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Archive for December, 2017

Mystery Monday Review – Rim of the Pit

Monday, December 11th, 2017

Rim of the Pit by Hake Talbot

Review by Matt B. (BuffaloSavage)

This 1944 mystery is a classic locked-room mystery. Set in a cabin in wintry New England woods, the characters have gathered for a séance to be conducted by a medium who is the widow of a logging baron. The baron’s spirit will announce who among the living has the logging rights to his lands, that is to say, the lands he owned when he was still among the quick. The séance gets out of hand when the baron’s spirit floats around and puts everybody, even the skeptics, into a tizzy.

The conniption doesn’t help clear thinking when the medium is murdered inside a locked room. The bloody tomahawk points to the current husband of the medium as does evidence that he flew out a window, over freshly fallen snow, to land over 100 feet away from the house. His fingerprints are on some grisly hunting trophies mounted high on a wall over the fireplace. Naturally, the characters assume that the current husband is possessed by a supernatural beast we have met in Algernon Blackwood stories, the widigo.

Critics and fans of the locked room mystery consider this book a masterpiece. Blog critic Mike Grost points out that John Dickson Carr must have influenced Talbot in that the reader is often misled about the order and significance of events and that action is mainly characters moving about, with their location being crucial to the solution of the impossible crime. Talbot – whose real name was Henning Nelms, a magician – sets an eerie tone, so weird that even we skeptical readers can go along with the supernatural explanation. At least for a time.

The incidents become rather convoluted, about on the same level as “two guns confusion” in Erle Stanley Gardner’s Perry Mason novels. The reveal, however, is sensible and logical. Readers who like the intricate puzzles of Carr, Christie and Queen will probably like this one.

 

 

 

 

 

2017 Books for Schools

Tuesday, December 5th, 2017

Thanks + Giving = Books for Children

 

Dear Members,

The 2017 Books for Schools Donation Campaign is nearly finished.  The last 4 schools are up and collecting donations of PBS Credits and PBS Money. This year we are hoping to give 10,750 books to 9 deserving schools across the county and we have almost reached our goal. Most of us can’t imagine what a childhood without books would have been like. Please help us to get books in the hands of children and to share the love of reading with them. These are children who may never otherwise have a book to call their own. 

We have nine participating schools this year from all over the country, including a school in Florida that was affected by Hurricane Irma, a school in Texas that has taken on students displaced by the flooding from Hurricane Harvey, and a school in Queens that has a high percentage of its students living with nonparents, in foster or shelter situations. You can read more about each school on the Books for Schools page where you can also donate Book Credits or PBS Money.

It’s the best kind of holiday glow…giving the gift of reading.

May your holidays be full of love and laughter and books!

Richard and
The PaperBackSwap Team