Mary Roberts Rinehart Titles Word Search Solution

At the end of last year, we gave you the opportunity to do a Mary Roberts Rinehart Word Search. Here is the solution for that puzzle. And be sure to check the just-published blog about this famous author.

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Mary Roberts Rinehart − An American Agatha Christie

Literary critics often call Mary Roberts Rinehart the American Agatha Christie. This is a somewhat interesting comment since Rinehart published her first mystery novel fourteen years before Christie.

Rinehart wrote over 60 mysteries, seven plays, news stories, travel articles, poems and numerous short stories. Let’s take a closer look at Mary Roberts Rinehart. Mary Roberts Rinehar

Rinehart’s Early Years

Mary Roberts Rinehart was born Mary Ella Roberts in a section of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania formerly known as Alleghany City to Thomas and Cornelia Roberts. She grew up with an extended family including her grandmother, a dressmaker who worked long hours in a shop at the back of the house.

Her father was in the sewing machine business and a frustrated inventor. He designed a rotary shuttle for the sewing machine which received a patent, but many of his other inventions were unsuccessful.  Throughout her childhood, the family often suffered financial problems. In 1895 Thomas Rinehart committed suicide.

She attended public high school and then enrolled in nursing school at Pittsburgh’s Homeopathic Hospital where she would meet Dr. Stanley Rinehart. The hospital strictly forbid friendships between doctors and staff members. They kept their engagement secret until after her graduation from nursing school when they married. They had three sons; Stanley Jr., Alan and Frederick.

Rinehart did not follow a nursing career. She filled her days with raising her sons and helping her husband with his practice. Life was simple and enjoyable until the couple lost all their savings in the 1903 stock market crash.

The Start of Rinehart’s Writing Career

Dr. Rinehart continued his practice, while Mary wrote verse, short stories and articles. She wrote 45 stories in 1903 to help pull the family through their financial crisis. Her first novel, The Circular Staircase brought her national attention. It also launched her career as a mystery writer and novelist when the book sold over a million copies.

Around 1909 the Saturday Evening Post published some of her humorous pieces and her Letitia “Tish” Carberry stories. The Saturday Evening Post sent Rinehart to England as a reporter during World War I, and she was in Paris when the war ended.

The Circular Staircase Plot

All Story serialized the novel for five issues starting with the November 1907 issue, and Bobbs-Merrill published the book in 1908. All Story was one of the early Pulp Fiction magazines before Argosy Magazine absorbed them. (Just a side note, be sure to check out a previous blog on Pulp Fiction.)

The Circular Staircase story follows wealthy spinster Rachel Innes who has raised her niece Gertrude, age 24, and her nephew Halsey, age 20, since they were young children. Gertrude and Halsey talk their aunt into renting a country home called “Sunnyside” for the summer. The home belongs to the Armstrongs, a prominent family.

On the second night after arriving, they find Arnold Armstrong, son of the owner dead at the bottom of the circular staircase. Halsey and the friend he brought for a visit both disappear. Halsey returns without his friend and with no explanations of where he was or what happened to his friend.

In the meantime, many other events occur to the worry the residents and the staff. Rachel decides she must solve what is disturbing her household and looks for clues. When she discovers evidence and bits of helpful information, she doesn’t initially share with the policeman in charge of the case, Detective Jameson. Nor does Detective Jameson detect. Instead, he waits for those involved to tell the truth. Circular Staircase

While searching Rachel is often in dangerous situations. The plot is complex and there are several subplots, but eventually all is revealed and our amateur sleuth restores order to her household.

Had-I-But-Known School of Mystery

Rinehart receives credit as one of the first creators of the “Had-I-But-Known” (HIBK) school of mystery. The Circular Staircase is the first story to introduce this technique. This style of writing foreshadows events yet to come. The person narrating the story misses the hint of a disaster waiting for one or more of the characters.

Neither the narrator nor the reader knows of the mistake until revealed near the solution of the crime. This revelation eventually occurs through the presentation of clues. Characters in these mysteries are also the ones who hear a sound in an empty room and rush in to see what happened.

There are typical HIBK statements from the narrator within the story. For our spinster aunt in The Circular Staircase a typical statement is, “had I but known what lay in wait for me, I would never have rented the country house for the summer.” Handled properly this mystery device can add a real element of suspense. When not handled with skill, the story could turn into a messy melodrama.

“The Butler Did It”

As an avid mystery lover, I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “The Butler Did It.”  Mary Roberts Rinehart receives credit for this phrase from her novel, The Door, published in 1930. I should also note this exact phrase never appears in the work.

Sorry there is no way to give Rinehart credit for this mystery first without giving away the ending. The book is still worth reading because of the interesting plot.

Elizabeth Bell’s runs an efficient and quiet household. When the family nurse, Sarah Gittings, is brutally murdered, Elizabeth discovers there are several suspects within her home. Especially when it appears Sarah knew and probably trusted her murderer. The crimes don’t stop with Sarah’s murder. There’s a burglar in the house, along with a shadowy figure who appears and disappears and there is more than one victim before Bell solves the case.

Rinehart quickly wrote The Door in 1930. She was in the hospital recovering from an illness when her sons launched a new publishing house. As a devoted mother she broke her longtime contract with Doubleday and wrote this bestseller to get their new business started.

The Publishing Firm of Farrar & Rinehart

In June 1929 Rinehart’s sons, Stanley M. Rinehart, Jr (president) and Frederick R. Rinehart (partner) joined with John C. Farrar (vice president) and formed Farrar & Rinehart. Rinehart supported her sons by leaving Doubleday. Her best-selling mysteries were the foundation for the new firm.

The firm continued to grow and with the acquisition of Hearst’s Cosmopolitan Book Corporation in 1931; it became one of the most successful publishing houses for this period. Best-selling authors for the firm included Rinehart and Hervey Allen’s Anthony Adverse (1933) which sold over two million hardcover copies.  For mystery lovers, they also published Elizabeth Daly (1940-43) and the first ten (1931-1944) Nero Wolfe books.

They renamed the publishing house, Rinehart and Company when John C. Farrar left the firm in 1946. He formed a new company with Roger Straus that became Farrar, Straus & Giroux.

Rinehart’s Play “The Bat”

Mary Roberts Rinehart and Avery Hopwood penned a three-act play called The Bat in 1920. The play used elements from The Circular Staircase and is a combination of mystery and comedy. The Bat

It was a dark and stormy night and Cornelia Van Gorder and her guests are at the summer home she’s rented. They are spending their time looking for stolen money, supposedly hidden in the house. Interrupting their search efforts is the appearance of a masked criminal called the “Bat.”  The play also focuses on learning the identity of the masked criminal revealed at the end of the play.

After 867 performances in New York, 327 performances in London and numerous shows by road companies the play was a critical and commercial success. There were several film adaptations, and the play was the basis for the Batman comic book hero. In 1933, RCA’s talking book division released a recording of The Bat.

Rinehart’s Writing Has Benefits

Unlike so many writers, Rinehart’s writing career made her a wealthy woman. She had a 24-room seaside home in Bar Harbor, Maine and an elegant apartment on Park Avenue in New York.

Rinehart once made the comment she wished she had a pen that could keep up with the speed of her thoughts. The Parker Pen company created a special snub-nosed fountain pen for her.

She was also a guest on the popular CBS television show Person to Person with Edward R. Murrow in November 9,1956. The show featured stars from stage, screen, television the world of sports and other famous people who reached a pinnacle of success.

Rinehart’s Real-Life Crime Drama

In 1947, while staying at her Bar-Harbor home Rinehart’s chef attacked her. He worked for her for 25 years, but unexpectedly fired a gun at her and then attempted to slash her with several knives. Other servants rescued her. The police arrested the chef and while being held; he committed suicide in his cell.

Other Rinehart Facts

Dr. Rinehart accepted a post at the Veterans Administration and the family moved to Washington, DC in 1922. Rinehart joined the Literary Society of Washington and remained a member until 1936.

Dr. Rinehart died in 1932, and Mary remained in Washington until 1935 when she moved to New York City.

Rinehart was left handed.  During this time and for years to come, we trained left-handers to use their right hand. I can relate to this having been a left-hander trained to use my right.

She smoked a pack of cigarettes a day; she had breakfast in bed and loved to climb mountains, ride horses and fish.

Rinehart had personal health issues. Diagnosed with breast cancer, she had a radical mastectomy. She discussed her surgery and urged women to have breast examinations in an article for the Ladies’ Home Journal in 1947.

In 1954 she received a special award for her work from the Mystery Writers of America but was too ill to attend the dinner in her honor. She died in 1958 at age 82 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

Rinehart Versus Agatha Christie

Why do people say Rinehart is the American Agatha Christie? Even though Christie published many years after Rinehart I think her entire body of work offers many comparisons.

Rinehart’s pieces are dated, but they accurately capture a time from the past. And remember a good mystery transcends time.

Do you think Mary Roberts Rinehart is the American Agatha Christie? There’s only one way to decide. Pick up one of her books and give it a read and decide for yourself.

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Mary Roberts Rinehart Titles Word Search

Mary Roberts Rinehart is often called the American Agatha Christie. Below is list of her titles for you to find. Remember to look for the words in capital letters.

A solution will post at a later date

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Sue Grafton/ Kinsey Millhone Crossword Puzzle Solution

Just checking back to see how you did with the puzzle solution. I’m sure you found all the answers, but just in case you need a little help−here are the answers. Once again, a big thank you to Sue Grafton for her wonderful contribution to the mystery genre.

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Sue Grafton/ Kinsey Millhone Crossword Puzzle

In our final blog saluting Sue Grafton, we’ve created a crossword puzzle to test your knowledge about the author and Kinsey Millhone. If you haven’t read the Sue Grafton blog, remember all of the answers can be found in this piece.

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Sue Grafton—A Tribute

In December 2017, we lost a fine writer and a giant in the mystery genre with the passing of Sue Grafton.

Grafton was best known as the creator of the Alphabet Mystery series featuring private investigator Kinsey Millhone. She hoped to complete the series from letters A to Z, but her series has ended with Y is for Yesterday.

Sue Grafton—The Beginnings

Sue Grafton was born in Louisville, Kentucky, to C.W. Grafton (1909-1982) and Vivian Harnsberger. (1908-1960) Her father was a municipal bond lawyer and her mother was a former high school chemistry teacher. After her father’s return from World War II when Grafton was five, her home life changed dramatically. Both parents became alcoholics and Grafton said “From the age of five onward, I was left to raise myself.”

Grafton and her older sister Ann grew up in Louisville, Kentucky and attended Atherton High School. She graduated from the University of Louisville in 1961 with a bachelor’s degree in English literature and minors in humanities and fine arts. Although we know Grafton as a writer she had several non-writing jobs, including working as a hospital admissions clerk, a cashier, and a medical secretary.

Grafton’s mother killed herself in 1960 after an operation to remove esophageal cancer brought on by years of drinking and smoking. Her father died in 1982, a few months before A is for Alibi was published.Grafton

Grafton—The Writer

Grafton was inspired by her father who wrote detective fiction at night. He taught Grafton about writing and the editing process and groomed her to be a writer. Based on his teachings, Grafton began writing when she was 18 and finished her first novel four years later. When she started writing crime novels she said the strongest influence on her writing was author Ross Macdonald.

Grafton spent 15 years in Hollywood writing screen plays for television movies, including Sex and the Single ParentMark, I Love You, and Nurse. Her screenplay for Walking Through the Fire earned a Christopher Award in 1979. She also adapted the Agatha Christie novels A Caribbean Mystery and Sparkling Cyanide for television and co-wrote A Killer in the Family and Love on the Run.

She became disillusioned with the movie business when her words were changed, as she said, “by twenty-five-year-old executives.” However, her Hollywood years taught her basic story structure, creating dialogue, writing action sequences and getting in and out of scenes. Judy Kaye, who is the voice of Kinsey on the audio versions, states that Grafton’s books were written like a screenplay. This made them a joy for the actor to record. Lolly-Madonna Movie

Grafton had true perseverance as a writer. Her first, second and third novels were never published. Her fourth novel was published and her fifth novel The Lolly Madonna War was made into a movie. Her sixth and seventh novels were never published and her eighth novel was A is for Alibi.

Grafton’s Writing Method

When Grafton wrote her mystery series, she had to learn about California law and both police and private investigator procedures.

She then created Kinsey who she always treated like a real person. She once commented that when the work was going well, it was like taking dictation from Kinsey. When it wasn’t going well she struggled like every other writer.

She kept elaborate charts of her characters and plots, because she didn’t want to repeat herself and bore her readers. She kept a journal for each book. These were more like a long letter to herself about what she had written.

Grafton used color index cards−one for dialogue, one for action, one for characters, etc. Kinsey also used index cards to keep track of her cases until she had time to type her notes for her final case report.

Grafton believed when writing a book, the reader and the writer are pitted against each other. If the reader figures out on page five who did it−the reader isn’t happy with the author. If the reader gets to the end and they “don’t get it” −meaning the ending doesn’t make sense, the reader is angry. The author has only one in three chances to get it right.

She also believed a mystery concerns three parts−what really happens, what appears to have happened and how the detective figures it out. This is the journey that the reader shares with the detective.

Grafton’s Shadow Voice and Ego Voice

According to Grafton, ‘Shadow’ is the little voice that pops up in your head and tells you the truth. ‘Ego’ is the voice that urges you on even when you know it’s not right. Ego is the voice that tries to please others. Shadow is the voice you must follow as a writer

The writer needs to craft the story in a way that allows the reader to experience emotions−laughter, fear, crying, anger, etc. It’s these experiences that engage the reader in the story.

The Beginnings of the Alphabet Series

In an interview, Grafton said that when she decided to write her crime novels she wanted the books linked. She was familiar with the book The Gashlycrumb Tinies by Edward Gorey. In this book of drawings, Gorey has little rhymes that accompany each of the pictures: A is for Amy who fell down the stairs, B is for Basil who was eaten by a bear, etc. This gave Grafton the idea for linking her books to the alphabet.Alibi 2

Grafton also created some unique murders and interesting traps where Kinsey must use all of her detecting skills. Grafton dealt with a divorce and a custody battle that lasted six years. She imagined ways to kill or maim her ex-husband and these fantasies were often incorporated into her stories.

Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone−The Beginnings

Kinsey Millhone was born May 5, 1950, in Santa Teresa, California. The fictional town of Santa Teresa was based on Grafton’s hometown of Santa Barbara. The first book takes place in 1982 making Kinsey thirty-two when we first meet her.

Her mother, Rita was part of a wealthy family from Lompoc. When she married postal worker, Randall Millhone, her family disowned her.

Kinsey was five when her parents were killed in a car accident. She was raised by her mother’s sister, Aunt Gin. While Aunt Gin wasn’t overtly loving she did teach Kinsey to be independent and self-sufficient. These are major characteristics that govern her adult life.

Kinsey wasn’t an outstanding student, but after graduation, she becomes a police officer. Her independent streak made it difficult for her to fit in with all the rules and policies. She also felt women were treated as underdogs within the Santa Teresa Police Department.

Kinsey leaves the police department and earns her private investigator license. She starts her new career with office space in the California Fidelity Insurance building. In addition to her clients, she handles insurance investigations for them.

Kinsey’s Private Life

When not on a case, Kinsey lives in a studio apartment over the garage of her loveable landlord, Henry Pitts. Henry creates crossword puzzles and in his previous life was a baker. Kinsey finds comfort in the smells that greet her from Henry’s home.

Kinsey does not cook. Top of her favorite food list is a Quarter-Pounder with cheese and peanut butter and pickle sandwiches. When she ventures out for a meal she usually stops by Rosie’s Tavern. Rosie is Henry’s sister-in-law having married his brother William. Kinsey indulges Rosie’s cheap white wine that accompanies her rather unique Hungarian dishes. While Kinsey’s eating habits are not the best, she is physically fit due to her habit of jogging three-miles.

Kinsey was married and divorced twice. Her first husband, Mickey, an ex-cop appears in O is for Outlaw. Her second husband, Daniel, is a struggling musician. He left Kinsey unexpectedly, but reappears in E is for Evidence. He asks Kinsey to keep his guitar safe and this innocent request opens a host of problems for Kinsey. O for Outlaw

Kinsey may not be currently married but she’s had several relationships throughout the series. Her main relationships included Jonah Robb, a police officer, Robert Dietz, another private eye and longtime friend Cheney Phillips, a police detective. Kinsey is a loner. Her love interests are not long-term although they sometimes reappear. Kinsey remains friends with Cheney even after their split and Jonah drops in and out of her life based on his on again-off -again marriage.

Kinsey’s Family

After her Aunt Gin dies, Kinsey assumed all family relationships died with her. Kinsey is shocked when she finds she has family in J is for Judgment. When she meets cousins Tasha and Lisa, she realizes the three look alike. Kinsey and Tasha form a business relationship in M Is for Malice. However, she remains reluctant to become fully involved with her new-found family. She felt they abandoned her when she was orphaned. In U is for Undertow Kinsey discovered her grandmother made efforts to raise her, but Aunt Gin concealed this fact. Kinsey finally agrees to meet Gran at a family event where her grandmother, now very frail, mistakes Kinsey for her mother.

Kinsey as Private Eye

Kinsey is as tough as any of her male counterparts in the field of private eyes. She has a soft spot for Henry, but she has vulnerabilities including her relationships with men.  Kinsey accepts all types of jobs from missing persons, murder, robbery, arson and cold cases. Her routine insurance assignments often turn out to be more complicated. In H is for Homicide she even goes undercover and puts her life in danger to reveal an insurance fraud gang. She has escaped her own murder on more than one occasion.

Kinsey’s Legacy

She is a survivor. At the end of the day she is a good investigator who solves her cases.  She has become one of the best-known female private eyes in the entire mystery genre.

While the books focus on Kinsey’s main case, Grafton often has a subplot running simultaneously. And she has a wonderful way of weaving in other elements that are part of Kinsey’s life—her current love interest, her personal tastes, family matters and memorable characters like Henry.

The End of Grafton’s Series

The readers will never know what Grafton had in mind for her final book which was named Z is for Zero. Instead, it is now up to each of us to create a final adventure for Kinsey.Y for Yesterday

Perhaps this is the best way to end the popular series with Y is for Yesterday. We are left with all the wonderful yesterdays and twenty-five Kinsey Millhone adventures that have kept us entertained for so many years. And finally, a huge thank you to Sue Grafton for creating a detective named Kinsey Millhone.

 

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Sue Grafton’s Alphabet Series Word Search-Solution

Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone books are so popular books I know you found all the answers. But just in case you need a little help, here’s the solution.

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Sue Grafton’s Alphabet Series Word Search

Even though the mystery world recently lost Sue Grafton, we will always have her detective Kinsey Millhone. Below is a word search of all the alphabet titles from this wonderful series.

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Queens of Mystery Crossword Solution

Hope you enjoyed doing the crossword puzzle about the Queens of Mystery –Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, Ngaio Marsh and Margery Allingham. I certainly learned a great deal about these ladies during my research. Just in case you need a little help with the answers –here is the solution.

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The Queens of Mystery Crossword Puzzle

Below is a crossword puzzle about the Queens of Mystery. Most of the questions focus on Margery Allingham and Ngaio Marsh, since Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers were previously featured in a Crossword Puzzle. Check the Blog Archive on the home page to locate the Christie and Sayers puzzles.

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Margery Allingham & Albert Campion

Margery Allingham is the last member of the Queens of Crime from the Golden Age of Mysteries.

The Queens of Mystery

Agatha Christie was best known for her plots and gathering the suspects together to reveal the murderer. Dorothy Sayers emphasized the intellect of Lord Peter sometimes to the point of overthinking the circumstances. Ngaio Marsh developed the skills of her detective Alleyn, while infusing the stories with her personal knowledge of art and theater. Our last Queen, Margery Allingham, is harder to define, especially since her detective, Albert Campion, in many ways is also a mystery.

Margery Allingham-The Beginnings

Margery Allingham was born in London in 1904 to parents Herbert and Emily Jane who were both writers. Herbert was editor of the Christian Globe and The New London Journal before becoming a successful pulp fiction writer. Emily Jane was a contributor of stories to women’s magazines.

The family moved from London to Essex in a village near Colchester. Margery attended a local school and began writing stories and plays.

Margery returned to London in 1920 to study drama and speech training at Regent Street Polytechnic. These studies helped her cure a stammer which she had endured since childhood. It was also during this time that she met her future husband, Philip Youngman Carter. In 1927, she married Carter, who collaborated with her and designed the jackets for many of her books.

They purchased a country house in Colchester on the edge of the Essex Marshes.  Allingham preferred the image of the country wife as opposed to that of a gifted writer and often down played her writing talents.

Allingham stayed in Colchester while Carter kept a house in London where he was gone for extended periods of time and had many extramarital affairs.

Allingham, while enjoying her county life also suffered from bouts of depression. She sought treatment including electroshock therapy. Her depression and treatments account for the long gaps in her writings, especially in her later years.

Allingham in addition to her depression was diagnosed with breast cancer and died in Colchester, England, on June 30, 1966, at the age of 62. She requested that her final Campion novel, Cargo of Eagles, be completed by her husband and it was published in 1968.

Carter along with Mike Ripley continued to issue additional releases of her work, both with and without Albert Campion. The Margery Allingham Omnibus, comprising Sweet Danger, The Case of the Late Pig and The Tiger in the Smoke, with a critical introduction by Jane Stevenson, was published in 2006.

Allingham the Writer

Margery said she was destined to be a writer. Her father was a writer, her mother was a writer and all the people around her were writers. Allingham

At the age of eight, Margery earned her first money as a writer when one of her stories was printed in her aunt’s magazine. Margery contributed articles and Sexton Blake stories to her father’s papers.

Her first novel, Blackkerchief Dick, was published in 1923 when she was 19. Blackkerchief Dick was well received, but was not a financial success. She wrote several plays in this period, and attempted to write a serious novel. Fortunately for us, she decided that writing mysteries was her true calling.

Allingham’s Albert Campion Appears

Her breakthrough mystery novel was in 1929 with the publication of The Crime at Black Dudley. This book introduced Albert Campion to her readers, although originally, he was only a minor character. He is described by George Abbershaw, who was the main character in this first book, as a “fresh-faced young man with the tow-colored hair and the foolish, pale-blue eyes behind tortoiseshell-rimmed spectacles….”Allingham-Crime at Black Dudley

At first, she continued writing short stories and pieces for magazines such as The Strand Magazine, but her Campion following was growing. Campion returned in Mystery Mile as the lead character. This was in part based on the pressure from her American publishers, but also Allingham found that she liked the character she had created.  With three novels complete and now with a strong central character, Allingham made Campion the centerpiece of another 17 novels and over 20 short stories, until her death.

Allingham’s Albert Campion is a Man of Mystery

Albert Campion is a pseudonym for a gentleman from a prominent British family. In The Fashion in Shrouds he verifies that his real name is Rudolph but he changed it to Albert simply because he liked this name better.

In the early books there are subtle hints that Campion is part of the Royal family and in the succession line to the throne. In later books, the royal connection is not mentioned. However, he has an older brother, Herbert, who is a viscount. Later, we learn from an uncle that Herbert has died and having never married the title now belongs to Campion, although he doesn’t use it

Campion was born in 1900, is well educated at top schools and by his twenties is pursuing a life as an adventurer and detective. He is able to operate in the upper class of society, interface with government officials and mingle with the criminal class all with ease. He is often assisted by his manservant Lugg, who was a former burglar.

Campion had a friendly demeanor and often sported a blank expression which could fool those around him into believing he was no threat. However, when needed, Campion rose to the task at hand and either worked behind the scenes or as the main force fighting evil and solving crimes.

Albert Campion and Peter Wimsey

Many comparisons have been made between Albert Campion and Dorothy Sayers’s, Peter Wimsey. Both are from titled families. Both have sufficient wealth that allows them to concentrate on solving cases and not worry about earning an income.

Wimsey has Mervyn Bunter and Campion has Magersfontein Lugg as their manservants and able assistants when working a case. Both spent their wars years overseas involved in never discussed secret missions for the government. Wimsey marries Harriet Vane. Campion marries Amanda Fitton, an aircraft engineer and pilot, who he first meets in Sweet Danger.  In later stories both wives have equal status with their husbands in solving cases. Wimsey has a family and Campion has his son, Rupert.

Was Campion created in honor of Lord Peter Wimsey, as a parody of Wimsey, or a starting point for Allingham to develop her own distinctive detective? Sayers and Allingham lived only a few miles from each other, but other than their professional association in The Detection Club there seemed to be little contact. Although Sayers wrote a good review of Allingham in a Sunday column stating that only a very good writer would have the versatility to create her variety of detective stories.

Allingham’s Unique Style

Allingham’s counterparts locked their detectives like Wimsey, Poirot and Alleyn into a particular format. However, Allingham was much more willing to experiment with Campion and not confine him only to a traditional mystery format.

Her early mysteries like The Black Dudley Murder, Mystery Mile, and The Gyrth Chalice Mystery are more traditional and might be classified as “village mysteries.”

In The Case of the Late Pig Campion tells the story in first person as an autobiographical account of events. In The Tiger in the Smoke, the book is written as a thriller with Campion playing a lesser role to the psychopathic killer Jack Havoc.  Allinghman--Tider in the SmokeUnlike other detectives, Campion is sometimes in the wings watching the action and not the lead character on stage.  Agatha Christie once said that Allingham’s work was “distinctive” and did not rely on plot twists for impact.

In the Campion books our detective ages along with his police associates like Stanislaus Oates, Charles Luke and L.C. Cockran (Elsie). With this aging there is a little less of the young, well-to-do adventurer that tended to stumble into a problem that needed to solved.  Instead there is a maturity which allows Campion to grow beyond George Abbershaw’s original comment of him being a “silly ass” and he becomes a well-rounded character involved in serious solutions to crime.

Campion Lives On

Campion may not be the deep-thinking detective of a Hercule Poirot with his little gray cells−or have the British government and aristocratic in-roads of Wimsey−or have Alleyn’s police knowledge and access. On the other hand, Campion is more willing to venture into a difficult situation and participate where the other detectives might not go. Campion is also not afraid to admit that he can be frightened and sometimes struggles to remain in control of a situation.

Even after all these years, Campion has his devoted followers and so he should. Allingham has provided a series of interesting mysteries, adventures and thrillers with her unique detective−Albert Campion.

 

 

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Margery Allingham-Campion Word Search-Solution

Were you able to find the key words from the 32 novels featuring Marsh’s gentleman detective, Albert Campion? Just in case you have any questions, here’s the solution to the puzzle.

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Margery Allingham-Campion Book Titles

Below is a list of Margery Allingham-Albert Campion book titles. As always look for the capital letters in the puzzle. Solution will follow in a separate post.

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Edith Ngaio Marsh

Many of you have heard about the Golden Age of Mysteries. It was introduced in the 1920’s and reached a peak in the 1930’s, and perhaps lasted as long as the authors who wrote in this style. The Golden Age of Mysteries had specific rules that mystery authors were expected to follow. (Note: check my The Golden Age of Mysteries blog from September, 2012)

Agatha Christie for her entire body of work is called the “Queen of Crime.” However, during this same period there were four writers who were designated as the “Queens of Mystery.” The title belongs to Christie and Dorothy Sayers who were discussed in previous blogs, but there are two other women who share this honor. They are Margery Allingham and Ngaio Marsh. This blog is about Ngaio Marsh with Allingham being discussed at a later time.

Edith Ngaio Marsh

Edith Ngaio (pronounced Nigh-oh) Marsh was born in April of 1895 and was the only child of her mother, Rose and her bank clerk father, Henry Marsh.  There is some doubt about her actual birth date because her father did not register her birth until 1900. She lived at the same address for 76 years and died in the city of Christchurch, New Zealand in February, 1982.

Marsh-A Prolific Writer

Marsh wrote 32 mystery novels between 1934 and 1982 featuring her gentleman detective Roderick Alleyn. Although Marsh was a New Zealander, only four of her novels were set in her home country. While known for her Alleyn mystery novels, she also published short stories, numerous plays and three non-fiction books including her autobiography, Black Beech and Honeydew. Over the years March valued and protected her privacy. Thus, many were surprised when she wrote her autobiography which gave readers an insight to not only her writings but her private life.

Marsh was an Avid Researcher

Marsh thoroughly researched her stories and plays. For example, for medical knowledge, she relied on doctors who were family friends and had operated on her. She kept a chart of the command hierarchy for New Scotland Yard. Aside from her own observations, she constantly researched other information for her stories at the library. She kept notebook after notebook of her research work. Marsh -young woman

Marsh as Artist, Actresses and Writer 

March was always interested in the arts. She attended St. Margaret’s College from 1910-14, where she showed a talent for writing poetry, prose and plays as well as acting. In 1913, she attended Canterbury College of Art and when she left in 1919 she had her sights set on becoming a professional painter. However, when she was given the opportunity to tour with a Shakespeare company she delayed her painting plans.

Interest in Theater

While Marsh was known for her creation of mystery stories, she also maintained a life-long passion for the theater. At home her parents followed strict Victorian standards, but they took their young daughter to many theater performances. Her parents also performed as amateur actors. Marsh felt her mother had a creative side that was never fully realized and her mother even performed in one of her plays.

One of the early theater performances Marsh attended was Christie’s Alibi. Charles Laughton played the brilliant detective Poirot.

Ngaio Marsh

Awards for Marsh

Marsh received several awards including Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1966 and the Grand Master Award for lifetime achievement as a detective novelist from the Mystery Writers of America in 1978.

March Visits England

In 1928, Marsh made her first trip to England. She enjoyed London life and worked in theatre, interior design and continued to paint. She stayed with her friends Helen and Tahu Rhodes and their five children and the two women remained lifelong friends. She was an avid people watcher and an observer of events. While staying in England, she earned money by sending travel logs back to New Zealand.

While in England in 1931, Marsh purchase some pencils and several notebooks and started writing her first mystery. She would introduce the world to Detective Chief-Inspector  Roderick Alleyn in 1934.

The Golden Age of Mysteries

Ngaio Marsh was the last to join the other ladies as a Queen of Mystery during the Golden Age. At the time Marsh entered the field, the other writers, Christie, Sayers and Allingham were at their prime and perhaps paved the way for Marsh. In 1934 when Marsh published her first book, the others all added to their list of titles.

1934

Christie’s— Murder on the Orient Express

Marsh—first book A Man Lay Dead

Sayers — Nine Taylors

Allingham—Death of a Ghost

 

The Detection Club

On one of Marsh’s visits to England she was invited to attend a monthly dinner of the Detection Club at Grosvenor House. After dinner, the group retired to a drawing room to watch the induction ceremony for E.C. Bentley. Christie was not at the ceremony, but Marsh meet her later that evening.

Dorothy Sayers was the mistress of ceremonies for this induction. Sayers was an imposing figure who towered over her fellow members. The lights went out, the door opened and Sayers wearing her academic robes, holding a single candle lead the procession into the room. Hidden in her gown was a revolver. In fact, all members had a weapon. The last member of the procession carried a skull named “Eric” on a cushion. Sayers with Eric

While Marsh followed the principles of the Detection Club, she was unable to officially join the group. The club required that members attend five to six dinners per year and with March splitting her time between New Zealand and England she was unable to meet this requirement.

Writing Becomes a Career

Marsh was still torn between her desire to develop her skill as a painter. However, her writing career took off with the publication of Enter a Murderer (1935) and The Nursing Home Murder (1936). These two novels established her place as a leading crime writer.

Marsh’s Detective– Roderick Alleyn

When we meet Roderick Alleyn, in the first book, A Man Lay Dead, he’s 40 years old, but already a Detective Chief-Inspector at Scotland Yard. We learn that Alleyn is a member of the gentry, with an older brother, Sir George, who’s a baronet. He was raised in Buckinghamshire where his mother Lady Alleyn continues to live. He graduated from Oxford, served in army for three years during World War I, spent a year in the foreign service and then joined the police department as a constable.

The first Alleyn Mystery –A Man Lay Dead

A Man Lay Dead is the first novel featuring Alleyn and as mentioned above was published in 1934. The plot concerns a murder committed during a weekend party in a country house where the guests were playing a murder game. This was a popular activity at weekend parties and especially with Sir Hubert. A Man Lay Dead 2

The murder itself concerns a small group of guests staying at Sir Hubert Handesley’s estate. The guests include Sir Hubert’s niece (Angela North), Charles Rankin (a man about town), Nigel Bathgate (Charles’s cousin and a gossip reporter), Rosamund Grant, and Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Wilde. Also in attendance are an art expert and a Russian butler.

During the game, one of the guests is secretly selected to be the murderer. The murderer gets to select the victim. At some point, the murderer taps the selected guest on the shoulder, indicating that they are the victim.  Once the victim is selected, the lights go out, a gong rings, and then everyone assembles to determine who did it. It is all intended to be light-hearted fun. Except at this party, the corpse is for real.

Unlike later novels, this first novel is focused more on Nigel Bathgate and less on Alleyn. However, Alleyn is tasked with uncovering the culprit even though all seven suspects have alibis. He brings it to a successful conclusion while being distracted by sub-plots focused on the Russians and secret societies.

The Marsh Contribution to Mysteries

Marsh is sometimes hidden behind the works of Christie and Sayers, but stands just as tall in following the principles that make a good mystery. There’s a murder, with a substantial list of suspects and many clues. There are sub-plots and of course, red herrings. Then enters Detective Chief-Inspector Alleyn who interviews the suspects and follows the clues until a solution begins to emerge. And if the reader is paying close attention they have an equal opportunity, along with Alleyn, to solve the crime. Ngaio Marsh provides the reader with a good mystery.

One last thought. Now that Hercule Poirot has finished all of his stories on PBS, how about a series featuring Detective Chief-Inspector Roderick Alleyn. There are thirty-two stories just waiting for the opportunity. I do love watching a good mystery on PBS, don’t you?

 

PD James Comments about Marsh

  • “Death is never glamorized nor trivialized in Ngaio Marsh.”
  • “Readers in the golden years demanded not only that the victim be murdered, but that he or she be, intriguingly and bizarrely murdered…the method of murder in a Ngaio Marsh novel tends to linger in the memory.”

 

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Ngaio Marsh-Roderick Alleyn Word Search -Solution

Were you able to find the key words from the 32 novels featuring Marsh’s gentleman detective, Roderick Alleyn? Just in case you have any questions,  here’s the solution to the puzzle.

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Ngaio Marsh-Roderick Alleyn Titles Word Search

Ngaio Marsh wrote 32 novels featuring her gentleman detective, Roderick Alleyn. Listed below are the titles and the date they were published. Look for the capitalized words in puzzle.

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TV Mystery Shows #4 Word Search -Solution

Just in case you want to double check your answers to see if you captured all the latest mystery shows, here is the solution. Although, I’ll bet you found them all.

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TV Mystery Shows #4

There are so many wonderful television shows available to watch. Here are a few more to add to your list. Look for the words in capital letters.

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Agatha Raisin Titles Word Search Solution

I know you found them all. However, just in case you want to double check your answers, here is the solution for the Agatha Raisin word search titles.

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Agatha Raisin Book Titles

As mentioned in the blog on M.C. Beaton and Agatha Raisin, there are many more books for creating PBS shows. From the list of book titles below, look for the words in capital letters. Solution to follow at a later date.

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M.C. Beaton and Agatha Raisin

As many of you would agree, British television does a marvelous job with developing and presenting mystery shows. And fortunately for us, PBS brings many of these shows to this country.

After watching hundreds of episodes of the various British series, I’ve come to the conclusion that these mystery shows fall into three categories. There are the dark story lines like, Sherlock, Vera, Case Histories or Jack Taylor. There is the cozy type of mysteries like all the Christie stories with Poirot and Miss Marple or Midsomer Murders. Then there is the last category which I classify as the lighthearted mysteries. The lighthearted mystery shows definitely investigate murder but are sprinkled with a heavy amount of humor and social behaviors. Examples of these shows include Murder in Suburbia, Father Brown and one of the latest entries Agatha Raisin.

Marion Chesney and M.C. Beaton MC Beaton 1

Agatha Raisin is a series based on the books by British writer Marion Chesney under her pseudonym M.C. Beaton.

M.C. Beaton/Chesney was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1936. Her first job was in the fiction department of booksellers, John Smith & Sons Ltd.  While working for Smith she received a job offer from the Scottish Daily Mail where she was a reviewer of variety shows and then advanced to the job of theater critic. She left Smith when she took on the duties of fashion editor with Scottish Field magazine. Her next job was at Scottish Daily Express where she was a crime reporter. Once more she made a move to the Daily Express where she became the chief woman reporter. All these reporting jobs provided her with a variety of writing experiences.

She married Harry Scott Gibbons and had a son, Charles. Harry took a job as editor of the Oyster Bay Guardian and the family moved to the United States. This job did not work out and they moved to Virginia where Marion actually worked as a waitress. Finally, they both found jobs in New York on Rupert Murdock’s new tabloid, The Star. However, Marion wanted to spend more time with her son and her husband agreed.

She left her reporting career and switched to writing Regency romances under her maiden name of Marion Chesney. After authoring over 100 romances, she eventually tired of writing about the limited period between 1811 to 1820. She turned to writing detectives stories using the pseudonym M.C. Beaton.

The family eventually returned to England. Marion continued writing while Harry raised black sheep in Scotland. However, it was a long commute from London to Scotland. When their son finished school, they moved to the Cotswolds which also happens to be the home of the Agatha Raisin series.

Agatha Raisin-the Early Years

We learn from the short story Agatha’s First Case that Agatha Raisin is a 26-year-old woman working at a public relations firm. She is doing all the work and receiving little reward for her effort. She’s willing to do this because she is trying to better herself from her humble beginnings in a block slum in Birmingham.

Raisins 1st case

When Sir Bryce Teller is charged with murder Agatha is sent to break the news that the firm will no longer keep him as a client. However, during the interview Agatha decides to help with the press. Once he sees her ability at handling the press, he sets Agatha up in her own PR firm.

While establishing her PR firm, Agatha also proves that Sir Teller didn’t kill his wife and thus, establishes her detective credentials.

Her understanding of people, in addition to her PR skills over the years helps Agatha grow her business into one of the most successful agencies in London.

Agatha Raisin Retires to the Cotswolds

Now we jump ahead in time with the first book Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death. This is also the first episode in the PBS series. Agatha is now 53 and owns a highly successful PR agency with top clients. She has made her fortune and has also made the decision to retire while she can still enjoy life.

Based on a childhood memory of a camping trip she decides to leave London and retire to the fictional village of Carsely in the Cotswold. She is ready for a quiet retirement by enjoying life in a quaint village. And village life and all it has to offer would be perfect if it wasn’t for the murders.

Agatha decides the best way to fit into village life is to participate in the various activities. Her first attempt at blending in is by entering the local contest for baking the best quiche. There’s only one problem−Agatha doesn’t cook. Her cooking is limited to having a selection of prepared and frozen food items that she microwaves for most of her personal meals. For her entry in the baking competition, Agatha purchases a quiche from “The Quichery,” a top delicatessen in London. However, even with a professional entry, Agatha doesn’t win.

After the contest, the judge, Mr. Cummings-Browne takes home Agatha’s left-over quiche. The next day he is found dead after eating a second slice of the spinach quiche. However, this slice of quiche was laced with cowbane and Agatha quickly becomes the top suspect.

In order to help her defense as the potential murderer, she is forced to admit that her quiche was store bought. This faux pas immediately reduces her standing in the village to that of a cheater. In order to get back in the good graces of the villagers, she decides she must solve the crime.

Agatha Raisin on PBS 

Agatha Raisin Season 1

In the television series, the story lines tend to follow the original plots of the books. However, there are several character modifications from those in the books. However, the changes seem to add to the television drama.

Agatha, played by Ashley Jensen is clearly not 53, but an active forty something This age difference is reinforced when Bill Wong, the local constable, fills out his on-line dating profile and lists he is interested in women 40-50. He’s hoping to attract Agatha.

In addition to Bill, Agatha relies on an eclectic group of helpers including Roy Silver from her PR days in London and her house cleaner, Gemma Simpson and her daughter.  James Lacey, Agatha’s good-looking neighbor, is introduced early in the first television episode and plays a role in saving Agatha from danger. To make your own character comparisons be sure to check out the books as well as the PBS series.

This crew of amateur detectives under Agatha’s guidance plow through the list of suspects who can be just as eclectic as her helpers. Sometimes they stumble into misadventures but at the end of the day, they uncover the killer of quiche judge Cummings-Browne.

And so, life in the village continues with a sprinkling of murders to keep it from becoming too complacent or dull for the dynamic Agatha Raisin.

This is only one example from the first season of the television series. There are many more adventures based on the books to entertain PBS viewers. In fact, there are many more books available beyond those represented in this first season. To date there is only one season of this delightful series. Hopefully, with the added interest from American PBS audiences, producers will be persuaded to film several more seasons of Agatha Raisin.

Note: Marion Chesney is the author of the Hamish Macbeth detective series, which she also writes under the pseudonym M.C. Beaton. Perhaps in a future blog we will discuss this series.

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Methods of Murder #3 Word Search- Solution

Here are the answers for the latest Methods of Murder Word Search. How did you do? Did you find all the dastardly ways to commit murder?
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Methods of Murder # 3

Yes, we still have more Methods of Murder for you to consider. In some ways, it’s hard to believe there are so many ways to murder our fellow citizens. I might mention that I’ve already started list #4.  To solve the puzzle, look for the words in capital letters. The solution will be posted at a later date.
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John P. Marquand/Mr. Moto Crossword Solution

I know you worked very hard on completing this puzzle. Just in case you need some extra help, here is the solution for the John P. Marquand/Mr. Moto crossword.

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John P. Marquand/Mr. Moto Crossword

You’ve had a couple of weeks to look at the blog about John P. Marquand and Mr. Moto. Now it’s time to test your knowledge. Check out the crossword puzzle below. Remember, most of the answers can be found in the blog. Solution will be posted in a couple of weeks.

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John P. Marquand’s Mr. Moto

What Pulitzer Prize winning author of satirical novels also created one of the most memorable spy detectives in both books and films? The answer is−John P. Marquand.

John P. Marquand won the Pulitzer Prize for The Late George Apley (1938). His title character, George Apley, is a Harvard-educated, white, Anglo-Saxon protestant living on Beacon Hill in downtown Boston. Beacon Hill is one of the oldest and wealthiest areas of Boston where the old money families live. It is located near the Massachusetts State House which sits prominently at the top of the hill, which gives us the term “Beacon Hill.” It was this world of wealth, privilege and power with its strict code for social behavior that Marquand was born into and later satirized.John_P._Marquand

Marquand’s Early Years

Marquand was descendant from several of the early governors of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. His mother was the great niece of well-known feminist writer, Margaret Fuller, and a cousin of Buckminster Fuller. Aside from his prestige lineage, there was the family fortune made from shipping and merchandising.

However, during the crash of 1907 the family lost their money and suffered a financial downturn. Marquand was sent to live with two eccentric aunts in an old deteriorating mansion in Newburyport, Massachusetts. Unable to afford the tuition for an elite private school he attended the local public high school. He did go to Harvard by winning a scholarship for Chemistry.

At Harvard, he had wanted to write for the newspaper but was turned down. Instead he was elected to the editorial board of the humor magazine, the Harvard Lampoon. After graduation, he finally worked for a newspaper when he was hired by the Boston Evening Transcript in 1915.

In 1922 he married Christina Sedgwick, niece of The Atlantic Monthly editor, Ellery Sedgwick. In 1925 Marquand published, Lord Timothy Dexter. This was considered an important book about the life of this Newburyport eccentric. His other well-known satirical novels include H. M. Pulham, Esquire (1941), B.F.’s Daughter (1946) and Sincerely, Willis Wade (1955).

By the mid-1930’s he was a prolific and successful writer and a regular contributor of fiction for slick magazines like The Saturday Evening Post. By the late 1930’s, Marquand, had created a series of novels about life in the upper-class.

Although he had been snubbed by his college roommates for his lack of wealth, he ultimately joined and embodied the lifestyle of the upper-class including owning luxury homes in Newburyport and the Caribbean. He was part of the very social scene that he often portrayed in a negative light. He was even linked to the Rockefeller family through his second wife, Adelaide Ferry Hooker, whose sister, Blanchette, was married to John D. Rockefeller III.

However, since this is a mystery blog, we think Marquand’s most important work was the creation of Japanese master spy and detective, Mr. Moto. Marquand achieved great popularity and commercial success with his spy novels about this fictional detective.

The Creation of Mr. Moto

Marquand was asked by The Saturday Evening Post to write a series of stories featuring an Asian character. In fact, the magazine sent him on a trip to Asia to do research. The magazine was attempting to fill the void created by the death of Erle Derr Biggers, the creator of Charlie Chan.

His first Moto story appeared in the magazine under the title, No Hero but later when published as a novel it was changed to, Your Turn, Mr. Moto.

Marquand wrote six Moto novels between 1935 and 1957.  All six novels were serialized first as magazine stories in The Saturday Evening Post except for Last Laugh, Mr. Moto which was serialized in Collier’s Weekly.

Marquand’s Moto novels were adapted into 23 radio shows starring James Monk. The first radio show was called A Force Called X07 (May,1951) and ended with The Dry Martini (October, 1951). Eight motion pictures were developed by Twentieth Century Fox starring Peter Lorre and Henry Silva starred in a 1965 film, The Return of Mr. Moto. In 2003 Moonstone Books published a graphic novel called Welcome Back, Mr. Moto.

Who Is Mr. Moto

When Mr. I.A. Moto is introduced to us, he appears as an eccentric Japanese aristocrat. In Think fast, Mr. Moto, Moto is described as a small man, delicate, almost fragile. book moto

He was dressed formally in morning coat and striped trousers. His black hair was carefully brushed in the Prussian style. He was smiling, showing a row of shiny gold-filled teeth, and as he smiled he drew in his breath with a polite, soft sibilant sound.

The focus of the novels is on westerners who experience problems involving some international intrigue. They are written from the westerner’s point of view. Mr. Moto is an international spy that operates behind the scene and enters into their lives to help them find a solution to their problem and extract them from danger.

In Think Fast, Mr. Moto he mentions other skills that he possesses:

Yes, I can do many things. I can mix drinks and wait on tables, and I am a very good valet. I can navigate and manage small boats. I have studied at two foreign universities. I also know carpentry and surveying and five Chinese dialects. So very many things come in useful.

Later in Mr. Moto Is So Sorry, we learn that one of the foreign universities he attended is American where he was a student of Anthropology. Later in the film versions of Mr. Moto, we will discover he has added several more skills to his list.

Plots of the Novels

In all the novels, Moto is a shadowy figure that seems to have numerous contacts in the Orient underworld that he manipulates to achieve his desired results.  Let’s take a look at the first Mr. Moto book.

In Your Turn, Mr. Moto, Flying Ace Lee Casey finds himself stranded in Tokyo when his transpacific pilot job for a tobacco company is cancelled. Low on funds Casey accepts a lucrative job offer from Mr. Moto and finds himself on a ship bound for Shanghai. His fellow passenger and female lead in this story is Sonya, a White Russian, who also seems to be assisting Mr. Moto. When a Chinese man turns up dead in Casey’s cabin, the trio is caught in a game of danger that could affect all of their countries.  Your Turn Mr. Moto

In the final novel, The Last of Mr. Moto (Stopover Tokyo-magazine title) is set in the 1950’s. Mr. Moto is now an intelligent officer for the pro-western Japanese government.

Jack Rhyce, a former paratrooper from World War II, has changed careers to becomes a secret agent in the early years of the Cold War. Rhyce and fellow spy Ruth Bogart have been dispatched to Tokyo to foil an assassination attempt. However, while the team is working to stop a murder they must also deal with an additional problem. Japan is now forming close ties with America and a communist ring is stirring up anti-American sentiment.

Jack and Ruth are pretending to be representatives of the Asia Friendship League and are met by Mr. Moto at the airport. Mr. Moto is undercover as a would-be tour guide who offers to make their stay more pleasant.

The American spies immediately suspect that there’s more to Mr. Moto than what appears. They need to stop the sinister plot and discover if the mysterious Mr. Moto will be their ally, or their enemy.

Both of these examples are representative of the plots in the novels. A westerner is in peril in the world of spies and deadly plots. The constant danger is offset with a romance between the male hero and the female lead.

The characters may not always understand the motives of Mr. Moto but he is ultimately there to help them. There’s also a sense that the people he is helping are talented individuals who emerge as a new form of hero. Moto recognizes this when he says:

“Undercover work is always like that,” …the people one encounters are much the same. They may be shady and raffish, but don’t forget they’re all of them brave. They do their work like a piece on a chess board and nothing stops them from moving along the diagonal. … they’re working for their respective countries and that’s more than a lot of people do.”

Mr. Moto Films

During one of the winter months this year, there was a very snowy day. This is the kind of day where you don’t want to leave the house and curling up with a good book is the perfect solution.

On this day, instead of opting for a good mystery book, I decided to do my own film fest. I had just received the collection of Mr. Moto movies. These are the eight movies from 20th Century Fox filmed between 1937 and 1939 featuring Peter Lorrie. I started with the first film, Think Fast, Mr. Moto. Think Fast Mr. Moto

Unlike the novels, there are several differences with the Mr. Moto in the films. Mr. I.A. Moto of the novels now has the first name of Kentaro. Mr. Moto is no longer the shadowy figure behind the scenes, but the focus of the films with the westerner playing a subordinate role. Occasionally he may be the seen in a tuxedo, but he does not wear formal morning attire as his normal dress and there is no signs of a gold tooth.

And perhaps based on the athleticism of Lorre we are aware that Moto is both an expert in Jiu-Jitsu and Judo and capable of circus like feats. He is a master of disguises and is also a skilled magician. For his personal enjoyment, he composes a form of poetry known as Haiku and draws caricatures.

The film plots are loosely based on the original stories but always involve spies and expose Mr. Moto to danger from some foreign government or group. And there is still the westerner who needs help in saving the secret plans, protecting their country or finding the hidden treasure. With the help of Mr. Moto, the problem is solved and for just a little while life returns to normal, until the next Moto film.

Mr. Moto Continues to be a Good Story

Mr. Moto was a good solid replacement for the Charlie Chan stories. I recommend on snowy days or on any day for that matter, to treat yourself to the detective stories of John P. Marquand’s, Mr. Moto. They are full of intrigue, spies, romance and plots that keeps the reader entertained.

 

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Erle Stanley Gardner Book Titles #2-Solution

Hope you found all the Perry Mason titles. Just in case you didn’t, here is the solution. I also hoped you enjoyed our posts about Erle Stanley Gardner.

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Erle Stanley Gardner Titles #2 Word Search

I’m going to finish our current set of blogs about Erle Stanley Gardner with a second word search puzzle of Perry Mason titles. Gardner was such a prolific writer that I couldn’t fit all the titles in just one word search. And these are just the Perry Mason titles. Who knows maybe I’ll have a word search of Cool and Lam titles at a later date. As always, find the words in the list of titles that are capitalized.

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Erle Stanley Gardner Crossword- Solution

There were a couple of tough questions in this puzzle, so I understand if you need to check your answers. I also know you are a mystery puzzle expert so I’m sure you did a great job!

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Erle Stanley Gardner Crossword Puzzle

If you’re searching for an answer, be sure to read the previous blog about Erle Stanley Gardner. You’ll find the answers for this crossword puzzle within that blog. Solution will be posted in a couple of weeks.

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