Tag Archives: crime fiction

Philomel Cottage, an Agatha Christie Obscure Murder Mystery

Philomel Cottage  by Agatha Christie (1934 Published in Listerdale Mystery)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror   June 20, 2017

 

This short story by Agatha Christie, the murder mystery master, is one that hasn’t seen much popular light. Raymond Chandler was said to criticize Christie’s literary skills but that didn’t tarnish her fame or book sales.  She remains the queen of crime.  Philomel Cottage is probably one you’ve not read.

The name of this cottage carries a very specific subtext. The title Philomel—also known as Philomela—refers to a Greek goddess who was turned into a bird. In Christie’s story, Philomel represents the nightingale, symbolic of the feminine rejecting the dark silence and her finding voice in that darkness to sing.

This is a romantic twisty tale, set in a cheerful English village of gardens and gossip. The drama is about a newly married couple, Alix and her demanding husband Gerald—how lovely their new home is and how happy the setting. Well, maybe not for long. Murder and the dark psychological powers of dreaming prevail.

The ending is unpredictable and not at all in the neatly tied-up style we are used to in Christie crime mysteries. It’s unusual for Christie to flavor her stories with anything supernatural, but one might interpret this story to be haunting in a Hitchcockian way.  Christie’s compelling narrative suspense, as always, does not disappoint.

Read the short story  here at Celine.Klinghammer.free.fr.

 

This story was adapted for film in 1937 with Ann Harding and Basil Rathbone Love With A Stranger. If you are an old film buff like me, this one is thoroughly enjoyable. Vintage black and white and so fashionable. Women wearing curvy slinky dresses, budding rounded busts with sexy shoulders and pearls. Men with mustaches and tailored in tweed suits with wide lapels and cuffed wide trousers. Absolutely nostalgic!

Watch it here on YouTube.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Audio: Old Time Radio Suspense of  Philomel Cottage with Orson Wells. This is a real treat!

 

If you are an Agatha Christie fan, you’ll love the Agatha Christie Blog.  

Click here for “How to Make A Miss Marple’s Afternoon Tea.”

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Christie’s first novel , The Mysterious Affair at Styles, was written in 1916, published in 1920. Murder on the Orient Express (1934); Death on the Nile (1937) and Appointment with Death (1938).   And many more: 78 mystery novels, 19 plays, and over 100 short stories. Her final novel, Sleeping Murder: Miss Marples Last Case, was published posthumously in October 1976. She is considered the best-selling novelist of all time  (2 billion copies sold and by some estimates nearly 4 billion, her works ranking 3rd behind Shakespeare and the Bible). What a gal!

 

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Check out The Guardian‘s “No One Should Condescend to Agatha Christie—She’s a Genius.” 

Don’t forget to view the INDEX above of more free Tales of Terror. This is a compendium of over 2 00 short stories by more than 100 famous storytellers of mystery, supernatural, ghost stories, crime, sci-fi, and horror. Follow or sign up to join me in reading two short stories every month.

Comments are welcome.

 

Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Kirkus Mystery & Thrillers Reviews

Books & Such    Bibliophilica   NewYorkerFictionOnline

 Lovecraft Ezine   Parlor of Horror

HorrorNews.net   Fangoria.com   

Slattery’s Art of Horror Magazine   Chuck Windig’s Terrible Minds

HorrorAddicts.net     Horror Novel Reviews    HorrorSociety.com     

Monster Librarian      HorrorTalk.com 

 Rob Around Books      The Story Reading Ape Blog

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

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Filed under Book Reviews, crime stories, crime thrillers, fiction, ghost story blogs, Greylock, horror blogs, murder mystery, Night Sea Journey, Reading Fiction, short stories, short story blogs, supernatural, tales of terror, The Dazzling Darkness

Killers, Cool and Slick

The Killers   by Ernest Hemingway (1927)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror,   January 19, 2016

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Human evil and violence prevail in this tidy little mystery, which is seedy and suspenseful. Gangsterism! If you are a Hemingway fan, you likely know the Nick Adams Stories. This is one of them. Two men walk into a bar … well, not exactly a bar, a lunchroom/saloon named Henry’s in Summit, near Chicago. We meet two hit men.  Did you ever know hit men to eat with their gloves on? You gotta love Hemingway.

In The Killers, male camaraderie, irony, and death are big themes for this noir. For our young and innocent protagonist Nick (the “effaced” narrator), he is initiated into the dark side of life.

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Hemingway, known for his ‘minimalist’ writing, who was greatly influenced by Gertrude Stein, wrote The Killers first draft in a frenzy of inspiration before he ate his lunch one day in May 1926. If you want to experience brilliant characterization through terse and clean dialogue, this is the story to read. I read it three times; it was that good.

 

 

 

 

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Want some insight on Hemingway’s thoughts on writing? Here’s one nugget: “The most important thing I’ve learned about writing is never write too much at a time… never pump yourself dry. Leave a little for the next day … When you’re still going and you come to an interesting place and you know what’s going to happen next, that’s the time to stop. Then leave it alone and don’t think about it; let your subconscious mind do the work.”  [From With Hemingway, A Year in Key West and Cuba by Arnold Samuelson.]

‘Let your subconscious mind do the work.’ I like that a lot. Trusting that other side of your creativity.

 

 

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Read The Killers online at Liternet.bg

Listen to the Audio at YouTube.com.

Watch this full feature noir film adapted by Universal, starring Lee Marvin, Angie Dickinson, John Cassevetes, and Ronald Reagan (1.26 hours):  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUSnxAA9qlU

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Don’t forget to view the INDEX above of more free Tales of Terror.

This is a compendium of over 170 short stories by over 100 master storytellers of mystery,  supernatural, horror, and ghost stories.

Join me in reading one short story every week!

Comments are welcome.

 

Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Mysteries In Paradise   Sisters In Crime Blog  Crime Fiction Lover

Books & Such   Bibliophilica    Lovecraft Ezine     HorrorAddicts.net  

Horror Novel Reviews    HorrorSociety.com

Monster Librarian     HorrorNews.net     HorrorTalk.com

 Rob Around Books      The Story Reading Ape Blog

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

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Filed under crime stories, crime thrillers, fiction, horror, horror blogs, literature, mysteries, Reading Fiction, short stories, short story blogs, suspense, tales of terror

Review of Greylock

Greylock’s latest review by David Corbett, best-selling and multi-award winning author of numerous crime thrillers. Done for a Dime was  named a New York Times Notable Book, and was nominated for the Macavity Award for Best Novel of 2003. His writing guide The Art of Character is a best seller; he is a regular contributor to Writer Unboxed. Catch his newest crime thriller The Mercy of the Night.

 

Greylock (3)PaulaCappa

“In Greylock, Paula Cappa has written a smart, entertaining supernatural thriller, in which a composer with a damning secret battles a ballerina scorned, while an embittered messenger from the Otherworld demands to be heard. Think Stephen King meets Raymond Chandler with a score by Tchaikovsky. The author’s passion for both the arts and the natural world shines through on every page, while a mysterious composition from old Russia, combined with the majestic songs of the Beluga whale, form the thematic backdrop of the story. Briskly paced and yet lovingly detailed, this novel was a genuine pleasure to read.” –David Corbett, award-winning author of The Mercy of the Night.

 

Buy GREYLOCK on Amazon.com

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Filed under Book Reviews, crime stories, crime thrillers, fiction, horror, horror blogs, literary horror, Mt. Greylock, quiet horror, short story blogs, supernatural, supernatural music, supernatural thrillers