Tuesday, May 22, 2012

No time for crime

(Photo by your humble blogkeeper)
No time for crime yet, though this view from my Paddington hotel puts me in mind of a good rooftop chase.

I also realized today that Elizabeth II became queen the same year The Mousetrap opened, and both are still going strong sixty years later. Coincidence, or something more mysterious?

I think I'll look for backers for a baseball-themed musical about Prince Charles. I'll call it Reign Delay.

© Peter Rozovsky 2012

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14 Comments:

Anonymous solo said...

A 'holiday' in Portugal, a 'vacation' in Israel, a 'stopover' in Switzerland, and now London. What is this: International Man of Mystery or something more sinister? This copyeditor from Philidelphia cover is starting to wear a bit thin, Peter. I'd dump it if I were you. So what is it: CIA? NSA? Mossad? And what's the latest assignment, anyway? And don't say I could tell you, but I'd have to kill you, not that you would, of course.

If there's a better rooftop chase than this one with JPBelmondo on the roof of Galeries Lafayette I've yet to see it.

May 22, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

That's the very chase I had in mind, though I couldn't remember whether it was over the roof of Galeries Lafayette or over Printemps.

Truth is, I've been cast as the next James Bond, and I was scouting out locations. I will give the lie to Jamie's great line in The Thick of It: "You're the shittest James Bind ever. You're David fucking Niven."

And you're right. I would never threaten to kill you; After a discreet interval passed, you'd just suffer a quiet accident, undetectable, and no one would be the wiser.

May 22, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Besides, with the copy-editing business in the state it's in, I had to pick up another line, as the suave, enigmatic International Man of Mysteries.

May 22, 2012  
Blogger seana said...

Love the photo. And, in fact, I just used it as a prompt in my short story month posts.

But they have to come here to get it...

May 22, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

They have to go there? I'll show them the way.

Be there in two shakes.

May 23, 2012  
Blogger Photographe à Dublin said...

The photo reminds me a bit of "The Lady Killers"... the film with Alec Guinness.

May 23, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Hmm, my fuzzy memories of that movie are mostly of interior scenes and Guinness' facial expressions. But I deliberately sharpened and desaturated the thing so it looks like a still from a movie c. 1955-62.

I think of you every time I bring the saturation way down on a color photo to make it black and white, by the way.

May 23, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I realized yesterday when I looked at the scene yesterday that the archway in the far background gives on a street behind it -- a bit like the set of Rear Window.

May 23, 2012  
Anonymous I.J.Parker said...

Saw THE MOUSETRAP many years ago in London. Didn't like it. But then I was already becoming tired of Christie at the time.

I do like the queen.

May 23, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I, on the other hand, may have to give Christie a try one of these years, especially since Declan Hughes and John Connolly give her such an unexpected thumbs-up.

May 23, 2012  
Anonymous Elisabeth said...

since Declan Hughes and John Connolly give her such an unexpected thumbs-up

OK, so she made their 10-to-read-before-you-die list (at #10). Wasn't it for carefully scripting the "surprise" ending? Yes, one should read a couple of Christies in order to lay claim to being a well-rounded reader of crime fiction, if for no other reason than her enormous influence on the genre, but one doesn't read Christie's whodunits for insight into human nature (one reason to read Hughes).

I know Hughes read Christie as a pre-teen (I read them all as a teen; I'm slow) but Christie's (and her many imitators) annoying plot points--the clock with the stopped dial at the murder site and what Chandler called her "violent reversals of character in order to justify an unexpected motivation" are among the reasons why I gave up on "detective" fiction in my 20s until my rediscovery of Chandler and Hammett a few years ago. When Chandler praised Hammett for giving "...murder back to the kind of people that commit it for reasons, not just to provide a corpse" I've always thought he was referring to Christie.

After reading Hammett and Chandler I could never go back to reading a line-up-the-suspects-and-question-them whodunit ever again.

But Hughes and Connolly are "correct" in naming the #1 crime fiction novel to read before you die--Hammett's The Glass Key. And #2, Chandler's The Long Goodbye is also "correct"!

Peter, please read #3 on their list before you read #10.

May 23, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I hadn't thought that Christie was their surprise ending, possible because they were not strict about keeping the list to ten (they named authors and novels other than the ones I listed), but you could be right.

Still, Connolly offered some thoughtful analysis of Christie's work, saying, for example, that she could say in a sentence of a paragraph what it would take P.D. James a page to say. And no, I will not ask P.D. James about that this week.

But I am likelier to read more of #3 and #4 before I explore #10, thought neither is likely to threaten to become my own #1.

May 24, 2012  
Anonymous I.J.Parker said...

Jeez, since when is brevity synonymous with excellence? P.D.James is a very fine stylist. Christie was never that.

Somehow this bit reminds me of my freshmen students who got into a panic when asked to write a 500-word essay. The problem wasn't time; it was the scarcity of valid points to make on a subject.

May 24, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I took Connolly's remark as praise of Christie rather than denigration of James. Christie looms so large as a symbol and historic figure that it was a bracing surprise to hear someone talk about her writing. Don't forget, too, that the remark was no detailed analysis. For all I know, Connolly and Hughes like P.D James used her a yardstick of the special esteem in which they hold Christie.

As for brevity, I may appear to favor concision because I like Hammett so much. But that's only because he did it so well.

May 24, 2012  

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