Why I Really Like This Book (detective fiction)
These are podcasts about forgotten fiction, for curious readers, and for anyone who likes old books. Sometimes they're stories, sometimes they're not. Most of the authors write in English; and sometimes they don't. But all the books I talk about, I really really like. I hope you will too.
  iTunes . homepage . classes . past episodes . faculty page . more from Kate

Photobucket

My name is Kate Macdonald: I'm an English lecturer, and a lifelong browser in second-hand bookshops. I post weekly ten-minute podcasts on a Friday, on the books I really like which I think deserve new readers. You can find out lots more at the Facebook page here, and get these podcasts weekly by subscribing on the iTunes link above.

The music for the podcast intro is by The Tribe Band. Lucy Marsh did the drawing and Matthias Opsomer lettered it. Patrick Belk and Martin Fowler hold my tech safety net.

Miro Video Player

Questions? Send me a message by mailing me at kate [dot] brussels [at] yahoo [dot] com.

Archives

Past Episodes

Keyword Search

January

December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
January

December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January

December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January

December
November
October
September
August

Categories

detective fiction
the great outdoors
anti-romance
memoir
cooking
general
extra information
people-watching
the life of the place
fantastical
private classes
thrills and spills
always amusing
getting educated
strong women
thinking too much
simply heaven
archives
nemesis and revenge

Syndication

RSS Feed

 

Visit Ancient Rome and the nastier outposts of the Roman Empire in the company of Marcus Didius Falco, private detective and lovable put-upon family man, in the excellent novels by Lindsey Davis. For a bonus weekend break, try The Course of Honour for her terrific novel of a secretary's view of Caligula's rule, while she's in love with an Emperor two or three reigns down the line. For readers who wouldn't wear a toga even if they could.

Direct download: Lindsey_Davis_and_Falco_-_Stuff_That_Really_Happened_4.mp3
Category:detective fiction -- posted at: 1:30am CET
Comments[0]

Secrets and politics and multiple kidnappings at the League of Nations, and some pointed messages about early feminism. Rose Macaulay's Mystery at Geneva is a fine satirical novel in the mystery mode. (NB this version replaces the inadvertently gigantic version released earlier.)

Direct download: Rose_Macaulay_and_Mystery_at_Geneva_-_Novels_of_1922.mp3
Category:detective fiction -- posted at: 8:53am CET
Comments[0]

Trent's Last Case is a very modern Edwardian detective novel, with a Bohemian setting, the police in a cosy relationship with the media, and a cracking good mystery to solve ahead of the artist-journalist-detective hero. 

Direct download: E_C_Bentley_and_Trents_Last_Case_-_Novels_of_1913.mp3
Category:detective fiction -- posted at: 1:30am CET
Comments[1]

Come to London clubland in 1923, and follow Richard Hannay on the trail of a riddling rhyme and secret plots to overthrow civilisation as we know it. In John Buchan's The Three Hostages, human evil battles with the manners of the gentleman's club, and north London is revealed as a den of criminality and sin. For those who live north of the river.

Comments[0]

In the middle of the Second World War, Lady Carados found a dead woman in her son's bed, so she decided to move it somewhere else, which is why Albert Campion got involved because the body ended up in his bed instead. In Margery Allingham's Coroner's Pidgin, Campion is struggling with sleep deprivation, the blackout, familiar streets bombed out of recognition, and the bizarre dislocations of life in a Blitzed London. He feels his way through mental fog to work out who killed whom, and who is continuing to try to kill others. How big does a national war hero have to be before he is above suspicion? How aristocratic do you have to be before the law can't touch you? For readers who like to see more than one step ahead.

Direct download: Margery_Allingham_and_Coroners_Pidgin.mp3
Category:detective fiction -- posted at: 1:30am CET
Comments[0]

We're plunged into 1930s high society, riddled with blackmail, drugs and wicked little gambling dens. Girls have gone back to being chaperoned, and wives are deceiving their husbands. It's all rather sordid, and then Lord Robert gets suffocated in a taxi on the way back from the heady, glittering, gossiping Carrados ball. Hear all about the social humiliation that Death in a White Tie, a Golden Age detective novel by Ngaio Marsh, secretly conceals. For those who prefer to dance until three in the morning.

Direct download: Ngaio_Marsh_and_Death_in_a_White_Tie.mp3
Category:detective fiction -- posted at: 1:30am CET
Comments[0]

One of the most under-rated, and one of the best writers of Golden Age Detection, Josephine Tey, tells us a dark little tale about how Miss Pym's psychology can detect a murder in a gymnasium, in a hothouse single-sex environment, where desperation that the best job goes to the best person causes passions to spill out from the tightly buttoned blouses of perfect English gym teachers. A magnificent, Machiavellian murder in the cleanest surroundings. For those who prefer working on the mat to the high bars.

Direct download: Josephine_Tey_and_Miss_Pym_Disposes.mp3
Category:detective fiction -- posted at: 1:30am CET
Comments[1]

Another 1930s detective novel about drugs, but with more variety: not just cocaine, but cigarettes and the subjugation of the masses' free will by advertising. Dorothy L Sayers feeds her public's addiction for more Lord Peter Wimsey with Murder Must Advertise, a great novel about murder and treachery in the office lives of advertising executives and high diving in high society. For those who prefer a Daimler to a Ford.

Direct download: Dorothy_L_Sayers_and_Murder_Must_Advertise.mp3
Category:detective fiction -- posted at: 1:30am CET
Comments[0]

Before he wrote The Sword in the Stone, T H White tried to gatecrash the 1930s party of detective novelists critiqueing their own society. He tackled drugs, murder, snobbery, loyalty, fast cars and literary allusion. He played with the conventions of the detective novel and produced a small but perfect classic of detective fiction. For readers who prefer to ride their horses astride.

Direct download: T_H_White_and_Darkness_at_Pemberley.mp3
Category:detective fiction -- posted at: 1:30am CET
Comments[0]

This podcast is about Margery Allingham's 1955 novel The Beckoning Lady. A classic detective story with her enigmatic Mr Campion, set in a magical hazy midsummer, featuring more English eccentrics than you can shake a stick at, and the immortal Magersfontein Lugg. Also contains lessons for the reduction of teenage confusion, a remedy involving rhubarb leaves for the prevention of moon madness, and three corpses. For those who like their detection hidden in very polite suspense. 

Direct download: Allingham_and_The_Beckoning_Lady.mp3
Category:detective fiction -- posted at: 3:56pm CET
Comments[0]

1