently consulted by the police and his audacious exploits were recorded by his friend and confidant, a doctor. Sound vaguely familiar?
Doyle himself claimed he based the character of Sherlock Holmes on Dr. Joseph Bell, his professor at medical school. Better that than admit he lifted the character lock, stock and barrel from a foreign author. But that should not detract from the fact that Doyle was a far, far better writer than Cauvain and one of the world’s great storytellers who deserved every bit of his fame.
The article makes specific reference to LRI’s The Killing Needle–published in 2014 and based on an alternative version of Maximilien Heller, L’Aiguille Qui Tue —and urges people to buy it. Far be it from me to disagree…
LRI’s third honkaku offering is now out and I guarantee it will not disappoint. Our first two offerings in this fascinating genre (The Decagon House Murders and The Moai Island Puzzle) were, strictly speaking, shinhonkaku (“new orthodox”) because they belonged to the honkaku renaissance of the 1980s. And they were novels.
The Ginza Ghost, on the other hand, is a collection of short stories written between 1932 and 1947, when the original honkaku first made its appearance. The times may have been different–it was a period when Japan started to industrialise and then became embroiled in the Sino-Japenese war, during which the author, Keikichi Osaka, died–but the ingenuity was still there.
Osaka’s trade mark is extraordinary events occurring in banal surroundings. No Gothic castles or haunted mansions: just retail stores, lighthouses, mines, even brothels. Although the solutions are always strictly fair-play, there is an unreal, almost hallucinatory quality to the tales. And, recently, the current masters of shinhonkaku have rediscovered these masterful stories. One of them, Taku Ashibe (whose masterful Murder in the Red Chamber is available in English: https://www.amazon.com/Murder-Red-Chamber-Taku-Ashibe/dp/4902075385) has been gracious enough to write a fascinating introduction.