Sunday, 24 January 2010

Book review : Walter Tyrer/The Case of the Cottage Crime (Sexton Blake Library)

Walter Tyrer - The Case of the Cottage Crime (Sexton Blake Library 3rd Series, #212)

Definitely a case in which it`s not so much the tale as the telling of the tale that counts. The plot may be daft, but Tyrer is on top form in this prime slice of vintage detective fiction.

As ever his particular brand of humour, whilst now rather dated, is both charming and funny ("Alf Beckett did not like women drinking to excess ; it left less liquor for the men") and he is capable of a polished turn of phrase ("Now over his ruddy countenance spread the dawn of understanding like the sun shouldering upwards over a bleak and deserted landscape").

Only once is he apparently let down by the sloppy editing and proof-reading that could mar some SBLs of the period, when one of his descriptions is somehow mangled to include the bizarre phrase "the petulance was stringy" !

If I had to find a fault it would be the author`s (and Blake`s) contrasting of Italian and English characters ; "That`s the difference between the cool northern temperament and the impulsive Italian style" opines Blake at one point. It probably seemed very worldly then - now it just sounds silly and parochial.

I`ve only read this one once so far but feel sure it`s destined to become a personal favourite.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Welcome to the Sexton Blake Blog

Welcome to the Sexton Blake Blog. As you`ll have guessed, this is going to be a `fan blog` run by myself as a tribute to the great fictional detective.

The reasons it takes the form of a blog are obvious I would think - I don`t have the time or money and probably not the patience to do justice to a fully fledged web site.

My choosing to have my own online tribute to the great Sexton is not an implied criticism of the other online tributes out there. I`ve no doubt at all that others can do it better, and have indeed done so as you`ll see from the links provided. This is basically just a hobby for me and not intended as competition for anyone else.

It will take a little time for me to get any number of entries posted, but no doubt it will take shape in due course.

All the Best,