Category Archives: Witness Statements

Reviews of classic crime fiction – books, TV or even games.

Eric Shepherd: More Murder in a Nunnery

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It is extraordinary how different the same thing may appear from an altered point of view. The body on the dump, which appeared to the Convent unmitigated misfortune, struck the police in quite a different way.

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Raymond Chandler: The Lady in the Lake

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Derace Kingsley marched briskly behind about eight hundred dollars’ worth of executive desk and planted his backside in a tall leather chair. He reached himself a panatela out of a copper and mahogany box and trimmed it and lit it … Continue reading

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‘The admiration that existed for all things American’: 1959 books

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Every month on Past Offences I gather together blog posts about crime fiction written or filmed in a particular year. I’ve called it Crimes of the Century. Regular player Bernadette of Reactions to Reading chose us 1959 for January. Here’s … Continue reading

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Robert Bloch: Psycho

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Mary nodded to herself, resisting the impulse to close her eyes, and then jerked erect, scanning the side of the road through the blur of rainswept darkness. That’s when she saw the sign, set beside the driveway which led to … Continue reading

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George Bellairs: Death of a Busybody

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The shapes of clustered cottages could just be discerned in the pitch darkness. The wind hissed in the leaves of the trees round the inn. A fox barked somewhere in the distance and was answered by the challenges of yard-dogs. … Continue reading

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Eric Shepherd: Murder in a Nunnery

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‘When Inez first came to us she would have thought no more of stabbing than of washing her face. In fact she would have thought considerably less.’

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Ethel Lina White: While She Sleeps

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Miss Loveapple woke with a smile. She had slept well; her digestion was good – her conscience clear; and she had not an enemy in the world. There was nothing to warn her that, within the next hour, she would … Continue reading

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Father Brown Christmas special 2016: The Star of Jacob

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A slightly late review of the Father Brown Christmas special, which aired this week on BBC1. The episode opens with a visit from Canon Fox with a message from Brown’s boss, Bishop Reynard. The Duke of Frome has announced he will … Continue reading

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BBC’s The Witness for the Prosecution

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The BBC’s flagship Christie adaptation aired last night. They promised us dark and sexy – but did they deliver? We are certainly a long way from Marple. It doesn’t look like an adaptation of a Golden Age story, and, for example, you … Continue reading

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Harry Stephen Keeler: The Shark-skin Book

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They’ve got Ogden Farlow dead to rights! Under the third degree he admitted that the body, with a bullet from his gun in its skull, is lying buried in his basement. It’s the most open-and-shut case the DA has ever … Continue reading

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