A part-time buffoon and ersatz scholar specializing in BS, pedantry, schmaltz and cultural coprophagia.
I loved it. I thought Hammett was amazing before, but the Glass Key just solidified it. Definitely his tightest, most coherent novel. The characters were sharp, the pacing was quick, the plot was Goldilocks. No wonder the Coen brothers couldn't get enough.
G.K. Chesterton's empathetic little detective seems like an unabtrusive Edwardian counterpoint to Sherlock Holmes. While Sherlock Holmes ability to adapt allows him to escape both time and place (House to Sherlock to Elementary), Father Brown is (like Catholicism itself) almost tied to man's fallen state and the early 20th century.
That being said, there are many of Chesterton's stories which I solidly prefer to Doyle's. Chesterton's prose, his love of paradox, his appreciation for humility, his black humor and his empathy for mankind makes me emotionally connected to Father Brown in ways I never managed with Sherlock Holmes
There isn't much better than "Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes" and "The Return of Sherlock Holmes". These stories show ACD at the top of his game. Like I mentioned in my review of Volume 1, the brilliance of Doyle's detective stories is they are universal, they are timeless and they are -- elementary.
While Doyle is a master of short stories, he isn't a consistent distance writer, and his previous longer pieces were usually a tad uneven (Study in Scarlet, Sign of Four). However, with "Hound of the Baskervilles", Doyle shows a marked improvement.
All-in-all this is a wonderful collection of some of Doyle's finest pieces. Definitely not to be missed. Griffin is a wonderful narrator for Sherlock Holmes. His range is impressive, yet he still manages to not hog the stage. His narration is varied, but still rather understated.
Mystery reader (especially series) and Austen lover
The Miss Silver mysteries are charming reflections of their times, written in what sometimes seems a rather stilted style to today's reader. But once you get past that, the stories are interesting, the puzzles are ingenious, and Miss Silver solves them all.
Miss Silver is not like Miss Marple: Miss Silver actually does some detective work, like tailing suspects and re-enacting certain aspects of a murder. She is also not as endearing as Miss Marple, and I like her the better for it.
The Clock Strikes Twelve involves alibis that depend on times, clocks that are tampered with, and people disguising themselves to look like someone else, all in the context of a family New Years Eve party to welcome in 1940.
This is the seventh book in the Miss Silver series, and I think it is one of Patricia Wentworth's best. Diana Bishop takes a text which might be rather dry and makes it interesting and dramatic.