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Altec Lansing IMT227 Orbit Portable Speaker
Altec Lansing IMT227 Orbit Portable Speaker
Offered by M.T.
Price: 10.04

4.0 out of 5 stars Still going strong, 15 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this 3 years ago and it's still going strong. Good clarity of sound and I think it's good value for money.


Masters of the "Humdrum" Mystery: Cecil John Charles Street, Freeman Wills Crofts, Alfred Walter Stewart and the British Detective Novel, 1920-1961
Masters of the "Humdrum" Mystery: Cecil John Charles Street, Freeman Wills Crofts, Alfred Walter Stewart and the British Detective Novel, 1920-1961
Price: 30.53

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Challenging the myth of the 'Humdrum', 9 Jun 2013
This is a book well worth reading if you have an interest in the history of crime writing. The tone of Masters will come as no surprise to readers of the author's blog The Passing Tramp: eminently readable, affectionate for his subject, and full of original research. He has a keen eye for the apposite (and often hilarious) quotation, and is even-handed in his treatment of his three subjects. This would be an ideal book for any collection of literary criticism or cultural history as well as for fans of Golden Age crime.


London Falling (James Quill 1)
London Falling (James Quill 1)
by Paul Cornell
Edition: Paperback
Price: 8.37

3.0 out of 5 stars Reads like a TV miniseries, 13 Feb 2013
An urban-fantasy-cum-police-procedural by the man behind some of Doctor Who's better episodes - Paul Cornell. A team consisting of two undercover policemen, a traditionalist copper, and an intelligence expert are thrown together when they gain the `Sight' - the ability to see supernatural London in all its hideous glory. It plays out like a TV miniseries and has obvious series potential.


Modesty Blaise
Modesty Blaise
by Peter O'Donnell
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.19

5.0 out of 5 stars A great intro to this 60s icon, 18 Dec 2012
This review is from: Modesty Blaise (Paperback)
The first Modesty Blaise story sets the scene for the series. Modesty, a recently-retired master-criminal, supported by her ultra-competent sidekick Willie Garvin, is called in by the British government to tackle a job that their own agents can't handle.

The government has agreed to pay the Sheikh Abu-Tahir ten million pounds in diamonds in return for valuable oil concessions. The jewels are scheduled to be taken from Cape Town to a bank in Beirut by The Tiboria, but British Intelligence has been hearing rumours of a planned theft. Unable to pin down the rumours, Sir Gerald Tarrant calls on the services of Modesty Blaise.

Modesty is a criminal mastermind on the side of the angels. She's a far-sighted strategist, a lethal opponent in combat, and devastatingly beautiful. In this adventure she is ably assisted by the loyal Garvin, and her current lover, the artist-turned-British-agent Hagan. With a team like this, the ending comes as no surprise, even when they are pitted against the coldly logical (but Tom and Jerry obsessed) Gabriel and his deadly henchmen.

Modesty Blaise is a great start to what I think is a great series. Well worth looking out for.


Cobra Trap (Modesty Blaise)
Cobra Trap (Modesty Blaise)
by Peter O'Donnell
Edition: Paperback
Price: 8.53

5.0 out of 5 stars Modesty Blaise, bitesize, 18 Dec 2012
A story collection rather than a novel, with five adventures spanning the career of Modesty and her lieutenant Willie Garvin from their early days in North Africa up to semi-retirement 40 years later.

The first story, 'Bellman', opens with a flashback to the days when Modesty ran The Network, a multinational criminal organisation based in Tangier. In 'The Dark Angels', Willie and Modesty are pitched against an infallible assassination ring sent to eliminate an American supermarket tycoon. In 'The Girl with the Black Balloon', a gang of kidnappers has been extorting millions from different governments, using the guise of different oddball organisations as cover. The final story, 'Cobra Trap', features a more mature Modesty and Willie, now in their 50s.

A great intro to the series.


Coffin Scarcely Used
Coffin Scarcely Used
by Colin Watson
Edition: Paperback
Price: 10.07

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Flaxborough Find, 26 Nov 2012
This review is from: Coffin Scarcely Used (Paperback)
Coffin Scarcely Used is set in Flaxborough, an outwardly respectable seaport with a seamy underbelly. It opens stiflingly, with a small funeral on a curtain-twitching street in a curtain-twitching English town.

`Considering that Mr Harold Carobleat had been in his time a town councillor of Flaxborough, a justice of the peace, a committeeman of the Unionist Club, and, reputedly, the owner of the town's first television aerial, his funeral was an uninspiring affair.'

Coffin was the first of 13 Flaxborough novels by Colin Watson, now back in print thanks to Faber Finds. Inspector Purbright, assisted by the slightly hapless Sergeant Love, investigate the odd death of a local newspaper proprietor, in the process uncovering corruption and sleaze in an ostensibly blameless seaside town. Watson is a funny writer, and manages to end on a punchline, but the wit has a real barb.


The Beast Must Die
The Beast Must Die
by Nicholas Blake
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.29

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Deserves its classic status, 26 Nov 2012
This review is from: The Beast Must Die (Paperback)
Nicholas Blake made the CWA top 100 with his Nigel Strangeways novel The Beast Must Die. The novel begins with crime writer Frank Cairnes hunting down the killer of his infant son, with deadly revenge on his mind. Cairnes is a sympathetic character despite his murderous intent and you end up hoping he succeeds. There's a largish twist in the middle and a big one at the end. Only the improbability of Cairnes' success in finding his victim keeps it from getting five stars.


The Department of Dead Ends (Bello)
The Department of Dead Ends (Bello)
Price: 0.59

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Welcome reissue for British 'inverted mystery' short stories, 26 Nov 2012
The book's gimmick is that the Department of Dead Ends preserves unaccountable pieces of evidence - a child's rubber trumpet in the first story - and through indexing, memory or simple instinct manages to use them to unravel unsolved crimes. The stories have something of the appeal of Columbo - a clever (or more often, lucky) murderer getting away with it until one niggling little piece of evidence brings down their deception.

Most of the crimes are Edwardian, which gives them the feel of one of those `notorious local murders' books. This is a world of clerks, music-hall turns, pharmacist's assistants, and parlour-maids. The people are called Elsie, Ethel, Hilda, George, Constance. They are murdered for their insurance policies or out of sexual frustration by respectable chaps with high collars and little moustaches.

This is a good quality edition (at least I didn't notice many typos or formatting issues), and there is added value in the form of a short biography of Roy Vickers and an appreciation by Ellery Queen, no less.


A Taste for Death (Modesty Blaise) (Modesty Blaise)
A Taste for Death (Modesty Blaise) (Modesty Blaise)
by Peter O'Donnell
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.29

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More than meets the eye, 26 Nov 2012
These 1960s action romps suffered badly at the hands of Austin Powers and might be doomed to be read forever through a pair of ironically `swinging' glasses. And in fact most of the elements of the genre are present and correct:

1. Delightfully retro high technology.
2. Stylised action:
3. Comic opera bad guys (led by the gorilla-like Delicata - the man with a taste for death, no sense of pain, and superhuman strength)
4. Globe-trotting plot

Modesty Blaise's partner-in-crime Willie Garvin is pearl-diving off a remote island in Panama when he witnesses the murder of one young woman and the kidnap of another. He is too late to prevent the murder, but foils the kidnap with brutal finality before escaping with the girl. Garvin also sees the man in charge of the operation, an old enemy named Gabriel.The girl, Dinah Pilgrim, is brave, beautiful - and blind. Gabriel wants her alive, but she has no idea why. Trapped in Panama, Garvin calls in Blaise to get him and the girl out in one piece, which she does in fine style. Improbably, the action then moves to the Sahara Desert... sword-fights ensue.

So, it's all good fun. But there's more here.A surprising, but very winning feature of the book (and presumably the series) is the strong sense of family. Cockney action-man Willie Garvin is basically Blaise's soul-mate, despite the fact that he hooks up with Dinah Pilgrim and she is with the elegant mathematician Collier. Blaise's boss Sir Gerald Tarrant, who seems to work in British Intelligence, is the father-figure. Genuine bonds of affection, loyalty and occasionally poignant humour exist between them all. O'Donnell clearly loved his characters and that really comes across.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 7, 2014 6:24 PM BST


THE COMPLETE FATHER BROWN MYSTERIES COLLECTION [Annotated] (Complete Works of G.K. Chesterton Book 1)
THE COMPLETE FATHER BROWN MYSTERIES COLLECTION [Annotated] (Complete Works of G.K. Chesterton Book 1)
Price: 0.77

0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Where are the annotations?, 25 Oct 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I'm a lifelong fan of Father Brown, and having just downloaded Kindle for PC thought I'd get hold of the complete stories.

On the one hand, 77p is a steal for these classic stories.

On the other hand, I cannot see any of the promised annotations or critical content. Hence the one star.


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