I was adding a book to my pile of ’get rid ofs’ when I glanced at its name. Strange People by Frank Edwards. I realized right then I couldn’t give away anything with that alluring of title. Even if I’d read it. So, I put it aside. Which means it went into a heap or pile or bottomless pit of ’stuff’ teetering by the door to my quote unquote, workroom. This mass of mess accumulates from any thing and everything out of place or cluttering up the downstairs whether it belongs to me or not. It collapses from time to time and various things come to light I thought lost, thrown away, or have no memory of existing. One day recently, the book tumbled out.
Book Reviews Archive
I remembered why I didn’t read many crime novels by Margery Allingham. Of the books I’ve read so far, Her writing is gibberish to me. Excepting Traitor’s Purse, that is. That book is on my list for the very reason that it’s not remotely like any others she wrote. It’s straight forward, with regular language, no affectations, no upper class slang, no slightly comic protagonist. In that book, which is about amnesia, you are given the viewpoint from someone whose world is unknown, and in his finding the way back, you come to finally respect and understand Albert Campion. In the book preceding Traitor’s Purse, the subject matter is far less serious–the fashion industry and the dilettante upper echelon within that world. An self centered artfully
The title-The Disappearance of Mary Young doesn’t make sense to me. Mary Young doesn’t disappear. She’s murdered. And she’s murdered in public. In a dark ride at an amusement park outside of Philly PA. Which I know for a fact is based on a real park called Willow Grove. My dad used to take the trolly up to it frequently in the 30s, and my mother thinks she has vague memories of doing the same. The park was fairly large, and had the super rides other amusement places ballyhooed–like Coney Island and the Palisades. The particular ride author Milton Propper chose to have Mary die in, consists of a fake mountain, with a roller coaster within. There are few of these types of rides left.
I didn’t join Goodreads. Mostly because until recently I didn’t know what it was or what I would want to join for. Many authors and friends had suggested via facebook I should join, and that only made me less likely to do so, because I assumed it was another facebook game or oddity. When I finally realized it consisted of normal people, well, as normal as any one who would join something called Goodreads–meaning lovers of the written word–are, the grassroots group sold out to the man, as the kids in my youth would say. They sold their original nice friendly swapping of what members enjoyed and didn’t like to the Robber Baron devil of Amazon. On the Goodreads home page, the list owners describe
Traitor’s Purse Margery Allingham 1940 Finally, I’ve reread one of my best 100, and it not only lives up to a vague memory of greatness, it excels it. Up until this point, Margery Allingham had written rather lightweight traditional mysteries with Albert Campion as the amateur detective, and his faithful sidekick, Lugg. They were excellent whodunits, with witty and well rounded characters, but nothing deadly serious about them. Traitor’s Purse is a radical change. In startling ways. The war was on in Great Britain, it was an unsettled time, with danger from the skies, the sea, and even within the homeland. Spies could be anywhere. Plots were popping up and had to be slammed down. In a strange way, the book is not unlike