Tag Archive for murder mystery

The Perfect Insider

The Perfect Insider by Toshiya Ōno; dir. Mamoru Kanabe (Fuji TV, 2015) [Subtitles] An anime adaptation of Hiroshi Mori’s mystery novel in which a brilliant professor and his student solve a macabre and seemingly impossible locked room murder. Almost poetically animated in depicting its disturbing subject matter and brooding atmosphere of inner turmoil and contemplation.    

The Nursing Home Murder

The Nursing Home Murder by Ngaio Marsh (Geoffrey Bles, 1935); audiobook read by James Saxon (AudioGO, 2010) The nursing home (to the modern reader, operating theatre) murder is quite diverting once it gathers steam. Unfortunately, the first fifth of the book is groundwork. Inspector Alleyn—himself unimpeachable—is a late arrival and has to recover ground already laboriously trodden.    

Enter a Murderer

Enter a Murderer by Ngaio Marsh (Geoffrey Bles, 1935); audiobook read by James Saxon (BBC, 1995) Inspector Alleyn presents as an intriguing juxtaposition of acerbic professional and chummy old boy. His offsider, the journalist Nigel Bathgate, is an adequate Watson, but the mystery—an actor’s on-stage murder—loses something in being told from a blend of third-person viewpoints.    

Clouds of Witness

Clouds of Witness by Dorothy L. Sayers (T. Fisher Unwin, 1926); audiobook read by Ian Carmichael (BBC, 1992/2009) An unhurried mystery from which the protagonist seems oddly removed. Lord Peter Wimsey is a character cut from the Wodehouse mould, yet the writing—despite its occasionally witty turn of phrase—leaves him untethered, a whimsy (as it were) without true purpose.    

The Bedlam Detective

The Bedlam Detective by Stephen Gallagher (Crown, 2012); audiobook read by Jonathan Keeble (Oakhill, 2014) If it weren’t so effortlessly engaging, Gallagher’s historical murder mystery novel might be deemed a slow burner. Moving with a grace and eloquence befitting of the setting (England, 1912), The Bedlam Detective brings about a spiralling investigation of gentrified privilege and madness.    

Boo

Boo by Neil Smith (Heinemann, 2015) Two boys strike up a friendship searching for their killer in thirteen-year-old heaven. Narrated in the first person, present tense, Boo, though neither ‘instantly charming’ nor ‘wickedly funny’ (as promised by the cover), is a well-conceived, cleverly realised post-murder mystery / coming-of-age story.  

Memento

Memento dir. Christopher Nolan (2000) Christopher Nolan’s breakthrough film is a masterpiece of independent cinema, challenging viewers to follow a murder mystery backwards from crime to cause. Guy Pearce captures the forlorn determination (and occasional humour) of a man with no short-term memory piecing the clues together.