Eric Mayer

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It is past time for a little update. Mary and I have been trying to get some work done on the eighth Byzantine mystery. We're still near enough to the beginning of the book to make it tough sledding. There are still plenty of characters to be introduced (and invented) and background to be filled in. At some point books begin to move of their own accord, but we aren't quite there yet, at the top of the hill, from where we we can just toboggan down. (Since we haven't escaped the clutches of summer heat yet I am going for winter metaphors)

Mary has found time to contribute to The Rap Sheet's Friday feature, "The Book You Have to Read" with a review of Ethel Lina White's 1933 mystery Some Must Watch. During a stormy night, the residents of an isolated country house are menaced by a killer.

I've read the book myself and it is terrific -- exceedingly creepy, with a a surprisingly modern emphasis on psychology. It's also available on the web. A later novel by Lina White, The Wheel Spins, was filmed by Alfred Hitchcock as The Lady Vanishes. Read Mary's essay and see if she can convince you to read it as well.

Mary has also reviewed a Golden Age mystery The Scarab Murder Case by S.S. Van Dine for Steve Lewis' Mystery*File site. Steve has supplied some neat old covers and a map from one edition of the book.

As for me...well, just trying to get to the top of the hill with the mystery novel has been more than enough. But soon I'll be able to leap on my metaphorical literary sled and glide. Unless, there's a rock hidden in the snow, or I turn over in a rut. I hope I don't veer into the trees and can stop before I slide out into the busy street. Yes, I have enough to worry about without writing reviews.

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